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LAURA SCHRAGER: Where would you sell them?
MAY LeMARR: There would be other people who would come in from outside to pickhuckleberries also. And they would see us with our berries and they liked them awfully well so they'd buy what we picked that day.
LJ: We didn't even get home with them.
ML: And borne with empty pails, which was fine by us.
LJ: Couple dollars in our pocket.
ML: That meant a lot. There again, it helped provide the school clothes andbooks and things that we needed for school in days.
LJ: A dollar a gallon we got for them then during WWI...
ML: We got dollars a gallon during WWI.
LJ: Two dollars, was it? Anyway, we thought it was a lot.
ML: It was quite a bit in those days.But ordinarily they would sell for adollar a gallon so everything else went up in price.
LJ: And we're still selling huckleberries. We're getting five dollars a gallonnow. We're getting rich.(laughs)
LS: Doesn't buy what it bought back then.
LJ: Doesn't buy much now. Tank of gas. Don't even do that.The little careven takes more than that. The big one takes about ten.
LS: With the two of you, did you do a lot of things together?
ML: Quite a bit. I was about eleven then. In 1918 I was ll^in 1917. And 1918we picked a lot of berries. I was eleven years old. I was a pretty good sized girl. I could pick my share, I guess.
LJ: She still can. She's a better picker than I am andl been picking for 65years. May's been picking for about 60, I guess.
ML: I sold my first huckleberries when I was nine. Sold them to a man, we threekids were out picking. No, the four of us. The two boys and Molly and I. And so at the end of that time we had our pails full.I had a half a gallon lard pail. The other kids had their gallon buckets. So this fellow said "I'll just buy your huckleberries from you." Give the other kids each a dollar. So here he gave me a dollar for my half a gallon. And Alfred, the one that was here, said,"Oh my goodness, that's too much, she only has a half a gallon."Well,"She said she worked just as hard as the rest of you did."So I had my dollar for my half a gallon.I was pretty proud about that. Big silver dollar in those days.No paper money. That was a big help in bringing home extra money. Money was so hard to get a hold of in those days.
LS: Would you go out often to pick berries?
ML: Oh yes, we all during the season.The huckleberries would ripenafter the fourth, usually, the Fourth of July. And we could pick then up until about the first of August. And people used to come out to the house, local people from Bovill come out there, they knew we had huckleberries, they'd come back there and buy them. From us. Or sometimes we'd take them into a grocery and trade them for groceries. So in a lot of ways that worked to our advantage. Give us a chance to pick up a little extra money.
LS: Would you go out everyday?
ML: Usually. As a rule we'd go every day. We'd make a regular job of it.Exceptduring haying we mighty lay off and help shock hay that we did out in the field whey the hay would be mowed down, we'd have to put it in shocks so they could go along and pick it up on a wagon and it it to the barn. So we had to help on thet in between times. But as a rule, we'd stay with our berry picking pretty regular. Although not every year we'd have berries. That's another thing. Because every other year, the berry crop would be good.
LS: You figured every otker?
ML: Usually. Every other year that they would be good. There would always besome somewhere but, nearby, but they don't produce equally good each year. But we enjoyed it. It was kind of hard work, but we always it Being out in the woods, and making a little extra money.
LS: I heard that the Indians would shake the berry bush.
ML: Yes.They used to cut the -bushes and^I can't understand, becauseyou would think that they'd want to p%serve things like that more. Iknow it would taKe some time for that bush to grow back. But I've heard of it, I never did see it, but I've heard of hugh piles of broken huckleberry bushes. And they'd beat them off onto a blanket. And I guess the blanket might be woolen or something like that. And then they could shake it a little bit like that and the leaves,Adebris would stick to the blanket. The berries would role off. And they would also sell their berries, I think. To a large extent. I've heard of them doing thatr But I never did see them do that, but I think my sister has. When she comes down I think she can tell us somewhat about that too. I never liked that idea. I'd rather just go and pick 'em. I wouldn't see much fun in working in a bunch of broken bushes.
LS: Were you able to go to school?
ML: Not very much. In fact,I didn't start school until I was almost eleven.But I could read and write fairly well before I attended school. Learned that at home. Well _ had a first grade reader, I guess, at home. And I got a little start. I think my brother got me started on that or mother did. One or the other. But I just naturally liked to read, so IApicked it up. I didn't get school in until I was almost eleven, but I was promoted to the third grade at the end of that school term.And being that I could read and I enjoyed it, I was promoted, so I ggt through grade school in a hurry that way. I always made two grades a year. Or more. So it wasn't a problem that way. I can't imagine a life without reading. One of the things I still enjoy doing.
