California Council for the Humanities

California Stories Initiative

Years of Valor, Years of Hope

Tulare County and the Years 1941-1946

Tulare County Library

The Friends of the Tulare County Library

And the Tulare County Historical Society

Interviews in 2003-2004

Interviewee: Mae Louise Buckwalter

Date: January 28, 2004

Interviewer: Carol S. Demmers

Place: Tulare County, CA

Place of Interview: Visalia, CA

LIFE AS A TEENAGER IN TULARE COUNTY DURING 1941-1946

CD: Today is Wednesday, January 28, 2004. I am Carol Demmers and I will be interviewing Mrs. Mae Buckwalter in her home in Visalia, California as part of the Oral History Program entitled Years of Valor, Years of Hope, Tulare County and the years 1941 to 1946.

Mrs. Buckwalter, what is your full name and where were you born?

MB: My name is Mae Louise, Cruzen was my maiden name, Buckwalter, and I was born in Santa Ana, California. Then we moved to Anaheim and I started school in Anaheim, first grade.

CD: And what’s the date of your birth?

MB: March 2, 1926.

CD: And did you have brothers and sisters?

MB: Yes. I have three sisters, Mary Line, Janet Williams and well, one, Catherine Franklin, is deceased now and one brother, William (Bill) Cruzen, and we all live in Visalia.

CD: That’s nice. What type of work did your parents do?

MB: My father,Vernon Cruzen, when he retired he was the City Controller for Visalia. My mother, Catherine Voorhees Cruzen, retired after 33 years with the County of Tulare as Assistant County Auditor.

CD: Yeah, and you told me that people teased them about working for the City and the County. (Chuckle) You know, like that. (Chuckle)

MB: Yes, and we had one car in the family.

CD: One car. So were their work places close by? Do you remember if your dad dropped off your mom and then went to work?

MB: Yeah, and they always went home for lunch. So he’d go get her or visa versa, ‘cause when they moved the courthouse out, where it is now from downtown, why it was a little bit…well, I don’t think he was at the City at that time. But anyway, they always went home for lunch.

CD: Oh, and so who took care of the kids when they were working?

MB: Well, my mother’s father, Ralph Voorhees, lived with us until I was in the eighth grade and he passed away. And, I don’t know. We were so active as kids in school affairs and things; I think that probably we were kept pretty busy. However, I’m sure that…I think once in awhile she had somebody with us, but I don’t remember who. But by the time we had piano lessons and practicing and everything, we were busy kids.

CD: So, it was a little different then than now. I would suspect that when you needed to be somewhere for a practice or to do something, you just got there yourself. It wasn’t like mom drove you all over town to everything. (Laughter)

MB: No, in fact, I think, when I read the paper sometimes now, about kids not having anything to do… I thought, we were busy all the time, but we also played a lot of games when we didn’t have television and we didn’t have computers. And so, I just think about that sometimes, about what they are talking about. There are lots of things to do, but they don’t know how to entertain themselves. We learned that.

CD: Yeah, I agree.

MB: My folks were strict, but also very easygoing with us too. We had a fun family.

CD: Good relationships, so you respected them.

MB: If they said no, you didn’t question it.

CD: You didn’t whine and complain. (Laughter)

MB: Oh, I’m sure we did that. (Laughter)

CD: So, did your mother drive also?

MB: Yes.

CD: Okay and so how old were you when the United States entered the war, that was in 1941?

MB: I was in high school. And, we had a lot of our classmates, the boy classmates, in our senior year, join the service. So, we were lacking companions for boys. At the high school, I recalled, after talking with you on the phone, that we had noon dances. I don’t know if they still do this or not. And, my brother was a freshman when I was a senior and he was the belle of the ball, because there weren’t very many guys around, so you danced with girls.

CD: And, what high school was this?

MB: That was Visalia Union High School.

CD: Okay, and how old did you have to be, did young men have to be to join the service. Do you remember that?

MB: No, they were seniors, I would say. And there were some…but I have no idea what the age limit was at that time. But, I do know that we also had a lot of Japanese students here. Not a lot, but quite a few, and I felt so sorry for them because they were taken away to camps.

CD: And you felt, even then, you felt badly about it.

MB: Oh, yeah, yeah.

CD: Did you know that was going to happen ahead of time or did they just…

MB: I don’t know that, I don’t remember that. Ah, I’m sure there was publicity on it. In fact, one of them is one of our good friend here in Visalia now, he and his wife. And I remember it so well, that I felt so sorry for them, you know.

