Myra Catherine Geist Orthwein and Isabel Geist Aderman Oral History, Malinta, Ohio
Interviewed by Charlotte Wangrin, August 24, 2007
CW: I am interviewing two women in Malinta. Would you tell us your name.
MO: My name is Myra Catherine Geist Orthwein and I live in Malinta, Ohio. I was born here in 1909, April the 19th.
CW: Well that was a long time ago. And your name is.
IA: Isabel Geist Aderman, I was also born in Malinta. I lived here for eighteen years when I went into nurses training.
CW: Myra would you tell us something about your memories or what you know about Malinta back then.
MO: Yes Malinta is a small place, but interesting. We had lots of fun when we were young, We had a nice pond that we would go skating and sometimes we would roast marshmallows and have sandwiches too. The boys would rake the snow from the pond if it had snowed and we just enjoyed it all the winter long when we had snow.
CW: Where was this pond Myra?
MO: Well the pond was located on the east side of the road about halfway or a quarter of a mile from the crossroad, at the north edge of Malinta. All the young people in Malinta were close to the pond. It was easy accessible
CW: Good clean fun too wasn’t it.
MO: Oh it sure was fun. On a moonlight night it was beautiful to be there and we would sing songs and just have lots of fun. We had a nice group of boys and girls to meet.
CW: Did you go to church here in Malinta or was your church outside of town?
MO: Yes I went to church at the Malinta Trinity Lutheran Church. It was just through an alley from where I lived with my folks. There at the church I was choruster and I was a teacher at one time. One of the organizations that we had so much fun was the Luther League. We had about thirty boys and girls and we would go to the church every Sunday evening and have a service and then once a month we had a social hour and we’d go to some of the woods around and have a picnic and I remember one time we were at Baughman’s and the committee had fixed the lunch and put it in shoe boxes and they put the shoe boxes at a tree and then after we had some games we were to look and find a box with the lunch and eat. One time when we got our boxes the ants found the boxes before we did.
CW: Oh dear.
MO: That same evening the Baughman’s had cows and a bull, I don’t know how it happened anymore, but anyway we teased Howard Blank afterwards that he was chased out of a pen, the bull was after him in the wrong place. So we really have had some outstanding things to remember and talk about as we have gotten older.
CW: Grace Howe who lived in Grelton said that on Saturday nights the merchants would have a movie shown on the side of a building and people would bring blankets and chairs and they would watch a free movie on a Saturday night. Did they have anything like that in Malinta?
MO: Oh yes on Saturday night we had free movies and the townspeople were real happy and looked forward to going and see those outstanding movies. I don’t remember what all they were but we enjoyed taking a blanket and putting it on the ground and talking and watching the movie. I don’t know how many years those movies were here. Another interesting place was going to school. I graduated from Malinta-Grelton school that was located here in Malinta and during the lower grades we had different games. We played outside and we had a new teacher a couple of years. In the first and second grade the benches were to the front of the room and we would go and sit on them to recite. Another exciting thing we had a coat room to put our coats in and one day as I was putting on my coat I put my left hand through the sleeve and a mouse ran out of the sleeve onto to the floor.
CW: That would have been some excitement.
MO: I’ll say. Of course, before I graduated in 1927 we had lots of social times such as class plays, Halloween parties in high school, baseball, volleyball, and all kinds of activities like that.
CW: Did you play basketball when you were in high school?
MO: Yes I played basketball four years and it was during that time that school letters were given for the first time.
CW: Letters to put on your sweater or something.
MO: We put the M G on our sweater. Our colors were scarlet and gray.
CW: That’s like the Ohio State colors.
MO: I went to Ohio State two summers. I had lots of fun while I went to class there. I went to Ohio Northern University got a degree and then I taught in the Malinta-Grelton school sixteen years. They were most enjoyable. Besides the classes I had a class play each year and that was nice working with the boys and girls in a different way than when they were in a classroom.
CW: Yes, it would be.
MO: Then I had charge of the junior and senior prom. I also had charge of the athletic banquet each year.
CW: That would be a lot of work.
MO: It was a lot of work because we didn’t have a cafeteria. We had to go to the churches in Malinta and borrow silverware, plates, and other dishes that we needed. Some of the mothers would volunteer and do the cooking. I would order meat and foods that we were going to have. These mothers would take the meat, two or three of them, take it to a home and that’s where, if it needed pounding they’d pound it and they would put it in the oven. Then it had to be carried down to the school. So that was really a lot of work. We had kerosene stoves at school that we could cook potatoes, but if there was anything too much the food had to be prepared in the home and carried to the school house. Then of course after it was over all those dishes had to be washed, separated and returned to the Legion or to the church.
CW: That was a job in itself.
MO: Yes, a job.
CW: Back in the days when you were teaching were teachers allowed to marry?
MO: No, teachers weren’t allowed to marry.
CW: Did you get a fairly good salary?
MO: You know I just don’t remember how much the dollar amount was. Back in the early ‘30’s salaries weren’t really high. In those days when I first wanted to teach there were a hundred teachers for every job. It was difficult to get a job, and then when you did get one you were just real happy and fortunate to have one.
CW: Well then did you wait till you had taught sixteen years before you married because you did marry didn’t you?
