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This conversation with Clarice Moody Sampson took place in her home in Moscow,Idaho on November 16, 1976. The interviewer was Sam Schrager.
CLARICE M. SAMPSON: — buying one sack of flour, he a barrel; four sacks.So, he had a great, big container made that was in the butry. Great big, tight square box, the lid just fit in, you could hardly get it out. And that was filled up with flour when the- before the new flour came in; or did he want the new flour in the fall? I can't remember what the rule was. And sugar by the hundred pounds, (clock chiming drowns out voice)
SS: Do you think that he was that way because he had been close to nothaving enough at times?
CS: I think probably. He ran away from home when he was thirteen and wenton his own. And the family lived near St. John, New Brunswick, and he went down to Boston. And that kid was on his own. So I don't know how he fared, he never would talk about it to us.
SS: So maybe they were pretty difficult times.
CS: And also, I know he'd never let us go barefoot, even in the summer onthe grass, 'cause we'd stub our toes. So evidently he vent without shoes time. But Mama'd let us take off our shoes sometimes in the afternoon, but we sure had to get our feet washed and our shoes on fore Dad came home.
SS: So he didn't even know about it then.
CS: No, evidently not.
SS: So, I'll bet you really wanted to go without shoes.
CS: Oh, yes,'the hot days, you know. But we had board sidewalks and youcould stub your toes so easily, you know.
SS: You know, you said to Laura that sometimes in the family, you said thatthe boys were closer to their mama and the girls were closer to their father.
CS: Well, it seemed that way to the girls in the family- and I don't knowbut it just seemed to me that Mama always favored the boys Of course, they were all older than I, and I'm really not the one to judge.
SS: It wouldn't be unusual, that that was true, because it seems to me thatthe girls often did seem closer to their father. Did you feel close to him?
CS: Uh-huh. Very. I think that I was quite the apple of his eye when Iwas a little girl. And I know my mother used to tell about when my oldest sister was born, they lived back in Missouri, that Sundays she'd dress Mable all up and Dad'd take her down when he went down to get his mail, you know at the post office. And he was quite proud to take his little daughter down. But I know after my brother older than I, who was five years older than I, died I think my mother's health was never very good again. I think it just crushed her. He died in the Philippines. But then, you know, I think Dad- my oldest brother was over there working for the government, and Maurice was like a lot of kids I know, he wanted to get out. He didn't want to be tied down to school. He was only in prep school.
SS: When he went?
CS: Uh-huh. But my Dad let him go because Albert said he could come overto the Philippines and he'd see that he was okay. To Manila.
SS: You told Laura how he died. It sounds like that climate might have beenreally hard on him.
CS: Yes. Well, it was, because my oldest brother came home almost broke inhealth
SS: Did your mother- you mentioned to Laura the operation she had that waspretty serious and a coma. After that, did she still go out visiting?
CS: Oh, yes.
SS: She wasn't invalided then?
CS: No, no. She was active in church, but she just couldn't do all thethings that a lot of women and mothers did. Her strength didn't war rant that.
SS: You mean the kind of things, like housecleaning?
CS: Yes, that sort of thing, that's what I mean. Physical work. Shecouldn't do that. But like her church work and so on, she could keep on with that, although she didn't go as much, I don't believe. It never seemed to affect her, she loved company. I know our ministers little daughters used to come out and she'd sit and play games with them. That was when I was too grownup to do that. And she did so much of that sort of thing.
SS: Was cleanliness really important in your family?
CS: Yes. My father was very fastidious. And before bathtub days whenthe bath was taken- sponge bath in a- we had a big bathpan that we used. And Sunday morning, Dad used that bathpan in the kitchen, after everybody'd gone to Sunday School. But, he'd go to church, you see, he'd get his toilet over. And I can remember so well when he used to shave. He'd have his towel that he'd spread on the dresser and put all his paraphenalia out; and then nothing was ever left our, he always cleaned up and put everything away. He was very fastidious. And, of course, in those days, men wore long underwear and so on ; it was such a trial to get things dry. But we had clothes racks and things and the clothes were hung on the porch. got dry.
SS: Did the girls do that after your mother was sick?
CS: Well, I'll tell you, there's a period in there I just don't quite realize how we got along. I know at one time, my sister older than I, the second one older than I, was teaching ^in the Moscow schools and I was in high school, I presume,- yes- and our clothes were sent out to the laundry. And where they were sent the husband must have smoked a pipe, because they'd come home just smelling so of tobacco 1 And then, of course, after that, we started sending all the flat work, the sheets, the towels and everything like that to the laundry. Mr. Green, by then his laundry was- of course, before that he did washing. But I don't think our washing ever went down there when it was done in wash tubs And-
SS: Was your father concerned, say, about the furniture not having any duston it, and clean.
CS: Oh, yes. In his marble works, in the showroom, especially if he wasshowing a monoment or showing monuments to customers, out would come his handkerchief and all the time he was showing them, he'd be using his handkerchief to wipe them off. But his method of dusting was a feather duster, and of course, the dust settled and there was a lot of marble dust in the shop from the carving. But, oh, he was very— no dust, no anything around. In fact, in our house every morning, even the cleaning days- there was a cleaning day once a week, and everything was, oh, boy, and they used to sweep and. dust would roll out, and we always hoped for a wind from the east on sweeping day, so it would all go out the front doorl (Chuckles)
SS: Did everybody take part in that?
CS: No. No. I don't remember my mother ever sweeping, but it would be myolder sisters and after they were away from home, if we didn't have help, I'd do it. And I remember my mother thought it was pretty heavy work for me, and she would do so many little things for my benefit, because I had done all that hard work. And I can remember one of our bedrooms upstairs, before had the bathroom had a stove in it, and that's where the girls always took their baths. And I can remember on Saturday, when I was growing up, after the girls were away from home teaching, my sisters, after I'd clean the house I'd have my bath and go to someone's house or go do something, go to town, or do some thing, and my mother would empty my bathwater and do all that, because I'd worked hard in the morning.
SS: Well, the work you had to do in the sweeping: you had to lift everything up?
CS: Oh, yes. The way our house was; the master bedroom was off of theliving room and the chairs were all carted in there while the dining room and the living room were swept, because the dust would just enve lope you. But every morning the thing was around the heater in the living room- you took a little whisk broom and a dust pan and cleaned all that up, so that.general cleaning didn't go on only once a week.
SS: You didn't have rugs on the floors then?
CS: Oh, yes. Carpets; wall-to-wall carpets.
SS: So they have to be swept.
CS: Yes, but I don't think, probably they got as dirty as lots of people'scarpets did because we all came in the kitchen door and left our rub bers or boots or so on( And my father was the kind, he never went outside without wiping his feet on the rug at the back door when he came in. So I don't think the cleaning was as hard, maybe as it was in some other homes that had to clean that way.
SS: You know, you mentioned eating in the dining room.
CS: Uh-huh. Three meals a day.
SS: Do you think that that's what most Moscow families did at that time?
SS: Because I know in the country they always ate in the kitchen.
CS: ' Well, I really can't say. Some of my- Well, I can think of two friendsonefriend, her father was a doctor, they always ate in the dining room. And they usually had a hired girl. Another friend, her father was a blacksmith, and they always ate in the kitchen because he'd come from the shop and he'd wash up and they'd eat in the kitchen. I don't re member of ever eating in the dining room at their house; ever.
SS: Well what made it nicer for you to eat in the kitchen? Because yousaid you really liked it in the
CS: Oh, I don't know.
SS: Just cozier?
CS: Yes. Some way.
SS: Smaller and closer.
CS: Well, our kitchen was big, but it just seemed to me that- well, maybejust because it was different. But I just thought that was— and it wasn't breakfast, it'd be Sunday evening supper. And even after I was married and my sister was keeping house for my father, they never ate out on a table in the kitchen. There was a table there that they could have eaten on. There was this worktable with^bins below it and so on, and there was another table that sat over by the other kitchen door where the groceries were put when they were delivered and so on, but that was kept clear, they could have eaten there. But they just never did it. Meals were always served in the dining room.
SS: So, really the only use for the kitchen was for pretty much to preparemeals.
CS: Yes, and the laundry.
SS: And the laundry. Did you visit at all in the kitchen, if you had time?
CS: Only if for some reason we ate out there Sunday evening and sat aroundthe opened the oven door and sat around there,
SS: "So usually was it in the living room or dining room, either one?
CS: Always. But not so much around the table, maybe, as we did in the living room. We just went to the living room. And it wasn't a parlor, it was a living room. Front room, we called it. But it wasn't in any sense a parlor.
SS: What would the difference be between your living room and a parlor?
CS: Well, now some friends of mine- the blinds were kept pulled and therewas no heat in there only when they knew they were going to use the parlor. And it was just a dressed up room. They did have nice things in there. But, I know when I used to visit that friend I stayed all night there quite a bit when I was a kid, we'd go in there once in a while and just kind of look around, with a little awe, maybe.
SS: And seldom used.
CS: Seldom used.
SS: But in your living room in your family, what did you have? Was itmostly chairs? Was there a sofa?
CS: Oh, no, the library table that Harry has in there, and rockers, we hadrockers and piano and a couch. We called it a lounge, kind of like thatthing at the museum. But our furniture wasn t grand, but it was very comfortable and never chosen as a set or anything. Every piece had just been bought as my father could afford to buy it. And then sometimes we got a new chair and the old rocking chair was put up stairs in somebody's room.
SS: In your family, did your father show affection to the kids much, orwas that considered—
CS: Oh, no, uh-huh. I don't think there was ever a night when I was akid or my father was too tired that I didn't climb in his lap while he read his paper, tired as he was. And his favorite word for calling us was "Darling."
SS: That's really nice. Because I have an idea in some families parentsdidn't feel that they ought to show affection for the kids.
CS: It wasn't so in our family.
SS: Did you do much to please your father? I mean, when you were a kiddid you feel motivated by that?
CS: Well, I think I probably told Laura that after my brother, Maurice wasaway from home and he did the sprinkling and mowing the lawn and so on, I fell heir to that job because - that's why I never learned to cook because I did those things. But I know I used to be in a hurry to get off someplace or something and I didn't do very good sprinkling, but I made it look awful wet on the surface so Dad'd think I'd done a good job of sprinkling. But I don't think I ever thought much about whether I was pleasing my father, only in little things like that. But, I'm sure I didn't try to displease him at all. And from the time I was, well- when my sisters were away from home teaching and my mother couldn't go downtown. shop and so on, I was just put on my own to buy my own clothes. And I was never told, "You can't get this or you can't get that." I knew about what I was expected to spend and I stayed within bounds when I was a teenager with my clothes. I remember one time^I got a coat and oh, I got so sick of it! Because we usually wore o ur coats two years, our winter coats. But I^chose^it, it was what I wan ted, and nothing was said at the time that maybe I'd get tired of it but I surely did. I remember so well when I was a little girl; real little, and the family pocketbook wasn't so big, my mother took me down to Creighton's store and I was going to have a new winter coat. And Mr. Creighton, I think he was very fond of my mother, and he came up while they were showing us and this little red coat, I can just still see it- pretty red coat and it had a velvet collar. Oh, I thought it was so beautiful, and my thought it was really more than she could pay, and as I remember, it just about fit me then and there wasn't any room for growth for the next year, you know, and Mr Creighton came long and said, "She looks pretty nice in that, and I think she should have it." And, anyway, Mama decided to buy the red coat. And I don't remember how long I wore it or anything, but I can just still see that red collar with the red velvet collar.
SS: He was pretty kind- I mean Creighton.
CS: Oh, yes. We always bought— of course, eating in the dining room ofj.white tableclothes, they wore out, you know, and every year thatthe red tag sale that they had it in those days, too, Mama would go in and buy a certain number of sheets and tablecloths, you know, for the year. And Mr. Creighton went to Ireland every year and bought linen. A lot of my linen- it was all from Creighton's store, was in my cedar chest. And he just delighted showing mama the linen he got in Ireland, you know. And then every Christmas he always sent her a great big box of candy. And we always thought that was nice.
SS: I wanted to ask you some about the way that more prominent familieswere in Moscow. The Creightons probably would be considered one of them.
CS: Well, yes, in a way, but she never mixed, Mrs. Creighton. And someof her friends that she'd go to see were some of the most humble people in Moscow. The shoemaker's wife and the neighbors beyond us, we kind of—looked-on them as white trash, because they were from down South someplace and they weren't much for keeping their yard clean and so on. They were good people but Mrs. Creighton would go and call on them. It was strange some of her friendships. And I don't know that in the society of Moscow then, I don't think Mrs. Creighton functioned in that at all.
