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MADELEINE GROH GORMAN: .... Hear another word out of me. (Laughs) I don'tlike to talk over the tepe at all. Now what did you want to know, though? (Laughter)
LAURA SCHRAGERS Well really, I wanted to ask you some things starting back with,you know repeating some of the stuff we talked about last time. And Ireally would like to get the story of your parents, and how they met in France and how that long separation came about,Dad as ayoung boy had to work, because they had thirteen in their family. And afriend of Mother's father asked him to take Daddy, Tom, as a- not a delivery boy, but errand boy. And would give him his three meals aday, and eplace to sleep. So Grandpa said, "Okay." And the only place at that time that they could 'course, over there class distinction is everything. The workers slept at acertain spot and the femily was completely barred off. Daddy then slept in the bakery where the ovens were, because it was warm. And he had alittle - oh, Iguess acot or whatever you wanted to call it, he had his place there that he slept. And he did little errends and everything. Grandpa Stattmuller took compassion on him, being ayoung child, the way he uasi I think he was either ten or twelve years old, something like that. So he permitted him to spend some of his time with the children in the different gardens.
See in France, Mother's place was quite an estate, in fact there was —to give you asmall idea of what the estate was - they had over three hundred Madeleine Groh Gorman fruit trees, three hundred nut trees, they had agarden that was considered the English garden, then they had one that was an American garden, then they had the vegetable garden that was all together. And when Isay English garden, Imean it had trees - it was really a park more than anything else. And Grandpa had also a stable for running horse — yeah, canters. So of course, then he permitted, when the kids went to the different places to go on apicnic, Daddy was included, Tom was included. And this is how Mother got to know 'im. And Dad, Tom, was so kind with the younger children that it impressed Mother. 'Cause Mother was the oldest of the girls, I think she's the oldest yell she was the oldest of the cjirls. And this made quite an impression on Mother, how kind and gentle he was with the children. And of course they practically grew up together, more or less. And then when Dad, I don't know how old he was when he decided that he - he was saving his money, and he decided to come over to the States. And that way he came here, and then he thought, well, he was going to get rich quick (chuckles) - this business of gold mining and everything hit him. Well first to get enough money to travel, apparently then he did work in the bakery, and then he came out further west, or from San Francisco he came up here, up north I guess you'd call it. And around in this vicinity then he tried to gold mine, but I guess for seven years or eight years or whatever it was,
LAURA: He mined for that long?
MG: Yes. Istill have Dad's mining, some of his equipment he had, in thebasement somewheres. Ihave his gold pan and pictures of the cradles, the cradles for rocking in the stream with, you know to wash the sand away. And then of course —
LAURA: They knew before your father left that they wanted to get married.
MG: Oh, yes, yes. This is why Mother went into the Court of Austria to getaway from France, so that people would forget about her, see. Because, as I say, class distinction over there is very, very high. If you even thought of being married to aperson beneath you-why that was taboo for the complete family. In fact, being that if she was going to marry Dad, she was lowering herself so far that there might have been ablight or an illness or something in the family. And therefore no one else would ever approach to ask the other girls; or the boys if they did approach other girls, they'd, you know, they had to know that was it, there's no-it just wouldn't be. So Mother went away for, oh I think about eighteen, yes eighteen years, before Dad finally came to his senses. Iguess it was before eighteen years, because he did have quite alittle bit of money saved up so that she could come over.
And then, 'course Mother's dowry and all that-oh, Mother's dowry wastheywere to spend $20,000 on the wedding and the dowry was $20,000. Well, you can imagine how wealthy Grandpa was because he had twelve children and each child would be treated alike. And so, when Mother asked Dad if he wanted the dowry, Dad said, "No, just forget it." He said, "We don't need the dowry. Dust leave it there. And for the yedding," he said that, "being that you're coming over here, ue won't need awedding like that. So we'll just forget about that." And then, as Isay, Uncle Ferdinand came over with her, it was her youngest brother at the time, came over with her as a chaperone. And, of course as soon as the-Dad had all the arrangements made at the church and all that for the wedding. And so-I guess the boat landed and then it was early in the morning that they were permitted to get off of the boat, or something, because Iknow she says, "We got married after we landed in New York." Now, I don't know whether they waited till the following morning or what, but that was where they'd been married then. And then from there. ... Now, Tommy* put a doubt in my mind there, too.
Tommy is her brother. She is referring to aconversation held the daybefore between herself, Tommy Groh and Laura Schrager.
Because I don't remember Mamma saying anything about Davenport, but shealways mentioned Endicott. And she says, "The first gift that your dad bought me, when Icame up to the hotel, Tom bought me apair of boots," she said, "hi£ boots. Because the dust was so thick that once that you stepped in," she said, "you just sank right into the dust, almost up to your knees, in dust." well, that may have been alittle exaggeratedup to the knees-but up to the ankles Ican understand (chuckles). And I do remember too, that she said that it was so terribly hot that at night they would take sheeta-she had arope put from one end of the room to the other-and they would take sheets and dip them in cold water and hang 'em up so that the evaporation would cool off the rooms. That I remember also. And then, from there—
LAURA: Did she ever talk about her first impressions, you know, the changes?
MG: Yes. The change waa so drastic to Mother, she often said it was likebeing reborn, starting all anew. Because everything that she needed, or that she wonted and that she'd go to look for, they didn't have here in this country. Like one thing that they have over there in France, now we have it now, was the snaps. Well, they'd be on awhole string-I have some from France tte t Mother sent for (chuckles)-end then you'd just sew it to the material, you know, or wherever you needed the snaps. And this was one thing. And then another thing was acertein type of safety pin that she had over there, that over here they knew nothing about! Tooth powders and soaps were so entirely different that it waa quite a change. And of course M0ther never knew how to cook. That's absolutely (chuckles)- Dad would prepare everything and then tell her what to do, in Bovill. Now during the time at Endicott and Kendrick she didn't have to, becauae the restaurant was there, you see. The hotel, and they had the dining hall right there in the hotel, so that way Mom didn't have to worry about it. But then when ahe got to Bovill, that was adifferent atory again. And I do remember Mother telling alittle story of herself to show how-not ignorant, but howthat she didn't know a thing about cooking.
Dad had prepared a great big pot of soup, big soup bone. And shehelped him prepare the vegetables and they were in a bowl, and then at a certain time she was supposed to put the vegetables in with the soup, you see, so that the vegetables wouldn't be mushy. And so she did what she was told, and, my heavens, the soup was disappearing! And so she was, oh, she was just beside herself. And there was no way that she could talk to anybody, because no one understood her and she couldn't leave the house to go to talk to Aunt Mary because we were still little. But we lived in back of the schoolhouse and Uncle Herman, that's Herman Zagelow, Aunt Mary's husband, used to be the caretaker for the school. And he had a little bottle hid in our woodpile, and at a break, what we'd call a coffee break (chuckles), he'd come over to our woodshed and he'd have himself a drink of schnapps. And so Mother was, oh, just beside herself! And finally she saw Herman coming up the path and she ran out to him-she says, "Oh, Herman, my goodness, I don't know what to do, I don't know what to do. My soup is disappearing! What'll I do?" And Herman just looked at her and he said, "Well, Juliette, it's very easy, just add more water." And so she didn't even have the know-how of even doing that, you know, not even thinking of adding water to the soup. But this is one, some of the things that she had told us (chuckles). But then of course, as I say, from Kendrick then they came up to Bovill.
LAURA: Were they in Kendrick long? Do you know?
MG: Well, Tommy was born in Kendrick. So, apparently they must have beenthere, oh. . . . and I was born in Bovill, so they could have been there at least two years anyhow. Another thing that Mother didn't care for Kendrick was that they had the saloon, like Tommy called it, and Mother and Dad both did not like the idea of selling liquor to people of whom they knew the children were at home and in need of stockings and shoes and clothing and food, and that the huaband would come in there and spend his money for drink. And this, often Mother said that both she and Dad just did not care for that, and were very happy to have an excuse to get out of that business. So this was another thing-but Iknow that Mother had often said that the reason why Dad was in partnership with Uncle Dohn was that Oohn was slowly going under.
John was not abusinessman in the way of figures and the way ofhandling people. He was too fiery, quick-tempered, and if aperson would oome in the store and just squeeze atomato, he'd fire right back you know, -you're not supposed to do that. Keep your cotton pickin' hands"-or he wouldn't say cotton pickin' hends, in those days it was something else-"hands off of my tomatoes." toll you can't do that to customers because they will take offense and "The heck with you." (Chuckles) And this is the way John was, where Dad could handle people, and figures came very easy to Dad. I've seen it where Ded would give me-I'd always want to go down and help Dadend Dad would say, "All right, you run these through the adding machine,"~ this was later years-"run these through the adding machine for me." And, "Okay." well, then I'd take the bill and I'd run it on the adding machine and by the time that Iwas through, Daddy had the answer elreedy. That's how fast he was in figures, end how good he was with figures. He could take three digits and he could go down with his finger like that (runs clown apage), and then he'd put the answer down, he'd have it. And then, of course with me with the adding machine it was verified that it was correct. Dad was that good with figures. And then he knew how to handle people, especially the women. He knew that politeness and kindness was more than, you know, yelling at 'em because they'd squeeze a tomato (chuckles) or something such as that.