MO: Yes I married in 1943. I never figured just how many years I had taught before I was married. When I was married my husband wanted me to stop teaching because he said he didn’t need a wife if she was going to work all the time and be out of the house.
CW: Yes and that was considered the ideal wife in those days, do what your husband wants you to do.
MO: When I did want to leave teaching the school board couldn’t find anybody to take my place and just a day or two before school started Mr. Slentz, the superintendent knocked on the door and explained to me what I had just said and wanted to know if I would return to teaching. Of course it was my home town and I returned that year. The following year I resigned again and by the beginning of the new year there was no teacher available. I remember Herb Honeck on the board stopped, I was hanging clothes on the line on Monday morning and wanted to know, he couldn’t find a teacher to take my place and would you come and fill that position. He said talk it over with your husband and let me know, so I did and of course my answer was I’ll come back and teach another year. So I did and after that they were able to find someone.
CW: Good. How did you meet your husband?
MO: Well, my husband lived out in the country and then his folks moved to the north end of Malinta. Of course he had a sister in my class in school so after they moved to Malinta and I got acquainted with Lorena and the rest of the family, brothers and sisters, after a few years he stopped at the house. Oh my father had called him to look, something was wrong with the pump. Walter told him that there was nothing wrong with the pump but the well was dry. Then my father really didn’t want to believe that. Walter finally convinced him that that was the trouble. We had used too much water and the well was
dry. Well that first time when he was there to look about the water I was washing, it was on a Monday morning I was washing and he asked me, he said he was going to the Van Wert Fair that day and he wanted to know if I would like to go along. My brother and his wife were visiting from Ft. Wayne and It just ran through my mind maybe I shouldn’t go as we had company. I thought well that was an opportunity, so I agreed to go to the Van Wert Fair. We did enjoy the day together. At the Van Wert Fair there was a place where they had the dishes to sell that were made in Indiana. Walter and I stopped at that stand and he said I should pick out some that I would like to have. I picked out a green glass dish, and I still have it.
CW: Oh do you!
MO: Yes, and that brings back many memories.
CW: I should say! Isabel you were chuckling something about that. How come were you chuckling, for meeting him here?
IA: They lived here in this house.
CW: They did, in this house?
IA: His folks moved
from the country here so that’s where they were.
CW: Are there any other memories that you can think of? You are doing a beautiful job.
IA: She delivered the Toledo Blade
MO: Oh yes, there were five of us children and we had the Toledo Blade to carry and our older brother had it and then each one of us as we went down the line in age carried it so we had the Toledo Blade - many years in our family?
IA: I delivered nine.
MO: Isabel, the youngest delivered nine, and the rest of us had the unknown number. Of course you weren’t rich from the salary, but our father told us that if we would save our money he would put us through high school, but to go on to college we would have to put ourself through. We saved those few pennies from delivering the paper to the people and saved the money that was given to us for our birthdays or any few pennies that we got. We would put ourselves through college.
CW: It is hard to believe that on two thirds of a cent for a paper.
MO: We borrowed a little money from friends and after we got a job we always repaid our bills from the first check we would get. On the route in the winter it was so cold the train came into the station 6:18 at night. It was a stop station and sometimes when there was no passengers to get on or off the train didn’t stop and they would kick the bundle of papers off. Of course the string would break and there were papers strung all over the place and sometimes we would get only three or four whole papers and then we would have forty-five or fifty people who would get the paper, and who would you give those few papers to.
CW: How would you solve that?
MO: When the papers weren’t delivered on time the people would call in and our folks told them why they weren’t getting them. So even at a young age that kind of work there were problems, and you had to keep track of the amount of money when they paid and if they paid, but over all those years we lost very little money.
CW: The people must have been pretty good about paying for them.
MO: Yes people were good and another thing it was enjoyable. I remember my Aunt Audry always watched and on a cold night she begged us to come in and get warm and we really didn’t have time to stop and talk because the other people that hadn’t gotten their paper yet wanted it. Then there was another lady, a distant cousin, baking cookies while her daughter made candy and Naomi would give me candy and that was always nice to look forward to.
MO: My first year from college I worked one year at the Farmers & Merchants Bank here in Malinta. Our father was the cashier, and there was one secretary that worked there. She quit to work over to Heckler’s garage and so that happened to be the year that I didn’t get a school the first year and the directors at the bank hired me to take her place. Sometime during that first year they had banks (small miniatures) that had the name of the bank and safety first, Malinta, Ohio and I still have one of the banks that was handed out then. Another thing, I don’t know why but that was in the early thirties another experience I had while working in the bank. I think it was in December, one rainy day there was a car stopped out in front of the bank in the middle of the road and a girl stayed at the wheel and two fellas came into the bank and each one had a revolver and the one demanded that my father open the safe so they could get money. The other man demanded that I give him the money that was in the drawer that we had for business. There was a bell that would ring across the street in the barber shop and one a couple of doors up from us the restaurant and the first thing that I did, instead of opening the drawer and giving him the money, I pulled a five dollar bill that was on top of the desk that would set the alarm in these other two places.
CW: Was the five dollar bill connected to the alarm or something?
