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SS: Glen was just saying this morning that your store was really good forpeople for credit.
MARVIN L: Yeah, we had abig district. See we traded. We bought and sold. Itstill belongs to my sister-in-law out here. The feed yard was this one right out of town here. Idon't know whether that sign's still out there or not. They took that down.
MARTHA LONG: They used it on afloat, but Idon't know whether they put it backor not. That wask Holsum sign though.
MARVIN L: Yes.
SS: From year to year, did you find that you could count on getting all thecredit that you gave paid back? By the farmers?
MARVIN: Well, of course, we had a charge off. We figured if we'd keep it underfive percent we's doing alright. Idon't think we ever charged anymore than that off, probably. I don't know.
SS: Did you carry these folks for awhole year at a time?
MARVIN: Sure, sure.
MLL: Longer than that.
MARVIN: lf they had anything back of 'em. But that's where we made our money.We were dealing, trading, you know. Trading cattle and we'd take anything.
MLL: Dried prunes!
MLL: Dried prunes! (Chuckles)
MARVIN: Dried prunes, yeah.
MLL: Yeah, anything. Barter, lots of barter in those days you know. Hadto be during this- these lean years. Had aprune ranch down the hill; dried the prunes. Family, had abig family of girls. We took enough prunes every year to take care of their account.
Would you say that the proportion of the business that was trade instead of cash, would it be as much as maybe aquarter of your sales?
At one time, I imagine it'd be a half,Really? In the early days; this would be?
Yeah, more in the early days.
Hey, that's alot. Would you just pay like aregular market price onwhat— (too soft to hear)
Our ranch. That's how we got our ranch.We got aranch out of the deal. We traded. We traded anything. He and his brother owned a ranch— on They took hay, they took everything. There was three of us boys and my dad; four of us. Had to. It was the only way they survived. That was the only way we could make any money, we had to barter. Ranch, or anything, we'd take anything. Wood. Cord wood.
Did you have trouble converting that into the money that you neededto pay the people- the companies- for their goods?
Well, sometimes. We had aline of credit in those days, like with thebig accounts, like we generally have with the dry goods outfit. With shoes and a lot of that stuff, and groceries. We„ran a line of credit with them. The guy that was running the Lewiston Merc at that time, he owned it,he had control of it and he was He financed us in the summertime. enough money to pay the others off, and0f course, we'd sign a note for his.
Was that Vollmer?
No, no. Fellow name of Frank Thompson. He was awholesaler. OldLewiston Merc down here. Of course you've heard of it.
Yes, I've heard of it.
Lewiston Mercantile. He owned about half of thiscountry at one time.
Half of this; quite abit of country if he owned half of this. Vollmermust have owned the other half!
I dont know.
Vollmer was earlier. This was through the Depression of the '20's.
Did they go back to bartering during the Depression?
That's what mostly he's talking about.
take in a whole carload of cattle and ship if they gotup against it, that's at they did. Give 'em a credit slip for their cattle and ship the cattle,and that's what kept us in business Chickens, they'd take chickens and ship 'em up to Pullman to the City Market up there.
Was there a tight period in between the pioneering days and the Depression where people had money to pay?
That's What I thought. So it just kind of reverted; went back to theway it had been? When the Depression hit?
Well, depends on who it was, whether they went back or not. Some of'em gained by it; some of 'em made a pile of money on it- the Depres- sion. Ranchers accumulated ranches. This Frank Thompson Iwas telling you about, he always took our notes. He'd take 'em because they was That's "grocery stores bankable. That's how kept agoing. He kept them in finances. You know during the Depression there wasn't any money. You've heard of it haven't you?
Did you get right up against the edge yourself, the store, of havingto shut down? During that time? Or did you always have enough credit? They would limit your credit, too, right?
Oh, sure. But we always had this edge, this leverage, see. We had thisoutside deal for when we got in a jam.
Which outside deal? To go and get cattle?
Yeah. Wasn't many grocery stores could have a cattle business on theside. But I had abrother and a father, they didn't know anything about the stored didn't want to know. Never did know. Ihad another brother, older brother til he passed away.
So this cattle business; you kept butchering and you would sell meatand you kept selling meat through the store.
Sure, and we shipped the cattle. Carloads. Sometimes acarload mightgo out of here every week.
Take that any way we could get it to get hold of some cash, youknow.
Did you used to drive around and sell meat to the farmers?
Sure I used to when I was just big enough to go around and open gates,peddle the horse and buggy days, meat. That's the only way open them gates so get through. Me and my brother's drive this meat wagon— double decker and fill it up with ice torn of it, and you had two decks you could put the meat You know what the price of meat was? Six, eight and ten. Soup bone was two bits.
Where is that picture? We had a picture of him.
When you said six, eight and ten; what did that mean?
Six cents for boiling meat; eight cents for aroast, ten cents for steaksteebone steaks, any kind of steaks. Soup bones, if they wasn't trimmed were two bits.
Yes he is. Ithink we have apicture of the old meat wagon, but Idon'tknow where it is. They had some ice when they would start out in the morning- and the women would come out with great big pans and get the hunk of meat and take it in and cook it because nobody had refrigeration, you know.
Iimagine you'd be able to sell some of the threshing crews, too, right?Yes, that's when we did it.
Yes, when they were threshing.
During the harvest season, that's when we did that. We didn't do thatthe year around. When Ifirst started that deal I was just old enough to go along- couldn't drive the team, you know, I was just old enough to go along and open gates. LAUGHTER this meat; did your family raise alot of that meat themselves, a lot of that cattle or were they just mostly buying stuff that was already raised?
That's what they did.
And then, of course, afterwards we got downtown here-belongs to my sister-in-law. my brother, they bought and sold cattle all time. They were shipping all time. Quick as they'd get a carload up, they'd ship it.
Would they butcher or ship 'emklive?
MARVIN L: Ship 'em alive.
MLL: But they had aslaughter pen out there, they butchered for the shop.Tom was the meat cutter. He was a professional meat cutter.
SS: You said to me, I think that you cooked in threshing crews? Didn'tyou?
MLL: Oh, yeah.
SS: Was that just when you were living at home?
MLL: Well, it was when I was living at Pullman that Iwent and did this,yeah. One summer. (Chuckles) Did we do that on that tape?
SS: No, you just had mentioned to me that you did it one summer.
MLL: Yes, the year Igraduated from high school. The year graduated fromhigh school, Iwas sixteen and my chum was seventeen and her brother had a wheat farm down near La Crosse and he wanted cooks, so he was going to hire us. She was the chief cook and Iwas the assistant. And I was going to college that fall and Ineeded money real bad and so Iwas glad to get agood job like that. And it was out aways from La Crosse. And it seems to me that we had thirty men that we cooked for. And he drove the combine and then hired the other men. That would have still been horses, wouldn't it? I'm sure it was horses. In the days of horses. And so there was lots of work and they had to have lots of men. And my job was to set the table and peel the vegetables and wash the dishes and help her, whatever she needed. She was the head cook.
MARVIN L: Now, there would be two or three men. Big outfit. Somebody run thecombine and the other haul.
MLL: Well, these combines- well, I said combine. Well, I think it was acombine. It was a combine. They didn't have a threshing machine.
SS: Did you find that work tend to be very exhausting?
Well, we were chums, you see, and it was great fun and then we runaround all night with boyfriends and get up at the crack of dawn. We had to get up at five o'clock to get breakfast, you know. No. I don't know, it was just great. And then Ihad money enough to go to college that fall. You don't need much sleep at that age. (Chuckles) We had time in the daytime, we had some time to rest during the day, too. Oh, yes, we'd get our work done. We served three meals and some times we sent out alunch, but not always. Didn't always have to send out alunch. But we were so young, you know. And one time the Calu met Baking Powder Company came out with an ad- Calumet baking powder was new then- and they came out with this ad for making checker board cake. And, oh, that sounded like that was really something. I said to Anna let's try that for the threshers. And so we read the directions and we made checkerboard cake for it amounted to, you made abatter of chocolate and then you put it in apan in strips and you baked the two layers like that and then when you put them together you reversed one, so when you cut the was checkerboard. Really quite an elaborate idea. It isn't one,you would chose to serve threshers, but we did.
SS: Why not?
MLL: Well, you go to all that trouble. You'd make an easy cake inaflat pan and cut it in squares and serve it to them. They,like it cooking. My mother had died - better. But you see, I was well, she died that spring, but she'd been ill along time and so been cooking at home.
(conversation about Pendleton coats has been deleted. Perhaps it should not havebeen)
SS: When your mother was sick; that must have been areally difficult timefor the whole family.
Well, it was. And my two older sisters graduated from college andwent to teach, and then Iwas the oldest one lit home. And the next sister was five years- four years younger than I was. But we kept house for Dad and some of the boys were still home. And my oldest bro ther came back and worked and helped support the family, too. But all of us when we were going to college, we did all the work at home and went to college too. Canned in the summer and did what was necessary Mindhte never thought anything about it, just something we had to do.
What was it she died of?
Cancer. And, you know that was in 1920 that she died and they didn'thave all these new treatments.
SS: You were going to high school and try^ keep house, too.
MLL: Well, we did all the work at home through high school, yes. My oldestsister- my second sister was still at home when I was in high school, but she graduated in '21, so she one year after I started college.
SS: What was school like then for you in Pullman?
MLL: You mean college?
SS: No, high school.
MLL: Oh, well, Pullman had one high school, and it was just a few blocksfrom the house we lived in after I finished high school. I lived on the other hill. You know Pullman is built on three or four hills; really four hills, and^high school was on the one we lived on when I was college, and then Iwalked all that distance to college. But when I was in high school I lived over on the one that they call Pioneer Heights now. And then they had two grade schools, and then what they called Sunnyside School. It was a big, ornate building- kind of a Vic- torian building next to the high school. And at one time it had been the high school, too, I think. I know it had before they built the new high school, it had been in that building along with the seventh and eighth grades. And that's where I went to seventh and eighth grade in that building. And then there were two other grade schools. I started school at the Yensen (?) School which was on College Hill, that's when I was in the sixth grade. And then we had seventh and eighth in this building, and high school. There was no gymnasium; we went to the college for our, they had them in the college gym, our basketball games. Our high school physical education, such as it was- it wasn't regular classes, but we played basketball and that was in the top story of this old building. The third floor was turned into a- it was just a small- it wasn't regulation. So they couldn't have their regular basketball games there, but the girls had their games there. I played basketball on the girls' team, but just within the high school. We didn't play other schools. And then all of the plays, operettas, and commencement were held in the college auditorium. Because that high school didn't have an auditorium. It just had a big study hall. And it had a small stage, it was suitable for small plays and class day events and things like that.
SS: I was in Bryan Hall last night.
MLL: But Bryan Hall is where I graduated from high school and college both.Because the high school at that time didn't have a gymnasium even, like most schools would have had to conduct it in.
SS: I was thinking of the home ec in high school when you were going there.Did you get that stuff in high school?
MLL: Oh, yes. We had a real good laboratory at Pullman. Old fashioned. Inmy time it had progressed from domestic science to home economics ready It was called domestic science in the old days, you know. When it first started.
SS: What was the thinking of the change of the name?
MLL: Well, I don't know exactly. But it started as domestic science. Justlike the name implies. And then home economics was a 1ittle broader in concept. And we had even eighth grade home economics; once aweek. And I learned to make- of course, I cooked at home, but that's when I learned that some of my mother's New England terms were not the thing that you did! And it embarrassed me when Ifound out that Johnny cake was cornbread. And a spider was a frying pan. And Iwouldn't have ad mitted to anybody that that wasn't what we called 'em at home! So, I learned to make corn bread instead of Johnny cake. The family thought it was darn good and it tasted quite abit like my mother's Johnny cake! And now, Iappreciate those New England terms, you know. Which I think the South made corn bread or corn pone, but New England made Johnny cake. And those are lovely, those regional terms are lovely, aren't they? Ididn't appreciate that as a teenager, you know. That's the age when you become- oh, lots of people become ashamed of their parents' old-fashioned ways" But I never did admit it to the teacher that I was accustomed to eating Johnny cake.
SS: Was there clothing and textile stuff in high school, too?
MLL: Well, it was called cooking and sewing. The classes^you took were cooking and sewing. And they had avery good old-time style cooking labo ratory, which was a hollow square and it had a zinc metal tops on the-
MARVIN:: Didn't call it home economics then.
MLL: Yeah, I think they did when Iwas in- seems to me they did when Iwasin high school. It had zinc metal for the counter tops, which was used quite abit, even in home kitchens. And in the corner of this hollow square there was asink; asmall sink in each corner. And then on each side there would be two pairs of students, so that four girls were using the sink you see,* And then we had hotplates. And then there was a stove for baking. I don't remember whether it was an electric- I think it was an electric stove. It was just about the time the ele ctric stoves were coming in. We had two burner hotplates. And the combination of this plumbing in the corner and electrical units and the zinc top- when the teacher would leave the room, the girls would- We'd take hands- hold hands clear around the hollow square, we were on the outside of it and somebody would rub that zinc and you'd get areal old shock! (Chuckles) Of course, we weren't supposed to do that, but when the teacher was out we used to do that. And that was because of the grounding some way.
Uh-huh. The person on the end would rub the zinc and it would gothrough everybody.
Uh-huh. And it would go clear around the circle! Oh, the teacher'dcatch us sometimes. We weren't supposed to do that. Probably a littel dangerous. Idon't know, we never got abig enough jolt to hurt us.
Like in sewing; were there certain styles that the kids were beingtaught to do like the modern, or was it more-
Well, in high school we didn't get very far into actual clothing. Welearned stitches, you know. And we made aprons. I know I made an apron and Ibought checked gingham. My mother knew that there was checked gingham down at Emmerson's store for five cents ayard, and that's about all the money we had to spend for it and she sent me to get ayard of this checked gingham. And it was the cheapest material there was and it was a real fine check and it hurt the teacher's eyes and she complained about it. She had no understanding that some child had to buy that just because it was cheap, and Idid cross-stitching on these checks, see, that was the project that Ihad chosen and i made areal attractive apron but it hurt her eyes to help me witty . And, of course, she didn't understand that there was such a thing asAsomebody had to buy a nickel apron.
SS: What did she want kids to use for their aprons?
MLL: Well, it could be any kind of gingham, but a little better qualitythat the patterns wouldn't have affected her that way. She was agood teacher.
SS: Seems stuffy to me.
MLL: Well, she just didn't understand the problems of a poor family. Theteacher always wore white aprons. And she wore a uniform maybe, in Pullman High School. When I went out aprons, Ialways did. And the girls wore aprons, but not big coverall aprons.
SS: The teacher, did she wear a coverall apron?
MLL: Well, she wore a uniform, I think, she was a fulltime home economicsteacher in school.
SS: When you say uniform- like nurses?
MLL: Yes. Like a smock.
SS: Were there very strict you went to high school in Pullman.
What the high school students should wear?