CD: Yeah, yeah, it didn’t seem fair, I’m sure.

MB: No, no, especially when we’d grown up with ‘em, you know.

CD: Um hum, because you knew that they weren’t part of what had happened in Pearl Harbor.

Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when you heard the news about Pearl Harbor?

MB: I was probably at home, but I don’t really remember the time, I just remember how terrible that sounded. I felt badly.

CD: Did you hear it on the news?

MB: Probably. We didn’t have television, so it would have been on the radio or the newspaper and word of mouth probably too. I don’t really remember the actual day. I remember some of the boys, as I said, joined up, but I don’t remember even who those people were. I knew a lot of them did go to the service.

CD: Any of your brothers, were within the service?

MB: No, no.

CD: And, did you know where Pearl Harbor was, when they were talking about that?

MB: Oh, you know, probably not. Yeah. I knew it was Hawaii, but I didn’t know where Pearl Harbor was.

CD: Yeah, right. Well, at least you knew it was Hawaii, that’s probably more than some.

And had you listened to the radio and did you know about World War II going on before Pearl Harbor?

MB: I don’t remember that I did. I’m sure I probably was aware of it, but I don’t remember it specifically.

CD: Yeah, so you don’t remember news about…hearing about the holocaust or any of that, at that time. I know you know about it now, but…

MB: Well, yes, because one of the things, that if we got our work done at home on Saturday, we got to go to the show, and it was all; Lowell Thomas had news at the show. You know, that was part of the shows we saw. So we would hear him talk about it. And, so we were kept abreast of it. And then, my future father-in-law, Frederick H. Hover, was called in to service. So he left and that was hard to see him go. He was a friend of my father’s also.

CD: Um hum, so you already knew him quite well.

MB: Well, so, so, as a kid knows an adult, yeah.

CD: Ah, so you did discuss the war some with your family and friends, especially after Pearl Harbor, I’m sure.

MB: Oh yes, yes, yes, a lot... Well, I remember the effects of the war and having to cut back on butter and having to mix up our oleo, you know.  They gave little color packets then, and you mixed up the Nucoa, and…

CD: Oh, ‘cause it was just white.

MB: Yes, it was white. They gave you a coloring agent that you put in with it and mixed it and we had to do that; my sister Janet and I did that for our family. We had a lot of responsibility with mother working.

CD: And that… I’m just curious: why is it you feel it needed to be colored?

MB: Well, it was just the fact that it resembled butter better. And that’s…you got the package, it had that with it. So, you let it soften up and used a beater to beat it up, or by hand, or whatever, ‘cause I don’t know if we had an electric mixer then. I don’t believe we did. There was just a lot of things that you stop to think that’s happened…

CD: You kind of forget how it was. Because, then, I’m thinking after you mixed, it was like in a bowl or something.

MB: Yeah, we had to put it in a…I think, I don’t think we tried to make cubes, but we had it in a container, that was put on the table.

CD: Uh huh, interesting. What else do you…anything else you remember that you couldn’t get any longer?

MB: Oh, well, of course, gasoline was rationed and tires. You had to have, I guess, I can’t even remember what you had to have, but some reason in order to get tires for your car. My dad was with Western Auto Stores at that time. He was the manager, and so they had allotments, I think, to get their tires in to the store. In fact, they started carrying furniture and some work clothing and things like that, in order to have something to sell.

CD: Oh, because their normal products they couldn’t get.

MB: So, I remember those kinds of things and gas rationing, of course. That was really something, you know, when you know you can’t just go to the filling station and get your gas.

CD: Well, especially when your parents were both working and needed that.

MB: There were a lot of things, restrictions that we had.

CD: Do you remember going without meat and things like that?

MB: I don’t remember that. I don’t know that we were a big meat family. But, I know we had it, but don’t really remember it being a problem. We weren’t deprived of anything that I remember.

CD: Did your family grow a garden?

MB: My grandfather Voorhees did when we were young, but he wasn’t alive when World War II came along. I think he died in about 1939, so he wasn’t around, but he grew a garden for my mother, which was a lot of help. I look back on that and I wished I had him around to do that.

CD: I bet they really missed it during the war. I had somebody tell me they really missed chocolate. Do you remember chocolate?

MB: I don’t remember that specifically, but I’m sure I did. (Laughter)

CD: So did you have any of your family or close friends that were killed overseas?

MB: No, no, we were very lucky. We had family members that went into the service, you know, cousins that didn’t live here and things like that. And as I said, some of our classmates went.

