Below is unprocessed text taken from a scan of our PDF document. It's messy;we know. If you would like to help us clean up these transcripts, please email Devin Becker at email@example.com SS: What had she said?
CM: She reported that he had said that it was too bad we couldn't be represented.Since our representative was avery sick man. And he had said it repeatedly, that he wouldn't be there. And probably he belived it and then it wasn't true, he armed his facts and the other man's gonna sue him for saying savinn he was misquoteo. something he shouldn't said, so
SS: Did she work for the Tribune very long
CM: yell, she worked in the Clarkston efface for four years probably.
SS: Did she enjoy it?
CM: ran a little paper in Juliaetta for a while. Then she Oh yes, very much, she rana worked on the ClarLston paper when she down here. They asked her to work and she did. Then that man went over to the Tribune and she went too. And worked for a while. She liked it.
SS: Did she actcually run the Juliaetta paper?
CM: On yes. And she wrote her first editorial and she was quite pleased withit. She said she hoped that when the Green took on a more somber hue that she would do certain things and the girl setting the type, thought, she didn't like this 'somber hue' business, so she said,'take on a more rosy shade', and mother was horrified.(laughs)lt wasn't a bit what she wanted. She was almost in tears."My first editorial and its ruined!"(laughs) Because the girl setting the type didn't like the idea of a somber hue. So(laughs). And then of course, I grew up around newspapers somewhat. And the arguments Rthey used to have over people, two people were getting married and generally somebody on each side wanted the bigger schpiel. And they would come and tell her something more to make another inch on the thing, and something else. In those cases she'd try to make the space equal. Because there you were.
SS: Was that the substance of the Juliaetta paper, the social news?
CM: well, it was largely the local news. Local things, because it was a weeklyand people would get, there were some comments on national things. I'm sure when we were at war, WWI was on, why you, probably certain things. But, and news, oh general nature, too, but you didn't try to compete on the basis of the daileys. You didn't belong to a wire service, you were that small a paper.
SS: She didn't get the filler?
CM: Oh, you get filler, but you didn't get the wire service. When mother was inLewiston and the Tribune was starting, they began to get their wire service. First it was just a small little bit and from that little bit, Mr. Albert Sr. could make a whole front page. He was very good at it, course was very conden the whole thing was just a telegram, just extremely convinced. And if one word was wrong, you might lose your meaning. And it came by telegraph to Walla Walla and was phoned into Lewiston. Lewiston handled the telegraph business but there was no here. And so once in awhile, if she took it, she'd check back if it didn't make sense and say, Now you haven't got that: "Repeat it. Check back. And so on and so forth. No. And she would argue back and make them go back and check maybe back further, ma^be back up a little bit on it. But for a while they had hired somebody that was court stenographer type of thing to take it. But he just took it down. They liked it better when she did it. Because she was very careful about...
SS: The Tribune?
CM: Oh yes.
SS: Careful about ohat?
CM: The wording. Because one word could make a difference, a meaning when it wassuch a short, brief bit that they were paying for. You paid for how much you got. And they were paying for a small amount. It'll be very condensed, and in this condensed state if you made a mistake...
SS: Then they would take that and blow it up and rewrite it? You could do thatwithout changing the meaning?
CM: Oh yes. He could do that. He was very good. Albert Sr. was quite ascholar. All his books had it in the flyleaf of stolen from the library of Albert . And he really was, he was a scholarly man. Very bright. And really quite a brain. He was very good with writing. Course, he did it with a flourish of the '90's. He liked to talk about the Lewistonians. Spokane couldn't say Spokantonians very well, so they Spokanites, and that wasn't as good, Spokanites, wasn't as pretty and good a sound, so he liked to play that up. But he was really a scholar. And read well educated man. And a Southern Quntleman, really.
SS: Did he educate himself?
CM: I think it was William and Mary.
SS: That's a good school.
CM: Oh yes. I that school. And I think in the family that hasquite often been the school. I think the father, the first ones at least, went there.
SS: Didn't they have a newspaper in 3uliaetta for a while?
CM: Yes they did. They used to go up and edit the paper and one at Kenririck. Therewas enouoh money to be Bade in Lewiston so they did these other things too. one day they were here and one day they were there.
SS: But they were headquarted in Lewiston?
CM: rleadquarted in Lewiston. And when Lewiston was big enough, why he worked inLewiston.
SS: Did you hear how they got started in Lewiston?
CM: Not exactly. There were quite a few people coming west, coming northwest.And Lewiston was kind of a center. They maybe looked at the map, too, and decided. And they came up the head of navigation, as it were, probably came, I think they came in on the boat with a printing press, probably. And tried it. Liked it and stayed.
SS: Was it the Tribune to start with?
CM: I think it was, but I'm not sure.
SS: id they always have liberal convictions?
CM: Yes they were, of course, Southern, Democrats. However, they had been Northenough not to have, really, you know, reflect prejudice or anything that way.
SS: What state were they from.
CM: Well, here from Texas, but I think they had come from farther east originally.And their father was a professional lobbiest. Their father.
SS: Albert Alfred's father.
CM: Uh huh. Was a professional lobbiest. In Washington D.C. That was his business.And their sister that I met I know lived in Texas, Mrs. Evans. But I think farther they were from. I always had a feeling that they were the you would find in Virginia. But they had come west and at that time they came here from Texas. But they were a Southern family. And my mother was Miss Laura, Mrs. was Miss Georgia. And they always, that way. But they were mora. liberal than some Southeners. Because they had come north and mixed. And some of the periudices that some of the South had. That was quite often true. Now, there was a lawyer here, Mr. Reid, Dames Redd, was from the South too, and he was from I think, South Carolina. And they were very stron friends, hey were very much alike. Brains, educated, Southern people. And now, he was much more liberal. But when his daughter was up here visiting, she was the old South and a black, would say, nigro(sicJ she would really, sne thought they should step off and stand in the gutter til she walked by. That was her feeling. Very definetely. They were not anything that way. Butcher father didn't have that feeling. He had lived in the North. He had become more liberal. And of course, they stayed Democrats.And the Democratic party is more or less a liberal party. But they had become more liberal on race, quite a few other things.
SS: Were they very active in early day Lewiston's affairs?
CM: Oh yes. They, well they didn't run for office, but they were keenly interested.
CM: Oh yes, always keenly interested in the community. As I say, they didn't themiyinterested selves run for office, but they were very keen. Oh yes, and they liked certain people.
SS: Was the Democratic party very strong here?
SS: It sure was u p north.
CM: Well, no, it wasn't. It wasn't so strong.
SS: They sere the minority.
CM: They were the minority and it may have been something about supporting theunderdog, too. One man my mother knew very well came through here. He was editor of the poetry journals and things and came judging at fairs. He was also, Southern gentleman. And he said he always belonged to minority party. When he was in Louisiana he had been a Republican. But as soon as he moved over to Pierce County, he was a Democrat, because the Democrats were in the majority. And it may have been a little of that, but I think that truly, that was the only party.
SS: Did your mother have the cha nee to go to college?
CM: Well, probably. There weren't colleaes aroundPalouse she went to what was called Spokane College. But it was just like going to high school. And 'bout the only ones that graduated that'd do anything that you'd consider that way were the ones that'd been out to preach. It was a Methodist college. And after she had come to Lewiston, finally she thought, she could quit and go to the Normal. But the job wouldn't be as good as what she had when she got through, so she stayed with what she had.Moscow was just really a new college. Pullman was a new college. She remembered when it was located. When they were going to locsce Pullman she was Appalcusa, they would get the college, fit was going to go to Whitman county, and actually the lay of the the best was'palouse. But they thought, well we'll enter it, so they wanted a good price for their land and so forth. Colfax had wanted it, but they didn't have a good location for it in their narrow valley, and they had the county seat. Ann Pullman really got in and worked. And they offered them this, that and the other to locate, so they went there. And of course, at that time Moscow started, and it was a small, it was a rather small school too. There were a lot of things called colleges that weren't really colleges. Lewiston had had oneA times. It was completely gone when she came here. And it was calle- a college. And President Turner and his son had school at Palouse and boarded at my grandmother's place. And she had attended this school.
SS: President Turner of thd defunct Lewiston college?
CM: Oh yes. name had been Turner. And one of his daughter's had married thesalesman, rather cultured people, but I questioned how much of a college it was.
SS: It was private?
CM: Yes, it was private. And there were a lot of those around, but actually, Idon't think 'they were too much. They were in a tent.
SS: How did she meet your father?
CM: Ch she was sent by the telephone company to Burns, Oregon. The company wasbuying up little companies, and they bought that one. And the man that was the Northeest traffic manager, Mr. Bush liked my mother very much. He was considered quite difficult. They were all afraid of him, more or less, but some way or other my mother was rather I guess didn't have much to hide and he liked her. And when they decided they wanted a man for manager in Lewiston, well they wanted a place for a brother-in-law of some other man, so she cuyli lave stayed here as chief operator.
SS: Had she been manager?
CM: Oh, she was manager, definitely. And she didn't want to do that. But shecould go to Portland, take this training, and then be a kind of a field rep« resentative, which sounded like, and it was, a good job.
SS: This was a relative of...?
CM: Well they were sending a relative here.
SS: To be the manager?
CM: Uh huh. He had too,..big an idea, about being a manager and he had to make upthe money he took. So after a while was ttihe manager and they gave it back to a woman.
SS: Woman was in kind of a vulnerable position.
CM: Oh well yes. You know, there weren't too many jobs open for women. And theythought that a man for a little while, but as I said, they burned their fingers on that one quite a bit. He being a relative of tuo officers of the company, they didn't let him go to the penitentiary, they made up the money. But he didn't stay as manager. But in the upset mother had gone to take this job and her job would be to go in where they bought a company, and standardize it and put it into regular shape.
SS: Is this where she had the hard time getting the room at the hotel?
CM: Oh yes. It was in Bums, Oregon. The next place she would have gone would havebeen Yakima. Companies were new then. And...
SS: She must have been pretty good manager, had good skills.
CM: Oh she did have. She could train an operator and she could standardize thebooks and do all of that.
SS: Do you think it was unusual at the time for women to get in that position?
CM: Well, there weren't too many opportunities, let's say it that way. Therewere plenty of women, probably, that could and things, but there weren't too many opportunities. There were not very many places open. Women, there were women sure. You could be a doctor or you could be a lawyer, but it was very unusual. Had a pretty hard time in school.
SS: What were the qualities that made her a good business woman?
CM: Well, probably, this may sound funny, but she had to be very exactin detail. And she was a great, she was a very energetic worker. She was very persistent. She set her course, she stayed there. She was very determined to go on and finish anything she did. Very, very determinsed, easily turned aside. And her mother was a businesswoman. She'd become a milliner, which was one of the few things open. And maybe it was a little bit of the, you know, the Quaker women were a little bit that way. They were inclined to do that. ^they were from a Quaker heritage. To a degree. And you can look back at the Quakers and they were, every once in awhile, the women did quite a bit. They were rather persistent in the, they did do quite a few things. They were, and they were strong sufferages. That was a Quaker trait. And while my mother waBn't a Quaker, and her mother, because she wasn't raised with it, still there was that feeling. And it was in the background, I guess. That a woman had just the same rights as a man. And they were realists, they would do what they could, they wouldn't try to do something that they couldn't do. "If I can't do this or I can't do that, alright,. we'll that." That's good too.
SS: You think your mother was aware of the limitations she had to labor under?
CM: Oh yes, of course...
SS: Being dominated.
CM: Oh she knew that. Of course they all knew that. Still, she always voted.Because women here were given rights. We never had the struggles that they did in Texas or New York, or some of those places. Women out here in ths West were given more rights. My mother always voted. That was nothing she had to struggle for.
SS: People now don't seem to be too aware of how limited opportunites were.
CM: Well they were so much Letter than they were in other places. And women havealways been able to,"Alright, I can't do that very well. I won't get along very well at the council, so I'll get a man to do what I wanted do." (laughs) Women have done that and they still tio. Because, if they'll listen to someone else, as long as he puts on the ideas I want, fine. And we do it to this day. Women do. If it's going to be better and you're paying for a man on TV, you may not want to do the talking your'self if you think a man's voice is going to be more pleasing. Okay, let him go ahead and sell it. But it's my article or it's my, what I want.
SS: Was it a difficult decision for your mother to get married? Giving up her career?
CM: Oh no. No, she had quit and her father, was getting old and she had enoughmeans that she thought she could manage. And she had quit anyway. Working. She was working when she met my father. But she wasn't working away from home at that time. No. And she had been engaged before that. She was engaged, but he died, one of the Buffalo Hunt boys. The Buffalo Hunt mine, you know. And oh no, that was something that she expected probably to be married.
SS: It's been my impression like if you taught, it was the policy to have writtenin the contract, that you can't teach anymore if your were married.
CM: Oh yes.
SS: It seems like at that time women were forced to choose.
CM: Oh yes. That was more or less the way it was even when I was teaching. A littlebit. Seme of them, there were married women teaching, but it was a little easier. You might get a job teaching in your home district if they knew you and they think,"Well, now we'll let Mrs. So and so do this. That'll keep the money at home and she's a good teacher."But if you were applying for a job away from there, tt probably entered into it. And,'cause they would,"Well is he going to live here or what? What are they going to do? Is she going to be going home every weekend or what?" It was in a little bit. It was always considered. It was probably a handicap In certain jobs. And then during the depression there was a feeling about one member of a family having a job.
SS: And that should be the man if possible.
CM: Oh yes. And so, well, they were spreading it around. And of course women,those times, sometimes had difficulties. Especially if she were married and still wanted a career and work. Then she was in trouble.
SS: But your mother, being restricted to the sphere of home didn't....
CM: No. She knew she'd do just as she pleased after she was married just as muchas she would before. That didn't enter into it at all.(laughs) She wasn't a bit worried about that, I don't think.
SS: Your father understood that too?
CM: On yes. He never thought, never thought They worked together agreat deal. But, no, he might like it or he might..not like it, or she might like it or not like it, but that was... Oh no, it never occured to him to be that way.
SS: But it seems like a lot of men had expectations of their witfes.
CM: Well, he didn't . He had a very definite feeling that women's rights shouldbe effected and remember, he had just a daughter. And a daughter that he thought a lot of. And he wanted that daughter to be treated just the way he wanted to, so he would defend women's rights. You see,that's probably why, we don't have mere conflict, after all, all the women have a father that probably thought a heck of a lot of them. And maybe the women have a son that they're very concerned with and they want that son to have privileges. So you see, it balances out. There's that about it. Wasn't it Theresa of Austria whose father wanted her to be abiii to have the throne and he did everything he could because it was against the law, but got it changed, because he had a daughter and he wanted her to be able to succeed. See it all comes in. It should, but it comes in more from father and daughter than mother and son, probably than it does from husband and wife, m Lota Jf cases, because it probably could be more conflict there,"I'11 take care of you, now you do what I say." But a father doesn't raant somebody bossing his daughter that way. He waDfcs, his daughter is very special.
SS: That was true of you and your father?, my goodness, yes. He adored me,absolutely adored me. I was an only child. So mpway did he want anything to be against the rights of women.(laughs)That would be affecting his most precious thing. So of course not. But as I lay, I don't think the women in this area had as much problems as they did in some other places. I think that Mrs. flab a lawyer's wife, Iknow she said,"Well you know Catherine, we have had it on a silver platter always. We've always had privileges and rights. And it was true.
SS: You think of it as Western thinking?