I don't think it ever came up. The styles were not,- there wasn't anything- any reason for it, really. I don't remember of anything like too short a skirt or anything. Skirts were way down below your knees. And nobody ever thought of having, yde, we and I don't think there were anything like wearing pants or anything. Girls didn't do that.W- 'em to hike in and you had gym bloomers. And boy, were they something! The ones I had in college even- The ones we had in high school, we made out of black sateen. They were big and full, because they weren't supposed to look like pants, of course, and then they had a band just below your knee, but because putting elastic in there would restrict your blood supply, and that wasn't healthy, they had tapes inside these bloomers from the band up to your waist and it was quite a trick to get into those things and have the tapes in the right places. You know you'd get all twisted up. And if you were in a hurry, that was a real trick! That's the kind that I wore in college for physical edu cation classes.
SS: The tapes were to hold them up?
MLL: Hold them up, because otherwise they would have fallen down straightand you wanted them blousy, so they looked like a skirt. They were sort of pleated at the waist line, and you wore a white middy with that.
MARVIN L: In other words, you used garters with it.
MLL: No, there wasn't any garters. It wasn't a garter, it was just plaincotton tape to hold that up.
SS: Held it right up to the waist.
MLL: They held the cuff so that they bloused
SS: Did the tape- did it fasten or-
MLL: No, it was just stitched to the band so that it made them look likea pleated skirt at a glance and then they were- they gave you the freedom to modestly play games and play basketball. wore those all through my college days in gym class. And stockings. There were no shorts or anything like that yet for girls.
SS: It was never appropriate for a girl to wear pants, in those days?
MLL: Well, we did wear hiking pants a little later perhaps. But I don't thinkat that time I did.
MARVIN L: Bloomers.
MLL: Yeah, bloomers. Black sateen.
SS: What was black sateen like?
Black sateen was a fabric. It's acotton fabric that has somethinglike satin weave, but it's cotton and it has amost peculiar odor. That's typical of sateen, Idon't know why it has, but it does and it never gets over it. The more you wash it the more it smells life that.
You mentioned, too, that you girls went through college but the boysdidn't finally. Did that mean that the boys were actually helping to put you through college? You girls?
No. It was because girls couldn't -one thing was that- my oldest brother had two years of college and then the war came; First World War, and he went to the navy, and then my mother got this cancer and when he came back then he couldn't go on. He had to help the family. And he got ajob and started work in the post office. And my second brother was just- it was partly because of Mother's illness, he lost his inter est in school, you know, as teenagers often do. And then my youngest brother, well just needed more guidance, but they all turned out real good. And had good jobs. My youngest brother ended up in the State Highway Department at Olympia. They're all dead now. But the girls couldn't get jobs, for one thing, you know. If you could train to teach, then you could get agood job, but if you- the boys could get better jobs; that was partly the reason, too. So it was more attrac tive to not go on to school, to quit.
MARVIN L: They could get work.
SS: All the girls in your family, they all went to college.
MLL: They all graduated from WSC, it was in those days. They all took homeeconomics. They all taught. Was it part of their thinking that they all wanted to be able to make agood for themselves? To be sure they had
MLL: What else? Yes, it was to earn money, of course. We worked to gothrough but we had to do- oh, we worked- several of us worked in the telephone office, that was one job you could get in Pullman. And you could do housework for women and you could babysit.
SS: That was a four year program; home ec, at that time?
MLL: In college, are you talking about?
MLL: Oh, yes! Pullman'had started as an agricultural college and then ithad become a state college at the time we attended, and home economics was one of the big departments. They had a good department.
SS: So it sounds to me like- I would think now, if you were doing that,that a lot of people would do it feeling that it was going to be a career.
MLL: Well, sure, sure. Teaching.A We were all training to be teachers.And that was the field we chose. And it was just opening up in high schools, too. A lot of high schools were just putting it in.
SS: Home ec?
MLL: Yes. In those years. But my oldest sister taught here in 1918. Andthen it was just a beginning thing. And I went to Culdesac; was my first school.
MARVINL: I guess that was the first time they ever had it here, wasn't it?
MLL: I don't know. I rather think it might have been. And it was at Culdesac. They didn't even have any equipment.
SS: They didn't?
MLL: No. They just knew that they wanted home economics, and they didn tknow- they wanted this for the girls, but they didn't - the school board di t understand that there had to beany laboratory or anything. And there was a room set aside for this and in that room- I don't know what they'd been using it for, because they hadn't had a home economics teacher, but they had an old wood burning cookstove and a cupboard full of odds and ends of dishes that people had donated and lots of them were chipped, and a pedal sewing machine. And that was it. And I was supposed to teach home economics! And they finally got me a- I donlt think they ever got an electric range, I can't remember if they did. They finally got a- there were no measuring cups or measuring spoons.
And we were taught how to do it that way. You measured, youdidn't do it with a handful of flour and a pinch of salt and all thatthat wasn't the way we were taught home economics. That wasn't home economics; that was the way your mother and your grandmother cooked. And they were good good cooks but then that what we were sent out to teach. And they didn't have;any of those things, and they final ly that year, they got me some. We had just a big long table, but there was no laboratory setup, but they did have a big table that was suitable so that the girls could stand around it and prepare the re cipes for the particular day. And it was also used for sewing work, where they could cut out their garments on this big table, too. They did finally get me an electric sewing machine, and that was quite a help. Although I always made the girls learn boarb because at home a lot of them had treadle machines and they needed to know how to use a treadle machine. That was in 1924. And electric sewing machines were just coming into the homes, I guess. But they learned.
SS: There was a cookstove in there?
MLL: There was a cookstove, but a wood burning stove and that's what mostof the girls were used to, so that wasn't too bad. They all had to cook little dabs of stuff on this one stove. Because they didn't cook quantities, they cooked small amounts, you know. But they learned sti tches first, you know, how to sew, and using a thimble. And they had to wear an apron to cook with. And they had to learn- well, accepted customs that weren't always- and that was one of the problems of being ateacher. You had to remember things that their mother did. you mustn't talk down- that was important, like tasting out of aspoon you were stirring with. Most women did that in the homes, but then the girls had to learn you didn't do that; that wasn't sanitary and you didn't taste, you had aseparate spoon to taste with. And Idon't know how they came out at home. Ialways hoped they didn't criticize their mothers too much, because Iremembered about my Johnny cake and other things that Ididn't approve that my mother had done, you know. And that's abad age, that teenage group. But they learned to make basic- there were no package products in those days, we taught basic recipes. How to make everything- as we call it nowdays- from scratch. They learned to can.
We always did that in the fall first andatown like and it must have been the same when my sis ter taught here- the problem of getting something to work with was very difficult because the stores didn't carry any fresh produce, you know, and getting something to can with was problem. Was canning by that time being done by the rural woman? Oh, yes. Gracious, women had always canned. The methods had changed alittle over the years. My mother canned what we called open kettle. When it was cooked in akettle and then poured into ahot jar with a knife stuck in the jar so you didn't break the jar and then sealed; and hopefully it kept. And that was fair- the jar was boiled firstit was fair sterilization. But in my teaching day then, we had pro gressed to the waterbath canning. And we just did fruits. We never taught them to can- I never taught them to can- - high school girls use the pressure cooker. Although the pressure cooker for vegetables was already the accepted way.
SS: The knife stopped the jar from breaking?
MLL: Well, that was the theory. I guess it does do- what does it do? Idon't know exactly what it does. Two-quart jars, you would put a silver table knit in there, and something about the metal-
SS: Yes, I had heard it before.
MLL: That was an old accepted— But we taught waterbath canning. That iswhere you filled your jars and put on the lids and thftft boiled them. Brought the water to a boil and boiled them a certain length of time.
SS: It seemed to me that canning at some point got real popular. I don'tknow when that was.
MLL: Well, canning goes way back, but it used to be more preserving becausedidn't know about sterilization. They used, oh, like some of these brownstone jars I have out here, were canning jars, and they were sealed with wax. In order to keep them it had to be pretty sweet, it be more like, a preserve. Or, they used lots of dried fruit in those days, too, way back then.
MARVIN L: Canning never got real popular til these jars come in.
MLL: Well, but some of those jars were introduced in 18— what's that onethat has the date on it? 188- something. '89. we have out here, right in the glass.
MARVIN L: Your selfsealing-
MLL: Oh, well, there were lots of kinds of jars, of course, patented afterwards. And now we use the selfsealing lid. But those others kept, too.
SS: Were they selfsealing at all then?
MLL: Yes. There was one called Economy jar? that had a clamp. That's beendiscarded since.
SS: Was that the common one at that time?
MLL: That was one of them. That was a wide mouthed jar, that was verypopular. And then there was the Schram jar, at the time I was teach ing, it had a selfsealing lid. And that one didn't last too long. And then the Kerr people came out with this two-piece lid, which is the one we still use. But the Mason jar that had the rubber and the zinc lids were the old-time and of course they can still be used.
SS: Well, you mentioned the way that their mothers did- now I know thissounds kind of naive, but, I was thinking the way things were passed on in the early days- the earlier days- I would imagine the oldest kids would have grown up learning how to do- how to cook and how to sew just seeing their mothers do it. Isn't that true?
MLL: Yes, that was true. But it improved over the years because companieswould come out with something new and they would have instructionsfor instance, there was a steam cooker that was very popular over a certain period that you put on top of the stove and there was water in the base and it created steam. Conservo Cookers, they were called. Then later they were abandoned as not being a safe way to can things, but the waterbath was safer. But the company would come out with in structions and so then there was a new canning methody you was introduced by the company that sold this contraption. And that's one way.
Like cooking, too. Didn't the kids come in knowing how to cook pretty well?
MLL: A lot of them didn't know very much about it. No. They had helpedtheir mothers but they didn't know basic cooking very much. And we taught them a little bit of the chemistry side- you know very elemen tary, but understanding of baking powders and why jelly would jell and things like that, that maybe their mothers didn't understand either They just did it.
MARVIN L: Want to be careful how you talk now-
SS: What about the balance
MLL: Yes, we did that, too, We studied— there were vitamins alreadywhen I started teaching. Not as many as we have new and not as great an understanding of them, but we knew the diseases that resulted from a lack of Vitamin C and Vitamin B and Vitamin A- those were t he three. And a little about Vitamin D. And we knew there was a Vitamin E, but there wasn't very much known about it yet, at the time I started tea ching. And now the B has been split up a lot and it's all different. It's quite a lot different now, nutrition is, but we knew- they had to learn that the protons and carbohydrates and fats made up the diet plus the citamins. Yes, that was all part of our study in 1924, when I started teaching.
SS: Did you feel then, or were you taught on that, that the old ways wereusually the best, or was it taught that there was a whole kind of new— a lot of new ways that were progressive, that should be done instead of the old ways?
MLL: Well, a lot of- there were a lot of false ideas about foods- puttingfoods together and all in our college training. One of our teachers was real good, and so it was real good and made it interesting. All these things - and we grew up that way, too. My mother wouldn't let us eat cucumbers unless they were soaked in salt water, and you couldn't have cherries and milk together. Well, those things were all proven false, you see, they were old- theories- not theories, but old ideas that people believed in. And there were a lot of those things. We tried to teach, too, that those things had been accepted, but they had been proven false. Now, in a small school like either where my sister taught here or when I taught at Culdesac, you didn't teach just home economics. That was before any consolidation. It was,a small school, there were just four teachers in high school. And so we had to teach all kinds of things. And most of them we weren't very well pre pared to teach.
SS: Like, what else did you teach?
MLL: Well, I hate to tell you this, but I had to teach Latin. Had to haveLatin in school then in those days, and all I had had was high school Latin. So it was pretty rough, because I wasn't a good Latin student, you know, just a couple of years in high school, you don't get too much and I hadn't had any since then. But, that was one of the things that was required in high school in order to go on to college. And a lot of these kids hoped to go on to school and they wanted Latin. You know it was a requirement, I think, if I remember. I had a big class. First year Latin wasn't so bad, but trying to teach Caesar was really something. Are inexperienced teacher like I was. But those are the kind of problems. I taught history; I taught one course in history, Now, I hadn't had any college history and very little high school his tory. And what else did I teach? I had girls' basketball and by then the girls had- were playing other teams in Idaho. We would go on trips. That was great fun. But I wasn't trained in physical education at all, just what I knew from my high school days, and then, of course, we had it in college, too, but that wasn't my major. And then I had— I taught glee club. And I had belonged to the women's glee club in college and I had taken some voice and had always sung in the church choir, and so that wasn't too hard to do in a small school like that. What they expected of you wasn't very difficult. Let's see, I taught something else, too- I can't think now what it was.
SS: It sounds to me like taken together, having to do all these differentactivities- some of it you really weren't prepared for-must have made it a very demanding-
MLL: Oh, yes, terrible. But you didn't know it at the time that that wasterrible! (Chuckles) You just expected to do it. All the teachers were doing the same thing, and there was no one that was teaching just what they were trained in, I don't think. Possibly the English teacher had- she didn't have to teach anything else, the rest of us did.
SS: Did you feel sometimes that you were doing- that you were really notdoing the job that you should have done?
MLL: I was always terrified of this Latin. But I'll tell you somethingyounever know- you don't know what you're accomplishing when you work with young people that age. And it comes back to you fifty years later. I was to a reunion at Culdesac, a fifty year class reunion, and one of the boys I had had in Latin had gone on to college and had been teaching at Dayton. He was an English teacher and I said,- asked him how he liked teaching. He was a real nice boy and I'd been very fond of him and he said he liked it, it was just great. And I said, "What do you teach?" And he said he was an English teacher. But he said, "I wouldn't have been able to teach English if I hadn't had that Latin class " you." Fifty years later he told me that. And all these years I had worried. Do you see what happens? You don't know. Ap parently I gave him something. Something that he needed to go on and understand- don't know whether he ever took any Latin in college. I didn't ask him that. But he was a bright boy and apparently he got something, even though I wasn't a good teacher. You don't know what influence you have on children. That's one of the great things about teaching. One of the greatest things about teaching. If you live long enough to see some of these students later. I got my first Christmas card today and we had attended a golden wedding this summer in the park of one of my students at Culdesac in the first year of teaching, and she said in this card, "I'll never forget what you taught me in sewing." And she said, "I wish my granddaughter could have a teacher like you." See, that makes it all worthwhile, even though you think you haven't accomplished a thing at the time, but you did. You influence them. I taught her remodeling and she needed that as her children grew up, she told me.
MLL: Oh, that's make-overs, we called it. Making over clothing, to the ex-tent that all families did that in those days.^ So when she had a fa mily, she needed that because their income was low and she had learned that in my class, she says. That was one of the things that I knew how to do.
SS: When you were teaching those kids, did you have any ideas in mind abouthow- what you were trying to accomplish? Whether or not you knew if they were learning and that sort of thing? Could you tell whether the kids were really learning what you wanted them to?
MLL: Oh, I think so. I don't know. We didn't evaluate things quite likethey do nowdays. But, yes, I think I knew. And you could tell in work where they clothing and in the foods work, you could tell the results, if they had learned it or it had turned out bad,^you could tell that, of course. But these testimonials fifty years later, that's convincing- that you really did something after all, when you thought well, maybe, did I help them? You're never sure.
SS: Were they in groups as much as they seem to be now? You know, it seemslike nowdays that they're really get together more than they are indi viduals, when they are at that age. At least that's how it strikes me. I just wondered.