When I went into high school, did I tell you this? When I went into high school, College of the Sequoias was part of our high school. In our freshman year, that’s when they were building it, the College of the Sequoias. And so, I know we lost a lot of guys in that age group, not lost them, but that they went into the service. One of the first things I remember about the first death I knew about, was our former student body president, Benny Snow.  He was in our class and he died aboard ship, of meningitis though. That was our first real sad thing that happened that I remember. I think most of my classmates remember that too.

CD: Um hum, cause he was one of the first one’s. And most everybody knew him.

So, ah, where did you live when this was going on? Do you remember the name of the street and all?

MB: Yeah, it was in Visalia; it was on Goshen Avenue. Ah, we lived in a two-story house all during our high school years. We walked to high school every day. I don’t even know how far it is from Goshen Avenue down to Main Street.

CD: I would say it’s about a mile or so.

MB: I don’t remember what we did for lunch. (Laughter) I was trying to think back ‘cause I don’t remember packing a lunch, so we must have…maybe we had a cafeteria. I don’t even remember a cafeteria during those days.  So maybe we took our lunch, ‘cause I don’t think we would get to and from school on our lunch hour.

CD: Yeah, ah, no, too far to go.  Hum, okay, so did the war affect your family’s economic circumstances?

MB: I don’t know that it did, of course, you know, mother and dad didn’t share all that with their kids. Mother had us all assigned jobs, so we all had to help with the household, cooking and everything else. So, I don’t remember it being…I’m sure it was pretty tight, but I don’t remember.

CD: You don’t remember that either of them lost their jobs during that time.

MB: No, no, they didn’t, they did not. Mother was 33 years with the County, so that’s a long time.

CD: Yeah, that’s great.

MB: I will tell you when dad was transferred to Visalia from Anaheim, that she thought she was coming to the end of the world.

CD: (laughter) Cause there wasn’t much here compared to there.

MB: I don’t really remember how many people there were, but I know it was under 10,000. Quite a bit under 10,000, but now Visalia is almost 100,000.  So, it’s really grown. I thought about that, you know, you just kind of wonder what your parents might think about Visalia now. It was just a small town then.

CD: So, she wasn’t real, real pleased, maybe, at first, huh?

MB: Yeah, well, then after they got acquainted, why they wouldn’t leave, ‘cause it was a nice place to raise a family, even if it was war.

CD: So did your family participate in war bond campaigns?

MB: I don’t remember; dad may have.

CD: You don’t remember taking money to school?

MB: Possibly, yeah.

CD: It’s not something that was a big event that you remember doing. And saving rubber bands…

MB: Oh, yes, we save a lot of things. Yeah. Can’t remember all we saved, but I do remember we did save things, yes.

CD: It’s kind of interesting, I think it’s part of that, you know, your generation had to learn to be so conservative, as compared to now.

MB: Oh, yes. We didn’t have a lot, but I can’t remember any bad times.

CD: You didn’t remember feeling poor?

MB: We got to do a lot of things and we were kept busy. We girls, there was a group of us girls in high school that would get together Friday night, and if there wasn’t a football game or something, you know, on Saturday night sometimes. We get together and play a game called "Up Table," where you sat around the table with your hands connected and talk to the table and it would come up and answer your question as if we were empowered.

CD: (Laughter) Kind of a séance type thing. (Laughter)

MB: Yeah, yeah, it was, but it was fun. But we entertained ourselves a lot.  You had too.

CD: So you remember getting together with your friends?

MB: Oh yeah, a lot, a lot. In effect, I still have some of the same friends. Yeah, but a lot of ‘em are gone too…so…over the years. . . .

CD: Yeah, okay, so did you remember writing letters? Did you write letters to anybody in the service?

MB: I had a boyfriend, Fred Hover Jr.,that went to the service later on.

CD: Did he join up or was he drafted?

MB: You know, I don’t remember that he was drafted. There were a lot of ‘em that were, but I don’t think that he was. I think he joined.

CD: And, where was he sent?

MB: He went to the mid-west and never did go overseas. He was in the Air Force, in glider command. So he never was sent overseas.

CD: But you wrote him a lot of letters.

MB: Oh, yes, yes, then we married. But it wasn’t my husband now, who is Jim Buckwalter.

CD: So did you send care packages?

MB: Oh yes, oh yes, and knitted socks, argyle socks.

CD: Oh, fun.

MB: Um hum, I had forgotten about that.

