Feather, Rita

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Rita Feather Oral History August 24, 2020

• 1:07:02 Interview Length

This is a transcribed version of the interview. It is meant to be transcribed not with grammar in mind but keeping to the words of the speakers along with the history and stories per the speakers.

SPEAKERS

Katy Benson, Rita Feather, Wayne Feather

Rita Feather-photo curtesy of Matt Feather

Katy Benson 

All right, I am here with Rita Feather. It is August 24th, around 7:40pm. And,

Rita Feather 

and I am Rita Kay Jennings Feather. Birthday, April 20th 1947.

Katy Benson 

Well, thank you for letting me come in and talk to you tonight. So and who are you married to?

Rita Feather 

I am married to Wayne Feather

Katy Benson 

which, we like to call you Grandma and Grandpa, which, if you don’t mind, why we call you grandma and grandpa?

Rita Feather 

Because when you guys were quite young, your parents went to Austria, I believe on a mission trip. And you were a baby at that time are quite young and your older brother and sister Jeff and Julie stayed with us because they were in school. So they were here about a month or so. And they called us mom and dad. So when you came along, then we were your grandma and grandpa. I’m sorry. You didn’t go…

Katy Benson 

No, it was my grandma Janice Benson and Wendell Benson and so they’ve been my aunt and my dad.

Rita Feather 

Yes.

Katy Benson 

So what? Where are you from?

Rita Feather 

I’m from Napoleon, Ohio

Katy Benson 

your from Napoleon,

Rita Feather 

Henry County, Yeah.

Katy Benson 

Okay. And who are your parents?

Rita Feather 

Robert and Norma Jennings.

Katy Benson 

And were they always from this area? Do you know?

Rita Feather 

Dad was mom was started out near closer to like, Leipsic in the Leipsic area. When she was littler and then eventually her folks moved to Napoleon my grandparents.

Katy Benson 

Did you have any like siblings?

Rita Feather 

I had a sister. Six years younger and she died two years ago. Okay, what was her name? Susie, Susie Susie Jennings and her maiden name was Sloane Susie Sloane.

Katy Benson 

Okay. And you have one child.

Rita Feather 

Yes, Matthew. Yes, Matt. And how many grandkids, two grandkids and a great grandchild great granddaughter.

Katy Benson 

So really, you’re a great person. I am great all through. There’s no denying. Great.   Um, let’s see, what do you remember as a child, if anything?

Rita Feather 

I grew up on a farm, which was wonderful. Like I said, My sister was six years younger, so we weren’t really close. Just because six years difference because when she came along, I was in school, but we played together as kids. I remember the biggest sand pile in the backyard and and playing in the sand pile.

Katy Benson 

Yeah.

Rita Feather 

And we would go back to the woods. We had woods on her for we just walked around back there and we didn’t often do it, but we would crawl up in the haymow and maybe play up there. We didn’t do that very often.

Katy Benson 

So when you say a farm, like what kind of farm was it did you have animals.

Rita Feather 

We had some cows and crops corn, soybeans, and wheat

Katy Benson 

and so were in Napoleon. Like what was

Rita Feather 

this was kind of off on this. They call it the South side of town basically yourself

Katy Benson 

in Napoleon. Okay, so on the other side of the river Do you remember your address?

Rita Feather 

route three, Napoleon, Ohio,

Katy Benson 

really

Wayne Feather 

county road 10 I think now that we just always

Rita Feather 

it was 11. Okay, well, he knows better than I do, 11 but it was route three. That’s all I needed to know.

Wayne Feather 

11

Katy Benson 

That’s fine because we have so many numbers and letters now. The route 3, well Yeah, I could be he could be anywhere right?

Rita Feather 

We lived back a long lane

Katy Benson 

I always wanted a long lane

Rita Feather 

it was nice.

Katy Benson 

And when where did you go to high school.

Rita Feather 

Napoleon

Katy Benson 

You went to Napoleon

Rita Feather 

 my whole life. Didn’t go to kindergarten because back then didn’t have to go. So I just turned out the first grade.

Katy Benson 

No preschool or kindergarten?

Rita Feather 

Pardon?

Katy Benson 

No preschool or kindergarten?

Rita Feather 

No, no back then. Now when my sister came along, I think, kindergarten she was six years younger. Like I said, I think kindergarten was offered but I don’t remember that she went to kindergarten either. It just it wasn’t mandatory at that time. Okay.

Katy Benson 

What year did you graduate?

Rita Feather 

1965

Katy Benson 

Do you have any high school memories?

Rita Feather 

yeah, I wasn’t a popular kid. really quiet and I wasn’t part of the in crowd but I like school. I did. I really enjoyed it.

Katy Benson 

What was your favorite subject?

Rita Feather 

I liked history, especially the English part of it. I’ve always been fascinated by the English, anything. And in high that was more elementary and junior high school I really liked like, typing in shorthand, because that’s the main course I didn’t want Do college. So I took a secretarial course I really enjoyed that I was really good at shorthand. Typing wasn’t as fast but

Katy Benson 

so did you get a job being a secretary out of high school?

Rita Feather 

I did. Just before I graduated, I started working for an attorney in Napoleon. Okay, and my secretarial teacher, bless her heart, she helped me get it. While I take that back, I started out working at an insurance office in Napoleon. And then just before I graduated, graduated, the brother of one of the insurance guys needed somebody in their law office, and they recommended me so that’s how I ended up. Like in May, the year I graduated just before I graduate, that’s when I started working at the law office and work there from 65 to 73. When I quit, to have our son.

Katy Benson 

Really? so, when did you get married?

Rita Feather 

1970 he got home from Vietnam. He was in Vietnam from 68 to 69. And he got home in June of 69. And we got married in February of 70

Katy Benson 

so why he was over in Vietnam, what did you do while he was gone?

Rita Feather 

I had a good time. I just went out with my girlfriends and I would often go over to either his folks and visit them. We got close with one of his cousins and an aunt in the Medina area. So sometimes on the weekends, I just get my 66 Mustang and take off and go spend the weekend down there and see family down there.

Katy Benson 

That’s awesome. What what what color was your Mustang?

Rita Feather 

It was gold with a blacktop not black vinyl because when I went to order it, they didn’t have any so they said we can paint it black. Okay. So.

Katy Benson 

So remind me, you got married before or after he went to war?

Rita Feather 

after he got back.

Katy Benson 

So then after Matt was born, did you stay home?

Rita Feather 

I did until he was in eighth grade. And then I went to work. The I had one job with my cousin’s insurance office that didn’t last long. And then, like I say, when Matt was in eighth grade, I started working in the cafeteria there in Liberty center and retired for 27 years later. I can’t believe I was I was there that long. But yeah,

Katy Benson 

I remember when you are in the cafeteria. Probably a lot of people do. Your ski was a quarter to you for whatever we wanted. I forgot. I was so generous. I because at that time, a little cup of ice cream was 50 cents. And so I use 25 cents for ice. And I pretty sure wasn’t supposed to do that. But I did it for my granddaughter. I think the boys, meaning my brothers. Did you do? Actually I think you did it for them too. 