MLL: Well, in a little town they're all together; little town like that, thekids are real- they do everything together in school and out? you know. They have particular chums, but there would be two boys that would be pals, but then they did everything together. It was afun group. Oh, I thought it was great fun. I enjoyed it immensely; I was young, I was only twenty. (Laughter) Iwasn't much older, 1had one girl older than Iwas, in fact. Iwasn't much older than some of the kids.
SS: Would you have one grade at a time? Would your class be one grade, orwould they be two or three?
MLL: Well, now like in Latin, the first year Latin was freshmen, but inhome economics, it seems to me it was more mixed. I don't think it necessarily was just freshmen that would take the beginning work. It seems to me- I'm not real sure, I can't remember for sure about that. Was there more than one class in home economics that you taught? No, Ijust had one. It was just asmall school. And one year Ihad some boys that wanted to take it, I think Ihad four boys. And they were real good. They had to wear white aprons, too! (Chuckles)
SS: That's interesting.
MLL: They wore sort of butcher- type white aprons. Of course, boys are takingit a lot nowdays.
SS: Do you think it courage in those days for boys to take it?
MLL: I don't exactly remember why they took it, but they wanted to and theclass wasn't filled up. It was such a small school that there weren't always enough girls to make afull class, and so we let the boys take it And they were real good at it. And of course, that doesn't hurt boys any to learn to- they didn't do much sewing, but they did the cooking part. Ican't remember much about the sewing part that I taught them. I taught them some things about pressing clothes and darning and things that boys would need to know, but clothing construction, I don t believe they did much of that.
SS: Were you shocked when you first got there and saw that you didn't haveany equipment to work with?
MLL: No, I don't remember that I was. I don't know whether I'd been prepared-I can't remember that I was prepared for that exactly. But I'd never seen a department where there wasn't anything. And I was always adven turesome and I was willing to try. I taught there three years and then I went to Omak and that was a much bigger school and they had had an economics teacher but they didn't have much of a department either, and they had me put in a good department. That was one of the things I did while I was there. We started a real good-
SS: They gave—
MLL: Yes, equipped, well equipped. In this first instance t he school boardhad to be convinced first, you see,it was important to put up any money for anything. And I had to convince them that the electric sewing ma chine was needed.
SS: Did you have to go to the board yourself?
MLL: Well, no. But then in a little town you soon got acquainted with them.The depot agent was one of them, and we all got acquainted real quick! And they knew the teachers, they saw to that that they got to know the teachers. You know, through the church and through the outside acti vities .
SS: You said when I was here before that the teacher in the community wasvery important.
MLL: They expected you to stay there and work! I di .rected the choir inthe church, extra. I'd always sung in church choirs, and that was fun, too. And we had a quartet. The druggist was the tenor, the banker was the bass and the superintendent's wife was a good soprano, and I sang alto. And we had a honey a quartet and it was great fun.
SS: Where would you sing?
MLL: Oh, church. At the church. And sometimes other people would be inthe choir, too. but when you had a basic choir like a quartet, you know, that we could all sing, it made it real interesting and nice. The men loved it; this banker and druggist, they always came to prac tise.
SS: Were there other activities that you were expected to take part in?
MLL: Well, there was PTA, and that was a bitter headache in those days.
SS: I didn't even know they had it.
MLL: Oh, yes, there was PTA and the teachers hated it, but it didn't amountto very much as far as was concerned. It was more just a social evening and teachers were bored to death. There was never any issues or discussions of any account. It was mostly the parents- it was a chance to meet the parents if they came. But we certainly didn't like it we had to go.
SS: There were parties and that sort of thing- were you expected to go tothem?
MLL: Well, there wasn't anything that you were expected to go to exceptthe high school parties. And they had public dances and they didn't object to you going to those if you wanted to, but that wasn't- that was your own business. If you wanted to join a lodge; there were 1 odges. There was Rebecca Lodge. And we thought it was a good policy. We joined; we didn't know anything about it, we were too young to be good lodge members, but a couple of us did join it. And the Ku Klux Klan was quite strong and they sent us invitations. We were scared not to, and we were scared to-
SS: To what? To go?
MLL: To join. Ku Klux Klan was real strong at that time around. But itwas a two-sided proposition, you know. There were some people against it and some for it, and we were afraid we'd lose our jobs if we didn't, but we didn't. We never joined. But we got these invitations through the mail, and we didn't know what to do. We didn't know- you don't know who belongs 'We didn't know who to talk to about it and it was real tricky, but we ended up not joining; this other teacher and I that got invitations. Course now, Iwould know better how to deal with athing like that, but then we just wanted our jobs awful bad, and we were just going to or else.
But nothing ever happened? Nothing was ever said?
No. No. No, they never followed up and forced us to join or anything.One person that I spoke to, that has really looked at it more in the way that you were saying that you had to try to do what you had to do to keep your job and to please them, and she made sound like it was really rather difficult sometimes to do that. To keep them satisfied. Inever had any trouble. Iliked all these people and Iliked all the kids and we had fun. And Iwas too far from home- Ilived at Pullmanbut it was too far in those days to go home except just for cations- Christmas vacation; Thanksgiving. So there was no problem with me staying there weekends, and it was fun to have things to , kids would take us on picnics and things, you know. Ihad areal good time. You didn't feel like your conduct was subject to too much inspection? but there was no problem because I didn't We knew very well it was, the things that they said you couldn't do. Ididn't smoke; not many girls did smoke yet, but there were some and they.would have been out if the school board knew they smoked. That wasn't allowed. But that was no problem with me because Ididn't. And they didn't object to us going to the public dances. Iboarded at aplace where there was quite agang and we'd all go together. And they didn't object to that. I did work in the church, which made me acceptable! (Chuckles) And they liked it because I was used to tioing that. But they did- there were things they would have censored you for.
SS: How would the situation compare say, to the school at Quincy or atPullman in-
MLL: In that same time, you mean?
MML: Well, it compared-
SS: I mean when you were going to school.
MLL: Well, at Quincy, I think they didn't have home economics, but schoolsabout the same size- no, the Quincy school was smaller. The graduating if class at Culdesac were bigger than my sisters and brothers had gone through, but I was in a lower grade at that time. But the Pullman school was so much bigger that there was no comparison, really to ac tivities. The Culdesac had a strong athletic program, they'd hadbasketball was ajbig, they didn't play football, but basketball was big. And supported by the town and it had winning teams in the past, and it was the important thing, as it still is in many schools. And they had other activities; plays. Teachers had to take turns coaching plays. And I never coached a play. The faculty put on a play once and we all took part in it. But I never coached a play because I had this music part. Let's see, did I have that just one year or two years? They had mus|i£ teachers for the band and instruments, but it seems to me that I had the glee club two years. And then we would put on skits between acts of the plays, so that was my contribution, and I didn't actually coach a play, but some of the teachers had to do that. And programs for PTA, you had to help with those.
SS: They didn't have the, oh, kind of just get-togethers at school anymorethere; this was more of a—
MLL: You mean parents and all?
SS: Where the kids and everybody came?
MLL: No. No. I don't think so. They had school parties; I don't think theyever had school dances. I don't believe they danced but they had school parties where you played games and things sometimes.
SS: By the way, when you mentioned the Klan; do you remember any of themdoing anything around there? Burning crosses and that sort of thing?
MLL: Yes, they burned crosses. Yeah, all through this country, they didthat up here, too, But I don't know of any bad things they did, like we hear of in the South in the early days.
SS: I have heard of people around here that I mentioned the Klan and someof them mentioned that they were more anticatholic sometimes in some places.
MLL: Well, there wasn't any problem there. The town wasn't on the reservation but the area around is the Indian Reservation, you know, but I don't think that was an issue with the Klan either. I don't think In dians were. That wasn't an issue down there. There weren't any Catho lics there. There were Catholics at Lapwai, but not at Culdesac. There were no Catholics or no church at Culdesac.
SS: Well, from there: when did you first become home demonstration
MLL: I think I was getting $135 at Culdesac, at the end, I think I got araise. I think I started out at $l25 a month, that was for nine months. And I think I was getting $135 and I went to Omak at about $145, as I remember, it wasn't a big raise, but it was and it was a big ger school. And it was all working with girls; which is really what I was best trained to do. I was girls advisor and then economics classes and also taught girls' chemistry. And of course, I had had chemistry.
SS: Did you board at Culdesac?
MLL: Yes. Teachers boarded, there were no apartments in those days.
SS: How about Omak?
MML: And the same at Omak; I boarded. I don't remember any teacher thathad an apartment.
MARVIN L: What did you pay? About forty dollars a month?
MLL: Well, I paid thirty-five at Culdesac, I think. I can't remember atOmak. was about the same, maybe forty a month.
SS: Did that include your breakfast and supper, too? As a part of that?
MLL: Three meals.
SS: Three meals a day?
MLL: Uh-huh. We lived close enough to the school. And your room.
SS: Was that pleasant? Boarding with a family?
MLL: Oh, yes, I lived with good families. Yes. I lived with a dentist'sfamily in Omak, and it was very pleasant. There were two other teachers stayed there too. And we had washing privileges, you know. Do oor laundry and pressing.Sudn ftS-4hd we were just like members of the family, if we wanted to be. But the Omak school was much larger and progres sive. Very progressive would say. They had a class for the boys that was a combination of shop and agriculture, and then there was home eco nomics for the girls and they had a girls' league, that I was the spon sor of. And the superintendent was real interested in advancing that work in the school. It wasn't vocational, home economics yet, at that time, although we were qualified to teach vocational. We were trained you see at Pullman so that we could teach vocational home economics, but they didn't get federal help like we do now, or,, later. It wasn't strictly vocational work; it was coming toward that. And with our trai ning, teacher training and all, we were trained to teach vocational, if we got into a school where they had it.
SS: You say Girls' League; what was that?
MLL: Well, it was all the girls in high school, and it was to teach- it wasan extracurricular group. And they had meetings, where they learned to conduct- They had a business organization, you see, with officers and they learned to do that. was part of my job to see that they learned how to conduct meetings. I don't know if schools still have it that way, I doubt if they do. But they also had a Student Body or ganization, but usually it was boys that were the president and vice-president and learned that part. The girls didn't learn that, but they learned that in the Girls' League. And then they had dress codes- you asked about that- and they did there. They had worked up what was ac ceptable dress codes. And I don't remember now what some of the prob lems were, but there were things that parents approved of that they wanted in that and the girls worked- we worked that out with the girls. And they accepted it, you know. Wasn't a uniform or anything. It was just accepted ways of dressing. I taught there three years and then/this superintendent had gone into the State Board. He was a real fine man and he'd gone into the State office. And so we had a good- the principal had moved up and he was good, too. But I decided that was long enough for me there. And so this first superin tendent I applied for a job at Highline High School on the coast, And I went over and interviewed them and they gave me a contract, but it included cafeteria work and I had no special training and I was a lit tle afraid of the cafeteria. Highline was quite a big school, it's between Tacoma and Seattle. It's real big now I imagine, but at that time it much bigger than I was working in.
SS: What did cafeteria work
I would have to manage the cafeteria, and I had never had any experiencein that. We used to have a little school lunch at Culdesac where we made a kettle of soup and the youngsters washed the dishes and we ser ved them a bowl of soup or a cup of cocoa at noon with their sandwiches that they brought, you know. But that was easy. But managing a real cafeteria wasn't in my- exactly in my line and I was a little afraid of it, and I was hesitating over this contract before I signed it. It was a good job; real good job. And would have been quite a bit of teaching plus the cafeteria. And one day someone knocked on my class room door and it was the assistant director of extension at Pullman, and he called me out into the hall. He stood in the hall and he offered me a job in Wenatchee. Well, he couldn't offer me the job. I had to go down and interview the county agent first, but he wanted me to do that add then if the county agent liked me-My they wanted me to take this job. It was a brand new job, and that's how I got into extension work. Just like that! So, I went down on the bus- you could go down in the morning and come back on Saturday, you know. I went down and interviewed this county agent; they'd never had a home demonstration agent in Chelan County; it was in 1930, right in the start of the Dep ression. And he'd already organized a homemaker's council among the farm women and they were real anxious to get an agent, so I had this appointment with him on Saturday and I went to his office and he explained the shortcomings of the office; we'd have to share this room, which wasn't as big as this room, I don't think, and he also told me that he smoked cigars- Would I object to that?. And I said, "Hea vens no, I liked the smell of cigars." And he was quite relieved, be cause I think he felt that that had to be understood because I had to sit at a desk here and he sat at one here and we were practically backto- back, and he was not about to give up his cigars in the office. And that was one of the requirements. (Laughter)
But, anyway, the interview went like that, so then, I took the job and I liked him. And I knew nothing about it; nothing about the work. There was no state leader at that time to help me; a woman state leader, they were in be tween leaders and there was no one, and this county agent knew more about it than I did and he helped me get started. He had already or ganized the women. And so I worked through this Homemakers' Council. And Chelan County is a little different from any farm area in that it was strictly almost all orchards and no diversification at all. Rural people like on a wheat ranch usually have chickens and a cow and some pigs and sheep and could be somewhat selfsufficient, but the orchardists couldn't because all they raised was apples or fruits- different fruits. Most of them didn't even raise a garden.
SS: But they could have raised a garden-
MLL: They could have, but they didn't because apples had been so profitableand they put all their time and effort into that. And then they hadat that time the orchards were at bearing stage and they had all that investment, and then this depression hit and there was no market and they were in a tough spot. Because you see, an orchard wasn't even like wheat land would be where you could let it lie fallow. It had to be sprayed and pruned and fertilized to maintain it. And it was an ex pensive business if you weren't getting a crop. So they were in a real bad fix.
SS: Did they have any available land if they wanted to say, keep a pig orsomething like that?
MLL: Oh, they could- sure, they could have found a place for small diversification, but most of them were- oh, a lot of 'em were college people, you know that went over there and these orchards. Lots of the women were- I had two home economics graduates among these ru ral wo men that were on this council. But that had been- when they started it was a profitable farming venture and it was just the Depression and no market for their fruit was what was fouling the whole thing up. And you see that was just before Franklin Roosevelt came in with his big program that did save them then, of course. But it was real rough for a year or two. I went there in the spring of '30, in June of '30 and he wasn't-
SS: '33, was when he came in; it was March of '33.
MLL: So it was at the end of my Working period is when those programs -But we had some before that. We had WPA.
SS: I think the WPA came in just when Roosevelt did. I think Hoover didn'tdo anything.
MLL: Wasn't it '32 instead of '33? Well, anyway, it was June of '30 thatI went there. Really, if you want to know all about this work that I did-
SS: Yes, I do.
MLL: There was this work trying to do something for these people that hadthese orchards that were well educated, but were stuck with all this expense, you see, of maintaining these orchards, and,the women had no money to spend and so we set up nutrition programs and tried to teach them things that they could do to help. And gardens were important, but the county agent had charge of gardens, so we tried to get them to raise gardens, and they did, they put in gardens. And that helped their food budget. And a few of them tried cows, milk cow, you know, and then the Red Cross, there was Red Cross flour and a lot of those people that I've just described were dependent on getting free Ree Cross flour. And then we'd have baking programs. Of course, most of them knew how to cook, so that part wasn't important with them. But we had a big canning program.