CD: So you said you played a lot of games for entertainment and you went to the movies.

MB: Oh, and the noon dances, did I mention that?

CD: Yes, yes, in high school?

MB: In high school, that was the noon dances. And as I said my brother was very popular ‘cause he was so much younger and he wasn’t eligible to go in the service. That was fun ‘cause he was really in demand. (Laughter)

CD: (Laughter) And probably friendly.

MB: Oh yeah, and not only that, but girls danced with girls; they were pretty hard up. (laughter) Oh and also, they had a USO over in Tularecause they had Rankin Field. Yeah, and so they had that for the service men. So they had to call at the high school, I don’t remember if it was Annie Mitchell or not, but if they had eight girls that could come over, but they couldn’t leave with anybody. So there were eight of us that went Saturday nights over to the dances over in Tulare.

CD: How did you get over there? Did somebody drive?

MB: Yeah, yeah, somebody drove a car and took us. Sometimes my father, who had a dance band, played over at Tulare Elks Club, and he sometimes would take us and drop us off and then we would walk over to the Elks Club afterwards and join him and then he brought us home. So you know, they didn’t have cars like they do now for kids.

CD: But he wasn’t worried about you going and being with those service men?

MB: No, I don’t think he was, ‘cause it was so well chaperoned. They were very, very strict. You couldn’t leave at all. Oh, I will tell you another thing that happened with our group of friends. One of our friends, Jean’s father, Walter Switzer, lived on the south end of Visalia on South West Street and it was quite a bit of property. We could invite, if we met somebody…to come over on Sunday. We would meet over there and we played badminton and they had a horse with a carriage and we rode in that. A horse and buggy, I guess it was more a buggy than a carriage. We danced and got acquainted with the service men. I think it really made a big difference for those guys that were so young and away from home. They were in the Rankin Academy.

CD: And so, this way, they got to go to an actual home.

MB: Yes, a home, and, ah, several of the boys wrote to our friend Jean’s mother for years and just dropped her a note once in a while.

CD: Cause they remember that special time.

MB: Yeah, that was very nice for them. We had fun with ‘em too, you know, it was something to do and played croquet, that was another thing we played. Sometimes cards, but not very often, it was mostly things that involved everybody.

CD: So, I was going to ask you if the war affected your dating and courtship, but you said it didn’t, but later…

MB: Oh yeah, yeah, not really, you still had dates sometimes, but I don’t remember it being a hardship that way. There were a lot of boys that were still around, but actually from other schools. When we met boys from other schools, we sometimes dated them. But Tulare was our rival.

CD: (chuckle) So in the high schools, the high school here and the high school in Tulare, you were rivals.

So we talked a little bit about what the city was like and it was so much smaller, maybe around 10,000. What else do you remember, just a small downtown? What was Mooney Boulevard like?

MB: There wasn’t a Mooney Boulevard. There was a Mooney Street; it was a two-lane street. Well, it was a two way street on Main Street too. In fact, we had no one-way streets; that came much later. One thing I remember, the stores were open on Saturday night too and so mother would take us down with her in the car to meet my dad, to pick him up when he got off work. So we would see people walking down on Main Street, visiting and that sort of thing. They don’t do that anymore. Of course, the stores are not open on Saturday night, but they’re open almost every other night. Well, I don’t know about downtown, ‘cause there’s so many restaurants there now. You know we had Sears’s downtown, J.C. Penney’s, in fact, I worked at Penney’s for a while. It was, I think it was when I was a senior and I worked for my father too at Western Auto. He taught me how to do the bookwork. It was just a part-time job, so anyway, he trained me on that. I don’t know, you just knew everybody. Not anymore, not unless you’re in a club or something like that.

CD: And you felt like it was a really safe place to be.

MB: Yes, yes, yes, yes. I don’t think you had the crime rate then that we have had…I don’t know that we have a high crime rate here, but I think that towns, when they were small like that and you knew everybody, as I said. That’s what is the hardest for me right now: I don’t know a lot of people. Of course I’m retired too and that makes a difference.

CD: So after high school, what did you do?

MB: Well, I got married and I went with my husband that I met in high school, Fred Hover Jr., back to Vincennes, Indiana and became acquainted with Air Force life.

CD: ‘Cause he was in the Air Force there and, ah, how long did you live there?

MB: Oh, I would say about a year, maybe 18 months.

CD: Un huh, was that a hard time for you?

MB: Yes it was, ‘cause leaving the family was hard for me.