CM: Well, it was very typical of the west and it wasn't typical of all of theeast. Now there were probably spots,but, no I think that was more western. A greater freedom. Actually, anybody came west, the women shared all the hardships and were expecting, then, the results of it. And they homectr.aded too, remember. And they took up land. Maybe husbands and wives together so they'd-have a bigger ranch, but then, they had their rights. And women ran businesses. In the west. They probably did in the east, but there weren't so many other, there were a few businesses in the town. Now the one thing they didn't do in the begining was in the stores, they didn't clerk. They were men. You bought your ribbcos from a man. It was, Vollmer hired women in his store. But a lot of the stores, they were just begining to a little bit in the 90's in a lot of stores. Well, probably it was an economic thing, because it was a general store, maybe they'd have to sell the ribbon and move ft barrel of sugar. It probably had an economic thing, but we think of clerks so often, so many of the clerks as being women. But they were in the begining men. There were very fe wwomen clerks, except maybe in a milliner' store. But the women ran uotels,in Lewiston ran the saloon. It was Hank and Annie's saloon, but Annie ran the saloon, because Hank had to stay on the ranch, and besides, he might drink. So she ran the saloon because she wouldn't It happened that women did run a lot of businesses. But the one thing they didn't do that in ny young time, the one job open to women was to be a clerk. That was one of the things yvxi could do.
SS: It sounds like the reason it was that way was because with the west just openingup, they needed people to fill jobs.
CM: I think that had a lot to do with it. I think it undoubtedly did. And there*salways been a greater freedom out here. I can remember when we went east and visited Syracuse, New York and I was coming west and my uncle, I was 16, and he was telling me how to behave, on the way."If a strange man approaches you, you freeze them with a look. You are not to speak to strangers. Strangers don't speak to you, don't deed to worry." And that was true to Chicago, where he had arranged for me to be met by friends. So I had a nice time in Chicago. Then to Omaha, and that was another overnight trip. And then coming west, everybody on the car, I knew everybody. Freeze them with a look my eye. There was a fatherly man that knew about all the different interesting things and he talked. There was one motherly woman that was quite that way. There was one young girl my age and we went to lunch together. We had a grand time. Freeze them with a lock! Everybody knew everybody and everybody talked. And all of a sudden that was fine, I was home, I was west. But nobody talked to you back east. You didn't need to worry about freezing anybody with a look. There wasn't anything doing. Strangers were strangers. You didn't speak...
SS: Got acquainted.
CM: "Isn't that something to look at? Look at this. And how 'bout that. And whereare you from? And I'm so and so." It was just a different
SS: It was that dramatic a difference.
CM: Oh yes. Very very definete difference. And of course ,1 can remember, I wasgoing to Seattle. A friend of mine and everything sounded okay enough to my parents. 0ne afternoon she said,"Now Catherine, you be sure and wear your hat and your gloves After all, Seattle is much more of a city and you won't be. find 1 was there and I had an old time, and I was looking at window, it was after hours. And I remember the woman next to me standing there looking at and it was war time,MI time and she, we looked at something and commented about something in the window, verv natural where are you from?" Because from all over 'talk. You don't come up to stranoers in Seattle,"You wear your hat and you wear your gloves. Ane we were west and it was ridiculous. There was a western don't mean you do everything, but I think Westerners are different and I know that Mrs. Taylor, this is Kay LaRue, she's Taylors of Peck. And she told about talked about going on a trip. And they had gone, I think, to Alaska, And how different, you could tell the western people right away, from the eastern, because we talk. We were more friendly. I suppose its "Howdy, stranger." But its our way of doing it. And its part of the west that any strange person came to your door they'd probably come a long ways :r the ranch, and it was the correct thing to invite them in to share hospitality, you always offered them a night's lodging and food. And if you didn't there was something very wrong with you and you were very unpopular. And that was the old west, and I suppose its an outgrowth of that. That we have had that. You had to be rather open and friendly if you were going to survive.
SS: I wonder if that had something to do with the easier time women had?
CM: I think, so. I think it was the whole thing. The whole bit. just natural. Moreopen out here.
SS: Talking about the relationship with your father being a close one...
CM: Oh, very.
SS: I'm interested. I'm an only child too.
CM: Well you responsibilities. remember that. An only child has theresponsibility when times come if there's a family and mother's sick, there's two people or three or four to make the decisions. If you're an only child, maybe you are front and center alone. And there's a lot more responsibility with being an only child. It isn't all velvet. I remember a teacher at Cheney said,"All the only children hold up their hands. Now, look at all the spoiled children!" And I didn't know what to say then. I didn't know how to handle it. So I said nothing. But I would say, now look at all the res ponsible ones. They're going to have to face a lot of decisions. You are the only children in a family, very responsible. Cause you are it. You have to front and center. An only child has, they have to face riant from the beqining that they are the only hope their folks have. If they disappoint them, just think what it is. If there's two or three, well Let Suzie do it, or let Dohn do it. But when you're the only one, front and center.
SS: you think that makes for a closer relationship with the parents?
CM: I don't know. I think that's individual differences probably.
SS: But this special closeness between father and daughter, do you feel that thatis a pattern in a lot of families, or do you think that's unusual for you?
CM: No, I think there are other fathers, but I think mine is especially good-thatBut I think there probably are other fathers. I know of some that just simply.
SS: Adore their daughters?
CM: Oh yes. Take Mr. Earl. His life is wrapped up in their daughter completely,its(laughs) it's just such a natural thing. Why Valerie is everything to him, just everything. She Is to her mother too, but very very special to her father. I know I said to Tony, well I always knew that if I ever did any thing just terrible I could go to my folks and they would help. But I always knew that my father would say,"NOu don't feel bad, Dolly, we'll help you." And my mother would say, "What in the world did you do that for?""We'11 help you." She said,"Well, that's about the way it would be with us. What in the world did you do that for?"flnd of course, she'd help her. And her father, "NQu don't feel bad."
SS: You think the father would be less judgemental and more supportive?
CM: It would come out first, "Don't feel bad."
SS: What makes that special qualitiy where a father would be closer to his daughterthan to his son?
CM: I don't know that he necesaarily would. But he would not, any father of adaughter would not want that daughter to be harmed by any other man. And he would want her to have rights. Because while he might think he could be trusted to be right, he wouldn't want to trust any other man to treat her would fight for that. He would want her to have property rights, a fairness to be secure in her rights. He wouldn't want her to be dependent on -body else. He might think it was alright for her to be dependent .on him, but not on anybody else. And of course, a husband things alright for his wife, things depend on him. But the father isn't going to think that. He's not going to trust the other guy that much. And the mother isn't going to trust the young woman much. She's going to want hoi son to he So she the lost too much the other way. She would know what to say If the wife has every thing. If she has a son she'll say,"Well no, he ought to have rights." So that's mainly what keeps the laws a little bit equal.
SS: I've had the impression that a lot of families believe that you shouldn'tshow affection for your kids. That it was important to raise them with a sense of discipline, that's a rather old country idea.
CM: I think that probably varied with the countries, but it wasn't an Irish way.My father was Irish and he would remember how much affection there was in his family. That his father could come in, he ran a quarry, and he had stayed out too long and gotten his feet cold and how his father would rub them with snow, which probably for him, we know it now, but he thought it was. And never complain and do all these things for them and never complain a bit. Or anything that way. And so affection was a thing, it was in the family. And my grandfather, my mother's father thought his family, was very affectionate toward them and his wife, who hadn't had it, because she had not been raised in the kindness, but she wanted her children'-to have it. So she was very, se basically in our families on both sides. I think if my mother hadn't shown me affection my father would have wanted to murder her, and if .he hadn't, she would have wanted to murder him. They wouldn't have dared not to. And they naturally did feel it, but it was no, there was nothing of that, and they did not like it when other people didn't.
SS: To their children?
CM: Oh I know my father was so mad one man who worked at the cannery inJuliaetta, anything I did for my father was,"Oh hew nice and beautiful." And this little girl came down with his lunch. And I guess she was maybe five minutes later than he wanted her to be. I don't know. She was a very nice girl. "Well come on there and hurry up!" And he was just real cross with her. And never any., and my father would have said how nice I was to bring him his lunch. I would have been an angel absolutely. And if he had a nickel I'd have had it for ice cream cone or some reward, and oh, he would have made a big todo over me. I would have been really just more than made over. And he, well I suppose it would make it worse for her if I said anything, but it was all he could do to keep from really just blowing up and telling that man off. Bust hard, you could almost grit his teeth. The him being that way to his little girl! Was very, just oh. The man didn't know how he'd displeased his boss with him. If It wouldn't have been hard on the child I'd have was his fealing about him. He just did not like that at all! He never liked it, course he never liked it when a man imposed. can remember that there was a couple in Burtons, the man hung around the saloons and he said, he'd see his wife out in the snow splitting wood or splitting wood and my father thought that tbas the worst thing of all, if man didn't split the wood, because they had wood to burn, and the woman had to do that, why that was just simply, that was absolutely disgraceful. The ranch, he had to hire a cook and roustabout and she was the only one he could get and he came into town and he hired her and her husband. He said, "Well at least for once he's got to split her wood. While he's working out on the ranch he's got to keep that stove, she doesn't split her own wood at least for months. Worthless blankety blank." But that was the feeling he had. Oh, he was most indignant. That was one of the things. You saw a woman at the woodpile. He would have had to been very, very sick for a long time before ha, and then he would have thought if he could possibly crawl out he should do that. That was not a woman's job. They might do other hard work, but that was, what with things, they'd evidently been taught very definetely, that was not a woman's job.
SS: Do you think that extended to things like milking cows?
CM: To a degree. Not as much, but to a degree, yes. I think probably in theirfamily it did. I think probably my father's family, it was pretty much that way. You would have, the even if there was around to do it. And on the other hand, you might sprout oats for your chickens and in the house and the woman should be perfectly willing to have that much of mess, because it would be better for the chickens. And she shouldn't be that much of a fussy housewife. If you needed to do that, you shouldn't do it. But I know my grandfather on my mother's side felt that a man should orovide finacially, although- his wife always did things, but she did them because she wanted to. But he still felt that he should see that there was ham and so forth for the table.
SS: Which is the same attitude that your father had.
CM: Yes. To quite a degree. They had a little different approaches on it, differentculture, but yes, they both, and it never occurred to either one of them to object to what their wives would do. I'm sure my grandfather never thought he should. If Emily wanted to do it, why, Emily could do it. He might speak up and say, it sas a picnic, which was one of the, they didn't have very much amusement, and maybe they'd have a picnic and everybody go. It wouldn't be say, there's going to be a picnic in Asotin and be a whole day outing. He'd say,"Oh we won't bother with that." And my grandmother probably wouldn't say. being a lot younger would maybe have wanted to go. And I know my mother said she didn't realize the difference in age, because of course,it was a fact of life, and her brother was visiting, and he was older than his wife. Cyrus was older than Rachel. And fahere was a picnic going on. Iguess my grandfather was away. But Cyrus says,"Oh we won't bother to go there." And to her brother she would say more than she would to her husband that way. She said,"Now look ahere, Cyrus, you're older than Rachel. You just get busy and you take Rachel to that picnic. She would enjoy going." And she said we had a big fight over it and Irealized that probably she felt the same Because generally the picnics we went to were when he was gone and she took the children and went. And probably didn't go very much when he was there, because he didn't want to bother. And if he didn't want to she didn't make an issue of it. But if she wanted my grandfather said no, I want to go so and so, and she always had her way. She wouldn't do it unless it was important.
SS: Your mother felt the same way.
CM: It never occurred to my mother that she wouldn't expcess her views. Neveroccurred to her not to.
SS: In your upbringing, how did they treat you? To be responsible?
CM: Yes, I think ouite a bit. They were rather advanced.I think I was treatedmuch more modern ideas than most children in ny group. I think I was very fortunate in that, I was never lied to, I was told the truth. As soon as I was interested enough to want to, in every line. Anything was discussed in front of me. From family finances to politics to morals to anything else. children don't pay attention til they're old enough to grasp it. And just as you gradually do, It comes as no great shock. I was treated in a probably very advanced way. I remember an acquaintance of my mother's aaying, "I told them they couldn't do that, they certainly, they couldn't come home." And mother had said, I would never say that. Because Catherine coui'd always come home. No matter what she did. "Well aren't you afraid she'll go wrong?" And my mother said, Wo I'm not the least bit afraid."(laughs) And of course, the thing is, that a child that is loved that much doesn't want to hurt their folks. And they would hate like the dickens to disappoint them if they only realizea but if they're taking that other attitude, you might want to do it to spite 'em. But these parents, but that was my folks, they were very much that way, and theyl frowned on anybody that wasn't. They didn't like people that werentt good to their children. They didn't like anybody to cast anybody out. My mother was very bitter about anybody that did that.
SS: Cast their own children out?
CM: Oh yes. She thought they had a deal to answer for. One wealthy man, his daughterhad had a child out of wedlock, and they cast her, oh no. And that child had grown up, I think that it was maybe a grandchild that he remembered in his will rather definitely. Had tried to do quite a bit for. The mother said, "Well he was trying to ease his own conscience, but I don't think it was too effective, because'.'she as far as she was concerned, he had been inexcusable. And of course she would never have allowed her husband to take that stand and she felt that his wife had been one of those weak things that wouldn't speak her own minds, and the idea. If she couldn't help it, why couldn't she?(laughs) She was very young. And very critical of people that did that.
SS: Did they believe in lotting make own decisions, or did they believein discipline?
CM: Oh,you had to mind. I mean the sky would fall on me if I said I won't dosomething I was asked to do. At least I thought it would. I knew they wouldn't really hurt me, but I still thought the sky would absolutely fall on me. I never, I always had to mind. And never occurred to me not to. Because I had been started that way. When I was quite young, I know that I was playing and my mother was working and she had a woman hired that was working and I think they were a small cannery. And this woman, whose husband did At' support her, uusn't worth a hoot, was having quite a time, but my mother liked her very much. And she was trying to earn all the money she could, so she was working as hard as she could, it was piece work and she said to her daughter, "Mary, bring me another bucket of the fruit," and then it would be, help her that much. Or pan, of fill it, it was something, a child could do. And Mary and I were playing. And Wary just went right on playing. And she didn't bother. And she asked her, and mother knew that she was getting out of it, kind of worried and she said. "Catherine, get Mrs. that." And I did? It never occurred to me not to. And she said,"I didn't realize it embarrassed Mrs. so much. She said, "She minds'.' But it never occurred to me, because I would have had to, that would have been required absolutely. I think I was given the understanding that it was not an unreasonable was never imposed on, I was never made a drudge. I never had to no a lot of work. Rut if Iwas given the request, there was a reason for it, ^ I'd 3UrP r::D it# If I as told to keep still, I kept still. Because my mother hod a reason or she wouldn't tell me to. I think I knew that very young, and I knew that I should.Onyxes, definete'y, I had to mind. Bust absolutely, I was indulged a grsat deal too, and I knew that. And I knew the requests came from mama. But of course, like all kids, I did a lot of th I shouldn't have done. Naturally, I got into everything. I knew that basically that if I did certain things, I'd be in trouble, sure.
SS: But you did them anyways sometimes?
CM: Oh once in a while, sure.
SS: Like what?
CM: My father went after me. I ran away from home every day of the world for awhile there. And tlais time he had gone after me, ne was leading ne home verynicaly I was small, and he lifted me over the irrigation ditches so I wouldn't get my feet wet. And I was mad I didn't want to come home so I stuck my feet in the water. My mother said I was quite huffy. He said "Don't say anything to her, I found out after. I paddled her (laughs) Imaoine very carefully over the water and then sticking your feet in. My poor father. He really didn't want me to feel very bad.