They'd even got out of the habit of that because they'd made enoughmoney- and we had a big canning program and we worked with drying and went back to some of the pioneer customs. We made soap; taught them to make soap from their waste fats. And a lot of remodeling work in clothing; we did a lot on mending and remodeling and making over. Wor king in homefurnishings because their homes had gotten rundown. Some of them had nice homes but then without maintenance, they were rundown. We worked on rugs and hooked and braided rugs made from rags, you know. And studied, along with the making, the technique of making the wo men knew how and I learned. I didn't know much about that at the time. We did refinishing of old furniture and caned chairs. The 4-H girls had all these same projects, you see, we worked through the youth into some of the families, and then we worked with the women, too. I had one of these clubs that I worked with. But you could teach the girls that came out in the home, you see, they would take their rooms as a a project and they would try to do it without any expense, or very lit tle expense.
We made dressing tables out of orange crates, for insstance.Orange crates you could get for nothing at the grocery store, and putting orange crates, they would have a shelf in them, with a board between, make a little desk or a little dressing table, and then they would cover that with a flounce or sametimes they painted them and made little desks and that sort of thing that they could do that made attractive rooms. And then 4-H work was quite highly organ ized by then, and they had contests where they put on demonstrations at the fairs, and our little local fair just in the county. And the would work up a demonstration how to make a dressing table out of orange crates, see, and that was a way of teaching. Demonstrations were used for teaching
SS: Were you directing the 4-H work?
MLL: I was directing - just the county agent and I did the whole thing. Hedid the gardens and the livestock and certified potatoes with the boys and that sort of thing and I did the girls' work, The girls in gar dening were under him, but they had homefurnishing projects; room im- provement, we called it,for the girls. And canning projects. The girl would choose what project she wanted for that year. And they had cooking projects and they had sewing projects. And in the sewing projects, again, we tried to teach the girls to make over, and they learned simple stitches to start with. They hemmed a dishtowel, for instance. We 11, the dishtowel was a flour sack or sugar sack, and they learned their hemming on that and then they made simple articles. The young ones did, you know. Potholders and then they advanced to clothing, and they had style shows finally. And the advanced girls would make ela borate costumes, and then they would exhibit these at the fairs. Well, one girl one year- a sugar sack was different from a flour sac k- it was a larger piece of fabric; this was a hundred-pound sugar sack that people bought in those days, and it was a finer fabric and more open weave in a way, but it was a finer fabric, and this girl took these sugar sacks and bleached them and starched them a bit, and made a cos tume, a complete costume out of sugar sacks that she exhibited at the fair and it was a winning exhibit and it was loaned to the state clo thing specialist who took it all around the state and showed it as an example of what a girl had done with nothing. Something that didn't cost her anything. It looked like a white linen costume when she had it finished. And she made the slip and the panties and the bra, the whole thing out of these same material. That was just one example that they all did- they all had to make garments and there were certain re gulations about how they would be made.
SS: Were all the people that you worked with quite motivated by the difficult times to cut any corner they possibly could?
SS: The girls and the women?
MLL: Yes. They were from the rural families that lived - mostly. But inthe county there was sections that were- where they were more- where they had less. .The farms were not as productive. And those families then didn't have as much to work with as the others did. And there were two sections; south of Wenatchee the soil wasn't as good so it didn't produce the same, and so there was a little different problem there. But most of those families already were more diversified and that helped, too. But then in Wenatchee- I worked in the whole count you see we were paid- extension work was cooperative- it was federal- Department of Agriculture and the college and the county. It was a three way contribution our salaries. We worked for all three, and so we had to work with all people in the county if they wanted us to. And in Wenatchee at that time, there were three classes of people; the ones I've been talking about were the ones who owned orchards, and then in the city of Wenatchee, which was a big town at that time, a big town there were people that was the laboring class were down and out because there was no employment.
And so we tried to work with- thecounty had to put up money for them. The county commissioners had to put up money for them to buy groceries with, so they were anxious for us to help them, so that that would reduce their load there. And s o we set up gardens on vacant lots in Wenatchee. That was the county agent's job, he did that, and then I worked with the women on the nu tritional problems; tried to, using this free Red Cross flour that we gave out through our office and tried to teach them to- Well, the fact No. I'm talking about these people that owned these orchard snow. they were in those circumstances meant that they were not too ambitious to start with, you see and a lot of them didn't know how to bake bread. Some of them didn't, and so we had a program on baking bread. And some of them could get wheat, and they used quite a bit of wheat and would grind it or would cook it and make casseroles and all. Unground wheat if it's cooked long enough becomes very palatable. And sometimes they could get that cheaper than they could things they bought at the store. And so we worked with that. We did some canning, but they didn't have equipment. At that time we weren't canning vegetables in waterbath, and it was vegetables that were the problem and we tried some drying. The climate was very favorable to drying, because Wenatchee is hothas a long, hot summer. And we did drying of fruits and also some vegtables. Green beans can be dried, but I never thought it was worthwhile. We had directions for it, but they never taste very good after they are dried, but corn of course, is excellent. And most of the fruits. And some of them made dryers that they used on their stoves or dried in the oven, and most of them did some drying. They did some of that. And then we did some work on clothing; remodeling, that would help them in making over things to be in circumstances a little better. I didn't do much homefurnishing work for these people; their homes were very bleak, but they didn't have- Well, a lot of them probably came there to work in the fruit and then you see when there was no market there wasn't that work in the warehouses and in the orchards that there had been, so they were out of work.
SS: How did you organize that? Did you give classes, or what?
MLL: Well, we tried to do it through neighborhood groups. We never had clubs.They weren't the kind of women that belonged to clubs of any kind. These other women had organizations-^ worked through the organizations they already had quite often. Like Ladies' Aides or Grange groups or different kinds of clubs that they'd already organized, that they'd always had. And they would invite me to work with them, and once a month I would have a program with them. But this other group in town didn't have that kind of social organization and so we would have a list of people that the county was providing groceries to and we would work through that and get them together in neighborhood groups on a small scale. I wouldn't say it was too successful, but then, as I told you about these high school students, you don't know what was accom plished, you don't really know, and hopefully we helped some of them.
SS: Were these people, many of them, do you think were really the migrantlabor force?
MLL: Well, some of them probably were, but then there was a third group Ihaven't told you about yet that was worse yet. And there was a place down along the Columbia River, just at the edge of town, across the tracks that was called'jungles'. And most towns had jungles in those days. They were mostly the tramps that rode the boxcars in there, but in Wenatchee a lot of these migrant workers had been caught without anything and they were living down there in any kind of a little shack. They couldn't get away, they didn't have any money to leave . with so they were caught there for the winter. And they hadn't earned enough to support themselves, and they were just existing down there as best they could. There were also tramps. And it wasn't a very pleasant area to try to do anything in. A lot of those little, shacks were built out of cardboard and corrugated metal for a roof and just mak eshift accommodations. The furnishings were very meager, but the county com missioners wanted me to go down there and see what I could do because they couldn't let these people starve, but the chief of police in Wena tehee wouldn't let me go alone, even in that day. I wouldn't have been afraid; I didn't know enough to be afraid, but he said, "No, I'll go with you." And he always went with me. So that was something.
SS: What did you do down there?
MLL: Well, I tried to teach them- for instance they could have this freeflour, but they had such meager equipment. We tried to teach them to bake bread, and some of them had stoves, you know, old stoves were thrown out in those days and they could pick up an old st ove and some of them had ovens and we did some work on bread baking with this free flour and taught them to make their own yeast. You know, you can get yeast started and then you can keep a starter going and so you save the expense of yeast. That was one thing I taught them, but I don't know how many of them— you couldn't get results from that work very much, so I don't know how many of them ever used it. But that was some thing you did. We taught them- they didn't have equipment to do much canning, but we taught them what we could and drying. They could dry things. And there were plenty of apples available because apples were being dumped, you know, there was no market, so that they could have all the apples. In fact, the orchardists would bring apples to needy people like that, because they just dumped them out in a pile and that didn't help the contamination of the orchards any; the apples dumped, you know, because the codling moth then would flourish. But we worked with this group down there in the jungles. Very discouraging.
MLL: Families, yes, families, yes.
SS: What kind of condition were the kids in?
MLL: Well,not very good nutritionally, of course, because they weren't getting a well balanced diet. The county was giving them a little order I don't remember what it was they gave them, so that they existed, but it wasn't a very well balanced diet. But if they could help themselves a little, do some cooking, you know, that helped.
SS: Did those people seem defeated? Just defeated or desperate?
MLL: Well, they were desperate. Living down there that was- and of course,I don^t know what happened to them. I suppose as times got betterwell, those programs came in they got work; WPA and those work pro grams, you know, and that saved 'em. But there was a period in there when it was pretty bleak.
SS: Were they there during the whole time you were there? Did they staythrough '31?
MLL: Yeah, I didn't work with them- I don't think I worked with them butone year. That first year I didn't work with them, I didn't get star ted that well, but it must have been in '31 and '32. I left there and went into the state office in '34, '35. It was after Roosevelt had all these pltegrams going, because our county agent was real involved with AAA and all this stuff.
SS: Were those people often arrested in Wenatchee at that time?
MLL: You mean these that lived down in the jungle?
MLL: I don't know. I don't remember about them. You mean stealing and allthat? No, I don't remember that. I don't think so.
MARVIN L: They just chased 'em out from one place to another.
MLL: These people were allowed to stay there, there was no place for themto go.
SS: At that time?
MLL: Uh-huh. They did some places, and later they did clean out all thosejungles, and I imagine they cleaned that one out too. When there was work available, but at that time there was just nothing anywhere.
SS: Were these mostly just- really cardboard? They really built housesout of cardboard?
MLL: Yes. Say Kellogg Cornflakes, or it would say whatever the box- thebig carton was that they used to create the- had to have a wood frame of some kind to nail them to, but they would- some of them were just hovels, really. But some of them were shacks; wooden shacks. I ex pect that had been there a long time, that jungle but the itinerantan industry like that attracted itinerant people, you see.
SS: It would have more permance than say the jungle they had here in Kendrick.
MLL: Well, here there were no buildings. Here it was just a place wherethey had a pot over the fire^by the railroad tracks when they stayed between trains or something.
SS: Do you think they were sharing their food with each other?
MLL: Well, I expect some of them did, and probably some of them fought, Idon't know, normal. But I didn't know anything about that part of it. I didn't know about that. I just know that I was assigned this job to go down there- and it was a hopeless assignment to begin with; but we tried.
SS: What about these working people, the middle group you talked about whowere not doing well. What was their attitude about what was going on that you could tell.
MLL: Oh, you mean the ones that lived in homes up here in town?
MLL: They were discouraged. They were discouraged.
MARVIN L: They got food orders,
MLL: Yes, they got small food orders, but they were real discouraged, because most of them wanted to work and couldn't get work, you know. And that's the difference between the ones that wanted to work and the ones that-
MARVIN L: Fooi orders.
MLL: And they had homes. I don't know how they hung onto those little houses. They didn't live in the good houses of the town. And then there were a lot of people that had good jobs. We had good jobs. We were getting our salary all the time. And the business people of Wenatchee were making it alright. They had good stores and all, but of course the economy did depend on the orchards.
MARVIN L: The worst of it were the transients.
SS: The transient what?
MARVIN L: Transients.
MLL: So many came in- well they were migrant workers, they came in to workin the fruit. They were trained to sort- you know the whole valley- I worked in the whole county, Chelan and Entiat and Leavenworth., All those towns had big warehouses, see it was all orchard country. And then I worked with a few groups out on the fringe, up toward Lake Wena tchee there was a group of women that I worked with in the winter whose husbands worked in the woods or worked on the highway and they weren't orchardists. And they didn't have time in the summer for meetings and I would go up there in the winter. And the snow was deep in that coun try above Leavenworth up around Lake Wenatchee. And I had a group up there and I'd go up there in February usually. And now, I'm a pansy about driving, but I had a car; we never put on chains unless we got stuck; we never had winter tires and the snowbanks were way up higher than the car along both sides of the roads. They'd just plow out the road and I would drive up there and in parking, it was a bit hazardous but then the men were always home because they didn't work at that time at whatever their work was, it was some kind of logging, and so then when I couldn't get out, when I couldn't back my car out they'd come and push me out. I can remember that happening many times. I didn't even haye to put on chains to get out of that snowbank, and then I could drive back to Wenatchee without any chains. (Chuckles) Oh, now, I'd be scared to death.
SS: Were there people who were down and out like these shack people inother places besides Wenatchee?
MLL: I never worked with any. I don't . there were. I think they werekind of concentrated down there.
MARVIN L: Wherever there were transient workers.
MLL: The county did furnish.
SS: Were they very receptive to what you were trying to do? Or not?
MLL: Well, I don't know. I really don't know. I never could tell. Theywere friendly. And they knew I worked for the county and they knew the county was feeding them and so they did cooperate. And I don't know- you know it's hard to know why they did or if they really used much of it. But the county commissioners wanted us to do this and these people were getting the county orders and they knew they'd bet ter- it was partly that kind of an attitude, I think. But the n most of them were interested in trying to better themselves if they could. I never got too well acquainted with them because I didn't work with them the same as I did the other rural people. My work was mainly with the rural people; strictly rural people that lived on orchards tractsfarms
SS: These people: you say there was a council that was set up before yougot there.
MLL: They invited somebody from each community. They invited women,theleading- he knew them, he'd been there quite a while, the county agent had, and he invited these leading women. He picked them out and invi ted them to a meeting and then they set up their council and elected officers and that was all done before I got there. And the woman who was president, she was a home economics graduate. Some mideast college I've forgotten now- But their home- they had a very attractive house but was in badly need of money to repair and refurnish and they were raising a family and so forth, so they were in bad circumstances, but she was a good leader. When I went back- they had a thirty year cele bration and invited me back, and this same woman was planning a trip to Europe. Those that could hang onto their orchards snapped out of it and became well-off. And she was still working at it, thirty years later. Prosperity had come to the fruit business.
SS: At that time were most of them struggling to hang onto their orchards?
MLL: Well, yes, because of the expense. Some of them pulled out theirtrees because they couldn't leave them and let the disease take overfruit diseases, codling moth and all, they couldn't do that. And if they raised apples they had to be picked and disposed of, and so th ere was a lot of expense and they had to be pruned and they had to be fer tilized and they had to be sprayed. And the spraying was a big, ex pensive program. And some of them did pull out their orchards. But on the main, they came through. There were government loans that came in pretty fast that helped them and all these different programs.
SS: What was their attitude towards your work? Were they very positive?These local rural women?
MLL: Oh, yes. They were real interested in it and they made good contributions,too. We used them in the program. A woman knew how to do something we would let her teach the others, you know. That's the way extension work functions.
SS: Are you talking now about the council women or just the women everyplace you went, like the Ladies' Aid?
MLL: In the clubs, well, it was the council women - but I went out and metwith these clubs and then there would be other women that would know how to do something real well that would assist with the teaching of that theme. There were a lot of things that I wasn't skillful at that I needed their help. We had a big rug show, and I knew nothing about rugs, but I learned, I got in and studied and did learn some. But some of them knew how to make hooked rugs and braided rugs and I used them as teachers in it. We had a big show and that was something nice they could make for their homes that didn't cost them anything, they could use burlap sack and rags and create something new for their home, it gave them a little boost, you know. And we had a big show. And one time we had a show and then we studied other things that they had along with out homefurnishing programs. Some of them would have things tuc ked away, old quilts or old handwoven coverlets or something. One year we had a display at one of our meetings; we had a display of handwoven coverlets.
