January 26, 2009; interviewed by Cheri (Stadler) Ryan
[Speech fillers, such as “um” and “uh,” have been omitted.]
Cheri Ryan, Alderwood Manor Heritage Association: It’s January 26th, 2009. I’m Cheri Ryan at the Alderwood Manor Heritage cottage in Lynnwood, Washington, and I’m doing an oral interview with—
JoAnn Rossi: JoAnn Rossi, and my maiden name is Smith.
CR: And JoAnn, can you give me your birth date, and tell me how old you are and your address, please?
JR: I was born in July—July 3rd of 1933. I’m 75 years old—young. [laughs] And my address is [edited for publication].
CR: And where were you born?
JR: I was born in Seattle, Washington.
CR: And when did you start living in Alderwood Manor?
JR: I was about three-and-a-half years old when we moved to Alderwood Manor in 1937.
CR: And do you know the whys of why your family moved here?
JR: Well, my father was raised in Indiana, on a farm, and when we moved to Seattle, he was a barber/beautician, but he always had that love for the earth. And— [pauses] I’m getting choked up!
CR: That’s okay! [laughs]
JR: [laughs] And so he came home one day and said to my mother, “I bought a farm!” [laughs] And then— And so we packed up and came out to Alderwood Manor and it was 10 acres that we purchased. And it was alr— It had been built in 1919, I believe, and of course we were here in 1937.
CR: And what took him out to Seattle from Indiana? Why’d he— Do you know why he moved from Indiana?
JR: Well, he came from a family of eight and he had a couple of brothers that lived out here—
CR: That had come out.
JR: —and they said, “Come on out, you’re gonna love it. It’s just like Indiana, only better.”
CR: Yeah? And where were you living in Seattle?
JR: We were living in the north end of town.
CR: The north end?
JR: Yes, uh-huh.
CR: Okay. And do you know why he picked Alderwood Manor? Did he know somebody out here, or—
JR: I think he probably just read all the ads and just came out one day and said, “Boy, this does—” Because I went back to Indiana about nine years ago, for the first time, and it reminded me so much—the trees, the terrain, everything—reminded me where he was from.
CR: And what is your dad’s name, and your mom?
JR: My father’s name is Clarence Edward Smith, and my mother’s name was Florence Marie Smith.
CR: And did they meet in Indiana? Did she come out?
JR: —they met in California and— So he came to, from Indiana to Seattle by way of California.
CR: And then she—
CR: And she came up with him from California.
JR: Yeah. They married in California and then they came here.
CR: Okay. And were there any siblings in your family?
JR: No, I was an only child.
CR: Only child. So you were— What’d you say? About three or so?
JR: I was three-and-a-half.
CR: Three-and-a-half. And where was your family home at? Where was the 10 acres, in relationship to today’s Lynnwood?
JR: Yes, it was on what was then known as Cedar Way South [44th Ave W], and it was right, smack— It was 10 acres, it was smack up against the Interurban tracks. And now it is, has become the Lynnwood Park and Ride and Levitz Furniture [200th St SW, between 48th Ave W and 44th Ave W], and I believe there’s a restaurant over there.
CR: And what are your memories of the house? Was— I mean, it was a good-sized house, or—?
JR: It was. Yes—
CR: It was fully finished?
JR: It was a good-sized house, and it had been built by the first owners. They also built a swimming pool. And I think it was the only one in Alderwood, an outdoor swimming pool. And I don’t know—Bevier was the family’s name—and they had it built because they—for their son. He was— Apparently he was extremely retarded, and so they, you know, wanted him to have this for some exercise, I suppose. And all the kids around would—were invited over. They wanted, you know, they wanted him to have some company. And so I have a lot of old time pictures—and I think we have them here [at Alderwood Manor Heritage Association], too, on record—of probably 10, 15, 20 kids in the pool at one time. [laughs]
CR: So they were the— They still owned it when your father bought it? Or—
JR: No, I think there was—
CR: —there had been owners in between?
