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SAM SCHRAGER: Bovill, you landed up there in the mid '20's when you came.
MARIE FISHER: I had a cousin who lived there. I guess I . applied forand the job and got it. In those days you would write applications tel- ling what your qualifications were; what you could teach, and that's all I did and I got the job.
SS: Where were you living at the time?
MF: My folks were living in Nez Perce, but I was only there during thesummers, so I didn't really live much of anywhere; where my trunk was is where I lived.
SS: Had you taught before you came to Bovill?
MF: Yes, oh, yes. I must have taught fifteen years, I guess, before Iwent to Bovill. No, I hadn't taught that long, I'd taught about eight years before I went to So I had experience and.good recommendations, I guess, because I got the job without any trouble. I taught primary for four years and then they transferred me to fifth and sixth and then I taught the seventh and eighth. So, I taught all of them.
SS: Was this all in Bovill or before you came?
MF: No, in Bovill. But I taught rural school and tworoom schools beforeI went to Bovill.
SS: You got your teacher training in Lewiston?
SS: How long did that take in those days?
MF: Well, when I started out all you had to do was go to summer schoolwhich lasted I think, nine weeks or something like that. And you got what was called a third grade certificate, and you teach on that third grade certificate that year then you go back to summer 4o school and then you go ft second grade and then you'd go back to summer school the next year and you'd get a first grade and then you had your certificate. But the people that wanted to go to school take a whole year at once, they didn't have to go through that. I couldn't be bothered going the whole year when I could go nine weeks and get a job.
What was the training itself like? Was it very different then theway they do the teaching now?
I don't know how they teach now. From the papers I pick up thatthe kids drop on the way home, they don't teach like they used to. These papers that I pick up from the kids that go by an A on them and I look through 'em and there a whole lot of mistakes on 'em, they can't spell and they can't write;.big printing. And when I taught school the kids went to the board and learned to write. They never did print. But of course, before I quit teaching they had started printing, but I never bothered with that because I couldn't see the value of printing first then writing. And we had to teach Palmer Method of writing in those days.
When you were trained at Lewiston for teaching at the Normal, wasthe training very specific? Did they teach you just how to teach in a classroom, or what?
Yes, they taught the way it should be in a classroom, but afteryou got in 4 classroom you had to remember what they told you These people that were training us were dedicated teachers and all that, but I don't think that many of them had ever done very much rural school teaching, where you had eight grades in one room. And we had special courses in teaching English and special courses in arithmetic and special teachers to teach us how to teach spelling and everything else. But after you get out and start doing it you just forget all that and do it your own way.
SS: What you're saying it was more theory.
MF: Theory, not practice. But I wasn't a bad primary teacher, bythe time Christmas came the kids could pick out different words, the smart ones. Of course the idiots, morons and^ people on the curve, they couldn't, but the average kid knew a few words that they could pick out of the paper. And I never let them learn by the pic ture on the paper, they had to know the words because I taught phonics. And they could read pretty good. If you don't believe it ask Joe Holland, I had his kids in the first grade. And Junior, his oldest boy, the one that got killed in the army, he could al most read by Christmas. And by the time school was out he was a don't know how I ever got kids to learn to read when I didn't teach phonics, but they must have. But now they're going back to phonics somebody told me.
Yes, I've heard that, too. Did you have any special methods thatyou found worked to get the kids interested in reading? Or was it strict drills and that sort of thing?
MF: I don't know.
SS: Did you enter any games and that sort of thing?MF: Oh, sure. The story of the three billy goats. The kids'd read the story and they'd act out.the three billy goats trying to get across the bridge that the troll was on. And when you were teaching manners, you'd have a kid knock at the door and the other kid'd open the door; "Won't you please come in?" I didn't do that very often, but once in a while we'd have it- things like that. And, of course, on Friday afternoons they got a lot of art work and spel ling matches. Send them up to the board and give them a bunch of figures and see who could get through it quickv But those days we used to have contests between our school and Deary, not only in athletics but in spelling were the only two contests we had.
SS: Were these frequent get-to-gethers for contests with Deary? Wasit a common thing?
MF: It was for a year or two. It all depended greatly on who the teachers were. We finally got to where we didn't go down except they would have their track meets. But we had a superintendent believed in developing their mental ability as well as their muscles. Of course, the Deary superintendent, I don't even remember who he was, cooperated and of course, it only happened probably once a year but the kids a lot of fun preparing for it.
SS: Nowdays you really do get the feeling that athletics is more important than schooling a lot of the time; was it that way then, too?
MF: No. Not in our schools. The idea was to get through all those booksand pass into the next grade and you didn't do that out playing bas ketball. Of course, I don't know about high school, they were very basketball minded and of course, everybody liked athletics. They never had enough kids to have a football team, but they always had good basketball teams. Girl teams and boy teams, both. And Bovill had the prettiest girls of the whole Latah County.
SS: I've heard that before. That's so, huh?
MF: Yes, it really is. They were above average for good looks. We onlyhad one or two fat ones and even the fat ones were nice looking in the face. I don't have any pictures around of those girls, but they were good looking. Beautiful girls. And the boys were nice looking, but the girls were better looking.
SS: Sounds good, that's the way it should be. When you first came to Bovill wereall the primary grades together as one? Or were they different classes?
MF: They had the first and second grade together, and third and fourthgrade, fifth and sixth, seventh and eighth. There were four grade teachers and there were, I guess, three or four high school teachers.
SS: Was this an improvement for you as a teacher to be able to justteach two grades instead of teaching the whole eight in one room?
MF: It was a lot easier, I'll tell you that! You didn't have half thework to do, and it was more fun, you didn't have to have one kid teaching another, you could do it all yourself. I enjoyed some of those one-room schools a lot, too though; especially one out here out of Lewiston somewhere. Some day I'm going to take the car and go out and see if I can find that school! You went out to Web bridge and you went out to that Web post office and. up in those hills somewhere and there's two roads after you leave Web's store and I don't know which one I went on.
SS: I'm surprised that you enjoyed the one-room school, I would thinkthat for a teacher dealing with eight grades at once would just about be the limit.
MF: But listen- I didn't find it in Bovill the first eight years Itaught there, but if you're the teacher in a one-room school, boy, you are somebody! The kids respect you; they never try to - the smartalecky things these kids in town try. Why, if I'd have been teaching anywhere and the kids'd talk back to me like they do to these people now, I'd have Because in those days you could spank kids. Of course, sometimes some of the people didn't like it very well because their little darlings got spanked, but they couldn't do anything about it. I wouldn't teach school now for all the tea in China!
SS: Did each teacher have to develop her own way of dealing with theproblems of kids not paying attention?
MF: Yes. There was never any rebellion in those one-room schools becauseschool was fun for most of those country kids. They got away from home and they got in with other kids and they enjoyed school.
SS: Did you feel that you had to be very strict with them?
MF: No. Not the way you do in a town school. I had seven or eight yearsexperience before I went to Bovill. I'd usually tell 'em the first morning I went to school I knew all their tricks and that if they'd be good, I'd be good. If they were going to be mean I knew more mean ways than they did! And ^ got it across that what I said, that was going to be it and so I had very little trouble with them; pri mary grades. I know I got awful macj at the superintendent one time because he spanked one of my kids, I felt that if the kid needed spanking I was to spank him! The superintendent did it, he didn't make any friends or influence any people either. And that year he left because the kid didn't need a spanking in the first place, and if he'd needed one I was going to give it to him! But Ididn't get the chance
SS: I imagine that being a teacher in the school- you were saying before that the first seven or eight years in Bovill, you said there was no discipline problem?
MF: No, the first seven or eight years when I was teaching in the countryschools there any discipline problems.
SS: Did it take you a matter of time to establish yourself in Bovillas a—
SS: No, as a person that was going to be there, someone that was- yousay the teacher didn't have the same kind of status in a town as she did in the country.
MF: Well,the little tiny kids in school in Bovill, they hadn't got tothe point yet, and I don't know whether the upper grades had, but they could do as they pleased. They came to school just because school was where they were supposed to be and I told 'em it was just like their daddy went to work every morning and they went to school, the same thing. But there wasn't any disciplineA in the primary grades in Bovill. And I was big and it makes a difference, you know, we had one little gal come out from New England to teach in Bovill in high school and she was just a little shrimp, I'll bet she didn't weigh more than ninety pounds soaking wet, and those kids- I went down in the basement one day and she was down in the basement crying. I asked her what was the matter and she said the kids were giving her a bad time. And I stormed up into that school room and I gave those kids the damest bawling out you ever saw. I was teaching primary downstairs, but I'd had these kids and here they were giving her a bad time. I don't know as it helped any. But anybody that would. come clear out from Maine to teach a bunch of hoodlums- They weren't hoodlums, but they -
SS: They were acting like it.
MF: One teacher we had was a little shorty, and she's teaching in California now, about ready to retire, they picked her up one day and set her in the wastebasket! Just because she was small. Well, they wouldn't ever have tried that with me! They wouldn't have dared in the first place because I just looked like they better not try it, you know! And I think it makes a lot of difference. You know, some people have a mickey mouse- I'm afraid of you- and I never looked like I was afraid of 'em. I may have been scared to death inside, but they didn't know it.
SS: What was it that made you decide to become a teacher in the firstplace?
MF: Oh, I don't think I decided. My mother was a teacher. Did AuntMamie teach?
Third person: I don't remember, Marie. I think she did.
MF: Well, anyway, when my mother was raising me the only thing a womancould do was to teach school or be a nurse. And, of course, they didn't think nursing was a very— my mother was a very puritanical . gal, so I didn't think much about it; so I became a teacher«ABut my cousin, her folks let her be a- take a commercial course. And I'm better off than she is at that, even if I did teach. Teaching wasn't bad in those days, but I wouldn't do it again now. Not with the kid of kids there people are raising.
SS: It seemed like most women, of course, didn't decide to become teachers or nurses and most women grew up and got married and that was it and were homemakers. So in that sense, it always seemed to me that women who were teachers were different than most women.
MF: Well, maybe I was. The first school I taught was in the country outof Kamiah. And the man was such a tyrant and so mean, that I thought, "I'm never going to get married, if that's what it's like!" Our home, it was perfect and I'd never seen any woman treated like she was. And I thought, "Nobody's ever going to get the upper hand of me!" So, I taught for quite a while and finally I got married.