We tried to make the program interesting to them, anybody that had one would bring it and display it, and some of them were very old and very beautiful, you know. And then we had little apron contests along with it; that was the practical part of it. And we had Na kit of patterns we passed around and that was something new they could make and an apron didn't cost much to make. And then we had a contest and we invited Prudence Penny, who was the home economics wo man for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. And Prudence Penny was her name on the paper, you know. She's probably still there, I don't know but it was different women at different times like Betty Crocker is. But Prudence Penny anyway was a real fine woman at that time and she came over and judged the apron contest and gave a talk and that was real thrilling to these woman, you know, to have someone- they all tooka lot of them took the P-I and it was a real thrill to think she would come to our little council meeting and do this for us. She judged the sprons and talked about old coverlets and we had a great day. That was one of the best days, I think. As far as I was concerned.
SS: Was the council supposed to be- do the coordinating of all the women'sactivities during that time?
MLL: Well, theoretically. Theoretically, we tried to do it that way.
SS: And so you worked with them?
MLL: I worked with them. I went out and would a demonstration to theclubs at that time. Now, it's organized differently. Here and in most places they work through local leaders, but we hadn't advanced to that stagej, We tried to and we did some. It was local leaders when I got a woman knew how to make something good and would teach the others; that was working through a local leader. But I was usually there, too, to back her up.
SS: But the council was made up of local leaders?
MLL: The council was made up of Yes, they were the womanfrom these different clubs, either a representative or a president or whoever. They would select them. And then we had an organization, we had a president and a secretary and we had meetings.
SS: What- the council did?
SS: What sorts of things did the council pass or—?Oh, they would- I would prepare a tentative program for the year and with maybe choices on it, and they would help to decide what we were going to study. That was the main function?^ And then in organizing your groups, too, they could help with that. We tried to work in all the communities, because there was a county- I was supposed to work in all and we tried to get groups in all the counties. And sometimes it would just be- I wouldn't actually be working with a club on a monthby- month basis, but I would go out speak at a Grange meeting, or I would take a 4-H group- we had to have sponsors for 4-H work, and I would take a team, a demonstration team or a group of girls that could do something to a Kiwanis Club meeting. Kiwanis Club was real suppor tive of our 4-H program. We had this kind of support for camps and fairs and everything. And the Chamber of Commerce too; and the Rotary Club; they all helped us.
SS: Was the 4-H Club under the county council, too, at that time?
MLL: Not under the council. 4-H Club was under the extension. And theyhad their own council of leaders. Each club had an adult leader, and those leaders had a council.
SS: But on the average; you say that the education on a number of thesewomen was college- was that an average?
MLL: No,not average. But there were some. But you might not think theywould be interested in that kind of. program. They were, and they were the leaders and they stayed with it; they're still the leaders.
SS: Were many of them or most of them, were they lifetime residents of thearea, or people who had started the original orchards?
MLL: I think so. I think most of them lived there a long time.
SS: Most of them had been doing pretty well in the '20's until the Depression earner these orchards established- I don't know how long they'd been there. I don't even know how long this county agent had been there, Can't remember now, but the orchards were bearing, so that takes quite a while. They had been productive and the warehouses were well established, and the industry was well established. I don't know when it started, really. I ought to know that, but I don't.
SS: Well, I think it was just after 1900, if it's like Yakima, that I knowabout.
MLL: It's similar. And then we worked with the horticultural society, tooand we worked with them and they always put on a show every year. And there was horticulturists that worked out of the Pullman office that came in and helped. They would have exhibits of apples from different parts of the country shipped in, you know, to show. Some areas they pack them in baskets and the varieties would be different from Michigan and Virginia and the different states. And then our part, they always wanted something in the way of using the apples in foods and we would have a display of dishes made from apples. And maybe a recipe book of recipes using apples. One year we did that, and gave those out at the horticulture show, and that meant a little extra activity that was good.
SS: Did you get much guidance from WSC?
MLL: Well, we didn't have state leaders, I said, until- let's see- I guesswe did the last year. I guess they got a state leader the last year I was there. And she was kind of new at the office too, so we were pret ty well set up by then, and I didn't use her too much. But we did have what they called specialists. had one in nutrition and one in clothing and one in home furnishing. They came there and they helped sometimes they would give the demonstrations themselves to the women that were special and sometimes they would just help me. But, oh, yes, I had help, but the state office was not that way. And then when we came to meat work, the men, the livestock specialist, we had butchering bee; with the five north counties. They thought that we ought to know more about cuts of meat and so we had a butchering bee at Omak and we all went up there and the nutritionist came and the livestock men from Pullman came. And each one of us, men and women were supposed to cut up a half of a hog. (Chuckles) We did!
MLL: Well, women didn't know anything about it, you see. They might knowcuts of meat as you went into a market to buy, and we'd been trained to recognize cuts of meat, but when it came to cutting up half a hog to get those, that was another story. They helped us a little with some of the sawing, but we had to do most of it. We made headcheese. A butchering bee.
MARVIN L: Did you cut up a half a hog?
MLL: That was the end of my work in Wenatchee. I went back to the officelate that night; the nutrition specialist was riding with me and we drove backhand Ihad aletter on my desk offering me ajob at Pullman. So that was the end, I decided to take it. So my knowledge of butchering the pig was wasted.
SS: What was it that they offered you to do in Pullman?
MLL: Oh, well, it was called clothing and home furnishings specialist. Iwent into the state office. But I don't think we need to go into that job. That was another job. With that I traveled all over the state and did the work with the county people, see, like been doing with me before. That was just after I learned to cut up a hog! I had the letter on my desk offering me this job.
MARVIN L: And you've never cut up one since.
MLL: No, I've never cut up once since and I don't think I could now!
SS: It sounds to me like you had a real lot of responsibility on your shoulders in that job in the extension work.
MLL: I think I told you the last time you were here that it was an impossiblejob and we did the impossible. Is +h xV the way it sounds to you?
SS: That's the way it sounds.
MLL: That's why it was great. It was great. We all loved it. And we hadthroughout the state, we knew the other people doing the same thing in the other counties and twice a year we got together. We had a 4-H club camp at Pullman in June. We all went to that with our youngsters and saw each other and in January we had just the extension workers at a conference. And we had social life there and got to know each other real well. And so there was an exchange between us that helped a great deal. Exchange of ideas. Well, when you teach you have a group of teachers, in this work you are alone. And you worked with all of these but you never got real close to these- many of these farm peopleyou didn't see them often enough. It wasn't the same. You worked with themfind you became very fond of some of them that you did get well ac quainted with, but it was different. You were sort of- you were loners. But the kids were great. We had great 4-H clubs. And I helped chaparone a group to Chicago to a 4-H Congress one year from the state. The Milwaukee Road financed that trip, so we didn't have any one- the Milwaukee didn't go through our county, so we didn't have anyone on the trip but we had a state winner that was a Montgomery Ward winner- one of my girls won that so I got to be a chaparone for that trip. And later on from the state office I went to Washington, D. C. to 4-H Club camp, too. And that was great.
SS: Did you work more than a forty hour week on your job?
MLL: Oh, heavens! There was no end.^ We never worked by hours. You mightbe- you had evening meetings, and you might be out at a meeting until five or six o'clock. Sometimes you didn't get through and then you had to driv back to the office. I don't know, you never counted hours. There was no way to limit it that way, I drove a county car but I would get in and the garage would be closed and I'd park my car out where I lived. I lived right near the courthouse. There was no coun ting of hours, You just worked. And then you judged fairs, that meant til midnight oftentimes. Setting up a fair or judging it. And you got a holiday once in a while, two weeks vacation from the county, I think. And regular Christmas days- you didn't get a week like when you taugh. you got Shristmas Day and you got Thanksgiving Day, Fourth of July. And you worked the year around. I don't know,no one ever thought about it.
SS: What was your leisure devoted to then? When you had leisure, or anyevenings when you weren't working. What did you do with your spare time?
MLL: I belonged to other;-groups. I belonged to Business and ProfessionalWomens' group in Wenatchee. And that was an interesting group of wo men to know. And I belonged to the Soroptomist Club, which was a ser vice organization. Their meetings were real interesting and I got acquainted with womer. were not the women I worked with that were near my age group. And we had a hiking group. Used to go on Sundays way up into the mountains above Leavenworth and hike. That was through the Business and Professional Women's Club that I got into that. And that was good for me. And I made friends there, because you see, I didn't have any way to make friends with women in Wenatchee unless I be longed to those things. And then I did belong to the Grange. But those were the same women I worked with; the same farm families. So that I knew them a little better through Grange than I did through that was in the evening. Went to that in the"evenings. It was just on the edge of town, the one I belonged to. But your social life was somewhat limited because you worked so many evenings and odd hours.
SS: Did you decide pretty much yourself what were the most important andmost pressing things to focus on?
MLL: I suppose so. We would ask them for things, you know, they would sugggest things, the other women did. They would ask for things they wanted. And it did seem a good choice, we would go along with it. They were interested in weaving; they got interested in weaving, hand weaving. And of course, that's a pretty expensive proposition, to get looms. I didn't know anything about weaving, and there was a woman. just out of Seattle, a Swedish woman, that you could go and learn a little about it from, and I went over and spent a weekend with her. And she had a small table loom, and some- a bought that and wove things out of rags, so there wasn't much expense to it and sold them and had a little profitable business. Now that was a very small thing we did, but we tried to- if they were interested in things, because we had had this coverlet display and they'd learned about- we had studied a little bit about hand woven things, and they got interested, you see. And then these few women wanted to do this, and this one woman, at least one, made quite a profitable business out of it. Making runners and pillows and things that she could sell.
SS: Well, did these women in general- were there times when you found thatyou were being challenged , know how? You know, what your education background and all that was? Were they saying, "We know how to do this better than-?"
MLL: Oh, no, there was never any question about that. They knew that I didn'tknow everything.. They were glad to accept anything I did know, and they knew that I knew things they didn't know and I let them contribute when they did know things. No, there wasn't that. No, I got along real well with them. I didn't pretend to know everything, because I didn't know everything.
SS: I just wondered.
MLL: It could have been that way.
SS: I would think that you could find a conflict between-
MLL: Yeah, that's right. Some people might, but I probably wouldn't havegotten the job if I'd been taht kind. I didn't know anything, I was very shy. (Chuckles)
SS: I don't know how you could have been too shy if you had to do all thatpublic work.
MLL: Well, I'd get awful scared. I got awful scared at public speaking,but I never let on. And that had been the thing all my life, I was big and healthy and looked capable, see, and inside I was scared to death. And that's good. You know that's good.
SS: Why is it good to be scared to death inside?
MLL: Because you do better. You do better. But don't let them know you'rescared, see, and you always come out better. It's the people that are overconfident that fall flat on their faces. You know that.
SS: No, that's interesting, because I feel scared but I wish I didn't.
MLL: Oh, don't ever be ashamed of that! That's good! Don't be overconfident; they're the ones that fall flat on their faces. You don't fo ol other people you're working with. Those women, I didn't fool them one bit. They knew I was scared and they liked me better for it, see. because I couldn't help it, I was always scared.. I used to be especially nervous if I had to speak before men, because I wasn't accustomed to that. But I would never let on, and I think men like they like big women. I had the advantage. Men al ways like big women, for some reason, I don't know why. You'd think they would like the little, pretty, fluffy ones, but that wasn't true, with the kind of work I was doing and all. They approved of the fact that I did look capable. So I was able to work with them.
MARVIN L: I really had competition.
MLL: Don't put that on tape! (Laughs)
MLL: They were so bad off then that they were awfully thankful to get it.And they figured it was tax money, see. They figured they were paying taxes.
MARVIN L: They were given rationing.
MLL: Well, that wasn't rationing. We didn't have rationing then.
SS: They got the flour.
MLL: That was just Red Cross flour. The garden seeds were furnished; theyfurnished garden seeds But this was before rationing.\ Stamps and all that stuff that was during the war, it was before that. This was after World War I and before World War II. This was in between. The Depression was in between the two wars. I don't remember anything else- well,apples were available through the orchardists, because they were just throwing them out anyway.
SS: Did you feel that people were really pulling together at that time?I know they talk about hard times around here—
MLL: Oh, yes! I should say. There was lots of barter going on.
MARVIN L: You had to pull together, or you wouldn't been here.
MLL: There was bartering going on of different kinds. Just like Marvin toldyou about,the store, the bartering that he was doing. There was bar tering going on there between people. I can't think of a good example right off. Right across the river was- the orchards were along the river- this was the Columbia River- and that was Douglas County right across the river and then the wheat country was pretty close there and they got wheat through barter. Some of them had it ground or ground it or used it, as I said,N wheat, you cooked it along time and used it in casseroles.
SS: Like they didn't look at you at all as a government employee- thereweren't people that didn't want to associate - you know, have the help they needed because you were working for the government.
MLL: Oh, no, they begged to have one sent in- have a home demonstrationistsent in- they wanted it. And of course, I wasn't in their circumstances and they knew that, but I don't think there was ever any resentment. They didn't expect me to be couldn't have worked there if I was. I wouldn't have been working there if I was.
SS: What was the salary?
MLL: Oh, gee, I can't remember, but it was better than I was getting teaching
SS: Better than teaching?
MLL: Oh, yes.
SS: Even though there was a depression?
MLL: Oh, yes. Better than I was getting at Omak. I can't remember nowwhat I started out at, but it was better andAthe county furnished a A And I had to dress , better than they did. I had to. There wouldn't have been any point to it.
SS: Did they pay the car expenses?
MLL: They had a county garage. No, I didn't get county expense. They hada county garage, and they took care of my car. They serviced it.
SS: You must have felt a real sense of accomplishment in that kind of work?
MLL: Oh, I loved it. Wenatchee will always be my home. I like Kendrick nowof course, but I just loved Wenatchee. And I was making more money than I had made and I never had any clothes through my college days and I was able to buy better clothes. And I had this one green dress. It was an expensive dress because of my proportions I couldn't buy cheap clothes. And I wore it out to these meetings with these women. I wore it a long time. And we were working on rugs and one day this woman said, "Miss Lowery aren't you ever going to quit wearing that dress?" She said, "I want it for my rug!" It was a beautiful shade of green. It was a wool, fine wool and it was just exactly what she needed for her rug, and she waiting patiently for me to give up that dress. But I said, "Well, I've had to mend it, I'll admit that, I've already had to mend it a bit, but," I said, "I don't know." She never got it in the end. A 4-H girl finally got it that was small and she could make a good dress out of it and I gave it to . a girl that needed some help, and she made her a real pretty dress out of it. It was beautiful material. She didn't resent the fact that I could have a good dress at all, she was just hoping that I'd give it to her for her rug! (Chuckles)
SS: You were talking about remaking; that is something else I would liketo ask about. Was there a standard way, or certain that you would gene rally did when you were remaking a dress into a smaller dress or a pair of pants into a smaller pair of pants? I've heard the homesteaders talk about doing that all the time.