And then Dad had away with the Indians, too. That's something else.I don't know what tribe it is, came up to Bovill every yeer to pick the camas at the Potlatch field there. They had quite acamas field and the Indians would come up there and they did ell their trading at the store. E. K. Parker would not permit the Indians to come there because of the smell. And believe me, some of those Indians really smelled. Course wet clothes, and they'd get up to ahot stove, well, you know, in fact we have, I still have them, little bootees that the Indians had made in thanking my Dad for being so kind and considerate, that they made for both Tommy and I.
I remember this-it mode an impression on me-we were invited to theIndien camp to have dinner with the chief. And we ell went to dinner in a horse drawn oart. And we had dinner, it was alovely dinner, and there was two different types of meat there and we ate and tasted both meats. And on the way home Daddy asked Mother, he said, gullet, do you know what kind of meat you had?" And Mother seys, "No." But Ig uess the light colored meat it was, she says, "The light colored meat was reelly delicious." And Daddy says, "well, do you think your meal is digested." And Mother said, Well, yes. Why? what's wrong?" He says, "That happened to be the chief's favorite dog." And Mother seys, "Oh, Tom!" And he says, "That is paying you the biggest homage you can ever have. He killed his favorite dog and had it served to us, that was an honor. And the other meet was bear meet." And this kind of hit me, because I had played with that little doggie more than once when he came to the store. Ihad played with that dog. And then to think that we'd had him to eat, and, oh aee he waa good. (Chuckles) But then, those are, you know So I know Dad was quite highly esteemed by the Indians.
LAURA: was there anything that he did to~you know?
MG: well, Dad always gave correct weight or even more weight, and this theIndians appreciated. And there was two Indian ladies that laughed that they had gotten away, I think with three or four loaves of bread apiece, that they didn't pay for. And this chief marched them back like little children with their bread, and had them apologize to Dad. And Dad was supposed to give them apunishment. And Dad looked at the chief and he seys, "I think having to come back here the way you have made them do, is punishment enough." And I think this is where these little bootees came in. I'm not sure on that but I think this is where they, in turn, hurried up and made little bootees-the two women. I think this is it, I'm not sure. But oh, we received several things from the Indians-toys, ma* toys from the Indians throughout the yeers that they were coming up there, that they'd traded there. But Iwish I knew the tribe that came up there.
LAURA: Oh, it must be the Nez Perce.
MG: Well, that's what I think, too.
LAURA: They'd come up in the summertime, up into the country around. I don'tthink it would have been-tha only other tribe would have been the Coeur d'Alenes. But I never heard of them coming down.
MG: No, if it had been the Coeur d'Alenes-Nez Perce is the name that staysin my mind. You know, you say Nez Perce, it rings abell, but to relata it to exactly if this was the real tribe or not, I don't know.
LAURA: Well there were several bands. But Iwould have no idea what band it was.
MG: Um-hum. toll, that's it, you see, this is it. And of course I'm partialto Indians, Ialways have been. I've always loved them for-maybe it's their way of life, the honesty of them. And the way they-their making of their things and their habits, their cooking, Idearly love to cook deep pits, you know, and things like that, I think it's marvelous. The bead work, the leather work-I would just give anything to know how to do that. And Iam waiting until my family is completely grown up, and then Iwant to go in and take up the leather work and things like they do. Find out how to tan.
LAURA: Is that from when you were ayoung child? You never had any fear oranything then?
MG: Ihad no fear of the Indians. In fact, to me the Indians were less tobe feared than the white men. And Ihave no reason for that. Ihad no fear of them. Even with all the weird tales, you know, or maybe they weren't so weird, but history books and all that, that have said about the. ... Ialways felt that we as white men were very, very cruel to the Indians and unjust, and that we were the culprits, and not them the culprits for scelping the white man and all that. Ifeel as though we ourselves, the white man, did unjustice to the Indians by taking their lands the way we did, end then turn around and give them reservations and land that they couldn't even provide for their own family. I think that's cruelty to my way of thinking. I don't think the colored man has half-well, now Ican't say that either because Iwasn't down around with them,I didn't live with them. You see, this is something that you don't think of until you start into weighing out. toll maybe, now maybe we were just as cruel, because we did teke them out of their country and bring 'em over here, toll we didn't, but mostly the Queen of England did at that time. But we were responsible for them once they were on our land, or on the Indians' land that we (Laughter)
LAURA: Do you think that's an attitude you got somewhet from you mother?was that her attitude?
MG: My mother and Dad's attitude was: every man is equal, until they provethemselves differently. Every man was to prove himself. Didn't make any difference of rece, color or creed. Ihave known some Indians that weren'ttaken out to be shot. But of course you'll find that in the colored, you'll find that in the white man, equally. You'll find it in the-well not so much the Oapanese end Chinese, because Iheven't had too much to do with them.
However, Mother's regard for both the Chinese and the Oapanese wasvery high due to the fire in Kendrick. And at that time, they had both japanese and Chinese houseboys. And Mother said that the both of them, the Chinese and Oapanese, even those days disliked, you know, their nationalities. It's just like aGerman and Frenchman, you know, there's always that conflict. But Mother said that they always conducted themselves in such aperfect manner: respectful, very dutiful-well, Mother considered them extremely honorable. And during the fire Mother said that they both, both worked together side by side. And they took blenkets, soaked 'em with water and hung them along the building from the roof and weighted them down ao that the fire would not cetch the wood structure on-you know, so the blankets would prevent the fire from hitting the wood structure. This is in Kendrick. And Mother said that both the boys, or four of them I think it was, she said they had blisters on their face and their hands from the heat. And she said yet this did not atop them, they continued. And if it hadn't've been for them-Mother claims that if it hadn't've been for them, thet that building would have gone down, that the fire would have taken it. So you know, like Isey, nationalities had to prove themselves. The man had to prove himself, whether he was honorable or dishonorable. So, that's it. Now I don't know whether Tommy would remember thet or not. But fire, danger-that made quite an impression on my mind-hurt to aman, the blisters, Icould understand how dreadfully painful that would be.
LAURA: That's an incredible story.
MG: That, to me, that was really something. 'Course, in later years inBovill Ifell on ared-hot stove, so Ican appreciate it in later years, you know, just what those men went through. Ifell on astove this way (demonstrates). This arm and my hands just stayed; when they pulled it back it was just the flesh. And Ihave no scar. And do you know why? Cattails and Crisco. And potatoes. Mrs. Flasher said-Mother called over to Mrs. Flasher immediately for help, because Iwas in such pain.
LAURA: How old were you?
MG: About ten. Istumbled, you know. This wes awood range and they hadwhat they call, one of these sheets underneath the wood renge, I don't know what they call them, end it had been slightly frayed. And Dad and Uncle Herman and Dohnny and Uncle Oohn the Sunday following was supposed toit was all planned that they were going to change this, yell, this happened, I think, on a Thursday or a Friday. And I fell, Istubbed my toe on it and Ifell. And Ithrew my head back because the water-see I'd have been disfigured from the steam, Ihad enough presence of mind. Then Mother called Mrs. Flasher, and Mrs. Flasher come over and ahe got Tommy to peel potatoes quickly and then they put them through aricer, Iguess. And they took these raw potatoes and placed them on my arm, and of course thet was dreadfully painful. The starch in there wes just-oh, awful. And in those days they did have atelephone. And Mother called right away down to Dad, and Dad says, he says, "we'll have help out there to you right sway."
And the doctor, Gibson, was on call for the Potlatch Yard. And so Dohncailed Elvina, and Elvina said it was very simple. She says, "Do they have cattails? I'll run up one of my pillows." And she says, "I want acan of Crisco." And she took the cattails, she ripped her pillow open, ahe had pillows always for that particular thing, and she ripped her pillow open and took the cattail, just the fuzz, and mixed it with-
LAURA: The fuzz—she made pillows from the fuzz?
MG: Yes, you know the brown knob on the cattail?
MG: All right. In the fell it goes to-well that's the seed, toll the brown
(End of Side A)
MG: Or cattail, and put it in with Crisco, no salt. You see atthat time they hed no aalt in the Criaco. And then they mode ereguler poultice on that, and they left it on my arms and on the hands. I have-
LAURA: Did they heat up the Crisco?