SS: Mr. Creighton, was he the same way? Did he mix with ordinary people?
CS: Not any more than just in the store. I think they were very- maybeI shouldn't say- but when Harry was a kid and he worked for C reightons delivering packages, and he carried their laundry down to their wash woman, that was one of his jobs. And Mrs. Creighton was always awfully good to him, and he'd go and maybe she'd always have him come in; she'd have a treat for him. Any maybe he'd have his hands in pockets and she'd tell him, "Take your hands out of your pockets." And she'd tell him things like that. stand with his hands in his pockets. And his hands got rough and she told him how he could avoid those rough hands was to soap his hands real good and have someone sprinkle a tea spoon of sugar in 'em and rub that in your hands, no foiling. And then in a day or two he'd go back down and get the clean laundry and take it back to Creightons.
SS: Did you know her?
CS: Oh, yes.
SS: Did you ever have an idea of why she mixed with ordinary people?
CS: No, I never did.
SS: It's very unusual.
CS: Well, she'd stop at our house lots of times,; she liked my mother.
SS: Sounds like she was more interested in people as people than society.
CS: Probably, I don't know. But I can see her, she was quite big, and shewore a beaver coat; beautiful beaver coat, and she walked quite proud. I can still see her when she'd go by to go up the street to the neigh bors. But as far as mixing in church or social life, I don't believe they did.
SS: If you were going to think of some of some of the leading families inMoscow at the time in social life and church affairs, who would some of them be?
CS: Well, of course, the David family was always prominent and theSmiths, and Charlie Shields, he was the hardware man. These people just happened to be in our church. And the Watkins, Carol Ryrie Brink's grandparents, but, of course, I don't think there were many clubs or anything. There was a club up on the— that was called the High U Club, sort of a sewing social club, that was up near the old David home, in that neighborhood. And then, in our neighborhood a woman came in, I don't know how old I was, I was just a little girl and they had a lit tle girl; we played together. And she started a neighborhood sewing club, and that was about the extent of it. But you would have maybe two or three couples come in in the evening to your homeland play cards.
SS: Who were their friends?
CS: My parents?
SS: Yes, the people that they would have associate with them? Socially,like that?
CS: Well, they were mostly, I think, people that lived quite near in theneighborhood. And I can remember the Naylors used to come and play cards. And, oh, I don't remember; I remember one time my mother and father were having people in to play cards in the evening and several of my friends and I, we always thought when Friday night came we had to do something, you know, because the next day was Saturday and so on. And we'd go to each other's houses- and I remember that time we played games and things and have little refreshments, you know. And that time I'd invited my friends and probably hadn't consulted my mother and so the living room was in use, so we- I had my friends in the kit chen. But we played games in the kitchen. They were all little girls. But that was one thing; we never had to ask if we were going to a p icnic or something.they told so-and-so a cake, or sandwiches or so on, we could just always say yes, we could do that, but some of the child ren had to go home and ask first. And I always thought that was so funny. As I got older, sometimes I made the cakes myself and they weren't too good, but I never had to ask if I could take a cake to the picnic.
SS: What do you think that difference was? Do you think your parents justwanted you kids to do whatever you wanted to?
CS: Well, not do whatever you wanted to, especially, but they wanted us tofeel that we had the privilege of- if we wanted to say we could take something, we could take it.
SS: That's really what it was.
CS: Yes. We didn't have to go home and say, could I take a cake to thepicnic Saturday? We just knew we could.
SS: In that way, they respected your wishes as people.
CS: I think so, very much.
SS: Even though you were still kids.
CS: Uh-huh. I think so, very much.
SS: That sounds like a rather progressive attitude towards kids, too.
CS: Well, my father was not that way, I was told, with my older brothersand sisters, even when they were in college. went to parties and dances at the University and they were told so be home at such-and- - such a time and they had to be home then.
SS: But it was different wiht you?
CS: Yes, I knew I wasn't expected, and.Maurice too, we knew we weren't expected to stay out too late, but we never had to leave the party be fore it was over. So, I think my father was more tolerant with Mau rice and I.
SS: You know these parties you mentioned to Laura, the QAE Club and someof these parties you went to as a teenager, too. What were the acti vities that the young people would engage in? Would t hey be party games?
CS: Yes, party games.
CS: Spin the platter, and wink 'em and such games as that. The whole groupwould participate in.
SS: Would there be the sorts of things- some of the things that they dldlike Happy is a Miller Boy?
CS: Well, not at those parties. We did that when I was in high school. Wehad parties; the old building was torn down, and we'd do that in the hall, and we'd get in the front hall and Happy Is the Miller Boy came back to me when I read Lola's book. Because we did that and Skip-tomy- Lou.
SS: But those would be in school not in the home?
CS: Not in the home.
SS: At home it would be-
CS: Just parlor games. I don't think we sat at tables and played games likechildren play, it was always just group. jf They'd put out a whole lot of objects and you'd go look at them and then write down all you could remember, that sort of thing, too, you know.
SS: Dancing, though, was that done in the homes?
CS: Course, too many homes weren t - our home was^a place wh ere we couldhave danced, only we just didn't dance. We just played games until I mm. got in- well, I can tell you about one experience dancing. We were having- in church there were two classes, a girls' class and a boys' class-
SS: Is this the story about how you sneaked back?
CS: Yes, Laura had that. I was thinking I had told her.
SS: I was wondering about that- when you snuck back that was because theSunday School teacher wouldn't have allowed you to dance?
CS: No, he wasn't that way at all, he would have gone along and probablysat and played the piano, but I don't know, we just thought that was fun to do it that way, or something, I don't know why we did that.
SS: You just didn't want to let him and the other teacher know.
CS: Well, that was Doctor " .He was such a good sport. There wasa great thing then to- he'd play for us, and this group of girls, t eenagers would stand around the piano and sing all the popular songs, you know. And he just entered right in that. He'd sit and play the piano just as long as we wanted to sing.
SS: So he wouldn't have objected to dancing?
CS: I don't think he would have. I know he wouldn't have later, when he hadhis own children.
SS: Well, that makes it seem like you were really playing a prank.
CS: I think we thought it was a prank, and I don't know why we thought wehad to do it that way.
SS: Then the girl got the people next door to chaperone you?SS Uh-huh. The young woman. Miss Madeline Shields and she brought her fiancee, and they chaperoned the party.
SS: Was this girl Mrs. Day's niece?
CS: That had the party? Uh-huh. And Mrs. Day was not at home at the time.But she knew that the party was to be there- well, that wasn't on the sly.
SS: To you kids, was going to the Day's house a big deal? Was it something special?
CS: Yes, we thought that was something special. Especially if you wereasked eat there. I don't remember whether they had more than just a hired girl in the kitchen or what, but you were served at the dining room table, and most of us weren't used to that, you see. Our meals were all served family style. I don't even remember my father ever serving the plates too much, it was just- only he used to f ix my food when I was little, especially my pancakes. And I didn't want any body else to fix 'em but my father. And I just wonder if they'd still taste that good to me! He'd put a lot of butter then sprinkle sugar and then pour cream on 'eml They'd puff up, you know. Oh, I thought that was delicious.
SS: That was special for you?
CS: Uh-huh. You know, not long ago, Miss is an artist, you know, and Mr. Westerlund,they were out at our place to a party, a talking party, and we got to talking about people painting and so on, and I told 'em that I just didn't have a bit of that in me. I said, "I remember the only picture I painted was a watercolor, and it was a black sailboat on water." And right away Mr. Westerlund said that showed I was an unhappy child, and he said, "Do you like the water?" And I said, "No." And that I disliked the water and so on. And since then, I've thought about that so much, and I said that wasn't true, sounded like my father domineered me, that painting. And I said, "That wasn't true." And since then I've thought, everybody in the class, the teacher told them to paint that.
SS: A black sailboat on water?
SS: Well, I certainly don't see how you can conclude that— from a painting.
CS: Well, I don't like water, and I don't enjoy boats too much, but I don'tknow how he could say that that showed my father was—
SS: Sounds like armchair psychology, to me.
CS: Well, I don't know psychology, anyway. But, I think thenext time I see him I'm going to bring that to his mind and tell him that,the whole class did the same thing.
SS: Maybe it was the teacher who was dominated by her father!
CS: Yes, that's right. I thought I might come across that painting in allthat junk I had, but I didn't. I was in hopes I would so I could show it to Miss ' and Mr. Westerlund.
SS: You know, talking about the people who were well-to-do in Moscow I'mwondering about the extent, if any, of social distance that other peo ple felt. For instance, did your family feel a social distance between you and the Shields, say?
CS: No, no. I don't think that was true. In those days, they did have aHistorical Club, I spoke of. His three daughters were all quite so- cially involved in, and he was and crude in speech, but they were about the best dressed girls in Moscow and he was the same kind of a father about wanting his family. And, I know Marjorie- there was a little group of us and we got out on honor if you made certain grades, you didn't have to take the final examinations. There was a system in the Moscow schools. We called it getting out on honor. And he always gave her five dollars when she got out on honor. And so, she wouldwe'd all go and buy food, stuff we liked, bought from the store, you know. Dill pickles like they had in the store, not like we had at home, and ice cream, and we'd buy such stuff and always had it at their house in the kitchen. But she always got five dollars; none of the rest of us did that.
SS: When she got her five dollars, you'd all go out and spend the moneytogether? That was very nice of her.
SS: Was this
SS: Colorful fellow.
CS: Uh-huh. Then I had another friend, Napa Naylor and right there whereour house was on Third Street, there was a little corner grocery, a widow started it and she did sewing in her store, and maybe I'd have a nickle to spend, but Nepa always had a dime, and so we could buy more penny candy, but she shared right along with me, because she had a dime and I only had a nickle.
SS: Do you think that the kids moved in the same circles,that the parentswould move in somewhat different circles? Depending on their wealth?
CS: No, I don't think it depended on the wealth or anything, but peopledid things more as neighborhoods. I think the social evolved around the neighborhood; the social life. And as far now the Shields, probably had as much money, I'm sure, as anyone, and there were the two boys that were in the family that were in my group. But Mrs. Shields was a very— I don't think she ever entered into any social life. She was just a quiet type of woman. Little woman that stayed home and ran her house. No, I don't think the money had anything - or the amount of wealth, or whatever you want to call it the family had.
SS: Well, what did determine then, social—
CS: I just don't know.
SS: What would make a family, or an individual that was—
CS: I really don't know, because I can think of some who didn't have verymuch who were just- I just don't know what- I don't think there was— the amount of what the family had had anything to do with what group or circle they mixed in. I don't believe it did.
SS: It sounds like the church was a very essential thing.
CS: It was very much socially. And, of course, when my brothers and sisters; my older brothers and sisters, were young people the church was quite the center. They had an organization, Christian Endeavor, and that was much of the social life for the young people who belonged to the Presbyterian Church.
SS: It was less so by the time that you were growing?
CS: Yes, uh-huh. That's right. Except for like these Sunday School parties we threw on our own, you know.
SS: Had the kind of parties; this QAE Club and that sort of thing- wasthat sort of taking the place of the church's—
CS: Probably. Because I know when I came along I didn't want any of thatChristian Endeavor stuff and so on. They tried to keep it going in our church, but it just died out, that didn't appeal to me.
SS: Why not?
CS: I don't know. Maybe because we'd evolved our own social life thisother way.
SS: You mentioned a Missionary Society to Laura, and that they combined.Which was a good move.
SS: But was the Missionary Society separate in what it was trying to do?Was it trying to raise money for the foreign missions?
CS: No, not especially, so the people would be informed. They sent moneyto the Church Board to go for foreign missions and home missions, they called it, and so on. But there weren't too many women- many of the women in the church, like the Ladies' Aid Society, because even though they always had a religious type of service and everything, it was more social, you see, and they did the things like the ice cream soc ials and things to raise money to get some new dishes and so on.
SS: Well what did the Missionary Society do?
CS: Well, of course,the women studied the different missions that we helpedsupport, you know, but Mrs. Gormley thought that was all wrong, so she-
SS: So it wasn't as much fun for the women then?
CS: No, the in the Missionary Society, they were more serious aboutwhat they were doing. It just didn't involve so many women. So she was pretty smart because that way, it put some of the missionary work into the Ladies' Aid Society.
SS: Would it be true to say that the women were- the people who were primarily involved in the church activities and that the men were much less so? Now, I mean outside of just the Sunday service? What I'm wondering, is whether the women were the people that kept the church going?