CD: Everybody you knew was here.

MB: Yeah, yeah, but we made friends and we had some good times too there. Um hum.

CD: And then did he finish his time in the service and you came back?

MB: Well, I came back before he did. I started having children, so that tied me down. I was probably one of the first ones to get married. Well, I don’t think I was the first one, but one of the early ones to get married as I got out of high school.

CD: From your group of friends.

MB: Yes, uh huh, uh huh.

CD: Okay and so, do you remember if there was like factories and businesses that closed down in town or maybe converted over during the war to maybe make, you know, parts or things for the war effort?

MB: I do not remember any of that, but we had Sequoia Field out north of town too. So we had people that worked out there. I just don’t remember any factories for making parts for planes and things. I don’t think they did that here.

CD: And you don’t remember that a lot of people were out of work?

MB: No, I don’t remember that either.

CD: Yeah, good, okay.

MB: I think that, you know, Visalia was so small then, even then. We didn’t have an industrial park. That didn’t come until years later.

CD: Right. And your mother was already working, so I know, that was a time…World War II was a time where the roles of women changed a lot. Did that affect you, do you remember, ‘cause she was already working?

MB: Yes, women’s roles changed, but I don’t think so, she was well respected in her job. I know that we kept hearing things like that. She just passed away at 98, or 97, I guess.

CD: Not long ago.

MB: Yeah, just a couple of years.

CD: So did you feel like, though, that so many women going to work then changed your opportunities?

MB: No, not really, no. I don’t remember it big, like now, I think there’s a lot of…almost everybody works. I don’t remember that. I just remember having the gas rationing that affected the family. We were a close family: I’m the oldest of the five children.

CD: And we talked a little bit about…you said you had some Japanese friends. Do you remember if there were, like racial slurs or were people real negative about the Japanese?

MB: I do not remember any of that, cause we never…I never felt that. I never felt that. We had Hispanic people and the Japanese. We didn’t have, like the Hmong’s, or something like that, that we have now. I never have felt prejudice toward any of them.

CD: You didn’t hear other people saying negative things?

MB: If I did, I didn’t pay attention to it. Yeah.

CD: And your friends that were taken away, they all came back, that you know of?

MB: Yes, yes.

CD: And they still had a life here. That’s great.

MB: Um hum. We had one girl that was in our class that lived in the Chicago area and she came back to a high school class reunion one time that I remember. It was just like old home week, you know, to see her; it was wonderful. But she has not been back and has not contacted us, so we don’t know for sure if she is around or not. That was one that we really liked, Kazuko Nakamichi.

CD: (Laughter) What do you remember, like when you went to the movie and they had the news clips and things? Do you feel like they had an accurate portrayal of the war?

MB: Oh, I’m sure they did. It was Lowell Thomas and he was well known. And he was one of the ones they’d have on the Fox News. You know, that was our biggest source of entertainment, was the Fox Theatre. You know, if they did, it didn’t register with me.

CD: That it was maybe censored or slanted. You just accepted that.

MB: Yeah, yeah, I just accepted. Well, I think you did in those days, as what you heard was fact.

CD: As just that’s the way it was. How often did you go to the movies, like every week, or…?

MB: Well, if we got our work done, we got rewarded by getting to go to the matinee. And of course, when you dated, that was the big thing to go to the movies, you know. We just had the one theatre, well, later on we had another one.

CD: And that’s when they showed two movies back to back.

MB: Yes, and also they had on Saturday, they had the serials, every week, you know, so you would want to go see what’s gonna happen next. So, we all worked hard to get our work done, so we could go. (chuckle)

CD: Do you remember the cost of going to the movies.

MB: Oh, I don’t remember that at all.

CD: Okay. (laughter)

MB: Oh, it was pennies as to what it is now. I know that.

CD: Yeah, (laughter), I was just curious. So, how did you.,..do you remember then, hearing about the end of the war when it was done? Do you remember where you were or how you heard?

MB: No, I don’t remember that either, I just know I was relieved to have it over with. And I just think about the tragedy of all the people that we lost, you know, in the wars. The war was terrible, as you know.

CD: Were there, like celebrations, or do you remember if the town had a party or anything like that?

MB: I don’t remember that they did, yeah.  Well, you still remember, we were a small town then.

CD: Yes, oh yes. Okay, well, that covers most of my questions. Is there anything else you wanted to add to that?

MB: I can’t think of anything.

CD: I have a couple of real tough questions. (laughter)

MB: Okay, what’s that?