Rita Feather 

I don’t remember.

Katy Benson 

I think I think they told me that you did? A couple times. Yeah. I mean, I know you were there.

Rita Feather 

Yeah. I remember, Kristofer and David. Yep. Because we really messed with one of their teachers, Mr. I can’t think of his name right now. The one that died well Oh shoot, because they kept calling me grandma and he was trying to figure out Oh, he’s your your Jeff’s mom then or whatever. I no. I said not legally and it just the poor guy Oberhouse. Mr. Oberhouse.

Katy Benson 

Yeah, yeah.

Rita Feather 

Randy. Yep. Oh, it was so much fun to mess with his mind.

Katy Benson 

I said, it’s all perfectly illegal. It’s true. We have a lot of aunts and grandparents that really aren’t our grandparents and aunts.

Rita Feather 

That’s a good thing.

Katy Benson 

That’s right.  Do you have any stories of working at the cafeteria besides us?

Rita Feather 

I loved working there. I loved watching the kids come through every year. I don’t know how many kids I would have seen go through from kindergarten through their senior year. I don’t know how many I followed like that. But in every year when we go back in the fall to see how some of these kids that either shot up or so totally changed in their looks, it was just fun. The thing I hated the most was mopping but we hated mopping. I still hate mopping but the rest of the job I liked. Because another gal and I ran the alacarte line

Katy Benson 

wasn’t it Mrs. Babcock do it for a while with you.

Rita Feather 

She ended up because I started out with Doris Reared and then when Doris retired Candy took over so he yeah Candy and I. Then I retired. Now it was fun. Because especially Candy and I being friends and going to church together. It was fun working together.

Katy Benson 

So when you were growing up, did you attend church? Did you have a church family?

Rita Feather  

The closest I come would be the Methodist Church in Napoleon, St. Paul United Methodist And as my sister and I got a little older, like maybe sixth grade, Junior High once in a while on Sunday morning mom would drop us off at church and then her parents lived in town so she just go down and visit with them. The only other time we were in the church and that was wasn’t often was maybe if there was a funeral there a wedding. So I had basically no religious background.

Katy Benson 

When did you start going to church? Since I already know you go to church.

Rita Feather 

When I started dating Wayne, basically start going to church with him and then we were married in that Methodist Church just because it was bigger than his family church. But then we went right back to his family church, and that’s where we were for a lot of years. Just a nice little country church and everybody knew everybody.

Katy Benson 

Mm hmm. So when did you start coming to Shiloh?

Rita Feather 

When Matt was in I think junior high, one of the women asked about him because the my boss at the school at the time went To Shiloh and her sister was in charge of the the kids club and she wondered if maybe Matt would be interested in coming because we were going to church in Archbold. And since it was to us far away, we only went on Sunday morning. So there was really nothing. No connection Matt had with the youth, unfortunately. And so since we lived in Liberty, we started going to Shiloh back, like I said, when Matt was like, Junior High possibly. And we’ve been there ever since. And he’s 47. I’m not sure how that happened either.

Katy Benson 

Right. anything particular like when he when Grandpa, or Wayne was at war, was there anything that you guys did to keep in contact

Rita Feather 

we wrote all the time, all the time. pen pals.

Katy Benson 

Which I know that from doing his oral history, you don’t have any other letters.

Rita Feather 

No. I don’t know why I threw him away. Because there was nothing in there. Nobody could read. You know, it’s no big deal, but I don’t know why I didn’t keep ‘em now that I look back on it would have been a good kind of follow through.

Katy Benson 

I mean, I mean, Im going to keep telling you that for a while. Yeah, no. Um, anything else? I mean, that you can tell us about your childhood maybe?

Rita Feather 

Well, like I said, growing up was wonderful. Just being on the farm. We always had cats. The one spring we had 29 cats between the mother cats and the kittens and eventually, by the time fall came, most of them were gone. They either ran away or who knows what happened to them? Yeah, that was the most cats we had at one time. And we always have a dog. Only one at a time. Do we always have a dog because when I first started growing up, it was a German Shepherd. And then it was a black dog named bud and then there was a his son so to speak, because he got real close with a neighbor, dog. His name Was Tippie because he was Brown and had a white tip on his tail. And then that’s the last I remember the dogs and when Wayne and I started dating, we had had Siamese cats. My grandparents gave us my sister and I each have male and female Siamese cat. So we had raised a couple batches of kittens. And the male that was mine was crosseyed. And so when Wayne and I started digging, he went to the Humane Society in Toledo wasn’t it?

Wayne Feather 

Yep.

Rita Feather 

And he found a male cross eyed Siamese cat. gave it to me, and I was just so amazed. I got home for work one day, he had no clue. This is all something he worked out with my parents. And I don’t remember Ching was sitting in the house. Or wait, was it Sam?

Wayne Feather 

Sam.

Rita Feather 

Sam? That’s right. My original was named Ching. I don’t remember he’s sitting in the window or so I’m when I got the house and here’s this cross eyed Siamese cat because by then mine was gone. And so we had him at that point. We got married and we brought him with us to Liberty And within a few months maybe or a year he went out one time and never came back so

Katy Benson 

is it true like Siamese cats dont needs to have a pair?

Rita Feather 

I never heard that. I just I just always heard that you shouldn’t let them near your kids cuz it’ll suck their breath like oh for Pete’s sake. What?! Suck… Supposedly suck their breath now it’s something to do with the smell of the milk. It’s an old wives tale.

Katy Benson 

That’s weird.

Rita Feather 

And then we got after Ching disappeared or after Sam disappeared then we got a female because again a gal I went to school with raised them so we got a kitten from her named her Sammy, Samantha. We had her for several years. And since we’ve been married, we’ve always had a dog to one at a time we had ended up going to have three dogs.

Katy Benson 

When I think of Siamese cats, I think of the Disney movie lady in the tramp. We are Siamese if you please  I love Disney.

Rita Feather 

But and like I said, just growing up on a farm it was just a neat life. And the really not neat part was we grew up with an outhouse. We did not have an indoor toilet. We had the tub in the sink in the bathroom. And this it was an old farmhouse. And our landlord didn’t see any reason. I mean, he lived in Mount Vernon, and he had all kinds of the indoor necessities he didn’t see any reason to put in in our house. So I grew up with an outhouse and never gave it a thought and a chemical toilet in the winter. So we didn’t have to go outside, which was disgusting.

Katy Benson 

I’ve heard of those too I think so he was telling me about that and how it was like in their basement or something  Hm mm that was where ours was. Yeah, that’s neat.

Rita Feather 

and then dad bless his Heart had to when that got full he had to take it up, carry it up as heavy as it was to carry and dump it somewhere on the field, I guess.

Katy Benson 

Wow.

Rita Feather 

There was like a white chemical in it. I don’t know what that was called anymore. But it was mixed with water and thats What you went in until it got disgusting and had to be changed

Katy Benson 

in the house for girls? I’m sure that was.