MO: Yes, and I glanced across the street at the barber shop and I could see the barber looking out the window over toward us. He didn’t do anything and pretty soon the man walked in the door and he had been at the restaurant and they heard the bell and he had to come over to see what was going on. As soon as he got inside the door the one man demanded that he sit down in the corner. Well, of course he did. My father I think he finally got the safe open and the fellow ran his hands, but he didn’t roll his hands around in the center of the safe and he missed getting any money.
CW: How could this be? Put his hand in the safe or something.
MO: Yes, you see my father opened the door. It was a big round door, and then that space, it was where the money was put. He just ran his hand in thinking it would be there I guess, instead of reaching on the side.
CW: Oh he missed the money.
MO: After they were gone we tried to check the amount of money that I had given that was in the drawer and as far as I could remember just a few dollars over twelve hundred dollars, a thousand two hundred dollars.
CW: That’s all they got?
MO: Yes, that’s what they got. After that when the sheriff went looking for people these fellows turned out to be two brothers and a sister. They lived in Lima. After this robbery they went to other gas stations, and I think they went to Hamler and I don’t recall the other places, but they were finally caught because they kept at it for a long time. I don’t remember where they had to go to prison, or what punishment they had. That was a terrible experience for anyone to have.
CW: Did they get the money back from them?
MO: No, the money wasn’t returned.
CW: Did the bank have insurance that covered it?
MO: I am sure the bank had insurance. Then when the banks began to close, what did we call that?
CW: A bank holiday?
IA: I believe that’s what they called it.
MO: Anyway when some of the banks had to close our little bank had to close too. The directors got together and put in money and none of the depositors lost any money that they had in the bank, because we had good directors that could look after that.
CW: Would that have been 1932 or something?
MO: Around ‘31 or ‘32. It wasn’t just when this bank closed others did. That was a terrible experience.
CW: It certainly is an interesting story.
MO: Well I hope no one else, although there are crimes that we hear about every day today of someone being held up or something, and it’s too bad that we have to live in a country like that.
IA: We have the best country in the world.
MO: Yes, we have the best country in the world and we should appreciate it and enjoy it.
CW: Well, that is really an interesting bit of information you gave me. Now to give your voice a rest let’s see what Isabel remembers. Is there anything else you wish to remember and add?
MO: I can’t think of anything, can you Isabel?
CW: Now Isabel you were a nurse. You were my husband’s nurse and you were a good one. Would you tell me what nursing was like?
IA: After I graduated from high school I went to St. Vincent School o
f Nursing in Toledo, and graduated in 1939. I have often said that being in nursing those three years I might as well have been in prison. All we did was work and go to class and sleep. We only had three weeks vacation in the summer time.
CW: And you had to wear uniforms too, didn’t you?
IA: Oh yes we had to wear white uniforms. We were there four months and then we were capped. Then you were really a student nurse.
CW: Did your cap have an insignia on it or something?
IA: No it was just a plain cap but when we graduated we got a black band. The uniforms there was a little locket on the left side of the waist-top and it had the logo of St. V’s on it. Of course when we graduated we got the black band.
CW: How long did you have to go to school before you graduated?
IA: Three years, oh yes. Of course the first year, the first day that I went in I had to don a uniform and go on a floor of a men’s ward. I didn’t even know how to give them a drink of water. You didn’t know where anything was. We went to class then. We were only on the floor probably for two to three hours a day. As we progressed, after we got our caps, I really don’t remember how many hours a day that we were in class and worked on the floor. I know when we were juniors and also seniors that we would work eight hours on the floor, and then we went to class four hours. That’s why I say we might as well have been in prison. We got a half a day off a week is all. We had a music teacher that came there and the first year I sang in an octet, and we went one Christmas and sang for the Zonta Club. I still have the paperweight that she gave me one year for Christmas. It was real cute with different colors in the bottom of it. Then of course we worked on the floors and we didn’t have a straight shift. On the day shift we would go at 7:15 and get off at 1:00 o’clock, go to class from 1:00 to 4:00, go back to the floor and work from 4:00 to 7:00. Then we had study hour from 7:30 to 8:30. We had to be in our rooms at 10:00 o’clock.
CW: You were supervised every single minute.
IA: Then in the morning we had prayer and roll call at 7:00 o’clock and we had to hold our hands out for the nun to see that we didn’t have nail polish on.
CW: Oh really!
IA: She would see that our shoes were clean and the uniform was clean. Of course then we would go to work. I remember the last year there I was with the nun that did the night run on the floors and oh my gosh there was a bat in the halls. I was petrified. I almost left training my last year because I was scared of that bat.
CW: They used to say they might land in your hair.
IA: They are dangerous. I found that out when I worked for Dr. Winzeler. Anyhow when I worked for Dr. Winzeler we had one of the teachers come in, a high school teacher, a bat had been in her garage and had bitten her finger and he said we had to start rabies shots immediatly because by the time they got the bat examined, it was too late to start the shots. I don’t remember whether they were every day or every other day. That
was a long time ago. I know I gave her the shots and it got so I hated to even do it. She even cried when she came in when she got them because they were so painful. I guess in former years they gave them in the abdomen. The directions said to alternate the thighs and the buttocks, you know rotate them. I don’t know there were quite a few of them, whether there was twelve or what there was. I know I have warned a lot of people not to mess with bats. You go to the doctor immediately, because of the rabies. Of course I graduated in ‘39 and we had commencement in May, but we really didn’t finish our time until August. Then if you had any time to make up you would have to do it. So I worked at St. V’s then until January when I got a job in Napoleon. That was the old S.M. Heller, the three story building. We lived on the third floor.