SS: Why were you running away from homo?
CM: A road was there to be walked on and I couldn't see any reason not to. SoI ran.
SS: How old ere you?
CM: I suppose I was four. I was young. And I ran away to the Olsons mosttime, and uas understood more or less that Icould go there, she would call up and tell mother not to worry. Mother said she'd straighten uP and she'd see my sunbonnet bobbing up and down going over there. I was made at home there. I had to mind Mrs. Olson just like I wouli at home. It was kind of company there. She had boys and it was a family, and there was an older girl and I was just like a sister to them. And my, they were old family friends. My, Mr. Olson had at one time roomed at my grandmother's house at Palouse, And another time he had boarded with my grandmother. And my mother had chummed with Mrs. Olson's sister, who.died. Been a very close chum, and knew them so well. And they knew the same people in Palouse and they lived in Clarkston, so they were just very naturally good friends and when they she moved into cur neighborhood, we were there first. They were about three blocks away and they were fairly long blocks. But they talked it over and it was too hard for me to say Mrs. Olson, but I always had to be rather formal, with people. But they decided that I would call her Auntie. She was a close enough friond that if anything had happened to my mother, it would have been alright if she had raised me. That was the kind of feeling. And she was always Auntie to me. I still have kind of a feeling like a sister to the boys. We visit and that sort of thing. When they came home and they all were living away they naturally brought their wives to our house too. The poor women didn't know at first if that was just, couldn't uite understand. It was almost like the family all over again, and yet, we eeren't family. But they wEre old friends and that was where I ran to most the time, and that was more acceptable. When I went some places they didn't want me to be, they went after me, quicker. But I could stay there quite a while.
SS: Was this an early streak of independence that you were shouing?
CM: It was to me, I know, a road was there to go on and think maybe, a lot ofchildren, you see them playing in the street. And its dangerous and its worry. I know a younger friend of mine^when they see older people using the street and they thin!: they should too. And they don't know the danger. Of course, we didn't have as much danger in the streets, I was on the path, anyway. Thank goodness not near the water, or my mother would have lost her mind, because she was terribly afraid of drowning. She didn't worry about me a bit if I went to Olsons.
SS: She was afraid of drowning?
CM: If I had been by the river I think she would have been very worried.
SS: Is that because she was raised near the Palouse River?
CM: She wasn't a bit afraid of it. And she said afterwards she didn't know hoyher mother stood it. Because she walked the logs, she was expert at going out on the logs and walking. She spent hours. And she swam in the summer and she skated on the ice. And loved it. She said,"I don't know how my mother stood it.
SS: She had the same fear for you.
CM: But she had a fear for her me* Her mother probably didn't have too much forher. But she knew some children drowning or something and of course she was always afraid for me. And we were in a third story window and she'd get dizzy and could be looking out, because Iknow my mother even when Iwas growing, would be holding on to me so I wouldn't fall. Holding on."Mother, what in the world?" I could be a grown person. She was always afraid for me. She said, "If you must go up in an airplane, let me know. I'll go with you. We die together." So I didn't tell her til after I'd landed, then ^mouth shut.
SS: How do you think other children your age perceived strictness. I had an ideatheee was a lot of strictness.
CM: They were strict about a lot of things, and mother was more advanced than most.One of my friends, I know her mother was stricter, but they were very loving to her too. We were not abused children. Her father was a little more advanced than her mother. I know Georgette blouses came in style, you could see through. She was going to have Georgette sleeves in her dress. Finally did get them. But her mother and her mother's sister, Auntie Em and a grandmother and they looked and they thought that was terrible. So I think they set up for two flights and they crochedted a very elaborate undergarment for me to wear that had sleeves down to about herC. Of course, she wore it only about one block from home and then ditched the thing before she went to the party. Naturally it would have looked like the dickens. But she said,"Think of all the work they put in it on that beautiful crochet." Of course, she had to get ou- of the house. There were some people that brought other things. Now in this Italian family I know, they wouldn't let of the house without a member of the family. And that was my enn-ret"on anri the oldest boy in the Italian family has quite a lot of responsibility and privileges. But he's kind of the boss. And so when his sister went to hich school, but if she wanted to go to a high school dance, she couldn't go with anybody slse, her brother had to take her. And so he always took her. And then years later, his younger sister.^She was a whole lot younger. The mother still wouldn't let her go. He would come and take her. He'd leave early and pick her up, take her home because that was the only way she do it. nly could get to a dance. And she wasn't allowed to go out of the house on a date. Fcrtunatly the man she married, it was more or less, a family arranged thing, it was a vary nice marriage, and it worked out, but her, the brother'o defensive, he said,"Bust think how awful it could have been." But no way was she allotted to go.
SS: She must have been very...
CM: And they were very strict.
SS: She must have lacked that opportunity to develop independence,it was a very rigid thing. Now, she married , very very nice one and they had a very good life and they were much more liberal then. Her life became a lot more liberal as soon as she was married. But I think he was invited to the house by her father to meet his beautiful daughter with the idea of marriage, but they did happen to hit it off and he was a nice person. They did have a very good life, so I suppose that would be the arguement about arranged marriages, but they didn't raise their children that way, they were very Americanized, by the time they came along. So evidently they didn't think it was the only thing. But it sid happen, she happened to be avery beautiful girl and, but it was done with that idea.
SS: Of protecting her.
CM: Now the boys were allowed a lot more freedom.
SS: Wasn't this a double standard^in families, that the girl had to be protectedand the boy goes out and can have a good time?
CM: Well it might have been somewhat. Now, my father had a sister, that he usedto take to things, but I think it was more or less so she would have an escort. And he thought a lot of her. And think all the brothers would have plain murdered anybody that hadn't been^to her, was their idea. But I don't know whether my Irish grandmother, see, she was dead before I was born awhile, now she might have been a little more strict than the other one would have been. She may have had a little more of that attitude, but still, I think they had some notions.
SS: But what about the girls of your generation?
CM: Yes, I was a little more liberally raised than lots of them, but not alltogether. There were others. I wasn't the only one that was raised that way. There were probably some that were held back more. And some that rebelled a lot more, because they had more to rebel about. I don't know, I think our restrictions were more real restrictions were more our ouo ideas. What we approved and what we didn't approve was realty what counted. It didn't matter so much difference what our folks thought. It generally doesn't to kids. They're more concerned with what their own group thinks. I think the youngsters today, they don't worry about impressing their parents', they worry about impressing the other ones their age. So I think its more that.
SS: When you were growing up, that was the begining of the 1920's. The flapperage. uid it seem to be...
CM: Oh yes, I guess we were. But I think kids have always done that. They're stilldoing it.
SS: N0w it seems like an Institution. I thought that was the begining of the wholething.
CM: Yes, a degree they had always I think that's typical ofyouth. With more affluent age it shows up in different ways. We have a little more to do with. More places to go. More clothes to wear. If you didn't have to spin your cloth and knit your socks you probably could do more other things. I think that I suppose we were somewhat in rebellion. Certainly we thought we were very, very morioEn, but then, all kids do. And there's nobody more sophisticated than a high school kid, or thinks they are. They just know everything, and tiien the early 20s, you know everything. At least you hope you know. And in the 40s you wish to goodness you knew something and in the early 50s you know darn well you don't, and so on and so forth. SS: That was true back then?
CM: Oh yes.
SS: What abodt...
CM: It was quite daring for a girl to smoke. And of course we came out of theProhibition age that was very daring.
SS: To drink too?
CM: Oh yes. But that depended of course on your ethnic background, whether liquorcan gat in the household or not, too. Smoking of course, was not approved. My mother didn't approve of smoking and I tried it and didn't care for it so that was that. But she would, oh dear, it wouldn't be a very gooo idea for me to smoke. And my father wouldn't have approved of It. But. my friends, her mother hoped she see her smoking. Because It would be very disgraceful for lodge members if she smoked and her sewing circle knew that her daughter smoked. My mother thought some of her contemporaries smoked,"What in the world do you do it for?" And would say so and could say, "Laura, shut up." She just didn't like it. They weren't so strict about drink. They didn^t approve of it. Wine if it was nice and served right. Mincemeat wasn't good without brandy in It. But it wasn't a good thing, one way or the other.
SS: What was their attitude about telling the kids the facts of life?
CM: I always knew. I was raised that way. A very young child isn't much interestedbut I was told the truth all the way up. In fact, I know one person that never told that Goreta was anything but a fairy I always knew where my presents came from. But I had just as much fun. Christmas was a great deal, but I was never told,"Santa Claus will find out." Because I knew who Santa Claus was. Its just like it was Cinderella and was like anything else. I had told the stories The Night Before Christmas, and all that and loved it too, but, no, I was never taught that way. Mother didn't believe in anything but the truth. Now that was unusual. I think people growing up like to see kids interested in that. I think they do it for their own pleasure. But there's still a lot of kids talking Santa Claus.
SS: Where do you think your parents got their ideas? Was it a family traditionfor them, or were they intuned to progressive ideas in the culture?
CM: A little of both probably. They were, after all when you come, leave anold country and come to a new , you're a little progressive. You'tb a little bit adventureous. And it wasn't too far back that they did that. Their grandparents, their parents had come. MY father's parents had. my mother's father had, not the mother. She went back, but the mother was more conservative too. A conservative member of the whole family. And I think she read quite a bit. Formed their opinions and just h^tulr^ly were rather liberal. Rather progressive that way, I suppose I was very fortunate in them. They were progressive. And I thin:Auss wonderful. And they believed in a lot of frankness and a lot of truth. It was fine. I wouldn't want to raise any child that way.
SS: You wouldn't?
CM: oh I would,. Oh yes, just exactly the way I was raised. I think it was wonderful.I was so shocked when I was teaching school. Early in the fall, 'bout this time of the year, somebody burst in.tears. What in the world was happening over here in the room? "He said there wasn't any Santa Claus." I stopped. What in the world. Well I thought this is up to the parents and they want him to think there's Santa Claus, but these are pretty old kids for that. And the others were haw haw hawing. So I said, well, there is And trying to get ahold of myself, and I thought, made everybody quiet, picked out one of the boys that was pretty much haw hawing, but also a pretty good leader, and I said "Jimmy, you come up here and I'll tell you who he is and you will know that ther is a Santa Claus." So when with every kid. He was a nice little boy.And I said Santa of giving. He's very real. He gets in you and you want to give a present, and gets in your mother and she doss and its very real, you don't see it. but it's there.Santa Claus is real, Its the spirit of giving. It comes at Christmas especially. So Simmy went back and said there was a Santa Claus. I saved the day for the little girl. I oidn't know who else in the world my room of fourth graders believed in Santa Claus? I didn't know I was going to have that problem. But Christmastime I had several letters to mail to Santa Claus. Because if I mailed them Santa Claus would get them then. Course, I read them and the poor little kids told what grades they got in deportment and everything.(laughs) You feel like,"Oh my goodness! Why haven't I done more for this poor little child?" But I never went through that. I was never disappointed. I was always thrilled with Christmas, I had just as much fun as anybody.
SS: Growing up with your friBnds, did that mean you had a different outlook onlife?
CM: I suppose a little bit. But mother told rne that if they want to believe that,that's their business. So don't say anything. So that was something I kept to myself. That was And I don't know.
SS: Did you have a greater sense of self?
CM: I don't know. Maybe I had, I certainly had as much, but I don't know. Therewere other people independent too. We had definite ideas of what we wanted to do and thought we'd do 'em. You always think you're going to when you're young, you know. And I know one girl that very calmly said, "I will either marry a millionaire, a rich nan, or I will be a doctor cr a concert pianist.11 Well she did end up a very highly trained registered nurse. Very skilled. And she married a wealthy man. I guess she knew what ehe wanted. She was nor quite a good enough musician to be a concert pianist, but she was good. So, she was a determined little rat.
SS: Did you grow up in Clarkston?
SS: Where you live now?
CM: No, farther out. On 12th street and then on 7" and then on Boulevard, we livenboth places.
SS: Hou did it happen that your parents moved there?
CM: Oh, I moved where we are. That was my move.
SS: No, I mean when you were a kid. When did they first come to Clarkston?
CM: Oh mother bought over there before she was married. Clarkston was planneda little bit in her office. And she thought it was a good Investment and she bought an acre.
CM: There was no Clarkston when mother came to Lewiston. There was just Lewiston.There was negater in Clarkston. And aman named Libby came through here and they were talking about if they could just finance water, some of the people. You know, you could start a town and it was a big thing then to start a new town. That was a few blocks of land and you start a town, if it caught on, you made money. That was quite a thing. But they could start a town over there if they hao water. And how they coulo get water, he listened and he said, "Well I know my wife has friends in Boston that could do that. The Adams family." The descendants of the President, you know. The Adams, Charles Francis Adams. And they talked more then in the office of the Alexander store and decided that that was the thing to do, and they put up money and sent this man who didn't have much mom y. He was selling magazine subscriptions and having kind of a hard time. His wife was still back in Boston. And sent him back and he did talk to Charles Francis Adams and Adams did finance it and he was the first manager of the land company.
SS: Charles Francis Adams?
CM: No, he never came out here, but Mr. Libby, Libby Street in Clarkston is namedfor him and so forth. And he, that was how Clarkston started. And my mother bought acreage over there. Had that before she was married. And after they were married, my father, instead of moving to Oregon, he moved up here. He had been in Alaska four summers and winter s up inethe Nome gold rush, before they were married. There was more money spent In Alaska than there was taken out in those- days. He struck some gold, but not enough. And he'd followed his hunch and bought the land he should have bought in Seattle, why he'd a been much richer. But the others in the group said,"Oh don't be a quitter. Come on and go."
SS: Go where?
CM: To Alaska. And he went and the place he would have bought would have beenvery valuable land. In the heart of Seattle. He always knew that's where he really missed his stake. His instiflGt was to do it, but he went with the group.
SS: How had he wound up in Seattle?
CM: He was shipped from Seattle
SS: I mean, he had come to Seattle to go to Nome?
CM: Oh yes, he was with the group that were going up there.
SS: Group of Irish or associates?
CM: Bust associates, I think. No, they weren't necessarily Irish.
SS: When they met...
CM: Well there were some from Oregon.
SS: H0w did he and your mother, she was in Burns.
CM: She went to Burnes to take over the paper, I mean the telephone company, andhe had gone in just the day before and they set in the telephone office, because everybody had business in the telephone office. And my mother was still engaged, because Mr, Butterfleld hadn't died yet. He But my father liked her very much right from the begining, I guess. So he did every thing he could. Course, it was a family joke that the first thing she asked him for was beer. She couldn't drink the alkalied water of Burnes, it was just so alkali and she thougat maybe she could drink some beer and she said in Lewiston if she wanted some beer, she could have set down to one of the saloons a messenger boy and gotten it, without any trouble. But she didn't know Burnes that way and she was ee thirsty and she thought maybe she ccule beer. And she thought he was nice young man and woulan't take undo advantage of her requests for beer. Of course he always kidded her about it. Then I know he liked this new telephone girl. He had been east several times to his brother's in Syracuse, so he probably had a little mere city ideas than some of the boys. She was dressed probably a little more city, because she came from Portland there. Ann I know that one time, one of the travelling men coming through had caught some special fish, wanted to ask my fether to take it in and get it cooked. He said,"Now you can have one, but this is for me." It was to be for him. So my father took the fish, gave it to the girl at the hotel. He said,"Florence you can have that one,but this is for Miss Barnes."So my mother said, she didn't know what difference and probably right in front this family man who had an ordinary fare probably, beefsteak isnt always too tender in And here she was eating this nice trout. She didn't know anything about it. He thought that was a hilarious joke. But...