MG: No. Oh it melted right away, as soon aa it hit the arm it just. ...And they kept putting the poultice on constantly, you know, as soon as it looked like it was gonna atick to the arm then they put some more- another application of it. And the only thing Ihave left is extreme callouses on the hands. See. (Shows hends.) They're very hard, on both hands. That's the only thing that Ihave from this or I'd've been completely scarred. Ifind that tea, real strong tea on aburn-Donald fell on agrate ofwil it's where all the heat comes in for the house-end he fell on that and he had blisters across his stomach that broke open right away. And the Doctor Lamb said, "Make astrong tea and put it in the refrigerator right away to cool it down right away." And he said, "Put that, apply that on it and it won't scar." Tannic acid again. At that time you couldn't get tannic acid in the drug stores. They didn't know, Igueas, about tannic acid at that time, but these old remedies are really something. If you're after old remedies, Ihave another one thet is one for earaches. You can have aterrific earache and if you take atiny bit of garlic about the size of the head of acommon pin, astraight pin. It doesn't have to be very big, asmall piece, and you put it in cotton. And Itake th oil and Ijust, you know, on the bottle Iput my hand like that, dump the bottle over (demonatretea) so there's just alittle bit of oil on my hand. And Irub that in there, make akind of alittle ball-like and stuff it in the ear. That's all you have to do. The heat of the garlic warms up the ear-apparently, that's the only solution Icould think of. And Iknow it works, becauae I've had earaches upon earaches.
And Marian, we went into Canada one year, she had an awful earache,and Itold my husband, Iaaid, "Let's stop at alittle store." toll in Canada on Sunday there are no stores open. And so he went to edrug store and they gave him apreparation and it didn't help. And we stopped for some gas and Ihappened to see alittle grocery store in ahome, Iguess. And Iasked if they had garlic and they said yes, but I'd heve to buy the complete package which had these two. And Isaid Iwas perfectly willing to do that, and they were rather surprised that Iwould buy it for such asmall quantity that Iwanted. And Icame back to the cer and of course we always took our lunch with us and what-not, and Ihad some oil. And I fixed that up and within twenty minutes time her earache was gone. So she is for aure, and Lam, Iknow, because I've had an awful lot of earaches. So there you are. If Iwent back far enough in my memory Iprobably could oome up with alot of other things, but these are the two that are outstanding, that we swear by. So for yeara after Iwas born there was always two or three pillows, and everybody in the house knew which pillows had the cattail. I still have pillows with cattail fuzz in 'em.
LAURA: And it was meant to be used just for burns.
MG: To be used for just that: for burns. In case there was asevere burn,that we would have it, you know, we'd have the medicine. And every year the pillow was emptied and filled with new. But since tee is so easily gotten, you know, why Ihave my pillow but Ialso have-the tea is there all the time. Marian is quite atea drinker. Now is there anything else you want to know about Dad? And Mom? (Laughter) I get carried away sometimes.
LAURA: Iwanted to talk about that-I don't know if there's anything else thatwe should talk about-but the fire in Bovill? Could you tell thet story?
MG: Yeah, that was.
LAURA: You know, where it started, you know. I'm not sure. There again, you know,you poae the question: is that where it started? And then Tommy's remark that the people were picturesque or whatever you want to call it, storytellers. The story, as Ihad been told, that when the fire started, it started in the back of the grocery store and that it apparently had been aet. And Iknow that Dad and Uncle Oohn had been threatened acouple of times. Now whether they were threatened by aperaon who was drunk or, you know how you will say sometimes, "I could kill you," and you really don't mean it. It could be that this peraon had said that, you know, "I'll burn you out." who knows what took place, I don't know.
But the fellow who was living next to Dad had alittle business,and they lived in the back of the business. Now I'm not sure whether it was ashoemaker or just what, but of course, now there Icould be-my mind could have gone back with some of the part that Iknew, because at the store, where the store is now, right next door used to be an old shoemaker and he also lived in the back of his place. And they had afence, but theira waa the hard board fence that Tommy waa talking about. Now the other fence, I don't know. But the fellow that lived in the houae that was near the store seid that he had heard someone jump the fence. Now, was it that fire, or was it the fire that waa almost started yeers later at the store? Because there was two other times that fire had started in the back of the store at Bovill, end either the horses whinnied or this shoemaker really heard somebody and sent out, but the fire had been extinguished before it could do any damage. And those two were definitely aet. One was with soaked rags of, I don't know if it waa gaaoline or kerosene or something, but these were set. Now I'm not sure whether-you know how a ohild will remember and yet it will teke it back alao-but with the first fire Iam quite aure that Mother aaid that it had been afire that apparently had been set. And like Isaid, ahe felt so terribly broken up to think that here they were reduced to nothing in just overnight. And to think. ...
LAURA: yere they able to save anything?
MG: Nothing, nothing. Everything went. Everything went. And this isit-like in France if you got something like that and you had no insurance or anything at all, you're completely wiped out, your friends and every thing they don't know you anymore, in those days. Now, I don't know how it ia, but in thoae days that's the way it would have been. But like I aay, I don't know whether it was telephone or whether it was by telegraph, but the Roundup Grocery told Dad that they hed acomplete carload of everything to start them in business. And that Swift, Ibelieve it waa Swift Company-the company was in the building that ie known aa the Hazelwood Building now, the one that burnt not too long ago, but that used to ba ameat packing company and asmoker, they used to have smoke houses in there that went umpteen stories high, as achild Iremember that. But they also had ahalf acarload of things like weiners, sausages, bologna, summer sausage, hams, bacon, to atart over again, that would tide Dad and 3ohn over until they were back on their feet. And like Tommy said: did they get the tent? Now, I'm not aure whether or not Roundup Grocery asked Dad if they had provision to start over again, if they could start in atent. Now maybe Dad did borrow atent from the Potlatch Yard, if the Potlatch Yard waa there at that time, I don't know. See this is something else I don't know. But I do know that they set up atent, and they started back into business with atent. And like Isey, I don't know whether they took aspan of two or three days or four days to aweek, I don't know how long it took for the carload to get up there, bu when it did, why Dad had everything. He said he had vagetables, you know, like your potatoes and carrota and onions and rutabagas, things like that that are keep-overs, and all the canned good they needed, staples, also the matches. Iremember Dad saying of course we had to have matches, and we had all that sent up to us. They just started right over again. And it was quite ahuge tent, Dad was saying how large atent it was. And then of course, from there on, why that was Dad's Business. And as for Mc Clinic Trunkey, they absolutely were-they were just the opposite of what Roundup waa. And Dad had always kept Roundup from there on.
LAURA: yhat did Mc Clinic Trunkey?
MG: yell, they aent a bill to Dad.
LAURA: yere they a wholeaaler?
MG: Yes, they were awholesaler, yes. And they had sent abill to Dad andDad had still the proof that it had been paid. So, you know, when you see something like that. Now it could have been an oversight on their part, you never know. And then again probably some-you know how some people are-they might have just thought, "Well, here's my chance of making a little extra do-re-mi." I don't know. I'd rather not think of it in that manner but from all appearances that's what it looked like. But the, I don't know.
LAURA: Did they do a pretty big business?
MG: Yes, they did. Yeah, they did quite abig business. On Saturdays Dadwould put money in apaper sack and Iwould carry it to the bank. They thought it was safer for alittle kid going down to the bank. And many times, Ihad asked Dad several times just how much Iwas worth with that paper sack. And Dad says, "Well, acouple of thousand dollars, today, you're worth." On aSaturday, that would be aSaturday. So they did make quite alittle bit, but as Tommy said, there was quite afew people that had quite large bills and then just up and left. Oh, Icould name a dozen of 'em that Istill know that owed Dad quite alittle bit of money. But then, like Dad says, they can't take it with them. (Chuckles) Like Dad says, "As long as my slate is clean, that's all that's necessary." And he said, "If it did help them out, well, maybe they were just that destitute that they just couldn't see their way clear." So that was another way Dad looked at it.
LAURA: Did he try to collect at all?
MG: yell, he'd ask them, you know, in anice way. That was the one thing,Daddy was avery poor businessman at that. Oohn was abetter collector than Dad would be, because Dad waa alittle too softhearted. They could give him asoft story and he would gulp it, but Oohn was just the opposite But Oohn was avery-a trickster. You know, like Itold you yesterdey. Ten pounds of macaroni to plant.