Rita Feather 

Oh, yeah, so it was fun and games. And the really fun part though, as far as the outhouse goes, since we had so many cats, you were never alone. Because no matter whether you went out in the morning or the evening, you always had cats that followed you and often they would sit on your lap while you were in the bathroom and keep your company and I know what sounds disgusting but that’s how we grew up. We never gave it a thought You don’t give it a thought.

Katy Benson 

So not having enough. So what other things like um, we were talking about outhouse.

Rita Feather 

Which lovely memory that had big lilac bush in front of it. I guess that was what was supposed to make it smell good. But at least we always had toilet paper because I remember hearing people talking about using the Sears catalog or whatever. Fortunately, we already said toilet paper. And then the really funny part was Yes, Wayne and I got married. It was probably two or three months after we moved out That the landlord finally decided to put a toilet but that was okay because we were married in our house hidden indoor toilet so I was thrilled to death that’s why I like to go visit my girlfriend’s in town and stay overnight with him because they had indoor toliet

Katy Benson 

the little things he did for her grandpa like a toilet. Um so like what other kinds of things like we grew up you know with like a color television.

Rita Feather 

But we started out with black and white,

Katy Benson 

black and white.

Rita Feather 

I always remember having a television. And I don’t remember when we got the colored one but it was black and white and we started up

Katy Benson 

what TV shows as you watch.

Rita Feather 

I remember. Captain Kangaroo and Romper Room and there were westerns on and Saturday night we watched the westerns and Lawrence Welk and that kind of stuff. Perry Mason, not necessarily on Saturday night. These are just the ones that there were a lot of Westerns Back then Gunsmoke and all kinds of stuff like that.

Katy Benson 

How about like, did you have a house telephone?

Rita Feather 

Yep. And it was a regular and we never had the crank. I remember my great grandparents having a great phone at their house, but we always had a regular dial

Katy Benson 

Did you have a party line.

Rita Feather 

Yep. To start with, it did. I don’t remember how long that lasted. But you know, we try not to listen in or anything, they pick it up, but it mostly I remember having a regular private line because eventually they switched it over. The regular rotary dial phones, none of this instant stuff,

Katy Benson 

right. I was talking to somebody about that to the other day about how everything is in the palm of your hand. Now, when I don’t know if it really was life was any simpler without it, but I feel like it would be a little bit

Rita Feather 

and then another thing from the youth, we hit milkman come because we had some milk cows and he pick up the milk because we started in like in the milk house that’s what we called it I’m thinking it was like had water in it possibly they put the milk cans down in the water, keep it cool till he could get there. And we had an outside pump for for water. Just it was out by the barn and there was a tin cup seriously that hung on it and anybody that wanted to drink, just pump the handle to prime it and drink out of it. So I don’t know how many different people poverty and drink on that cup and we never I don’t ever remember to eat in the house in Washing it. And then we used to have bread men come to our house. There’s a brand man. Yep, nickels, nickels, bread. Oh, nickels. Yeah, would come and mom could order her stuff off there. We had the fuller brush man that would come and sell like brushes and seems to me soap other household goods, household cleaners. And besides fuller brush, there was another one that I can’t think of right now. There were two different Oh shoot I can’t think of the other one but you know back then they came to the house

Katy Benson 

Yeah, there’s a lot of sales people that just door to door that’s how they made their living. Yeah,

Rita Feather 

exactly.

Katy Benson 

Now no we don’t want people knocking on our front door, go away

Rita Feather 

close the blinds shut off the lights pretend your not home

Katy Benson 

Don’t answer the door

Rita Feather 

the Raleigh man that was he sold a lot of like vanilla, the flavorings that kind of he handled more like spices that kind of thing was Raleigh man and then the fuller brush man was more cleaning products that kind of stuff

Katy Benson 

only people I remember would be the sweeper guy he’d come to her house there’s always were sweeper guys Like vacuum people .

Rita Feather 

I can remember that. But I’m not. I’m not real sure. Encyclopedia salesman.

Katy Benson 

Oh, yeah, that was one

Rita Feather 

I think that’s where we get our Encyclopedia Britannica. Probably was from the salesman

Katy Benson 

The Schwans man but he’s still while he doesn’t go to our house anymore, but he kind of

Rita Feather 

we didn’t have the Schwans man back then.

Katy Benson 

Well, you missed out.

Rita Feather 

Probably just as well. Homemade ice cream was good.

Katy Benson 

Yes, yes. Your favorite was what? Oh, just vanilla.

Rita Feather 

Oh, really? That was my one grandma’s favorite no matter what, how many flavors she’ll have vanilla

Katy Benson 

then I can add whatever I want. And some days I might not feel like this but then I can add that. But it’s always the same when I go to grandpa’s it’s always the same. Yeah, so when did you first start driving?

Rita Feather 

I was 16 and that was a big deal. Yeah, big deal. I could not wait to drive.

Katy Benson 

Where’s the first place you went?

Rita Feather 

The license Bureau to get my

Katy Benson 

you drove to get your license.

Rita Feather 

Well, I had my permit.

Katy Benson 

That’s true

Rita Feather 

but the thing is, I felt horrible. I flunked it the first time I flunked in parallel parking. I was devastated because all my friends are getting their licenses and I thought oh good so dad bless his heart. He took measurements or whatever set it up at home I practiced and practiced. So when I went back a week or two later, it took me the second try of pulling in but I passed the second time because I like I said, I was devastated. I didn’t pass the first time.

Katy Benson 

Well, Grandpa knows how well I do on tests Not very well.

Rita Feather 

I love driving.

Katy Benson 

who was what was your first car

Rita Feather 

that I actually owned?

Katy Benson 

Or you drove and then owned

Rita Feather 

Okay, I drove mom and dad 60 something Mercury is a big blue. That’s what we had I think at the time when I started driving. And then I bought Well, when I graduated in 1965, Mom and Dad got me a

Wayne Feather 

59

Rita Feather 

59 Ford blue in white, no power steering, I was used to power steering hand choke. I wasn’t used to. But I learned and I remember mom that I knew nothing about it. And Mom, there was a Ford dealer and Napoleon cross from chief supermarket. And Mom said, I want to take it. We’ll show you some. So we got in the car, and we drove through the parking lot. She said, there’s your graduation present. And I just started crying. Oh my gosh, I got my own car.

Katy Benson 

That’s awesome.

Rita Feather 

So that was neat. And her name was Freda because there was a dead fly behind the the instrument panel and my dad. All the years he lived he still remember the name of that car. He talked about freedom.

Katy Benson 

I think in my family, the only person that named their cars was Kristofer

Rita Feather 

Really, okay.

Katy Benson 

Yep. Well, I mean, we named our parents cars growing up but like, personally named their cars with Kristofer  Monicawas his black car. And poor Monica. Had to get sold Black. You might have been a Chevy, but doesn’t really matter.

Rita Feather 

It had to get sold.

Katy Benson 

Poor Monica. But um, so ask where’s the first like, besides going get your license? Where’s the first place? You’re like, I have my license where Did you go?