CW: That was originally somebody’s house wasn’t it?
IA: S. M. Heller, and I said it’s a shame that they ever tore it down. The livery stable was with it and everything, and of course there we boiled our instruments and our basins in a great big sterilizer in water if there was surgery and of course, if we had an emergency, we had to wait until the thing boiled. I remember one day Dr. Reickoff from Ridgeville, I think he had an appendix that he was going to do. He came in and he used to walk the floor with his hands behind his back. Of course we turned it on immediately when he would come in to get the stuff in to boil. One time, I think it was in the evening when he came in and I said, “Dr. Reickhoff, if you would just stop and pick up the phone and he will bring the patient in and we can have this thing going.” He was just a short doctor and he looked through his bifocals and smiled and answered ‘I guess you are right’ .
CW: Now did you have patients on the second floor?
IA: Yes, we had OB and surgery and emergencies that came in on the first floor and a delivery room and nursery was on the first floor. On the second floor was the surgery patients and medical patients. Upstairs there were two wards, it seems like at first we had four beds in each and then I believe there were three private rooms upstairs.
CW: Then how did you get them from the first to the second floor?
IA: They carried them up on the gurney all the time.
CW: On up the stairs?
IA: Yes, things that were scheduled in the morning, of course there were always people there. At night, if we had an emergency we would call the police to come over. They would help carry them up the steps. One day I was leaving work and at 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon there was a terrible storm. I walked out the front door and there was hail, and they were as big as golf balls. We took them in and showed them to the patients and that was interesting. We had triplets one time. The first two babies were dead but the third baby was alive. So you really learned a lot. Of course drugs weren’t so prevalent then as they are now but this man came in and he had a scar on his throat, but my heavens it was well healed I am sure for several years, but he was having pain, and I knew what he wanted. Dr. Delventhal happened to be in there and he said give him a couple of APC’s. So I did.
CW: What is that?
IA: Aspirin, phenacetin, and caffeine. Anyhow it was just a little bit more than just aspirin. I gave him a glass of water and the pills and he threw them at me. He knew what they were. I could tell much more stuff but I hadn’t better. I’ll tell you when you turn that thing off. I could almost write a book. I worked there for about ten years on and off, because Roger was two then before I went back. He was born in ‘42. I was married in ‘40. Then World War II was on and my husband got a job in Dearborn, Michigan. He worked at People’s Outfitting. It was a new warehouse and the train went through the building and a lot of people there didn’t even know that the Air Force was in there. He worked there. He kept thinking he was going to have to go and finally they told him he would have to so we moved back to Napoleon. He didn’t have to go then for another year. It was a mess. That is when I went back to work. In 1950 I quit the hospital. They built the new one then and I was going to do something else. Dr. Winzeler came to town and asked me to work for him and I did for nine years. Then we moved to Florida - Orlando, I worked for three pediatricians there. It was interesting, that was different phases of nursing that I did. I worked three weeks out at Campbell Soup too.
CW: As a nurse there? What was that like?
IA: Well that was emergency - industry.
CW: So you didn’t have to do a whole lot.
IA: My husband’s job took him to Miami and I got a job at Pan American World Airways and I worked for them for fourteen years. The head of Pan Am got a brilliant idea of moving Pan Am to New York, and of course I was laid off and to go into a hospital and work it would be impossible.
CW: You were middle aged by this time.
IA: Oh yes by that time I was 59 and so I more or less retired from nursing. When I was in Miami I was asked to join ABWA- American Business Women’s Assn., and I met a lot of real nice friends there. One night I was in North Miami and another friend of ours asked us for dinner. It was on a Sunday night. She and I were at it and we got back to her house about a quarter to ten and they lived in a very affluent area, but the lighting wasn’t very good and so I pulled up in front of their home and you had to walk in a little ways to get to the house and anyhow I got out of my side of the car. My friend got out on her side and for some reason I felt there was somebody coming down the sidewalk, and just as I hit the sidewalk here this tall figure to the left of me and I had my purse over my shoulder and I screamed and said ‘oh no’. Of course he grabbed my purse and I was hanging on to it. I was not going to let go and I knew better and this is terrible. It even went through my mind that now I will be shot, but you know it’s yours. He was tugging and I was hanging on and finally the strap broke, but I was still hanging on to the purse. Of course I lost my balance on the sidewalk and he pullled me down the sidewalk.
CW: You were still hanging on to the purse?
IA: I was telling my friend Shirley about it and she began to laugh and said I know it isn’t funny but I can just see you being pulled down the sidewalk. So I was screaming, “Call the police - Call the police - Do this - Do that.” Finally her two sisters, they were elderly, heard me and came and turned the porch light on and he took off and ran.
CW: And you still had your purse?