CS: Oh, yes, yes, absolutely. Then later, I think- well, probably ministers came who tried to have men's groups. But they never got across and someway, you know, they'd die out. They'd go good for a while, but then when they started having midweek- like with a potluck supper and men and women both, why then, men would come to that, you see. Now they're trying to start, but they put it so early because if the professors come they have to be free to get to school, the six-forty-five breakfast. Harry wentthe other one they had but he didn't even read it on the Sunday bul letin, I think they were going to have that, but he said he wouldn't be going, he didn't think after the last one, because it's just a con tinental breakfast and that wouldn't bother him, but- In fact, I think it's just kind of bull session or that sort of thing. But they've been trying to get that started in our church with the men again.
SS: Do you think it would be fair to say that the church in the early days,the church you belonged to, really determined to a large extent of who you would spend your social life with?
SS: Maybe that combined with the neighborhood that you lived in?
CS: Uh-huh. Of course, as I remember our neighborhood, we lived in whatthey called Swede town, they were all Lutherans and not many Metho dists, so they didn't involve what your religion was, you know, in your neighborhood. 'Course now, in those days, men went to lodges.
SS: They did?
CS: Uh-huh. My father was an Odd Fellow. He was a Woodman of the World.I think he felt that if he was a member that he should go to those things. And most of them had ladies auxilaries and then they'd get together for suppers and parties on special occasions. But I think lodges played a big part in the men's social life then. I am sure they did.
SS: Was your mother in the ladies' auxiliaries? Of the groups that he was in?
CS: Yes.I know were Woodmen of the World and thethe Wo men of the Woodcraft were the women. And I was ta ken as a child by my parents to parties at Alma Reeling's because they had one of the big homes. Now as far as Alma ever entering into any of this I never remember her at all. Course Alma's- I shouldn't say this- has always been a kind of a loner. She is that type. But when we were in high school then her brother was in my class, and Mrs. used to have parties for us quite often.
SS: Connected wiht the lodge?
CS: No. No. Just Ralph's class. School parties. In fact, I rememberafter we'd been out of high school a year. A Ralph had a party when we came home, and she'd just gone to so much trouble. I remember one thing- it was supper I think she had us to- and she made mashed sweet potatoes- she was quite astistic. Were you ever in Alma's home?
SS: Never inside.
CS: Well, Mrs. oh, she'd make- I remember one thing she had was asection of a log with the bark on it, and she'd varnished it and had a painting in it, you know, that sort of thing. She was great on making something like that. But for this party she'd molded these littie animals someway of this mashed sweet potato. I don't remember what we had for the rest of the supper, but I just remember those little things she had formed and put in the oven, you know, heated up with butter.
SS: At that would you have played games, or would you have danced?
CS: No, we didn't dance because there were so many more girls than therewere boys. But of course, at the school parties, part of the girls would have to take- be the partner, you see, because in my class therey were six boys and fourteen girls in high school.- So when we'd march around with the Miller Boy, part of the girls would have to take the gent's part. Ladies step forward and the gents fall back.
SS: So like at the Reeling's house it would have been- talking?
CS: Yes, and singing. We used to like to sing so much when we were kids.There was a lot of that. And I can remember when my olderTand my sis ters- that was a lot of when the young people'd get together. - play and everybody'd sing. The Ramstadt family, they were in our neighborhood. They were all good singers. And Mrs. Oberg, Ellen Ramstadt used to play the piano for singing. And that was quite the thing to sing around the piano.
SS: Do you know whether your father felt close to his lodge brothers andthat he would help them if they needed help?
CS: Oh, yes, I think there was that feeling.
SS: It would be a special feeling that you wouldn't just have for anybody?
CS: I think so. I think so. And I think maybe the Odd Fellows and someof those things are like that today. Now, I think a bigger lodge like the Elks and the Moose and so on; I don't know what they're like. But I think the Odd Fellows are still that kind of a group in Moscow. It's smaller.
SS: Did Swedetown have a character of it's own at that time? They callit Swedetown and I wonder- was it really it's own community then?
CS: No, it wasn't. There were a lot of Scandinavian people lived there,but there were a lot of others too. It just happened that the majority who had homes in that part of the town were Scandinavian. But; Chara cters- well, of course, farther down our street Lynn Avenue, was down there toward the bridge, he was the character. Then we had a Negro family who lived down that way, the Mc Crays. And, of course, I think Jimmy Mc Cray was in my room for a while at school. And my brother would always tease me, my oldest brother, about Jimmy Mc Cray, you know. Of course, I'd get very upset when he did that.
SS: Tease you how? That you were-
CS: Jimmy's girlfriend or something. And I don't ever remember of evenwalking along with Jimmy going to school or anything. That was just a way to kid me.
SS: When you kids were in the same class, do you think that the kids real-
CS: that he was a different color from the others?
CS: Well, yes, but he wasn't as I remember, Jimmy wasn't in school verylong. But, as I remember, they were never pushed aside or anything.
SS: Well, what I was thinking, whether there was a different fefcling aboutthat area than say, in other places.
CS: No. No.
SS: Was it any better or worse off financially than other parts of town?
CS: No. Many of those Scandinavian men weren't professional men or anything, but their children went to college and everything. I don't know- now Allen Ramstad's grandfather, they had a big place and I know he used to sell cherries and he'd lay carpets, and whether he made all of his living that way, I don't know. But his sons all went on to do well. And I don't know whether they were all college graduates or not but they had the opportunity school. Course, now the Naylor family that I speak of they had big farms out here, north of town, and they still own them. But they didn't go on after high school to college. They just started farming; the boys. And they had money, too. He was one of the wealthiest men in the county, Mr. Naylor.
SS: Does that men that a lot of people just didn't value going to collegesat that time?
CS: Well, I don't know how it was. My father wanted all of his childrento go to college. But evidently the Naylors didn't feel that.
SS: Of course, Farming didn't traditionally didn't require that.
CS: No, and they had begun to acquire quite a lot of land. And Mr. Naylorsold insurance and he was a great one to sit in the office and put his feet up and talk to people, you know. In the early days he was sheriff - and they were prominent in the county and they were prominent in the Rebeccas and Odd Fellows. And in those days they had the GAR, Grand Army of the Republic. They were prominent in that. They were early day settlers here. But they didn't move in what you'd call in the better circles, although they were always accepted and so on.
SS: Would the better circles, the best circles be those which would have-The Days and Mc Connels and those people in them? No, you said the Shields didn't.
CS: Mrs. Shields did not have any social ideas.
SS: I am thinkg of who the better circle would be.
CS: Well, that's kind of hard for me to say, because I don't know, theykind of thought of up around the Day home and farther east the David home around the Catholic Church there-rthat was kind of Nob Hill or not. I don't know whether they thought of it that way.
SS: Well, who lived there besides the Davids and the Days right in thatarea?
CS: The Smiths, and the Is the doctor I spoke of. His daughterwas one of my best friends. But still, right in that same block lived the harness maker, Webber. See, there was no distinction, and I think as far as groups were concerned, it was just more within the neighbor hood group of congenial people who would get together. And then the lodges, and I think many of those people didn't enter into that lodge business. And then the church.
SS: Did your father identify much with Moscow businessmen?
CS: No. He didn't do that. He didn't belong to the Chamber of Commercewhen they started in Moscow. He just didn't go for that sort of thing. And Rotary and that sort of thing. He just didn't go for that. And when I was a kid I used to think Dad ought to enter into those things more. I don't know whether it was pressure of time or what, but he just didn't enter into those things. I think, too, maybe he felt that they kind of set a standard, and he wasn't going to conform to a stan dard. He had his business. I really don't know his feeling, but I think he felt he had to kind of conform to something that he didn't want to conform to.
SS: A way of behaving or a certain way of dealing with customers and thatkind of thing?
CS: Well, no, entering into the Main Street sort of affair, you know that—
SS: Well, maybe, too, he had his life pretty filled up with his other concerns.
CS: He did. He put in long, long hours at his shop and office.
SS: Did he work more than eight hours a day?
CS: Oh, yes! Of course, when his business got big and he employed manymen. But, I can remember the month of May was a very trying month in our home as far as, we all hated to have Dad work such long " he'd even work Sundays, because he never wanted to disappoint anyone from having their monument for Memorial Day. And, I can remember way back when things like strawberries and things first came on the market, his appetite wouldn't be very good and my mother would buy strawberries, none of us expected to eat them, they were for Dad. We wanted him to have them.
SS: For the month of May?
CS: Uh-huh. The month of May. (recorder shut off briefly)- until after Memorial Day because the house would be upset and we all tried to shield him because he worked so very hard.
SS: Spring house cleaning; that's interesting. So the house was reallydone to suit your father's needs.
CS: At that time, because if there was any painting or papering or anythingto be done, it was never even brought up until after Memorial Day be cause the house wasn't to be in a mess or anything because that would bother Dad, and everyone in the family wanted to make it easy for him because he was working so hard.
SS: You described the stone to Laura, but the one point I wanted to beclear about was shape- the monument sent in in the shape that it would be, but he would do the carving, the lettering on the monument.
CS: Uh-huh. And sometimes put the little rose bud^- But I think by thetime he established his business in Moscow most of the design was on the- like roses or whatever, the lillies or clasped hands, or so on, and he just did the engraving.
SS: Was there anyone else in town that was doing it?
CS: Oh, no.
SS: He was the only one?
CS: The only one this territory. There was one in Colfax. But my dadandone in Lewiston. But my dad had a. terribly territory, all over the prairie and as far as Yakima, I guess. And he'd send out agents, he called them, with their design kits.
SS: What about delivery of the monuments? Would people have to come andpick them up, or would he—?
CS: Oh, no, no. He set them.
SS: He set them out there in the cemetery.
CS: In the cemetery.And the stones that are all standing up straight, my father put there, because he put a big foundation under them; under the granite block. Of course, they don't even use those granite blocks any more. But there'd be-big cement foundation. He had a man to do that, but he was right there when that stone was set.
SS: So he and another man would go out together. So he would travel arounda great deal.
CS: Yes, in the spring of the year, there was quite a bit of going. Andeven in a dray, you know, horse hauled. Of course, I think like stones that would be shipped out, then he'd go, or else the agents usually could set stones, too, when he was out.
SS: After this early really hard times, did he find that it was a steadilygood business for him?
CS: Oh, yes. After my dad's death is when they started with this markerbusiness; ground markers, you know. And he wouldn't have liked that. He liked monuments, and he liked white marble. He sold lots of granite and various kinds, but he just loved white marble. And it's very poor for outdoor. Our monuments on lots out at the cemetery, white marble will stain you know and you can't scrub the lettering out any more. They're roughened because the weather- they wouldn't weather.
SS: What was it about white marble do you think then that really - theclearness of the—?
CS: No. I think he had a very refined taste. And that just appealed tohim someway more than granite, a heavier looking material and coarser. I think my father really had a very refined taste. Well, I think that linen tablecloth, maybe, and his clothes, how well he kept them and brushed them and so on. He wouldn't have any more started off to work in the morning without polished shoes than he would have flown. And they'd just get dusty down there in the days when he did the carving himself. Blow off the marble dust, you know.
SS: That must mean a lot of the stones, the older stones, that I've seenin the cemeteries on the ridges were his.
CS: Uh-huh. He put - there. Sometimes down in a little corner someplacewould be GHM. Often people asked him to put his initial I know there are quite a few out in the cemetery out here.
SS: Do you feel that when you were growing up that your family ever wantedfor anything that was needed?
CS: No, no, I don't. I know it was tough going lots of times. Course, Iwas the youngest one and I didn't realize, maybe, how tough it was going, because things after my birth and so on, started on the up for him more. But I have an account book- and I think I told Laura.about him sitting down every night-
SS: Every night, uh-huh.
CS: And putting the day's expenditures. And like in that book, it's veryinteresting for me to read. And I haven't decided what I'm going to do with that book yet, either. But, wife, a dollar and a half for goods. Now maybe she went down and bought calico for dresses, or something, I don't know. But that^ the way it was Mabel; shoes, twenty-five cents. She'd probably ripped her shoes, you know. She was the one in the family who was always hard on her shoes. But, every night that was a separate item, it wasn't totaled up for the day's expenditures.
SS: j He must have kept track on what he spent on the marble.
CS: Well, that was all done at the shop, you know.
SS: That was separate?
SS: You know, when you talk about people that had real wealth in Moscow;were any of them ostentatious about it? Were there many people who liked to show that they had money?
CS: Well, probably Mrs. Creighton was as ostentatious as anyone withher dress and being aloof, but still she'd go see these people, you see.