Rita Feather 

I honestly don’t remember. No, I don’t I just remember a lot of times on Friday nights, a lot of us girls would pile in my car I shouldn’t say alot. would get my car or whoever’s whoever’s trip was to drive, we get in the car and maybe go to defiance. Because there was a couple of dance places over there we go or bars, which really says a lot about my upbringing.

Katy Benson 

It was it was, I mean, were there much to do in Napoleon. I mean,

Rita Feather 

well, our big thing at that point was where George’s furniture is now was a place called the Metropole, which was a bar They would have bands come in and there was dancing and that’s where we kind of congregated on the weekends. I mean, kids from all over would come there.

Katy Benson 

Did you have to be a certain age to go?

Rita Feather 

That’s a good question. I knew we had to be a certain age to drink

Katy Benson 

was it 21

Rita Feather 

See? I’m trying to remember back that probably

Wayne Feather 

do three to beer.

Rita Feather 

Yeah, three two beer at 18. That’s right. You know, so

Katy Benson 

Whats that? Three two beer

Rita Feather 

low alcohol content. You couldn’t get any hard drinks like, like wine or whiskey or anything like that, which you could drink beer. Which I did a lot of back.then

Katy Benson 

And what so I guess how do I want to ask this question. Was there any big historical events that you remember? Growing up, like wars like presidential elections, anything

Rita Feather 

The first presidential election I remember was back. I don’t remember what year it was. But it was when Eisenhower became president. That’s the first person I remember. Yeah. And then, of course, as years went on, not only the elections, but there was then the moon. The whole issue with getting up to the moon and that kind of stuff and

Katy Benson 

being in this, this area, this rural community area. What was it? Like? I mean, you’re they always talk about, oh, well, you know, kind of like, you know, the movies or historical events, like, you know, they say, the experience of the people that actually were in it, or happening at that moment. What was it like living here? When it happens? You

Rita Feather 

we watched it on television. Yeah. Yeah. And it was fascinating. I mean, you can’t, you couldn’t imagine you could put somebody on the moon and they were walking on the moon that was beyond anything that we ever thought could happen. And then all this stuff stepped in since. Yeah.

Katy Benson 

Yeah. Crazy

Rita Feather 

And back then it was like with the wars. Well like World War Two, which is the closest one I knew of because my dad was in it. And then he got home mom and actually he didn’t mom got married before he left for overseas. He was in the seabees. And then he came home and then I was born and eventually my sister and then all the stuff that’s happened since World War Two that

Katy Benson 

did he talk about the war a lot.

Rita Feather 

Not a lot, but I don’t think he saw a lot of nasty action because the Seabees crew that he was with, they would build like runways, landing strips, that kind of stuff. And from what I remember him telling it was almost like it was a vacation for him.

Katy Benson 

Really,

Rita Feather 

that’s not the word he used but he didn’t see direct combat Sure.

Katy Benson 

So is definitely different than somebody who Did

Rita Feather 

Oh, definitely. Yeah.

Katy Benson 

I mean, everybody has to play their role in it rather they saw action or not to make it,

Rita Feather 

sureit to make it all work and all fit together. So

Katy Benson 

he still served

Rita Feather 

under the served his time. just happened Thank the Lord. Yeah, it wasn’t a danger zone so to speak, not that ever mentioned you were never been born that’s right in the world would have been worse off for so much better

Katy Benson 

What would you have done without grandma

Rita Feather 

been boring

Katy Benson 

any other historical events that you can think of or remember, who was the first president that you voted for? Do you remember

Rita Feather 

No, I don’t. There was thinking of Nixon, but I think I was too young. For him, maybe whoever was after Nixon. Well, I couldn’t vote to your What 21 really or was it 18 21 wasn’t it

Wayne Feather 

I think so

Katy Benson 

really some but isn’t now 18 I wonder why they did that?

Rita Feather 

I don’t know. Maybe people whined about it

Katy Benson 

and maybe they needed more voters

Rita Feather 

Yeah there you go let’s lower the age bring them in. That’s good Katy

Katy Benson 

Any other big events? You can think of?

Rita Feather 

Not that I can think of offhand because everybody knows how things have advanced. Yeah. With the space program and the different wars and just the new phones and all these new innovations. Just can’t imagine

Katy Benson 

keep going. Yeah. I mean, like is the

Rita Feather 

end people have said this, a lot of this stuff showed up on Star Trek.

Katy Benson 

It did. Blame Star Trek And there was another TV show too that they blame onto but I forget. Star Trek was a big one.

Rita Feather 

Yeah, definitely

Katy Benson 

it was

Rita Feather 

when we look back on it now and what we watch them and what they did, I thought, Oh, come on and it’s happening. It’s come to reality.

Katy Benson 

Captain Kirk will play Captain Kirk I know this.

Rita Feather 

Robert Oh, come on Rita

Katy Benson 

Dad is gonna be ashamed of me. I

Rita Feather 

Robert, Robert Conrad.

Katy Benson 

No. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter. But okay, so what I really want to know is, how did grandpa propose to you?

Rita Feather 

He got home from Vietnam. And while he was there, I found out later he bought my engagement ring.

Katy Benson 

He bought it in Vietnam.

Rita Feather 

Yep,

Katy Benson 

Really? Thats cool.

Rita Feather 

because we went shopping before he left. He said lets go look at engagement rings, and he said now don’t get excited I am not getting you a ring now because in case something happens to me I don’t want you to have worry about that. So we went and looked at rings so he had an idea of what I liked.  and when his lutient came home just a couple weeks before he did and he gave the him the ring. His lutent lived in California and so i flew out to California and met him so we went to his lutients and the first night we were together after 14 months he asked me to marry him and he whipped out the rings and I couldn’t have picked out a better set so he did a beautiful job so we got engaged in California.

Katy Benson 

Wow! That is cool. How long was it before you got like, came home? Like how long we were California.

Rita Feather 

Came home you get home in June of 69. And we were married in February of 70.

Katy Benson 

 How long were you dating before?

Rita Feather 

We met in 66. November of 66 and got married in February of 70. Because part of that time to begin with, he was at Michigan State in college and then he got drafted into the service and he had to serve that time. And then so we like I said, it’s we were like pen pals for most of the years we went together because I wrote him in college and then wrote him in Vietnam.

Katy Benson 

I how many years apart are you?

Rita Feather 

 I am five months older than he is. So he’s always said I married an older woman

Katy Benson 

did not know that.

Rita Feather 

The first family one of the first family reunions I ever went with to him on his mom’s side. I didn’t know till later he went around telling like aunts that I was five years older than he.Then eventually he I know I said five bullets.

Katy Benson 

Do you have any nieces or nephews from your sister?

Rita Feather 

No, she never had kids. We’ve got nieces and nephews on his side. But I don’t have any

Katy Benson 

you guys move to Liberty right after we were married, did you do guys, this is your first house?

Rita Feather 

We lived at the other end of the street runs West Maple Street. And we were there from February to July and we bought this house in July of 70. And I’ve been here ever since 50 years.