IA: Yes! He didn’t get it. They called the police and the police came and I said, “Gee, I didn’t know where they came from.” They said, “Well, they turned their lights out and followed you.” I was watching. I always pay attention because you learn this when you live in Miami.
CW: Were you alone then when you got out of the car?
IA: No Pearl was there. She thought there was a kid driving by on his bicycle. She found out differently. Pearl was almost 90 years old. So anyhow the police came then and my legs were really scraped from being pulled. I asked Nell, poor Nell she was all upset , she was the oldest one, and I asked her to get me some ice in a bag. The policeman came in and asked me if I wanted him to put a dressing on that. First I said no and then I said yes because I figured they wouldn’t have anything. A scrape like that kind of, well they don’t bleed real soon, but the bleeding comes from the capillaries, not from a vein. So I said yes, you better. He went out to his car and it was really cute, he bandaged them. When he got done, I said can I see your Red Cross card first. He looked at me. So anyhow that was it. There was a big write up in their section of the city newspaper that was bad. My son and his girlfriend were kidnapped in Miami.
CW: Oh they were!
IA: Yes, his wife, well it was his girlfriend then, Sharon was in nurses training at Jackson Memorial and she had been there for dinner that night. I was working nights so Roger knew that he had to have me back by 10:30. I had to be to work at 11:00. He left about 9:30 and the nurses parking lot was lit up better than this room even. It was really light. He pulled up to drop her off and a young man came around in front of the car and he came around to the doorway and he pulled a gun and told Sharon to get over. Roger had just filled the car with gas. He told him some place to go I don’t remember where, but I did know at the time. Roger said I really don’t know where that is. You are going to have to tell me where to go. So this kid sat beside Sharon with this gun pointed at Roger and Sharon. And so they started off. Well Roger didn’t come with the car. He was always very reponsible because he knew I needed the car. So Julian said take the truck. We will just have to go over in the morning and get my truck. So anyhow they went through the tunnel and Roger said they ran red lights. He ran stop signs. Of course he was sure nobody was coming.
CW: Did this fella make him do that?
IA: Yes, he told him where to go. They got as far as Boca Raton and Roger said he thought the kid was sleeping but he wasn’t sure. When you have a gun you’re the one who is going to pull the trigger. Anyhow they finally got turned around and got back on the Palmetto bypass, which was only four miles north. They were really almost back to where they started from. They were on the Palmetto bypass and Roger said a policeman was coming up. He saw the police car, so he wouldn’t let the policeman around him. He turned his lights on so Roger pulled over and stopped. He said I guess we will have to get out.
CW: Roger said that?
IA: Yes, because the lights were going behind him in the police car. Sharon thought Roger said grab the gun. She grabs the gun and the policeman could see it so he pulled his and he said put that gun down. So they got out of the car and explained everything. By this time it was 2:00 o’clock in the morning. He left at 9:30. He had time to go through Lauderdale and on up to Boca Raton. Anyhow they had to go to court then. I never found this out until the next afternoon. I got home at 7:30. He had gone to school. Anyhow come to find out the kid wanted to get back to New Jersey. He had hitchhicked to Florida. His mother had remarried and he had a stepfather. So the story goes his stepfather wasn’t very nice to this young man and he was petrified. He worked at a filling station and you know when they work on cars and do stuff they have to move cars sometimes. Apparently he had an accident doing that but it wasn’t his fault either, but he was going to have to go to court. He was petrified I guess of going. He was upset over everything is why. His grandmother lived in Miami. He hitchhicked to Miami and never saw his grandmother, but he decided he had better go back home. Well here he got in the Jackson Memorial Hospital parking lot. He had found a gun in one of the nurses from Texas and that is where he got the gun.
CW: Was it in a car or something?
IA: Yes, in her car so that’s where it was. I don’t know whether they, I will have to ask Roger sometime whether they really wanted him to forget the whole thing or what. I remember this that Roger told me how would you feel with a gun held against you for four hours. Well anyhow they took him back to New Jersey then.
CW: The police did.
IA: Yes, because we didn’t hear any more about it.
CW: Well back to Malinta and Henry County. You know I remember your saying once that you could remember when it took you so long to walk just one block because everybody would stop and talk to you. Do you remember that? You knew everybody and they all knew you.
IA: You know it is really nice, There have seen several people we have seen and of course a lot of them are gone now. They have told me which makes you feel good what a nice nurse you were.
CW: Yes, you were. You were sort of happy-go-lucky and that was good for us. It made us feel better.
IA: Yes I tell you I haven’t thought of this for a long time so several months ago this came up about something that happened in school. I got a spanking when I was in the first grade. Do you know what it was for?
CW: That is simple - talking!
IA: That was a cousin of mine that spanked me too, second cousin and she was a teacher. We had iron steps that went up the old school house here in Malinta. When I was in the second grade, because Evelyn Stalter was our teacher in the second grade Miss Overhulse, she’s the one where I got the spanking, but Evelyn Stalter, I think she is gone now, Evelyn is, anyhow, Paul Lankenau was the principal and they used to send notes back and forth. Evelyn would write a note, so she would get me to take notes up to Paul.
CW: Were they having an affair or something?
