P.O. Box 443, Napoleon, OH 43545

Henry County, Ohio, Historical Society


Interviewed by Charlotte Wangrin, 2007

CW: I am Charlotte Wangrin and I am recording the oral histories for Mr. and Mrs. Harold Lanzer. Would you tell them your name please.

ML: I am Marilyn Lanzer.

HL: I am Harold Lanzer.

CW: And you live where.

HL: I live a mile east of Holgate on Route 18.

CW: Do you have any stories or things that have come down through your family that you could tell about from this area?

HL: My Dad had said a few years ago before I wrote my story and autobiography .

CW: Where is that being stored?

HL: I have a copy of the book. The book never really got around the country very much. The story is nice and I have been thinking about getting it reprinted. My building is done now and people can read the book there.

CW: That would be interesting. I would like to be able to read that sometime.

HL: My dad told about different things. He never talked too much.In fact he never took us boys along with him much . We more or less just sort of growed up by ourselves. We madeour own toys and everything for Christmas. He said one time he told me that him and his brother Walter, when his dad went to town they had to stay home and do all the work. It ended up they did each get a farm of their own, so it ended all right. He told how they used to go down to the stave mill real close to them. It was about a mile down the road, a stave mill. We would always go down and watch.

CW: For the old barrels?

HL: Yes, they made barrels. He said it was kind of interesting and they would get pretty close and always got chased away. It had dangerous equipment in it I guess with the saws and stuff. He said what him and Walter used to do was when the Lanzers moved from Illinois in 1907 they had to clear the land. They had 20 acres out of 160 acres that were clear. He had a house built on it. I don’t know if they had a barn or not. He said what they used to do for fun, this is kind of comical , why they had an old mud boat and would load up the snags and pile it so high so the mules couldn’t pull it.

CW: Oh for heavens sake!

HL: They would pile it so high it would fall over and then they would have to load it up again.

CW: So that was pretty good.

HL: So I wrote that up in my own book.

CW: Now what sort of toys did you make?

HL: We made everything. According to the season. Fall time and summer time and hunting time it would be bows and arrows. In the spring time we would make boats. We had a big pond in the woods. Well a big tree had blown over and left a big hole. It filled up with water. We would sail our boats in there in the spring time. My brother even got to the point , I never liked water that deep, but he would put on his old overalls and imagine he was in a big pond or something. We made sail boats. We made a sail boat at one time about a foot long out of cardboard and put a propeller in it and it had a windshield on it just like a motor boat had. It had a rubber band on it to make the propeller spin around.

CW: And you would twist that rubber band around to make it spin.

HL: We would sail that boat. It was a spot about as big as this room.

CW: Is that right? That would be fun!

HL: In the springtime also we used to. We never had a horse and buggy but my dad saved his buggy and when Dad got married he had a machinery shed and what we did for fun we harnessed the wind and we made a sail. My brother and I we used to see my brother was two and a half or three years older than I was, so he was more or less the leader of us two. He had an idea and I’d go along with it. We’d take this old buggy and push it. We lived in the center of an old mud road. A mile and a half east of Malinta. We’d push this old buggy down to the west end of the mile when we had a west wind and put up the sail and let it sail. We had no horses so we had a rope tied to the axles and sit in the buggy and we’d drive all the way down the end of the mile. We rode the whole mile and then we would have to push it back and take the sail down. It was pretty rough pushing it back.

CW: You mean because of the wind. There wouldn’t have been much of a hill.

HL: On this road, this is the levelest part of the country right there. In World War II they had a marker there and it was level land. If they every needed an airport that would have been the territory. There is a marker there yet about 40 rods across the ditch from the Lanzer farm.

CW: Now in pushing that buggy back would the trouble be pushing it against the wind?

HL: Oh yes.

CW: Couldn’t you take the sail down?

HL: Oh yes, we took the sail down for sure. We’d take control of it and push it back into the barn and that would be enough fun for awhile.We made kites in the springtime, all kinds of kites. We tried to make a kite big enough to carry ourself up. But that didn’t work. That was during the Depression.