SS: This man was the one that ran the school?
MF: No. He was just somebody I boarded with, I had to board somewhere.Boy, that was the meanest man I ever saw.
SS: I know it seems like the men were running things even more than theydo now, in those days. Were teachers supposed to keep their place and not speak their mind too much when it came to the running of things? Or were they able to speak out?
MF: I think they could speak out if they wanted to. But I wasn't veryforward or brash. I didn't bother to go to the council meetings and they didn't have a PTA in Bovill only about one year, about the time I quit teaching. In Bovill about all the teachers did was teach school and then go to the parties they were asked to. And Bovill was quite a partying town; card parties, I mean, teachers could say what they wanted to, I don't know.
SS: The card parties were frequent, were they? Were there certain groupsthat gave them, or people's homes?
MF: Oh, they were card clubs. There was an afternoon bridge club anda night bridge club and there were about three pinochle clubs and then every once in a while the different lodges in town would have a party and get the hall and have the whole town in. Twenty tables, maybe, something like that. Maybe not twenty tables, ten or twelve tables, I've forgotten. And then once in a while the different lodges would decide they'd have a dance. And they had a dance hall there and there were dances every week. The teachers were al lowed to go to all that, they were not told they couldn't. Al though I stayed with one woman said I shouldn't go to dances but I went anyway.
Were the dances for townspeople mostly?
Yes, they were for everybody in town, neighboring towns, too. People would come from Deary and Elk River. Would lumberjacks go to those, too?
Oh, yeah. The young ones would, because that lived inBovill worked in the woods, except a few of the people that had the stores. All the young fellows worked in the woods and they'd come to the dances.
I was thinking more of the lumberjacks that weren't local, but livedin the camps.
Oh, the ones that liked to dance and could get into town, they came.You say there was a dance just about every week?
Well, I can't remember whether they were that often or not, but they'dbe at least- they'd have them twice a month. And during the Depression we had dances, I think, about every week down in old buil ding that had been a church and then a store. Locals, one of 'em would play a Jew's harp or a mouth , one would play the piano and one would play the drums. I don't think we had a violin. We had a lot of fun. Pass the hat to pay the musicians. They'd pro bably get maybe a dollar a piece; quarters and nickels would be all they'd et. And we'd wind up at somebody's house for sandwiches and coffee afterwards.
Did these go way into the night?
No, those days there was a law that you had to stop I think at twelve.You either had to stop at twelve or one. What was it, Dwight that the dances used to have to stop at?
Go till one sometimes. Mostly at twelve.
Anyway, it was the law you had to stop. And then we'd go somewhereand eat and maybe we'd get home at two or three in the morning.
SS: Somebody would put on a feed at their home?
Yes, sandwiches and stuff.
And this was pretty much open to everybody that was at the dance?That would just be the group, oh, six or eight of us couples would go. Of course, there'd be probably three or four different people having refreshments afterward at different homes. About six or eight couples of us always wound up afterward. And Isuppose there were six or eight couples wound up some otherwhere else. You know how it is, you have your own group and you stay in it. Was your group mostly people- was this after you were married?
MF: Before and after.
SS: Were they people that your husband knew or that-He knew them, of course, before I did.But I knew them after. The card playing- Bovill seems a little different than other towns. I have heard particularly that playing cards was real widespread in a lot of these towns.
It was in Bovill. I guess there's one card club still running andI think a three-table club. Our bridge clubs I think were just two tables because some of them never learned to play very good bridge. Three of us went over to Moscow to hear that fellow from Oregon came up to teach us how to play.
SS: Play bridge?
Yes. He's dead now I think and his system has gone out, I've forgotten what his name was now. He had a system he called horsesense bridge and he cut it down to just the bare bones of bridge and it was- and this man Charles Gorham,he's very much like it only Gorham goes into a - Gorham's book's about that thick. And his was just about that thick. Just a little paperback book. And he said everything Gorham said. Gorham puts in a lot more bids like Blackwood and one no tump means say two clubs and that stuff you know.
SS: Was that the main game that people played or were there other gamesmore popular?
MF: Pinochle was more widespread than bridge. But our bridge clubslasted forever. As long as I was ' - they were still playing. And then after four or five of us left town there weren't enough people left to have a bridge club so it died . And one pinochle club's still going. I guess, t'was the last time I heard. But there's a different group in Bovill now. When I am up there I only see three or four people that were there when I was. Lloyd Hall is still there and Mrs. Mc Donald and Earl Crane, Sophie Crane, Earl and Julius Crane and Candelers and Woods and Yangles, that's about all that's left used to be there.
SS: Was there a lot of church activity too when you first came there?
MF: Oh, yes, when I first went there they had a minister and for twoor three years after I got there they did. Finally the church was without a minister for quite a while. The Sunday School always dragged along. I was superintendent of the Sunday School and Sec retary and name it, I was it in the Sunday School. My husband used to say- he'd want to go fishing every Sunday- "will, it's your kids what do you want to do it for?" Somebody had to do it. When I came down here, Idecided I'd done my work.
SS: Was this Sunday School for one of the churches?
MF: It was Presbyterian. There were two churches the Catholic and thePresbyterian, and then later on the Nazarenes came in. But they're gone now, and I noticed they've got a little Baptist deal started.
SS: Mel told me that originally it was a Community Church and everybodyused it, and there was a tiff about Catholics using it and they wound up building their own.
MF: I never heard of it. Never heard of a tiff between the Catholics,I thought the trouble was when some woman came in with a tent and held a revival, and I think her name was Lake, or his name was Lake. But that had just about died down by the time I'd gotten-ftiere, but the damage had been done. But I don't think they ever made any trou ble with the Catholics.
SS: Why was there a problem about the revival?
MF: I don't know, that was way before my time. That was just about forgotten when I got+here, but it happened early on.
SS: There were a lot of revivals in the country during those early years,I know.
SS: The church did a free wedding once for someone that couldn't affordit.
MF: I don't think they ever charged for a wedding.
SS: I think the whole wedding was put on
SS: What was the story about that?
MF: All the years I was in Bovill, there only been one wedding in thatchurch and that was one of the Hall girls married somebody. And then this young girl that was an orphan, al: most, she had a father but she was sort of abandoned. And I was comingAdown the street one day and I was active in the church, of course, and they asked me if they could get married in the church. I said, "Well, I'll have to ask the elders if you can." So I did and they said, yes. So a bunch of us women in the Ladies" Aid decided we'd just have a- throw a wedding for them. But as far as that goes, it didn't cost us anything we got the church for free and I made the cake and another gal fros ted it. That's all there was to it. It was a nice wedding. The girl had a wedding dress an|l everything. I don't know why we did it. Just public relations, maybe. I don't know. And since then there have been two or three weddings in the church; but I thought it was funny, I had been there to a couple of funerals and one wedding and the church sat there. We had cleaned the church up pretty good and had new windows in it. The windows aren't pretty like when we did it though. They didn't get the pretty paper and they didn't take care of it.
SS: What I was thinking about the wedding was, it sounded almost as ifthe women decided to be the family for this girl.
MF: Yes, that's really what it was. I don't remember who gave her away.I can't remember much about it. Maybe nobody did. And one of her friends had gotten married and loaned her the wedding dress. And she had bridesmaids; best man and all that. Oh, that was quite an affair. And that started the ball rolling and a year or two later somebody else got married in the church.
SS: Were people getting married at home then?
MF: No, they just go over to the justice of the peace somewhereand get married. There weren't any church weddings. Well, once in a while there'd be a wedding in the Catholic Church, but not many. I remember two Catholic weddings. But there may have been more.
SS: When you first came to Bovill you were single and going to teach,and I know that you had to find a place to live, and I had the feeling when you talked to me before that was really something of a problem, where a person could live being single in a town.
MF: I had a cousin there, so I started staying with her, so I stayedwith her until February. I went to a dance one night and when Ishe the fellow that brought me home said the next day, "I Wouldn't allow allow in my house." And he was a very nice fellow, there wasn t anything wrong with him. And she had her brother boarding there, too and I was boarding there. Oh, something happened, so I decided to move, so I moved up on the other end of town with a young couple and started in to have a real good time, because they were young and we had card games and we had parties. I did tell her though, that I couldn't stay where they made homebrew because I was a teacher. But I guess they made it and I didn't know it.
SS: They didn't inform you on it?
MF: I didn't know, but I kind of think that they did. I know they'd madeit before I got there. But I'm not sure they made it then, but I wouldn't be surprised, they're both dead now, so I'll never find out. I stayed there that year, and I think I stayed there the next year. Then I stayed one year at Pierce's and the next year I moved into the hotel and had a room and ate my meals at the restaurant. There was one place I went every Monday night, because they had chili, and another place they invited me every Friday night because they had
SS: A home?
MF: Homes, yes. Smith had me down to eat several times, and she wasso slow I was always late getting back to school. You just ate around wherever the kids asked you to, but I at the hotel or at the restaurant. The hotel had a dining room when I first stayed there and then the dining room closed and I ate down at Watts's restaurant. It's not Watts now-
SS: Is that the one next to the firehouse?
SS: I go there and eat my lunch when I'm in Bovill.
MF: That's where I went for mine. My breakfast and lunch and dinner.They used to have a soda fountain where you could get good milkshakes and I used to sometimes for my lunch I'd have a milkshake instead of a whole dinner. But usually I made it down to the restaurant every noon.
SS: You said there was one place that the lady wouldn't let you stay?
MF: Oh, you know where the old opera house was in Bovill? That bighouse, two story and a half house?
SS: Yes, right there by Main Street?
MF: Well, after you make the curve. She had a boardinghouse and rooms.Of course I hadn't been in town very long, but somebody said it was a boardinghouse so I shopped there one day and asked if I could my meals there, because I was staying at the hotel. She said, "No, this is just for men.1" Strictly men, she wouldn't have any women on the place. That was Old Lady Davi^. She was an old French lady and her hair was just as black as coal. But she wouldn't let me eat there. I didn't ask to room there, I just wanted to board there. "No, it was just strictly men!" She wouldn't let anybody eat there but men.
