Our group has been answering questions from the StoryCorps Project. To protect their privacy, the questions and answers follow, but without names.
- What is your earliest memory?
- What was the happiest moment of your life? The saddest?
- Are there any words of wisdom you’d like to pass along?
My earliest memory is when I was probably 3, or maybe 4. We lived down the street from my Grandfather’s house, and I was playing in the yard. I remember the picket fence, a fence.
There are several happiest moments, perhaps when I had my son, my first child. The saddest, when my husband died.
On wisdom, there are most always more than one way to look at things. I always try for the bright or happy side. It will make difficult situations easier to accept.
4. Do you remember when your last child left home for good?
I have two sons. The first separation was college for the eldest. Now, although this was felt by my youngest son and me, I accepted it as a necessary step in growing up. He did manage to come home on some weekends for which we were very happy. However, when my youngest son left for college I was left alone, as I am a widow and my oldest son was off to another college to obtain a Master’s Degree. However, the ties were strong and they did come home when possible and of course all holidays.
5. Are you proud of me?
I am extremely proud of both of my sons. They are intelligent, well mannered and respectful. They are always remembered with love and include me when it’s feasible. Of course they don’t take me on skiing trips, etc. They also have a sense of humor which I believe makes life easier. Currently we have an excellent rapport with each other.
6.Would you raise me differently?
On both of the boys I believe that I gave them love and the necessary tools to go out into the world. Since they have become men and are now happily married and doing well. So I would not change any thing.
7.When and where were you born?
I was born in the fall of 1917. World War I was still raging in Europe. While I was still a baby, possibly 1918, there was an epidemic world wide of Spanish flu. I was very fortunate for my mother, father, and I did not catch it. I read recently that people who were exposed still carry the immunities. I was born in New Haven, Connecticut but evidently my parents moved to West Haven, a suburb of New Haven, where I grew up.
8.What was it like where you were born?
West Haven was really a village at the time I was growing up. We had one theater, a green (which is really a park), town hall and quite a few stores for shopping in the center of town. There was a favorite place the kids would meet. It was called Thompson’s Spa. It was an ice cream parlor, with the best sundaes and sodas. There was a also a bakery down the street that my mother would take me to after church on Sunday. (It was open on Sunday which was unusual for those days.) They had the most delicious breads and pastry. It was a friendly and happy time.
9. Did you enjoy school?
Yes, although I was a shy child growing up. I think school helped me to be a little more outgoing. I studied and paid attention so I did well. I even was on the honor roll. We did not have the distractions we have now, so we were able to do more reading, etc. I remember when I was in a younger grade we all met at the green (previously mentioned) for May Day. We grouped around the May Pole with its pretty colored streamers and with each of us holding on to one began to intertwine them as we danced around the May Pole. There was music and all sorts of things going on. Fun of course.