CW: Just think how that encouraged your ingenuity.

ML: Didn’t you try to make an airplane too?

HL: Oh yes,

CW: What kind of airplane?

HL: We started out making one out of wood. It was World War II. We’d make them out of balsam wood and stuff like that. Herb and I we used to, everything was competition, whoever could make it the prettiest or the best. All the time we would try to outdo each other. He will be 83 in July and he kind of dropped out of the race and I am just racing by myself now. He is just not working much now. He drove truck and everything. I was always kind of a loner because I worked by myself. I learned the trade and then I got under the GI bill from World War II. That is where I learned the trade.

CW: What trade was that?

HL: The carpenter trade. I started working in 1947 on June the 30th. I still have my first time book.

CW: You will have to find a place to store it.

ML: He has his shop back there. That is where it is all at.

HL: A lot of people think we are still living there yet. We have a vehicle sitting out there. It’s where I can go to share a joke or something. It’s a great life if you don’t weaken. And this fella would say who in the heck wants to be strong. He wanted to get the last laugh.

CW: Oh sure. You said you were kind of a loner until you met Marilyn.

HL: I used to drive motorcycles, see when I got out of World War II there were no cars around to be bought, very few. It was nothing like it is now. They would say oh there are a couple of cars for sale over there and we’d go over there. Well they wanted more money than we had. That way all the neighbor boys started getting around was with a wizard motor bike.

CW: You mean whizard?

HL: I and the neighbor bought a bicycle and put a whizard motor on it. I would drive that four thousand miles. I bought a bicycle from a neighbor Delbert Clark.

CW: Oh really!

HL: Then when I got a litte more money and started working well we had our eye on two wheels to get around a little bit faster like a motorcycle. I ended up having three motorcycles in my life. I guess that was a good thing I got rid of them because my wife said later if I had kept on driving them she never would have went with me.

CW: They were pretty dangerous. So where did you meet your wife?

HL: She lived right next door to my brother. I worked on his house before they moved in. They had the old jail standing right there on his property. I kinda of liked history and I still do you know. I would drive by there and she noticed me and I guess I noticed her. One evening a fella and I was driving around Hamler in the evening. She was walking along the street with another lady and I thought I could take her home. In them days you could pick people up like that. Usually nothing happened too bad. Nowadays you couldn’t do that.

CW: Back in those days it wasn’t dangerous. My husband went to Bowling Green to school. He lived in the Archbold area and he hitchhiked every weekend to go home. He didn’t have money enough to pay for food over the weekend. After we married we would load up with food and take it back to school and that would help pay the bills.

HL: On the way to work, I worked in Napoleon mostly the first years that I worked. I would pick up Bob Lazenby and Miriam Junge said, oh brother, that was Melvin Junge’s wife, they lived on 108 going towards Napoleon, He would start walking and he always knew somebody would come along and pick him up when he’d go to town. Another fella, Frank Hohenbrink, I don’t think he owned a car. He always found somebody to take him along.

ML: Wasn’t he the manager of the Charles Store at that time?

HL: He worked there, I don’t know if he was the manager. He had a job there. He would start out walking and every day he would get a ride. But I ended up buying my first car, It was a 1937 Chevrolet. It had 93,000 miles on it. It was about done for, Anyway I paid $400.00 for it. I bought it from a miinister, well if you buy from a minister you think it would be a pretty safe buy. First thing I had to do was overhaul the motor. He knew when to get rid of it. I’ve been a mechanic too all my life, I have had at least six cars. I’ve had a ’41 Chevrolet and traded that off on a ’51. That was the only new car I ever bought .

CW: How much is it you lose in depreciation the first year.