SS: That's funny. Perhaps her table was full. Then she just served the stuff familystyle and maybe she just had chairs enough for that many. I thought the French are supposed to be good cooks, that would be place to
MF: eat. It didn't work out.
SS: When you were living at the hotel, did you get to see Pat Malone verymuch?
MF: Oh, yes. He lived on the long hall and I lived on the front hall.See him every day. And he'd be siting around the lobby and maybe I'd go down and sit by him and wait till the stage came in with the evening paper and see who got off the stage or the bus, whatever it was. I think they called it stage in the early days. But I knew Pat very well.
SS: Did he spend a lot of his time in the lobby there?
MF: Oh, yes. He roomed upstairs and there wasn't anyplace else to sitand he stayed in the lobby and smoked his pipe. There wasn't any other place to stay except in the poolhalls. And then the next peopie bought the hotel made the lobby into a- part of it, made a barbershop out of it, so it was a place where people sat around a lot. But after the barbershop I didn't go down much.
SS: Which hotel was this?
MF: The one that they tore down, the Spokane. Nothing left there but abig gaping hole now.
SS: Did Pat have a chair of his own that he'd sit in pretty much?
MF: Well, there were about four big, heavy, leather chairs, you know,these old-fashioned kind. Brown- not a light brown, but a pretty brown. And there were four of 'em along there and some of them had wooden arms and the men would sit there and scratch their matches on the arms. And there were holes, about that deep, where the matches had scratched to light their pipes. And then in front of the windows were two overstuffed chairs and Pat would sit in one of those and look up and down the street, when he wasn't sitting in the others. But there were two chairs in the window and then there were these three or four in the lobby. And then there was a big sofa, it wasn't a sofa, I know what you'd call it, a settee maybe, only it wasit had these cushions and they were leather, too. Oh, so there was room for maybe ten or fifteen or twenty to sit around in there if they wanted to. That was a good hotel at one time; big one.
SS: Were there often little confabs in that lobby? Was it used as agathering place?
MF: It was just people who were loafing around, just loafers.
SS: Man mostly?
MF: Mostly men. the re weren't many women living in the hotel.For years there was the proprietor and me and the gals that worked at the restaurant. And then they had a couple of apartments on the third floor. And occasionally we would go down and sit in the lobby, notNoften. There were more interesting things to do.
SS: Can you tell me a little of what you remember him being like? I'veheard a lot about him from different people and he is such an inter esting old-timer to me. I've seen pictures of him and he was such a distinguished looking fell, you know, big.
MF: I don't know, he was a jolly old fellow and nothing ever seemed toworry him. I can't remember being in any deep conversations with him. Just chat a little. I never did get him off by himself to talk to. I'd just see him in the lobby pr meet him in the hall. He got up earlier than I did and he was downstairs earlier than I. But every body liked him and sort of laughed at him too, because he was supposed to have been quite a lawman back in Wisconsin- Minnesota or someplace there. I never did find out he happened to wind up in Bovill, of all places or what made him come out there.
SS: You know that some of the lumber towns had a reputation for beingpretty rough, and from what I've heard about Bovill, its rough days were rather early, and it was quite a settled town by the '20's and yet Pat was the guy in charge of keeping law and order and didn't do much in that line.
MF: Well, there wasn't much to do, because they were pretty lawabiding citizens. Oh, the bootleggers would come in, but then they were pretty slick about their- peddling their wares. There wasn't much law to enforce. The kids- you know, a lot of towns you had trou ble with the kids playing hooky and running away and all that, but no Bovill kids ever did that- rain away from home, so there was no need to hunt 'em , and there wasn't much to do..The town cop, after Pat died, he didn't have much trouble either. As I say, there wasn't much crime around Bovill.
SS: Did you used to hear stories that they would tell on Pat? Seems likenowdays there's lots of stories and jokes about him. Did they have them back then, too?
MF: They had them but I didn't hear too much of 'em. I've heard more of'em since since he's been dead. I could have heard a lot more of 'em if I had been interested in those things, but I wasn't. He was just there.
SS: A fixture, is the idea I get. Really part of the town.
MF: Just a character. And at that time I was too busy, I bebothered.
SS: What about Pete Olson? You knew him rather well, didn't you?
MF: I knew him very well, too. I always felt kind of sorry for Pete.He always looked like ne needed a bath. He was an omnivorous reader and he was a smart fellow. He was pretty much of call a loner. His three dogs and his two horses, or did he have three horses? They seemed to be his whole life, all that he was interested in. He was really a good fellow. I know he'd take my Sunday School kids on sleigh rides, and I don't think anybody else around town would. r And he came to a rather tragic end. Got drunk and fell in the ditch! Woke up dead, one cold night! But he gol^ to be a terrible wino. But he slipped after we left there, he was in pretty good shape when we left Bovill. I've been gone from there twenty-two years.
SS: This reading that he did; you say omnivorous, where did he get hismaterial?
MF: I don't know. When I say he was an omnivorous reader; what makes methink that, I think he read the almanac. He could repeat that from A to Izzard! I went into his place one time and he never threw the newspapers away, he must have read them over and over, reread them: a stack about that high. I don't know why he'd keep them unless he was going to read 'em again! I don't know what books he'd get ahold of, if he ever did get ahold of books, but I know there wasn't any thing in the paper that he hadn't read. And he was quite interested in- I know one time he was telling me how long it took the leaves that fell from the trees to built up the earth and how many centuries it for the earth to be covered with soil. So he had to have done some reading to figure out that the earth was replenished by the falling leaves every year and the dead animals and things.
SS: What was his house like?
MF: Ummm- don't ask me! His house was a mess. It was a little gray houseand on the side was a leanto, and he had an old Ford, I guess, in there and it was just piled high with junk. And you went into his house; got into the kitchen, I never saw his bedroom, and here papers were piled way up and another box was full of tin cans and garbage. And I don't think the flood had been swept for a hundred years. And his house was- well, you just can't describe it unless you've seea it you wouldn't have thought a packrat would have had a happy home there, but maybe it would. His house was really something. And he was pret ty healthy, all that dirt didn't affect his health any, he was always around every day.
SS: I've heard he did some pretty rugged jobs around Bovill. Did you mention that to me?
MF: You know that, that big gray one over there? Wanke's.Crawled under there, put a foundation under it and came out all muddy from here down, and jobs that nobody else would take they got Pete to do. And he would put foundations under houses and do just a lot of things like that. But that was the worst job that I've known that he had was putting a foundation under that house. And he just had to be like a mole to burrow under there and raise those floors, because the floors were just like^inside.
SS: Is that how he made his living? Doing odd jobs for the town of Bovill?HF: Uh-huh. He had a little farm up on the hill where he raised hay. But we always said he worked like a dog all summer to raise that hay for the horses to eat all winter, and then he never got ahead with the horses. The horses were not disciplined. I suppose they could pull know he made shakes, but I don't know whether he sold "em or not.
SS: Did he use his horses to work very much?
MF: I don't know what he did with them. I suppose he plowed gardens, hemust have, but there weren't many gardens in Bovill, everything froze so badly. But he loved his horses and his dogs.
SS: I wonder if he had people to talk to about these interests of hisfrom reading. I can't imagine too many people were interested in reading the way you say he did.
MF: I don't know whether he did or not. He was always busy. And you'dsee him and he'd be walking along real fast, didn't have much time to stop. I think he must have had some books around somewhere, be cause otherwise I don't know how he knew so much unless he did a lot of reading. He got the idea that the old lady that ran the drugstore was trying was trying to marry him. Of course, that was after he got to be quite a wino. We got a laugh over that because she hated him. She was an old maid, but she liked men anyway, I think. I think she hated him really.
SS: You say that she didn't like Pete very much?
MF: No. She didn't have anything in particular against him. But she shouldhave hated men because these smart salesmen would come in and unload all the worthless mining and gold stock- gold mining stock and silver one on her and take pay. I know of 'em had a big Buick and when he left that Buick was just crammed with all of her lovely things. She had things in that drugstore you'd find in Spokane- oh, what's that big store up there?
SS: Bon Marche?
MF: Oh, better than Bon Marche. Cosmetics and glassware. Excellent things.High priced stuff. And she had quite a jewelry display, too and her pearls would be those ' name pearls, they wouldn't be just a string of beads. And one fellow had his car just loaded to the hilt with that. I'll bet he had Christmas presents for the next fifty years! And then probably the stock would turn out to be no good.
SS: I'd think once burned, twice shy on something like that.
MF: Good talkers could get it out of her. But she's dead now, too. Iguess it's a secondhand store there now where the drugstore was.
SS: Were most of the other teachers in Bovill single women, also? Whenyou were first there in the early years or were they married?
MF: One of the high school teachers was married. They had four highschool teachers, because one of 'em was married and the superintend ent were married; Mr. and Mrs. Holbrook. But we downstairs weren't married. None of the grade were married, except the eighth grade teacher and he was a man. He was married. And for years there were no married teachers, but along towards the last^ were.
SS: Did they board, mostly?
MF: One woman had a couple of daughters and she had a little house thatshe lived in, but I think that was after my time. And the other woman that was marriedAlived in a house in town, she and her husband. But for a long time they didn't hire anybody if they were Catholic or if they were married. That's the way it was when I went there. Because one of the men on the board didn't like Catholics. But when he got off the board there were Catholic girls teaching there, too.
SS: What was the problem with hiring the married women to teach?
MF: There wasn't any except.that the old maids needed to make a livingtoo. But eventually they hired married women.
SS: When did you get married?
MF: Not until I'm finished teaching. When I got married I quit.
SS: Did you have to? Would you have had to quit.
MF: I don't think so but I was there nine years and I thought nine yearswas about enough. Well, I taught a year after I was married, but that was a year or two later, during the Second World War when they couldn't get a teacher, I took the school for a year. But I sub stituted after I was married, I substituted in Elk River and Deary and in Bovill, too, when they got in a bind.
SS: When you were teaching in those years when you were teaching,what were the main activities that you did besides teaching? Did you do church school work then?
SS: Sunday School? And then socially it was clubs, mostly? Card clubsand dancing?