LS: What were you able to, what kinds of books were around then?
ML: Well I can remember, I wish I had kept them, but i didn't. But they were,well, Alice in Wonderland and The Fisherman's Wife. Can I even remember back to all the things we had. But we read those stories after that fashion. And Three Mttle Pigs that would be in the second grade reader, I guess. I don't know if they'd be called McGuffy's Reader or not. I suppose would. I think it maybe would be something of that order. But that would be the type of stories we had to read. Black Beauty And then as we got a little further a long the grades, there'd be all the poems by Longfellow and all those that we'd have to memorize and things like that. That'd six and seventh grade that we'd have that.
LS: Were they still having literaries when you were young?
ML: Yes, I think they did. But they used to have that in Helmer. Literary cttfedLmeetings, but I never attended. I was too small them. To young gor that. Now, my brother Alfred would know about that.He's attended some. But I never did go to one of those. But then, too, that quite a ways away. That would usually be held at night, and be about four miles away. And usually in the winter. there'd be four, five foot of snow on the ground. So due to that, a person was more or less isolated in the winter. It would be hard to get out very much.
LS: Would you stay at home?
ML: Uh huh. That's about all we did. Stay home. The boys stayed busy choppingwood and everything. Course, they .used to sell wood. Chop down trees and sell wood by the cord in Bovill. Haul that out. And then to go out for the mail once a week, while it was at Helmer. Then we moved to Bovill, where the mail came to. So they would have to go there to get the mail and we had weekly newspapers in those days. Mother would get her Norwegian newspaper, tt came from Decora,Iowa. That was aweekly paper. And the Spokesman-Review. That was a weekly paper. Finally I think they got it up to where it was twice aweek. And it was just mailed out to subscribers. And had amagazine called the Idaho Farmer. That was published here in Spokane Ithink. Near as Ican remember. And that would be, seemed like that came once a month. I would have to ask my sister. And that had stories in it.Continued stories. And we'd all look forward to that because it would be something interesting to read. Ask her about the Idaho Farmer.
LS: Would you read those out load to each other?
ML: No, usually we'd read it to ourselves, although mother spoke both Englishand Norwegian, but Norwegain she spoke fluently, and English not to, clearly. But mother would read from her paper. There was lots of stories in her Norwegian paper that she would read out load to us in Norwegian, which we understood very well.So that was another diversion.
LS: Was your father Norwegian?
ML: Yes. And...
LS: Did you learn Norwegian at home?
ML: It was a strange setup we had on that. I'll never explain how, but motheralways talked Norwegian to us at home. I just grew up on that. But we answered in English. Now, I don't know why. Seems strange. I should be able to speak it fluently. But Idon't. I can get by, make myself understood. But mom would say something in Norwegian to us and we always answer m English, invariably. Dad spoke Norwegian -of course, as well as English. He spoke that very well. So it was mother that was alittle bit more halting with hers. But she could read and write both.Dad I think only read Norwegain. Idon't think he read English too well. But Ican't understand how that happened.
LS: How did you pick up your English?
ML: I don't know. Must have been from dad. I don't really know. 'Cause asfar back as I can remember, she always talked Norwegian to us and we answered in English. But we didn't have any close neighbors, you know. That had children our own age. I guess my sister did more, but then when I came along, I was more than six years younger than my sister, there weren't any kids around my age then. All the other people had moved away. That had any youngsters.
LS: Your sister mentioned that you'd seen the Indians pick berries.You've seen 'em. And break bushes.
LJ: Break bushes, I think the squaws, what they call 'em, the sqaws. They sitdown and picked the berries and the men, or was it vice versa?. They'd probably go out and break the bushes.
LJ: And the- squaws usually have to do all the work anyway, so I imagine theyhad to break the bushes and bring it to the...
Yeah, it could be. I never did see them do it, but I've seen the bushes.They'd be piled high as this room.
You saw them do it then actually?
Oh yeah. I never did 'cause that was a little bit before my time, 'cause the Indiansdidn t come around, well not quite as much, it began to diminish, didn't it, as time went on. I remember them coming there and getting water out of this well I was telling you about, that was such good spring water coming up on the horse and they'd fill their little canvas sacks with water. Drinking water.
LJ: And dad had to get after them because they were digging camas.In the you know,and it made it so rough when they mowed the hay. And I guess one of them was threatening, wasn't he?
ML: Oh did he?