HL: Oh yeah. When I made the Bicentennial clocks I worked for Henry Hogrefe. He was the junkyard man, maybe you knew him. He helped me out. He had a couple of vans there and there was a ’66 Dodge A-100 that caught my eye. A couple of years before I had seen a fella haul that there and I kept my eye on it. I asked Heiny if he had anything I could haul clocks with and he said “I’ll see what I can do”. In the meantime he had a ’66 Dodge that had the front banged in. They went and restored that. They did a lot of welding. So a van from another van they put another motor in. I took it down to Paul Funkhouser there and Doug Plumber he knew what to do. There was a carburetor jet he put that in and the motor started right up and it ran real smooth. It had been running real rough. I got the best end of the deal. I never paid no cash for it. He said you give me $1000.00 worth of labor and it will be yours. So I did all kinds of work around there. I would get cars arunning and stuff like that. I never had no money. I drove that for twenty six and a half years.

CW: And you would fix it yourself whenever it went bad.

HL: I went all over the country. I went to Florida and to Washington DC and everything. I went into Illinois and stuff like that. It was quite a story. Someday I will look for that book and get it reprinted.

ML: Your book is in the Holgate Library.

CW: You don’t have a copy yourself.

HL: Yes, I do. Do you want to see it?

CW: I would like to see it when the interview is over. I wo

uld like to borrow it and read it and return it. I think that would be very interesting to read.

HL: It’s the story of my life. There are all kinds of people writing books nowadays you know. Some there is no reason for it. I had a reason. It sort of evolves why I made these clocks. I happened to be the only man that was allowed to put the Bicentennial logo on these clocks. I also had a clock on the Freedom Train.

CW: You did, one that you made?

HL: Yes. I have had a lot of ups and downs in my life but I kinda stuck to it. You have to be tough I guess. Do you remember Myra Orthwein from Malinta? She should be about 94 by now.

CW: Yes, she is getting right up there. She was Isabel Aderman’s sister. Isabel was my husbands nurse. In fact I remember Isabel saying it takes me so long to get anywhere in town. This was Napoleon. She said I just know so many people that I have to stop and talk to each one you meet. And you would. For her to walk one block might take her a half hour. People seemed to have more time or took more time to stop and visit. Now at least in Napoleon you don’t know the other person. There is no point to stop and talk.

HL: There are a lot more cars too.

ML: I can go to Defiance or Napoleon and there is few that I know. You can even go to Wal-Mart and you don’t know anybody. You can go up here and few know you.

CW: Oh yes in Holgate they would know you. You could do a lot more visiting and talking for sure.

HL: Yes, Myra was a dedicated teacher. When I wrote my book I gave her a copy and she said it was good. She was a good teacher. There were some ornery kids and they would be in the back throwing paper wads or whatever. Some kids were very ornery and she would cry . She would actually cry and the tears would run down her face, but she would just keep right on teaching. I wrote in my book about that, and now I think if I knowed now, I would have knocked them boys down flat.

CW: They probably would have deserved it too.

HL: That’s the story that I told. I might have gotten knocked down too. Them years after when Walter was still living , why I had an old car . I worked for an old lady in Defiance and she had a car in her garage, and then I got that. It had 13,000 miles on it. Walter and Myra they lived over there in Malinta, he had his shop there. I showed Walter and Myra this car. This was when i was building this building, and Myra said, “It’s all right to have a dream”. She thought it wasn’t all that foolish for me to be building this. She told me you have stick to it tivness. I believe I do.

CW: You must have.

HL: I told Myra a couple of years ago. I told Myra that you showed me how to work. She about cried herself. I suppose things come back to her too.

CW: You were learning from her example even though at the time she wasn’t aware of it.

HL: She is an example of a good teacher.

CW: Now back to this Freedom Train people in the future might not know what it was. Could one or both of you tell what it was.

HL: There was a man that liked locomotives. They restored this steam engine. They didn’t know the exact date of the engine. It was in 1975 they started out from the East coast and they toured the country. They stopped here in Archbold, Ohio on June 13, 1975. It was a couple of months before the Fair and I asked the Bicentennial Commission if I could put a clock on the train. They said yes, you can do that. There was a man standing there and I asked him if he would help me load it and take it out of the van. He said yes, I’ll help you. He had a watch repair shop in Archbold. He helped me out and he said “Do you know who I am?” Aand he told me who he was.