SS: What I was wondering, was if that was frowned on, to try to be showyduring that time? I have the idea that's it's become a lot more ac ceptable, perhaps, in recent years.
CS: Well, I don't think so. I can't think- of course, I refer more to thechurch than anything, but there were people: Now I can think of one family who had quite a bit and they were very simple about their dress, and didn't enter into- well, I don't think we had high society in Mos cow, when I was a child.
SS: Do you think the people, when you were a child, were very serious abouttheir religion, at that tijne; the religious part itself apart from the social part?
CS: Oh, yes, I think so. My mother was very religious and Mrs. F.A. David,Mrs. H.R. Smith- they were all very religious, and they went to the midweekly prayer meeting, and their husbands never went, but they did. I think it played a big part, their religious life. And the men suppor ted the church, financially and would go to church, but the women, I think really made it- because, I know, I remember, I was just a girl and my mother had this terrible surgery that was very severe and probably for that time quite a hard thing for the doctors to do, it was prayer meeting night and they turned the prayer meeting into a prayer service for my mother, those friends, the Davids and Smiths and Mc Connels, and so on. Now, you see, the Mc Connels- the governor's wife was a very quiet little woman, she never entered into any social life, at all. She was like Mrs. Shields, I think her family came first. I don't remember her too well; I remember her, because she used to come to church. Of course the Governor was the pompous one in that family.
SS: Did the women believe in bringing gifts when they would come visiting?Was that a part of the—?
CS: No, I don't think so. No, I don't.
SS: What about—?
CS: You mean like flowers and candy?
SS: Yes, or maybe in time of trouble.
CS: I think people help more now today, because I don't suppose there'sa group in Moscow that if something happens to someone in that group, bereavement in the family or something that they don't send in a meal. I think there's a great deal more of that.
SS: Than there used to be?
CS: Uh-huh. Course, Mickey always tells about the time they came to Moscow, and the day after they got here was Thanksgiving, and they lived across the street from us on Lynn Avenue, bought the house there, and they had nothing but packing boxes and so on sitting around, and Mar tin always tells me yet, about me bringing^my mother sending over a Thanksgiving dinner. I said to Martin not long ago, "Why do you sup pose Mama just didn't have you all come over to our house and eat? "Well," he said, "probably my mother wouldn't have gone because they weren't unpacked, and she probably wouldn't have gone." Not because of not knowing us, but because she felt-
SS: They weren't ready to go anywhere.
SS: Probably didn't have clean clothes.
CS: So, I don't know whether that was why- I don't even know whether mymother consulted? I think she send over word she was sending over the dinner. Of course, Martin, thinks that was the most wonderful thing that ever happened to them.
SS: It was quite a warm welcome, that's for sure. Must have them avery good feeling about Moscow.
CS: I think it did, probably.
SS: You know, there's one thing from your childhood that you had mentionedto Laura but never did put down at all, and that was about some of the ways you kids had a good time in grade school.
CS: Oh, yes, we had such fun.
SS: How did you have fun there?
CS: Well,' this same group of little girls, just like a block up from theold high school, we went to the fifth grade, I think it was, in the old high school, they had a first bell at eight thirty, and then a last bell at five minutes of nine and a tardy bell at nine, you see; just a few taps for the tardy bell. And we'd go up to- every noon we'd conf gregate up to these steps, two block away above the Mc Con^el mansion there, and then when the last bell would ring, we'd just tear down the hill to school to get in before the tardy bell rang. See, just kind of a; I don't know what you'd call it, but we just loved to do things like that. And we'd not only do it once, we'd do it time after time to be in our seats before the tardy bell rang.
SS: But not a second sooner than you had to be.
CS: No. And then in the early grades, third grade, I went to the old RusselSchool, which was on the same grounds as the Russell School now, wooden building, and the walk in front of the mansion there, McConnells place, was a high sidewalk because the street was down in and so on , and the little girls would play house there, under the sidewalk. Every noon we took our lunch to school and then we'd hurry over to play house. Leaf dishes and all pretend stuff, you know. Rose hips.
SS: Underneath the sidewalk?
CS: Underneath the sidewalk. were quite secluded down there. But wedid that all the time when the weather was good. And my one friend, I know, in the fall of the year, we liked to play like that pretend, all pretend, when we were little, you know. We didn't ne ed anything but leaves and this and that and the other, pretend we were either.. bakeshop or something, you know.
SS: In school did you play, fool around? Or was it rather strict?
CS: I think we were all pretty good in school. I don't remember, now thatyear we played so much under the sidewalk, I don't remember that the teacher was especially cross, but everybody behaved. And I think the worst thing that could happen to you would be sent to the cloakroom. Be banished from the room for a while.
SS: No hitting any-kids?
CS: I don't remember of a teacher ever hitting. I don't know of a teacherever giving a spanking.
SS: Were they in separate class for each grade at that time? When youwent to school?
SS: Do you think that you learned quite a bit in school there?
CS: I think our education was splendid. We learned to be good readers,and we could spell and we could go up to the blackboard and do problems. We knew our times tables. I think we had a splendid education; three Reeducation, and I think it was splendid. Some children didn't do so well, because they probably were children that needed a little extra help and they didn't get it, because the teachers-
SS: Didn't have time.
SS: They didn't know.
CS: They didn't know, they didn't think about some children's abilitylikethey do now, that need help, in reading, some special help or some thing
SS: So you think they taught to the average child?
CS: I think so. And, of course, there were some who were always superior.I used to love to be asked— Mama would come and visit every, oh, few months- and I was very proud when she'd come and I was always glad if we had reading and the teacher would ask me to go up in front and stand and read. I just thought that was wonderful if I could stand up and read my paragraph before the class.
SS: Was she visiting just to see how the school was being taught?
CS: I think so. She was interested in how we were. And. I think partly because I just thought it was awful nice for my mother to come to school.
SS: You know, you mentioned that people visited by bringing their callingcards, the first time. It made me wonder; were these visits rather formal visits?
CS: Well, yes, I think probably they were; calls, they called them. Andthey didn't stay too long come and spend the afternoon or any thing like that. You'd probably make several calls in an afternoon. Or a newcomer, you always called and left your card. New people in town.
SS: So these would be visits usually between people that didn't know eachother too well?
CS: Yes. Newcomers coming to town. And I think there was a feeling thatthey wanted to make them feel welcome, that they knew somebody, and help them get acquainted.
SS: Would people still come and call on your mother?
CS: Oh, yes. Yes, the people would come and call. They used to say thatthey had- the women lived over on University Hill, the and Littles and so on- that they had a day that they were at home, so that women coming from the townside would find them at home if they did go to call, and visa versa. But I don't think my mother ever ob served calling days like that. Course, we lived out farther and probably the people who lived in a group on the hill there did that more; a certain day of the week would be at home.
SS: This would be a call, just one person would call?
CS: Yes. Put on your gloves
SS: I really wonder what that purpose that really served besides the newpeople. Was it just a way for people to get out?
CS: Well, no, I think they felt they had a duty to help these people getacquainted. And you kind of sized them up at the first call.
SS: And decided if you wanted to see them again?
CS: Uh-huh. I think that was partly it.
SS: That's what you do now, too.
CS: Yes, indeed.
SS: But then it sounds rather formal.
CS: Well, I think you could say they were formal calls.
SS: I was thinking about that when I read what you told Laura and wondering what it is that you would talk about in a formal situation.
CS: Just small talk. Of course, I can remember after I was married, womenwhom I knew- had known- came to call and then sort of evolved a social life. They'd start inviting you to their luncheons and things, you see, because you were grown up and married, so to speak. Ready to go to parties and so on.
SS: Would these be your contemporaries, or older women?
CS: No, older women would do that.
SS: Did they already know you pretty well?
CS: Oh, yes, you know, before you were married. Of course, I think pro-— bably I didn't pay so much attention to them when I was growing up be cause I was still having my good time and so on, but you did appreciate after you were married and they came to call. You felt you were part of the society of the town and so on, you know.
SS: Were their calls formal too?
CS: Well, I can remember so well when we were first married, we hadtherewere no apartments and the only house that was available, my father didn't want me to live in it, they had box stairway in the back and-
SS: Had what, stairway?
CS: Long stairway straight down to the backyard, and he thought I mightfall down. My dad was like that. And so we took these rooms- the only place we could find to live- and it was Carol Ryrie's grandmother, Mrs. Watkins. And so she let us have the use of the parlor, what she always called the'pahlah'. And there were two bedrooms back of it, and after her family was away from home she kept roomers, but they were vacant at that time, so we took both bedrooms and one we used as a bed room and the other we made into a kitchen. And there was no water in it, there was a faucet outside. Of course, Carol wasn't home then, I guess she wasn't married yet, either, but she was away at school. But we took, I can remember, a table from our house and our electric stove hadn't come, so Washington Water Power loaned us one. And it was just a makeshift sort of light housekeeping proposition, you know. And I remember one day in the summer, we had both Harry's family and my fa ther and my sister to dinner, and I can remember so well, Mrs. Whittier, the banker's wife said, as we were going out of church, I said I had to hurry home, I was going to have company for dinner. "Well," she said, "I didn't suppose you even knew hofc/to boil water!" But I re- member she and Mrs. Simpson, who lived right across from the old Butterfield house, Mrs. Whittier did, and Mrs. Simpson lived on around the corner, and they had come to call on me, after Harry and I were married and .moved in there, and I don't think Iwas very dignified about their call. I curled up in the big chair that was there and they made a brief call, but they didn't seem to hold it against me.
SS: In other words, you didn't take it seriously?
CS: No, Ididn't take it very seriously. But they left their cards.
SS: They were still observing the custom.
SS: What did she mean when she said she didn't know that you didn't evenknow how to boil water? Sounds like sort of an insult to me.
CS: Well, no, it wasn't, because she knew that I'd never done that sortof thing in because after my sisters were gone we kept help. And, as I say, Imowed the lawn, and I'd been away to szhool several years, and Idon't know how she knew, but she actually- it was the truth. I didn't really know how to cook because I'd never been taught. I'd never had to do it.
SS: How was it for you to learn? Did you learn just after you were married?
CS: Yes. And I can remember, we didn't have any facilities to keep anythingso every morning I'd dress up and go down to the butcher shop and buy some kind of meat. And I thought I was being economical by just buying a couple of chops or something, you see, and I didn't realize that that was the most expensive way for us to live. But I soon learned and, well, we weren't there too long.
SS: You didn't have any fridge? Any fridge in the house?
CS: No. So it was just day-to-day living, practically.
SS: That's not so different from the way lots of kids start out today.
CS: Yes, it was just about like kids do.
SS: But you didn't stay there?
CS: No, we weren't there very long. Just a few months through the summer.
CS: And then we expected to get- this man was building a house- in it,and we would have it, but we didn't get in til about Christmastime. And that's the first time we used our furniture that we'd bought when we were married, been the store all that time; David s store.
SS: When did you first meet Harry?
CS: Oh, we were kids. I was in the eighth grade and he was in high school.That's the first- well, I remember of him before that, because he played a guitar. They had a mandolin club here and his sister played the man dolin, and several other young kids, and they'd be asked to go around and entertain and I used to go with th£. Naylor family to lodge things, and these kids'd come, so I knew Harry from that. That's the first I remember. But, anyway, he was so bashful, and I was in the eighth grade and Mae Costello, who I knew real well, was in Harry's class, and she brought this note to me and they were having a skating- roller skatingparty and Harry asked me to go with him. And it was a group of boys who weren't very big, they called themselves the Runt Club. They had a little club, and so this was their party. I don't know how he hap pened to ask me, but Mae brought the note asking me to go to the party with Harry.
SS: These were boys that were not big? Just small for their age?
SS: I mean in size?
CS: Uh-huh. The Runt Club. There was about a dozen of them.
CS: So you went?
CS: Oh, yes. Couldn't skate at all! Course, Harry had a terrible t ime,skate and I fell downl But he wanted to appear quite grownup, it was in the winter, and when he took me home, I re member so well, he slipped at our gate, we still had , we didn't a fence then, that had been taken down, and he'd taken his father's watch to appear quite grownup, you know, and he had it in his pocket, big watch, and it fell out in the snow when he slipped, flew out of his pocket; and my dad found it the next morning in the snow. I can't remember about returning it- well, I returned it to him, but I don't think his mother ever knew that he'd taken his father's watch. 'O
SS: Did you like him right off the bat? Or was it later?
CS: Oh, no, he was so bashful, I wasn't too impressed. And he never hadbeen in this group that I'd been with all through junior high; upper grades. He had never been in it. We just hadn't been thrown together at all. I just don't remember much of him after that.