MLL: Well, you would rip up the old garment, and be sure the material wasworth making over. And then when it was ripped up you would see what you could make out of it with your pattern. You see there had to be enough and sometimes you could combine two, or you could use the old one for a top to go with a skirt of a different kind and such as that. But there wasn't any- it was just the same as making a new garment in most respects. You had to have a pattern, you had to use 0. pattern. And you could combine materials. My mother used to on the homestead - and we had to do these same things again she would rip braid off Old garment and wash it and straighten it out and sew it back on again on a new garment. And then we did a lot of dyeing to make two fabrics useable together sometimes. you could dye them in the same dye pot and they'd come out near enough the same color that you could work them into a garment. Different parts of it. Maybe the sleeves would be a differfcfct fabric, but they'd be the same color, on that order, you know. We worked with patterns. And we had patterns- we had kits of patterns that we passed around, so didn t have to buy patterns. They could cut off the patterns from the kit that I had. We had a kit of infant garments that the USDA had worked out that were quite revolutionary at that time, as far as the old style baby clothes were concerned. And these were comfor table, easy to launder and easy to make and supposed to be healthful for the child, and we had a kit of these patterns, with madeup garments that circulated from one club to another and they could cut off the patterns and make garments.
SS: You mean dispensable patterns?
MLL: No, they would cut it off on wrapping paper to get them a set of patterns. They'd make their own set of patterns, and they could make garments for their children or their grandchildren or whoever needed the little rompers.
Little rompers and little garments. A child can fasten big buttonseasier than small buttons and in that day we didn't have these grippers and things they put on children's clothes now. And so they learned things like that. Bigger buttons that the small fingers could handle. They couldn't button small buttons, and so made the child learn faster. You see, it was child development work in a way. But we had patterns for aprons and we had patterns for collars or different units of clothing like that. We had patterns for men's pajamas and shirts.
SS: Well when you had to remake the material.
MLL: — so that you could make something out of it. And so maybe a longsleeved shirt that wore out in the elbows, you made a short sleeved shirt out of it, for example, or they turned the collars on men's shirts in those days. They would wear out around the neck and then the kind of shirts they wore then, you could turn the collar over. And so the side that showed still looked good. That was one of the tricks, we taught darning- to darn knits, like knit sweaters, so tr would look like the original knitting. That was quite a trick, but it could be done. We had some matching yarn.
SS: Was the idea to try to get it so that you couldn't tell that it wasa remake?
MLL: Oh, why, of course, nobody wanted a remade if they could disguise it.It was not always possible, but if it was still useable then they didn'tthey were glad to have something to wear.
SS: Were the farm women doing this- I mean were they very actively involvedin this?
MLL: They're the ones I'm talking about.
MARVIN L: They had the time.
MLL: Well, the group in town had the time but they didn't have the ambition.But we did some work with them, too. This group that I mentioned that were out of work and wereAso down and out. They were discouraged.
SS: They were really laboring people. They weren't farmers.
MLL: No. No. No. I don't know what kind of work they had done, but theywere just discouraged people. There were lots of them there in Wenat chee, in a town like that, because there was lots of that kind of la bor, you see when the warehouses were all working.
MARVIN L: Transient labor, wasn't they?
MLL: Not these people that had homes weren't.
MARVIN L: There was a lot of 'em.
MLL: Yes, there were lots of transient workers, but I don't know what kindof work— they had worked in the warehouses. There was all kinds of work in the orchards and warehouses, you know when they were flourishing.
SS: Did you feel because of the difficulties that you had growing up andthat you grew up without a great deal in Quincy and had to make-do there, that was- did that come in real handy, your background?
MLL: Of course. If I had never lived that way, I wouldn't have understoodthe problems, and I couldn't have handled them. I knew all about it, that's the way I had always lived. I could live better without money than I could with, see, because I'd never had any, That makes a difference. If you've always had it you don't know how to get along without it. So then I could help these people better. We put emphasis on beauty, too, not just utilarian things, but we stu died the art side of home furnishing and flower arranging and harmoni zing colors in the rooms. And there was big emphasis on that. Well, it's a lot easier to teach it than to practice it sometimes, you know, too.
SS: Sounds like real practice to me, teaching.
MARVIN L: did
SS: No, I hadn't even noticed it, until I just came in and sat down.
MARVIN L: Did she?
SS: I know I'd seen that house someplace before.
MLL: You're sitting in it. It's our house. One of the garden club womenpainted that for the flower shoto/ this year. Our house had been chosen you know for that Bicentennial project and so this was part of the staging at the flower show and then, she cu watercolor and she gave it to us.
MLL: And we finally got it framed just this fall.
SS: It's lovely.
MLL: Be nice to have it for the neices and nephews to fight over some day.
SS: Was it really for you to spend money when you got it?
MLL: On, no, no. No, I didn't mean that.
SS: I thought you said it was easier for you to-
MLL: I knew how to live without, was what I was saying, so I could helpthese people, 'cause I knew that they didnt' have any.
SS: Was their situation similar to the one that you had experienced inQuincy?
MLL: No. No, not exactly, no. I don't think it was very much like it.It wasn't like pioneering. The need for these same practices like making goaf anything that you could do that didn't cost you anything, if you could provide your laundry soap- they made good laundry soap, and we taught them to make toilet soaps, scented and soaps too. One of the women at Pullman, one of the women, one of the women who had charge of our teacher training had worked out some recipes and had experimented a good deal herself and had worked this all out andphen we'd go to conference she'd have a class for us and teach us this and so we could teach them to make toilet soaps and some of the women did make very satisfactory ones. But they could all make good laundry soap. And was quite a saving you know because they had some waste fats. It wasn't the same if they didn't butcher, as it was id they butchered, but they got so that they began keeping animals and butchering and then you had . waste fats. That's when you oould really make soap.
SS: Did you have a'MmfliS in Quincy?
MLL: Oh, yes, we always had a cow and raised a calf to butcher, one or two.And we always raised hogs, and chickens.
SS: Why was it so different? What made it really different there as compared to pioneering?
MLL: Well, one of the differences, perhaps, or maybe it wasn't so differentbuty, hadn't thought of it just that way- that these people had had good times, you see financially. And my folks had come out there with nothing to take up a homestead to get free land, see, it was a diffe rent start entirely.
SS: Did they expect the good times to come back again pretty soon?
MLL: Oh, at Wenatchee, you mean? Well, they hoped, but when a depressionhits you don't know how long it's going to last. Fortunately, it didn't last too long. So most of them saved their orchards and it's a flou rishing business again. And some of those same people are living there.
SS: This aesthetics that you talked about. Was that something you triedto consider in all different projects that you could? To be artistic?
MLL: Oh, of course, that's what homemaking's all about, isn't it? It's gotto be nourishing but it must be attractive and appealing. Foods must be served attractively and a table must be set attractively. It isn't just enough to get food, you've got to ; the soul as well as the body, you know. Oh,yes, it went through all phases of our work, of course. But we actually applied our principles more to horn efurnishing but it carried over. A salad could be a work of art just as much as a piece of needlework or a rug or anything else.
SS: About the last thing you said to me when I was here before was thatyour mother had tried to instill a sense of beauty in the kids on the homestead. Is that right? I think you said that.
MLL: Oh, sure.
SS: So that you saw the beauty in the world when you were growing up.
MLL: Oh, yes. Yes, probably more than lots of families did. I'm sure thatwas true. She enjoyed beauty in many forms. Poetry was great thing in her life. And she had a good sense of color and knew something a bout art, but not the same way that I did with my training in home economics. I mean, I don't suppose she knew what the primary colors are, or that part, I don't think she'd ever had any training in that direction. But we taught our women that. foostly through clothing and home furnishings; but also in foods, it has to be.
SS: Well, I kind of had the idea that it was less of a practical matterwhen you were growing up and more one of value, what you think is im portant.
MLL: It took so much out of you, just the practical side- took so much outthat there wasn't much energy or time left for the other, but it was always important.
SS: I was going to ask, too, whether this work in home furnishings was thatsomething that was important in a program? Did you really teach fur niture making or repair or—?
MLL: We taught- The thing was that their homes had become a little bit rundown, you see, and some of them very much so, and some of them had had real nice homes, but they hadn't been able to keep them up and we tried to teach them things like recovering chairs, upholstered furniture, we worked with that. Because they did have pieces that had been good, they had a davenport that had been a good piece but it was all worn out and we had work in reupholstering and recovering. Slipcovers, espe cially. They could afford to buy some material for slipcovers where they couldn't afford new davenports. And then we taught rug making, as I said, which brightened up their homes considerably and was practical as well as ? It was enjoyable work that they could do in their leisure time.
MARVIN L: They didn't make 'em quite this big. They didn't have enough rags.
MLL: And let's see what other kind- The refinishing; we had them go intotheir attics and drag out their old chairs and we taught them to refinish furniture,. a lot of them made cane chairs. I taught them to cane chairs. I didn't know how but I taught myself those kind of things.
SS: Refinishing in what way? Like this?
MLL: Yes. They'd have an old painted chair like this on the back porch.
SS: Take the paint off?
MLL: And we would study the chair and if it was worth it they would takethe paint off and refinish the wood. And I mostly taught them the lin seed oil and turpentine rubbing method, which was acceptable.
SS: It's interesting to me that that was part of the- timeof restoring the wood- and was real important then.
MLL: Oh, in the East in extension work, they had excellent bulletins froma lot of the midwest counties that had big extension programs^more ad vanced than we had it out here. And they had excellent bulletins of this so we could get their bulletins to guide us in methods. And the girls did this too, the 4-H girls, they'd find an old chair and they would redo it for their room. That was part of their room improve ment project, see. They would make a valuable- now, of course, they're antiques. They weren't so interested in them as antiques then as get ting an interesting, useable chair and we would study the lines, and if the chair was worth redoing, if it was an attractive chair and a comfortable Ghair.
SS: But the value of the wood, the original wood was appreciated - theythought it was better to have the wood than the paint.
MLL: Well, there was nothing wrong- sometimes they did paint furniture, too.They painted furniture. But the refinishing of good hardwood^ was part of the study, too. And they could do a real good job and their hus bands sometimes helped with it.
SS: Now what were you going to say about the sage on the homestead?
MLL: Oh, at Quincy, and this is just from our family standpoint we hadkinds of sagebrush in that valley, in that Quincy Valley, and we had our own names for them and I thought maybe that was kind of interesting And the one was the regular gray sagebrush that you usually think of as sagebrush that's everywhere where there is sagebrush. And it has a kind of a little yellow blossom in the spring and very fragrant and bees make honey that someplaces they have sage honey they sell, you know. That was the predominant kind that was cleared, but amongst that gray sage there was there was three other kinds that we called sagebrush. And one we called prickly sagebrush, and it had actual thorn^ on the stems and it grows about the same size as the gray sagebrush and it had afoot a flower- I find now that .studying flower books, that it did have a little flower chat was mostly stamens, and then it had bracts that were different from leaves that came out and they were somewhere between a quarter and three-quarters of an inch sometimes, they were kind of big, and they made a cluster which at a distance kind of looks like flowers and they were different colors, they were shading from lime green as they matured I think they changed ft orange and red so they were rather colorful.
And as a child I tasted everything. Nowdays there'ssupposed to be a lot of poinsonous plants but fortunately I guess I never hit one because I always tasted everything and these bracts had kind of a sour-like- like miner's lettuce, " has a bit of an oxalic taste to it, you know. That's what they tasted like. Now in the flo wer book that bush is not a sagebrush, it has a name. I think it's called hopsage maybe it is hopsage. I had it in a book, I'll look. I was quite excited to find it did have a name because we didn't know that we just named Jy, , you know. Yes, hopsage, it was called. And then the purple sage was the third one that we had and it was - the flower was very much like the garden sage. It had a big bunch of pur pie flowers- that's the way it looked. And it was very fragrant and the bees loved it. And the plant itself was not as gray as the gray sage. We never used it for anything, but it was great fun to run around through the sagebrush and find these different kinds when they bloomed. Then the fourth kind we called featherbe^d sagebrush. And it was a yellow plant. And now I find that it isn't sagebrush at all either, but it's called rabbit brush in the desert country, but we didn't know that, we called it featherbed. And the reason we called it featherbed sagebrush was because it went to seed; made a fluffy, plari went to seed, and when the men went out on the road to work and slept under the wagon with their bedroll they would- there were no pine boughs or fir boughs like the people in the woods to make a bed you know, like when you go camping and make your bed on boughs. There were no evergreens, so the men would gather this- what we called featherbed sagebrush and put it under their beds and it was real soft and suggested a featherbed.
SS: Did you call it purple sage at the time?
MLL: We called that one purple sage, yes, but-
SS: Just the other name for it.
MLL: But because it was so purple- the flowers were just like that and itlooked like our garden sagebrush, but the leaves didn't taste like that, they tasted more like sagebrush, and it is a sagebrush, I guess. We didn't have greasewood- I notice in that book there's greasewood, but I used to think later- I wondered if this prickly one was grease wood, and it wasn't until I got this book that I knew for sure what it was. But those were the four that we used to have fun looking for in the fields around us.
SS: Were they the main vegetation?
MLL: Yes. There were wild flowers amongst the sagebrush. Lots of wildflowers and some grass. There was a little grass that came up in the spring called sheep grass because occasionally there'd be herds of sheep go through and eat it in the early spring, but it was a real fine litlte grass and it dried up early in that country. In the summer there wasn't any grass. And then there was- in the draws where there was some mois ture, there was this big rye grass. And then there was bunch grass. There was some bunch grass yet, too. But there had been lots in the real early days, but we could still find bunch grass.
SS: D°es that mean that the bunch grass disappeared when it was grazed over?
MLL: Yes. I think it was grazed away. And then the sagebrush takes overand the bunch grass recedes. I don't know how far back, there might have been lots of bunch grass.
MARVIN L: They wouldn't be together, would they?
Yes there was bunch grass growing around through the sagebrush, too.Yes, there was still some, but it was pretty much grazed off.
SS: 1 did want to ask you one other thing about here; and that is what yourimpression was when you first came here to the house and if the house really was as striking to you when you first saw it as it is to me when I come by here now.
MLL: No. To be truthful, that wasn't the case. I was just newly marriedand Marvin's mother; this was her house. She loved this house and she was becoming elderly and Marvin had been looking after he r and that was still necessary and the store was in bad circumstances. There wasn't a lot of money and we considered building a house and then we would still be looking after her. But this great big house with just her living in it- and so I don't know which- I suppose it was my sug- gestion- that maybe we could make an apartment upstairs. No, I didn't like this house. I thought it was ugly. I didn't like Victorian ar- chitecture at all. And it wasn't the house that appealed to me, it was the family I was marrying into and I liked his mother and she needed us. And so, I talked it over with her first when we were mar ried and she felt that was a real good idea and she just turned over the rooms up there and let me have them fixed anyway I wanted them, and we fixed them real nice. Had a real nice little apartment. They've kind of gone back in the meantime, they aren't like we had 'em, but it was real pretty. Wasn't it?
MARVIN L: Uh-huh.