LAURA: Can you tell that story again? (Laughter)
MG: toll, this man came from back East and he hed quite alarge family,five or seven children, I'm not sure which. They moved out here because of his wife's health. If she'd'a stayed back East, why she'd'a died. So he came out. And he came to Oohn one day and he wanted some seeds to plant macaroni, he wanted to plant macaroni. So Oohn sold him aten pound bag, sack, of macaroni and the fellow went out and he planted it. And then he came back acouple, two or three weeks later, and wanted to know from Oohn if that was good seed because his seed did not sprout. And, 'course he was kind of upset, and then I think Oohn broke down and kinda laughed at him and said, "toll, you surely didn't plant that macaroni?" And, "Yes, I did." "yell," he said, "it'll never grow. He said, "It rots in the ground, it won't grow." He says, "You can't grow macaroni," or something. But anyhow, to me that was sinful. But the fellow took it in agood stride. But selling ten pounds of macaroni. ... That's only Uncle Oohn that could do athing like that. And yet, as Itold you, he had anice streak in him too. He would make signs to the guys when they were-the watermelons in the summer time would come in these great big flatbed trucks with sides on 'em. And to take them out and put 'em in the warehouse they would have, oh or four men or boys, twenty, twenty-five years old, and the one on top of the truck would grab awatermelon, throw it to the guy next to 'em and they'd. . . And every now and then Uncle John would make sign to
I remember Hale Ebbling waa one of them and another fellow, I can't thinkof his name right offhand, I can ... him very plalnly-he'd make asign to them and the watermelon^ slip through their fingers. »0h.» And then Uncle John would, on the truck genarally John would be up there, he would just go into a, you know, like if he was gonna kill the guy,"And that's come outta your pay. And believe me, you're nothing but butterfingers. And you'd better do this and you better take, or I'll can ya." And that woulo be all right, he'd never take it off of the guys, because this was for the kids that were standing around watching them unpack the watermelons. And I know, maybe in atruck load like that he'd have about four watermelons go to pieces on him. Just for the kids' benefit. And it was also with canteloupes, he'd do the same thing with cantaloupes. An like Tonm,y said, he had his good daya and he had his bad days, like sawing the leg off of the washboard. Tommy can only tell that story (chuckles). But now something else.
LAURA: Do you think that was going on the whole time?
MG: Oh yes, oh yea. Well, Dad wouldn't be out there because he was toobusy with the bookwork. But if Uncle John wasn't there, that John was someplace else, and the boys were unloading them, they had all been warned beforehand that at least two, If not more watermelons were to be broken, depended on how many children there were there. If there was agreat lot, well maybe two would be broken real close together so that everybody would have watermelon. And, you know, so that they could say that at leaat they had watermelon.
And another thing that I remember very vividly, too, is the pack horse.,the pack trains that would come in here. How, I think they're what the, call the fire. . .like we have lookouta. I don't remember of them being lookouts but the, would be on a fire trail, and they'd have to pack in their food on horses-well on mules, the, were really mules, not horses. And they would prepare those, oh, ten to fifteen horses. I think the smallest string of pack horses was seven, that I recall. That's something else that I was thinking of last night, waa the pack trains that they had and how they had to pack themjust so evenly, and all that. And I remember one time they were sending up to one of the places, the cabin, was asmall stove. And what adifficult, how many times they had packed and kinda unpacked the mules to be sure that the weight was packed evenly. And it was one thing that I wanted to know-well, why does it have to be packed so evenly? And then they told me the terrain was so rugged that the animal couldn't be trying to brace himself on the weight, you know.to compensate for the weight because it would kill the animal, it was just too much. So these things, you know, person forgets them until, like yesterday when we were talking. Things like that come back, slowly. Like I say, they're d rmant int the memory banks and it has to take something to get them kinda going.
LAURA: Were there any miners that would me in there?MG Yes, there was quite afew miners. In fact there was amine that Daddy was quite interested in, and he staked the men to their grub and kept them for about four years. It was. . .1 remember ameadow and atrestle. And about three years ago, four years ago, oh it must have been more than that because I went up with Mary Lou, I wanted to show her where I used to live. She was quite interested, of »urse, being as she's dead four years now, so it at have been six years ago. We went up and she asked me, she says, "Momma, do you remember where Grandpa's mine used to be?" And I says, "Well, if you take me on the road I'm quite sure I could find it." Being that her husband was driving, if I was driving—well, the feel is there. So I said, "No, that isn't the road. And here's a road that goes that direction." "No, that isn't the road." And finally we came to—I kept saying,"There's a trestle, there's a trestle." And of course her husband, not knowing too much about the country and all, every road that turned in he thought, maybe I had forgotten. And finally we came, I says,"This is it." And he says,"How far is it?" "Well," I said, "For a child remembering, it was quite a hike. In fact we went in with the car." Well, we couldn't go in with the car because it was too wet of season. And so we parked the car and we started walking in, and suprisingly it was quite a short distance. But to me as a child, it was an awful long distance. And I had things just exactly reversed. Where the little cabin was, I had it as I was going up to the meadow, I had the cabin and the creek--
LAURA: Is this towards Elk River?
MG: Yes, uh-huh. I had the creek and the cabin to my right, when it wasreally to my left. But the mining, the building and everything where the building was, I had that situated correctly. But in my mind the house was different; why, I don't know, not unless they had rebuilt another house. I didn't investigate too closely because it being such a wet territory at that time, and muddy. We were prepared in boots and things but not for strenuous work at that time or walking at that time. I wasn't in the best of health. And of course, apparently, there had been quite a fire in that place because there was an awful lot of fire roads. And the mine had been, through the years, the pilings had rotted and come down. We saw where the entrance was and all, and some of the track yet that brought the ore out of the mine itself. But that was
LAURA: Well, what was this mine? Do you know the name of it, or what theywere mining?
MG: No, I don't. But they were mining-It was lead, ainc and-they were huntingfor gold, but it was lead, zinc, and silver that came out of the mine. But there again, It was too far to haul and there weren't enough people interested In it to work it, you know, to really get what was in it. I don't know, it may not have been anything at all. But also, they went into the mountain, this mine; the other mine where the Frenchmen worked, there Dad also staked them, they went down. And I don't know how far down, but that was on the right aide of the road, I had remembered that part. 'Course that waa, well, no it was about the same time too-I was about twelve, thirteen years old, the laat time I went up there. We were interested in deer, her husband loved to go deer hunting and I told 'em,"Well, up in that country, my godl There's deer and huckleberries." And I told -em that by this meadow I Aember going huckleberry picking while Dad was visiting with the miners and what-not. But that's on the way from Bovill too. I think it's closer to Elk River than it was to Bovill.
LAURA: Can you tell me that story that you didn't tell me last time about howJohn, your uncle, got threatened by Chinese for atrick he pulledJdaughs).
MG: Oh. Well this Chinaman was the cook. And Uncle John wanted the very beatfor the men, and the Chinaman waa in such amanner that if you had mush you had no pancakes,and if you had pancakes you just didn't have mush, cereal. And Uncle John insisted that they have mush and pancakes. And-"Mushee, no pancakes; pancakea, no mushee." And he stuck to it. And so, Uncle John one day took the Chinaman's,well, took something that belonged to the Chinaman. And so the Chinaman started in to cooking the pancakes and the mush for a while. And the article reappeared. So the Chinaman knew right away what had happened and he kept his eyes open. And he started in again— "Pancakes, no mushee; mushee,no pancakes." And so the Chinaman's favorite pipe was missing. And Uncle John-now whether he did it or not-that's something else-told the Chinaman that it was thrown in the fire. And the folrwing morning there was mush and there was pancakes, and bacon and eggs. He had the works. And John had a good hearty breakfast, I don't know what all he had. And it had been served- this John should have noticed— that it was not on the table for everybody, but it had been served separately to him. And John ate heartily. And at noon there was no dinner, no lunch, no nothing.
LAURA: Was this at the hotel or—?
MG: No, this was at acamp. Now I don't know what earnijthat was. And theChinaman disappeared, there was no Chinaman nowheres to be found. They hunted for him and hunted for him. All has belongings were gone; he'd just up and gone. And by, I think, one o'clock, John was sick and very, very,very sick/ And by night he was going both ways, drawing blood. 'Course there the doctor was for the lumber company, but also the townspeople, you know, pofited by it. So they called the doctor—now I don't remember the doctor, because that may have been way before my time, before I was even bornbut the doctor came. And somebody happened to make the remark, "By god, the Chinaman got even with ya, John." And this gave the inkling to the doctor of what it might be. So he started to treating it as the poison that, at that time, the Chinese were using or, I don't know what. But he did find something that counteracted it. And that's the only thing that saved John's life or he wold have died. And Mother s**d that it took months for John to get back on his feet, to even get to the point where he even looked like he was alive. Now there again, Tommy put another doubt in my mind: was this at Bovill?