SS: Well, this QAE Club; was it also mostly girls?
CS: On, no, no, no, there were as many boys in that.
SS: Was that a neighborhood club?
CS: No, because I lived way over here, and the girl who started it, hermother was the one that started the sewing club in our neighborhoodthey were kind of organization minded, I guess. No, they were just a bunch of kids that were friendly. And maybe a little cliquey, too. I think so.
SS: From school mostly? Or just some certain kids?
CS: No, from the school, and we weren't all even in the same grade.
SS: Were all your closest friends in the club, at the time?
CS: Yes. It was cliquey, I am sure it was a cliquey group.
SS: So you were invited to belong?
SS: It wasn't this sort of thing where anybody that showed was in?
CS: Oh, no. I think the group was formed and we just stuck to our group.But, I think we were cliquey, which was too bad. But of course, they didn't have a youth center or anything^tnthose days. I don'tt know whether kids have- I know they have their special friends, because our grandson does in Genesee. But I don't know whether they clique up like that now or not.
SS: About how old were you when this started; what grade?
CS: Oh, I'd judge- I think we were about in the sixth grade. We were pretty young.
SS: Did it continue for very long?
CS: Several years. We didn't have it after we were in high school. But wealways went as a crowd. There were only just one or two kids that would pair off as boy and girl. We just went as a bunch.
SS: I was thinking about when you did go to college; you said to Laura thatyou didn't really like home ec. You told her about that jar that you broke. Was it that it just wasn't suited to you? To your temperament?
CS: That's right. That wasn t my temperament then. And my father thoughtgirls.' be teachers- and he thought home ec was a good thing for me to take, and so I registered in home ec. A I sure couldn t stick it out. That just wasn't my field.
SS: When you went to Kendrick and taught, what did you teach there?
CS: Well, that was funny, I finished the Normal in Lewiston, but I tookphysical education. And my brother-in-law was on the school board in Kendrick and the teacher in the eighth grade, I think, had to have an appendectomy- this was in the Thanksgiving vacation- so Frank talked me into teaching school for the rest of the semester. And they were just starting a home ec department in the Kendrick school, and I taught some classes in English and I don't know what else, can't remember. And I can't remember what I taught. And the home ec; well, their equipment hadn't come and if it had been there, I'd have been sunk! But as it was, I'd had a year of home ec in high school. In fact, I had-when I was in eighth grade, they started some home ec here in Moscow, and I was in that. And then when I was a senior in high school, I took it. High school. And I gave the class the way they taught foods in those days. What food you should eat and what foods contained so-and-so.
So, if you'd had the equipment you have had to do canning and that sortof thing.
Oh, I'd have been sunk, yes! had to establish this kitchen,it was just a room with tables in it as it was.
You stayed there just for the semester?
Uh-huh. But I taught the girls basketball on the side after school,because that was my field, and they didn't have anything like that, so Itook that on, got the girls interested you enjoy that experience?
Oh, yes. Well,my sister lived there, of course. And yes, I enjoyedit. There was no social life at all, but I came home usually on the weekend. Course, I was going wiht Harry in those days and I came home and we did things. But, I remember there was another young man, he wasn't teaching, Green his name was, and he'd come see me evenings or somebody would invite us to their house. But that was all the social life there week was during the there wasn't anything. Of course, I was young I got kind of fed up with just that. And my sister's children were lit tle and it wasn't very exciting.
Well, you know, when you said that you would have been interested maybein being a doctor, but that was really beyond the pale.
Yes, my father- Concerned.
It sounds like then the opportunities for a woman to go ahead and dowhat she wanted to do were kind of limited at that time?
CS: Well, it was opening up for women to do other things, but my fatherjust didn't think that some things were fit and proper for young women to do. Being a teacher was fine. And he was coming to the place then that if I'd studied- gone to a business college or something, that would have been alright with him. But he didn't think that some of these things were- that was nothing for a young woman to do.
CS: Was it a real desire of your's at the time? Or was it just a—?
CS: No, I really wanted to, but the woman who was the head of our departmentthere at the Normal had broken into her medical school education to earn money, and she was one of the first woman doctors in New York City. Because I saw an article just a year or two ago in some magazine and she'd retired. I wish I had tried to look her up when our son was in medical school back there, because I think she was still a practicing doctor then in New York City in the '50's. But this article I read in some magazine was Miss Dorothy Bacher was one of the first (woman) doc tors in New York.
SS: You told Laura about how she taught you. Sounds like you had a greatdeal of admiration for her.
CS: Oh, yes, I did. And that may have influenced me too. We all justadored her. But she was down to business as far as teaching was concerned. And she taught the subjects in physical education. We had anatomy and physiology and kinesiology and a course in bacteriology.
SS: Pretty technical.
CS: Well, you see, she was in medical school.
SS: Was it enjoyable to you to live in Lewiston? To be there and go toschool?
CS: In those days there were very few boys in the Normal School. And therewere a few boys around Lewiston that always were around to take you someplace. But the dormitory was really like the legislators it was just sort of a finishing school for girls, because we had wonder ful social life in the dormitory, and the food was just- these big Saturday night dinners and so on, you know, formal dinners. And I remember- I don't remember who was governor, but he the legislature cut back the funds from that girls finishing school in Lewiston.
SS: This was not a sorority, but the dormitory for everyone?
SS: Had you been interested in a sorority up in Moscow here?
CS: Well, no. No, I hadn't, and my sisters were sorority girls but I didn't,But down there in Lewiston, I remember they had attempted, some of the girls who lived in the drom and some of the Lewiston girls, to form a sorority. And they wanted to get a house and live in a house, and they asked me and I liked it too well in the dorm. I couldn't see it. So I didn't accept the invitation. But they never did get a group together to have a house and live in it.
SS: So the dormitory was really a nice situation for the girls?
CS: Yes. And we had a little living room if were suites- two girls witha fireplace. And we'd go out if we could get some wood from the furnace room, we'd get it from the man and otherwise we'd try to find a stick or two along somebody's fence some place so we could have a fire. had sugar and chocolate, but we d steal butter to put in fudge; take it up in napkin, and so on. And we d have slumber parties.
SS: So, slumber parties, too?
CS: Oh, yes. That was quite the thing slumber parties down there.And sometimes the dean of women who lived in the hall would come and shush us up. Great thing we got onto that we just all loved to do. Concentration parties, we'd have you know, and just think and two people would put their hands like this, around somebody's waist and people'd concentrate- we'd send them out of the room and we'd concen trate on what we were going to have 'em do. And it really worked, you knowl We could get them to go sit down in a chair. But we had quite a jag of that.
SS: You would put your hand on the person that you wanted to do a thing?
CS: Yes. See, we'd - around like this, around their waist, two of us, andyou said you didn't steer them and I think we tried not to st eer them but it's very difficult to make someone bend their knees and sit down you know. I don't know whether it was kind of hypnosis or what we did. But everybody'd concentrate on this person doing that and it actually worked. We had quite a jag of that for a while.
SS: So, would you have to keep your hands around their waist while theywere doing—
CS: Uh-huh, they performed what you wanted em to do.
CS: But how we got started on that jag, I don't know. And there was a Japhouseboy, and he told fortunes with cards, and he taught me. And I just told so many fortunes. And one girl got scared of her fortune and quit school and I just thought, "Wasn't that terrible?" I read the cards to her. I don't know whatever happened to the girl, but she didn't stay in school. And whether I really told her something that she didn't want to hear, I don't know.
SS: How much did he teach you about reading cards? And was there a setmeaning that the card had?
CS: Oh, yes, and certain cards would come up; I think it took a good imagination along with that. (Chuckles)
SS: Which you had, evidently.
CS: I've forgotten the knack, I couldn't read your fortune.
SS: Oh, that's okay, I wasn't going to ask you to. I'd be afraid!
CS: I know the Queen of Spades was bad when that came up. I don't rememberanything else.
SS: So there was quite a bit of social life? More than at the Universityof Idaho? Or you lived at home in Moscow.
CS: I don't know. Sororities were quite the thing then and fraternities.And I think there was quite a bit of rivalry in the social life and so on. But I didn't, you see, I never lived in a group on the campus there.
SS: You lived at home, when you were in school.
CS: Yes. But when my sisters were in school- the sorority life- they didn'thave houses in those days. But they had a club room and how they allowed them to do it, I don't know now. Where Carter's Drug. The sorority they belonged to, they had a clubroom up there, and I don't know whether they went there more than just their weekly meeting or not. But I know everybody provided some for that room. I remember my sisters took a little sewing locker, that was their donation to the room. And then they'd always take food and everybody's take a few sticks of wood for the woodstove, you know. Of course, that was some time before my time, but that's the way they ran a sorority then.
SS: Did they feel, your sisters, that there was a definite advantage to asorority over the regular—?
CS: No, I don't think so. I think it was more- well, course, everybodywasn't invited to belong. But it was just to belong to a group more than anything.
SS: Did they live at the sorority?
CS: No, no. There were no sorority houses.
SS: Oh, I see. So it was just a social group, rather than a living group?
SS: I want to ask you a little bit about the styles, when you were growingup, at that time. Were they still wearing those tight corsets?
CS: Well, I don't remember that my sisters wore corsets. I don't knowwhat they wore. Can't remember that. But my mother wore A corset, but I don't ever remember of her having the strings pulled up tight or anything. I don't remember that.
SS: I've heard that it was really pretty constricting.
CS: I think Mama wore a little bustle.
SS: A bustle?
CS: In the back, a little pad that'd stick out behind. Make you look cur
SS: When you were growing up, were there styles that all the girls wouldwear; that were shared?
CS: Well, no. You always had a Sunday dress, and then your school clothes.But you had a Sunday dress. Because mine was always red, because my father liked red. But when I got older then I wore a- I almost unifor med myself, I wore sailor suits. I had a new sailor suit every year. Blue serge sailor suit. I liked 'em. I remember one dress though, my sister Myra made me, I was in high school- no, I think I was about the eighth grade, and she was one of these very meticulous kind, and it was a princess dress; fit pretty tight. I was beginning to have a little shape then. But she just couldn't get it to fit without a wrinkle. She was just going to have it skin tight, you know! She didn't allow for any wrinkles that might come when you move or anything I just remember she just worked so hard over that dress. I can still kind of see it. Kind of a green and white mixture, then trimmed in green braid.
SS: Did she get it for you?
CS: Oh, yes, and I wore it, but I don't think I wore it too long becauseit was just skin tight and I probably didn't wear it too long.
SS: Do you think there was as much stress put on dating, say, and findinga good match then as there is now?
CS: I don't believe so. Although now, like the Mickeys- Do you know theMartin Mickeys?
SS: I really don't them, I've just heard about then.
CS: Well, they met - they're great Methodists and they're living here atthe Good Samaritan- and they were married and they were very young and Martin had a little farm out here, but it was too rugged for Beth. So they moved to town and he went into the insurance business, and he's made the money. And, in fact, we think, they've never actually said that they bought this acreage and gave for the Good Samaritan. But now, that was a case where they married very young, and I don't think Beth finished high school, in fact, I don't know whether Martin finished high school.
SS: Do you think that there was an idea that your mate would be perfect?You know, idealization of people, which I have felt in some cases, have heard about in early days.
CS: I don't know. I know this; what my mother said when Harry and I wereengaged- my mother died the year before we were married- and well, we were engaged several years because Harry thought he would be going to World War I and he was never called until the Armistice was signed. He was to go out with the next contingent. So I carried my engagement ring around, I didn't wear it. And he'd given me a muff and I'd carry that box with my ring in it wherever I went, inside this muff. It's a wonder I didn't lose it. But I remember my mother said, "Well," she said, "there's this thing; when other men who have married your sisters, or at least the one that was told my father he wanted to marry Ethel or something, my father wanted to know if he could provide well for her and so on, and Mama said, "your father didn't ask Harry that. He had an idea that he could take care of you." But of course, my dad would have done a lot to have helped us, only Harry wouldn't accept it, because he wanted to give us a lot next door to our- to his house, my home, if we'd build on it, he'd give it to us. It was a great big lot, but the street wasn't paved and the people across the street kept cows and so on, and we didn't want to build our house there. But now there are two beautiful homes on that lot.
SS: Harry didn't want to build?
CS: No, we thought it would be forever and a day before Lynn Avenue waspaved, and then we didn't want to build a house across the street from- Cause the Amels kept pigs and chickens, because that was the common thing in that neighborhood. A lot of the Scandinavians. Well, we used to, not then,but when I was a little kid, we had- Grandma, she lived out on Fix Ridge, my mother's mother had remarried and lived down there, and every spring they would bring us two little pigs and we feed 'em and they'd be butchered in the fall.