Katy Benson 

That’s pretty cool. Are there anybig moments in your marriage besides having Matt that you guys did together? You guys travel anywhere?

Rita Feather 

We never went a lot of places. We never took a lot of vacations. Probably the first one maybe we ever took was down to North Carolina to see one of your buddies went to Seabrook. And we once in a while would go to North Carolina we had friends from that we made here down there once in a while but we just weren’t

Katy Benson 

 Where at in North Carolina?

Rita Feather 

Andersonville now, thank you, dear.

Katy Benson 

I don’t really know much we just know where Raliegh is.

Rita Feather 

is there a Asheville?

Katy Benson 

Okay, I think. Okay.

Rita Feather 

And we’re still in touch with them to this day. That’s awesome. Yeah. A long time. Yeah, we didn’t do a lot of traveling or vacations. We just worked.

Katy Benson 

Did you have a honeymoon?

Rita Feather 

Yes. We got married in Napoleon went all the way to Defiance, to the Holiday Inn and then the next day we were back in Toledo and we saw a movie and we did some shopping to kind of get some things for the house. It was a very short honeymoon because he had to be back to work on Monday. I had the week off, but

Katy Benson 

they didn’t give me much time for your honeymoon.

Rita Feather 

Our marriage has been one long honeymoon.

Katy Benson 

Like she’s admitting it.

Rita Feather 

But I’m laughing at the same time.

Katy Benson 

I know I think it’s better than that don’t you grandpa?

Wayne Feather 

Yeah

Rita Feather 

First Matt’s graduation was a big deal and then his marriage and that’s right. And having the kids and now he’s a grandpa, which makes us feel a little old but not too much.

Katy Benson 

Hannah just graduated high school.

Rita Feather 

She graduated the spring

Katy Benson 

which they had a unique graduation because of the Coronavirus

Rita Feather 

was that much of a graduation at all but it worked and what was neat was we couldn’t ride with him in the car up there like we planned on because Hannah’s his brother so that didn’t give us enough room but they telavised it so we get to sit in the office here and watch it That’s cool. So that that was good and then Matt would text us  Okay, mom was the next one’s up so it was when we knew Hannah was gonna be up

Katy Benson 

It’s gotten so much bigger, like so many more kids graduating at a time than when I was in school. You know, I mean,

Rita Feather 

you remember how many when you’re graduating class?

Katy Benson 

Yes We had 72 or 74.

Rita Feather 

Okay,

Katy Benson 

we had one well had two pass away. So one was my junior year and one was my senior year. One was a good friend of mine, which is he, we were actually just like a week before we plan on getting together and hanging out and stuff. That never happened. But he was a nice guy and the other guy. I knew him but he went to four county so like we weren’t like, close friends or anything like that. I had a couple classes with them. But then we also had some that were kind ofbarely making it able to walk.Just because they were not because they weren’t like bad kids or anything they just like to toe the line a little bit but 72 I think it was I mean, Kristofer and David were in the 90’s. That was pretty good. I think I don’t remember how many Elizabeth had. But I mean, she was averaged around that to everybody in high school. I mean, I remember everybody in high school we like, to this day when you could go from say, Hi, you know, things like that.

Rita Feather 

Thats neat.

Katy Benson 

just kind of cool. But we played sports together or something. I mean, we weren’t best friends and hang out on the weekend. But we knew each other enough to Yeah, we were in your graduating class do you remember,

Rita Feather 

I think around 120. Napoleon, it was a bigger, bigger school.

Katy Benson 

I guess the Napoleon is always Yeah. Been a little bit bigger. Yeah.

Rita Feather 

Tell her how many were in your graduating class at Grand Rapids.

Wayne Feather 

55

Katy Benson 

55.

Rita Feather 

And that was the biggest class he said at that point.

Katy Benson 

That’s kind of nice and neat. So you knew everybody pretty much.

Wayne Feather 

Right

Katy Benson 

Yeah, some of the schools now are like, thousands and they split up into two or three different schools and like what? Yeah. So did you have a best friend that stuck with you for?

Rita Feather 

Yes, her name is Judy. We started being friends in junior high and have stayed friends. All these years still are

Katy Benson 

She still around here.

Rita Feather 

She lives in Ottawa. Her husband and her live in Ottawa. And we text a lot and talk call each other a lot. And then another gal we became friends in junior high. Sixth grade, actually, her parents, they were Canadians, and they moved down here because her dad worked for Campbell Soup. And we are still in contact. We’re still friends after all these years since Junior High sixth grade for her.

Katy Benson 

So that’s neat. Were you involved in any sports?

Rita Feather 

Not really. I wasn’t interested in sports. I mean, it was in GAA girls Athletic Association, but a whole bunch of girls were I really liked archery in high school is really good in archery.

Katy Benson 

Ah, that’s how she won your heart to

Rita Feather 

 just shot right in the heart.

Katy Benson 

That’s that’s what that scars from that you told me earlier, not the leech from from grandma.

Rita Feather 

I was just that guy that was here today about that story.

Katy Benson 

So since we are recording, and this is a separate thing, so Wayne was in the service and there’s leeches and one. He said he couldn’t feel it. And so it was sucking on him and he has a scar. And he told us, right in his chest, yeah, right by his heart. And he said that he came home and he said he was shot. And Rita believed him until later. So that’s why We’re talking about

Rita Feather 

with that would have been a bullet I would have been dead.

Katy Benson 

Did I get that about right, the story Yeah you did very good Memory dear. We’re so proud. Thank you. It’s not always there. I’ll never forget that one.

Rita Feather 

Me either.

Katy Benson 

Im sure you wont. So when you met I keep wanting to call grandpa Wayne, for purpose of recording. What would car was he driving?

Rita Feather 

We have this neat Cadillac. What was this 70? 60 Cadillac, Big Blue Sucker. I loved Cadillacs. I always love Cadillacs. We met at a party in a basement. Because my girlfriend was dating. We found out later his one of his buddies. And this was Dale’s going away party, the Air Force. So he said we’ll bring some friends. Come over. And we did and we walked down in the basement and there’s Wayne holding a handful of field corn. And it just kinda took off from there. And I really loved the Cadillac because he took a bunch of us out for ride. And I had a 66 Mustang that he really liked. And then once I really liked him and stuff, then he told me the car was his dads. I was. Oh by that time I was hooked. So yeah. So that and like I said, meeting in the basement, I always figured our relationship had nowhere to go but up.

Katy Benson 

In that sense, it’s true. How many years exactly has it been married?  We’ve been married 50 years is this past February 2020 50 years Well, no, March, January, February, March. So march was the beginning of basically COVID wasn’t it? Technically how So did we have? Do we have a party for you guys?

Rita Feather 

No.

Katy Benson 

Why not?

Rita Feather 

Because are son didn’t think about it.

Katy Benson 

Well, everything with COVID now is getting pushed back a year. So like Henry County, it’s 200 year this year.

Rita Feather 

Oh I didn’t know that.