(End of Side B)
M G: She would never have lived, she never dilated. And of course, hestayed right beside her for over twenty-four hours I thin, he stayed beside her reading the Bible, and then he, after the baby was born and everything, he gave Mother his Bible and the pitcher. For a long time* we used to have bookcases there until my husband wanted a place for his speakers and so we took the bookcases out, but the Bible was always close at hand. Mother always had it. That was a treasure to her. However the Bible was not of our religion, see, we're Catholics and the doctor was Protestant, and they don»t read the same. I know somebody came here and told me at the time, after Mother was dead, that I was very wrong in keeping a Bible like that out. And I told them this was a keepsake, and keepsakes have a place in my home. And this was it to this person, it was a lay person who was more or less, I would say, more on the religious fanatic type, you know. I believe in religion for everybody, and I do believe that everybody's religion is his own business. We're all striving for the same thing so what's the difference.(chuckles)
MG: Well, there again. My brother put an awful lot of doubt in my mind—
LAURA: You mean about what sect it was?
MG: Yes. Now the two that came up there were the Pentecostals and the Nazarenes.Now there was another that came up there and we always called them the "Holy Rollers." Now this one, I'm not sure whether there is or was a religion such as that. But they would actually get down and roll around the ground and this was supposed to cleanse their soul or something, or this was supposed to show that they had received the Lord, or whatever you'd want. But I know that the Pentecostals used a little pump organ, you know, one of those little, I don't know what they call 'era, but it'd be a small, and it'd be on the stage. And I think a^uitar, it looked like a guitar to me, and then the tambourine. And this tambourine would go-bojr, the girl was just really good. And finally they'd get to the point, I ffiess they'd get all completely worked up and they'd clap their hands and the ones that were being saved would get up and they'd yell, "Allelujah, I've been saved," and things of that nature. I don't know if it was put on, I don't know if they really thought of it or not. But after the show-orshow. . . After (chuckles) the tent religion was gone-they rolled up their tent and they were out of town-it would take about two or three days and then the cattle thieves was back at rustling and the lumber thieves would be back at stealing. Like tommy said, where that one man said that he-what'd he owe?-I think seven or eight bales of hay that he'd taken from the Potlatch yard. And of course, after the tent religion was gone he received anice little bill for the straw or hay, whatever it was. But I do remember of two or three of us kids sneaking in under the edge of the tent, you know, they'd go clear down to the ground, well, we'd sneak under there to see just what was going on.
LAURA: How come you had to sneak in?
MG: Well, I think it's mainly maybe because we were afraid because we were ofa different religion, or maybe it was the challenge of us getting in where we thought we weren't supposed to be. I don't know, but I know we'd sneak in. And this is where I think we got the idea of calling it "tent show." We used to call 'em the tent shows, because we thought they were such—so hilarious to see the people act the way they did, elders act that way, you know. It was forbidden for children to go into tantrums, and to us this was the same as a tantrum! Get what I mean? So this is it (chuckles). But we never snuck into the Chautauqua shows. That we knew better than to try to sneak into that.
LAURA: What, you weren't allowed to them?
MG: Well, no, you see at the Chataugua we knew we had to pay to get in, and wehad our tickets and all that. That was a yearly thing or a two year, I'm not sure just whether it was a year or two years. But I know that this was (This man stood up at the tent meeting and confessed that he'd stolen hay from the Potlatch) a thing that, I don't know about my brother, but to me this was the thing that I lived for from year to year, you know. To see the Hawaiians dance, and their music just fascinated me to no end. And I would go to both performances, the one in the morning and the one in the afternoon. And I had my little ticket. I still think I have the tickets after they're all punched out, you know, I think I still have my tickets from the Chautauqua shows that we had.
LAURA: Do you remember more of what they had? Besides the. . .
MG: Well, they had acrobats, they had singers and musicians, and I think theyhad the trained dogs, animals shows, but to me that was only secondary. The Hawaiian dancers (chuckles) with the straw skirts, and all that, I was just fascinated by it, just fascinated by it. I guess they call 'em belly dancers now, don't they? (laughs) I don't know. But if that's what they call 'em (laughs)that's what I liked when I was little, I was fascinated by it. And their music, also. They used to sing when they were dancing and playing. I know Mother, in later years when the Chautaugua shows stopped coming up there, why Mother bought several records for me. We had the Victcola and she bought records of Hawaiian music for me. We have a complete collection of Caruso's, all of his records that he had ever made. We've got 'em in the basment, there's something else, a collector's item. We heard one of the Caruso songs the other day on the radio and I told my husband, "The record that I have in the basement is so far superior to that." And he said, "It can't be." And I says, "Why can't it be?" And he says, "Because they've dubbed in some music." And I says," Well, maybe they've dub! ed in music, but there is a scratch level on that record." And he says,"Well, you want to remember that in those days the pick-up system was different and not quite as sensitive as today's. So there would be qiite a, youknow, noise level there, quite high noise level." But we have all of his. . .(chuckles)
Oh, my basement's amuseum, believe me! I have towels from France, I haveunderskirts and panties, pantaloons from France. I have awhole trunk of Mother'd dresses that she bright over from the Court of Austria yet, that she brought over. There's three of I was quite interested in ceramics and at that time we couldn't get cotton lace, and I was doing porcelain and I needed lace. And I went down and I had taken apart three dresses for the lace. And then I resized how absolutely foolish it was so I put the lace back, didn't put it back together, the dresses together, but I just put it with the dress. And I thought to myself, well maybe shomewhere—you know, these little theatecs, like at Gonzaga, they have a theater, and now we have a theater down here—I thought maybe they might want those fer costumes. Or our own museum. And I called down there and, strange to say, they weren't even interested in it. They weren't even interested in the least in 'era. They'te perfectly, just absolutely as though they were brand-new. "Course now I rathe imagine that the silk, you know, the binding, some of it has silk binding, Irather imagine maybe that is beinI°^rSS0t!ime, it does deteriorate. And then all the jabots Mother used to have of pleated—oh flannel, wool you name it—in those days they used to wear high collars, you know. So I've got dresses like that.
LAURA: How old were you when you went back to France?
MG: Oh, that would be in 1919 when we went back, so I rather imagine I wasaround six years old, something like that. And I do remember—Tommy made a remark yesterday that we were free at Bovill, you know, so much more free the than in the cities. This is the thing that impressed him most. When we went back to France, Grandmother Statmuller asked Daddy if. . .Well, she come up and she says, "Tom, will you take over and direct my estate? Will you take responsibility of it?" And Dad looked at her and he says, "Mama Stattmuller, I would have to take it up with Juliet and my children." And Grandfl come back, she says, "Childrel" She says, "Your children take order from jrou, Ton." And Dad says, "Yes, here, but in the United States. . ." And he stys, "they are my family, they are part of me. I will ask them." And he called both—well, fommy was out playing, I was sitting in the next room and I had my ears glued to the door, little nosey me. And so, we came into the room and Daddy posed the question.
Well, I was fascinated by the inlaid hardwood floors that Grandmotherhad, and the sliding doors that when you opened—well, the rooms as they were, one room would take the floor space of this entire house. That was "Vio flip' maybe here room to receive people to see her on specific day. There was a day set aside every month that she would have tea from two to five and she would be dressed up ready to receive her company. And company would come that day. If they came other day, she was not at home. Well, these rooms, as I say, and then these sliding doors, you can imagine how big a room could be when all the doors were open. Well anyhow, I was fascinated by that, the inlaid floors, the beautiful dolls, French dolls tJat she had from each child that was, you know, the girls. They'd leave their dolls there and she'd have them sitting on a chair, especially their rockingchair or something like that,that belonged to the child.As long as the parent lived the article was there. And then after that, why that specific article or specific things would go to the person that they belonged to. This is more or less an agreement, an understanding that this is it, because it's akeepsake for the mother. Well, I had the privilege of playing with all these dolls, and so therefore I was kind of swayed that way—yes, I would like to live there. And I was swayed by the hugeness of her estate that was all fenced in by a seven foot fence, three feet thick with broken glass on top and pickets on top sqthat nobody could come in. This was fascinating to me.
But Tommy came out and he says, "No, Dad, please don't. Let's go backhome to America." And Grandma came out and she says,"Well, Tommy, why?" And Tommy looked at her and he says, "Grandma, here we are like acaged bird, and over there we are free. We can fly wherever we want." Now, understand , we as children were permitted within this compaound but anyplace that we went we were accompanied by a governess. If we were going to go across the streeet to visit a friend, we not only had the governess but we had the maid that went across the street with us, to escort us across the street. So this hit Tommy, that he had no more freedom. And of course, to me, I didn't realize it, but afte Tommy did say things like that, then I recognized—yes. Because I also remembered the children that glued their face against the fence, it was an iron fence, you know, so that no one could come into the property without it being unlocked and letting them through. And they were wathing us because we were dressed in our Indian suits. And this, I remember how we wanted to play with those children, and as we would go near the fence, well of course, they'd scamper away-we were Indians (chuckles). And even after we were dressed in our clothing, why they wouldn't even talk to us. And this, also does make an impression. But, as I say, the other was the beauty of things, that I just.