IA: Oh yes, but she never married him. She married somebody else. Anyhow, of course my name is Isabel. Every time I saw Paul Lankenau and even later he would always say, “Isabell necessary on a bicycle.”
CW: That was his little private joke.
IA: Of course I delivered the Toledo Blade too for nine years, but I did lose money from only one customer.
CW: Only one!
IA: It was twelve cents a week, and we collected on Saturday night. Of course we walked. Our neighbor next door delivered the News Bee, we had the Toledo Blade so we would go together the two of us. Jeannette Doll went with Bea. They didn’t have near as many to deliver to as I did, but we took the same route anyhow. I had the north end of town here in Malinta. You know that was really a long walk. We would go down here, across this road and Mart Bechtol here on the corner one spring there was a big ditch, it’s filled in now on 109. They were out making garden, and of course we were delivering the papers. I came along and said Hi Mart whatcha doing? He says why I am flying a kite, but he was making a garden It’s funny the thoughts you remember
CW: You were probably really shocked at that.
IA: Well it was kind of dumb. Then we walked on home because they lived right next door to us.
CW: The walking probably made you real strong.
IA: Well, it is good for you. Of course we weren’t allowed to spend our money. We got a dollar for our birthday. We would put it in the bank. I don’t know how we got any change but I am sure we would put pennies or whatever in a bank and then take it up to the bank and put it in our savings account. I used to set hair. I finger waved. I would put pin curls in you know when I was in high school. At first I got ten cents, then I raised it to fifteen. You know I made a little bit of money then. Now the kids the minute they get any money they run to get something. We were not allowed to.
CW: You saved your money then.
IA: I started in nurses training and I had four hundred and ninety five dollars.
CW: That was nearly five hundred.
IA: Yes, and the first day that I went I had to buy uniforms which was one hundred and eight dollars, twelve uniforms. Of course we had to wear white clothes and white shoes. So that is how I made my money to go into nurses training. I had enough until my last year and I think I borrowed $35.00 from my mother. You know what I made when I got out of nurses training? I made $75.00 a month. I think I paid her back my first or second pay that I got. I think we were paid every two weeks. I had to pay for my room, which was $10.00. I don’t know whether it was a week or a month. But it was something like that. Then I got the job in Napoleon, of course we lived free on the third floor.
CW: You would be on call at certain times I suppose.
IA: Well, maybe so, but I don’t think we were called very much. Of course we got our meals there. We always when we were on nights, see we worked seven to seven, not eleven to seven, it was seven to seven. We would have our meal at night. We would cook it. Well there was a real nice aide, Jo Homan and she was the best aide. We would always cook. You would have the patients pretty well under control by that time. The babies, well of course the nursery was on the first floor, and then we would eat. Sometimes we got interrupted, you know you couldn’t sit there and eat in peace.
CW: Was that on the second floor?
IA: No that was on the first floor. I was always on the first floor for emergencies and surgery. This one night though we had a surgical patient on the second floor, he had a gall bladder surgery and he had a private nurse. She would come down and eat too. She was allowed to have food when you are a private nurse. As I say he was on the second floor and he had, of course then we didn’t give iv’s. We gave hypo dermoclysis. We put the needles in their thigh, and you know it was a long time before that law. I don’t remember if he had any of those or not. We had just started to eat and we heard, it was summer, something at the side door. Do you know where the Episcopal church was?
CW: Oh yes.
IA: You remember that. Well it was the side door there and it was warm and we heard something at the door. We went to the door and there was this man with the tubes and everything. He quoted his name from North Perry Street, I am a well driller and of course she was just petrified. This was before we even got patients up.
CW: Had he just got up from his bed in the hospital?
IA: He had just gotten downstairs and I don’t remember now what we did to get him back upstairs. I guess we walked him up. It’s kind of different. One time, it was summertime and I was working seven to seven, I thought though then we went in at 3:00 o’clock, well anyhow this was about 7:30 when a man came in through the side door. He said my wife is out in the car and she had the baby. I don’t know if she had it in front of Fruth’s Locker or the courthouse. Well, what difference does it make. So I went out and sure enough.
CW: Back in those days the mother was expected to stay in bed for two weeks.
IA: We kept them for ten days. When I had Roger it was $60.00 for ten days. Mother and baby.
CW: In those days it probably was a lot of money. You could do more with it then than you can now.
IA: It was, yes. But then Pan Am was a nice job. because I had benefits. Good benefits. They filed bankruptcy so the benefits went kaput.
CW: My daughter was a stewardess for Pan Am
IA: I know it and she lost her benefits. How long did Judy do it?
CW: I don’t know, but it must have been a good ten years.
IA: I know she left Miami. I had her over to the house too several times.
CW: I should explain that Judy is my daughter.
IA: Yes, once a nurse you are always a nurse.They say oh you were a nurse and I say well I am still a nurse.
MO: I don’t know. When I was in high school I joined the 4H club, Mrs. Ferd Detmer was our leader and we must have had about twenty girls. I didn’t know most of the girls were from south west of Malinta, so it was real interesting to get acquainted with these girls. You could meet some more new friends. In 4H I took up sewing and we had a meeting I think only once a month. We had a meeting in the evening and then in the summertime for a week all of the clubs would meet at the Maumee River. I think just east of the Damascus Bridge. We would have to take so much rice, sugar, a half a cup of sugar, a couple tablespoons of rice and salt and I wonder what all other food we did take.