SS: Did she know she was getting a delicacy?
CM: Well she knew, but she didn't know that he'd swiped it.(laughs) But she thoughtit was just the biggest poke ever was to have this man come In and not know what happened to his fish. Its somebody he knew real well. And, but he met her and they talked. And from then4heyr corresponded. It was four years later before they were married. So that was where they met. Course, I always kidded him, I said, flow dad, I know my mother walked across one. of those muddy streets and fouled up her skirts. She had a very nice ankle. Extremely nice. It was as good aa Marlene Deitrich1 or Betty Grablc or anybody's. I said, I know, 'cause he really always noticed the ankles on people and women didn't show their ankles much then. That was a joke in our family. But he thought right.
SS: Four years by correspondence.
CM: A whole lot by correspondence. come to see her once in a while, buthe was in Alaska. Most of the time. They had met there in uregon and he came out from Alaska, come and see her. It was quite a bit correspondence. He was rather an idealist. He would idealize anybody. And she was, he thoueht she was just about right. That way. And they were rather different in temperament very different.
CM: Oh, in attitudes, in lots of ways, but there was always this great respect.They wouldn't shouk each other too much. Oh she might cut her hair, one of the first to bob her hair. And see what he'd say. She had her hair cut two years before I did."I hope you're satisfied."(laughs)He didn't much like it. There wasn't anything he could do about it. He knew that. But still, basically they would always respect each others feelings. Important things, count on the other one. Neither one would boss the other one too much. Because that Wasn't the way you did it. It never occurred to my father to tell my mother, "You can't do that!" Because I say you can't, I'm the head of the house." That never occur^ to him. They would talk over anything that way. I suppose there are homes where that was done. It always comes as a surprise to me. 'Cause I think anything that way should be arrived at by mutual discussion. I know there are homes where it isn't.
SS: In those days it must have been even more common thing.
CM: Well there were people that talked things over, though. And did it very liberally.
SS: He idealized her?
CM: Oh, very much. I think any woman. I think probably. I thinkmaybe they do. But of course my grandfather, who was Dutch, Luxembourg Dutch certainly idealized his wife, Elmy was perfect. Elna. He called her Elmy. She was just perfect.
SS: It seems like a pretty good basis for a marriage.
CM: Well, friendship is probably better, than idealizing. Its hard to live uoto be an ideal. I think friendship is probably better, but then, it was rather a thing and no one took she died, why he would naver look at another woman.
SS: Do you think eventually it was friendship with your parents?
CM: Yes, quite a bit. Quite a bit of friendship. And mutual interest in me. Vervmuch that.I think that the children do have have a tendency to hold people.
SS: But in a lot of families I think it was the roles the role of the wife...
CM: I suppose. But no, it wasn't so much that, I don't think. I don't think so.Of course My Irish grandmother, I didn't know Catherine Foley Mahon, I daresay, oh she was religious, she wouldn't have thouqht about it. If you were married, you were married for life. Definitely. That good Catholic, oh my goodness. But I think more stability and character probably. Not being a flighty person. Course my mother always said,"Well, at least divorce is a whole lot better than hav# somebody kill somebody to get free." That was true, she sale,"You know, that used to be the only way out of a bad marriage." You had to get rid of him, you had to poison 'em or kill 'em or shoot 'em. Or do something, plan someway, murder. And she said,"Certainly divorce is much better than that,"
SS: What would be the main difference between your parents be?
CM: They aren't similar. Hard to put it in words. There was a great spirit ofplay in my mother. And also in my father, but It would come out differently. a different business approach en lots of things. But no, they hac lot in common too. A great deal in common. Ha was more conservative.
SS: You said, like he disliked Roosevelt...
CM: Oh no, ha didn't like Roosevelt, He didn't like his accent, he could imitat?it perfectly. He didn't like anybody he'd say "Wan."
CM: Wah,(laughs) He didn't like anything about him.
SS: But you think that the Democrats were such a bunch of losers til they hadWilson..
CM: He didn't Wilson.
SS: They finally came up with a winner with Roosevelt.
CM: He didn't like Wilson either.(laughs) He was certainly a good democrat .tilthey office, and then he didn't like them. He didn't like Wilson.
SS: Did he dislike the New Deal? Did he that was ban?
CM: Not all of it, but some of it. But he just didn't like him. Ho thought hewas a stuffed shirt. I think. And he thouoht he was like him at all. He thought he was a him at all. And his sister.
SS: You told me his sister came, he got a
CM: Oh yes. It was real funny.
SS: You were born and raised in Clsrlsston. after your parents moved herewhat eere they doing at that tine. Your father was in the csnn3ry busings?
CM: Well not right away. They had the acreage and they truck farmed and thethething to do was to have alittle greenhouse and do it that way so they raised cucumbers in the greenhouse. And then from that the cannery came in and then they started plants in there and then they went to cannery. But it was agood way to starve to dnath here in the early days too, because it wasn't all that much money in an orchard. They had an orchard. And it was a very beautiful life, there's nothing more tempting than an orchard and growing things. And it's not aprofitable life. few people make anything on it. Cannery was alittle better, but fruit, soft fruit is atouchy businsee.
SS: Was the market pretty uncertain?
CM: very uncertain. It always is, still is. wheat farmer can at least say,"Uhatwill you give me?" Soft fruit farmer says,"What didn't you give me." There's a difference, a very great difference.
SS: What do you mean," did you give me?"
CM: fell you have to sell your fruit. You take it in. Uhat did you give me forit, instead of what will you give me. You have no chance to bargain. You take what you get. Sometimes its abill for transportation. Hy father always felt sorry for the growers, felt a great sympathy for them, even when the other side and buying. And did Itell you the time he had the men Chicago here and, at uuliaetta? Well, he was running the oennery, and the cannery always contracted the large orchards of fruit. Jell when the man came out from Chicago and wanted to rent, well he came out and he had run awhole sale house in Chicago where you shipped fruit and thoy sold on adiscount basis. And apercentage basis. And he had handled fruit from Juliaetta. He remembered handling it. This man walked in and he had diamond rings, had his bookkeeper with him, he was dressed very nice. All Hart And he hunted up the cannery and he said he thought he would take a vacation. And this he was ooing to do to oay for his vacation, end he said he though t he would pack out some care of fruit and ship thorn back to his house in Chicago. And with the fruit he could get that year in Bullaetta.
Ana my father hadbeen worrying all season about the Potter orchard, because the Potter orchard was, he didn't have it under contract, but he knew the people so well, he said,"I'11 have to take them. And it's such a big CroP this year and they're going to be eo small that I can't do it with profit.' WhatMl I do with the Potter orchard?"Big gallon can grade. And so this man walked in, out of the blue, and he said, "I'd like to pack out some fruit. Is there any extra fruit that you don't have under contract?" And dad said, "Yes, there's fruit. I have enough under contract to fill our orders. And there is other fruit." And he said,"Well, I've always thought the Potter orchard fruit was so good. I've had it there in Chicago. Is it?" And dad said,"No, you can get the Pa orchard." He said,"Where would that ?" Ho said, "Well I can rent you space, because through before we start canning. You can use this warehouse space. And you can use the same crew. Largely they'll work for you and then they'll come and work for me." So he wanted to see the Potter orchard and they rented a horse and buggy, which you rode in those days and went out and looked at the trees. And my father held his breath, because he felt,oh my, he surely won't take it. But the man just saw trees loaded with rinnrnns red cherries and,"Oh isn't this lovely?" And he tasted them, and of cnurpn, they did have a fresh good taste and oh, he thought this was lovely. But mostly, he just looked at them and thought it was grand. And so hu bought the Potter orchard. And my father got ahold of the men in the town and he said,"Get every picker in town in there fast, 'cause there's going to be an ewful squawk pretty soon." And so everybody in the little town of Juliaetta that could nick cherries went down and picked at the Potter orchard and all the people that could pack showed up. You know it eoesn't take muce, and the word of mouth and the town of four hundred. And pretty soon the man from Chicago, who had been very pleasant to mother and I was going through and saying,"These currants your husband sold me..."because they were so small they wouldn't face out, because they used to pack them very fancy, in face fruit. They had to put them in little cartons and ship them. Course, they didn't lose any money on it. But they had agreed, my father told him get a price per pound. And they had agreed to it, and they had contracted the orchard. And they got their money, and the fruit sas shipped. And of course, they could sell them in Chicago alright, but...
SS: Wait, I miss the point.
CM: Well he had bought the fruit and he didn't realize that it was so small. Itwas very small, because it was such a big crop. Whan there's a big crop, your fruit is small. And my father said,"Well I'm an expert, on fruit. But I would go out the can, and I would count the number of cherries in it. Because wheo you put out a good can of cherries, we can for Sprague-Warner Inc. The world's largest wholesale grocery store. Grocery place. We had to have, for our u just so many cherries had to fill the can. Say there way 80 and you had 100 and you were subgrade. And it had to fill it, it had to weigh so much, after it was drained, say, for half an hour they syrup had te test a certain amount. And it had to come up to these very strict standards, Well, if you had too small a cherries, you couldn't put 'em in this grade. They sent in a poorer grade on down to the gallon. And this is what would have happened to those cherries. They were too small. They, tremendous crop by weight, but they were small.
SS: So was the Potter orchard in^same shape as everyone else's.
CM: No, it was just the Potter orchard. The rest of them weren't so bad.
SS: The Potter orchard had a bigger crop?
CM: Bigger crop than usual. Had just set heavily, and it was a mess. From a fruitstandpoint, it was too many. And of course, you don't pay in cherries, so there it was.
SS: So he got the better of this man?come to father, it came to everybody in the everybody was buckling. The country hicks had put it over on city slicker. It as a case of that. Because here was this man, and that the business could rrcp.mr^nm.mhbperr ft-iimneoso wh^en they had sold to these houses crop fron the greenhouse. And they said, We're so glad to net the lettuce, have no other lettuce in in Spokane. The price wasn't a bit. Mother said,"Well we thouoht we'd little more when it was the only lettuce." "Oh, we didn't want to hold up our people the house of course did, but then didn,t much on it. And it all the time. And you would ship your fruit and they would It was spoiled, it was this, it uas that, and sometimes you couldn't possibly that bad. And thero were cheated so when they got the best of the man who was flashing around there In...
SS: Diamond rings.
CH: Yes, diamond rings. On this toilor workers of tne soil. The other people.
SS: ...your own orchard?
CM: well mother had an orchard when she married father.
SS: She had a house on the place?
CM: Uh huh, yes she had a house on the lake.
SS: Had she done that herself?
CM: Well, her father was with her
Oh yes, she had financed it. It waher place. That was at was her maiden name, but she spelled it differently than they so it now Somebody got smart and corrected the record because like Switzerland Berne. Mother was in Lewiton Lewiston wnen they divided Nez par county and Utah county was made. And there was guite why they gave Genesee to Moscow wouldn't want to bo a county seat too. And they were afraid that Lt would branch off and it wouldn't have enough territory that it went with Moscow, but they took right up to Genesee as much as they cculd?
: What uas Clarkston like then? Was it still a country or was it a town?: It was a very small town and very different from Lewiston, because it was started by the Adams of Boston.They were very strict, it was given a Boston flavor. It was in all the land contracts that there must be no alcoholic beverages sold on the olaca. And all the time I was growing up, Clarkston uas rather proper. We had our little bit of that holdover. To be socially acceptable In Clarkston, you had to be rather loose, I think. : Rather?
Rather strict, I think. It was a much stricter town. In high school we werenot allowed to dance. They are now of course. I see that they're asking to be able to dance after midnight. : This is different than Lewiston was. : Oh yes, but Lewiston was never as much, you know. Lewiston grew up from the mining came and the aaloons and that and Clarkston uas started by proper Bostonians who wanted to impose very strict morals. Were they from Boston? They came from Boston, the people that managed the land company. They came out there. s well as this man that started it? He didn't come. His sons came. And the Adams Block in Lewiston was built by them. By the son of...
Of Charles Francis Adams. Yes. And their office uas over here, but they hadpeople out from Boston that were injthe company, quite a feu of them. And lived here. And they set a certain standard for Clarkston. ftid they own all the land? They owned it all to begin with, and sold it off. That was the business.
CM: As a townsite. And they put, they sold lots and they sold trie acreaethey planned it, which is good as Clarkston is a planned town, where Lewiston just grew. But the strdets over there in the center of Clarkston were very carefully laid out. Where I live is supposed to be railroad y arris, but the railroad never came. Course, I remember when we had a ferry and we had the old bridge. And after the bridge was no longer a toll bridge, the ferry petered out. But used to be just about the same, when you went across the bridge or whether you went on the ferry. And one year, when my father was running the cannery Juliaetta was still owned by the Cherry Growers Association not by Mr. Dustin, who owned it, but the Association asked mother to stay in Lewiston and at the cannery there, because The manager there wasn't as competent as my father. And they thought if she would help maybe they would make It. But they didn't. 'Cause he canned peach butter all season. He wouldn't keep up with the fruit. He wasn't good enough to keep it going fast enough and he wouldn't dump one day's crop so he could can fresia.
SS: Who was this?
CM: A man^ Mr. Petrie. And it became peach butter and that was a dirty word inour family for years because we lost money by peach butter. You just wanted to say,"OH rob," why you said peach butter. But it wasn't anything anybody could do. You couldn't persuade him to do it and he did run the cannery.
SS: Your mother took over from him?
CM: NO. she was headwoman and she would get the growers off and say,"Now look.This should be canned. It will be spoiled before break tommorrow, but nobody could budge him. And he had quite a bit of stock in the company.
SS: So he had the power.
CM: He did It his way. And my father was running the one in Buliaetta and thecombined results were thrown together for profit for the year. And this one pulled down the profit made in Buliaetta. So it wasn't as good. He would have made alot more money, the Buliaetta cannery make alot more money -hen the one was run in Lewiston that year. Because it wasn't as well That happened every once in awhile. SS: What was it like when you were growing up on the orchard? Was it people so maniy! acres, was it like a farming area?
CM: Oh yes, five acres, ten acres once in awhile. And sometimes less. Soma ofthem were down to two acres, and that. And some had tsenty. A few, the 'Justin was about 20, farther out. We were close in.
SS: How close to the center of town?
CM: On 12th street. It was as close as you could buy an. acreage. Now where Iwas later, you couldn't buy at that time. except in 2D foot lots. They had bio ideas. And so the acreage, wanted acreage, why it was that. They had water in ditches. The water came in in a ditch. And ceople had cisterns. And where mother was was at the lower end of the irrigation ditcb. everybody that was taking .ff water, and there wasn't always enough, so she was without water. She had a young cherry orchard, well peach and apela everything, a young orchard, her father, and that was defers my father was there. Mother was still running the telephone office in Lewiston, she uas still managing it. And she, but she would _cse ner Her trees, they would plain die if they didn't get water. And she was complaining and complaining,"We're doing the best we can, Miss Berns, and we'll try and we'll try." And nothing happened. So she went to her neighbor, and they had it posted all over town, if you took more than you should or manipulated this ditch, why you would be fined, imprisoned or what. So mother said I'm going to start taking water. You go with me. No, they were scared. Mother went on a Sunday, they had ditches all over the orchard. And she started up from her place and she turned off everybody's water. Her father stayed there to manage the ditches. He get them all made. He was a handiman with a hoe. And of course that water down. She ever sent water off to the town of Clarkston. She said she just walked up and took everybody's, shut everybody's water off, so it'ri run down to our place. And of course some people, go out and adjust it again. But she just kept doing it. Well, she had plenty of water, the place was well watered. The man rode by, the ditch-walker who rode horseback and said,"Well I see you finally got water, Miss Berns. I've been trying to get to you for two weeks, three weeks." She said a short time. And its less than two hours."