JR: Yes, there was one owner in between.
CR: But the pool was still there.
JR: Oh, pool was still there. And—
CR: And you used the pool when you were a kid?
JR: We used it.
CR: Was it a cement pool, or —?
JR: Yes, it was. It was cement, and I’d say it was probably 20, 25 feet in diameter. And— Is that right? Diameter? Is this right?
JR: [laughs] But it was very, very sophisticated because there was— The pool was probably a hundred yards from the house and you’d—but there was an electric light switch on at the house, and you could turn it on, and there’d be lights over the pool. And then there was a fountain that came up in the center to fill the pool. And it was really— It was quite an achievement, and obviously a lot of people knew about it in the neighborhood. Apparently not everybody because— It was also known as “the cement pond.”
CR: “Cement pond.” And what was the name of that family again that built that house?
CR: And do you know what ever happened to them?
JR: I don’t. They bought that— They purchased the property in 1917 when Puget Mill was selling off all these plats, you know. And they bought— They purchased the entire 10 acres and then my father purchased it from them.
CR: So, back to my question about the house. What do you remember about the house?
JR: Well, the house was, it was really quite large, but you know, in those days, they didn’t have good septic systems or anything, and everybody had outhouses. And this house had a bathroom, but it wasn’t really operated very well. [laughs] I don’t think it was used much because we, when we moved in, in ’37, we had to walk out to the little outhouse in back. And had to use that for some time until my father [inaudible].
CR: And was it a one-story house? Or two stories?
JR: Two. It was actually two stories, but it also had a basement. A full basement. [coughs] And upstairs was an attic and we finished that, had that all finished off. The basement— I remember as a child going down in to the basement—it was a dirt basement—and there was a big tank up there. I would say it was probably the size of maybe a water tank, you know, water heater. Maybe larger than that. But as a child, everything looks bigger to you, you know. And it was copper. And then, in another part of the room, of the basement, there were shelves with lots of bottles, empty bottles. And, you know, nobody ever talked about it, but I suspect there was something going on there, a still—
CR: [gasps] Moonshi— [gasps]
JR: —Yeah, and it was bootlegging because you know, that was big at this time, and I remember reading about things going on out here [laughs] in little—quiet, little Alderwood Manor.
CR: Yeah. So, I assume you had your own room then, if you were an only child.
JR: I did. I had my own room—
CR: On the main floor? And your parents had a room—
JR: Yes, and we didn’t have centralized heating. We had a little, one of those little heater stoves that you filled with kerosene. And if I closed my door, [clears throat] if I closed my door, my room was freezing. [laughs] But— And I remember I used to put my clothes on the heater in the morning to warm them up, and I had a lot of scorched clothes! [laughs]
CR: [laughs] What other kind of buildings were on the property, do you remember?
JR: Yes, there was a large barn, very large. And the outhouse, and I believe that was just about it. But the barn was enormous, and my— When we first moved there, we had acquired a cow, possibly a bull; we had several other little animals running around; and of course we had chickens, free-range chickens. And then later on, after my father was—he was working in town at the time, as so many of the people in Alderwood Manor did at that time, they commuted—but eventually he came, decided he was going to go into the chicken business. And at the height of his poultry business career, I think we had an inventory of about 10,000 chickens—
CR: Oh my goodness!
JR: —at any given time. And that lasted for about 10 years.
CR: So he built buildings out there, then chickens—
JR: Well, no. The barn was converted into chicken roosts and all that.
CR: Oh, okay.
JR: And he had the batteries in the rooms. So they weren’t free-range chickens. [coughs]
CR: So, with the chickens, was he raising them for eggs, or for—
JR: Yes, at the beginning, I think we did have a lot of layers, and I remember helping him. And he had a little, like, little egg room, he called it. And we’d go in there and candle the eggs, and then we would—we’d have to sand all the stuff off of the eggs— [coughs]
CR: So you would sand the eggs before he sent them off to—
JR: Yes, mm-hmm. And we— I think he probably sold eggs to some different stores in Alderwood Manor at that time, and—because we certainly didn’t eat all of them. And then also we had milk from the cow, and he used to sell milk to our—to the Alderwood Grade School.