CW: What did you do with it then? Did you cook there or something?
MO: Yes, that food was cooked there and served to the boys and girls that had gone to camp. Of course we had to take our clothes, and I remember the first night we ate rice and tomatoes were cooked together. Most of the boys and girls were really fond of rice and potatoes cooked together. Our other meals were satisfactory and we had two big tubs that would have hot water and in the one tub we would wash our plates, our dishes, and the other tub we used to rinse them. That first tub of water got pretty thick toward the end of the washing. You can imagine that.
CW: It was right beside the Maumee River?
MO: Yes, we’d go swimming in the river then and have a good time. We’d take pictures and have lectures, play games and just had a good time. We looked forward to going there to camp in the summertime. I don’t know of course then when the fair was at Napoleon we always took the garments that we had made and put them on display. They’ve had 4H all these years and displayed the things. They do more and try to do better every year and they sure have.
CW: It’s a good healthy thing for kids to get into.
MO: It was most interesting and worthwhile. Then I started something I didn’t know if I said when I went to church I sang in the choir and solos for Christmas, or funerals, anything that came along. I sang songs and one time in the evening we didn’t have a piano player and I attempted to play for them to sing a couple of songs, but I was a poor piano player so we didn’t do as well. We did better with the music. I taught a class to just really young folks. I always enjoyed that. When I went to college I belonged to the glee club and choral society, and that was most enjoyable. We had probably fifty people in our group and usually once a year we’d go and travel to close towns and give programs over our singing.
CW: Did you earn a lot of money to pay your expenses on these trips?
MO: Well, I don’t remember the expenses, but anyway we always looked forward to it, because what was most enjoyable. We sang songs and met the people and just have a good time. Maybe that’s what I thought of now.
IA: I am trying to think of somebody and I had it right on the tip of my tongue. They had a clothing store at the corner of West Washington and Perry.
CW: Was it Crahan’s?
IA: Yes, Gloria that was her name. They had a maid, I believe it was a farmer, but the kid was just young and I don’t know how, but he got his finger cut off and she took it out and buried ti under a clod of dirt. When Dr. Winzeler treated the kid he said go get it we have got to have it. You know it did work. He cleaned it up good and sewed it back on
CW: Did it stay on?
IA: Oh yes, and that was something. We had a guy come in and he said he was from Ft. Wayne and he was having a gall bladder attack, you know they all have gall bladder attacks.
CW: You mean the druggies?
IA: Yes, they do have severe pain you know and I think Bartels brought him in, Sheriff Bartels and he said that he was having a terrible gall bladder attack, so I think that he had me give him Demerol then. Of course he questioned him on if he had been in service and he was going on to Indianapolis and of course he has had it for awhile but he has been busy. Well you know Jen used to get gall bladder attacks, which is legitimate. But don’t you know about three weeks later he appeared in our waiting room. So he came in and of course Dr. Winzeler talked to him and we gave him nothing.
CW: Do you remember the story about the fellow that came in in the middle of the night and he had terrible pain, and he just had to have a drug right away.
CW: And Ed went to give him a shot and the policeman said give him whatever he wants and we’ll get him out of town and tell him not to come back. He tried to give him a shot and there was not a place where that man wasn’t all scarred up from shots.
IA: Did he want it intravenously?
CW: Finally the man pulled his shirt down and said ‘Give it to me in the jugular.’
IA: That’s right, I knew you were going to say that. They know all the ins and outs, those people do. When I worked at the hospital we had a woman come in one afternoon. That is when Dr. Quinn was there, the young one and he had the world by the tail and he had everyone in Napoleon believing their kids had seizures. You know kids sometimes when they run a fever and anyhow he happened to be on call. You know it got so they did have them on call, the doctors, and she came in, she had a suitcase, she was clean and she was pregnant , and she said ‘I am in labor.’ We had room on a cot and she was there a while. I was there probably until later than 4 or 5 o’clock. Anyhow I smelled a rat. I went in and sat beside of her, put my hand on her abdomen. Oh Dr. Quinn said we have to admit her and which we did. I said you aren’t having contractions, let me know you can tell. I said you tell me when you are having a pain. She wasn’t having contractions. I called him and I think he come over, but you have to keep her overnight anyhow and she was all over that hospital . Nellie Rice was working. Nellie caught her in that cabinet upstairs. Anyhow, Gladys Flagg, you know her so she got in on it and she came over and then the sheriff came in. We didn’t give her any narcotics or anything, but she was pregnant. She probably was five or six months because she was out to there. What they did, the sheriff took her to the Indiana border, opened up the door and told her to get out.
CW: And said don’t come back?
IA: I just wonder what ever happened to her. Isn’t that something?
CW: It’s sad when people get on drugs.
IA: She didn’t have any business being pregnant either.
CW: She probably wasn’t married.
IA: I thought you might be interested in this. You can have it if you want it.
CW: ‘Downtown by Nat Belknap’
IA: I don’t know where I got that.
CW: Yes, I will read it.