Katy Benson 

And it’s the is it,  I’m gonna get it wrong, but the Henry County Historical Society is their big monument year as well. So with COVID. You know, you can’t really do anything so we are pushy all the celebrations back until next year. So that’s what we should. We should have a party for you.  We’ll give we’ll give Matt a little leeway there.

Rita Feather 

 Okay. In speaking of monumental things, they have just recently taken the Lady Justice down to the courthouse as I drove through Saturday. afternoon and she was on this low trailer. Yeah, like with a call drop deck trailer, sitting right by the Hon center there. in Napoleon as I drove through to get groceries I I told Wayne I wished I would have stopped and taken a picture. Yeah, she didn’t look near as big as I thought she would now in the paper today

Katy Benson 

was she standing up or she was she laying down

Rita Feather 

upright,

Katy Benson 

 really

Rita Feather 

now the paper today in the northwest that says she’s 13 feet tall, and I didn’t want that tall to me, but I guess you know what, she’s way up high. And I just figured she was huge and she wasn’t that big.

Katy Benson 

Why did they take her down? I never

Rita Feather 

she needs repairs.

Katy Benson 

Okay, so then they’re gonna put it back up.

Rita Feather 

They’re gonna try to be said in the paper today. They said they’d have to X ray and see what condition the metal is in her framework or whatever to see. If they can’t repair her, they’ll replace it.

Katy Benson 

Okay, I wouldn’t like we were talking about that at our meeting, the Historical Socity meeting. And this is news to me. But then I also don’t follow really any new cycles at all. So I have no idea Do I also don’t live in town either? So I feel just send the paper home with you.

Rita Feather 

And on the front page there are pictures

Katy Benson 

Read all about it.

Rita Feather 

Yeah, extra extra.

Katy Benson 

Yeah.  That’s really cool. I hope somebody,  I’m sure somebody from the Historical Society was there.

Rita Feather 

Oh, I would imagine I can’t imagine it wouldn’t have been easy. But like I said, on the back page, there’s more. It’s just an I was just fascinated driving through, I almost pulled over. And I wish that I could kick myself now for not pulling over and taking a picture of it.

Katy Benson 

Well, I guess for me, I don’t even know where I got it from. I think I’m gonna blame aunt Jennifer for it. For scrapbooking and pictures, I don’t know, it’s always been one of those things. And so my friends always gives me a hard time about taking so many pictures. I’ll never have time to scrapbook them all. But yeah, I would have shot myself too if I was to take picture now.

Rita Feather 

I mean, I’ll never get that close to that statute again.

Katy Benson 

I mean, If it’s a monument it’s not like Lady Liberty in New York or anything

Rita Feather 

But its our Lady Justice.

Katy Benson 

That’s right. That’s right. That’s pretty cool.  I’m just glad I got to see her.  Yeah, that’s for sure. Oh, it’s really awesome. Not many people can say that they will ever have a chance.

Rita Feather 

Oh, no. It was funny. There’s a thing in here it said there was a bicycling group from California,

Katy Benson 

California

Rita Feather 

traveling across the country stepped into point and Saturday afternoon for lunch and learned about the courthouse. Four bicyclists for California of all places.  And happened to be here when she came down.

Katy Benson 

Thank you. Yeah I will read that.

Rita Feather 

 Okay.

Katy Benson 

So I am ask this  because I always like to know what favorite color?

Rita Feather 

Purple. I believe

Katy Benson 

what?

Rita Feather 

What! A shocker

Katy Benson 

Yeah, we’re sitting here and everything’s purple.

Rita Feather 

And I don’t have any purple on today, just a wine in my glasse right now

Katy Benson 

 yeah you do in your bracelet

Rita Feather 

my granddaughter,  that Hannah gave me Yes. granddaughter gave me that? because usually I pretty much dressed in purple.

Katy Benson 

Yeah, your hair purple for a while.

Rita Feather 

I did. I just didn’t take time to spray it today.

Katy Benson 

So, if you don’t mind me asking. I know you’ve struggled with some health issues. What were they?

Rita Feather 

I am a breast cancer survivor goes back I Wayne and I both retired in 2013. And I felt in the fall before we went back to school in the fall of 2012. I just felt God speaking to to me saying it’s time to retire because like I said, I’ve been there 27 years and It was just really firm. So I told my boss about it in December so and then I retired in May of 2013. He retired in what November and into 2014. Our health just went to pot because he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2014. In really odd in October of 2014, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month is when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. So at the end of October, I had a mastectomy and then starting in December of 2014 through 2015. I went through chemotherapy and radiation. Thank the Lord, I’m a survivor and then yeah, that was not a fun time. But with a sense of humor. I got through it and I made some good friends. I’m still really close friends with another couple we met there because I found out while taking treatments when this guy was that he was in Vietnam. So I told Wayne to come with me the next time so we got to be good friends with him and his wife, Chrissy and Wayne had so much in common. And then another gal that was there. I call her my chemo buddy Linda because I have three friends named Linda. Come to find out she is really good friends with a guy I graduated with so that just cemented our friendship and the both of us going through breast cancer at the same time in the treatment. That’s pretty cool.  So it was it was a great time actually, it wasn’t exactly fun. But like I said, I have a good sense of humor. So   I got through it and God was right there every step of the way. And lots of good friends and family praying for us. Yes.

Katy Benson 

Yes, you do Yeah, same with Grandpa over here to see my grandpa over here.

Rita Feather 

Yes, exactly. He said cancer three different times. So here he is.

Katy Benson 

So I’m pretty sure I asked you this but what came first the cancer or Parkinson’s?

Rita Feather 

cancer

Katy Benson 

cancer first which Kind of lead into the Parkinson’s Is that correct?

Rita Feather 

Well, yeah I eventually because he the first cancer about was in 1990 and then diagnosed in 2014 with the Parkinson’s And then eventually he had cancer of the bowel and then of the bladder and then cancer ended up in like his jaw. But Praise the Lord.

Katy Benson 

Here you are.

Rita Feather 

were tough old bird last name Feather, birds

Katy Benson 

Which we found out that before we started the interview, I was sharing with Wayne over here where his ancestors came, we went back six generations with him and his dad side. So the Feather side and they came from England, which you always joked that you were Native American, which did come up and I searched, but it wasn’t right.

Rita Feather 

It was just to me it was just too obvious, Native American.

Katy Benson 

And I always do you still sign your name with the feather?

Rita Feather 

sometimes. Yeah. Instead of signing my name I’ll just tape or feather on the card and yeah, oh yeah, I just did that recently. They’re usually purple feathers. If I can find it small, it depends on what size the card is and how much room I have. Sometimes I have to go to a different color. And there are times that I’ve used a stamp that was in the shape of a feather stamp. He had purple,

Katy Benson 

purple, of course

Rita Feather 

and stamped it on now.