LJ: Yeah, I think that's what dad said. 'Cause he chased him out of the meadow.That's what they made their bread.(pause)
LJ: Half a mile or something like that and my dad came after me, wewere just eating dinner. I can remember, I must have been awful naughty. I was kicking the table. He was grabbing me and I was kicking away. I didn't want to go home. I wanted to but I got it afterwards I got home I got a spanking. I remember that. That's before May, I guess I must have been about four years old. But that's about i remember, any unusual things.
LS: Were there, did you ever get things like ice cream and candy?
LJ: Well my dad, whenever he'd go to town, they'd always buy a nickle's worthof candy and he got a big sack of candy for a nickle, you know. He'd come home with candy or maybe some oranges or bananas or something like that. If he could, all depends how they could afford it. If they had any money left.And then he used to go to Deary and done most of the trading and that was about eight miles. And of course, whenever he paid up his bills, why they'd give him quite a sack of candy. Maybe about a pound or a pound and a half, something like that.And of course, we was all hungry for sweets, that didn't last too long.And when my brother went to school down at Helmer, we used to have a Christmas program down there, I was too small to go at that time, but anyway we'd always, I think my dad donated maybe two bits or something like that or a sack of candy or an orange or apples, or something like that we'd get. And we'd come horn that and. or peanuts. And that would be our treat for Christmas.And maybe we'd have a little tree or something and we'd have to make our own decoration out of catalog , you know, and it'd be colored. And we'd paste them together and string 'em around on the tree. Did you ever do that when you was a kid?
LS: Not from the catalog.
LJ: That had the pretty pictures on it. And popcorn, sometimes we'd stringpopcorn and stuff like that for Christmas. Make it look Christmas. But as far as the eats go, we didn't have turkey or anything like that.
LS: Did your parents keep any of the Norwegian customs?
LJ: Our mother did have, but we moved so much it seemed like, the only thingI got which I think would be nice if you'd want it for the museum is her wedding veil. It's kind of tattered. And I have their wedding picture.
LS: I was asking if they kept traditions from Norway.
LJ: Mother wasn't born in Norway. She was born in the United States. She wasborn in Illinois. But her mother and dad and her sisters, her oldest sister, mother was the baby of the family. And they were from Norway. And if I remember right, I guess the brother next to her must have been, had died when they were on the ship and he was buried at sea.'Cause they couldn't take the body on, you know. But they went to Illinois, Filmore County, illinois I guess is where it was,AThey moved to Minnesota. She was about, what did she say she was? Baby I guess. Maybe about a year old or something like that.
LS: Did your parents speak Norwegian?
LJ: Yes, my mother spoke Norwegian all the time. But she could speak Englishvery good and she wrote Norwegian and English both. And read the papers her and all that and the Bible. Of course, that was main thing. And wed have to be awfully quiet when she read the Bible, We'd have to pay attention.
LS: Would she read it in Norwegian?
LJ: Yeah, she'd read it in Norwegian. Yeah, we could speak a little Norwegian.May and I went to Norway five years ago. Had a wonderful time there. Trying to find some of our relatives there, but...(pause)Dad, he always talked English to us girls, kids, rather. But mother'd always talk Norwegian. 'Cause she wanted us to know the Norwegian language. But dad, and then when they talked, why they used the Norwegian language together. But we could under stand. I was talking to my brother here not too long ago and I'd say something in Norwegian and you know, by golly, he's forgotten, he hasn't been around it since mother died. That's been several years ago. '45,'46 But when you're around it all comes back to you.
Yeah, it's quite a thing. I wished I'd learned to read it and write it.Course there wasn't any Norwegian schools around there. Now like here in Spokane,there's Sons of Norway, they have schools(pause) And she was a midwife, I think. But they came from the south. Boy, was she ever a good cook. Wonderful cook.AI remember the first time I ate there,you know you kind of feel that it wasn't clean but it was clean as could be.Very much so.
LS: Were the Wells' well accepted?
LJ: In Deary? Yes they were. It's funny, one time old Joe Wells said,"Well youknow, I'm the only white man here. All the rest of them are Swedes."(laughs) And he was nice people. They accepted them anyway. Later on their daughter got married and they had a couple of children I think. And the daughter was a very smart girl. She was valedictorian, But we know they didn't, something about it because she was black, they didn't want to give it to her. But I guess the rest of them kicked about it so she got it. I thought that was kind of mean.
LS: Was she much older than you?
LJ: Oh yeah. The granddaughter wouldn't have been older than I am 'cause Ican remember when she was born, 'cause I went up to see her. I wanted to see what the baby looked like. (Pause) That was the main thing. Get out and earn some money. That was during pretty hard times too. What year we down there?