IA: Here, this was in the REA magazine ‘Country Living’. We were interviewed by Phil Parsons. I think she can have that too if she wants it too can’t she? I think we got another one in a magazine.
CW: Isn’t that interesting. Myra Orthwein writes and her sister Isabell Aderman holds one of the kerosene lamps used by their parents before electricity came to Malinta in May of 1925 One of Myra’s chores was to fill the lamp and then clean the chimney on a daily basis.
IA: Do you see the chimney? Here’s another one.
CW: Did you take a curling iron and suspend it in the top of the chimney?
MO: I never had a curling iron.
IA: Oh, you mean to heat it.
CW: That’s what the girls did. Did you ever get a permanent?
IA: Myra had naturally curly hair. Mary our sister did too and mine was as straight as a string. I used to snarl mine.
MO: I don’t know when I did get my first permanent then. This little lamp here was our grandmother Overhulse’s, our mother’s mother. I have had it a good many years. In the
bedroom on the shelf I do have two lamps that we had up home. That lamp we bought at Jack Fink’s grocery store that was on the back street. My brother used to say poor Jack, he had this grocery store. He would buy his canned stuff and pay for it and sell it at the same price that he paid for it. He was a character. I don’t know how he lived.
IA: Not very well. You saw one of these.
IA: Do you want one of those? I will have you know our picture was in the Vero Beach, Florida newspaper. See our purple shirts we have on. I know the one girl, she worked in radiation. I had her after I had surgery.
MO: You can give Charlotte one of those others if she wants it, as long as we have one copy of it.
IA: I think there is one still in that magazine.
CW: Souvenir of Napoleon, Ohio 1898, and there is the courthouse. Isn’t that something.
MO: We thought that was interesting.
CW: County officials, oh my goodness. the county jail, That is as neat as the courthouse.
MO: You have some things and someday you go through them and then you find them. They are very interesting.
IA: This is a February issue. You might want it for the museum. Don’t you think so Myra?
CW: That would be very nice.
IA: It’s interesting.
CW: You could keep it right with your file.
MO: If we think of something and you ever want to see it we can go to the museum and see it.
CW: That’s better than having somebody cart it off to New York state or something.
IA: They would throw it away. That’s what happens. Oh I gave you one of these.
CW: Yes, you did. It is right here.
IA: One of the things about the REA business. There you got it.
CW: This I will read and then give it back to you. Nat Belknap wrote this.
IA: I don’t think we want that back.
CW: That would be very nice to keep in Napoleon.
IA: That’s what I thought for Napoleon. Of course now these are Defiance. Are’t they cute.
CW: Oh for heaven sake.
IA: I don’t know what to do with them either. Shoes and slippers. That was really risque in those days. Now they are right back at it again aren’t they. I don’t think you would want them in Napoleon.
IA: I don’t know where they came from.
MO: Is that Defiance? We could give them to Dan and Marilyn. Don’t they have a historical society up there at Defiance?
CW: They do.
IA: Charlotte, do you know what I call it - a hysterical society.
CW: (laughs) Sometimes it is.
MO: Maybe Dan and Marilyn could give those pictures to the historical society in Defiance.
IA: Here is a very nice picture.
CW: Now what is it, a condo?
IA: They live in a condo. There is 52 of them back there. They are Quakers. They praise God for the blessings that fire brings. The Lutherans posted a notice on the door declaring the fire was evil. The Roman Catholics passed a collection plate for the damage. The Jews posted symbols on doors hoping the fire would pass. The Congregationalists shouted every man for himself. The Fundamentalists claimed it was the vengeance of God. The Christian Scientist agreed among themselves that there was not a fire. And the Presbyterians appointed a chairperson who was to appoint a committee to look into the matter and make a written report to the session. And the Episcopalians formed a procession and marched out. I think that came from Donald our brother.
CW: Repeat the first couple of lines because I didn’t catch it.
IA: Here it says I came to Green Hills January 8, our brother Donald.
CW: Just the first couple of lines.
IA: Oh. to begin with.
IA: ‘During a recent ecumenical gathering someone rushed in shouting: The building is on fire. The Methodists gathered in the corner and prayed. The Baptists cried, where is the water. The Quakers quietly praised God for the blessings the fire brings.’
CW: It doesn’t have anything to do with Henry County but I think it would be interesting to most people to hear what was it like when you lost your place in the hurricane? How did you find out about it and what happened?
IA: I was in Malinta and it was August the 24th. today. I was going down the road here to get a permanent.
CW: What year?
IA: 1992. I will never forget it. I was going out the door and the phone rang. Myra said you might as well answer because it’s for you. It was always for me. So I did it and it was my neighbor and he said you better get down here if you want to salvage anything because he said your sliding glass doors in front are open and something has gone through it. I had good shutters, you were never there, you have no idea. He said the place is just a mess. Our courtyard was a square. There were four three bedrooms across from me and four two bedrooms here. A neighbor and I was in just one building. Our roofs blew off and water and insulation covered everything. Eight one-bedroom condos to the left of me were completely destroyed and a man in one of them was killed. Apparently a tornado hit them, just across the driveway from me. I did save pots, pans, dishes, and colletibles. The weather people decided hurricanes do form tornadoes.
End of tape.
|©2009 Henry County Historical Society|