MF: Yes, there was nothing else to do. In Bovill, you either helped inthe church and played cards or else you were a barfly. And I was not a barfly. I never hung around the bars at all. Then times we'd have a drive for cancer or the heart or something like that and they'd stick us on it. Well, I did that after I quit teaching.
SS: Was there much of a difference in status- social status- in differentgroups of people in Bovill? I've heard it mentioned, I'm trying to think of who- I've heard it mentioned that a few of the ladies that were sort of upper crust.
MF: Upper crust? Well, I think there was. Mr. Nogle's wife and a Mrs.and Mrs. Ellison and Mrs. Parker and Mrs. Krier, The people in town that had the bussinesses were the upper crust, and they let the teachers.be sort of on the outer circle. But of course, after I was married I was just as good as the rest of 'em. You know, the Lancasters and the Fishers and oh, who else? The Boggs, used to go on camping trips together. But then there was another bunch of younger people who had their own group too. But they were the ones that spent their time down at the bars. But none of the group I mentioned were interested in being in the bars. Of course, Ellisons ran one. The Redimons, too, they were in the elite.
SS: It sounds like the elite was both the business and some of the foremen and their families.
MF: Yes. And the Cranes, they were the nice people, too. And of course,the elite, and then there were not so elite.
SS: —the loggers.
MF: No, the loggers, they were the people, too. Oh, the no t so elitewould be the ones that were drunkards- well, drunkards- people that were beyond the pale.
SS: What you're saying those people were beneath the ordinary people.
MF: Yes, you felt sorry for them but you didn t invite them in
SS: I know it's usual in lumber town, and especially among lumberjacksthere's a lot of drinking. It's very common. It almost seems like part of the life for the old-time lumberjacks, anyway.
MF: Well, the same thing here in Lewiston. there's people that are wayup in the social scale that are.drunks, too.
SS: Did Prohibition just drive it all underground and it just kept ongoing the same way, when there was just moonshine?
MF: I don't know. There wasn't so awful much drinking in Bovill tilafter they got beer, and then there got to a lot of people that drank too much beer for their good. But after beer came on and then there was some people could get very much inebriated on that. But there wasn't too much bootleg whiskey around there. Of course, I wasn't around where I'd know it anyway. I was up there peddling ABCs all day!
SS: A little better i?r your health than whiskey, that's for sure. Wasthere much of a sentiment against drinking among some of the people in Bovill?
Oh. the good Presbyterians thought it was terrible. They wouldn'ttouch a drop, but there were just a few of them.—- believed in living and letting live. Their own business.
SS: One other person that I always heard as the elite of the town, wasMrs. Jones. Mrs. T. P. Jones.
MF: Oh, Mrs. T. P. she was elite. Her day had passed by the time I gotthere. She was around but she hadn't any following at all. She'd ceased giving parties or associating with any of the rabble. She sat there in her house on the hill when she was there. They had an Eastern Star in Bovill but she didn't join it. I don't know whether anybody1suggested that she transfer to Bovill or not, but she never did. But that was before my time. She was supposed to be the Bovill Queen, but her reign had gone long before I got there. Because when I got there he'd been in law suits over his ventures and he turned all his money over to her and when he came downtown to buy anything he'd have to find out how much it cost and then go back and get the money from- what was her name? What was her first name. Well, he'd have to go back and get the money from her.
SS: She doled it out to him?
MF: She doled it out a nickle and dime at a time. AHe'd come down to afood sale that we'd have and see a pie or something he wanted and he'd have to go back home and get the money to buy it.
SS: He didn't even have any small change on him?
MF: No, sir! But then she got nuts before she died. She was crazy.
SS: She still stayed in Bovill?MF She stayed there, I guess, till she died. If you want to the get the lowdown on Mrs. T. P. Jones, why, one of the women that worked for her- there were two of 'em- had to go up and take care of her, you know, because she got pretty rabid. She did something with an axe one time, tried to chop down the door or get at somebody with a butcher knife, or something. She lost her— I don't know. I never was in her house but once.
SS: She had the reputation for really liking to hold onto money beforeeven T. P. Jones retired. I seemed to have the feeling that I got from the way people talked about her- that she liked to run things and run the money and be in charge when she could.
MF: I know she got very much incensed one time- she used to come to churchbecausesome twelve year old kid took communion. And she didn't like that. Every once in a while she'd buy a new set of song books for the church. I think it was in 1950 she bought a new song book. And she'a brought me song books once before. But in those days they didn't cost too much.
SS: I wonder if her influence waned after T. P. Jones stopped workingfor the company, if that had much to do with it.
MF: I think it did because she wouldn't have any whip to crack over anybody. And then too, after he quit working for the company and got into all these law suits they were gone out of town quite a bit. I don't know they lived, in Montana, I guess. But I never saw her at a social function in Bovill. Only place I ever saw her was in church. Oh, I saw her come down to the post office to get her mail and stuff like that, but she never went to anything that I ever went to. Of course, I was teaching school and there could have been a lot of parties I wasn't at. I'm sure she wasn't there, either.
SS: When you came to Bovill in the late '20's did you consider it a reallively town?
No, I didn't, I thought it was kind of dull. And Friday, as soonas school was out I'd get in my little old Model A and I'd head for St.Maries or Nez Perce or Lewiston or Spokane or somewhere and spent many weekends there.
SS: What would you dp in those towns?
Two of my friends were teaching up at St. Joe and we d spend the MFweekend together and my folks lived at Nez Perce then I had friends down here at Lewiston and relatives in Spokane, so I did not^stay in town unless I wanted to.
used to have a dance on Hallowe'en that was something. We'dsend to Spokane to some costume company forour costumes, and it was pretty hard to guess who was in some of those costumes that came down. What was that theatrical castumft place up there?
SS: I've heard of it.
SS: Apiece? Seems to me it cost us $10 to rent a costume to go to that dance.
MF: Uh-huh. See, they'd ship it down from Spokane and you'd have toback and I believe the rent was $10.
SS: Did you get to pick one you wanted?
MF: Yeah, you'd write up and tell 'em who you wanted to be. I know onecouple came as two big owls and there was no possible way to tell who those owls were, because I suppose papermache feathers pasted on 'em, but they were good owls. And there's be Sir Walter Raleigh and Queen Elizabeth and Dracula, just name it; that costurner had it.
SS: Was this in the early days?
MF: That was when I first went there. They only had those, I don'tmore than two or three years. Of course, they could have been more often, I've forgotten. That's a long way back for me to remember.
SS: Fifty years.
MF: And I,dwell on the past much. 10
SS: That's a good attitude. And this transportation in those days, in the Model A,how good were the roads then?
MF: Oh, they were gravelled. And they weren't very wide. I know thefirst time I drove to St. Maries, the girls came down on the train from St. show me how to get up there. So, I drove back to St. Joe, and I was a pretty good driver and I guess I must have driven pretty fast and had those girls scared pea green, and they told me I sure came fast the St. Joe River was right down there, and when I drove back Sunday and saw that road, it was just two wheel tracks wide and I didn't meet anybody I guess, but if I did I met 'em soon enough to get by but it sure scared me going back. In those days you could drive down from St. Maries toward Emida, some times I'd be pretty sleepy and I'd pull off to the side of the road and try to sleep. And one time when I was going down at night I could hear those- I thought it was a hyena howling- oh a bobcat, I guess it was- they cry like women, you know, like a baby.
SS: The cougars do that. The cougars.
MF: That's what I was trying to say. I've heard cougars several times.
SS: You'd just pull off to the side of the road and sleep for a while?
MF: Well, that would be in the daytime when it would be hot. But whenI'd be caught up there after dark, I'd keep right on going! I wouldn t think of stopping a car and taking a nap now. All the freaks running around.
SS: In winter, didn't Bovill pretty much put its cars up and forgetabout 'em?
MF: I'll say they did. We had a very bad strip of road they calledHog Meadows. And if you got through Hog Meadows and got into town you never went out. One year I came to Nez Perce for Christmas and I left my car in a snowbank over there by Nez Perce, so other people had deep snow, too. But, we'd put our cars up in the winter and they'd stay there till spring. And Hubert Hall was always the first one in his car- over the hill to Clarkia. Of course, the rest of us would wait two or three weeks before we'd it.
SS: What was the idea?
MF: Oh, just to be the first. Wasn't any point in it at all.
SS: Did things change dramatically the Depression hit Bovill? Wasthere sudden change or was it gradual; and what was the change?
MF: I don't remember about that. But it sure was a great leveler. Onlytwo or three people had any money during the Depression, the rest of us scratched along. The Depression was kind of bad because that bank in Bovill took the people's checks the night before they put out the sign the next morning the bank was closed. That was a dirty trick, because they knew that- I think it was closed the 2nd of Feb ruary. It was Ground Hog's Day. And they took the fellows' paychecks and that was it. I think. got about ten cents on the dollar back. But I didn't have much in there because I was sitting down at the restaurant one day having my lunch and there were two fellows - I was eating at the counter and they were down.farther, and I heard 'em talking about the banks were closing. So I called up- Erwin and I told him that- what I'd heard at the restaurant they were talking kind of low but I had good ears- so they didn't catch me with much money in the bank. Those days you had stockings that had a seam up the back and this big thing that folded over the top where you fastened your garter had a slit in it about that wide and I kept my money in the top of my sock! So, this idea of money in your sock was really true, because if I hadn't had my money in my sock I'd a been in a bad way.
SS: You pulled it out of the bank right away then?I always kept pretty well spent up in paying my rent and my food and buy some clothes and gas and stuff, and you see it was right af-
MF: after Christmas, it was February when it closed, so I didn't have muchit in. But I hadn't any in- well, I may have had some in, but I didn't have a great deal. But a lot of the people had their money down in bank and went down and got it out. But I guess it didn't close,
SS: What happened once the Depression hit and the company pulled the pinlike they say, and the men were out of work?
MF: Oh, nothing. That's when they had- I guess it was Red Cross flourand Red Cross sugar and beans and I think stuff, like that, down at arker's store and the people that were hard up could go down there and get it, people with large families, would go down and get some. And Mr. Nogle was the chief of the Potlatch in town, and he would hire some of the men to shovel the sidewalks and things like that, so they had a little bit of money. And what else did they do? They had WPA then, too. And WPA I think put in some new water pipes, or something.