ML: Let me think. 1923 we went down to Princeton to work.
LJ: '23, uh huh, that's right.
ML: 'Cause you got married the next year in 1924.
LJ: That's right.
LS: You'd worked by Shea Meadows?
ML: That was in 1922 then, Summer of 1922. Both gone up to get some school. And hewas black as the ace of spades. She was too. But they were pretty money.
LJ: That's '22. Then we went down to Camp One. And then from there to Camp 7,Back to Shea Meadows again.(laughs) How long did you work there? I can't remember?
ML: Camp Seven? Why see I started in Princeton and in December we were transferedto Camp £even. And I worked there til the following August I think. And I quite and I went back to finish grade school.(laughs)
LJ: That's right.
ML: Went back to school and finished that. I went back to work, I guess thenext year I went back to the logging camp. I worked on and off for about seven and a half or eight years. Potlatch Lumber Company.
LJ: Y'ou worked for Billy Musch. didn't you?
ML: Up to headquarters. That was in 1928. I was there for a while.
LS: Were they just starting logging that area? When you went out there?
ML: No, the camps around Elk River had been running for a number of years.But they had built better camps and enlarged a lot and they called Camp C headquarters where it was high up where the logging engines would come in for the night. They kept them there. That was the base for them. And then they'd go to the other two or three camps and pick uplogs during the day. But the train crew always tied up there at camp C.
LS: That was near Elk River?
ML: About fourteen miles from Elk River. The way the crow flies, I guess about fourteen,fifteen.
LS: Were you out there then?
LJ: No, we were down at Camp 5 I guess. On Hog Meadows.
ML: About that time. Then you were transferred up to Camp 8 at Elk River also.
LJ: Yeah, I stayed down at^Hog Meadows all alone there, Betty and I. And I'dbar myself into the shack andNknives up so nobody would get in. I was kind of worried being by ourself. And then in the morning I'd go down aid get then in the morning I'd go down and get breakfast in the logging camp, they had 3 whole camp there. I had to go clear down and start the pump at the pumphouse. Started that at night.See if it run alright and then build a fire down there, kept the fire going so we wouldn't freeze up in the wintertime. Then Betty and I'd go back to our shack and bar ourselves in. (laughs) I don't know what good it done. If anybody wanted to get in. Then from there, they got aplace for us up at Camp Dwhere Albert was cooking. They took him up there. So we was there, then you came up there later, didn't you??
Yes, I came up later then.
That's where she met her husband. First husband.
Camp D. I was there til 1930. Then, about two years up there.When you worked together, were jobs any different from each others? No, when we worked together we done the same thing. I mean, wait table, that's down in Princeton. Over at Camp Seven also.
ML: They served family style at^logging camps. Our job was just keep thedishes filled.Vegetables and meats.
LS: why did you have to get up at four thirty?
LJ: You had a lot to do. You had to get your table, course, we had a lot ofsilverware and plates on and cups and all that.
ML: You put those on the night before. But there would be butter to put on thetables and milk. Fruit and things for their breakfast.
LJ: And all their cookies and doughnuts.
ML: We had to have bread on the table. BeAslice of bread, there'd always besomebody who'd want it. In addition to that, then they'd have pancakes every morning. Toast. Hash brown potatoes. Bacon, eggs.
Would they have eggs every morning?
Every morning. Scrambled and boiled and fried.
ML: They'd have hot cereal. And we'd have to put milk on for their cereal, sowe d have to canned milk is the way we did it. As well as a can of milk for their coffee, for their coffee cream and you'd dilute a certain amount of that milk for their cereal. Then we always had dry cereal and cornflakes, shredded wheat maybe. And all bran. We didn't have as many varieties then as we do now. And that always had to be on the table. There'd be a lot to put out. And then we'd have to fix the table so they could pack their own lunches. Get out the bread and the butter for that. It took a while to get that ready.^Then breakfast was always served at six. So then the have the hot part of the meal ready, pancakes and bacon and eggs. Set that on the table.
LJ: It was like the thundering herd when the door opened. When we unlocked thedoor, here they come. Clompity clomp.
(End of side A)
ML: Pounding on it real hard. It would carry too, that sound.And the lumberjackcome in and they^eat in silence in order to get through in a hurry cause there wasn't any sitting and smoking at the tables and lingering over their coffee. Soon as they'd be through they'd leave. And head out for the woods work.
LS: Did they switch to store bought bread?
LJ: Not when we were working. They might have did later years, now I don'tknow. Before they closed the camps all down, it seems like they got that. And besides the bacon,^ said that was a godsend when they got sliced bacon. They used to...