CW: Now, what track was this train on? It wasn’t on the B & O was it?

HL: I really don’t know. I think it was on a side track. It went through a lot of little towns. Ft. Wayne was the next stop. I put the clock on the train. My clock was on the second car from the back. The public couldn’t see it so I put it on a little stand to make it up higher. We went down to the next stop and I said I wanted to check it out. It was in good shape. I overheard some guys talking and they was wondering who was going to get that clock when this train ride was over with. It was on the Bicentennial Train and here were these guys talking about who would get that clock. I thought it was kind of fishy the way he was acting. I went over and talked to the guy and he said well I’ll put your name on it. I have this whole story in my book and you can read about it there.

CW: I think that Freedom Train was established to showcase our history. I wondered if they dismantled it or what did they do with it?

HL: They had a lot of history displays on this train. We got a notice when they dismantled it was going to do something with it and I don’t think it never could have materialized. I put the clock in a depot in Baltimore, Maryland afterwards. I thought well I am going to have a little fun with that clock. In 1981 I decided I would put these clocks around the country. There is so much for me to tell you here it would take forever. I could have sold that clock that I had on that train for a million dollars. I would have got half with the agreement I would put a clock in all the states.

CW: You mean you really got an offer for a million dollars?

HL: Yes, we were coming up along the coast I called a man from Columbia, South Carolina and he said he was kind of interested in buying that clock. It was getting late and I was getting tired and I just couldn’t do it. He sent us to Washington and the original 13 state organization wanted that clock and they said we know a man that will give you a million for that clock. I made clocks for all the states. I wanted to put them in each state historical center. When it came to tax time, why with 70% on your money that is too much. With the expense of delivering them, I would end up with no clocks and no money.

CW: How many of the clocks that you made actually went to each state that you made them for?

HL: Clock # 2 , I put that in the state historical center in Columbus. I did that and then I got the idea of making a clock for all of the states. I ended up with taxes taking all your money and by the time you spend your money delivering them and everything I would be ending up with nothing so I decided to keep the clock. I called up to Washington D C and I told them I think I will just keep the clock. Well they said we aren’t no tax lawyer. They could figure out some way I could keep that money. I just kept the clock and now I am having fun with it. If you want to read all about the clocks you will have to read the book.

ML: You went ahead and sold some of those clocks to other people. You needed so much insurance on them to set them into a historical society or museum. You needed how much insurance on that clock

HL: I needed a million dollars worth of insurance. I was co-insured with the government for a million dollars. Accidents can happen and I would just end up getting sued. It was quite an ordeal.

CW: Did you keep track of the finances then while you were doing all this?

ML: We did some.

HL: I think she started getting a little jealous. She said I don’t know why you pay more attention to them clocks than you do me.

CW: Sometimes you feel like that don’t you.

ML: You’re not supposed to say that.

HL: I’m not supposed to say that!

CW: You will have a chance to erase anything you don’t want people to see. Then we will bring you a copy of the transcription and then you correct it. We have to type it exactly as we hear it. Then when we bring it to you why you are the boss. If you decide you don’t want this part in or you want some words changed you can make any changes you want.

HL: We will leave it mostly like it was. We don’t want to change the truth you know.

CW: Sometimes maybe you don’t want the truth out. Then when you get that finished you can give me a call and we will make those changes that you want. We make two copies, one copy will go to you people and the other copy goes to the historical society for our oral history collection.