SS: They did some road building, I think, that's what somebody told me.
MF: And then they had those CCC camps, that was a big help then, too.Brought all those kids out of the East and sent our kids- I don't know where the local kids went. Some of 'em worked out in the camps around Bovill.
The presence of those kids from the East make itself felt inthe town?
Oh, yes, they'd be up at the dances and dance with all the girls.One of the girls married one of 'em; went back to New Jersey and I visited there one time, lived. She died this summer so I won't go back. And one or two of the CCs never went back East they stayedfhere. One of them married one of the Sanderson girls. The one that runs p. restaurant, I can't think what her name is- what his name was. I think he came in with the CCs. fc helped the economy quite a bit. Do you think there was much actual suffering, and real deprivation during those days for some of the people in town? I don't think there was in Bovill because if anyone heard of anyone being out of food there would be food taken into them. There was one family reported to be sleeping on the floor and they took in bed ding and mattresses and stuff. I don't know why they should have been sleeping on the floor if they were there before the Depression started. And one of our local men got books for the kids that couldn't afford them, and somebody else bought overshoes for one family with eight kids. They helped each other out. Then they got free flour and stuff. And then if they could get bullets they could go out and get deer. They could get venison and I don't know whether the elk were plentiful or not. So I think most people managed to have meat. And a lot of people cut wood; sold it to get extra dollars because there were lots of woodstoves. then.
SS: Do you think that the togetherness of the community was a lot stronger then during the Depression than it was before, or was it always there?
MF: Oh, I think it was probably there, but it wasn't so evident. Because it seems to me all of us were doing the same things after the Depression as we were before, only we probably didn't do them in quite such a grand manner. If we had a party we probably had a very light lunch and if it hadn't been a depression we'd probably ha^l nuts and candy and whipped cream and sandwiches and dessert and everything. K Bovill used to have . plays, too. Community plays. We had lots of fun with those. They never tried any Shakespeare or anything like that, it'd usually be a farce of some sort.^, Sometimes they'd take plays- I think they took it to Deary and other places. I wasn't in that one. But they put on a play once called The Patsy. And then I coached one called, Slick from Punkin Creek." And that was a farce, but it was a lot of fun and well received. And they put on "The Old Maids' Convention" once. Bunch of us women put on the on a play. I think there were seven characters. Four of them were women and three were men and I was one of the men and two of the other women were men. It was a lot of fun. A dog had to come in on the scene, another time a gal had to open up a bottle of something,^ shak£n, it you know and when she opened it it spewed all over everybody.
SS: Was that supposed to happen?M^ No. It was just supposed to be opened, I think it was grapejuice or something . And another time they had- one of those plays they had to have a lunch and they spiked the stuff "these actors" That was kind of funny.
SS: During the play?
MF: Uh-huh. They didn't do it at rehearsal but they did it the mainnight. That was fun,
SS: Seems like the plays were much more important than in a lot of communities. I didn't know they had so many.
MF: They had 'em by spurts, you know. There was one fellow in town, thisParker had been an actor and he had written radio plays, I think they were on KGO, and he'd been on a tour to the Orient at the time of the Japanese earthquake with a traveling troupe. So the winters he'd be in town, why, there'd always be a play because he'd see to it. And then maybe the next year I'd direct or somebody else would.
SS: What did he do in town?
MF: Oh, he'd just come- he was a ne'er-do-well. He would just come totown and put in his time until he went off to do something else. I don't know how he made his living. But he had great promise but amounted to nothing, a spoiled mama's boy.
SS: He liked Bovill though?
MF: Yes. It was a good place to rest up and he had fun putting on theseplays. I know.one he put on was "The Patsy" and I can't remember what the other was.
SS: Did he spend other time in big cities and that kind of thing?
MF: Oh, yes. He would be around San Francisco and Portland. I know onenight I heard one of the plays that he had written over KGO myself, so I know he did it, besides that we had clippings and stuff so we
SS: knew he was an actor. Good looking. He was a handsome brute. I
MF:don't know why he picked Bovill as a place to hang out. Well, his parents lived there. His parents had the store. He used to go to the University of Idaho years and years ago.
SS: Was this the E. K. Parker store.
SS: What ever happened to the man?
MF: He finally died and he's burried up there in the Moscow cemetery.
SS: Were there movies regularly shown in Bovill?
MF: Oh, yes. Mr. Denevan had a picture show and it ran every night foryears.
SS: This is Lucille Denevan's husband?
MF: Father. Father-in-law. And I'm sure there was a show every night.They would have these serials that continued, you know, don't think it was called the Perils of Pauline; but a long time ago they'd have these shows where the heroine would be tied on the tracks and the engine'd be coming down to run over her and she'd be saved at the last minute. And they had those things, I think it was every Sunday night and a feature besides. And then there used to be theatrih cal troupes come through town and rent the hall and have plays too.
SS: Did they call that Chautauques?
SS: Something else.
MF: They had Chautauques in Bovill, too, but the Chautauques was put onin a tent. They'd always bring their own tent. But these were tra veling troupes. The Malon Players; did you ever hear od them?
MF: Well, they used to come to Bovill all the time. I think they wereout of Spokane, weren't they?
SS: I don't know, but I have heard the name.
MF: And it seems to me that acted with the Malon Players a while,but he may not have. And they would make Bovill, and that went on for several years and I don't know why they quit coming. I guess the beer parlors opened up and the people^drink beer.
SS: You say the town was so dead but it sounds like there was some thingsgoing on.
MF: Yeah, there was, I guess. But then that was over a period of manyyears, you know. Just a day at a.time^didn't seem very exciting.
SS: Do you think that Bovill was a very close town? That people thatlived in the town were very close to each other as compared, let's say, to some of the farming towns or other places?
MF: I don't know. I never lived in a farming town. Well, I guess Idid when I was a little kid but I don't remember anything about that, said Bovill was a^fful cliquey, and I guess that means close, doesn't it?
SS: That's close but that's not close for everybody.
SS: There was a great deal more closeness among people in those daysthen there is nowdays- I don't know whether or not that's really true. Maybe people idealize the past, but it does se%m-
MF: They really were a bit more friendly. Take in Lewiston; if anybodydies across the alley, I won't know it. And last night the police car was over on that corner for a long, long time; I don't know why they were there. Now, in a small town we'd have been out and we'd have known why, but here in a town this size, you don't pay any at tention to it. But if anything like that had lattppened in a town of 500 or 600 the whole town would have been gathered around to see what was happening. And I think the urban community is self-centered.
SS: What do you mean?
MF: I mean, they're all for "me". Phooey, on you! Time is going so fastand people have got so much to do and so little time to do it in, that they don't consider the other person much any more. When we lived at a slower pace, we were more interested in our fellow man. And I think if we can't run our cars and can't keep our houses warm the people are going to get a lot more friendly, too. Go where some body's got a good fireplace.
SS: Are you suggesting by that that hard times help bring people together?
MF: you bet you! Surely do! It'll either bring them together or thehave-nots will get something that the haves have. And it's either got to bring them together or bring revolution, because it's not fair for some people to have it all and the rest of us just sit around and shiver.
SS: What do you think the attitude of people in Bovill was towards thePotlatch Lumber Company?
MF: I was just talking with Mrs. Krier a week or two ago and the attitudeof the Bovill people toward the Potlatch Lumber Company in the early days was it was"Papa Potlatch" or "Uncle Potlatch". Before they became Weyerhauser they were just community operation. But after they became Weyerhaueser a lot of the closeness disappeared. You know this lady said the other day she just hated to hear people say mean things about the lumber company. That doesn't bother me .any. Because the Potlatch used to send turkeys to the people at Christmastime, and they did to us, but now it's Weyerhaueser, don't get any Christmas turkey any more.
SS: Do you mean to the people in Bovill?To the- yeah,- to the foremen. I don't know that everybody got 'em or not. 'Course, we didn't get 'em till after we moved down here and belonged to some kind of an organization they had and we'd get our Christmas turkey and our Christmass tree, but those things don't happen any more. And when they first- I guess they still do, maybe, the Potlatch would go out and get the Christmas tree for our church, when we couldn't get anybody else to. And when we had that man named Ritzheimer there, all we had to do is ask and we received! But I didn't know the Potlatch was so generous or I'd a done a lot of asking in those twenty-five years that I didn't do.
SS: What would the people ask for from Ritzheimer?
MF: Oh, for a Christmas tree or if they needed some lumber for some benchesin the gym or they needed some paint to do something somewhere and the Potlatch would give it to them. But down here I get a big kick out of- "The Potlatch gave so much to this drive and that drive and some other drive." Potlatch my eye! They'd take it out of a man's check, don't they? Is that the Potlatch or the people? Maybe I'm wrong.
SS: I think you're undoubtedly right. They set aside so much for thatkind of thing.
MF: But I know they get these things taken out of their checks, I don'tsee where the Potlatch should get the credit for it. Maybe they don't, I don't know.
SS: Do you think there was a certain amount of people in those old daysinthe early days- their feeling that the company was just taking timber and employing people for as little as they could and really just operating strictly for itself and not.the people?
MF: I don't think people thought that far. I don't think they thoughtthat deeply about it. I think they figured that they were making money hand over fist and they didn't have anything coming. Because when I went to Bovill, I stood in my window and I looked downtown the antennaes were just like a forest over all those houses on that flat. Pretty near everybody had a real fancy radio and every year they'd change cars. They'd have Buicks and Studebakers and Hudsons and all the big cars and just about every year certain people would have a new car. And then when television came in they had televisions And the kids up there snowcats and motorcycles and all that stuff, so, up there, I don't think they figured the Potlatch is doing them wrong because when they look at what they make and then look at what these people working in the mill make, there's no comparison. I don t know how much a day.people make in the woods now but the Bovill people would starve to death on what these millhands make, or they'd think they were killed.
SS: So in those days probably they felt a lot better off than the peopleworking in the mill in Potlatch?
MF: Oh, absolutely! And they felt better off than the people workingdown here at Lewiston in this mill, too, because they were makingoh, I don't know how many dollars, or how much a day. If they were gyppoing they could make- I what they made, but it was-
SS: definitely better than in-
MF: Oh, yes! And the other thing was better paid up in the woods than inthe mill down here. Of course, I don't know how it is now since they have minimum wage and all that. Maybe that straightened it out a bit.