JR: And also he made fudge. And he loved making fudge. He was a very good candy maker. I don’t know where he learned that. But— So he would sell that in the stores. And— I think this is while he was getting his poultry business going.
CR: Because he wasn’t working in Seattle anymore.
JR: No, he wasn’t in Seattle anymore.
CR: Did your mom work with the poultry, too, or —
JR: No, she didn’t. [clears throat] She did work in Seattle. And so she commuted, a lot.
CR: What kind of work did she do?
JR: [coughs] She worked for Bartell [Bartell Drugs] when they first opened, down on Marion Street in Seattle.
JR: And I think she worked in the pharmacy.
CR: Well, when you say your mom commuted, did she drive, or did she take the Interurban, or—?
JR: No, she took the bus.
CR: The bus?
JR: The Greyhound bus that always came to Alderwood Crossroads [present day Highway 99 and 196th St SW] and went on in to town.
CR: Okay. And your dad, when he was still working in Seattle, he took the bus, too?
JR: No, he had a car.
CR: Oh, he had a car.
JR: Yeah, in those days we only had one car.
CR: Okay. What kind of car was it, do you remember?
JR: You know, I don’t really remember. He never bought a brand-new car. And I think that probably the first one had eisenglass windows; I remember that. When we moved out— Let’s see, it was 1937 we moved out, so probably it was maybe about a 1932, ’33, something like that, car. And then he did, eventually he bought a little Plymouth. I remember it was a Plymouth car. But that was never anything that I really thought too much about. I remember, though, later on, when he retired from the chicken business and sold off everything, he drove brand-new Buicks always. [laughs]
CR: Well, on the property, besides the chickens, did he have gardens, or —
JR: Yes. And I’m sure that this was probably a throwback to his life in Indiana, because with eight children, they had to have big gardens for vegetables to feed the family and all. And— So, he always planted lots of vegetables. In fact, he preferred planting vegetables over planting flowers. So we had always a good harvest. And that, plus the chickens— And, I remember on Sundays—of course, you know, that wasn’t too far off from the Great Depression, wasn’t too much later than that—but all of our friends and relatives from Seattle would come out on Sundays. You could almost see a parade of cars [laughs] coming up the driveway because they knew they were going to get a good chicken dinner, fresh, fried chicken, and all these fresh vegetables! It was neat.
CR: So how long did they live on the property there then?
JR: Well, my mother and father were married for 17 years. They married in 1928. And my mother never really liked the farm. And— She was a city girl, originally was from Chicago, she was a city girl. And she tried to endure, but it just didn’t work, and after 17 years, she decided that she didn’t want to live on the farm anymore, so they divorced. And that was about nineteen-forty-…Well, let’s see. If they were married in ’28, that was about ’47, something like that.
CR: Uh huh.
JR: Well, anyway. Forty-five, I guess it was. Anyway, so she and I moved in to north Seattle. But Dad stayed on the farm and he stayed there for a total of 30 years.
JR: Till 1967, then he sold it.
CR: Do you know who he sold it to?