Katy Benson 

So just going back a little bit. Okay, so your last name is Jennings. Did you have a relationship with like real grandparents around here or great grandparents  I had. On my dad’s side. I never knew my grandparents on my mom’s side because they were just enough older. But I had great grandparents on dad’s side, both his mom’s and his dad’s parents. I knew them. my great grandparents. Did you spend a lot of time with them or  not a lot. But once in a blue moon or like on a Sunday afternoon, we take a drive and end up at their house just to visit. That’s what’s on my dad’s side. On his mom’s side. Usually they had his grandparents had the family reunions because they bought a farm in the country and we go there for the family reunions. And like I said, mom’s side was just enough older I didn’t know her grandparents. I knew my grandparents, folks. And they lived in Napoleon and my grandparents on my dad’s side lived inNapoleon too so we saw them quite often. What was your mom’s occupation?

Rita Feather 

Well, let’s see. Mainly being a mother. I mean, she worked it i think that i said the telephone company or the farm but I can’t remember what she did when she first got out of school. And then she and dad got married and had us my sister night. And eventually she went back to work at Chief Supermarket actually and she was working there when our son Matt was born 70 teeth in the same place. Yeah, she started out at the Chief in Napoloen and ended up at the as the head of the deli in Defiance Chief.

Katy Benson 

Okay, I’ve been that one but I don’t know if that’s the original chief or not on the other side of the river

Rita Feather 

 Yeah, I think an old Chief but that’s where she ended up working then and then eventually retired. And she helped a lot on the farm. She was a good farm wife. So she takes you know, fixed meals for dad and grandpa and take it to them in the field at noon. And or if they were coming in the house, she always had dinner ready for him and she was a hard worker. We always had a big garden and she did a lot of canning and freezing

Katy Benson 

Then that could pass on to you.

Rita Feather 

Nope. At one point I did can tomatoes I remembered how to do that mom helped me through that. But then I just decided it’s just easier to go to a farmers market or something because I tried gardening for two years did not turn out well. So I just decided to use the farmers market or through the stores.

Katy Benson 

And was the grocery experience different than it is now? That’s a good question. I mean, I don’t remember. It’s always been the same for me. So, but I remember like, maybe in the 40s 50s that, you know, they have their occupation called checkers, and they like, Oh, that’s true. You’re right. And they were called checkers. Just as a different experience, and you would have now,can you remember?

Rita Feather 

 I guess I didn’t pay a lot of attention back then. Because I was younger. It wasn’t until I actually got married in 70 that I started really really paying attention to the grocery store because I was the one that had to do the shopping and then you and I took my one grandma’s shopping often cuz she couldn’t drive the one grandma and then my other grandma like could drive we would take off and go to Toledo shopping and spend time together. I mean, I had different relationships with both my grandma’s just because of the circumstances And I’m just so thankful because there are people nowadays basically don’t know their grandparents because they live too far away. And I am so thankful I was raised with my grandparents and great grandparents.

Katy Benson 

I think that is hard

Rita Feather 

But I think kids that don’t know their grandparents or great grandparents, and it’s so sad, I’m just so thankful that I did.

Katy Benson 

So you didn’t really go to church or anything until after you met Wayne. So from remembering his like, story, what was it like for you when he called you and he said, Hey, I want a Bible. What do you think?

Rita Feather 

It was neat? Because, well, I wasn’t saved though by the time he went overseas. He was we found out later. But I just I did the best I could at that point because I wasn’t saved. And we committed until after we were married, and he got home for Vietnam and after we were married, because we got married in February, I think it was about July that we got saved because there was a an evangelist at our church and his mom went forward and his brother and sister in law went forward all that day. And we’re all saved and but back then when he asked for the Bible, I I don’t even remember where I got it. At least I made sure he had one.

Katy Benson 

Do you remember?

Wayne Feather 

Gilbert, the drugstore

Katy Benson 

Gilbert, from the drugstore? Really? Wow

Rita Feather 

I don’t think they sold Bibles at the drugstore.

Katy Benson 

Maybe they did. I don’t know.

Rita Feather 

But anyway, I made sure he got one, just don’t remember where.

Katy Benson 

So I know since he is sitting here with us I kinda would like to ask him some questions a little bit too but so when I was doing your family history and I saw on your parents gravesite there was a, maybe a memorial to Glen and it said something like what did it say? I’d have to look it up but say something about very encouraging spiritual. That was your brother, correct?

Wayne Feather 

Yes.

Katy Benson 

 And he died in a car accident. Correct.

Wayne Feather 

Thats right, 1957.

Katy Benson 

That’s right.  And that was the brother that you’re talking about that went to with you to

Rita Feather 

know I never knew Glen, it was before I came into the family.

Katy Benson 

So was he saved? Was he the one that passed while going to get for schooling for being a pastor? Or am I not remember?

Rita Feather 

Yes, you’re right.

Katy Benson 

I’m right. Okay. I just couldn’t think of remember when I was reading that one I was looking it up. I’m like, Oh, I know. He told me but I can’t remember. Anything else you can think of off the top of you head. I mean,

Rita Feather 

I can’t think anything.

Katy Benson 

Favorite food, just random questions. I like to ask

Rita Feather 

lobster tail.

Katy Benson 

Really? Chocolate lots of chocolate. You really like lobster tail, do your chocolate on your lobster tail?

Rita Feather 

No. No. Not that bad. No, no. I like the lemon butter dip the lobster and lots of chocolate otherwise preferably dark chocolate, but milk chocolate will work too.

Katy Benson 

So if you think we travel anywhere before, like, Is there anything on your bucket list that you’d think of?

Rita Feather 

England? I would love to England like I said, I’ve always been fascinated because when I was in like fifth grade my girlfriends and I would one of us would be Queen Elizabeth and one of us would be Queen Victoria. And I always wanted to be Queen Elizabeth because that was the newer one so to speak, but she she got that and we would just play like during recess. I just remembered doing that. I don’t remember exactly what we did. But like I said, since fifth grade, I’ve been fascinated by anything British. Yeah.

Katy Benson 

I aske you your favorite food, favorite restaurant.

Rita Feather 

Olive Garden. I love Italian food.

Katy Benson 

Yep, they don’t have lobster tail.

Rita Feather 

I don’t care. That’s My favorite is the Olive Garden my favorite place to go.

Katy Benson 

I have always wanted to learn how to cook lobster, but it’s kind of expensive so it’s not something you can like trial and error. But I love seafood.

Rita Feather 

He allergic to it so shrimp and lobster oh yes it’s nasty.

Katy Benson 

So just you eat it or if like you come close to it like touches cuz some I mean there’s different

Rita Feather 

Far we know right now if he eats it

Katy Benson 

So really shell fish.

Rita Feather 

Now, he can eat clams. No problem but lobster and shrimp. Oh, not a good thing.

Katy Benson 

What happens?

Rita Feather 

He gets really sick.

Katy Benson 

really sick

Rita Feather 

really sick. Wow. Not a nice thing to go through.

Katy Benson 

Well remind me not to feed that to you. I will eat all you can get me but I love to go somewhere like on a coast somewhere and just eat all the seafood I want

Rita Feather 

that would be good.

Katy Benson 

But you need lots of money, because it is expensive. I will have to remember that. Maybe we should go sometime just for fun.

Rita Feather 

Yes. We should.