SS: I think one of the drawbacks though, from what I've seen is thatthey didn't have good pensions and people who retired didn't wind up with much from the company after all the years of work.
MF: No, I doubt if they do yet get commensurate to their services. Butthose people in Bovill made a lot of money and if they haven't any put away, it's because they were so extravagant. I think those peo ple up there were making ten and fifteen dollars a day when people out other places were making about three.
SS: Back in the late '20's? Do you think?
MF: Well, in '26 or '27 when I was up there, Jack was making ten dollarsa day, and I don't think out here- I don't think the men that were business were making over three. Three or four. But that was way back when a car cost about $800 or $900 I guess or $1,000. I was looking in a book the other day- a book of cars and the Fords were $600 in 19- what 15? And then pretty soon got up to $1,200. And now what are they? About $3,000?
SS: I'm sure, at least. Depends on how many accessories and how youwant your car.
MF: There are so many of cars that haven't survived. I think theOldsmobile and the Ford and the Hudson and what is the other one?
MF: The Buick, I guess it was. and cars I never heard of.Pierce Arrow. I'd like to get that book, to look at it.
SS: One thing I want to ask you about; I know that there are women whofeel pretty strongly that women in the earlier days, but more so now, were really sort of second class, weren't allowed the kind of res ponsibility that men had and were sort of kept in a subservient po sition. Do you think that's true?
MF: They weren't in Bovill. The men would bring their checks home andturn 'm over to their wives and that's the last they saw of it. We didn't have any feeling of being under anybody's thumb up there, be cause very few men knew whether they had five cents or five thousand in the bank. Of course, they worked, see, and the women'd have to take the check to the bank and cash it, because they wouldn't lay off a day just to go to the bank. And they wouldn't think about mailing it in. I never felt subservient in my life. And I don't think my mother did either. It all depends on your surroundings.
SS: It seems like you were a very independent person before you marriedand had your career as a teacher, and that's probably different than a lot of ladies who just grew up and got married and raised a family right off the bat.
MF: That could be. I know I've had people tell me that I was spoiled!I wasn't spoiled- I guess I was , I don't know who spoiled me!
SS: What's spoiled?
MF: I guess because I was a little bit choosey. If I didn't want to dosomething, I didn't do it! I guess maybe I had my own way too much. But I don't think I did. I could get along with people.
SS: Well, maybe that's a little bit like I'm saying; most women didn'thave that opportunity to have a career and that sort of a thing.
MF: Well, it's their own fault! They don't need to be so darned anxiousto get married. These kids that are getting married when they're sixteen and seventeen and eighteen- well, they're a lot older at sixteen than I was when I was twenty-five, I guess. They're smart.
SS: I wonder if that's good or bad. Even since I was a teenager, I thinkit's changed.
MF: I presume it has because everything has- Well, look at- I don't knowwhether you consider this morality now, where everybody- that what you call it, when they don't have any morals at all?
MF: I always go to say immoral, but that wasn't the word. What effectthat's going to have twenty years from now. One gal was telling the other day, "My goodness, they way these kids were having kids that grow up and marry their own brothers and sisters." What kind of a race would that be? Well, I don't know, Cleopatra was married to her brother. She made a name for herself! Even if she did com mit suicide with that asp. And so, I don't know. You really feel that women had opportunities if they wanted to take them in those days? For one thing, it seems to me, if teaching and nursing were the two careers that were open to women then, that's changed for the better, because now there's a lot more. Well, I think it's theii? own fault- it's all in their motivation, if they don t have .ambition they can sit around and get married and have a bunch of dirty-nosed kids, but if they have any ambition they'll make something out of themselves! It isn't necessary to wait and sit for some man to support you. It's up to the person, what they want out of life.
Did you feel much pressure to get married when you were teaching inBovill? Because you must have been different than most of the wo men, that you didn't get married right away.
I always said, every place you went, somebody wanted to marry you,well, maybe the next place you'd have a better offer! And that was the way it was. . you went to teach, somebody - they just couldn't live without you. And then I'd go to the next place and nothing like shopping around, you know. And that Old Man Bowles, the way he treated his wife, nobody was going to get me in that kind of a predicament! And then after you get to be about twenty-five years old you look around at the men and you look 'em over and you think, all the nice men are married and the rest the devil wouldn't have! And that kept me an old maid quite a while. Some married man trying to take you out - and I didn't go for that kind of stuff.
SS: You reA4ly had some standards in what you were looking for.My mother brought me up with a lot of ideas^ way far out now, nobody even considers any of 'em now. I believe in a family as a unit, I don't believe in it being split about five ways. I've got a cousin that s getting married now for the fourth time. And I * _ - got married four times. How she does it, I don't know. Had an awful time snaring one man, what do they have that I didn't have? I don t think they had much- but maybe they have something, I guess. Do you think that drink and alcoholT a threat to home and homelife ill Bovill? Was tht a really destructive force. I know that it was a problem in places, was it a big one?
MF: Well, I wouldn't say it was too big of a one, because there weren'tvery many divorces compared to the amount of drinking.
SS: I don't mean nowdays, I'm thinking of way back in the early days.
MF: It wasn't any problem because if anybody's husband got too drunk,the wife bawled him out good and they were pretty good from then on. I don t think that early day drinking - well, they didn't drink So Maybe they would get tight a couple of times a month and have a real good brawl, but now they drink- people have the tendency to drink every day; two or three snorts. And I don't know whether that has any effect or not- I suppose it has. I don't think alcohol- well, of course, alcohol they say is worse than LSD and marijuana, but I think they all are bad.
SS: Do you remember anything about politics in Bovill in the early dayswhen you were there? Was there any politics going on around town around elections?
MF: Oh,not very much, because Bovill was practically all Democrats. Ithink there were just three or four or five families that were Re publican.
SS: Even when you first came there?
MF: I think so. I think the Jonses and the Nog les and some of the Halls-I guess all the Halls but one family, I suppose the Parkers; the elite, I think were Republican and I think the working man I think was a Democrat. And nobody ever got very excited over politics. My husband was precinct committeeman or something. He'd always say, Well, no matter what the President is going to be, I'll have to go to work in the morning anyway!" So they didn't bother so much.
SS: Was he a Democrat?
MF: I couldn't say which he was. He was on the Republican list as Republican Precinct Chairman, but he never did anything about it. He just kind of left politics to the people that wanted to be politicians.
SS: And there were few of those?
MF: I just finished listening to that book that Shirley Chisholm wrote,that Negro Congresswoman. And I thought how true most of it was. She's a Democrat. But when she described those meetings in the Senate Building, you know, in the Capitol I thought, well, gosh, she saw exactly what I saw. Nobody listened to anybody; feet on the desks, somebody reading a newspaper and somebody down there yapping and nobody lis tening to them. And she said that's what they were doing now, yet, and this book was written I think in '72.
SS: When did you see that?
MF: When I was in Washington, D. C. one time back in the '60's.
SS: I want to ask a little more about the teaching you did in Bovill,and the kids. When you had kids that had problems, do you think those problems really had to do with their homes and family? Was that often the cause of problems the kids would have? MS: You know, the kids were- When I was teaching in Bovill, the kids were kids. And they got up and they were fed and dressed and sent to school and then they went home. They didn't have pro blems. The only kids ith problems were the kids that had nothing up here; couldn't learn. Those were the only problem kids I had. They never had any problems. Nowdays- Oh, there was one kid, his mother said he was nervous; he was a brat, he grew up to be shot. But, most of the kids were- they didn't have TV to tell 'em that they had problems. And they had radio, but that wasn't telling a kid what his problems might be and all of that. So, I don't know, I can't remember any trouble with any problem kids, because they didn't have 'em. And I think there is too much emphasis put on kids problems. If they'd tell 'em they weren't nervous and what was going on was alright, why, I think the kids would straighten up and fly right. You tell a kid he hurts and he's just going to ache terribly. You Tell him he hasn't .any pain, he's not going to feel ' . I used to get so mad at that woman that was always telling me how nervous fee. that kid of her's was. I wanted to swat her and tell her that hasn't a nerve in his body. Because he was just plain mean. He wouldn't have been like that if he hadn't have been so spoiled by his parents. I think a lot of these kids with problems, if they were never told they had a problem, they wouldn't know it.
SS: What about kids that have real learning disabilities, you know, justcouldnft learn? Did you have kids like that?
MF: Oh, yes! I had one family, entire family, that could not learn toread, and don't yet. But no provisions were made in school for so you just had to struggle along as best you could, which is nothing. Just let 'em draw and paint and put out the spelling words and they'd spell 'em, but there wouldn't be one word right, but they'd try hard.
SS: What could you do with that kid? You'd pass 'em on to the next grade?
MF: You'd keep them for a year or two and they'd get too big for the seatand pass 'em up to another grade. They'd outgrow that seat—finally Those kids are good kids; they're not bad in any way, they haven't any criminal tendencies.
SS: Do you think that kids like that could have been helped if there wasa kind of special education that they talk about these days?
MF: I don't know. I'd like to go someday to a special education schooland see what they do that I didn't try on these kids. You have some nonlearners in a class of eight or ten, there isn't much you can do with them unless they are segregated.
SS: Did you have any kids that had dangerous tendencies?
SS: Kids that were just going bad?
MF: Well, one year I had that one that did wind up bad. But I didn'thave too much trouble with him only over stealing stuff. And his mother was a real good friend of mine, so that made it bad, too. But I didn't have too many problem kids. And as I say, when they had a problem I warmed the seat of their trousers, and that helped! Gave them a dose of willow tea!
SS: Willow tea? Willow tea. I used to tell the kids when I was out in the countryto go out and cut some willow branches and that's where you get your willow tea. One kid in Bovill, I sent him down in the basement to - No, I sent him out to get some switches, because he was going to get his legs switched, and he brought me some, and every time I whacked him they broke they were dry and brittle. He still teases me about than when I see him.
SS: Why I asked about problem kids is because a lot of people think thatthe kids that have problems when they're young and have trouble ad justing when they grow up, and I don't know how true that is. But I just wondered whether- and of course, if they really have basic inability, if they're really retarded and that kind of thing- they are a special case and they are going to have problems and can easily have problems when they grow up, and they can probably be misused pretty easily.