MLL: We had nice drawdrapes at the windows and we had a nice rug on thefloor. And I collected a lot of this old furniture, partly because I was interested in it, but it was a way to get the furnishings that I could live with on the amount of money we had to spend. We could have bought new furniture but I wouldn't have been happy with the kind we would have had to buy. And I was happy with this. I refinished and caned and so forth. So that's the way it came about. And now the house is so full of memories now, that, of course, I love it very dearly. But I'm not in love with Victorian architecture.
SS: you still aren't.
MLL: No. I still think the Mc Connel mansion is ugly and I think this houseis ugly, architecturally speaking. But younger people are just crazy about it, and I don't know why. We had to study architecture in our college course- I know you asked me^what I took- that was one of our courses, we had to have a year in the architecture department.
MARVIN L: You shouldn't a took it, should you?
MLL: Well, those teachers by that time in the '20s' they weren't consideringVictorian architecture beautiful either. It was ornate, see, and we were being taught simpler- Yes, this house was Victorian architecture, sure. It's an interesting house. And the young people are just mad for it. Lee wants this house so bad, you know, that he could die. What use he'd ever put it to, I don't know, but he could sure have it-; And the girl across the street, she's got a good job back in Philadel phia and she's just mad for this house, "Don't ever let anybody have that house fixed." A lot of young people; they like them. And it's been fun living here. We've had great fun. And then after his mother died we moved downstairs and remodled again, we're still remodeling. But we've never done as much as we should. We never put in a proper heating system.
SS: When you married and came here, you didn't work? Is that right?
MLL: No. No, I helped at the school- I taught school- I guess you'd callit teaching. It was a nightmare. But I helped at school one year during the war, they had hired a man and he was called to the army just as school started and they were desperate and so I was certified. I had an Idaho certificate and I helped 'em out that year. But it wasn't a very good experience. I had some work with the seventh and eighth grades, which I knew nothing about. That was worse than teaching Latin. And then the science class in high school. That wasn't so bad because I'd had quite a lot of science, of course. But seventh and eighth; I knew nothing about seventh and eighth grades. It wa s terrible, and that's the most difficult age as far as boys are concerned. I've al ways been crazy about boys, but is's a difficult age- you don't get very well acquainted. I was just teaching them half a day. And we never had any real trouble, we got along, but I wasn't a good teacher. I wasn't happy doing it.
SS: Did you miss not having a career like you had before?
MLL: No, no, I was so busy.
MARVIN L: She had a career.
MLL: I'll say I did. I was trained in homemaking, see. I think most homeeconomics women-
MARVIN L: She was A specialist. You can call that a career.
SS: Oh, yeah, I meant after she married, then she didn't have that career,you were her career.
MLL: I think, looked forward to homemaking. And some of them didboth. Our home administration agent here now, you know, at Moscow just had a baby- took time off and had a baby- but, of course, that wasn't done in my day. I mean, you didn't even get married and stay on the job. There were a few married women, widows, though, mostly. I don't think there were any married women that had jobs. Mrs. Ander son at Moscow.
SS: Would you tell me rather briefly about this that youhad afterwards?
Well, in the state office there were specialists in each field. Therewas a nutritionist and one clothing and did home furni shing, too, and then there was one in home management. She had a separate job. But mine included both home furnishing and clothing. And I worked with the 4-H club leaders out in the counties and mostly with the home demonstration agents. I didn't work with - I would go in and work with them and put on demonstrations for women's groups, but mostly through local leaders. We would train the leaders, help them train the leaders in the counties. The work had progressed in most of the counties to that point where they were working through local leaders. That was true in both home demonstration clubs and in the- now they don't call it that anymore, they call it all extension clubs, but we would train 4-H leaders and we worked in lots of counties that had just county agents, they didn't have any women, and then we could help them more and then we both women's groups and 4-H groups. But we set up a program^and then they would choose what they wanted in either field. And we traveled out of Pullman all the time. We tra veled at least two weeks out of every month and usually more. And went from county to county; a few days in each county.
SS: Was that traveling part- that sounds like kind of the center of thejob, was that contact work that you did. That was sort of the main—
MLL: Yes, that's what it was, you didn't work in Pullman. You worked inthe counties.
SS: Did you find the traveling difficult?
MLL: Yes, very difficult. It was more lonesome than the work in a county,even, you see, you spent your nights on the train going across the state in a sleeper, or you spent it getting in late to a hotel in a strange town where you didn't know anyone. And some of them worked long enough at it that they did work.recreational and social contacts, but it was pretty hard to do. And of course,when you were working with the home demonstration agents, then sometimes there would be things you could do with them, and that was better. But you were almost always along. Once in a while you and the nutritionist would be working together on some program andftbe traveling at the same time, but it didn't very often work out that way. That was the hardest part. Some of the girls liked it; I never did. It was interesting, you learned a lot about the Gouw-ky . You had lots of strange experiences. Small hotels and they were always cold; you always slept cold. Never slept warm a night the whole time I did it. Always had cold feet. Didn't have enough sense to carry a hotwater bottle.
SS: Did you find people in the small towns who didn't know you to be reserved?
MLL: You never got acquainted with the people in town. You went there andthe county agent took you out to a meeting the next morning at eight o'clock and brought you back at four and you caught another bus down to the next place you were going to work. And you didn't get acquain ted in the towns at all.
SS: That would be difficult, I think.
MLL: Unless you already knew someone. If you had an old friend that livedthere would invite you out to dinner. And of course, the county agent's wife sometimes would invite you out, but mostly you were just— and you had to eat the same old string beans, at the small hotels every day! (Chuckles) I don't know why they always had string beans! But they did. We had lots of meals at our meetings. We had potluck meals at our meetings. We had lots of jello. Jello was one of the big items of our diet. Potlucksn always jello. And so that was our lunch quite often and those kids of meals, potluck meals the women served. They were good enough, and then in the evening we were usually on our own, unless we had a meeting. But the work itself was real interesting. We had to write bulletins and they were published there at the print shop in Pullman. We had to give radio talks. On
SS: Was it your responsibility to say, in the job with the clothing, tomake decisions about what would be the new ideas presented to the state?
MLL: Well, yes, I guess so. We worked with the home economics departmentin Pullman as much as we could. We were part of that. We were part of the home economics department at the college, so that the clothing in structors there or the people in the textile and clothing field would help us if we needed help. And they sometimes had suggestions, and this woman, this Katherine Brighton , was the- did the teacher trai ning, she worked with us a lot on a lot of practical things. Crafts work and all, she was interested in that. She taught a lot of those things that were helpful in 4-H club work. Bookbinding, soap making and candles and things like that that made the program more interes ting and fun for the kids. And then the counties themselves, set up programs and we had to work with them in deciding what we were going to do. It was joint decision. We would make suggestions and then they would have needs that they wanted us to work on, too, and we would work it out together that way. Because it varied a great deal.
SS: I've heard a lot about that in the early days that women were oftenconsidered by men to be not as intellectual and not as- you know, sort of like women belong in women's sphere, that old idea that some people had before. But what I was wondering is- did you run into that as a professional, working around the state, whether there were times wh en men that were kind of working above you-
MLL: I don't think so, I don't think so. Because I was in a strictly woman'sfield, you know. Maybe that made a difference, I don't know. No, I never ran into any of that. And all the men that we worked with were great. And our college editor was great and you know, we had to write lots of news stories. And in Wenatchee we had to work with the reporters on the local papers. We had to have publicity. And they were great. One of the reporters Wenatchee a column of mine. I was no Anne Landers or anything like that, but it was along that line he used my picture and there was my little column and I gave recipes and household hints and all that stuff in the paper and that was awful good publicity. We had to have that and we had to work with thesewe had to work with lots of men that way. We had to work with the Chamber of Commerce and the county commissioners. fall through this time when we were helping these people we met for lunch with the county commissioners, every week.
SS: With the laboring people, you mean?
MLL: Well, during those depression years when we were trying to help thecounty with their problems of helping feed these people. We met for lunch with the county commissioners and that way you got acquainted. It was a business luncheon, you know, we talked business.
SS: That was fairly often that you met?
MLL: Every week we'd meet, 'for
SS: But you really felt that there was - that they accorded you all therespect as far as being able to make the decisions?
MLL: I know, I always felt like the Queen of the crop.(Laughter) Theytreated me great.
SS: Was your pay on a par with the men who would have a similar positionlike- was your pay on a par with the extension agent?
MLL: With the county agent?
MLL: I don't know.
MARVIN L: Maybe you'd get more.
MLL: I don't know for sure. He had had lots more experience so it shouldn'thave been because I was a beginner, you see. No, I'm sure it wasn't as much. And they were all married men. That shouldn't have made any difference, but it sort of did in those days. But, because of his experience- he'd had years of experience- at the time I worked with him and I never worked with/but one county agent in the counties. He was there when I came and there when I left, but I think his salary must have been more, I'm sure it must have been considerably more. It wouldn't have been fair if it hadn't been, because of his years of ex perience. But none of us were really overpaid considering the hours we put in.
SS: I don't imagine.
MLL: But for those times it was good, and when the banks closed and all,we managed- you know, the banks closed during that time for a few daysand we all managed somehow. And then our warrants were difficult to cash, but we always had help, so we never suffered any. Our warrants were easier to cash than the teachers. Some of the teachers had trouble with their's, but ours were not county warrants, I don't believe. Seems to me they came out of Pullman. That probably made a difference.
SS: Marvin, I wanted to ask you about two things; Remember that guy thatused to be on 'county that you used to bring out groceries to?
MARVIN L: Yeah. George Pennel?
SS: Yeah. What's the story on him? How long did that go on that you didthat?
MLL: Come over here and tell him that story. Sit over here.
SS: Why don't you come over here so I can hear you?
MLL: How he happened to come here; tell that to start with.
MARVIN L: Well, he was a boxcar bum. And he wanted, I guess, to be idoing something, he didn't want to ask for anything, you know. He'd work.
MLL: from down at Kennewick. He lived in the jungles at Kennewick,don't you remember?
MARVIN L: Yeah, and they burnt out the jungles. That's how he happened to getup here.
MLL: He had worked up in this country.
MARVIN L: He had lived here and he knew this country in his younger days, andhe come up here and he settled up Bear Creek here, a wide place up there in the creek where he had quite a bit of personal stuff. Yeah, that shack was there, wasn't it?
MLL: No, it was a cave at first. He lived in a cave. Just dug out into thehills.
SS: Did he dig it out himself?.And a kind of a dump was up there, was why-
MLL: Yeah. And there was a stream.
MARVIN L: Dump. And then what happened- high water wasn't it?No. brought down
MLL: First ycu got him a cabin. He a chicken house. "Hey bought achicken house and cleaned it up real good. One of the farmers.
MARVIN L: Oh, yeah.
MLL: Moved him into this little cabin in the same spot.
MARVIN L: Oh, yeah.
MLL: He was a squatter, it was private land. They didn't object to hisbeing there.
MARVIN L: That burnt down, didn't it?
MLL: That burned down one night. So the fellows went up there and fixedit with canvas and He didn't want to move out. So they got him under shelter, it was a rainy night, too.
MARVIN L: He lived in a lean-to for a while, didn't he?
MLL: Not very long. -jjsot him another cabin, don't you remember? TheFosters gave a cabin. Shed, that was a better one.
SS: They took it up right then, that night?Marvin and Bob
MLL: That night. k Magnuson and some of the fellows, got him fixed upthat night. And sent up some blankets and people gave some bedding. And then you and Fred got this little building down here and fixed it, don't you remember?
MARVIN L: Yeah.
SS: Sounds like-
MARVIN L: And then he flooded out. See, a flood come and picked him up.
MLL: He was sitting on the table
MARVIN L: On the table.
MLL: was flowing so swift he didn't dare try to get out.
MARVIN L: lHet|got him out of that.
SS: It was right in the house?He was on the table.
MARVIN L: Did the cabin stop? Did they stop it?
MLL: No, they took him up to the- home
MARVIN L: Took him up to the nursing home and that's where he is now. Just toshow you how these officials are and your county money goes. Some things they can be as pennyw and other times, why they'll just throw it away, see. And I went up there and asked 'em for- or was this before?
MLL: Well, they were giving you a little order, a grocery order.
MARVIN L: Sure, that's for groceries, but I wanted it increased- and oh,I did get a little increase to- oh, three dollars a week, I think. Got up to about three dollars, maybe four dollars.
SS: Four dollarsa week?
MARVIN L: Yeah, for food for him, and what other stuff he'd to need- getsomething else, you know. And so, when he flooded out, of course, they had to take him to Moscow. So he's up there now and he's been there ever since. And the least it's cost 'em is, I think, about $400 a month.
SS: Did you get him what he wanted? Did you decide the food—?
MARVIN L: I decided everything. He wouldn't tell you nothin' he was out of.
MLL: When the cabin burned the first time they discovered a lot of unopenedcanned goods that he was hoarding. So after that they didn't take him too much canned goods.
MARVIN L: I wouldn't take no.
MLL: He'd just save it.
MARVIN L: I took him stuff he had to cook and fix to eat for the week. He wouldcook, you know.
MLL: People wereAgood to help him furnish his cabin. A little stove.
MARVIN L: Had a fellow that really kept me on the ball, was Fred 4 - he'sgone now.
MLL: Put a window in the cabin.
MARVIN L: Yes. -1 his pardner, they done it, they kept it up. Itook care of him, I don't know how many years. He was there about fourteen years
SS: You said he came here after the Second World War. After that was over.
MARVIN L: No. no, no. Not after the Second- he was here during the war, I imagine.
MLL: Not afterjbhe war. When they cleaned up jungles down there at Kennewick,whenever that was.
SS: Did he ever work when he was here?
MARVIN L: Too old to work.
MLL: In his younger days he'd work
MARVIN L: He never had his hand out for nothin1. You know, he never asked fornothin'. He wasn't a bum, what you'd call just a regular bum.
MARVIN L: Yeah, the reason he was up there.
MLL: People would take food^where he could find it, lots of times. And thenthey'd take him special dinners on
MARVIN L: I got a little grocery order for him. County order.
SS: Was that after he'd been here for a while?
MARVIN L: Oh, yes, he'd been here several years after he got that grocery order.
SS: Was that every week?
MARVIN L: Oh, yes, I'd take it up every Saturday.
SS: Would you give it to him?
MARVIN L: You bet. He'd take it, too. I think about four dollars. Four dollars.
SS: Did he know where it was coming from? Ask where it was coming from?
MARVIN L: Never asked. Never asked nothin'!
SS: Just gave it to him?
MLL: play the car radio.
MARVIN L: Yeah, all the time he was up there.
MLL: it running, he probably didn't know how to turn it off. Thebatteries ran down. he just loved it. baseball was always - we'd send up the paper. He was always interested in baseball. Now he can watch television
MARVIN L: I started it off about three dollars a week and ended up four dollarsweek, when they took him away.
MLL: People would give him clothes.
MARVIN L: And it cost them, what is it? $175
SS: It's a lot of money.
MLL: $300 or $400 a month at the very least.
MARVIN L: They own this place but they lease it out, see for these old folks.The county owns this.
SS: Did you ever carry on a conversation with him?
MARVIN L: No. The only conversation, he'd answer your questions. He'd answeryou, yes or no.
MLL: If you weren't too personal.