JR: Yes, I did. A man— Maybe I shouldn’t tell his name. I’m gonna tell his name! He was a crook! He actually took advantage of my father, because he [her father?] was an older person, and I suppose he [the man] thought, you know, that he was just going to kind of pull a fast one, which he did. And apparently he was in cahoots with the agent who worked for Henry Broderick. My dad, when he says, “I’m gonna sell the farm, Joannie,” and I said, “Okay. Now dad, have you got a good realtor?” And he says, “Oh, don’t worry. I sought out the best. Henry Broderick, downtown Seattle.” Because he, you know, he was a smart man, and he understood real estate. Well, between the two, the agent and the purchaser, they got my dad to sign off the first mortgage. And Kiddweiler [?] was paying him so much a month to live, he could live on the farm for a while, and then that was the arrangement. And my father said, “This way I’ll be doing really well, you know, all my life. I can live all my life, you know, and have an income.” And about— After about seven or eight months, the money stopped coming in, and Dad came to me one day and he said, “I haven’t gotten any money for three months.” [chokes up] Well, so, right away, I said “Dad, come on.” So we went and we found a good attorney here in Lynnwood and they stepped in and took care of it. But it was a very difficult thing. I hadn’t expected to talk about this today! [laughs]
CR: Well, so, when he sold the property and that happened, where did he go when he left the property?
JR: Well, when he left the property, he bought a mobile home. He always wanted to have a nice mobile home. And then he moved into a mobile home court somewhere out here in Lynnwood and lived there for the rest of his life.
CR: And— But you lived with your mom in Seattle, so—
CR: —I assume you went to school in Seattle then?
JR: Yes, I did.
CR: And did you come out and visit your dad a lot?
JR: Oh, yes. Oh yes, I was out here a lot. And he enjoyed— When he first sold the property, he bought a new car, and he bought this nice mobile home, you know. It was beautiful, it was really fancy. Bathroom at each end, a bedroom at each end, and all this. And so for the first year and a half, he really lived a very nice life. But Kiddweiler really took advantage of him, and it did him in. He ended up having a major stroke shortly after that. And— Because he trusted him, you know? And the attorney told us after everything was settled that they knew what they were doing, you know. Even the agent. But the beautiful thing of this was that three men here, businessmen in Lynnwood, they pooled their resources and bought the property. It had to go on the auction block because Kiddweiler never came through, never paid or anything. After that, he just left town. And so, they— My dad had to live for a whole year without any money coming in except his social security, and—because that property, even though it was his, it was not his any longer, and they— nobody would— could touch it for a year. So then, it went on the auction block, and these three investors—one of them was Dave McCollum [sp?]; the other was [Herman?] Michelson [sp?], the attorney who lived in Edmonds, but he was over here in Lynnwood; and there was a third one. Conklin, Newman Conklin—and they, they purchased the property and then they slowly paid Dad, so that he could live comfortably again. But by that time, you know, he had had his stroke, and it was not the greatest time for him. But anyway, he was saved, and it worked.
CR: It sounds like you and your dad were close.
JR: We were very close.
CR: And I think you said he called you “Joannie”?
JR: Joannie! [laughs]
CR: Joannie. Okay. [laughs] That’s cute. So during your— You were in Alderwood for about 10 years?
JR: I was here 10 years, yes.
CR: So you started school at Alderwood—
JR: Oh, yes.
CR: the grade school?
JR: First grade.
CR: And so you went to first, second, third grade?
JR: I went up through the sixth grade.
CR: Sixth grade.
CR: And then where did you go to school in Seattle?
JR: I went to— We moved to north Seattle, so then I went to Broadview Grade School for a year, and then—because we were on the borderline there between the different cities—then I went out to Richmond Beach Grade School for the eighth grade, and then transferred back down to Seattle again, and finishing out my high school years at Lincoln High School.
CR: So what can you tell me about Alderwood Grade School and some of your memories?
JR: I can tell you that I always thought it was a beautiful school; it was beauti— and it was so big. I mean, to be out here in the country, even as young as I was, it just really impressed me. I remember Mr. Allen, the principal; I was scared to death of him. Absolutely shivered in my boots when I saw him. And his daughter, Donna Allen [Hoggins], I thought was so beautiful. I think she’s a couple years older than I am, but somehow she seemed older, and just was so poised and beautiful. And it— The interesting thing is today, I see her at our meetings, you know, our Heritage [Alderwood Manor Heritage Association] meetings, and it just is just wonderful to see that, that she’s still here with us—well, we’re both here! [laughs]
CR: So, do you remember who your teachers were?