Katy Benson 

 Okay. Do you like it too?

Wayne Feather 

Yeah. I think the man’s Italian, steak.

Katy Benson 

Oh, the man’s Italian, Steak. It took me while to get that one.

Rita Feather 

Tahnk you. I was getting it either.

Katy Benson 

Speaking of steak, in case you didn’t know the log cabin is serving food now.

Rita Feather 

Oh, they don’t have the truck anymore. They’re actually open?

Katy Benson 

Well, I think they sell the truck, serve food and then the piece of it survived the fire.

Rita Feather 

Okay. have a friend that she and her brother go out there quite often on Wednesdays and have lunch and she the last one there last week she said they were still have using the truck.

Katy Benson 

From what I have heard. I’d like to go but I don’t have know if they are serving steak,  but I would assume they were. I don’t know for sure. I hope so. Cuz I like their steaks.

Rita Feather 

I’m never seen this sort of thing. I’m not a big steak eater.

Katy Benson 

 Well, will not talk to her for a few minutes.

Rita Feather 

You guys.

Katy Benson 

will talk about steak for awhile. Have you had the Log Cabin’s steak?

Wayne Feather 

Yeah

Rita Feather 

I don’t think you ever did. Because we were there with Karen and Paul and somebody else. I don’t know that you ever had steak did ya? I think it was more hamburgers and stuff.

Katy Benson 

They do have that. That’s pretty good. But I liked your steak. Now that I’m old enough like I still this is the deal more growing up like my parents when you know when we go out and we were you know, just to the age of just working hard and earning money. They’d still buy us, you know our food occasionally. But once we started earning money, if we wanted something, we you know, we would pay for it. And so now that I’m old enough, I’m gonna get my steak. I’m gonna pay for the steak. I don’t care.

Rita Feather 

That would be the last thing I’m more for seafood because I don’t use any kind of fish or anything at home because I can’t fix it like you can get in a resturant.

Katy Benson 

I tried. Well, there’s this really good. You can’t eat it, but there’s this really good recipe that I have. It’s a seafood. Well, it’s really a shrimp linguini it’s not alfrado out there or anything like that. It’s super good. I learned from my good friend rich for Rich Veereke. He should have been a chef. But I love cooking,  he he likes the attention to detail like I like and he likes the science behind it. I like science. So I just go over and we cook together and he teaches me then well this one is one that and it never will go bad and it’s so good. And it’s really simple like four or five ingredients like that. You can also put substitute like chicken and egg or whatever. Okay, we’ve done chicken and shrimp was done. I like muscles.

Rita Feather 

And I like my muscle fan

Katy Benson 

you put it in there and get enough butter on it and garlic.

Rita Feather 

See, I was with my sister one time when she ordered muscles. And there was a lot of garlic and butter involved.

Katy Benson 

Well, I think these are just frozen like you could get Walmart and they come in their shells precooked, but you just cook them for like five minutes like steam them. And then you have to take them out of the shells, which is a lot of work. But I’ll eat it. It’s worth it in th end. Yeah, like seafood. I like my serf and turf. So I get my steak in. steak and shrimp. I love mushrooms. That comes after mushrooms. Put it on there. I like my surf, turf and fungus. Baby amin mushrooms or fungus.

Rita Feather 

I love mushrooms to but your calling them fungus, thats funny. is true they are.

Katy Benson 

Well, we will have to go  out to the Olive Garden. I haven’t been in a long time. I will have to see if they had because I love pasta too. Yeah, I wonder if they have any I’m sure. See, that’s the thing with it’s just like subway. Like your a sandwich place. You should have an option for gluten free. Oh, you know what I mean?  I haven’t thought about the gluten already?  Yeah. So I’d have to see if they have gluten. If not, I don’t know. Yeah. You can come to if you like.

Wayne Feather 

 okay.

Rita Feather 

I can eat pasta.

Katy Benson 

I love pasta

Rita Feather 

me too. Oh my gosh

Katy Benson 

I don’t think I can think of anything else can you?

Rita Feather 

I just remember going back again to basically childhood well even in in high school, the times I spent with my grandparents, especially my grandma’s because one was just this meek little sweet little grandma fantastic cook and I got to where I would take her shopping like said she couldn’t drive and I was just enough taller than her even though being only five two, I was enough taller, I could reach things up high enough. I just felt so good because grandma was only like four ten

Katy Benson 

She was shorter than you?

Rita Feather 

Yes, she was shorter than me. In my family. On my mom’s side I was the tallest really like two and a half at that point. And mom and then my aunt and then my grandma.

Katy Benson 

How tall are  you right now?

Rita Feather 

five two, I lost a half inch over the years.

Katy Benson 

Five, two and a half will give it to her.

Rita Feather 

Yeah

Katy Benson 

I used to be the tallest of my siblings. Okay. And then my brother shot upand I enjoy looking up to them.

Rita Feather 

Men you can look up to that’s a good thing.

Katy Benson 

I can I really can. And like I say to Kristofer, sometimes I need to tell him like I need my older younger brothers help.

Rita Feather 

Your older younger brother. I like that. He is. That’s true he is your older younger brother. That’s funny.

Katy Benson 

Alright? Well, at this point at time, I can’t think of any other questions. Do you have any other questions? We should ask her. That we forgot

Wayne Feather 

 Can’t think of anything.

Katy Benson 

No. Okay. You’re off the hook. Okay. Interview over. And out.  Thank you for taking the time to do that.

Rita Feather 

It was fun. Just like when you interviewed grandpa. That was fun.

Katy Benson 

Well, thank you.

Both Rita and Wayne-photo curtesy of Matt Feather

“This oral history was a pleasure to do just like most are, however it is even more of a pleasure to have done Rita’s oral history because she had mentioned that she had no idea where her family was from or really any idea of her genealogy. Now her history will live on for future generations to here and read. I really enjoyed laughing and talking with both Rita and Wayne. I have had the privilege to call them Grandma and Grandpa my entire life! These relationships even if they are not blood, the ones you truly care for and love with last forever! Thank you for loving me like a true granddaughter.” -Katy Benson

6 thoughts on “Feather, Rita”

  1. Rita, so nice to read your interview! My grandparents are from Napoleon and Liberty Center and I wondered if we were related? My great great grandmother was Melissa Jane Jennings Bortel.

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    1. Denise, so glad that you enjoyed the interview! I really enjoyed doing her interview. I also did her genealogy for her and I looked up Melissa Jane Jennings (Bortel) and you are relation. Melissa Jane Jennings would be a third cousin to Rita and that would make you a third cousin (I believe) to her on the Bortel side. So neat to find out! Rita, I was going to tell you to go read the book I gave you, but I decided to look it up quick for you Denise. If you would like to know more about how you are related, I am going to do some more research for myself to give to Rita, I would be happy to share that with you! Denise, where are you located now?

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      1. Thank you for your quick reply and I’m excited to hear we are related.I am in southeast Michigan and wrote earlier in the year about coming to Napoleon to speak with you but waiting for safer times to visit.

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