HL: There is a lot more that I can say about this. I wrote this book and it got printed in 1983 and there is just a lot more of history after that happened. We went to a town called Bitche. It is spelled B-i-t-c-h-e. The Hundredth Division Society they had a lot of memories in it. They called it the Sons of Bitche. We had a lot of fun with that. The Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney was at our meeting one time. We made him an honorary member. All the Sons of Bitche shook hands with him. I have a tape of that. I could show you that. He made a good speech. He was a great guy. He told about when he rerun for congressman in Wyoming he said he stood up there by a tree. He walked up to a man wearing a cowboy hat, pulled down over his eyes, and he said I’d like to have your vote. He was running for congress. He said the fool we got now is no damn good so you got my vote. Here he was it. That got his attention.

CW: What did you do in WW II?

HL: Well, that’s a story all alone. I took training on a 105 Howitzer. I left home without driving a car only in second gear. It was my brothers car. Then I learned to drive a vehicle a ton and a half truck. That’s how I learned to drive.Them days I guess it depended on where you lived growing up. We had other things to do. We had bicycles and stuff like that to get around. I gave 50 cents for my bicycle.

ML: You probably had to pick tomatoes to get that.

HL: It’s hard to tell where they got that money.

ML: That was during the war. It was during the depression and things were hard to get. Kids would have to work for their money.

CW: Yes.

ML: I was kind of small and I had to go out and pick tomatoes for the farmer next door. I had to earn enough money to buy a $10.00 bicycle.The Eisaman’s down on the corner of Route 6 they sold bicycles. That is where I got my bicycle. Now they have bicycles with skinny wheels. My bicycle had skinny wheels and oh I hated that bike. I wanted a bicycle with the big fat tires.

CW: Oh yes that was the style.

HL: When the air went out of my first bicycle, my 50 cent bicycle, why I put wheat in the tires. When I put the air in it I put pieces of wheat down in the tire. It took more power to drive it though.

ML: Kids nowadays don’t realize what we went through. You probably remember that.

CW: There is a lot of fear of depression now that didn’t used to be. They have never experienced any of it, sure it was hard. It was better in a lot of ways too. You enjoyed companionship with other people. It was the simple things.

ML: You tell our kids now they don’t understand. I remember the grocery stores you didn’t go in there and push a cart around. The man in back of the counter would get all your groceries. You would tell the man and he would get it off the shelf. He would wait on you that way.

CW: You would hand the grocer the list of items you wanted. He would hand you what you wanted. Now in the old hardware store they had ladders that would roll along and they would go up the ladders to get what you wanted. Were grocery stores the same way?

ML: Yes.

CW: How would they move the ladders from place to place?

ML: There was a track up there and it had rollers at the bottom and the ladder would just roll along.

CW: How would he get the ladder started?

ML: He would put his hand on the shelf to get it started and just roll along.

HL: I have an old ladder that come out of the old Malinta Hardware store in my old building out back, my shop.

CW: For people who don’t possibly know what this building looks like, now the building that is a replica of Independence Hall in Philadelphia is thee eighths size. It is located on Route 18 a mile east of Holgate, Ohio. It is on the north side of the road. How did you happen to get started on this?

HL: I could make a long story short. I couldn’t put the clock in Reagan’s Whitehouse. I couldn’t put it in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC. They didn’t care to change the decor. They liked the older things. They had the 200th anniversary and wouldn’t mind having that in there. So here at the Henry County Bank they have these calendars every year . They had a picture of the Independence Hall and I thought maybe. I should tell you to begin with I traded two of my bicentennial Verdin clocks for two liberty bells. The Brothers that made the bells for all the counties in Ohio.

CW: This was in celebration of the anniversary.

HL: The 200th Anniversary of our country. Up here at the bank they have these calendars with the Independence Hall on them. I got the idea I could build an Independence Hall out here and then I would have a place to put that clock in and build my own museum. That is just what I set out to do. I started with that in 1993 when I was 68 years old. This lady did a writeup of me and she gave me a compliment when she said I started at the young age of 68 when I started to build.

CW: It has been a nice hobby for you.

HL: I really enjoyed it. If people tell me it’s taken me a long time to build it, why I tell them it took Thomas Jefferson 25 years to build his Monticello. Of course he probably had some help, I don’t know.