ML: Oh yes, they had to slice their own, always, Gee, that sliced up three, fourslabs of bacon, and that took quite a while.^It takes time.
LJ: fry it in that great big pans. That long and about that wide I guessand they'd lay 'em in layers.
LS: They'd bake it in the oven?
LJ: Yeah, they'd bake it in the oven.
ML: bacon was good. That's an excellent way to cook meat. It was wonderful-
LJ: just put it in layers, kind of. Kind of thick. And then he takes andfry it out. Same with making scrambled eggs. Put that in the oven too. Big pans of that and you just keep working them.
ML: They also used to fry their potatoes. You know when you'd slice theminstead of the has browns. I mean like cutting up your raw potatoes and putting them in the oven, you remember Albert doing that? Have a great, big baking pan.kBe so deep I'd guess, and he'd work that, it'd be full of potatoes. He'd pull it out every once in a while and turn them over so they'd cook evenly around, tender.
LS: Would he have a lot of oil?
ML: Quite a bit. They used quite a bit of bacon drippings to season it. Maketaste good.
LS: How would they cook that many pancakes? And have them warm for the men?
LJ: Well they had big grills, big as this table, May?
ML: Oh yes, Yes, I'd say it was as long as that, and you get that full...
LJ: You ought to see how he had batter at it, plunk, plunk, plunk, plunk.And then he'd be coming , flip, flip, flip . Then we'd go with the pans, hold them there and he'd slap 'em on our pans and away we'd go and the lumberjacks take the whole,
ML: He'd put about four or five on each plate that we'd bring back for refills.That way we always kept them coming hot. They were sourdough pancakes. They were good.
LS: Did he use sourdough starter?
LJ: That's what he, I don't know how he started it, but yeast I think, when he'dgo camp,
ML: That's the way they'd do it. Save out a certain amount each time. And he'dmix up and they'd always have for the next time,
LJ: Some cook says the dough keeps getting, the hole is getting smaller in thepan, the old pot they keep the sour dough in getting smaller and smaller, Then you have to cut off that thing and take it off and throw it away. I seen that.You know, you keep stirring, putting the dough back in the crock or whatever you use. And you stir your flour in thef£-and your eggs and you pour it out into a pari and they were good hotcakes though. I've tried to make some, but I'm not so good at it.
ML: It's the experience I guess. I don't know if they ever had biscuits in thetieacly morning. They had those at night for dinner sometimes. They always have hot rolls for dinner. He'd always bake bread and we always had buns.
LJ: Seems like the biscuits them days was so good. I can't make biscuits likethat.
ML: Anything Albert makes is good, I don't care. He's the best cook.
LJ: I don't think he can make as good from the flour we get now. We get hardwheat and soft wheat. It's different.
ML: Flour has something to do with it.
LJ: I used to make pretty good bread. I can't make bread.
ML: chemicals now maybe that they use in it.
LS: You used to have separate wheat for the hard and soft?
LJ: Hard wheat for bread and soft wheat for biscuits and pancakes. Two differentbins.
LS: Did you use any other kinds of flour?
LJ: Oh yeah, they had corn meal.
ML: He'd make corn bread.
LJ: Whole wheat. Made whole wheat bread too.
ML: Yes, I think he did, quite a bit. So you could have your choice,
LJ: We use to have two different kinds of bread on the plate.
ML: Made rye bread.
LJ: Yea rye.
ML: Had two or three kinds of cakes and usually two kinds of pies.
LS: Did you make any of the food itself or...
ML: Not so much. We were usually busy with out dining room work, But we'dalways cake sometime and fry doughnuts. We'd help if they got a little bit pushed, you know, for help.Some days there'd be more things to get out maybe than other times. I can remember doing that, frying doughnuts, turning them big vat of grease they'd have on there frying lard they used. They used lard instead of shortening, didn't they?
LJ: For doughnuts? Uh huh. Yeah. They used lard for their piecrusts.
LJ: Then they used some of the drippings too, I think. Like your, oh frombeef you know. Lot of fat when you cut up the beef. Use that tallow or whatever it is it with the lard. Those doughnuts were delicious.
LS: Would he get a whole side of beef and cut it up?
LJ: Yeah. He always cut his own meat.
ML: That was an awful big job.
LJ: He used to handle those hindquarters . I don't know...