JR: I had— My favorite teacher— A lot of them, I don’t remember, but my one favorite teacher was Mrs. Seafreed [?], I believe was her name. Seafreed. And I believe she taught the fourth grade when I was in fourth grade, and then when I was in sixth grade, had her again. And what I liked about her is she always treated us like adults. Being an only child, I suppose you kind of, you sidestep some of that kid stuff, you know? And she used to always refer to us, or address us, as “people.” “Open your books, people.” “Now we’re going to do this, do that, people.” And I thought she was a wonderful teacher. She just really was—had all the right features and, you know, [inaudible] for that. There was also another teacher that I liked, and she was my— Wait a minute, let me see, was she— I might have been here at the beginning of seventh grade, too—And her name was Joanna [Johanna?] Owen. And I liked her very much, too. The others I don’t remember too much.
CR: And did your— Your house was fairly close, so I assume you walked to school, or—?
JR: Well, you know, the house really wasn’t that close. We were just within a mile. And during the World War II, which started around ’41 for the Americans, I was in about—what?—the third grade then. And the buses would not pick up any—because of rations, gas rations—they would not pick up children who lived less than a mile from school. So I had to walk. And you know, I was a young kid to be out there walking. I mean nowadays, you wouldn’t do that! [laughs]
CR: Did you walk by yourself, or was there—
JR: I walked by myself.
CR: There was no kids that lived near you?
JR: No, no. There were hardly any children on Cedar Way South at that time. They were all older and gone. So I just walked by myself. There was a— I used to walk past all the neighbors there, and I got to know a lot of the lady neighbors because, being an only child, I’d stop on my way home, and they’d invite me in for juice and cookies, and we’d sit and chat just like two little [old?] ladies. [laughs] There was Mrs. [Alice] Carlson, Mrs. Gyldenfeldt—that would be Carole Johanesen’s grandmother. Mrs. [Blanche] Brechner, who lived on the corner of what is now 44th [Ave W] and 196th [St SW]; she had a big house there, and she used to invite me in. And I could stay over night with her. I felt just like a princess. She’d have me, you know, stay in one of her rooms. She had a beautiful house. And our next-door neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Bell—J.L. Nathaniel Bell and Clara, his wife—and they were the only black—African American people in Alderwood Manor that I’m aware of. And they lived the next five acres over, but they were our closest neighbors.
CR: Over north or south?
JR: It would be north of us.
CR: North of you.
CR: And did they have children?
JR: They had no children. As I understand it, he was a minister—a Baptist minister—and she used to cook for the Fisher family, Fisher Flouring Mills in Seattle. And so they moved out there, I don’t know why, but they— Because they didn’t have any children, I used to go over there all the time. And I didn’t have any grandparents, mine had all died early, and so they were like grandparents to me. And I— They’d invite me to stay over night, and they had a piano, and Mrs. Bell would kind of teach me how to play the piano a little bit, play a few little chords and things. And out of that grew my love for piano, and so when I turned eight, my parents bought a piano for me.
CR: And did you take lessons then?
JR: I did.
CR: Who was the piano teacher?
JR: Mrs. [Jeanne] Plennevaux. And she was here in Alderwood Manor. She was known as Madame Plennevaux. She was from Belgium and a rather stern woman, but a handsome woman. And, funny, she always smelled like [inaudible – fruity?] jam. She always smelled so good!
CR: And did you go to her house for the lessons?
JR: No! She would come in to school and teach us there. There were two teachers, as I understand it, because one of them taught popular music. I couldn’t do that; I had to learn classical. Which was wonderful, you know, if I was to have been a concert pianist, [laughs] it would have been great. But it gave me a really good background for music—
CR: So was the piano lessons part of curriculum or was it after school, or—?
JR: No, it was after school.
CR: So your parents paid money, probably, for the lessons—
JR: Oh, yes.
CR: So they just came— There was pianos at the school then?