MF: Well, people are going to do that, because they're people, I guess.I suppose a kid with a problem; now what is the cause of the problem? Is he mentally disturbed, is that his problem? I think the only kids - but a kid with a problem has either got to be badly abused at home or else mentally deficient. I don't mean deficient- mentally dis turbed. Because most kids are normal. And if they're not mal they have to be mentally disturbed or abused. And
SS: Do you think that kids are aware than they're usually given creditfor?
MF: Oh, yes. I don't think you can fool kids like you used to becauseof their exposure to television and some of 'em put in six to eight hours a day to the(tube)
SS: didn't get a pair of silk pajamas.
MF: y Because I didn't pass your kid.
SS: What was the story there?
MF: That's all there was to it. The lady was going to- if I passed her,I was going to get a beautiful pair of pajamas. Some of the women had seen 'em; oh, they were beautiful. Because this woman always gave the teacher a present when the kid passed. I didn't pass this young lady and I didn't get any pajamas.
SS: A very subtle bribe.
Oh, yes. And I think I would have had the kid the next year, too,but then this lady used to go around with a fellow and this fellow was known to be taking me out. So, she didn't like me anyway, so she was glad she didn't have to give me the pajamas. As soon as school was out, I left, because somebody said, "Marie, she's out in front driving up and down the street looking for you." So I went down the backstairs and got in my car and I was long gone. So, she was mad at me twice. Infringing on her territory and not passing her pride and joy.
Was that a tough decision to make, to not pass a kid?
Oh, that's the worst one of the whole year. Because you know thatparents are going to be mad and the kid's going to be hurt. But I had to do it. I got so mad at one gal one time; she passed me a bunch of kids into the fifth grade. They couldn't do long division and long division is something you get 'the fourth grade; used to be I don't know where you get it now. They couldn't spell and they couldn't read; I hadn't had 'em, I'd been out of ,:-. primary too long, if I'd been in the primary they could have read anyway. And I said to her one day, "Why did you pass me those kids?" I said, write or "They can't read or spell or^anything else." And she said, "Well, they passed them to me."
SS: What did she say?
Well, they were passed to me." So she passed 'em on to me. Andthat year, of course,- I guess it was the next year- anyway that year- I kept a bunch of 'em back. The superintendent came down and wanted to know why, out of tht grade there were so few who passed. And I said, "Well, they didn't know anything when I got 'em, and they don't know much more since." And I didn't pass 'em. Because according to him, because of this curve, you know- what do you call that c lfve? One's slow here and one's A here and here's the big average. The median curve. But that curve can't work all the time. Because when you get a whole bunch of kids that should have been flunked- well, they should have been taught, they weren't stupid by any means, but to let 'em get out of the fourth grade without knowing the tables or doing long division. My second grade kids knew the tables through the threes and part of the fours before I let 'em out of the second grade. They enjoyed learning their numbers.
SS: Did you have to go back to the second and third grade level with thosekids, to bring them back up?
MF: No, too big and too far along. You don't have time to teach 'emthree times three is nine. I don't know how you do it.. But anyway, they didn't pass the next year. Some of 'em did, of course, the brighter ones did. Those ones that applied themselves got through but the others didn't. And then he came and asked what I meant- I m not passing those kids." Probably had some calls from the parents.
SS: Did you think when you taught that there was much time for kids todo activities that gave them a chance for self-expression? I'm saying this as apart from the Rs. Or do you think the Rs were pret ty much all the kids had to learn?
MF: Well, the system was then that you had to do the three Rs. Aboutthe only time there was any self-expression was when on, oh, maybe Lincoln's Day or Washington's Birthday or Christmas or Easter or sometime like that and then you could bring in a little extra stuff. But they had these plan books and they had these text books and you to cover so many pages. And there was a lot of time you didn't have the time to do it all. But then the kids had lots of time to play, write poetry if they wanted to. Were the eighth county examinations being given then?
Yes. And I told Mrs. La Follette-
Mrs. La Follette, she was County Superintendent up there, she livesdown here now; I told her she had to pass that kid or I could be held for murder if I had to have him again. - so she passed him.
Was that a challenge- much of a challenge in Bovill to get the kidsso they could pass that eighth grade exam, or was it a cinch? I don't know whether it was a challenge or not, because I just had the eighth grade up there one year. But I had some very good work books and.good drill games and stuff to get 'em ready and they made it. But I know he was a social pass, because he was big and over grown and pimply. And all he'd do all day long was scratch. And dandruff would fall on his book. It " clean '. There wasn't any reason for him not being clean because he came from a clean family. He used to irk me. I think I had him in about the fifth grade, he'd bring me the nicest presents to school and I'd say to him, "Do your parents know that you brought me this?" And he'd say, "Yes." And he'd get 'em down at the drugstore; that was when Mrs. Crawford had such lovely things. And I'd wonder if his mother and dad knew what he was doing. But then later on when I saw him taking these little hearts you used to sell, red hearts about that big on a string, to the Childrens' Home, after the drive was over, I saw him down on the street selling those hearts, I figured, well, maybe he made that money to buy me that vase, cause he was a crooked little imp.
SS: There was one kid that you mentioned to me, I can't remember thestory but I liked it, something about this kid that these other kids got to tell you something- do you remember that? There was one of the kids that the other kids used him - he was sort of a dumb kid- I don't know whether he insulted you or what.
MF: I don't remember. But we had a man living across on the meadow whohad a son and two daughters. He was an old Frenchman and these kids came to school all the time and they had a cow. So, we'd have school parties in the gym and Teddy would bring over the milk to make the cocoa out of, you know. Cocoa and sugar and milk in it and stir it up like you do. No heat in the gym so you couldn't warm it. And the kids got nasty to him, they said something nasty about they wouldn't drink it because they figured it was dirty, but I imagine that old Frenchman was as clean as they were, and they used to hurt Ted's feelings awfully bad. But it just tickled me no end, Ted went to California- San Francisco, I think- and he owns a fleet of transportation trucks, these great big things, you know, vans and flies his own airplane and the kids that were picking on him are still working for the Potlatch for peanuts.
SS: What did he do when they picked on him?
MF: He cried. And I know I walked home with him and I would have himbring me milk once in a while. Of course, I didn't need it because I was- no, I was batching then I guess. Had an apartment.
SS: Were you sorry to give up teaching when you did and change frombaching it to married life?
MF: I thought it would kill me, but you know, my husband did all thebuilding for the Potlatch and he'd be home on the weekends, so it wasn't much different. Then I began to play bridge like crazy and then part of the time he'd be home for three meals, but I had a clock on my oven and I could put the meal in and turn the clock on and take off for Moscow, Lewiston, wherever I wanted to go. He'd come home at noon all he had to do was take it out of the oven and eat it. So I guess I was spoiled. I didn't change my way of living too much.
SS: You were probably used to free time when you were teaching.
MF: you teach the same subject for year after year after year, youcan just about say it in your sleep.
SS: Did you like changing around in the grades that you taught and teaching different levels?
MF: I preferred primary, but the other grades were interesting, too. Because you could do a lot with the bigger kids that you couldn't do with the tiny ones. But it was so much fun to take a kid, a clean sheet of paper, and see what you could do with it by the end of the year. But now, of course, with nursery school and kindergarten and all, I don't think it would be as much fun, because they already have a lot of habits. Oh, I suppose they're alright,Akindergarten and nursery school people are probably well trained. But they used to have nursery school across the street over^here where that new house is built, and I went in there and it looked to me like it was just glorified babysitting. That was fifteen or twenty years ago.
SS: Did you say, when we talked before, that there was a real differencebetween the women that got their training in Lewiston and those that got their training at Moscow? Oh, my yes! Those gals that came over from Moscow, they looked down on us; the Lewiston State Normal people. But, they weren't any bet ter teachers than we were, in fact, I think we were better. Courses I took at the University didn't help me one doggone bit when I got in the classroom. I don't like their system of grading the pa pers over there. One of the fellows that taught in high school and I took the same class, I don't remember what it was anyway; I went up to the University and spent- you know, went to my classes and then I went to the library and spent Twhole afternoon and the next after noon getting a paper ready, so I worked the paper up. And I was boarding at the same place; so I got my paper ready and I showed it to Mac; he typed it! Same paper, he typed my paper word for word, turned it in and he got an A and I got a C, I think! And it was word for word! And I went to that little twerp that was teaching that class and I said, "How come my paper is just a C? Does it make that difference because I write- because mine is in longhand?" I said, "I write legibly " And I was a good writer. And he said, "Well, you know how it is. You're a teacher, you know how you grade." Oh, I was mad.
SS: You mean it was word for word?
MF: afftword for word, and he's just kidded the pants off me ever since.He thinks it's so funny.
SS: The guy that copied your paper?He thinks it's awful funny. Oh, gee, I was mad! He hadn't even gone near the library.
What basis did the Moscow girls have for thinking they were better?Just because the University of Idaho was supposed to be a hotshot school?
MF: Because it was the university and was just a little old hickschool. But if I had to hire a teacher, I wouldn't take one out of the University, I'd get one from a teacher training college. Course, maybe they all weren't like that, but I know one of the gals that one night was teaching upstairs and wanted to come to Lewiston.and she wanted me to come along and I said, "Why?" She said, "Because, I don't want the townfolk to think that I'm going with him." I thought, Oh, phooey, why take me along? Then she could say I was going with him. I guess I came with her, but I didn't like it very well.
SS: This was going from Bovill down here?
MF: Yeah, down here. One of the fellows that worked up there. Therewasn't anything wrong with him, I guess he took a drink once in a while; I bet she does, too!
SS: Were you teachers at Bovill a very close group? Or did they go theirown way?
MF: The high school teachers were close to each other and then we gradeschool teachers, we palled around together. Of course now, since I m older and have some sense, I would probably.overlooked that and done some sneering at them. They didn't actually sneer, but I felt kind of putdown. But I think it was because I was a little bit shy those days.
SS: Were the high school teachers from Moscow?
MF: No, they were from the University.
SS: That's what I mean.