I know we used to, when Tommy and I were there, they had tuffets forSeats-and it's all cross-stitched, no it isn't cross-stitched, it is tapestry, made of tapestry-and this was to put your feet upon so that you wouldn't feel the draft en the floor, you see. Well tommy and Iwould take these nice little tuffets and we'd start, after the doors were open, we would start at one room and we'd run and then we'd fall on our stomach on these and scoot through those hardwood floors that were extremely highly polished, just up to the 'nth degree. We did things like that, yu know.
LAURA: Did your mother express herself than as to what she preferred?
MG: Well, 'course Mother's family and friends were all in France.Hoever, shedid say that she liked the freedom that we did have over here, but Mother was really torn between two things; her family, her home; and Ishouldn't say the luxury because Mother wasn't too much for luxury, but—well she'd grown up there—the ease and everyhing, more or less alife that is timed. You did something at this time, that time, your time was utilized in aorganized. Where over here it waVt organized, it was unorganized. There was not set time to do this, no set time to do that. Why, ever^iight they would do their tapestry or they'd do crocheting, or-not crocheting. Crocheting and knitting, that was for the poor people. Because my aunts had to go up into the attic where they had asewing machine. And Aunt Margaret just dearly loved to make dresses and clothing, and this was ano-no.
So there again, her father and mother were unde standing enough that if this is whatthe child wanted to do, or the young ladywanted to do, why should they deny her that. She never knows when she might have to fall back on it. They were always seeing ahead- what maj happen. They might not have the ease of this life that they have now; maybe later on something might come and just take it away from them and they may be thankful for it. So they got a couple of sewing machines, of course, the sewing machines were there already for the maids to repair the clothing and what-not, but they were then put up into the attic and there Aunt Margaret would go up and sew. And she whould make her own clothing and Aunt Madeleine's dresses also. They were dressed always the same. They were so close together that they were more like twins, so that was it. And also, Aunt Margaret learned how to crochet and how to knit, she dearly loved it. But tapestry and needlepoint, the finer arts were permitted in those days, so therefore they all knew that also. And that's something I miss--timing. I do what I want when I want, and that is wrong. I should have a time for everything and maybe I'd get more things accomplsihed. But I dearly love needlepoint and tapestry,'course that's what I was raised to do. I was not raised to—my dad was the one that taught me how to knit. Mother and Aunt Mary showed me the crocheting, but Dad was the one that showed me how to knit. Dad was the one that showed me how to cook, how to bake, how to make bread. I took all that up from Dad. And he was rather proud because I could do it (chuckles). There before my oldest son left for the Formosa Straits during the war, I set up bread on Thrusday, baked Friday, and we had only homemade bread and rolls and things like that, I i»ade it all. And believe me, there were many loaves of bread (chuckles). And then afte he left, why I don't know how it started, I guess one day I ran out of bread and we went out to the baker and got bread there. And the kids says, it was Mary Louise,"Well, why give yourself that much work, Mother?" But I still think that homemade bread sticks to the ribs, where the other doesn't. And now I'm too lazy (chuckles). It's more or less as a luxury.
LAURA: Could you also tell me that story that you remember of when your UncleFerdinand was gonna be leaving?
MG: Oh, you want me to tell you about the planters, too?
LAURA: I just can't believe it, the memory is so. . .
MG: I'll just call those the planters. But she did have nasturtiums in it.And Uncle Ferdinand and I sat on a little bench and he was trying to tell me that he was going to leave, that he had to go and fight for his would come back he would be a complete citizen. He had turned in applications to become a citizen,and I think in those days, I don't know how it is now, but in those days I think they had three sets of papers before they were citizens. And he had received hisrpapers. And of course, then the waf broke out and so he told me, he says,"Now I have to go, but I will be back and then I will stay." And I remember that. And he says,"Now, let's sit eeal quiet and we'll watch the birds." And we saw hummingbirds that came and—they were, oh about, I would say, not more than eighteen inches away from us--and they would come to the nasturtiums. I think this is why I am so partial to nasturtiums and hummingbirds. But I can remember that just as though it were yesterday. He did have suspenders on his pants, and I think he had on a light blue shirt. Now this I remember quite vividly, and I was only about a year old because he left for the war. And then, another one that I reember. Now I must have been close to about three or four years old, I think, when they hung the Kaiser.
LAURA: You would have been a little bit older than that.M G: I would have been a little bit older than that? Well, I couldn't think of it last night--of course at night, you know when you're half asleep and half awake you kinda figure and think—well now, just how old was I? But I do remember when they hung the Kaiser. He had, as I said, feet—shoes, and he had hands which were gloves, the white canvas gloves, and to the white shirt, the brown pants, the dark—now it could been navy blue, it could^e been black top—jacket. And as I said, I wasn't certain, but I think he had a red necktie, bow tie.
LAURA: Did he have a face?
MG: Oh yes, he had a face, yes. A very gruesome face. Of course, it was painted.I think what they did—going back and trying to remember how he looked- he even had hair. They nust've taken a sack, like a sugar sack, maybe a ten pound sugar sack orit may have been a flour sack. And you know, he was round like that (chucB.es). And they had him painted, I think bis face was a little dark—you know, not peach colored skin, but a little darker than that—and very heavy eyebrows, red lips of course, and the eyes—the only thing I can remember of them was that they were blackl, you know, just circles more or less, nothing too fancy. And I think, the only thing I can think of is that they must have used rope for his hair and slightly dyed it, you know, kinda shoe polish over it—that's what I, and I don't know but this is what I think, because he did have hair. Well, as I say, he looked so much like a man to a child that it impressed me very, very much. And then of course, the boxes, like in those days, orange crates and lettuce boxes, they threw all that underneath him and then lit it afire. So he was not only hung, but burnt. And this, to me, was anavful impression. This is why it made such a horrible impression.
LAURA: Was the crowd all happy and. . .?
MG: Oh yes, they were really all jubilant. "Hang him, hang him," and then,"Burn him!" And of course, some of the words I wouldn't daft repeat that I remember that was said because I couldn't understand, either, how they could hate a person so much to do this to a man, you see, not realizing that it was a dummy. Now I don't know how that affected Tommy. He didn't seem to remember that, did he? And another thing I remember—now Tommy said there was no snow on the ground. There wasn't. But I also remember one year, and I think that was the year that Daddy had strawberries, and they sold the bowl of strawberries to raise money for the Red Cross. And they sold the bowl of strawberries, I think it went around twenty-five dollars. And I don't think that there was more than about seven strawberries, of course, they were big ones, bigger than walnuts. Now of course, there again, a child's mind sees something that's great big, you know, where it may have been—but I do rmember that Daddy had the strawberries that he picked in his yard, in the garden, that day. True, we had blankets or tarps that we would cover the garden with.
LAURA: You mean the same day that the Kaiser was hung?
MG: Now that I don't know. See, I can't remember. That I can t remember, if itwas. . .But it was in November when Daddy picked the—it was for Armistice Day. Now whether it was that particular day that they hung the guy and they sold the strawberries for the Red Cross, for the mo ty for the Red Cross, I don't know. And see, Mrs. T. P. Jones was the head of the Red Cross in Bovill. And of course, Mr. T. P. Jones was the mayor. And of course, they were sitting right up in the
MG: Yes (laughs). I think they had a little stage, I'm not sure, I think theyhad a little stage, not very high, maybe two feet off of the ground, but it was a platform, you know, it was a stage of some sort. And I can remember them sitting up there. And of course, there was a couple of other people there. Now I don't know whether the head of the Red Cross was there or not, but it seemed like it had an awful lot to do with the Red Cross at that time. But I kn ow the eleventh, it was on the eleventh, on Armistice Day, that I remember. And it was a rarity to have strawberries that late in the year, up there, you see. But it was one of these exceptional years that it was rather warm, and of course being covered and uncovered every morning, why then that way they could ripen. And I also rmember when they dug up the trunk that was buried because of the fire, and several of the dishes that had been—
LAURA: Oh, did you leave Bovill?
MG: Well, no. This fire—now of course Bovill had a lot of horrible forest fires.And there was about three that I remembered that came very close to the town, that we were all ready to leave, that the whole town was prepared. Now this digging—I remember them digging in the garden spot and putting in a trunk, either they were going to put in a trunk or I'm not sure whether it was. . .The holes were in the yard, ready. . .
(End of Side C)
MG: . . .With some cf her clothing and our clothing, and all that, that justcouldn't be lost, why that was it; keepsakes. Now I don't remember whether they were in the ground or not, but I do remember when they were digging up, that we had found dishes from the previous fire that had been broken in the digging and in the hurry to getting it in the ground. Why they weren't packed just right, or if they were just tossed in the ground like that, I don't know. But I remember finding several—oh I thought they were beautiful cups and saucers that had been broken. But there again, you know, I don't know.