ML: He sure did. He'd get it on his back and take it over on a great bigblocks they had. You know they had the meathouse, that was always little place right next to the cookshack and all screened in, keep it cool.They'd have to cut off the steaks and stews and roasts.Did all of that himself. And the meat. So that took up a lot of time. And then they'd make their own hamburger. And then grind it with a hand grinder. That was a rough job too. for a bunch of lumberjacks.
LJ: He was telling about, I didn't know that, when he first started to learnto cook.Some old cook, he said he'd tell him what to do and he'd sit in the chair. He'd sit in the chair and tell Albert what to do.So much of this and so much of that to make bread. That's when he first started, he said. Talking 'bout it here the other morning.(laughs) Gertule, that was the name of that one cook, wasn't it? He never liked a large crew. He was on the section gang. He was a dandy cook though, I guess. They said. Or, Albert said he was. Wonderful cook. And so clean. He was neat, I think I went into his bunk or his cookhouse . And you could eat off of that floor. Always kept things scrubbed just like a pin. But he never had a big crew. I don't know how many they had on section, 'bout 40?
ML: Yeah, that would be about the extent, I think, between 25 and 40. Not toolarge.
LJ: Anytime they push a big crew on him, he'd pull out.
ML: That would be quite a headache. They had to do a lot, had to washdishes too. When we were in a smaller, when we were in Camp 7, we had to wash dishes and do our dining room, peel the vegetables, keep the floors clean.
LJ: Do you remember when we had extra men come in on us and we'd crowd themin.
ML: We had to. There'd be a lot of days we'd...
LJ: crowd on this long table. And we were growling. Theother guys moved down. They had long benches, you know. And they were growling because they had to move down. We didn't have room for them to sit any other place. We had to sit 'em in. They wanted to eat.
ML: And the center table full.
LJ: We had two long tables and a center table.
ML: We had the train crews there. And this was a stormy day. When it was toostormy for them to go out to their work, they'd have to stay in, it was snowing so bad. Then we'd have them all for lunch. Usually lunch would be a little bit light.^They'd be out in the woods with their lunches.
LJ: Sounds like a bunch of chicken. On the roost. Picking the other ones head.
LS: Would that happen often that they couldn't go out to work?
LJ: Once in a while.
LS: Would they get pay?
ML: They'd have to pay their board then and I just wonder what they did comeup with a day board and room.
LS: What did you get?
LJ: What did we get, May?
ML: We got sixty a month, Board and room. Seven days a week.Day.
LJ: No time off.
LS: You didn't have any time off?
LJ: Uh uh.
ML: Seven day week we had.
LS: Not even in the.
LJ: Oh yeah, we had maybe an hour or two in the afteroon. But we worked allmorning though. We usually...
ML: Yeah,usually we were busy during the morning. Not very often we'd gettime...
LJ: We'd peel sack of onions. We had a crying jag.
ML: And carrots.
LS: Did you have any ways to get around that that ever worked to stop you fromcrying?
LJ: We'd just cry.
ML: We didn't have any methods. And then we'd have french fries so we also hadto do those with a paring knife. Peel our potatoes and then cut it into french fries. And we'd have parsnips and carrots and rutabagas,All different vegetables, fresh vegetables." They didn't get canned carrots then. I never did see any.
ML: String beans.
LJ: String beans and peas I guess. Tomatoes,
ML: Maybe they'd have fried onions and liver sometimes or something like that,so that slicing the onions.We always had to peel a sack of potatoes, didn't we. Or a sack and a half?
LJ: Didn't have a peeler either.
LJ: I mean like peelers. Used a paring knife.
ML: Used a paring knife, real sharp. And ...
LJ: We'd whack our fingers.
ML: I'd always wrap mine to keep them from getting cut.It was a lot of fun though.I enjoyed that work very much. In the logging camp.
LS: What was fun about it?
ML: Well it was hard work but...
LJ: It was out in the woods, fresh air,In the afternoon everyone would go fora walk. We could go for a walk or go down to the bunk and take a little nap.
ML: Sometimes we in the woods where they were logging and you alwayswalked the railroad track, it would be quite safe. Go up there and pull a cross cut saw sometimes with some of the fellows that we knew, you know. Falling timber.We thought that was pretty good.
LJ: Scalers. Used to call me "Tiny Big Swede". I can remember him. Paul Freize.I was kind of hefty, I guess.
LS: What did he call you?
LJ: "Tiny Big Swede."(laughs) Don't know how he come to callcall me that.
ML: He thought he you was kind of a husky gal. I guess you then. You weren'tlater. You got ride of some of the weight.
LJ: I weighed around 150, I guess. 55, I don't know.What did you weigh one time? Weren't you about 125Aone time?