JR: Yes, there was a little, little music room, a little piano room. And she was— She was very stern. I had to practice, but boy I tell you, when she told me I had done well, I felt like I had done well!
CR: And did she live in Alderwood, or did she—?
JR: Yes, she did.
CR: She did?
JR: Uh huh. But she came—I believe that she came here just before World War II. She probably fled Belgium because of all the strife going on over there.
CR: Was she a married lady, do you know?
JR: She was married. She had a son. Her son, I believe, was killed in an automobile accident on 196th. This was after I left, so—but I had heard he was in a convertible that turned over in a ditch. But— She lived here for a long time, and it seems to me, even after I left, I came back one time and went to see her. So that was the—
CR: So how long did you take piano lessons for?
JR: I took them from age eight till probably twelve. Then I became a teenager and discovered other things. [laughs]
CR: But did you always take them from her, or did you have some other teachers, too?
JR: I took them from her, and then eventually I went—when we moved in to north Seattle—I went, I had lessons from another person.
CR: Do you have any memory how much the lessons were? Do you know what your parents paid for those lessons?
JR: You know, I really don’t. I don’t. But I would imagine that they were, she was reasonable. I mean, living in Alderwood— But, yeah.
CR: So anything else about the school that you vividly remember?
JR: Well, let’s see. What were there else? There was… [trails off]
CR: Well, let me ask you this: Who were your friends?
CR: That you played with.
JR: Mary Shipley, who now lives in Chelan, moved here, I believe, in the third grade, and we became buddies. And so for a good two, three years before I left, we were buddies. And I used to go to her house and stay overnight. Because my mother oftentimes worked, and so I got to do that. And that was really a treat. And her mother was a very nice lady. I remember one time I went, and I knew I was coming down with a cold, but I got to stay anyway, and she took Vicks VapoRub and rubbed it all over my neck, and wrapped a little rag around it, you know. I loved her; she was just a very nice—almost like a second mother to me. And Mary and I lost contact after I moved in to town, and—but when I came here, about 15 years ago, to the Heritage Association, at a meeting I met a fellow whose, who was a good friend of her brother. And so I asked him if he’d ever seen Mary and Don Shipley. And he says, “Oh yes, I keep in touch with Don all the time.” Long story short, I found her, and we’ve— So, the last fifteen years, we’ve just been really close, in close contact, e-mailing and visiting back and forth. She and her husband live in Chelan.
CR: You picked up where you left off.
JR: Exactly. Exactly!
CR: Any other friends you remember?
JR: Yes, I remember Darlene Amsler. She and I were good friends, too. And when her parents owned the tavern up there on, well it was called Alderwood Crossroads at the time [Highway 99 & 196th St SW], and they lived in the back—
CR: What was the tavern’s name, do you remember?
JR: You know, I don’t. Her mother’s name was Flo [Flora], or that’s what she called herself. Flo. And I keep thinking, “Was it Flo’s Tavern?” But I just don’t remember. But she was a beautiful woman, and Darlene was a very beautiful woman.
CR: And they lived in the back of the tavern?
JR: They lived in the back of the tavern, yeah.
CR: Was that something, to go to the tavern? I mean—
JR: Oh, wow! Sitting back there, you know, and when her mother would come in, well, the door would open, and we would look out there to see [laughs] what was going on. I’d never been in a tavern!
CR: [laughs] See if you recognized anybody.
JR: [laughs] Yeah! Right! [laughs]
CR: More friends you can think of?
JR: Well, you know, and then there were a lot of boys in the class, but you don’t really think of them— At that age, they stuck to themselves pretty much.
But you know, I do have a picture here [2010.FIC.059A in AMHA collection], a photograph of our third grade. A lot of kids in this class, and [clears throat] there are at least nine now that are still alive and come to our school reunions or to special events here at Alderwood Heritage. And these boys, like for instance, well, Karl Stadler, I’ve known him since the first or second grade. Victor Salvino, I think he came —
[end of side A]
[beginning of side B]
CR: So you had a crush on Wiley Echelbarger?