And one fire that we hai-what they call the crown fire, which is wherethe fire just takes the tops of the trees—came very, very close to Bovill. And I remember that one , that we were all ready to go, and that's all there was: was that if they heard the train, I think the train was to blow the whistle three times, that meant get down there, and now! No baggage, no at nothing—you get down there. That's how close the fire was to town that time. And I remember that one very vividly. Now the one when Odin Tarboy went over the bridge, that one, of course, I think I was just a little tiny baby at that time them. Well, I must have been a year old because Pauline and Maxine had just been born, 'cause she was at home in bed with the kids.
LAURA: Do you remember any stories about Pat Malone, or do you remember himvividly or anything?
MG: Well, to me Pat was a nice guy to go and sit on his lap and listen to allthe stories he had to say. He was a real nice fellow and we regarded him as, not a policeman or a man that was to stand for law and order, he was everybody's friend. And as a policeman*»-now I don't know, I had never had any conflicts that way—but as a policeman I understood that he was very, very fair, but very stern. Now that I don't know; but as a man he was tops. That's the only way I can put it. He
LAURA: I heard that he used to give a lot of little presents, pieces of candyand stuff to the kids.
MG: Yes, yes, that's right. And if he didn't have the candy he'd give you anickel, or he'd go with you to Mrs. Crawford's Drug Store and buy the youngster an ice cream cone, maybe a soda. Now he knew that I loved Dolly Dimples, the paper doll. And a lot of time he'd get the old magazines that Mrs. Crawford couldn't sell any more and, if he would think about it, why he'd get a Dolly Dimples for me. And then when I'd get—well, I went downtwon evey day, there was nothing else to do, you know, kids—However, one thing that I always did, every day I'd go maybe twice downtown to the railroad station to see the big Malleys. I was in love with the big Malleys! And I think it's became of the huge wheels they had. I had to bend my neck way back to see the top of the rim of that big Malley. And my thrill was when the engineer—I don't know if it was the engineer or whether it was Axel Freel— that took me into the cab of the Malley. And that was about the heighth of I don't know what. But, of course then you'd have to go down, you'd have to pass Pat Malone, you kiow, you'd always talk to Pat. You always made it a must to go near where Pat would be sitting, to see Pat Malone, to say "Hello" to him at least as a kid. And then I'd get me Dolly Dimples from Pat (chuckles). Another one was Kewpie dolls, I just dearly loved Kewpie dolls. There was reever, I don't think a day passed by that he didn't give candy or something to the kids, just always something. He was very good-hearted. But to sit on his lap and to hear him talk, tell the stories, why that was something too.
LAURA: Were they sotries about his childhood or do you snember?
MG: Oh, where he was, what he did, things like that. I don't remember anythingin particular. I think what Pat would do too, would take some of the Aesop fable stories, you know, and make them more like human beings were the charac ters rather than the animals and things. And the outcome and how happy they ended up and things of that nature, and also with a lesson in it, something like that. Well, Dave Ellison would be the one to find all the ins and outs about Pat because Pat and Dawe were always together, just always together.
LAURA: Are there other people that you remember?
MG: Oh, yeah. (Chuckles) I remember a lot of *em. All the tarboxes and mostof the white girls, especially Hazel and Ellen, those two, I knew them quite well because they were more my age. And of course, Fats and urn. . theother one that was so thin. I can't think of his name now, but the two boys there, I knew them too. And then Squirmy Alden and the Taylors.
LAURA: Was Pete Olson a character?
MG: Oh, yes, Pete Olson, yeah, he was a character.
LAURA: What was his—that's all I practically know about him,is that he was acharacter, and I don't know anything about what got him that reputation.
MG: Well, now wait. I have to sift out Pete Olson and another one. Pete Olsonwas the guy that lived down near the little creek, out there near the—no, that's Sam Pivach, now see. Pete Olson, Pete Olson. . .character. Yeah, he was—there again he minded his own business. He worked real hard, he was very kind and he liked^fds. Now if you wanted to know about Pete Olson you should»ve asked Tommy. Tommy knows everything about Pete Olson because Pete helped Tommy out with trying to get a club to get the young kids, the boys especially, interested in other things than just running around and having a good time, getting themselves into mischief. Now to tell you how kids would do, now Tommy and a few of the kids—let's see the Stones, no they excluded the Stones. That's where some of the trouble cane in. But they dug, you know, the clay soil there is very east to dig and they were going to have a clubhouse, so they dug under the side of this bank to make a clubhouse. And they had quite a good-sized one, and they put pillars in em as good as they could. And the way they got in, they had a hole, I guess it went down and then in to the side, mi, they even used dynamite.
Now Pete was very much against the dynamite and stuff, and when Petefound out that the kids were doing this with dynamite and all, he says, Well come to my house. Use my house as a clubhouse." Or either it was a little shed, a lean-to to his house. And he was going to leave the kids have that, mainly because one of the Stones boys was very interested in what happened when the boys went here to this place and all of a sudden they disappeared. So one night that started looking around and one of the kids fell in the hole and broke his arm. And they got out on the highway and flagged downfe person who was coming in to town, and it happened to be one of the Stone boys' sister and she brought 'em in to town. And of ocurse, this upset her, which it would, and so she started in right away against the kids. And i eneded up the kids had to fill in the hole and everything and their clubhouse and all, and Pete Olson. . .Well, some of the older ladies- I can't remember their name, I can see them very readily, I can't off the cuff get their name, I'd have to think on it—started in right away that Pete Olson was up to no good, no two ways about it. And so that stopped that. But this is the type of guy he wasV if he could help out kids, he would, you know, try to help them out. But some of the townspeople took it the wrong way. But he would do things for you very easily. But he was a chracter, there's no two ways about it. Now the kids got into his garden one time and he started cuislng. Well his cursing came out, it was really ridiculous because you couldn't understand Swede, and he'd come in English and a littl bit of this and a little bit of that, some slang, American slang, that all came in. But Tommy knows all about Pete Olson.
And also this Sam Pivach was another character of the town. Some kidsthought he was taboo, to me, I thought he wasareal nice, swell guy, an up-and-up, as far as I can remember back. But I don't know. There was a lot of people up there that some kids were just afraid of. 'Course-
LAURA: Y u mean were afraid of Sam Pivach?
MG: Well, he, you know, he had a beard and what-not, and (chuckles)he didn'tlook absolutely the best of lookers, up there. And there were some kids, little kids, that were afraid of him. But there again, I think that there were other guys that were better looking that were more to be afraid of than these two characters (chuckles), you know. Yeah, I completely forgot about those.
LAURA: Was the town pretty tight? When you talk about the, just when you weredoing that description of what happened with the clubhouse, it sounds like the whole town knew everything that was gang on, and—
MG: Yeah. Eventually they'd get to know, and of course, there were some peoplethere that—you'll find it in any place—they were opposed to anything that the children would do, or the young people would do. They were even opposed to the young people going to dancesj they were opposed to the young people having parties. You'll find that in any place. But as a whole, if there was anybody sick or in need, the whole town went out. You know what I mean? We were more like a great big family than individuals like you are ina city. In the city you may live next door to a person and not know a thing about 'em, yet you talk to 'em and everything, yet you don't know the person deep down.
In this vicinity yes, because I grew up in this—you know, from sixteen,Oh heck, we used to get out here in the street and we used to play ball with Dan Hennessey and Mr. Crosby and Mr. Higgins and—well, Mr. Carrol was too busy to get out and play with the kids. He had a grocery store and he stayed open rather late, so once in a while he'd get out but not very often. But Dan and Crosby and Higgins, every night would get out and play with us. And of course, ther'd be Tommy and myself and, oh I don't know, half a dozen of the kids here would get out and play. But as a general thing, you don't know your neighbors in the city, really.
LAURA: Were there times when things happened in Bovill where they helped out?
MG: Oh, let*8 see. Well, a couple of times there has been somebody. Like whena house would catch afire and they'd lose everything, well the whole townspeople turned out. Now the Halls burnt out, I don't remember, that wasn't too far from our home. She was walking with a kerosene lampa and happened to stumble, and before she could do anything at ail, I guess die was thinking of the children or the family. She went upstairs and by the time she came back, well the whole insdie was completely in flame, engolfed in flame. Well, that went completely down. Well everybody , you know, pitched in to help find a place. Of course there was a lot of Halls there so they went with their family for living. But then the clothing and everything, that had to be all replaced and all. Well, then people gave dances and potluck dinners, they used to call 'em box- socials. . .