SS: How long did you keep stock at the house?
CS: don't remember of us having a cow. My oldest brother said whenhe left school- or when he graduated and went to a job, they quit keep ing a cow then. I don't remember.
SS: But they had hogs for a while?
CS: Well, yes, this was just two or three years. Because there's a manliving in the Good Samaritan, he was in the post office, this man; we went to school together some time, Estes, but I can't remember what grade we were in. For some reason we didn't continue through school, but his father used to come to butcher the two pigs every year- about this time of year when it turned cold.
SS: This Willis?
CS: Uh-huh. Black whiskered Willis, they called his father, because hehad black whiskers. My father always said he'd get black whiskered Willis to come.
SS: But your father- the fact that he didn't ask Harry- did that men thathe just trusted Harry would ?
CS: Yes, I think so, he had confidence. Course Harry- the job didn't paymuch- he was in David's then and he didn't have any stock in the store then, but had a little later on. But evidently Dad thought that he was . But at the same time, , Dad. always took my sheets and all that stuff home and they went with the laundry; he paid all that. So, Me used the vacuum cleaner from home and so on. But he would have just had us live there with my sister and him, but Harry wouldn't do that. But my father couldn't understand why we couldn't just as well all live in one house.
CS: Well, I didn't care especially, I don't think it would have botheredme, because was a good cook and I wasn't very crazy about cooking then. But Harry wouldn't- no, we were going to have our own, so we rented and,when we finally built a house on Third Street, Harry didn't think he had enough money to build, but he wouldn't let my dad help us out. But they had a building and loan here then, and yo u had to be come a member of that, and we had our loan paid off in no time. But it sure taught us to be careful about our expenditures. We paid cash for all of our food and everything then, didn't run the bills. I guess did: Did David's still have a grocery store then? I guess they did.
SS: So you had to live real frugally then, while you were building the house?
CS: Well, we did, because we just wanted to get it paid.
SS: Is that when you moved from the apartment?
CS: No, no. We lived in this house that this man finished-
CS: Yes, we rented, and that's when we had all of our new furniture. Butwe didn't get to live there too long because he sold the house where he was living so we had to move. So we moved to a little house down near town that a neighbor owned, a neighbor to Harry's mother's place and lived there for about- 1920-'21- about four years, we lived in that little house, and then we built our house. But we had it paid for- but that building and loan was carried on for some years, and then they fin ally closed it out. But Harry picked up a lot of these loans, and that s where we kind of got out start with the.nest egg, and then he carried that on til just a few years ago; loaning for people to buy property or build.
SS: So then some of the loans were paid to him. Was that called Buildingand Loan or Savings and Loan?
CS: Building and Loan.
SS: I want to ask you; what were the qualities that you were looking forthat you found in Harry at that time? I'm wondering what a young person, a young ' would see as being important in looking for a mate?
CS: I don't know how to answer that. He was well groomed and well dressedand smart, although we'd never gone to school or anything together, we had a lot in common, we found out. But I don't know what actually- I couldn t say exactly, and I don t know what Harry actually
SS: I imagine he saw that you were an awfully nice person.
CS: Well, thank you. And, well, when we were first married and so on, wenever tried to keep up with the Jonses, like so many young people do. We didn't have an electric refrigerator for quite some time. We had a cooler built in, in our kitchen, and that was what we had. We didn't even have an icebox, because we knew that electric refrigerators had come in and we knew as soon as we could we'd have one. But we tried to live carefully, and as I say, we didn't try to keep up with the Jonses. That just isn't in either one of our makeups.
SS: What was your thinking? That you would build slowly through time?
CS: And Harry wanted us to do it on our own and not be in debt; which Iapproved of, too. But, I feell you, over the years, he sure helped a lot of people get started. He helped 'em set up plans- just because^ he knew how to do it, he knew how to do it- to budget, so to speakwhen they were paying for a house or something. So many young people have thanked us for getting them on a schedule where they could meet their obligations. He still has chances, even the bank will send people to him to see if he'll give a loan to somebody that they can't. But he quit that. In the last, oh, ten years, I guess - I don't know he's financed anybody- I can't remember now, the ]ast ten years.
SS: But when you talk about the budget plans; did that go along with whenhe helped someone he would also help them figure out-
CS: Yeah, because they just didn't know how to pay for a loan, you knowand live and so on. They'd have a job, but not very big wage probably, so he just helped a lot of people until they got their home. And in all the years, he's got a big book filled with all the loans and things he made, did he have one that he lost on.
SS: Only once?
CS: Only once, and that fellow, we didn't think we'd lose on him, but hewent bankrupt and he never did come through with us after he got on his feet again. But that was just the only time, that I know of, and I'm sure that's so. But there have been a lot of grateful young people that have thanked Harry for helping them get established, you know, so to speak.
SS: So in a lot of cases, these would be loans that Harry would make wherea bank might not- wouldn't make.because the person didn't have the ere- dit.
CS: That's right. And only one backfired.
SS: That speaks awfully well for you, but I'm not sure how that speaks forthe banks. They're unwilling to help people.
CS: No. And of course, now real estate people that haven't called for yearsbutsometimes people get a loan through a bank, you know, they wan ted to borrow. Sometimes that was the case, the banks didn't always turn 'em down, but maybe those people just didn't want to use the bank.
SS: Well, you know, when I was asking about what you're looking for in aperson; partly why I asked that is because I've looked at some of the things that were written in those days, romantic things. It's true they still have it now, but I have the idea that there were many more ideals that seemed to have influence on people, in reading all these romantic books that idealized, you know, marriage and love and that sort of thing, And, I was wondering whether those ideas and ideals had much of an in fluence on you and your friends when you were growing up. This "happily ever after idea. You know. ^ty
CS: Well, I really- of course, I thought and I'm sure Harry felt the sameway- we had to be sure, because it wasn't something we went into light ly or that we might break away from. Of course, we weren't so young. I was twenty-four and Harry was twenty-five when we were married. Be cause Harry had those three years that he thought he might have to go to war, and he didn't want to get married. I was all for getting mar ried before he went to war, if he had to go. But he wouldn't do that. And then, well, I think we were more mature, because of our age, it wasn't like we'd been eighteen or nineteen or something. And we both had gone with people and so on, and perhaps saw in each other something that we thought was stable, and I don't know. I just can't say.
SS: Well, do you think that what Harry's thinking was about waiting wasthat he was afraid if he married and went off to war that he might get killed?
CS: Yes, something might happen to him.
SS: Sounds like a very honorable— really.
CS: Course, I was probably a little more fired up with enthusiasm aboutmarrying a solder and going off to war, or something. But as it happened he didn't. We laughed so often about- when they took physicals in those days, it was in the post office building, and Harry was supposed to come for a physical- and maybe Harry's told you this?
CS: About testing their feet: the sheriff always conducted these physicals, to a certain extent, and they had Harry step in a pan o f water and walk across the floor and he doesn't have any arches at all to speak of, and the sheriff said,normally flat feet! And just rejected him right like that you know. And so I don't know whether he had any other physical or not, but then just when the Armistice came, he was to go out with the next contingent because because he had gone and asked the sheriff if he could be the sergeant or the one in command of the group that went out. TTedidn't serve in the military service, but at least he expected to go on the next call for make up com pany people. In those years, I worked in the Red Cross here.
SS: You were telling me you did a lot of running around getting things.
CS: Uh-huh, especially that flu year, 1918.
SS: After you were married did - what were the main things that you didwith your time then?
SS: Did it change your life a great deal?
CS: No. Until we moved down in the little house on 6th Street, I used togo over to the store, David's Store, and the lady who ran, they called it the art department then that had. the needle work a nd all that, and before Christmas I'd go in and help, because we were saving up then- I'd never worked like that- we were saving up to- for our house, and I was just at home and we lived close. And then later, the next summer, I think, after I'd helped her at Christmastime in the store, she had to have surgery- well, she said she wouldn't have it unless I'd come and take over her department for the summer. Evidently I satisfied her, so I did that. And we started %. eating our lunches downtown at noon, and it was where the Nobby Inn is- no, it was the Varsity, next door, and one of the Jabora girls, Johnny's sister,- I think about the first day we ate there, I think it was raisin pie, she'd bake the p ies then, and Harry thought it was so good, so she thought she had to bake a raisin pie about every other day for Harry, you know. And he always felt he had to take it, because he knew she was doing it for him, he ate so much raisin pie, that I guess it was good for him. But then at the same time she knew he liked buttermilk, we drank buttermilk at noon, it was hot, but she'd bring Harry's half a glass of buttermilk and fill it up with cream for him, because he liked it that way. So I guess eating raisin pie paid off for him.
SS: Did you spend much time working at David's?
CS: Well, no, I didn't. After that in World War I- that was ±1 the '20'sI did that- and then in World War I, Harry . so much in the men s department, so much help from the campus, we'd have four or five stu dents working- well, that help wasn't available because there weren't that many boys on the campus, and so I had to go in. Harry had the boys' department then down there and I went in to help there, of course, in the meantime we'd had our son, an adopted boy, and I knew more about children's clothes and so on. The salesman used to come- Tom Saw yer clothes and so on, I always went down with Harry and I helped him pick out stock and also pick out stuff for our own kids, he didn't put in the store. And so, I went in to help in the boys' department, well, first thing I was helping anyplace they needed me in the men's depart ment. That was the first they had a woman in the men's department at David's. And, I remember so well; I didn't go down in the morning^til eleven or something like that because David, he was a schoolboy and I tended the house and his meals and have food ready for him. And he was in high school. But Harry'd go home at eleven, I'd leave dinner in the oven or something; we ate our big meal at noon and try to scheme it so it'd be ready when David came home. But Mr. Earl David - this was during the war, we had to take the department alone while Harry was gone, and I didn't come down til eleven, Earl would be there all the morning. But Earl would not fit suits; we didn't get very many in those days, you know, but John Naylor lived and farmed out in the coun try here- that Naylor family I spoke of- he was very tall, it was very hard to fit him. But we got a suit in that he could wear so Harry called him and he came in during the noonhour; well, I remember so well Earl said, "I won't have fl thing to do with it, and I'd never measured a man's pants before, you know, and those were the days when they'd had this tape measure with a crotch, little .board that fit up , card board that fit up into the crotch, and I was embarrassed and this John was the most bashful man, young man, you ever saw, but he didn't turn a hair when I measured those pants. And fortunately I got 'em measured right.
SS: Why wouldn't Earl David do it?
CS: He thought he couldn't do it. Well, I'd never measured a man's pants,but he said, "You go ahead, you're going to have to do it." And so I did it, and it turned out alright.
SS: Well, this was World War II, right?
CS: World War II, in the '40's.
SS: Well, really the main work that you did, or the only work that you did,outside of housework was at David's.
CS: That's right.A I did though, that year, after I'd taught in Kendrickfinish that semester, the spring- well, that was 1918, I guess, because I could have substitute (been) teacher in the Moscow schools, because one day they'd call me, "Will you come and teach third grade?" Maybe call me at eight fifteen in the morning, and I'd go and do that and then maybe be there a couple of days and the teacher would be able to come back to school, and then they'd call me to come and teach Latin in high school. So it was just really an experience. And then after the flu epidemic was over, when the spring came, a teacher's Ifftother had a heart attack and she had to resign, and she was a big- well, she was this Mae Costello that carried the note to me, her sister, and she was a big, redheaded woman. And so I remember on a Friday that was to be her last day I went in after school to find out a little bit about the class-. sixth grade- and she opened the door and she said, "Here's the paddle." She said, "Use it!" That was all she told me. Well, I wouldn't have used that big, old paddle on a kid. But there were some boys in that room that were regular little demons, and I remember one noon one kid came in-the rooms weren't locked during the noonhour, the schools didn't have hot lunches then, and the kids brought their lunch if they couldn't go horn, but I went home for lunch. And came back and he'd rubbed garlic on a lot of the little girls' desks, and the room just smelled terrible. Well, he was a good student, and I just didn't know what to do. I kept him after school and they were still having the honor system, I guess, and he would have made it, and I said, "Just for this prank, you're going to have to take the examinations." And I just hated it because I don't think that was the way to punish him. I don't know, but I sure wouldn't have beat him up for it. But he was a good student but probably he didn't have enough to do, you see.
SS: How did he react to that? Do you remember?
CS: Well, he just accepted it, and of course, the examinations didn't bother him, because he was a good student. So, I don't think I handled that very well.
SS: It was better than beating him probably.