CD: We ask these questions of everyone who does these interviews. First, how do you think the World War II years affected you personally? How did that change your life?

MB: Well, it made you grow up, I know that. I do think that, you know, you’re so young and of course, I got married, so I was married young. I was the first one of the whole group to get married.

CD: And how old were you?

MB: I was eighteen and a half.

CD: Eighteen, right out of high school.

MB: Yeah, right out of high school. I had planned to go on to college but I didn’t get there. (chuckle) Of course being with Fred when he was in the service, it was really an eye opener. But, he never went overseas, so you know, we didn’t have that, his father, Fred Hover Sr., didn’t either. Fred and Walter Wood were the heads of the local National Guard prior to World War II.

CD: So maybe you wouldn’t have ever left Tulare County.

MB: Probably not, except to go to college, you know, and I didn’t get there.

CD: And maybe, who knows if you would have, if the war hadn’t happened. Who knows?

Okay and then secondly, how do you think that the war years affected the way Tulare County is? Do you think it had an impact on what happened here, or how things changed?

MB: Well, I think, in a way, by having the two airfields, the training fields. Also out at the airport, we had, as I remember, there was a special plane, they were based out there. There was a small squadron out there. Ah, what was it called, Black Widow Bombers, isn’t that silly, now it’s gone and left my mind what they were called. Yeah, we had that out there, so we had a lot of guys. They would come to town, and they’d go to the shows and things like that too. But, we never mixed with them too much, just other than going to that dance in Tulare. So, I just don’t remember the affect on Visalia at all. I just don’t remember.

CD: Maybe there were more of the young men coming from those places and maybe more employment because some people worked there?

MB: You know, we had a cousin, Urban Arbour, that was from the State of Washington and he was based in Merced and so he found out that we were in Visalia and he was related to my mother. So, he would come down on weekends and just loved it. We still see him and talk to him occasionally. They still come down, he and his wife. It’s just, you know, we never would have known him otherwise, I don’t think. ‘Cause, mother didn’t have much family and she was an only child. My father did, but they were all in Southern California.

CD: It was nice for him to have a home to come to.

MB: Oh, he loved it. Absolutely loved it and, of course, he was just about my sister, Janet’s and my age, so he really enjoyed having someplace to go and go do things with girls, you know. And we introduced him to some of our friends and so they dated sometimes. But it was fun, it was a fun thing to have, to meet somebody like that. He was a quality guy, I’ll tell ya.

CD: Where does he live now?

MB: He lives in the State of Oregon, just right across the river. He lives on the Willamette River. Right across from Vancouver, Washington.

CD: Well, that’s neat. Well, thank you Mrs. Buckwalter for sharing your time with us. It was really interesting for me, too.

MB: Well, I’m sure there’s a lot more, but, you know, you just kind of forget some. Except once in awhile when I see an old picture of downtown Visalia, I can tell you what stores were there and everything. We used to have a hotel on Main Street too. Johnson Hotel, that burned down. So later on, that was about the only place to have a meeting. We had a big convention center too, where the parking garage is on Acequia. It would have been that whole corner. We had the Board of Trade in there, not the Chamber of Commerce, but the Board of Trade. Visalia is the oldest town in the valley, did you know that?

CD: Yes. Um hum.

MB: There’s a lot to Visalia. I have four sons, Gary, Ronald, William (Bill) and John Hover. and I only have one here now, John.

CD: Un huh, four children. All boys?

MB: Un huh. Now I’ve got five great granddaughters, Makina Paim, Emily and Elizabeth Rouse, and Georgiana and Kendall Plumlee.  

CD: Are any of them here?

MB: Yes, we have twins, Emily and Elizabeth, and one other little girl, Makina.

CD: At least you finally got some girls. (laughter)

MB: (Laughter). Yeah, I missed out on that. It’s really kind of strange, my youngest sister, Mary and her husband, Bob Line; I’m the oldest in the family and I had four boys and they had four girls, Jo Ellen (Gilman), Claudia (Sherwood), Kathleen (Pruitt) and Barbara (Goodsby).

Their first one was born on my youngest son’s birthday, his first birthday and it was also the folks wedding anniversary.

CD: (Laughter) Ohhhh, neat. How neat.

MB: But, we’re a real close family, even yet.

CD: Okay, I’m going to turn this off, and thank you very much.

C.Demmers/pd 3-3-2004/ed.jw 4/1/04

Ed: Names in italics were added during a phone interview on 9-22-05.