And then the time right after the war of 1913, 1914, when the boys camehome and there was so much flu. There again, people went all out to help those who were sick. I know that when Dad was so terribly sick there, we almostjlost him, well people would bring in hot soup. And they'd have it fixed in such a manner that Mrs. So-and-so would do this, Mrs. So-and-so would do that for the following day, and that way you always had, the family had at least one warm meal a day, that was for sure. But when Dad, there again, I wish to god I remembered the man's name. The doctor had seen Daddy and he had told Mother that Dad was very sick and to be sure and keep the medicine going the way it's supposed to. So Mother said, "Yes." And this fellow came down to see Dad, and he looked at Dad and he looked up at Mama, and he said, "Juliet, have you got blankets. "Yes" He says, "Go get me all the blankets you can get. I want hot, boiling water." And Mother says,"I have ttat." And he says, "Do you have any lemons in the house?" And Mother said, "Yes." He said, "All right. I want three lemons." And he told Mother to get a container that could stand hot tailing water without breaking. And Mother got it, well he went out to the kitchen with her. And I remember him, you know, juicing the lemons. And he put this lemon in the bowl, put a tiny bit of, I don't know whether it was honey or sugar, but a little bit of sweetner, very little. And he reached in back of his—pulled out a bottle and took the cork off and dumped the whole bottle in it and then poured a certain amount of hot water and stirred it up. And he went back in and he says, "Tom, you're a sick man. I want you to drink this. I want you to drink all of it. It's gonna be hot." And Dad said,"Yes." And so he helped Dad up, you know, to a sitting position, more dead than alive. And Dad did drink the whole thing. And I remember too—
LAURA: Thet was shiskey that he put in, wasn't it?MG: Yes, it was whiskey. And I remember Daddy being extremely white and then all of a sudden he got—up here on the cheekbones, way up high—he started getting kinda red. And then I noticed that Daddy was begining, you know, the beads of perspiration. And then I remember him telling Mom, he says, "All right. Now Jvliet, start packing the blankets on." And then Mother told me. "Go up and get Aunt Mary." Well, the man told her that she needed help, and I know I went up after Aunt Mary. And when I came back, I remember there was an awful stench in the house of sweat. Like you wouldn't believe! I have never smelt that oder before or since, but the stench was horrible. And then I was told to leave, to go outside and be very quiet and not to come back until I was called. Well, all during this time they were changing Daddy and changing the bed and what-not. Giving him a kind of a, I guess after he'd perspired for so many hours, then they gave him kind of a sponge bath, kept him real hot and warm and all that. And when I was permitted to go in a back to see my Daddy, well, he was perfectly clean bed and everything. And I don't know, I don't remember the windows being open, but I remember there wasn't such a horrible smell any more, that I remember. But that smell was awful. And the man was still there. And he did say to me,"Your Dad's gonna be okay now, Madeleine. You don't have to worry about it, your Dad'11 be okay."
And then the next morning when the doctor come in, he saw Dad and hesaid,"Tom, you did you do?" Daddy says,"Nothing." And he said,"Like hell you didn't, you did something." And he says,"I want to know what you did. Because it isn't my medicine that did this." And Dad says, "I didn't do anything, I just followed your directions and all." He says, "No, Tom. You can confide in me, you can tell me." So Dad told him. And he says, "Well, I don't mind telling you, Tom, I've got your death warrant here. I've got it right here—your death certificate right here. I was ready to sign it." And that's how close Dad Wa8the doctor had given up hopes. And he told Mother, he says,"I thought when I*d come back, that Tom would be dead or dying.I've got the papers." He showed it. But the people in Bovill, as I say, there was food there, at least one hot meal, but I can't remember of not even having a cold meal at all. But that's the way they were. Now when other people were sick, well maybe Mother would be designated to do something. They knew Mother was kinda helpless in her way, but she was willing to get out and do what she could.
If there was bandages to be taken care of, well Mother could do that,she cold do that. If there was a soup, why she could make a soup, she would dothat. And this I will say about Elvina: she was great at something like that, she was just marvelous at something like that. And Mrs. Flasher was another one, she was just tops. And well those are the old hands, now the younger ones were busy with their family, like Helen Murphy and Mrs. David, young Mrs. David, there was several of them—Agnes is the one that I am referring to mainly, she was another one that was very, very good. There was several other people—but they were older and I have forgotten their names,you know, or had moved away before we did and so therfore I've forgottan them.
LAURA: There's one other thing I do want to get is the story about how you, athome, would speak French one week-
MG: Well, we had—
LAURA: You learned French first.
MG: French was my first language due to Mother not knowing the language, and thenwe had German to keep it going. And then we had a maid. . .Well, I don't like to call her a maid because she did the housework and the cooking and cared for the clothing and all that, but she was treated more—she lived in the house—and she was treated more like one of the family, one of the Weber girls. And so that's why I resent calling her a maid. But she also knew German, she was quite fluent in German, I don't thhk th she knew French. But we had French one week, German one week, and then English one week so that we would know our languages and not forget them. And then of course, tradition-wise for Christmas and Easter, we'd celebrate and do the traditional things of Germany one year, and the following year it wouB be French. Easter would be the same way, the same thing. Now when it was f r German, we would we would go up to Aunt Mary and sing "Oh, Tannenbaum" and open our gifts up there. For mass, we'd go to midnight mass. When we'd come home we'd have boiled potatoes, spareribs and sauerkraut because this was the tradition in Dad's town, you see, in their village.
LAURA: Was your father German?
MG: Daddy—how should I say- they were more French, but they lived in Marlinheim.And Marlinheim, near Strasbourg see-saws German-French, German-French, it depended on what country had what. But Grandma Adele Groh was more of French descent, Grandfather Groh was Holland-Dutch. Now on my mother's side, he father was strictly French, he mother was Bavarian French. So therefore, you see, we treated Christmas then so that we could keep the traditions going. The thing I remember was the bread, the Baba, for Easter, the Easter bread, and this was traditional, we always had that for Easter morning. But then when the war of 1913 came on, or 1914—1 give that date because it is the only way I can remember when the war was—we had to stop German, and we had to get rid of the German girl, Weber, because she was German. Because they started calling us pro-German in the town, and it was beginning to hurt business. So this week deal, we had to stop, discontinue completely. However, in private of our own selves, we would speak German and French and English too, to keep it up so that we would not lose it. Dad and Mother thought that people had gotten really narrow-minded, you know, on this point of the war, where they'd take it into a small town like Bovill in the United States, and that they were both American citizens. So on the Q. T. we maintained it ourselves, you know. But in the public, or if there was anybody at the house, why we just stayed away from it, that was all to it.
LAURA: Did your mother learn English pretty well?
MG: Yes. But now she would say she knew her English more of less in a slangway. She says, "If I kind find an English word," she'd take a German or a French word and put it. She says, "I make a cake out of my languages," and this is the truth. Now there are some words in German that in English—oh, my, it's horrible, it's filthy, it's dirty, that's it. And I know that I couldn't understand—one of our friends used to come here quite often and Mother was talking to him and, gee, all of a sudden he turned around and he walked out and that was it. We hadn't seen him. And for years and years and years, I didn't know what in the world was wrong. And it was husband that brought it to mind. 'Course, I can't tell the story, I wouldn't dare, but it was just an innocent thing that Mother had said that was so horribly debased. Well, maybe I could say it.
LAURA: You want me to turn it off?
MG: Yeah, please do.
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Segment Synopsis: Father (Tom Groh) had a way with Indians who came to Bovill every year to pick camas and traded at his store. Ate dinner with the chief and he served his favorite dog as an honor. Indians appreciated that Tom Groh gave them fair weights. Two Indian women marched back to apologize after stealing two loaves of bread.
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Segment Synopsis: Fire started in back of the store and likely was set. Two other fires were set in the back of the store but they didn't burn. Destitute after the fire, unable to save anything, but Roundup Grocery and Swift immediately sent new stock to tide them over and they set up in a tent. Another company was the reverse - sent another bill which had already been paid.
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71:00 - Visit to France; brother misses his freedom; Aunt had to make dresses secretly; taught to knit and cook by her father
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Segment Synopsis: Visit to France at age six. She wants to stay because she is swayed by the splendor and hugeness of the estate. Tom, her brother, misses his freedom and doesn't want to stay, Neighborhood children looked through the iron fence but wouldn't talk with them. Aunt Margaret had to use her' sewing machine in the attic because making dresses was beneath her status. Madeleine is taught to knit and cook by her father.
82:00 - Uncle Ferdinand had to fight for his country; Armistice Day; sold strawberries for the Red Cross
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Segment Synopsis: Recalls Uncle Ferdinand explaining that he had to go and fight for his country. They sat still and hummingbirds came to the nasturtiums in the planters. "Hanging the Kaiser" in Bovill - description of the effigy which she thought was alive. On Armistice Day her father sold a bowl of strawberries for $25. for the Red Cross.
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