CS: Well, I wouldn't have beat him with that terrible paddle.
SS: What kind of paddles were they?
CS: Well, it was a wooden paddle about like the Sigma Chis used to have fortheir pledges. And evidently she'd used it. Maybe she'd used it on this kid, I don't know. But she was a big, husky woman. But that was all she told me when I went to see her. And I taught that class for the last six weeks of that year.
SS: Clarice, did you have much social activity and much free time in thoseearlier years of marriage?
CS: Oh, yes. Luncheons were quite the thing and I went, after Mrs. Whittierand Mrs. Simpson called on me and invited me to the first party then I was included in the social life of all the women young and old. The married women. And then my first entertaining though- a friend of mine and I used- she was a good cook and everything and I wasn t- but we did have parties there at our home on 3rd Street. But we used to have our parties over at the Blue Bucket, because she didn't to cook, and I wasn't a very good cook. By then our family pocketbook would let me entertain that way.
SS: So you'd invite other people and you'd all have a feed over there?
CS: Uh-huh, have a luncheon. Elsie Nelson used to put on a luncheon forus over there. They'd take outside parties.
SS: What group was this? Was it a special group?
CS: No, it was just a group. Then reciprocate, they'd invite youto a party, so your next party you'd- and you'd get to have quite a list, eventually. Maybe thirty-two women that you'd have to a party.
SS: So many?
CS: Uh-huh, eight tables or something like that. But you'd do it all upat once, you see. But then later on I entertained at home. And my sister was living with us then and she was a good coo k, so I could have my parties. And Myra and I would have parties together.
SS: You really never did care for cooking?
CS: I surely really/never did care for cooking. The closest I ever cameto liking food, to prepare food, was during World War II ; I took a class in nutrition from Margaret Ritchie, and I saw more of a purpose in cooking then. And Margaret Ritchie still talks about I was her star pupil. Well, I remember one thing I did on my own in that-sugar was rationed, you see in World War II, and I experimented with sac charine, in using some saccharine and some sugar, and found things that some saccharine could be used in and they still were tasty and some things that made them taste bitter, and so forth. And I found out one thing, that you could use it in rhubarb; I remember that it worked, ^saccharine along with some sugar. And Evan Evans- I don't know whether you know who he is- I don't know where, he came from, but he's very weal thy; he's a bachelor, and he bought a nice home on 1st Street, and he lives there. He's a great friend of the Foltses, Mr. Folts was in the School of Business at the University,. Evan Evans, but he took the class too from Margaret Ritchie, he was a bachelor and I guess did a lot of his won cooking. And Margaret Ritchie always says we were her two star pupils. I don't remember what Evan Evans did, but I know I experimen ted with the saccharine, and I did it on my own, she didn't assign that to me. So she called me her star pupil.
SS: Did Harry ever do much in cooking at home?
CS: No, his- and it still is- bacon and eggs and pancakes, that's his skill.Oh, once in a while when we were out on the farm- I went back to work at the store there once, too, after we moved out there. Mrs. Choate had the millinery department, and after our son died, she really didn't need me I think, but she thought it would be good for me to do something, and so she asked me if I'd come in and help her before Easter, sell hats. I didn't know how to sell hats any more than the Man in the Moon. But I did, because she thought that'd be good for me to be doing something away from home after David died. And my sister made her home with us and she did the cooking anyway, and so it wasn't any imposition on Harry, he got his food just the same. So'd I'd go in every day for a few hours and help Greta. And so then in the summer she wanted to go to a houseparty back in Indiana where they'd come from, she was Howard David's sister-in-law, and Howard always did all the bookkeeping; mil linery was a separate department, it wasn't owned by David's Store, but Howard always tended to all that for her. So she knew she could leave her department alright, and just leave me there. Well, about the second day I was there we went to the office to make our change, we didn't have any cash, had to walk over, well, I hustled and I fell and fell on my hip and broke my pelvis, so that sort of wound up my working in the store.
And then I did, one time, during World War IIwhen Mrs. Smith, she's living out here now, too, who was head of the wornens' ready-to-wear, she wanted to go to New York, her daughter was interning in diatetics back there, and she'd become engaged to a young man who was a soldier during the ROTC on the campus during World War training, so he was to come home, I don't know whether he was in the navy- must have been- because he was to be in New York, so they were going to be married, so Isabel wanted to go to Ann's wedding in New York City, so she'd go if I'd take over the ready-to-wear for her. And because it wasn't so much knowing about the stock and so on, of course, I was always snooping around in the store and knew what was there. Harry'd go down to work nights and I'd go with him and snoop at the store, see what everybody had in their department. And she knew I'd keep the help busy and so on, and see the customers.. So I took over the ready-to-wear for a short time.
SS: It seems, from what Harry has told me that his association with David'swas very productive and something he really liked. Very much.
CS: Uh-huh. It was very fine. You see, the store has been sold again, Mr.Childers bought it, but now it has been sold again, but the corpora tion still exists because they own the property, you see. And, of course, our amount isn t very big, but we're part of that corporation.
SS: Well, through the years, did you feel very close to the David family?
CS: Oh, yes. Very close, and we still doN Mr. Howard David, he s the onlyone left. In fact, I went to a party there Friday. Nobody's having luncheons anymore, but this is the second Mrs. David and she had to have a breast removed, and I think she isn't very well. Of course, she can afford to have all the help she can get, if she can get it, and I think she is trying to prove to herself that she's on the up-andup. I really feel that's Leone's having this party to—
SS: Well, these luncheons that you used to have, were they fairly frequent?That you'd either be invited to one or -
CS: You see, if you'd have eight tables, there were at least thirty invitations you'd get back, and you did that about once a year, or every year and a half, so there were quite a lot of luncheons.
SS: That would be one every week or two, then.
CS: Yeah, uh-huh.
SS: Do you have any feeling about how the association was built among thewomen?
CS: Oh, no, you played bridge. But you know, you'd be invited, or you'dinvite maybe some newcomer to town that you'd taken a fancy to and your list'd grow. And these older women when I was first married, invited me to their parties, and so they were on my list when I entertained. I know it's always seemed to me that when Mable Gill and I did our en tertaining at the Blue Bucket, Mrs. Whittier and Mrs. Simpson always headed both of our lists, because some way they always seemed- well theyld sort of started both of us, I guess, in social life, so to speak, of that sort of social life.
SS: Were all the women married ?
CS: Yes, as a rule, uh-huh.
SS: Were most of the husbands doing the more professional work in the city?
CS: Uh-huh. The Whittiers were bankers, and the Davids, and so on. Therewere some lawyers and doctors' wives and so on. They were more of that type.
SS: How about the University? Were there many University women in there?
CS: Oh, yes. Faculty wives, uh-huh.
SS: This I want to ask you about; I've heard that- some of the people havesaid to me that there was quite a difference between the University community and the town community. Now was there at that time?
CS: Well, of late, there has been more, because the faculty is so big now.But in the early days, now when I was a little girl, town and gown, they used to say were all one. Towns people entered into the life- those things, you just went to musicals and plays and debates and things, be cause that was what was going on. We always did that in my home.
SS: But socially, among the faculty and the people of the community, therewas a lot of mixing?
CS: Oh, yes, then. But I think there isn't so much now, although I belongto the Fine Arts Club here, and there are more faculty wives and peopleteachers and so on the campus in that than there are townswomen. But I think I was invited to join because they knew I had an interest in that sort of thing. I'm just an associate member now, but I am glad to pay my dues because they have scholarships and things in music and art and so on, and you like to help out.
SS: When I think of how long you've lived in Moscow, I think you've reallyseen—
CS: It's been a long time, but, I tell you, it's been- I think it's beena wonderful life. Of course, when I was along in my teens, I thought if I'd- well, I never dreamed I'd stay in Moscow my whole life, you know. But then, as the years have gone 0 ., that's- I wouldn t^to be anyplace else. And I'm glad I had a part of this early time, here in Moscow. I'm proud of it.
SS: It surely seems that most of the people who were here in early timeshave gone.
CS: That's right. I prepared a talk on some old homes, I think they'd gotten some pictures at the University and they asked me to help them tell about them. And then someway they got word of it down in Boise, on the State Historical and they sent a whole list of old homes here, the addresses, and so I'd get together with Howard David and we'd try to find out- some of the houses I could remember who built them, and of course he was my brother's age, Howard's five years older than I am, and he could tell me; he remembered a lot. And so we'd have sessions and so I sent all this material to the State Historical Society, and I have given one or two talks, and I have promised to give one in May to another group here in Moscow about the old homes. But what I have done, I've done it in cooperation with the University slides and I told personal things about- that I remember about the people who built the houses or occasions that I'd known. The party that the boys gave, that was this QAE Club- no, that must have been later, because we didn't dance at the QAE Club, that must have been when we were all in high school, because it was a dancing party, and I'd fallen heir to a dress of my sister Myra's, a pongee dress- I don't know whether you know what pongee is- and it was when hobbleskirts came in, and I was going to be real snazzy, so I bought?some brown tafetta and made that skirt hobbleskirt and it was just about this wide, and I just couldn't hardly walk in it. And so, I didn't dance at all, I tried to dance, and I couldn't. So I just sat on the stairway in the Shield's home and had to sit my dances out because I was too hobbled to dance.
SS: What was a hobbleskirt? What made it hobble?
CS: Well, it was tight around the bottom.
SS: Oh, it was tight? Sure.
CS: See this upper dress, and I'd put this wide band around the bottom andgathered the other dress into it, and that was really just about the size of the bottom of the skirt.
SS: Very stylish.
CS: Yes, but not practical, so I couldn't dance at that party. I tried toand I just couldn't do it. I suppose we were pretty bobbity in our dancing then.
SS: Were these house of some of these people very elaborate; were they veryluxurious?
CS: Well, yes, in a way, I guess you would think so. The Shields had- therooms weren't big in their house, but they had nice furnture; nice floors they'd roll back the rugs for dancing. Of course, the Day home was the elegant home, of the group.
SS: What was it like on the inside then?
CS: Well, it was- they've built on the big wing since with the library.The woman who bought the place lives here now and she sold it; Mrs. Wood. They were farmers who came in and^made money and bought the Day home. But it's been made into apartments now. But the dining room was big, and there was a den, and then fehe big living room, reception hall and the living room. But then, afterwards they built on the wing at the back, which was
CS: And the big library because Jerome Day had this huge library, youknow.
SS: Was the furniture of any particular style?
CS: No, but just very nice and very fine. It hadn't been.T in Moscow, I don't know where it was purchased. But it was very, very nice.
SS: What kind of reputation did he have? The Days.
CS: Well, he didn't really spend much time- have you readThat tells about as much about Jerome Day as anything. He didn't spend too much time after— he came here, you see, and went to college and he didn't have anything, and then they struck it there in the Coeur 'd Alenes, and his family, his brothers, and I don't know, I don't even know whether his father is living now- and the Paulsens in Spokane and so on, they struck it rich. And he and Lucy, she was Lucy Mix, and they were married and built this beautiful home but he never was in Moscow very much.
SS: So who was there? Just his wife?
CS: And then she always had some relatives that she seemed to be taking careof. They were very generous. And she was in this sorority that my sisters belonged to. And she didn't finish college, but whenever any of them graduated she gave most beautiful presents, she never forgot that association in school, you know. And the Mix home was always a center for parties of my sisters ages.
SS: But he was pretty much up in the Coeur d'Alenes attending to his miningbusiness?
CS: I don't think he was ever in Moscow too much. I really don't rememberMr. Day. That's sort of why I asked, because I really haven't heard about him around, although I knew the home was here. But she was here, Mrs. Day? Uh-huh. A great deal, she was here. I don't think they even had a home in Wallace then, later they did have. And they had one of the first cars in Moscow and there was a chauffeur, and she had help. But she always had- the Mix family was a big family and some of them were kind of ne'er-do-well, and she always had somebody there.
You were telling about help there. You mentioned when you were growingup, you did have help in the house for a time?
In my home?
Yes, uh-huh. I was in school- now, let me see, where was I in school?
But my two sisters were away teaching. When they were in school, youngwomen, they took turn about getting the meals at night, and my mother, I guess managed the rest of the time, but when they were gone away from home, why, well, we needed help then. My mother wasn't very strong at all then and so we had live-in help.
How many? Just one person?
Just one. Sort of a housekeeper, she did the laundry and the cooking.But we always had someone- now we had one girl, I know, I can't remem ber her name, but she married a settler. But she had no home, and it was her home; she lived there just like it was her home. And when she was married she went from our house to the church to be married and so on.