SS: That sounds like it took real courage.
CM: Yes, my mother had it. So the next day she didn't know what would happen.Nothing happened, so far. And she came over to Lewiston to go to her office and she walked by the Adams block. Windas, who was in charge there built a nice house that, well, I think some people call it another name, but to me its the old Windas house. Up on Chestnut. He knocked on the window and called her in. She said, I didn't really know what was going to happen, but he said,"How long did it take you?" "Well about so long." They gave her a check. She was hired as a dltchwalker. Then they wouldn't have to prosecute her, see. They wouldn't break their law. They^said they were prosecuting and they didn't dare, because the publicity, which would have been, she had, would have had Mr. Reid defend her and she would have had the Tribune, were friends and they would have been prosecuting somebody for taking water when their orchard was dying, hou could they have sold another piece of land? They couldn* t. So it was just smart business. She thought for a long time of framing that check. It uas not a big check, but,"Any time you need to, Miss Berns, we'll pay you."
SS: Ptd she need to again?
CM: No, they kept it going better. She never had to do so much again. But shehad made her point. They got her water. They got it down there, they knew they had better, I guess, by that time.
SS: Where was the water coming from?
CM: Asotin Creek, way up, it uas a ditch and the flume, big thing. The water fromClarkston came from way high up Asotin Creek for a long, long time.
SS: Were there major costs involved?
CM: Oh yes, it was expensive.
SS: Was the land expensive to buy in Clarkston?
CM: Probably not. I don't think that the Adams' made anything. I think they probablylost money on it. They did it with the idea of making money, but I don t think..
SS: W re they very influential in the town in the early years?
CM: Yes, they owned everything to begin with, and then they sold off. However,the boy's came out, there were two of them came and lived here a while. They were rather Eastern. They riidnVt know tiie western way of speaking to people, ana the young men might go to a dance, they seemed to like to dance, and dance with girls and not speak to them the next day. Because they really didn't know them. And I don't think they did it because they were stuck up, they make the local people so mad.
SS: Was that the eastern way compared to the western?
CM: I think so,
SS: You mean, just not the open friendliness?
CM: Bust not the open friendliness. Mrs. Godhart on the "21" Ranch, of coursewas a descendent of Lucretia Mott, and of course, she knew them in Boston. And they knew herr and so they were guests there. But now this is typical of the way they were, Now it came, one of them came down, the one that was there, to breakfast one morning, it was very hot and he didn't have a coat on.
SS: Where was this?
CM: The "21" Ranch. And he naid,"Excuse my dress." And she looked at him becauseouldn't do this at a proper table back there, and she said,"Say rather your lack or cress."ft no an Adams but she uas a Mott. And that was it. He snoule have had his coat on, "Say rather your lack of dress." Now she wouldn't have said that to $ hired men. They would eat at the table too. And if they were out there pine hay, they would come in they way they were dressed, from other westerners?
CM: No, from her hired men. Jell she wouldn't hi'va from her doctor or her lawyeror, it would depend on the social order. But fie was an Adams, he knew better.
SS: he shouldn't have come to the table like that."Say rather your lack ofupper class?
CM: And the Boston people that ceme out didn't make much money, but dideverything they could to keen their same formal, they had, the Boston famfli, that came had to have so many courses at their meals. They dicn't just have meat and pctatos like the western born people on the ranch might have has. They had to h,ve their proper things. Thoy always had their table linen and their napkins and they just worked Uke the dickens because they oidn't have much money to keep up standard and some of them, I know, the Libbeys invite their neighbor to tea when they were very poor, very poor and serve alittle applesauce and a sandwich. But they would do it graciously. And the other people who were farmers, this other farmer woman didn't think much about it, because it was not much to eat. Just so thin' and everything, you know. But they did it very graciously. And they kept very social thing. And that did give acertain flavor to Clarkston. Now it wasn't from these, but there were these people there.
The Libbys and the Adams?the Schimmerhorns and there were quite a feu. : Boston families? :Boston families. The Adams' didn't live so much there. They didn't do as much as their employees. But they always had for years... :^re these people the employees of the Adams Employees of the Adams' and they maintained a certain standard.
Would they be the elite of Clarkston?Yes, to quite a on were a little more st riot At Clarkston Iremember in my time amodern lawyer who came here. And ther as adinner party given and it was given at the hotel. Iimagine that they had cocktails. Because But at a Clarkston dinner party, you didn't get soused. You just didn't. At a Clarkston what?
CM: Dinner party You didn'the wasn't married yet, and all came quite polluted. And he practically ruined himself socially. If he hadn't brought a charming wife who would not have done anything, he was already engaged to and everybody liked, he would never been accepted socially. And there uas some people that never quite liked him. 'Cause he was, and he would have gotten by at a Lewiston dinner party.
SS: Was he from Lewiston?
SS: He was from Clarkston
CM: He wasn't, but he came there from out of town. But had he been at a Lewistondinner party, he would inot have been so ostracized. Not that Lewiston didn't at times draw a line. Did I tell you about the,"She's not at home to you Sun?'
CM: See, they had their standards too. But Clarkston's were narrower. And whenwe would want to dance in school, they, in those days the minister would call up the school board and say,"They're going to dances over in Lewiston. Well we will keep the evil as far from our dooe as possible. So we woirt allow them to dance in school." Not in my day. Which was really ridiculous you know. We should have had a junior prom and those things would have been nice, because if you were going on to college, you n*eded that experience. And you could go to a public dance and that was, about it. And it would have been much better, but no, no. Not at that time. Now we have changed, we've but at that time it was really very straight laced.
SS: These Boston families that worked for Adams, what was their work? The stores?
CM: No, they ran the office for the land company and the water. See, they ownedthe water system and the land. SS: And that went on for a number of years?
CM: Oh yes. They owned the land and the water. And...
SS: eld they change that?
CH: They finally sold some parts of It. And there's one family that finally boughtcut the remains of it now. Over there. It's been owned by three different families since. Mr. White bought it when It went broke. Of course, Aeam^t were not broke, but they weren't going gooc business stroke on his part, because he est family have bocrnt it.
SS: This is the water rights?
CM: No, its the land. What was left of the land. course,its lots have beendebt sold and there's still a lot of land.
SS: did Adams from the father in Boston still have direct interest InSiis?
CM: Not at that time.
SS: flid his sons?
CM: Oh yes, it was in their family for a long time.
SS:But it was the son?
CM: Well, Charles "rands, as long as he was alive, but then the sons. See, onof them became Secretary of the Navy under Coolidge, I think. Yes.
SS: The families that lived there, were they mostly just involved in grcwing
CM: That was the big...
SS: They'd usually have other jobs as well?
CM: Oh yes, it was lots easier to make a living off from your place than on it.And they'd say you can make your living off the. land, but you made it off of the land. You worked someplace, if you, it was very few people that made a comfortetle living on the land entirely. With us we began to run a cannery. Larson orchards?
It uas very difficult livinc. There were a few, but you had to be an awfullygood manager and scrimp a lot to make it on the place. SS: Were the people working in Lewiston largely?
Oh, whatever they could do. they had any trade or anything, they worked,like some of them worked for the company, some of, the land company where they worked more, ditches and did something. Some of them worked in Lewiston, they were, Iknow we had aneighbor that worked for the power company and they made electricity by firing coal in those days. And there were carpenters and there were brickmasons or stonemasons. And they had, and we were poor. US Uere ali Poor. Oh yes, we were all poor. Nnbody had anything, we were all poor. Bust lived. We, of course, we lived a rather good life, but then, we were poor. It can be very easily to be, sound real lovely. There's nothing more beautiful than an orchard with fruit and oh, this and you can have a cow, and maybe they raise some pigs and they all had chickens and you had your own butter.It sounds all very good and I loved the fruit and the garden. But we, it was a lot of hard work and people were poor. And when industry came and people could have other jobs, they mere much better off. It was a big thing to get enough money to paint your house in those days, I'll tell you. There were many an unpainted house. It uas because we were poor.
SS: What did poor mean as far as clothing went? Would they do a lot of patching?
CM: Oh not so much patching, but we didn't have very many things and they werenot elaborate. And I remember one girl my age, she said,"I always wondered why the hats looked kind of funny." And she went to probably the most prosperou: church, but she said,"I've got it all figured out, Catherine. You buy a sinter hat one year and then you buy a summer hat. But you don't buy them both the same year. So they're always two years in style." You just did. I would say probably there were some prosperous people in my grade school. If we made any social difference they didn't dress any better than anyone else. You had better clothes if your mother was good at sewing. 'Cause it was probably homemade. If we were cleaner, the people that had clean hair, the girls that had clean hair were a little better than the ones that didn't. but that was about it. And we weren't very conscious of differences.
SS: What about for your mother, uas style important for her?
CM: If she stopped and think about it it was very important.
SS: If she thought about it?
CM: Urn hum, whan she thought about it. When she put her mind to it, because uasvery good at it. She was extremely ^ood . She could sew beautifully. She had learned to tailor in Chicago and she could do a gorgeous job. And she could judge fabrics. You never could fool her. If you brought two coats and she told you she wanted the blue coat and you brought another coat too, and if you brought a good blue coat, but there uas another one that had nicer material tnau cost 150 dollars and was very plain, she knee Hy mother always knew. She could feel and know art then style. She had agreat sense of style that left her alone she would Sew gorgeously for me. She Crowing up, and like most kids, I fussed and I year she made for , she sent to me .hen I was at Cheney, and she thought "Catherine needs some more clothes." She saw some material that she liked in the store window, she went in, she bought it. Without me around to say Iwanted it acertain way. She cut it out without apattrn because she could do that. 3hB bought some braid and she trimmed it and it was perfect. Fit perfectly. And my grammar teacher and the grammar teacher looked at me end she said, "Did you get it at hop. But I know that if I' Which was Spokanee''ss oest specialty been 'round I'e a srobafaly wanted something that I would have thought was better. She was exoe;! And utter indifference at times to, it was qood. Oh yes, to Clothes. But if she pais any attention. ob: family have much money, how could t hey keep up with what was never gave up entirely, as manage co always have some everything, you turneo your skirts and you turns, everything.
:But she was alwayswith ahat end gloves and whathaveyou. And they . You might make your suit You up appearances. You always had something that was presentable. And ther was skrllfui. Out, avery good judge when she bought anything. It was smart. If she could indifferent to ha, she looked. r-bthar wore pants before most people did. I remember a very pretty red polka dot pair I bou ght at Harvey's for her. And Said she will father very shocked. And Mrs. sald, will look awfully good in it." Because she was slender and small, and it was just as cute as could be. She was running the Queen House, it was Father was rather horrified. He liked navy blue. But he knew better than to object so he kept stiU.Ha just didn't like it. Ana I think most men like navy blue. In those days. Thought it was ouite nice "'"^heir wives wore navy blue.They didn't always do it. And, but no one else had very much. I mean, they didn't have too many things. And the kids didn't have too many things. You had wash dresses and I always had some woolen dresses in the winter, which some of them didn't. And I know that a because my mother made nice tntngs for me. I can remember her making nice pleated skirts for me and things that way. And she always had a flair for giving a little piping here and a touch there. It was never just plain. And I guess I didn't appreciate it at the time. It was later when I know I had a woman working for me in the greenhouse. And she said she loved to sew. Well all she did was lazy daisy nonsense. Mother had made point lace and everything else right. And her daughter uas going to be in something, W^ the little girl was blonde and a little bit plump. And she had to wear a white dress, which of course wouldn't be very good in the begining. And she picked out, of course, cheap material. And the plainest pattern and it was so unbecoming. And I thought, she really didn't put any effort on it.
It uas the simplestway she could make it. And my mother would have done, she might have stayed up all night, but there would have been some nice touches to it. Always something that way, you knew. In Juliaetta, people around the orchard? one of the Porter families had a girl that was my age. And her mother was a very nice person. Kind of an artist. The girl used to come to our place a lot. She'd say,"Call up and ask if I can stay for dinner." And of course, mother would, and her mother would say,"Bid Lesta ask that? I'm sure she did." Mother would say, "Well I'd like to have her." So Lesta was a little devil and so she got the idea to be real smart. She had a party in February an home. Her mother said she could. And it was kind of a social event of the year for cur grade. She was to be kind of real nice. And she told us we should all wear oastel colored dresses. Mother said,"Her mother doesn't know she's saying that. See shouldn't. I should talk to Mrs. Porter." "Oh please dcn't, rr,ot!v:r, please don't." I didn't want her to. So she said,"Well you look so much better in your velvet dress." I had a velvet dress. I had it for years. I adored it. She,"Well you look better in your brown wool crepe." No, I wanted a pastel dress. So she made me a pastel dress, an old sprigged unite thing. But she put some lace trimming on it and she scalloped the skirt some way, and she did little touches, you know. And the waistband was of a iace? it was laid over and I know now It was really elegant. And of course a few of the girls didn't have anyhr.ing, their mothers wouldn't do it. And they were apologetic to Lesta. Lesta,"That's alright, that's alright!" She didn't want mother to hear. Mother would have skinned her alive if shc knew she told us what we had to wear. Mother said,"I should have celled Mrs. Porter. I should have Mrs. Porter."
SS: Was that tell kids what to wear?
CM: Ch sure she shouJdn't have done it,
SS: It would have caused a lot cf expense.
CM: Oh yes, it was rude. Bust plain rude an ewful.'Cause she should have beenskinned alive and she knew better. But she hek the idea it would be so pretty
SS: Woe this idea or her mother's?
CM: Her idea. Her mother would have murdered her!
SS: Her mother didn't know.
CM: No, she didn't know anything about it.(laughs) She had no idea.
SS: What was the Porter School of Art like? I saw in an old Juliaetta Sun, 1914that she has. been giving lessens at home and calling it the Porter School of Art. What was that like?
CM: I really don't know. I eion't know much about it. I was too young to know.But I know she was a very nice lady.
SS: I think it wasn't a school, but that she gave private lessons.
CM: She might have. I think she uas, I think she was a graduate of some schoolin the east and had done this. I know that she was very respected. I know my mother sort of looked up to her. Thought she was very nice and some of her friends In Lewiston,"Well Mrs. Pcrter was so and so." She was important, but I just knew her kid. We played together.(laughs) That uas the main thing with me, you know, that was something that I didn't know. I just knew she was supposed to be a very nice person. And she was very pleasant when x was there.
SS: What year was it when you first went out there with the cannery?
CM: Let me see. We were there briefly when I was six, which would have bei'n 1912.And we went back when I was 14 for War . one. And then when we went in the war, we, I was there. And my father was still running the cannery at'18.
SS: How did your parents figure themselves as compared to other people there?
CM: I think a lot of people thought we were poor. We lived down by the bridgepart of the time. Oidn't think we were so much, but we never felt we were. I mean, we knew we were poor, but we always thought we were as good as anybody. (laughs) I think that was just our own individual trait. We didn't care, my mother never cared about society, perse. Didn't mean anything to her. Or to my father. You would like somebody or you didn't. It uas only, if you liked people. But, no it never mattered.
SS: Talking about stratafications in little towns and how there was an elite...