MARVIN L.: If it wasn't too personal. he case
MLL: They tried to take the census was taking the census so sheasked Marvin to go and get him on the census. And he did. And we got some facts about him.
MARVIN L: He would me. He didn't know what it was for. I'd say, - well, Idon't know, I'd use different ways, you know- "You must have come here about so-and-so." Wouldn't ask him direct questionsdidn't expect him to answer-BUT I'd bet an answer in a round about wayrf He was quite a guy.
SS: Do you think he was- was he slow?
MARVIN L: Was he what?
SS: Was he slow? Was he dumb?
MARVIN L: Gosh no. Fine old man. Just independent. He was what they used tocall a boxcar bum. Well,. went out and there was no more cars.
MLL: I would say that he might have had agood past.
MARVIN L: I never pried into it. He knew what was going on.
SS: It sounds like the townspeople kind of adopted him and-
MARVIN L: No, he adopted us. He never asked for anything. He never bummed oranything.
MLL: People couldn t let him starve up there. You couldn't let anybody starvecommunity.
SS: Don't you suppose that the people kind of enjoyed maybe going aroundand fixing up his house and that kind of thing, too?
MLL: Well, these two men were all that did that. After this fire one womanbrought a big pile of blankets.
MARVIN L: They're both dead, ain't they?
MLL: Yeah. They were retired farmers.
MARVIN L: One was a retired carpenter and one was a retired farmer. They are theones.
SS: But you really looked after him pretty much.
MARVIN L: But they looked after him, his wood, his fuel. Yeah, they was myhelpers and kept his cabin up.
MLL: They made him take a bath once, too, I think.
SS: They did?
MARVIN L: Yeah, I think so. I didn't monkey with personal . With all thatI saved the county hundreds and hundreds of dollars that way.
MARVIN L: Yeah. And I never even got as much as a thank you.
MLL: You didn't have to do it.
MARVIN L: No, I didn't have to do it. But look at how much money I saved thecounty. He could have been there all them years. They tried to take him once before.
MLL: He wouldn't go.
MARVIN L: No., no, it but still I saved the county money.He was entitled to county help, see. And they pay- the way they run that county, I know how they run it exactly They put that feeding out on a contract basis.
MLL: But he's not in that one though, not in the Latah County one. He'sin the so they wouldn't have to pay. I would think, I don't know how it works.
MARVIN L: The county has to pay it over there just the same.
MLL: They have to pay a monthly- isn't that how it works?
MARVIN L: Why, sure.
MLL: I don't know exactly, but they have to do it in the county.
SS: They have to pay either way.
MARVIN L: They have to pay for feeding him and for his room.
SS: Was this just a few years ago- this was pretty recent that he gotflooded out?
MARVIN L: Yeah.
MLL: I don't know how long.
MARVIN L: A couple or three- five years, I don't know.
MLL: Three or four years, anyway, when that cabin burned down up there.
SS: Was that Saturdays that you used to take the food out to him?
MARVIN L: Yes, every Saturday.
MLL: Didn't have to be Saturday, but it was. He had a dog ,twice, he lostthe dog once and he was lonesome and somebody took him up another dog, and^ had to find some bones for the dog. Nobody begrudged him having dog.
MARVIN L: They just begrudged him living.
MLL: Well, takes all kinds, you know.
SS: But you didn't mind him being there at all? You took him on as yourresponsibility.
MRRVIN L: That's right. See that's he was taken care of. He was a human beingjust as you or I, only he'd lived his time out. Well, he had.
SS: The other thing I was going to ask you about was: You were sayingthat you remembered when Frank Brocke used to come down here with his father.
MARVIN L: Frank Brocke?
SS: Yeah, you know, he used to come down to the store when he was a kid.
MARVIN L: I can remember- well, here's the nicest picture I got of him. ThisFrank you're talking about in Troy?
MARVIN L: His father.
MLL: His father was Frank, also.
MARVIN L: I got a nice mental picture of him.That's before cars, way back now,.before they had a car. Used to come down with a team- see how far back this is- Frank was just a 1 ittie kid and George was the oldest and then Frank was next, then Wally and Ken; there was four, that was all of 'em.
MLL: And Margaret was the girl.
MARVIN L: And Margaret was the girl.
MLL: And their father was named Frank.
MARVIN L: Yeah, But anyway these kids would keep saying, "Daddy, Daddy, don'tforget Margaret." By gum. And they had to take Margaret. home every time. Every time they come, them boys had to Time they got through, pretty good sized know. But every Saturday. That was the nicest picture. Oh, he was a swell guy this Frank Brocke's father- oh, that would be-
MLL: His father.
MARVIN L: Yeah, it'd be his father.
SS: This Frank Brocke in Troy tells me about coming in the store-
MARVIN L: My store?
SS: Yeah, and he said that he used to be scared, you know, going into thebig town of Kendrick when he was a little boy.
MARVIN L: (Chuckles) With his dad, yeah. And they would be right there. Therewas Wally and Frankie and Kenneth; three boys, you see.
MLL: And George.
MARVIN L: And George. George was-
MLL: George was the oldest.
MARVIN L: George was a little too oldj^then, I guess,
MLL: Kenneth wasn't always with them, he would be too young
MARVIN L: No, Kenneth was with them. But, anyway, they'd stand around there,and I'd fill their grocery order. Nobody waited on their dad, Frank me, I was the only one in the store that could wait on him. wait until I was through and then I'd go over and wait on him, he just understood. No questions asked the clerk, 'cause nobody could wait on him. So they just let him wait, 'cause that's what he'd do, see.
SS: He just wanted you to wait on him?
MARVIN L: Yeah. The old Frank, the Dad. We was pretty good friends, you know.Pretty good pals. But if he was going to trade there, he was going to have me wait on him. That's when I was trading up at the other store, it wasn't the Long store then. There was another store here in town.
MLL: You were working there then.
MARVIN L: Yeah, where I was working That was a blow to Got adry goods store done on abrade deal. My brother, Tom, he was quite a trader. Had a chance to .his Montana ranch for this dry goods store.
SS: That's how you got it?
MARVIN L: Yeah, that's how I got it. Course it was Tom's, but we always donea little trading amongst ourselves. We had a ranch together up here.
SS: Did you trade him for the store?
MARVIN L: No- Eventually, I got the store and he got the ranch! I don't knowhow you call that, just trading around; that's how it ended up anyway. It was fine, you bet. It was fine. Better for both of us. 'Cause now he s passed away, see and his widow, all she got to do is collect the rent on it. She's still got it. She's smart keeping it, too.
MLL: They did that wilrh the Rattle, too. We had the cattle.
MARVIN L: Yeah, we had the cattle. I let him have the cattle and I took the store
SS: Martin Thomas?
MLL: He lived here in town.
MARVIN L: He lived right across the street on the corner. Anyway, he had thisbig ranch up here and these locust trees was seedlings. They was raised up there, and donated them to the town. Every locust tree was raised by this Martin Thomas.
MLL: They had a woodlot. They watered them with a horse drawn watering tank,
SS: Had they had locust trees before the fire? Or was this after thefire that he donated them. That was the first time they were planted.
MARVIN L: Yes, they were replanted. He raised them. He had a locust grove.He raised these trees.
SS: Did he start right after the fire? Is that when they first came inhere? Would it have been shortly after the fire?
MARVIN L: They were grown after the fire. Planted.
MLL: They were up on the ranch where fire didn't get near 'em, you know.
MARVIN L: would probably know. Andy Cox, I don't know whetherhe'd remember or not. That's where they was raised.
MLL: There's a crabapple tree up on the ridge, on that place that washomesteaded Kand that crabapple tree is still there and still productive. And our garden club members are going to find those kind of trees- single trees that are historic. And some of the native trees.
Mrs.Long is so far from the mike that It is distorting the words about the treesso am leaving this part out, which maybe filled in from the cassettes if it is important..
And I remember her telling me about the prune orchards. Pruneorchards and prune dryers. There were two or three of them here.—
There were lots of fruit trees planted here, but I don't know-
Quit this at 25 minutes, as there was so much noise and interference, plus thetwo of them talking at the same time that it is difficult to get a verbatim or accurate conversation out of the rest of this.
0:00 - Credit a universal practice for grocery store; earlier times half the business was barter; the Long Family and their cattle business; price of meat per pound
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Segment Synopsis: (Marvin Long:) Credit a universal practice for grocery store. In early days, half of the business was barter. Purchasing through Lewiston Mercantile, whose owner, Frank Thompson, owned much of the country, accumulating land in the depression. The Long family cattle business gave them an edge in hard times. He went with meat wagon to the farms as a boy during harvest, opening the gates; meat was 6, 8 and 10 cents a pound. Shipping carloads of cattle, butchering for the shop.
12:00 - Cooking for threshing crew at LaCrosse to earn money for college; mother died from cancer just before she started college
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Segment Synopsis: Cooking for threshing crew at LaCrosse to earn money for college was an enjoyable experience with her girlfriend. Going to the trouble of making checkerboard cake for the crew. Mother died from cancer (1920) just before she started college; she and siblings did all the needed work at home.
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Segment Synopsis: High school at Pullman - home economics laboratory. She discovered that mother's New England cooking terms weren't used. The girls joined hands to get a shock from the zinc sink. Teacher objected to the cheap checked gingham she bought to make an apron because they had so little money. Clothes for school - bloomers. Girls in her family went to WSC and graduated, but the boys could get good jobs without doing so.
30:00 - Work through college; home economics just beginning; important to teach new methods without downgrading parents' ways; Culdesac had first job
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Segment Synopsis: Work through college. Home economics was just beginning. Culdesac, her first job, had no equipment but wanted to start a program. Important to teach young proper methods without downgrading their parents' ways. Difficult to get fresh produce in stores for canning. Changing canning methods and jar lids. Lack of knowledge of home economics among young; correcting false ideas about food.
43:00 - At Culdesac she taught Latin history, girls basketball, and glee club, enjoyment and success of teaching
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Segment Synopsis: At Culdesac she also taught Latin, history, girls' basketball, glee club. Teaching subjects without training was hard but they didn't realize it. A surprise testimonial to her Latin teaching; a student who later appreciated the remodelling she learned in sewing; these make a teacher feel successful. Enjoyment of teaching. Four boys in one of her home economics classes.
52:00 - Convincing board to buy equipment; social events with the Ku Klux Klan she declined; enjoyment of other social activities
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Segment Synopsis: Convincing board to buy equipment. Teachers expected to stay on weekends. She organized church quartet. Teachers didn't enjoy PTA, which was a social evening. Social life - turning down invitations to join Ku Klux Klan, when she was unsure what to do to keep her job. Enjoyment of social life; she did nothing to get in trouble with the school board. Extracurricular activities. Klan burned crosses.
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66:00 - She became first home extension agent for Chelan County; lack of diversification in Wenatchee orchard country; difficulties with depressed market
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Segment Synopsis: She became first home extension agent for Chelan County. Lack of diversification in Wenatchee orchard country; their difficulties with depressed market. Programs for these farm people, many ofwhom were educated-canning, drying, remodelling, refinishing, rugmaking and furniture making. Work with Four-H clubs. Sewing projects - a complete costume from sugar sacks. Poorer farmers south of Wenatchee were more diversified.
77:00 - Three classes of people in the country; working with laboring people in Wenatchee; tried to organize neighborhood groups with limited success
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Segment Synopsis: Three classes of people in the country. Working with laboring people in Wenatchee, who were receiving county relief- growing gardens, using grain, canning and drying, remodelling. They tried to organize neighborhood groups with limited success. The third group was migrants and tramps who lived in the jungles in cardboard shacks; the chief of police always accompanied her. She tried to teach bread baking, canning and drying. It was discouraging; the people were desperate, with nowhere to go. More about the different classes ofpeople - some, like businessmen and herself, did well. She drove in snow.
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Segment Synopsis: Working people cooperated in part because they knew she represented the county. Establishment of rural women's coordinating council. Later success of those who could hang on to their orchards, which was costly. The rural women were very active in the program and took leadership roles. Council programs and contests - apron-making judged by Prudence Penny of the Seattle Post-Intelligence Council approval of yearly program, organization of new groups. Her public relations work with local groups. Local horticultural society - apple show.
101:00 - State specialists from WSU; worked in Pullman as clothing and home furnishing specialist for the state
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Segment Synopsis: State specialists from WSU. Butchering bee was a new experience for her. (She took job in Pullman as clothing and home furnishing specialist for the state.) The extension work was great because it was an impossible job and they did it. Extension work was isolated because you didn't get to know people well. Yearly meetings with other extension workers were very sociable. She worked for more than forty hours a week. Her leisure time was spent with professional women's clubs.
109:00 - Activities she pursued; learned weaving; good to be scared rather than confident, people appreciated it; afraid to address businessmen
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113:00 - Positive attitude towards government help and her presence; Bartering was common; Her salary was good; A woman who wanted her dress for material; Remodelling clothes; making patterns,
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120:00 - Reusing cloth into clothing; working people were discouraged; she tried to help others; focus on aesthetics in homemaking
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Segment Synopsis: Reusing cloth in clothing. Working people were discouraged. Because she could get along better without than with, she could help others. Emphasis on aesthetics. Difference between situation at Wenatchee and on her Quincy homestead. Aesthetics is the heart of homemaking. Mother's aesthetic pleasure. Teaching improvement in home furnishings; restoring furniture.
133:00 - Four types of sagebrush on the Quincy homestead. Bunchgrass disappeared through overgrazing.
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139:00 - Moving into Longhouse with Marvin's mother when they married; she always disliked Victorian architecture; unpleasant experience teaching junior high in Kendrick during the war
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Segment Synopsis: Moving into Longhouse with Marvin's mother when they married. She has always disliked Victorian architecture, including the McConnell Mansion and her own home. Unpleasant experience teaching junior high in Kendrick during the war. She didn't regret giving up career for marriage; most home economists looked forward to marriage, although they had to quit.
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150:00 - Respect from men on her job; She had a newspaper column and met weekly with the county commissioners; Pay
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155:00 - The hobo who settled at the foot of Bear Creek in a cave near the dump; had come from Kennewick, WA; Marvin brought him a weekly food order; love radio and newspapers
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Segment Synopsis: (Marvin Long) The hobo who settled at the foot of Bear Creek in a cave near the dump. He had come from Kennewick, Wash., when the jungles were destroyed. Local men built him a cabin, and got him another building after it burnt down. Marvin brought him a weekly food order, but he never said what he wanted. He hoarded canned goods. His love of radio and newspapers. Help from local people for him. He never started talks but answered questions; Marvin got him to do the census. He wasn't dumb but was caught in bad circumstances. The community wouldn't let anyone starve. They made him take a bath. Saving the county money was unappreciated. People gave him a dog. Some begrudged him living, but Marvin took care of him.
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175:00 - Martin Thomas grew locust trees and donated them to city of Kendrick; Marvin's father went broke after buying seventy acres orchard from uncle
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Segment Synopsis: Martin Thomas grew locust trees and donated them to city of Kendrick. Marvin's father went broke after buying seventy acres orchard from uncle; they wound up dumping the crop just to recover boxes. Father always checked daily paper to see whether son had been killed in service. Cameron Germans were naturally against World War I because they were newly from Germany.