JR: Oh, I just thought he was the cutest thing on wheels. And he was, too!
CR: Was he older than you, or younger?
JR: Yeah, I think he was a little bit older—
CR: Okay. [laughs]
JR: —maybe a couple years or so. But anyway, and then there’s Arnie Nelson. I see Arnie Nelson, who is in business still to this day, at an automotive agency. And of course Mary Shipley, who was my friend. And Margaret Salisbury; her mother [Eathyl] was a teacher at Alderwood Grade School. And she’s also in this picture. Just cute kids. Ruth Downing, who comes to Heritage, and she just lives down the street from me, believe it or not. I didn’t know it for a long time. And then there’s Anna Schultz. Now, these people I see at various events, and I’m sure that there are many others, too, but I haven’t—I’ve lost contact with them. But this picture is wonderful, and I want you to have a copy of this to show with this interview, because the children all look—they’re so innocent [laughs], and they’re so cute. They’re in third grade. Some of the boys are kind of hamming it up, and mimicking, and doing little things. And the girls just sit there and smile, with their hands folded. It’s just priceless.
CR: Very innocent time.
JR: Very innocent time.
CR: Did you have a different feel for when you moved in to the city and had to go to the city school—
JR: Oh, yes—
CR: —after you’d gone to the country school for so long?
JR: Oh, yes. I remember sometimes kids would come to school here in Alderwood in bare feet. I remember one time the principal sent them home, probably for their own safety, you know. But they would— There they were. If you look at this picture, you’ll see a little boy here in the front row, and his pants, he’s got holes in his knees. His pants are kind of torn, you know. And it’s just— It’s a whole different time, and a whole different lifestyle. When I went in to northern Seattle, everybody was dressed, dressed well. It was a more serious life there. More organized. Out here, it was just free— And summers out here were fabulous. We used to go to Martha Lake, picnics there at Martha Lake. I remember we’d ride rowboats around the lake, and we’d look for pollywogs and frogs. And I remember putting— We put watermelons in the water to keep them cool. They always— That was a big moment, when you pull that, pull that watermelon out of the water and have it.
CR: When you were off doing stuff with your friends, like, did you walk there, or would your dad take you, or— How did you get, like, from where you lived to Martha Lake? Do you remember?
JR: Well, I’m sure Dad— We probably went in the car. Because we would usually go, like, on a weekend, it would be a Sunday picnic, you know, a summer picnic. And there were lots of people there. We always went with people. And— But, I remember one time— Well, I had to walk a lot. I used to walk the Interurban tracks. This was when the Interurban had stopped. And—but I walked to school; that was kind of a short cut sometimes.
CR: Because you said the Interurban track was on the back of your property? Or the front?
JR: It was on the south end of the property.
CR: The south end of your property.
JR: Mm-hmm. Yeah.
CR: So when you first moved out here, was the Interurban still running?
JR: It was running.
CR: And do you remember it?
JR: Because it ran until 1939—
CR: Uh huh.
JR: —and we were here in ’37. And so we could sit in our breakfast nook in the house and look down over and see the Interurban run by, on the Interurban—[pauses] excuse me. And sparks were flying. You could see the sparks flying off of it, the trai—
CR: Did you ever ride it? Do you remember riding it?
JR: You know, I don’t know that I ever did.
CR: Probably, if your dad had a car and—
JR: Yeah. I just don’t remember— And of course, we came in ’37, it closed down in ’39, and we probably didn’t even know it was going to shut down.
CR: Yeah. Well, now, you talked about your dad selling the eggs and the fudge to different stores; where did your dad and mom shop out here? Do you remember?
JR: Yes, we shopped at two stores. I would say most commonly we shopped at Wickers Mercantile. And I loved that store. I remember going there— And of course, Betty Wickers lived upstairs, so I remember I used to see her now and then. But my mother, coming from, well, both of them coming from California, they had a whole different kind of—oh, I’d say their diet was different. They went for all the fruits and vegetables and everything. And when other kids would go after school, go up to Wickers to buy a candy bar, I’d go up and buy an avocado. [laughs] Because I loved avocados, and I would peel it and eat an avocado walking home.