Were most of those people very good, that you had?
Oh, yes. This one was splendid. She was really a splendid housekeeper.One time, I knowwas away teaching then, I guess, too, and my mother, Dr. had the hospital in those days, and he had her come in and stay for a month for observation, and I think she was there a whole month. Well, out next door neighbors had a woman visiting them from Missouri, or someplace, so she took the job of serving as housekeeper. But she'd make such strong coffee, and my Dad bragged about it, but he'd lose his breakfast every morning after drinking her strong coffee, you know it was just that awful, awful strong. But she liked it that way. And then another thing, she'd try- my dad came home for lunch then, and she'd try to have the noon meal right ready, so I could wipe the dishes before I went back to school. Well, my mother didn't approve of that. I never had to do that when my mother was home, and so she put a sto p to that, because I'd just have to tear back to school. That I wasn't to be required to wipe the dishes at noon. But, Mrs. Bass, I remember, would just hurry start the dishes so I could wipe them. (Chuckles)
SS: I going to go. I've stayed a long time.
CS: I've talked an awful lot, and I don't know what you want with all this.
SS: Just to have it.
SS: I was going to ask if things were very tight during the Depression.
CS: Well, Moscow, I don't believe noticed it as much as a lot of places,because the University payroll went on just the same, you see. I know Harry's salary was reduced, I think, but we didn't hurt. We lived, I think just the same. We were careful of our expenditures. That was when- oh,no, we had our house paid for then. But David was a baby. But we didn't have any— Somebody else has asked me about the Depres sion; but it didn't make such a change in our way of life, I don't think. We just didn t feel it in Moscow I think the employment was about the same in Moscow, and Moscow wasn't nearly as big then, of course. And the University went on as usual and probably there weren't as many stu dents. And there wasn't as much business, I am sure, but as far as feeling a pinch or anything like that, I don't think we actually did in Moscow.
SS: About how much of a cut do you think Harry was taking?cs: Oh, I don't know. Let me see, I don't think he ever got more than $125- I mean $150, maybe he was cut to $125.
SS: A month?
Uh-huh. But of course, with Harry, he always got a big bonus usuallyat the end of the year because his department did so well. He was a very good buyer and his department made money.
How did they work the bonus at the end of the year? Was that just basedon the total profits of the department?
I don't really know how they worked the bonus, but I know we always gotone.
So as far as you know, the people that you knew, too, didn't seem tosuffer during that time?
CS: No, I don't think so. I don't remember of anybody really being downand-out, you know. I think we all curtailed our spending, and lived as well- but I know- I can't rember, I know after David was born, I had to have help; my sister was in California then., working. She was a director ot religious education in a church in California, and she came home to be home while David was born, course, I was quite a bit older then and she wanted to be here with me. And she st ayed I think til David was several months old. And they didn't allow mewhich was probably very foolish, I don't know why I was kept from doing so many things, and heavy work. And so we had a housekeeper and she was a Seven Day Adventist, but she always went home on Saturday and Sunday. But of course, we had Philip, our adopted boy then and he was seven years older than the baby. But she was the kind, she could go around the edge of the rug and the dirt would all wind up under the corner of the rugs. She was that kind of a housekeeper. And she couldn't cook worth a whoop, I did quite a lot of the cooking. Even my cooking was better than her's!
SS: I can't imagine that your cooking was as bad as you make it sound.
CS: Well, maybe it wasn't so bad, but I just didn't enjoy it.
SS: How did you feel about the housekeeping part of it?
CS: I always liked the rest of the housekeeping. I loved to clean up thehouse, and washing and ironing. I didn't mind that a bit. But I just didn't like to cook.
SS: Was that something that almost all the women that you knew would agreeabout the importance of being a good housekeeper in keeping the house-
CS: Was the cooking or the-?
SS: No, no, that it was important to keep the house presentable? Would yousay that was a common value that women shared?
CS: Yes, yes, I think so. Although, I remembertMrs. Gill, she is the onethat left me the loveseat, one day she came into our house and the living room floor was just covered with little cars and toys and she said, "Your house never used to look like this." But then, she got so, they lived on University side then, and David would want something to play with, so she took one drawer out of her secretary and put things in it that he could play with when he went over, and he knew the things in that drawer were for him. So she realized then that- she'd had one child, but the little thing died when it was a baby. I just remember her saying, so well, when she came in- there were all these things out on the living room floor, "Well, your house never used to look like this!"
SS: The kids.
CS: Uh-huh, (Change of subject)
SS: Did you realize that at the time? That the country was some what different than the town?
CS: No, but I do remember one time when I was a senior in high school, Ithink, or maybe I wasn't a senior, I don't know, because I went to prep school during my third year, it wasn't that. But Ward Gano took- Well, Ralph Lauder, it was I think, and one of my girlfriends and Ward took me and we went in a hack, Ganos had two horses, and went out to a literary thing out to the school out here. Which was one of the things Lola told about, you see, and we did it just for a lark. Just not looking down on 'em or anything, but not slumming, so to speak, but just for a lark. We went out to that.
SS: Did you feel like it was different?
CS: Uh-huh. But that night it was just, I can't even- there was none of thegames or singing or anything, I think they were having discussions or something and we weren't too interested in them. And then I used to, when I was a child visit at the Naylor farm, too.^ Maybe twice during the summer. And they had a Sunday School in their schoolhouse out there. And I know I always had to take along something to dress up in on Sun day to go to Sunday School out there.
SS: Well, did the farm life, did it seem much different to you than the lifeyour parents had?
CS: Oh, yes.
SS: What I've heard a lot of people say is that before the running waterand electricity came that it was much more difficult than it was for people in town to really have a clean house. And sd the country people when they would come in to Moscow, or even into the small towns, into Genesee or Kendrick would kind of feel backward compared to th e town kids.
CS: Well, perhaps they did, I don't know. I can't ever imagine Lola feelingthat way; can you?
SS: I don't know.
CS: But I didn't know Lola, I didn't even know her, you see, until- well,when Lola- about the first I remember of Lola, I'd heard that she was a teacher out there and we always knew she was a good teacher, but she started coming to church then at our church, Presbyterian Church, where her father was the first minister about the time she was married. And I didn't know her before then.
SS: Had you known that her father was the first minister?
CS: Yes, I knew that, but then he wasn't about then. It seems to me shesaid in the book when he died, but then we just didn't mingle, you see.
SS: Was it hard on your father when your mother died? Difficult for him toadjust to?
CS: Well, I think probably it was, I think that's probably one reason hewanted Harry and me to live there. He was lonely. Any my sister, at that time was working parttime at f^ church and she was very wrapped up in it, religious education. And I think Dad was lonely, because it was quite a few years after though that he started going out to see women. blank for a while And they were considered old maids. Of course my sister was a very independent sort, but she never wanted anyone who didn't know her very well to call her by her first name. She wanted to be Miss Moody to them. And especially in her church work some young married woman, younger than Myra, would call her Myra. She never liked that. She should be called Miss Moody. That was her way of doing.
CS: She was probably a little inhibited on that sort of thing. And whetherher breaking off her engagement had anything to do with that, I don't know. But she just was that kind. She wasn't standoffish, but she was just aloof from people that wanted to call her by her first name when she didn't know 'em very well.
SS: How was the general feeling about, most young girls your age wouldn'tlike when they were growing up if they were called by their first names? Did you care?
CS: No, I didn't care. But that was one thing that bothered Myra, too, Iwas so much younger and after I waa married and people would call me Mrs. Sampson, but still the same people would try to call her Myra and she didn't like that. There was that feeling. Not that she was su perior or anything, but she just thought she was entitled to that, and she didn't want to be called by her first name. And so often in hos pitals- well now, around here, everybody- I don't know their first names and I don't care if they call me Clarice, that doesn't bother me a bit, but I'm not interested in call a lot of these people by their first names. I'm just not interested in it. Maybe I'll get so I will be.
SS: Well, with your mother's generation, did most people call each other bytheir last names?
CS: I think so. I think she was Mrs. Moody to her intimate friends. I never remember of even her next door neighbor calling Mama by her first name.
SS: And of course, you would call her Mama?
SS: I wonder how it was with your father and his friends? They might calleach other by their first names?
CS: Well, probably. Yes, I think probably men did. But I never rememberof hearing any friend of Mama's call her Ida.
SS: Well, did you call all your friends parents by their last names?
CS: Oh, yes. Oh, yes!
CS: Oh, yes!
SS: You were never on a first name basis with their mothers.
CS: No, no. Never.
SS: How did teachers call you in school? Did they call you Miss Moody?
CS: No, not even in high school. They called you by your first name.Well, school wasn't so big then, they knew all the kids.
SS: So, it was really a sign of respect to be called by your last name.
CS: Uh-huh. Well, I guess you can say that. But I don't mind. Now inmy church group I belong to; circle that's named for my sister, Myra, they're all younger women but Mrs. * and I, and they call me Clarice and I don't mind a bit. I kind of like that. And the kids we've had living with us, we've always had 'em call us Clarice and Harry. We've never cared to be on a Mr. and Mrs. basis with the kids that have had our apartment.
SS: Your sister was so active in religious work?
SS: Is this something she was interested in when she was young?
CS: I don't know this, but I must have gotten it from my older brother,things he said, that she would like* to have been a missionary, but physically she wasn't able. She wasn't a very robust person. But she was always interested in the church. And then she went back, after my father remarried, she decided she wanted to go back to Boston Uni versity and study religious education. And she did. But she didn't stay the whole year because my father died and she came home. But she went right to work in the church. And then when that minister left, why, he persuaded her to come down to his church in California andTfrom that church she went to a big Los Angeles church and then she came back here and lived with us and worked part time at the Presbyterian Church.
SS: What was the church work that she did?
CS: Directing young people's work. Then of course, she did a lot of thesecretarial work, too. But they paid her- the salary was almost nil because that was what she wanted to do and she didn't need it to live, you see, especially.
SS: Was it, do you think, a religious commitment?
CS: Yes, I think it was just the life she wanted, to be doing religiouswork.
0:00 - Father keeping large provisions; being father's favorite; discussion of cleaning around the home
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Segment Synopsis: Mrs. Creighton's friends were often very ordinary people. Prominent Moscowans in the Presbyterian Church. Lack of clubs. Her parents' friends were neighborhood people. She didn't need to ask permission to go places and bring food; father's conservatism with older children. Games at parties.
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45:00 - What friendship was based on; parties for young people; father's lack of involvement in Chamber of Commerce
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60:00 - Father's tastes in material; Moscow not having a high society; Mother's Thanksgiving hospitality
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Segment Synopsis: Father preferred white marble to granite; his refined tastes. Family never wanted for what they needed. Moscow didn't really have "high society" when she was a child. Seriousness of women about religion Mrs. McConnell was very quiet and withdrawn from social activities. Mother's Thanksgiving hospitality.
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Segment Synopsis: Teaching at Kendrick. Her teacher at Lewiston became one of the first woman doctors in New York. Dormitory living in Lewiston was marvelous - slumber parties and concentration parties. She learned card reading from a Japanese houseboy. Early Moscow sororities were clubs, not living groups. Clothes.
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Segment Synopsis: During their long engagement she carried his ring around with her. Father trusted that Harry would provide for her. He would have given them land to build next door, but they thought the area was too underdeveloped. Moody's kept pigs for a while. Frugal living while they paid off their new house; help from Moscow Building and Loan.
112:00 - What she saw in Harry; Harry helping people plan budgets; not marrying before the war was over
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Segment Synopsis: Qualities she saw in Harry. They didn't try to keep up with Joneses, and avoided debt. Harry helped many young people plan budgets, and made personal loans when the banks wouldn't. They felt they had to be sure before marrying, and were not very young. Harry didn't want to marry before the war was over; his physical.
120:00 - Experiences working at David's; why Harry always ate raisin pie; first experience measuring men's pants
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129:00 - Since she didn't like cooking, had luncheons catered; being close to the David family; culture at the university
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Segment Synopsis: Social luncheons with as many as thirty women friends. Since she didn't like cooking, she had parties catered by Elsie Nelson at the Blue Bucket. She saw a purpose in cooking through a class during World War II rationing. Later work in David’s; she liked to "snoop" the store. Closeness to David family. Luncheons were frequent- most women were married to professional men. Closeness of university to town in early days compared to now - culture at university. She is glad to have seen early days.
143:00 - Couldn't dance at party because of the dress she wore; Interior of the Day home and Jerome Day not spending time in Moscow
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152:00 - The Depression wasn't hard on Moscow people; having a housekeeper; enjoying cleaning instead of cooking
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