ML: On that company scale. I was about that. Course, that was fully clothedyou know. That was the clothes we wore then.We had to dress quite warm.it was so cold.
LS: Would you have to reheat the cookhouses every morning?
LJ: The cookhouses? Oh, some mornings they wouldn't be too warm in there becausethe fire hadn't been, especially in the dining room.
ML: Fire would be kept going all night, but a fellow we called the bullcookkept the fires going, he'd be in quite early and get that stove going. Always had, it was kind of a long stove, not exactly potbellied, it d be pretty long. I don't know would it be from here to about against that wall that big one we had in one of the camps. Took up quite a bit of room and they'd fill that full of wood and get it going. It'd heat up the dining room pretty well Course, the fella sitting nearer the stove would get warmer than down at the further end of the dining room.
LJ: Gosh up at Camp D when we worked up there,that was the coldestspot. Oooo that was cold.
ML: Many a mornings I had to wear my galoshes to wait tables in. get so cold,Cause they were on cars, you know, they were movable cars and they were on wheels. And they'd be up off the ground quite a ways and nothing underneath, so that coldfcome up around, all around under the floors. Boy, it would be cold.And start to warm up much around noon.I it was thirty five and forty below up there.Snow was deep. Snow somedays it would snow three days at a stretch* Just keep piling up.It wasn't too easy.
LS: Did you keep working after you were married?
LJ: Yeah, I did. I worked off months like relieving somebody or something likethat. But...
LS: It wasn't steady?
LJ: No. No, I had Betty to take care of then.
LS: Where did she go to school?
LJ: We moved to Bovill, she up to school here at her grandmother s for maybeabout a month and it didn't prove out, so moved to Bovill, got a house there. So she started school. She graduated from Bovill and then went to the University of Idaho. Graduated '42.(both sisters talk at once)
ML: ...graduated from the U of I in '47.Spring of '47.
LJ: Spring of '47 we moved up here. '42 is I guess when we moved up here.Thenshe taught one year in Lewiston. And then she got married. Married 26 years last year.
ML: It doesn't seem quite possible.
LS: When you lived in Bovill, would your husband come in on weekends?
LJ: They got so they could come in about every other week,
LS: They'd work out a week?
LJ: Yeah, like Ralph Hanson, he'd take over one weekend and.they'd switch.That'swe got in. Course, when got to be alone there in the camp, then you had to stay there all the time. And Betty and I'd take a trip to camp. stay over or something like that,
ML: In the winter you couldn't could you, when you couldn't get back there ordrive.
LJ: I did drive to, I remember what camp, Camp 6 I think it was and anothercamp that was quite a ways out and I can remember the snow was so high, you wouldn't get off the road anyway. Squeaky snow you know, that had been plowed. We'd go out there, just go out for the day. Like on Sunday or something like that. I've driven to Elk River, that road from Bovill to Camp D and to C Then we'd have to walk from Camp C up to Camp D.That was about a mile and a half I guess railroad track. That was kind of hard job, because one year I was sick. I drove the car for another lady and I could hardly make it up there. I had to bronical pneumonia, or some darn thing.terrible. I was so weak.
ML: I think you had virus pneumonia.
LJ: I don't know. I couldn't even stand the smell of the food. I had to get outof the kitchen. I just couldn't stand it. So I went over to Albert's bunkhouse and laid down til we got ready to go home. Then I decided I'd better go to the doctor . My lungs were all filled up with mucus. Dr. Wilson. He's in the resthome now. Good doctor. I went to see him, but I don't think he remembered me, He sure was a nice guy. When mother was sick he'd come and see her down to Bovill, remember May?
ML: He came up and gave her an examination and check over,
LJ: Very, very nice..
ML: Hard to beat.(extraneous conversation )
LS: Did you encourage your husband to quit when you lived in Bovill?
LJ: He just got tired? They were riding him too much. It just seemed like theywas pushing the work on him 4ojmuch. He was up at Clarkia up there when he quit up there.That's when he came to Spokane and boarded with you guys up here. Yeah, they had three hundred and some nen. And they were just pushing the work on him, giving him the help.So he got mad one day and told them he was quitting. So he came home, was home a while and then he'd thought he'd come up here and he worked with the aluminum, wasn't it aluminum?
ML: Seems like he worked out of Niagra for a while. The war was starting thenin you know. He got on that.
LJ: Cooked for the CC boys. Then the WPA.
ML: worked for the CC boys though mostly, didn't he have a large crew ofthose boys from back east and all around that were from the big cities.