CM: Well, sometimes we lived on Boulevard, which was the street. And sometimesuse lived down on Bridge, which was at that time 12th and Bridge was a very 'cause that uas poor part of.town. And if you told somebody in school that, their mother, that you were going to home to be with somebody that lived on Boulevard, it uas fine. If you said,"Can I go down to Bridge street?" No.
SS: What kind of folks lived on Bridge street?
CM: Kind of nice people.
SS: So why did it have a bad reputation?
CM: I don't know. It was that part of town wam't considered was nice as thearea by some people, and there still are some people there that would probably say that, although it has changed so much and there have been so many nice people lived down there that, I don't know.
SS: Were your parents much involved in the social life of town?
CM: No. Politically they always took an interest. In the community thing, yes.But not socially. They didn't care much about.- they were never interested. Did belong to a few lodges, but of course, that uas largely on account of insurance. The lodges carried insurance in those days.When I was small they carried insurance.
SS: What lodges?
CM: Oh, there was Royal Neighbors and there was the Artisan. Which they droppedlater. But there were more lodges then than now. Lodges were a thing. And lout in Lewiston, of course, my mother had been an eastern Star. And, no, not socially. They were never a social family. Its never been important to me.
SS: Sounds like they knew quite a few people thoughb
CM: Ch yes. Knew everybody,in Clarkston. They just didn't want to, theysocialize much in that way.
SS: If you wanted to you could have been...
CM: I don't knew. I don't think they ever wanted to. And I think we were ratherwealthy enough to be in it. Really, we were rather poor people. And...
SS: What would the activities of the social elite be?
CM: They might have somebody tofdinner, that was about it. They played cardssometimes at tne iodoes. But ...
SS: Were there parties?
CM: Oh yes. But not, oh sort of parties, yes. Kinda dull. Rather dull.(laughs)Lewiston had a little more interesting parties.
SS: Do you think Lewiston was a more interesting town at that time?
CM: Yes, probably.
SS: It was quite a bit bigger then...
CM: Oh yes, always bigger. Little more cosmopolitan. But wejwere very different.Clarkston, as I say, was the New England conscience of the western Lewiston.
SS: The New England consoience?
CM: Yes, more like that. Yes more that.
CM: Very strict, thet way, there. And much mors than it was in Lewiston.
SS: Do you think a different type of people liked to live there?
CM: A little bit. And it just happened that way. Well, as I say, because of therestrictions in the begining. And the start they had.
SS: Were these restrictions enforced?
CM: Oh yes, they were for a lone time.
SS: And thsy could enforce people who
CM: Well it wasn't so much, there was no saloons And of course, it just wasn'tserved, in the hones. And where it was in Lewiston. At a nice dinner party In Lewiston part of it was to the have the right wine with the right food. And it just wasn't done, they drank(whispered) and then the feeilne Oh no!" Course now, my father had very strict feelings of...
CM: No. But he didn't think that saloon people wseo as good as the rest of thepeople. He was a little narrow when it cotae to that. And he felt that that was
SS: I've had the impression that rural life was very different from town lifeIn those days.
CM: well we were shut off more. I didn't live the real rural life. There werealways little towns, but the rural people were shut away more. It was harder to get to town. But I was always small town. Course Lewiston was a small town at that time. You know, really its not a big place now and it was small town. And Clarkston is more provincial
SS: Wiri you notice much differnce between Buliaetta and Clarkston?
CM: Oh yes. Buliaetta was very small town. My father didn't like it. When he wasfirst up there long before other family moved there, and there wasn't anything to do tk^ evening, so they went to the pool hall. They played cards, ane he was very borad.
CM: Been home with his family. Hs'd've thought that much more insuresHe would have been much happier to be home, to scene. But he didn't like :o sit in a hotel room. And so he'd go to play cards. But he didn't lie '.. Ha was going back to Clarkston. Always. He liked people in Buliaetta, he was going back to Clarkston. And they always voted in Clarkston. My family never voted in Buliaetta. They always were going back there.
SS: Do you think it was the diversity he felt he was missing in Buliaetta thatwas in Clarkston?
CM: Yeah. A little bit. He felt that Buliaetta was an awfully small town.SS: It was.
CM: True, but he liked a lot of the people there. But...
SS: What were the advantages?
CM: Weil of course, they felt they owned property in Clarkston and they didn'tin Juliaetta. That thet uas, they were there temporarily. That was partly... I have very fond memories of Buliaetta. But my father never live there. Mother wouldn't have minded it so much. But dad did. Oh no. He never wanted to live there. One horse town. It was kind of the way he felt, and he was pretty much in one of the Important industries of the town, one of the important employers, but he didn't like Buliaetta nearly, he liked the people. Lots of people, but as a town he didn't like it. And mother "need it. But he liked the people. He had more friends there. He really, I think everybody in the town liked dad. He was that kind of a person, everybody liked him. And he liked them, but he didn't like the town.
SS: Do you think its because of the size that it was basically too small?
CM: I suppose that uas partly it. I think it was. He felt it was very much little
CM: Yes. Too easily run by a clique and he just didn't like it. Although basicallyhe had all the knowledge of politics, because he was New York Irish and they knew how to, he would have understood Mayor Daily perfectly. Because, that's very typically...
SS: Tammany Hall.
CM: Oh yes, he understood that perfectly and how to get the votes, and wherimportant and of course you gave a job to sc end so,'cause it was so many votes there. He understood that perfectly. Completely and ...
SS: But he didn't practice that himself?
CM: If he wanted in a vote, if he was interested in an election, he knew justabout, he went at it just as much that way as anybody. I mean, he could go out and there wss probably never an election that he got stirred up he couldn't bring in a whale of a lot of votes and he did it very auch in that fashion.
SS: He did that sometimes?
CM: Oh yes. He got interested in the votes, in Clarkston especially. And he'dgo out and he'd really work and he'd, I know one time when he worked, I don't know wna^ was aoout not stirred up about some ninction. Maybe it was school, I don't know. And I sald," daddy, you go and ask so and so now if he'll vote. And he won't vote if you don't." "I haven't There only one vote there an' so many over here in this place." And over there he went! And he uas that way. iS: How did he ne about qettinq votes?
CM: Oh he'd just go and talk to thorw, And they'd vote. He'd talkCh yes. Always politically interested. And so was my mother's father. And, which was rather unusual for an emigrant. But he uas always interested. Always.
SS: Maybe he didn't find anything of interest In Bulled L, in that sense.
CM: He didn't so much. Juliaetta was hopelessly Republican. Ha felt a fish outcf water. He just wouldn't join nd he was agin 'em and that was It.
SS: What did the move mean to you as a kid growing up?
CM: Not too much. Except when I liked the teacher or not.
SS: Did you leave many friends?
CM: No. I thought there would be new ones. I had friends, yes, but no,that didn'tbother me that much. I had been moved around quite a bit. We were always moving from house to house, because we owned three different places and we would live here for a while and there for a while. And so neighborhoods I was always Of and no, I ...
SS: Was theremuch neighborhood life In Clarkston at that time?
SS: You did identify with the kids?
CM: Oh yes. The kids in your neighborhood. And you walked to school with them.Because we always walked in those days. There was no rides. You really were a cripple to get a ride or you had to live way out. Now the Dustins had, they had to ride. But there wa$ people that walked still farther, sometimes. Sometimes :he walked from the Heights.dow, I didn't live in;that part, but the Dustins lived at the Dustin Loop and they drove a horse and buggy. and Laura Wassum now. And of course, was always into trouble. He uas always able to get into trouble at school. And if the teachers would keep him in, he had Laura posted especially to bring the horse and buggy and wait for him patiently. When they could see her out the window and said she always a nice girl, why, they would let him go pretty soon, because they wouldn' t keep her waiting like that. And ...
SS: This was the Dustins' kids?
CM: Um hum. That was and Laura and now Laura's Mrs„ Weldon Wassum. Andshe uas always nice and was always into trouble.
SS: What uas your parents form of entertainment? Would they exchange dinners,visiting?
CM: inme. But we were just a family.
SS: So you spent most of your time alone.
CM: Most of the family, alone as a family. On the little bit, now,radio, therewas a few very close friends and that was it.
SS: In Clarkston?
CM: Um hum. In Clarkston. We were not a social family. They had a few very goodfriends. There wasn't a great deal of that. I think my folks read a great deal and that was one of the main entertainments. And we did things as a family. The tbree of us. Cr maybe four if there was an extra one. But often it was that way. Bust as a family. Course, I remember when I was in high school, we were playing cards. And we had ' playing solo. It was a gambling game in Alaska. But dad had played, so we learned it and played it three handed. And George Day who was suppose to come by and pick up the news and take it him over to the Iribune that mother would have ready for at home. And George got facinated with piyying cards. So he would play too. And he uas trying to learn, he wasn't very good at it. And"George, you got to take the news over, its time for it to go." "Well can't we play one more hand?" And sometimes they'd promise,"Now George, yes but you've got to go and take the news now." Then maybe, it would be latee, so they'd say,"Now Georger, its too late, we've got everything put away." And he'd be awfully hard to get to go. 'Cause he wanted to play cards. And he was kind of a risk, gambled more than he should. I mean, he'd bid higher and we played with beans.(laughs) But no, we didn't do a lot. We worked hard, we were tired, we had our meal.
SS: Where uas your mother working?
LM: At that time the paper, but she was always doing cbmething. And then of course,later sne was started the green house. But she uas always something. And father was always busy at something, so no, we didn't do a lot of socializing. I think we did less than the average. I think we rsaly did. And we were very close as a family. Very dependent on each other, that way. Sometimes you did things around your church, a lot of people, churches were quite a social center in those days.
SS: Your family were Catholics'
CM: Yes, my family went to the Catholic church.
SS: Were they very involved in the church?
CM: Well, always went. My father was a very devout Catholic. Later, when the,see, ha was Irish Catholic and there were so many German Catholics and didn't mix too well. And so socially we didn't mix too much. A few friends, but a very general thing they would think well we should go. And I remember the time they saio, they were sick."You've got to go, and represent the i ami ly. you've got to go." ihere was a gift we were giving the pastor. So I went. And this one German lady later was ask In, say,"It's nice of you to bring1 ''quod eye.!; So I earns to stay anyway."What are you doing hone this early?"
SS: She told you to go home.
CM: It uas realty hilarious, but she used to do that. I know later, when Iyoung there was a group of us that were congenial, more, that went to the church. We decided, well, we would mix wore with the others in the church. Mnu then they'd pull something like that on , and then we'd clique off and we'd say, they probably think we're snobs. And we thought they were terrible. And there was a little racial difference there. And it would be one or two of the German girls that we liked real well and that mixed with us more. But there would be some of them that didn't. There race difference there.
SS: So your group of friends were non German Catholics?
CM: Were mostly in the church, but I had lot of friends that weren't Catholics.I never limited my friendships to the church. Now I know very typically for Instance, one girl I was thrown with in another organization, I didn't know she was Catholic. Didn't know anything about it. And at dinner at her house, she was entertaining, Iwas there and she said a Catholic grace. Isaid,"I didn't know you were aCatholic." We had known each other very intimately for a long time. And she said,"I didn't know you were."(laughs) And we lauoed. But it didn't make any difference, because I could never see that that was a reason for social contact.
SS: I heard the Ku Kiux Klan was kicking around in the early '20's.
CM: It was.
SS: And it was very anti-Catholic.
CM: It was very anti-Catholic. They burnt across on the priest's lawn at Clarkston.Once. It was very anti-Catholic. And my mother got into a hack of amess. They were organizing it. Some of them that worked in the office there, now the were not. They were rather pro-Catholics. They weren't Catholic, but they were quite sympathetic. They were not Klans, they were Southerners, but they were not Klans. But was working that she was, superior probably belonged, 4tyt she worked for. And he was, one man there. And they had a notebook that had, I think, the list of membership. And it came up missing. And they thought she took it. And oh, it got very uncomfortable. And she didn't know what in the heck they were mad at her about! Because she hadn't done anything. And everybody, oh, it was very uncomfortable around the office. They stared at her. This one man just constantly sat there, by the hour and stare at her.
SS: Did she know what aas going on?
CM: No, she didn't know what in the world. Because they didn't dare come out withit.
SS: They knew she was Catholic.
CM: Yes. And she wasn't a very strong Catholic, but when you def/ed it, then shebecame a good one. The rest of the time she might not be. She might be arguing the other way with my father, but if you said you can't, then she uas, so. finally it turned up, some pages missing. That were found, had kept turing up. And some, a kid that worked in the office had taken it for the cover
SS: Taken for the cover?
CM: Uh huh. And he didn't know what it was and the membership was tcrewn all overthe town.(laughs) They were quite apologetic in their attitude toward her, they knew she hadn't done it. She said they But it was just very intolerable for awhile. Of course, her attitude was this was there was one young man and she thought he uas too nice to be roped into the. So she said, You mustn't do that, because somebody might think that you were a member of the Klan and that would be terrible."Looked so funny at her, 'cause he thought, he'd been told that that kind of a nice thing to do.
SS: Nice thing to do what?
CM: To belong to it, that was the popular thing. And of course, Christian ministerfriends, they could argue and all, but they were, they knew each other very well. And he told my father, they were in the together, how much they got for eveey member and Bohn got to join it. Think dollars on this one.(laughs)
SS: Th is was the minister?
CM: Yeah. But they were in another deal together. So they, he got very frank aboutthat. But, course, my father didn't think of him much as a minister. They were in a business deal together. But there was quite a strung thing, and ;here uas^ery much in the ladies club. the best club ciud there uas quits a bit of, it was very difficult for a Catholic woman to be accepted. The only one I think there was was the librarian. Who was e Catholic, Mrs. Windas. And they coulJn't eerwude her. She uas superior to all of them in education and everything. But...
This is Clarkston?
Uh huh. But I think, there was a banker's wife there that was a very niceperson. And mother said,"Isn't she a member?" who was. Mrs. Passen was a member, and no." And mother,"Why In the haven't they Invited her?" "She, oh well, she Couldn't belong. And I will nice nan, lawyer. But his wife was very anti-Catholic. I remember the milliner in the town. She was a real nice person,there of person and she belonged to a club, her daughter did too. And her brother had a latter and he was uidduer or something, and his child was in a convent school. "In What!"she said,"bell why would he send her to a Catholic school?" don't know. I suppose maybe he's Catholic." mors liberal But now, Mr. Halsy was not that way at all. But his wife was very narrow. And there was some of that. And of course, I uas In high school, I didn't think much about it. Ifound out afterwards some of them thought Iwas going to be a nun. And I never intended to. Never once, never crossed my mind! And I think it was an independence or something and maybe they thought it uas a reserve or something. But, I had went east once and probably, and gone to now we liked Mr. Haisy. He was i and he was a real a Catholic school when I was there. I don't know why they anyway, high school graduation, the baccalaureate uas at the church, Christian church. Catholics at that time weren't supposed to go to another church. But Ihadn't thought about it much. Mother said, it never hurts you to go to any other thing. Father didn't think it was a good idea. He didn't say much. Course, all I was thinking about was it was a certain new dress, that I was gonna wear. And it was an expensive dress, and I conned mother out of. So I was, nothing was going to keep me from going to that baccalaureate as far as I was concerned,'cause I uas getting this dress. And I didn't know it, and one of the girls that was more of the German family had a real arguemBnt about it. 'Cause she felt that she shouldn't go and they were religious and they were saying she had to go. And there was a talk, our principal said,"You will go or you will not graduate." I don't know what in the heck he was talking about! But if I had known, I would have gony in there and said,"You keep me from it I And we would have one blankety blank arguement! And of course I would have argued it much better. This girl probably went in there and cried. And... you think it uas her parents or her.