CR: Instead of a candy bar.
JR: Instead of a candy bar, right. But—
CR: And then where else did they shop?
JR: We shopped at the Red & White grocery— I forget the name of the people there who owned it.
CR: Was it the Birts by then? Or the Dahlins?
JR: Dahlins! Yes.
CR: Dahlins. Okay.
JR: Yes, I remember Mr. Dahlin. Yeah. And then of course there were the others. There was Schoners Market, and my father had— They had lockers in there, and he had a locker, and so we stored all of our meat and stuff in there. But it was such a small little town—
CR: Do you remember any other—
JR: like Mayberry. [laughs]
CR: —stores? [laughs] Any stores or—?
JR: Well, I remember there was the locker and then— Oh! And then, of course, around the corner and to the north was the post office then. There was a wooden sidewalk, and we used to go into the old, the original post office. I remember walking down the wooden sidewalk with my dad and—I used to do a lot with my dad!—and so I remember that. And then there was also a dry goods store, I believe. And there was a beauty shop; there was always a beauty shop. And then there was a chiropractor; his name was Romano, and he lived—well, I don’t know if he lived there, but he had his little shop, his little office was across, almost across the street from the school grounds. And— But that was pretty much it. It was all just right in that little area.
CR: So, JoAnn, tell me about yourself. Are you married? And children?
JR: Yes, I am. My husband and I were married in 1955. We celebrated our 50th about—Fifty-three years this September. We have two children: a son [Nicholas] who is 52, and a daughter [Angela] who is going to be 50 this September.
CR: And grandchildren?
JR: We have three grandchildren. Our son has two boys and then our daughter has a daughter, and she’s 19. She’s away at college now.
CR: And your husband’s name—
JR: Is Jack.
CR: And where did you and Jack meet?
JR: Well, Jack went to Ballard High School in Ballard—in Seattle. And I went to Lincoln High School in Seattle. And you know how the teams play, and we just got to meet each other through dances and whatnot. And so he just, kind of just settled in there. [laughs]
CR: Well, are there any other kind of special memories that you can think about that you want to share with us?
JR: Well, let me think here. Well, we used to— Oh, you know, another thing that we used to do is I used to go to the Alderwood Manor Community Church. And they had great Easter egg hunts. And that’s probably the reason I went! [laughs] But that was fun. And being an only child, I didn’t really have access to a lot of children, because there weren’t any in our neighborhood to speak of. And so whenever I had an opportunity, I would go to, like, Easter egg hunts, or whatever, some gathering. And there was also, they had square dancing in our school gym, and I remember I used to turn out for that. And the probably the best thing that I remember about socializing when I was a child or a young girl here, was the Juvenile Grange. Loved the Juvenile Grange. And it was in its original site.
CR: And now where was that at?
JR: Well, boy, you know, I wish I could tell you.
CR: Is it the Cedar Valley Grange?
JR: Yes, it’s the Cedar Valley Grange.
CR: Oh, okay.
JR: It had been moved after I left [to 20526 52nd Ave W]. But we used to go there, and I loved it because they had—we had these wonderful meetings, and I was studying to go through the chairs and—that was just before we left, my mother and I. But they always, after the meetings, they would always serve doughnuts and apple cider. And that was, you know, we just loved that. And there were a lot of kids; a lot of them turned out. And then we would put on skits and Mary Shipley and I, we were in skits, and we’d sing and dance and wear costumes. And [laughs] it was just fun. So those were the times that I looked forward to—
CR: Anything else you want to share?
JR: No, I can’t think of anything at the moment. If you come and see me tomorrow, [laughs] I might have something else.
CR: Okay. Thank you.
Transcribed by tv, May 2014