LJ: I was going to tell you about when he got sick when I came up after him,I brought him home and he got over it. The next thing he did he got a call from the Potlatch to come back to cooking again. Remember, he went up to Elk River.
ML: OH yes.
LJ: And they had a camp out of Elk River there.So I took him up there and hedecided he'd go back to work. It was a small crew. So he went up there and worked for the Potlatch again. For old Axel Anderson. And he worked there and heard that Mrs. Watts wanted to sell her resturant. And Mr. Watts got killed in an automobile accident. So foe came in and we saw about that so we bought the resturant in Bovill and run that for pret near a year. And we sold out, it was too rough. Too many hours. Gosh,that was awful.
ML: That was a pretty hard go, I guess.
LJ: Of course, if we'd had the tavern, which I wanted to buy 3 tavern inconnection with the resturant, I knew I could've handled the tavern if he could have handled the resturant. He didn't want anything to do with the drunks so I thought I could handle them. I think. Throw 'em out on the ear or something.(laughter)
LS: Were the lumberjacks often drunk in the camps?
LJ: No, they'd go out on a ben and then come back,
ML: They didn't allow drinking in camp.
LJ: Course, our boss up there, May, Malker, I used to cut his hair. Poor guy,he was a nice guy though. But he'd like his nips I guess and he had a little too much one time. I was, he wanted a hair cut.I'd done barbering in camp. He was sitting and he was getting down further and I'd have to pull him up.(laughs) He was working down. I still do a little barbering now. For the people that can't get out,you know, I guess May barber her husband's hair.
ML: He won't go to a barber shop. I cut his hair. I used to cut my son's hair hewent east to college. He never went to a barbershop.
LJ: Albert didn t go to a barbershop til I was working waitressing. Down here,(pause)'Cause I did, was on Susie. That windblown, you know, they used to wear. It was just perfect. I don't know how I did it now. You wouldn't know what a windblown's like, but it's shorter up here and fluffed around. She wanted the windblown hair cut and I said, well I'll try. That was just, came out perfect. She had a lot of hair to work with, like you have. May had a lot of hair.
ML: Make it easier if you have a lot.(extraneous conversation)
LS: Would a lot of the jacks let their hair grow long?
LJ: No, they'd go out, they'd get a haircut. Get a little long, but sometime,they d go out. I didn't have all them, I just had/|boss and Albert and maybe the kitchen crew. Then I had Orville?
ML: Orville Meyers, I used to cut his hair.Kind of liked my haircut, I guess.But there wasn't much money in it. Couldn't charge because I didn't have a license. So they'd give me donations. Then when we moved to Bovill during the depression, quite a few up there, I even fixed the women's hair. Finger waves, them days. You know what a finger wave is? Well, you, they put the waves in just like marcelle. We didn't do pin curls them days.We used a comb. Pull your hair this way and then put it down here and then bring it back this way and be regular wave. Years ago. And then I'd cut their hair, shape it. I'd get eggs for it. Guilfoy was one of 'em, his wife. His kids. If you know his boy, he used to come over there for a haircut all the time.Thaf youngest one. And she'd bring me eggs. And Morris Holland and Bob Holland and Mr. Holland. He even mentions to this day when I see him, he says,...
LS: Joe Holland?
LJ: Uh huh. Yeah, I used to cut his hair. There wasn't a barber in town. Butwhat kind of gets you when the barber came into town when I was, I didn't do much haircuts. I didn't do any haircuts after that, only a few. That stayed with me. A barber came in and they got a job, see Even Tarbox remembers that.That fellow, Walt Tarbox. We had a bunch of railroad guys come in, this was in the evening. There was a lady here, I wouldn't call her a lady, Biddy anyway, I don't care if she want to hear it or not. Anyway she brought her dog in there and I had a sign up that said no dogs allowed tn the resturant. She brought her dog in there, ohe look, some stuff and fed him on the floor and you know grease and stuff like that. Just was too much scrubbing that big floor. Have you ever been in that resturant? Well it's about the same it was when we were there. So I said to her, I had the tables all set up and a bunch of men was on the side and here she was. I said to her, you know, there's no dogs allowed in this resturant. There's a sign out there...
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Segment Synopsis: An old cook taught Albert how to cook while sitting in a chair. Got $60 a month with no days off when they started flunkeying. Peeled potatoes and carrots with a paring knife. Bull cook got fire going in morning— but places away from stove were cold. In Camp D, a car camp, May wore galoshes because cold air would coma up from the floor.
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83:00 - Albert quit work; ran restaurant in Bovill; no drinking in camp; cutting hair in logging camp
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