CM: Her parents and her. She was raised that way and they were very strict oldcountry...
SS: Did she go?
CM: I think she did. As I recall it, she went in tears kind of and looked kindof arid of course, all Iwas thinking about was what I was wearing. But I would've had a real arguement with him and I might have won, too. Because 1 was much betuer arguer. Theresa been no question. I had been in his classes and I'd been an A student, and I knew him pretty well. I think we would've had a real arguement.
SS: It really passed you by?
CM: I never And then later when I was teaching in this little town therewas a lot of Catholics, and I taught in a public school, so we didn't mix. And they were German Catholics. But we had a new pastor, who was verv modern. And they were, first time they were having a hlehschool and our superintendent u as trying to do It as good as he could. And it would be sort of a dismal little affair anyway.
SS: Where is this?
CM: At Ferdinand. And so he said, the old minister, he asked to give this across,Catholic one. He said,"Will he talk too long?" I said,"How long do you want him to talk?" "Well I don't want it over so long." I said,"You'd better go and talk to him." Course, I knew what would happen. He'd talks to this young priest and he'd say, he Couldn't talk that long! Five minutes is plenty! He never stopped talking. He uas just out of the army and he'd been a marine chaplain and he wasn't going to talk that long, to anybody. But they finally I think persuaded him to try and take up ten minu'.es. And that was as much as he would do. He was a very good speaker, but he wae not going to be involved uith.it then. There was no point. He die everything briskly.
SS: What about the Klan? Was It upsstting or frightening to you?
CM: I didn't like it. I t made me mad. But beyond that, I was never afraid of 'em.I uas the kind that was a blooming fool, and I would have said, you just stay away from me or I'll take care of you. I mean, we were never afraid. But we didn't like it. Of course, naturally didn't like it. I thought they were darn fools.
SS: What was their purpose? Was it anti-Catholic?
CM: Ani?- Catholic, Beu and ...
SS: They were anti-Semetic too?
CM: yery much. And the Negro, Very much anti-Negro, Very racial. And...
SS: I know in the South...
CM: Well they were, ail around.
SS: What was the idea?
CM: Weil It was money.; making deal and they not ten dollars for oettinn them tojoin and they got a lot of ignorant remember that the the first movie was...
SS: Birth of a Nation.
CM: Yeah. And that was about the Klan.
SS: Did that have a pro-Klan effect
CM: I suppose, because it really was pro-kKlan. Looking backwe enjoyed it because it uas a movie. Things moved.
SS: do you think that encouraged people to join?
CM: I imagine it did. I wasn'twanted to I wasn't interested in the Klan Idea. Course, they made it sound very good, but actually, It probably did.
SS: I've read...
CM: We would be horrified if the overtones of it now.
SS: I've seen It not long ago.
CM: Have you? find you become shocked, yes. You find it very, but at the time ituas just a movie. It was a show. May Marsh was so lovely in it and Henry B. was the colonel. Incidently, he played in Lewiston in the Ghosts. Ibsen's Ghosts. And I saw it. In that and he was very good. But, you know, 1 suppose it was very crude, it wiuld seem a very crude picture now, wouldn't t interested in oh it was the show! So we it because It was an exciting show. It was just a show to me
SS: Yeah, It uas the racist part.
CM: But I imagine the whole thing seemed very cuude, but we were so thrilled withthings that moved!
SS: Was that about the first bit) movie that came?
CM: First big movie. First movie that really hit the country, as entertainment.I can remember then later when there was a few more and people said,"Oh no, Birth that was it.
SS: That was the only movie they needed to see*
CM: T Yeah, that was it.
SS: Who were the people that joined the Klan? Were they largely Southerners whowere in it here?
SS: They were lower class?
CM: To quite a degree. 0 r people were making money on it. Or very bigoted.There were some very bigoted people but there always are and there are upoer class, otherwise
SS: This minister, was he an Evangelist minister or Traditional?
CM: He was more traditional, but not terribly well educated man.
SS: they hold the meetings openly?
CM: Semi-openly. Bust semi. And they didn't gain as much control here.
SS: This newspaper man in Colfax who was Catholic was told to get out of townbecause the Klan uas burning a cross.
CM: Well, they didn't get that far, they would have liked to have, but they didat times. Yes, they went up and burned a cross on the priest's lawn at Clarkston. And, but the town marshall was not with them. He didn't like it and he probably chewed his tobacco pretty fast. But it didn't gain too much here, but it probably did some places. Of course my father said,"Well they just don't know any better. They're ignorant."
SS: You mentioned German people. I understand that during WWI there was quitea bit of anti-Germans.
CM: Yes there was, with some of them, and it was sometimes very foolish. 'Causethere uere a lot of very nice German people. The thing that made it a little bit wrtt some of the German people stayed so closely together. Down on the praire, when they came over Green Greek, came in a mass. And they were a little cliquey to each other. Probably because they felt comfortable. They cou|d speak their language, and that. And I.the young people, and there was a difference, when I taught school in Ferdinand, I got into more trouble, because here I am, a blabber, and I'd go downtown and at first tine, I didn't speak to anybody and I found out they said I was very highbrow. And one girl that was supposed to ask me to do something 'cause I had gone to^church and she wanted me to do something, and she took six weeks to ask me, 'cause she dicn't net un courage. I uas so highbrow. Weil I was shocked. So I went down talking to everybody end I met like a young fellow on the street. I kneu nim or notj but they all knew. So its a nice day, and go on. That was a great advance. Dtt of a clear sky, there was something going on, this young man would be at your doorstep,"Are you ready to go?; "GO where?" "What?" You didn't know what to do. And I found out I just didn't knew. We really seeks a different language. We had different customs, i'.ou the older people I got along with much better. And then I would
: The older Germans?
: They didn't think I was trying to inveive team in a romance. Theydidn't sht ake me to a dance I didn't want to go with them, to. Or anything that way. They treated more, you. And I went parties. They sale, you either go or you don't. Well i get and I thought I'd go, so I went. And they were queer to me. They played parlor games. Here I was just a young teacher, 20, and thought I was very soohisticated and I hadn't play; mdkerchief and London Bridge for heaven only knows when, and I still didn't think it was much of a thing to do. And that was what they were doing! Sort of parlor games. This was instead of dancing. well they didn't have the way to dance. New they would have danced, they were willing to dance. Oh yes, there was nothing against dancing. And they served wine. And it was bootleg days. But they didn't know how I would feel about because I wasn't quite one of them, so I was always .another room wher it was served. This was for the Ferdinand community, were they mostly Catholic? There was an lot German Catholic. New these would generally be out on the ranch Were you teaching in another school district? No, yes, I was teaching in the public school. So I met more of the Protestants in my work. But then they found out that I uas.... las it because you were Catholic that they were inviting you'
CM: Yes. Isuppose. And Iwas somebody in the communitya nice thing to ask the teacher. Iwas a teacher.
SS: So what did you think of these party games?
CM: I thought it was terribly bcring.
SS: Those really were the old country customs.
CM: I suppose they were. And you see, in bhe church, before Iwent to church,one of the ladies told me, she said,"Now Catherine,"she was visiting where Iwas staying,"in the church, men sit on one side and women on the ether." Probably Iwould have done the wrong thing and end up avery brazen person. And so Isat on the other side. Ididn't want to get in that kind o£ an arguement. And they did that. Husbands on one side, wives on the other. And finally just a few would once in awhile sit together, but finally they got one priest and he said,"This is nonsense. You are in the United States. You will beheve like people in the United States. You will sit together as a family!" Oh, they didn't like the idea, but they finally did it. But they were that way. And Iremember Istayed at this house where this Mary, who was so religious ana she uas going around and the new priest was coming and it was the one "^^ wouldn't talk very long and she said,"Oh Idon't know." And Isaid,"What's the matter, Miss Mary?" "Well, maybe he doesn't speak German." Now she spoke perfect English. She was born in this country. And I said,"What difference does it make to you? You speak English." "I've never gone to confession in English. I've always gone in German." And Ithought, dear God, what do you ever tell him anyway? Itiutoed upstairs because she was generally praying. You could hear this, Iknew it was Hail Mary, but it was in German, generally. Iknew what it was. And she was generally praying all day long. She'd go around her things and I didn't want to disturb the poor dear, but what in the world would she have to confess?
SS: It sounds like the younger people were still very much bound to the communityand the old customs.
CM: Oh yes. I have a friendhas a friend who is a German, oddly enough, German Catholic. She was German, I think.Lutheran, I don't know. And she has become quite modern. She is doing very modern things. She has been married and she raised her family. Her husband's dead, she has a good job. She has never been in a hospital. She's going to a hospital. And we are all wondering how it's going to get along. She isn't going to appear in the hall and walk up and down, In a robe, for the exercise. She isn:t.going to 1st them undress her. She, and we wonder, and we are all saying if you told her the whole thing you'd never get her there, and she needs this surgery. Because she had her children in the nurse's home. She has never been in a hospital and she,"No SS: Was there a lot of pressure to marry in the community?
CM: Not to marry German, but to marry Catholic. To marry Catholic was always pressurein the church, that way.
SS: Do you have much of a feeling for what they went through during WWI?
CM: The Germans?
SS: In Cameron they had a rough time.
CM: I suppose they did. I guess because I was Irish I didn't feel it as mush.I guess they did. I guess they did. Yeu see, it was after the war that I taught there. And I suppose, but they were so solid in the community that theywhole community couldnpt have had that much trouble as -community. But I feel more, I'm more concerned with what the Bapanese went through in WWII. Which I think was terrible. Because the Bapanese, I think of the nursery people and the greenhouse people that had to leave their crops and their things and it was so ridiculous. And of course so many more restrictions on these eeoole then realized. If you aren!t being imposed upon, you not consious of what uas haepcnine to the others. Ann I know In WWII there one man wno was a do. a citizen of another county is an enemy alien.
No, he was Austrian. But see, he hadn't registered. He was under German. AndI didn't like the blankety blank atall. Never have liked him. Went to my .and I didn't like him. We don't feel, we feel much more comfortable glaring at each other than speaking. And, but we had this trial and I said as much as I dislike him I can't imagine him as a dangerous enemy alien. And I'm surprist he uas so stupid not to register. I'm surprised he didnt do that. And my friend who was married Into an Italian family said,"I'm not. There's so much hardship to it. Do you know?" And I hadn't realized. They couldn't go across the bridge after dark. Now I didn't know that, but they couldn't walk across a bridge after dark. They couldn't have their radio, a seal, on it, you on't break, it. And here aas this lovely Italian family in Spokane uhoJson one to set out of, he was in the. march and he escaped and was a national hero, as very prominent. Captain, I think, at the time. Captain or major then. And he was in the war. And they were just wild to know what was happening to hiia. But his grandmother had never been nationalized. And his grandmother lived at his parents house. So the radio uas sealed.
SS: They couldn't get to the radio?
CM: No. And she couldn't go across the bridge after dark, and certain things.And she uas scared to death, I guess. And they said that her son was prominent in Spokane , well known in business. And they were very nice to her. They said actually all the people that she had to report to and all, but he looked out for it. But that radio aas sealed 'cause she lived there. Now that was ridiculous. Here the boy was a hero, a national hero. There they were. And so it probably, there was a lot aore than we, if you weren't involved you don't realize it.
SS: What about the Chinese. Have you known many of them?
CM: Not many.
SS: I understand they ware in a similar condition that they couldn't becomecitizens.
CM: They had a horrible time.the '40's,
SS: Unless they were born here and that didnt
CM: No, and people I liked otherwise, thought that was...And I never did. I always thought that was terrible. of the nice things about my folks. They had as nearly ne racial prejudice as probably is possible for member s of one race to have about another. I suppose we all have some. I was never taught that because I was whits I was any better than anybody else. I was only better if I behaved better. But no some of the Chinese were certainly very imposed on people. And I always felt so concerned about one of thertl, lee's written up in Sister Alfreda's book, a little bit, but not much. But he ran a resturant here and I remember my mother introducing him. 5he knew him. I was just quite young. He shook hands with me, very formally. And smiled very nicely and I was so pleased, because people didn't shake hands with little girls. But I uas Miss Laura's girl. And he knew my mother as Miss Laura. And he had come to this country and had become a very very devout Methodist. Most of them, a lot of them became Methodists. He was very vary devout Christian, that was very important to him. Hg had a wife in China so he wrote and told her tc become a Christian, become a Methodist. I suppose he wrote long reasons why. But there uas definite orders, because that uas the Chinese way. But he lived most of his life here. And if you wofce to describe the man you would say friendly. He smiled. He was a doll. He was just as nice. He raould send his money back to his family in China, as much as he could, which was a very natural thing. But friendly was the word for him.
SS: What was his name?
CM: I dan now. it's intalking at once) And he went backto be sure that his wife wee converted finally before he died. Went back Canton, And communist thing happened and he was dear it came on. about that poor Chinese woman that seen her husband would they get along. And of course her breeding was that she should he said I suppose, I don't knew. And I don't know whether they had chilero but I know that hie wife ane he wanted tc bo sure that she was converted. That was his reason to goino beck.
SS: It would have been hard e. bring the wife over.
CM: Op very. So he went and went back. Gut he wouldnave been an American capitalist. He would have suffered was just tnat he was such a sucet old guy. He was nice to when And she had here were two men that ran It, Chinese. And she said thny upe was all smiles and always friendly was very and straight and never smiled. And was just all business.
SS: This uas at the Sohns house?
CM: Yes, or they came to the telephone office for business. One of them was juststraight business and blank look and the other one was so friendly. And friendly always aould bring apresents like Chinese eanriy or these narreisa. Narrcisa that is so nice to force, and things like that. Probably resented white people.
SS: they considered the center cf the traffic in Lewiston?
CM: I don't know nether they were or not. So much the center. Isuppose maybethey, there were certain of prejudice. Agreat deal of prejudice in some things about like people wouldn't eat the food they raired because ...
CM: Yea because theyBut Chinese laundry, my mother had ironed her shirtwaists that she wore to work in and they did agood job and she Paid them, Ithink it was a shirt. Uhicn was alot of money in those days. Heavily, heavily starched. It must have been an awful job. There was, they kept themselves, I suppose they were athing, now some there was one girl here could translate the Chinese in court and she talked to them more and she was anice Person. I suoppse there was alot of abuse and criticism. Ithink they were probably taken advantage of terribly. As Indians were too. There was always people to exploit them. The Chinese smart, but they had a hard time. Course it uas Chinese cooks now in every big ranch and every hotel. And sometimes they were very mucn a part of the . There was a China coo Raymond House, China cook at the Imperial in Grangeville, and in a bin ranch hires a cook. Like quite often it was a China cook. Like French of French Glen that's he had a China cook. And that was very typical, the cooks were Chinese. But we all know they were terribly exploited in
SS: The family that I know In Moscow that had a Chinese resturant, they had todo things better for less money to get patronized. Work a lot harder to make a living.
CM: Work very hard. Yes, I think they did. think that was very true. And theJapanese were a little more dependent Of course, the Bapanese had been in my line of work.
SS: Were there some here in Lewiston?