CW: He probably had slaves to do the work.

HL: He probably did.

CW: Have you ever been to Monticello?

ML: He’s been very lucky. He has been to Washington quite a few times. Our daughter worked there. She got a job in Washington DC and she worked for the FBI. She worked 7 years for the FBI, and then she got a job on Capitol Hill.

HL: I put a clock in Bitche, France in memory of the time the 100th Invantry Division took the city in World War II. It cost me six thousand dollars to put that clock in the City Hall.

CW: It’s a good thing you had United Air Lines deliver it, no charge.

ML: We drove the autobahn.

CW: That could be pretty dangerous.

ML: There weren’t just too many cars on it. He drove the car. He’s a very good driver. He did go 103 miles an hour. This lady and I were sitting in the back seat holding hands and just praying. She said to her husband that’s enough of that, just slow down. You have to watch because if a car was coming they would be coming faster than that. You always had to watch your mirrors and get out of his lane. You would have to be out of their lane.

CW: What was the country like? You were both raised in the country. What was the country like in this area when you were children? Had they drained the black swamp by then?

HL: Oh yes.

CW: So it was just good farmland then. Were the crops pretty good?

HL: Oh yes

ML: I was born in Putnam county. I moved to Henry county when I was about 7 years old to Hamler on a farm.

CW: So most of your life you have been in Henry county.

ML: Yes, we farmed right across from the Patrick Henry school. I think it was the Meyerholtzes that owned the farm when we got it.

CW: Is that close to where they raised turkeys a while ago?

ML: That was a Guelde that raised turkeys. They lived about a mile north yet.

CW: Didn’t they have pheasants too?

ML: Yes, they had turkeys and pheasants.

CW: I think it was interesting that men used to come from Toledo to shoot pheasants.

ML: They would always congregate at our farm. My dad got to know those fellows very well. They were hunters. They would be dressed up in their hunting outfits. Dad would go with them and they would go out and hunt ..

CW: Did they get quite a few pheasants?

ML: Yes they did. They would get their limit. There were a lot of fences at that time. The pheasants would build their nests along there and raise their brood. There was a lot of brush for them to hide in.

CW: Now they don’t have the fences or the brush. Just a few years ago they were still raising pheasants on this one farmers land. Once a year just before hunting season they would release some, but you never hear of them around or anything. They must have all been shot.

HL: I saw a pheasant once. I went that way to the little town of Stanley where they were raising them. They were more or less tame. They were right on the main street, right by the railroad. They are such a pretty bird.

CW: Oh they were. They are such good eating too, the meat.

ML: Oh yes they are.

HL: Then the foxes started coming around here and that got rid of them too.

CW: Is that right, I didn’t know we had fox es around here.

HL: A fellow close to home here shot a fox and I took it to Napoleon. You had to take your foxes to the county jail to get a $5.00 reward for killing a fox. Since he lived in Ottawa I said I would take it to Napoleon and take the fox along. The first thing they did was cut his feet off and they wouldn’t pay me no money. There was a $5.00 reward for the bounty. I said to the man where is my money and he said you didn’t shoot it so I can’t give you the reward. The poor guy, and I had to tell him that. I never forgot that. You would think there would have been a little trust.

CW: It was only $5.00, not $500.00.

HL: Then I took it to, do you know Larry Adam’s dad? His name was Soapy Adams, so I took it down there to him. He kind of liked to mount things. He said well I can’t mount that, it has it’s feet cut off. That is a sad story, one that I will never forget.

CW: Do you have any questions?

ML: Yes, where was that farm located.

HL: You go from Malinta a mile south and at the end of the concrete there. From there you go a mile and a half east. It would be that first road out of Malinta

ML: What is that number on that road? It is just a half mile road isn’t it? It is Route 109.

HL: You just go a half mile out of town. There used to be a house. Burl Shoemaker’s folks lived there. From there you go a mile and a half east. There is the Lanzer farm and the barn is still standing. If you want to see it I can show you a picture of it.