MF: And guess our principal was, but then I'd known him when he was ingrade school so he couldn't scare me. The women were, the men weren't. Women are cattier than men, anyway.
SS: i was going to ask you about Axel a little bit. You knew him whenhe was married to his first wife?
SS: She died?
SS: Was she fairly young when she died?
MF: She couldn't have been very old. I think her younger boys couldn'thave been°t.en, when the first wife died. And I think the boys were the youngest. She must have died about 19- I don't know whether I knew Axel before I knew her or not, but she belonged to the bridge club in Elk River. Elk River and Bovill people played bridge back and forth. And we'd go up for church things. And Mrs. Anderson was active in that. She must have died in about 19- oh, I don't know. I don't know whether she died after I quit teaching or not. I know that was the most flowers at any funeral you ever saw. And then I met his second wife in Moscow one day and there was somebody running for governor over there and we were at the Moscow Hotel. And the fellow was little and wore a pink carnation. What was his name?
SS: Did Axel remarry fairly soon after that?twins
MF: He married not too long afterwards. . And Wilda haduniversity and a daughter, married to some professor back in Wisconsin somewhere And she had twin boys and then Axel had these five kids. And they were all home, I think but the older girl, I think she was teaching already. So Wilda had quite a job raising all his kids and her two. And then she died in Oregon. Irwin and I used to go down to Oregon after we retired, we'd go down there and ran around with them and they'd come up here. And then after Wilda died he married another gal. Don't think I ever met her, that last one. Mamie, I think her name was. Anyway, she died.
SS: Do you remember .. :r his first wife died.
MF: Don't " .. it was, it's been so long ago, I don't know. She diedrather young. Kind of think it was heart trouble; not a stroke, but I don't know what she died of.
SS: Did Axel- did he have much of a reputation back then in those days,when you first knew him? He seems to have one now.
MF: Yeah, they always did call him the Big Swede, because he knew thewoods so well Elk River, or wherever it was he worked . I don't know when Mrs. Anderson died, I know she was sick quite a while. I don't think it was anything like pneumonia or anything like that. I think it was- gee, I don't know.
SS: There is just one more thing I was thinking about and that was-Do you think those lumberjacks that were in the logging camps, not the ones that lived in town that were family men, were those in the camps, were they very separate from the rest of the town? Did they mix very much with the people in town during those earlier years?
MF: As far as I know they didn't unless they would have one of the townmen as a- oh, maybe if they were sawyers, if a town man would happen to be their partner on the end of Swede Fiddle saw, you know, why then, they might be friends with them in town, But as a general rule I think probably the only people they knew in town were the hotelkeeper and the railroad conductor and the people at the store where they bought- well, no, they didn't . store for supplies-they always had a commissary there in camp; and bartenders, I guess.
SS: I imagine some of them must have had to come to town to get away fromthe camps on occasion to have someplace to go.
MF: I guess they did that some weekends. And then some would go out.They'd stay in six or eight months, however long it took and then they'd never stop in Bovill. Get on the train and go to Spokane and blow their wad and.be back maybe in two weeks with a very big head and broke flat! Some of 'em used to, maybe one or two, used to give people so much of their money and say, "Now don't give me this because I'll drink it up if you do!" Well, two of 'em used to give me some of their money, you know, and say, "Now hold this for me, will you? Even if I come after it don't let me have it!" So, I'd say, "Okay." And they'd come after it and I wouldn't give it to them, and "they d sober up, enough to get back to camp. But there were a lot of people that took advantage of 'em, you know. They never gave me a big $500 or $600, like lots of them do, but they'd give some of 'em $500 or $600 then when they'd come after it they'd get back maybe $50, the other person'd get it- $200 or $300, they were drunk they didn't know how much money they got. They really got taken advantage of lots of times. And then they'd come up and borrow money but they always paid that back.
SS: They always paid you back?
SS: People would loan 'em money, because they knew they would get itback?
MF: Well, you know, men don't usually borrow money from a woman either,but there were two up there- they were young, though- they weren't the snuss lumberjack type. But they always paid me back. But the lumberjacks they have nowdays I don't think would care whether they paid the money back or not. They're not like the old lumber jacks. They were as honest as could be.
SS: The kids that you taught, the boys and girls that you saw grow upin Bovill during the years you were teaching; what happened with most of them? What did they do? Did mostly the girls marry local boys? Did most of the local boys stay in the area? What happened to the kids you taught?
MF: Oh, there's so many, many of 'em. One of 'em went to South Idahono,he went to California; I don't know who he married, he married somebody, and he became a Mormon and he's a big shot in the Mormon Church. But he's going to retire in South Idaho, so I heard this summer. And you know, y insurance, he's one of 'em. He's a handsome young man. Had him. I had his wife, too, Betty. And another gal married Dulhaney or Dulhanty or some body in Spokane and she's a nurse in one of the Seattle hospitals. Another girl I had is chief dietician at Sacred Heart in Spokane, Violet Jensen. And Phyllis Lancaster became a schoolteacher and married somebody and it didn t last and she married somebody else and she married some retired navy man; I don't know whether she still teaches or not, I don't think so." Had three or four kids. And Del David is in the Orient doing something I don't know just what. And this one kid was shot in Phoenix for being a- oh, I don't know, some kind of an outlaw. Anyway he came from the pen to his father's funeral, I guess when he got of he got into some more trouble and they shot him, ... And Ted has this fleet of transports. And Jack Donner's got a huge company in Spokane, one of these that goes around and cleans windows. I had so many kids can't think of any of 'em.
SS: Do you think the majority of them left the Bovill area since then?
MF: Quite a number of them did. One of the Nogle kids came down hereand got in construction and he's doing alright. And one Nogle kid's dead and one of 'em stayed in Bovill. And girl is in St. Maries and she works for the Potlatch. She made money hand over first. And another O'Keefe girl is down here. She's married and she works for Dr. English, I believe.
SS: Were the girls very likely to marry local boys?
MF: Well, a number of them did, but not near as many as you'd think.But if the locals married each other they stayed there. Some of the kids have done very well. Oh, Joe Smylie- oh, I don't know what he does in California, but he's in the chips. Forget what line he went into. And one of the Hobbs kids is going to retire from Cali fornia.
MF: When I first went there they didn't have any lawns, now every placehas a lawn and.trees have grown up around the houses and they have khade. But the climate has changed so drastically since I first went there. You used to couldn't have any flowers, maybe pansies in the spring, and now they have quite nice flowers and trees and yards. There have been a lot of houses put up and very few have burned down. I think Bovill- well, I don't think the business section has improved, probably it isn't as good as it used to be, but there's a lot more people living in town now
SS: One impression that people get nowdays is that Bovill is pretty separate from most of the rest of the county, pretty independent.
MF: Oh, you bet they are! They're so indepdent that if you try to walkon the sidewalks you'd have it hit you in the face. KGot lots of money in the bank for Bovill but he won't fix the streets. He's buying up every house and lot, even as far down as Helmer and won't do any im proving. He's about as popular as a skunk at a lawnparty!
SS: And he gets to stand for reelection next month.
MF: I suppose he'll make it. I had George in school, I don't know whetherI had Lloyd or not. I tried to give a bad time, you know they've got quite a nice park up there out on the edge of town, but there's no elec tric places to plug in your coffee pot. So I asked him why he didn't run a wire in and give us some places to plug our coffee pot. "Oh, ^ cost money! There's no electricity in here." Isaid, "There's a pole right over there." He said, - oh, he had a lot of excuses. And I said, "The Cedar Yard'11 give you the pole and your Chamber of Commerce'11 help you do the work and you ought to put those in here." "Oh, that'd take money!"
SS: Something that in the old days would have been done?
MF: The Cedar Yard would give them a pole, if they'd ask for it. Likeone time we wanted new foundation under the church, and of course, we didn't have much money, and the Cedar Yard gave us cedar things to put under all of that church, for free. The Cedar Yard would give them a pole if they wanted to light the park and wouldn't charge them either. And of course, Lloyd would sell them all the wire and the light bulbs and the plugins and everything. He's just overlooking a good bet, he could get the work done for nothing and charge the city money for using electricity.
SS: Do you think that the most of the people who were the foremen's families and the business families tended to save their money, put it away as compared to the people that were just the workers in the camps? Were they more likely to save for tomorrow and get ahead in those earlier days?
MF: I think they were, but then when the banks went broke it took a lotof their money. I can't see why some of those lumberjacks don't have a pile of money now, the way they make the money. Because there isn't a lot you can spend it for in Bovill and they work so much of the time, and they don't take trips or tours, get rid of their money, because there's just so much furniture you can get in a house. But all their houses are nicely furnished.
SS: I was thinking in the early days. Of course, I don't know when theystarted recovering from that Depression. I guess they didn't hardly start going back to work till '36 or something like that.
MF: I don't know when they went back, but the minute they went to workthe depression was over.
SS: Was your husband able to work through the Depression?
MF: Well, they put him on as foreman for the WPA and then he also rana CC camp, and boy, did he hate it! But that's all he did during the Depression.
MF: Well, he had a bunch of those Brooklynese people, and they were preta.ty tough. And those darned officers went South with a lot of the money for the food. And they were fed so poorly, pretty near star ved the kids to death in some of these camps. And it wasn't the fault of the system, but I don't know whether it was navy men or army men, but they got away with a lot of it. And if the kids were supposed to have- they sent the truck down to the straw berry patch to buy strawberries and they were supposed to bring back one crate of strawberries for I suppose 300 boys and some liquor; the liquor went to the officers' tent. Strawberries, one apiece for all these kids. And the camp my husband was in- couldn't blame the kids for being mean, they weren't getting fed. How come he didn't like that?
SS: Who were the ones that bought the food?
MF: Oh, I don't know who bought it. I suppose the officers.
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76:00 - She removed her money from the Bovill Bank before the Depression hit; she hid her money in stockings; social life during the depression
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Segment Synopsis: Depression was a great leveller. Bovill bank took people's money right before it closed. She got money out of bank when she heard men talking about closure. She kept money in stockings. CCCs. Town cared for the suffering. Shooting deer, cutting wood. Continuity of social life during depression.
84:00 - Community plays were much fun. Needland Parker, an actor and playwright, wintered in Bovill and put on plays
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