CM: In WW, yes there were a few, there's a few Japanese families here. And they'revery well thought of. But they were resented some. I remember chough there was this one very well thought of family in^lewiston and the teacher over there was at the normal and she said they wore so appreciative of their children going to schooj. They came to the school board, they wanted to pay extra. And they said, no, the school Is free. And they just could hardly believe it. And she said they were very nice children and thsy have become very Americanized. But there were some people that would make remarks and the children fought in WWII. They weren't interred here in Lewiston, but oh yeah, and of course they uere very badly treated in being interred. And so ridiculous. Now they weren't Interred in Hawaii where they had been attacks by them. sure thsy gpctik a few that were known to be loyal to Japan. Otherwise they weren't. And I knew one nurse tola me, she said, talkies about it, she said if mar- came war, what would she Why she has to po to post, cause she was a nurse. Well, what would you do with your baby? Ihe nurse would take care of it. The nurse was DsDanese. Shiec said why enr would have defended that, "I had no qualms." And she said,"I couldn't get that idea over." But they feel the need of it in Hawaii. If they didn't there, why should we? Bet see...
SS: When the family approached the school board, was this before WWII?
CM: Oh yes.
SS: This was when they were first from Japan?
CM: Yes and they thought maybe they should do something more for the school becausethey were so pleased.
SS: How Japanese family mi da tneir living here?
CM: Tftey truck farmed. Because they take to growing things. A Chinese ore merelaundries, and in resturants and things things ereennouse eeoete or truck and the Japanese are
SS: Did you have much to eo with them in the early years?
CM: I didn't know them, I moit them, didn't know 'em at all. But everybody testdid, liked them. In mother part of town we didn't know t
SS: When slid thsy come tc the community"
CM: I don't know. They were very good friends withbecause they both worked hard. And of course when they're truck farmers. I know anough about it that I can talk to them. I nave a thing in common with growers. And, I mean the Japanese, when we go to one of our conferences there'll always be some. And they're very successful and they're very good. Some of them are very much, even now somewhat of the old world country custom though. After they've been here longer, not so much. there are two brothers that own one of the largest ranges for things in Seattle, in the world. World famous. And they're Bapanese. They are tall, bigger than the average. We think of the Japs as small. But these boys are tall. Somebody said they're from Northern Japan. And acturally, rather shy. They kind of blush iwhen they talk. They went to Washington State and took floralculture. And they brought their wives from Japan. Now, they're young, that is, they wouldn't be young tc you, but they would to me. They're younger than I am. And I was at one of our conventions and there was a very attractive woman there whose husband crew orchids. And I thought she was the most charming person In, from the looks standpoint In the whole eeem. She was petite and dark and very vivacious. And we were talking, and she said,"Catherine, look, look." And just like something out of a painting, these two, they brought their wives down. They kept them very much apart, they eidn't mingle at all. Some of the other Japanese women knew a little bit, but they didn't know at all. And they ate, we were having a barbecue dinner out in the open, and they'd come by themselves. I suppose it uas almost, they were made up heavily, ALmost like enamel. And they just, like they stood out. I think they came straight from Japan and married. I think it was one of these deals. And here these boys ©ere college graduates and all. I know I talked to a man whoAnvee a lot with them and had learned to speak in the Orient and then lived at college with some of the Orientals. He knew them very well. I said it looked kind of autocratic. He said,"Well, afterall, would you turn your son lose in a certain thing. He'd make mistakes." And its more protection, make them very proud of them, I think. And very very proud. I didn't get to meet them at all really. They were very shy.
SS: Did these boys come from there?
CM: I don't know. They lived d in Seattle. Their range is there and they're probablysecond generation. Their folks must have come. They're the age that they would be second generation. And very successful. They forced the poinsettas more than any other firm in the world. And they are, they'll ask questions and once in aumie will prepare a paper that a college professor will read at our meetings. And what they do is just fabulous. But they are Japanese. And their wives look just like4^ and they came from Japan to marry them.
SS: Oid you-have much contact with the blacks around here?
CM: Not really. We knew one that, of course, everybody knew Blue Pete. But therewas another man, ran a shoeshine . His boy went to high school and played football very well. And they left when he was through so they could be in another place for him to go on to school. I think he met prejudice. Now there was none in Clarkston at that time. And they said he was one of the best players, but he wasn't getting his letter as soon as the others. When it came to it, there was nobody for him to dtrice with. There And generally they'd want them to be where they Sieve others. was prejudice. Ane I think It was prejudice that his father hashine man.
SS: Was that the man that was on Main?
CM: They both were. But Blue Pete was the more known one, but this wasn't that.He ran the place further up. And I think they were very nice. Hie wife had been a teacher.
SS: Blue Pete.
CM: Blue Pete was the other one. Blue Pete held his own in c. way.
SS: Was he here...
CM: Yes, he was here indefinitely.
SS: He was a shoeohine man toe.
CM: Pete held his own more. But the otherfella was a littie quiet and had for him to be educated and he might have gone to college ano he might have gotten into a profession.
SS: Clue Pete was well known?
CM: Ch everybody knew Blue Pete.Pete was Interested in money, wf course. erven a term in jail for a white man that took the blame of it. And... Ing business?
CM: Yeah. He would eamble and b
CM: More. He.well,a heck of a time two. He nae run.
CM: Oh Ithink so. But probably, It's probably rough on his wife. I think shea nice person and probably didn't hav they a tough time. Not e too much , loo many friends. 1 think much intentional thing, but there ias nobody for them with and we didn't mix with them much. And know we had, when the UuPower Choir came through. Andjthat was after WWII, quite alot. But hey had been in* and they were Negro,black. And one of the teachers said,"Don't book them, we'll have too much trouble, you knew. alright, go ahead. And they were marvelous. It was in our concert semes v-- know-talked in the group when the fellows came in and they came in the front door. We were lined ue to go, me, excuse me,"going in. And there wasn't smile in the group. I thought, my, they're a serious bunch. They were just very aloof. I thought they sang beautifully. No encore. They didn't give one. nhov sang a solo, he did. But for the group, they were kind of military, because they'd just come out of the military.
SS: What was the name of the group?
CM: Paur or something. And it was just a heavenly night for music. Wedidn't know anything about It. And finally we were just not going to leave, we were just so excited. At last we were clapping for the whole group. And he came back. And they sang. They took care of us beaufcifulpy. They sang the Star Spangled Banner and you had to stand up. Got us out. And by that time ue got the message that for some reason we were not their favorite audience, though we enjoyed them much. Found out in the morning paper they hadn't been given decent housing. And I was very glad that the only housing.lthat was first class that was offered them was the hotel next to me in Clarkston. Otherwise It was very second class. And I knew the oeople that were They were somewhat friends. And they had, "No, we won't take them, they're t blacky" And I can see that maybe no one hotel would take the whole 40 of them, because it was probably quite a group. But they could all have taken some.
SS: Was this a decision made by the hotel owners themselves?
CM: And the motel owners, that they wouldn't do it. And the man that was headof It got on the phone and they...
SS: This was after WWII?
CM: After WWII. And that was pretty recent. And I know that a man that told methe whole story, I didn't know it all, it came out in the paper. That they weren't, we all knew why, that they weren't, and why they were mad at us. Didn't blame them, but that was when there was this fight and more housing rung up and it uas ocing pushed and it uas a real Qut it uas later than I knew because this wife had worked for this organization when she tried to get the reservations so I knew the whole bit.
SS: Equal housing, wag that a local issue?
CM: Well it was national. I mean it was coming up. Civil rights were coming onyet. Of course, now that couldn't happen you doth various color, creeu, but at that time could. And at that time there would be the signs, white only. SS: So far as your family was less prejudiced...
CM: They weren't conscious of any. They dien't intend to have any. I think unconsiouslyue all do.
SS: They probably would have objectected for you to go date a boy...
CM: They probebly would have.
SS: Would they mind if you dated non-Catholics?
CM: No. That wasn't a question asked at all. But my father, who was a strongCatholic had married a non-Catholic. So he... didn't have a leg stane on.
CM: No, he didn't have a leg to stand on nd my mother that you did as youpleased on those things. But they probably would have. I ud uld say that moot that Is, probably^tr most races new. On either side that they do. Because I have known some of...
CM: You see, she didn't like it.
SS: The depths of this racial prejudice are really...
CM: it's very deep, Its a very thing. Thank goodness thatat least there are certain rights because from that you can at least build a way tc live. I know that I belonged to a club that there were quite a few Southern people in it. Ane quite a lot of difference in foeline about. And tnare was ehio one negro singer, prominent one, who had been refused service in Pasco when there was a ieusuit that she had won. It was quite a thine. end another one In the country maklne too much fuss about that, end she that is ridiculous. You wouldn't like to go without feed. thought of it lady came and sang. Well Spanish people, the best of them probably have m,s Morrocan blood from the time of that, so they are very dark, some of them. And this woman speaks Castillian Spain, Spartish, She did meet her husband in Mexico. Their family had moved to Mexico. But her Spanish is not Mexican panisl it s castillian, which would tell you something right there. She nd I ean remember beine at a seel, married a blonco but her children were all quite dark. And she uas she had sang, but this other woman, ny mother says, was hill folk. Which meant tna. sno eien t cmn too much of her. And she kept saying,"But she shouldn't be sitting in here." And mother's say,"Shhh, she'll hear." "I don't care, she shouldn't be treated like that." And my mother was just dying. And of course, mother didn't know how to handle it. Now Iwould handle it differently. I would look at her and say,"Ch, she's a friend of mine." she was or not. And then they would shut uP, at least. I've learned that you ao it that way. But mother was so embarrassed, she would she didn't know what to do! Because she
0:00 - Mother's newspaper work for the Lewiston Morning Tribune; discussion of Albert Alfred Sr. and his family background
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Segment Synopsis: Mother threatened with libel after reporting on a Chamber of Commerce speech for the Lewiston Morning Tribune. Her newspaper work - typical problems. Albert Alfred Sr.'s ability to make a front page from a brief dispatch; mother's care in taking down dispatches. His playing-up "Lewistonians." Alfred family background. Liberalism of some southern Democrats, like James Reid, the lawyer.
13:00 - Having mother go to college at Lewiston Normal helped get her a job; Mother's work ethic and business sense; freedom for women in the west
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Segment Synopsis: Mother couldn't have gotten as good a job if she went to college at Lewiston Normal. An early private college in Lewiston. Mother stepped down from managing the Lewiston phone company for a relative of the managers who was dishonest. Mother became a field representative. Mother's skill as a business woman, related to her Quaker heritage. How they dealt with limitations of opportunity. Mother didn't feel conflict between career and marriage, although many did; she was free in marriage to do what she wanted. Strength in father-daughter relationship advanced women's independence. Greater freedom for women in the West. Great friendliness of Westerners compared to Easterners.
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Segment Synopsis: A friendly meeting in "formal" Seattle. Friendliness a part of Western environment. Only child has greater responsibilities. Fathers' protection of daughters' rights. Affection important in her family. Her father's displeasure over a man yelling at his daughter, and over another who made his wife split wood. Women in her family felt free to express themselves.
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Segment Synopsis: She was raised in an advanced way: she was always told the truth and was allowed to listen to whatever the parents were saying. Mother believed that disowning a child was unforgivable. She knew she had to mind her parents, because their requests were reasonable. Her frequent "running away" to the neighbor's, who was a close family friend. Mother's fear for daughter's safety. Her friend wasn't allowed to wear a see-through sleeve. Strict upbringing of an Italian girl. Her friends' conduct was based on their peer group.
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Segment Synopsis: Affluence made rebellion of youth more obvious. Changing relations to being in style as people grow older. She grew up with the truth about Santa Claus. Adventurousness of those who come to a new country; parents' progressiveness. Dealings with her school children's belief in Santa Claus. A girl who was determined about her future.
71:00 - Beginning of Clarkston; how her parents met, their relationship; and how their marriage worked
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Segment Synopsis: Beginning of Clarkston. Mr. Libby got financing for water supply from his wife's friends, Charles Francis Adams family of Boston. Mother bought land in Clarkston. Father gold mined in Nome, Alaska, instead of investing in Seattle downtown. Parents met in Burns phone office: he got her a beer, and stole her a fresh trout as a joke. He idealized her; they were quite different, but respected each other's feelings. Their decisions were mutual; they never thought of telling each other what to do. Their marriage worked through friendship and attachment to their child. Father's dislike of Roosevelt and Wilson.
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Segment Synopsis: Clarkston's sense of propriety compared to Lewiston. Manager of Lewiston cannery let peaches degrade to peach butter despite her mother's efforts as head woman. Varying acreages in Clarkston. When mother's orchard got no water, she turned off the water to the orchards above hers for a couple of hours, and was paid as a ditch walker rather than prosecuted for her action.
102:00 - How Clarkston got water; Boston men in Clarkston who run town site kept up appearances; sale of town site company
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Segment Synopsis: Clarkston water was ditched from Asotin Creek. Adams boys maintained Eastern aloofness; they wouldn't recognize girls they'd danced with the night before. An Adams' boy upbraided by Mrs. Goddard for his lack of a coat at breakfast. The Boston men in Clarkston, who ran the town site, though poor, kept up appearances. A lawyer almost ruined himself socially in Clarkston by getting drunk at a party. No school dances allowed in Clarkston. Sales of town site company.
110:00 - Poverty in the Clarkston Orchards; discussion of clothes worn by women and girls; father running Juliaetta cannery
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Segment Synopsis: It was very difficult for families to make a living from their Clarkston orchards. Poverty of the people - no money to paint houses, unstylish church hats. Mother's skill with making clothes and judging quality and style. Need to maintain old clothes to keep in style. Mother wore pants before most women. A woman who claimed to love sewing. A Juliaetta girl who made her friends wear pastel dresses to her party. Father ran Juliaetta cannery from 1914-1918.
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Segment Synopsis: Although rather poor, her parents thought they were as good as anyone in Clarkston. They weren't involved in social life, which was dull. Properness of Clarkston. Father's dislike of Juliaetta as a "one horse town," though he liked the people. His ability at politicking from his New York Irish background. Her family was highly close-knit, spending most of their time together rather than with others.
138:00 - Attended the Catholic church but felt excluded by German Catholics; discussion of anti-Catholicism in Clarkston; Discuss of the Ku Klux Klan in Clarkston;
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Segment Synopsis: They attended Catholic Church, but felt somewhat excluded by the German Catholics. The Klan burned a cross on the Catholic minister's lawn in Clarkston. Her mother was suspected of stealing the membership list from her superior at the Tribune. Trying to discourage a young man from belonging. A minister told father he got $10 for joining up each member. All Catholics except the librarian excluded from Clarkston’s leading ladies' club. Teasing an anti-Catholic lady. Another Catholic girl was upset over having graduation at the Christian Church, but Catherine missed her chance to argue with the principal. Dislike of Klan. Birth of a Nation encouraged the Klan, and was first extremely popular movie to hit the area. The Klan was filled with ignorant and bigoted people.
152:00 - Difficulty with German Catholic customs; religious attitudes of the German woman she stayed with
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160:00 - Restrictions on registered aliens during world wars; prevalence of Chinese-Americans in Lewiston and Clarkston
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Segment Synopsis: Restrictions on registered aliens during World Wars. She was raised without racial prejudice. A Chinese Methodist in Lewiston; he returned as an old man to be sure his wife had converted Mother's dealings with two Chinese at the Joss House. Some wouldn't eat vegetables grown by Chinese. Mother went to Chinese laundry. Prevalence of Chinese cooks at hotels and big ranches.
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176:00 - Discussion of African-Americans in Lewiston; black concert performers denied first class accommodations; attitudes towards dating another race or religion
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Segment Synopsis: Blacks in Lewiston. Prejudice against a good black family. Blue Pete "held his own"; he served a jail term for a white. Little opportunity for mixing. A group of black concert performers were denied first class accommodations in Lewiston after World War II; their coldness towards the audience. Attitudes about dating another race or religion.