ML: Is it still in your family?

HL: No, Dad sold it when they moved to Five Corners there. He sold the farm to Harold Huber. They were old fashioned people too. All these years till just a few years ago just before he died, they never had no plumbing in the house. They never had a bathroom in the house. They always used an outside toilet. He’d have to sit out there in the cold .

CW: I’ve done it.

HL: You know what it’s all about then.

ML: I did too.

HL: My brother and I about once a year had to clean the outhouse out. We’d clean it out. We would dig a hole in the orchard, and then set it back up and it would be good for another year.

ML: I’d like to see kids do that nowadays.

HL: My dad helped build that on that farm there. He helped engineer and build that backhouse. We never had electricity until 1946. When I started learning the carpenter trade I helped put the bathroom in and did their partitions in and put a kitchen in. My dad and mom lived there. Of course I lived there later on too until I was 29 years old.That’s what you did in them days. I had to find the right one and line up with the right one.

CW: You didn’t want to line up with the wrong one.

HL: I found her. The neighbor just teased me because I built the bird house uptown before I caught the bird.

CW: I remember my mother in law saying I don’t want any of that dirty old stuff in my house. You go use the backhouse. One of my brother in laws just went and got a bathtub, put it on the back of the truck, and brought it home and set it up for her. She liked the bathtub, and later they did get her permission to set up the rest of the bathroom.

HL: Once a week on Saturdays. We had two tubs, one was a wooden tub and one was a galvanized tub We would take them in the kitchen, set them by the old wood stove. fire it up and take a bath even if we didn’t need it.

ML: Now kids will take a bath twice a day.

HL: During the war I went two months without even taking my clothes off. We were on the go.

CW: Did you get gangrene in your feet?

HL: No, I never did. I was lucky. I was a combat MP, but I never slept in a bed for nine months.

ML: Years ago when I was a girl my mom sewed my dresses. You were lucky if you had two dresses.

CW: Did she use feed sacks?

ML: Yes, I was going to tell you that. I had a dress out of real pretty flowers. I remember one time she bought me real pretty material. I can still see that dress she made. It had a skirt and a jacket. It was pink and it had little flowers in it. I was just a little kid and my friend asked me to go along to a reunion with her. We kids were out there just playing and a big old dog jumped up on me and tore my dress. There I was and I cried. We were talking about that the other night and I can’t remember of ever going to a store and buying shoes. Somewhere we would have bought shoes. I was an only child.

HL: Maybe they brought them home for you.

ML: They might have. I was just talking to a lady the other day. She was telling stories about her family too. She said her dad when he was going to town had us get a piece of cardboard. We would stand on that cardboard and he would draw around our foot. He would bring us home a pair of shoes. They had four or five girls and a boy in their family. He would come home with the shoes and say put these on. We would all say oh they are fine. We were happy to get new shoes. Then we would say oh my these shoes hurt our feet, but we didn’t dare say so. We told him once that they were okay and we didn’t dare change our mind and tell him they hurt our feet. That’s what they did years ago.

CW: Children would have to walk miles just to get to school.

ML: They probably did.

HL: Boys generally ran barefooted.

ML: Did the bus pick you up when you went to school? I rode the bus to school. I never had to walk to school.

HL: I had to walk a half mile to get to the bus. It didn’t come down the mud road where I lived.

ML: Anyhow that’s the way it was. You just didn’t have clothes at that time either. I wore hand me downs. Your mother made the clothes for you and that was it.

HL: My mother sewed me jackets for years that I had to wear to school. I always felt funny about that. I didn’t like the color of the jacket and it made you feel inferior.

CW: Probably other kids would tease you about that.

ML: No they didn’t, because everybody was in the same situation.

HL: Some of the kids would bring a banana to school and we thought they must be rich bringing bananas. At Christmas time, we would look forward to Christmas. We would get one big sack and each one of us would get our own little sack

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