Interview: Eunice Carey (ec)
Medium: Audio and video tape
Date: Sunday, April 19,1998
Place: Home of Eunice Carey, 4205 S. Meridian St., Marion, IN 46953
Collected by: Josh Sanchez (js)
js: Please state your whole name and where we are right now?
ec: Eunice May Carey, and we are in my home.
js: And the address is?
ec: 4205 S. Meridian St.
js: And the date is?
ec: Uh, four, nineteen, ninety-eight.
js: Do I have permission to record this interview with a video tape?
ec: I don’t care.
js: With an audio tape?
ec: Uh, that don’t make no difference. I don’t care.
js: Do I have permission to submit this info to the Marion, Indiana Public Library?
js: Before the war, what was your family life like?
ec: Why I had just gotten married and we uh, we had gone to California. And then we came back from California. And we come to Marion.
js: Did, were you attending school during the war?
ec: No, I had graduated in thirty-three.
js: What was, uh, did you attend church, during the war?
ec: The Christian church in Converse.
js: What were your services like?
ec: They were good. We had a good preacher, Reverend (pause), he was very good. He’s gone now.
js: Before the war, what type of activities did you guys use for entertainment?
ec: For entertainment? We didn’t have much money. So, we was living in California. We’d just take a bus, and ride all over town, all over San Francisco. That’s about it.
js: Before the war, what was everyday shopping like, grocery shopping and stuff?
ec: Well, we were in the restaurant business at that time. We had moved back from California, and we opened a restaurant. And uh, we was in business, and we were working, very hard, getting started.
js: Can you remember what your feelings were like the day that the United States entered the war on December 8, 1941?
ec: Yes, we were very surprised. Whistles blew, or I mean, they made, uh made noise and. They uh, starting I guess, everybody was surprised and all. But uh, we were in business than too. And, but uh we was all working. We didn’t know what to expect. But uh, it got pretty tough, for a while. ‘Cause we couldn’t uh, we had a restaurant, and we couldn’t get the things for the restaurant. We had a drive-in. And uh, we couldn’t get our ice cream or the toppings for the Sundaes and all, you know. So it went along, till we finally had to uh, get a side line because of the restaurant food. And we got beer and wine then. That’s the way it was, during the war then. But we fed the um, employees over, at that time it was Farnsworth. It wasn’t RCA, it was Farnsworth. We fed those employees. They didn’t have a cafeteria in there then. And uh, that’s how we got through the war. By feeding them. ‘Cause we were allowed to get extra meat, and extra everything with it. ‘Cause we were feeding the fence workers you know. So, that’s rough. A lot of work to it.
js: What type of immediate effect did the declaration have on your family?
ec: Well, right away you wondered if your husband was gonna go. ‘Cause they had to register you know, and uh. Well different ones in my family was drafted. I had a brother-in-law who was drafted. He was gone for four years before they ever saw him. He started in Africa, and he uh, uh, he was gone four years before he ever got to come home. He uh, I guess that’s the closest person I had. That’s all I know. Luckily my husband didn’t have to go. Though, if thy had had one more call of soldiers he would have had to gone. We had at that time, we had two babies. We had a little girl, and we had a boy. But he would have gotten to go, or had to go the next time they mad another call. But luckily it ended, and stopped. It was rough times.
js: What was it like having to raise your children during the war?
ec: Well uh, ‘course my husband was here. I was working. We were feeding the workers over there at Farnsworth. And uh, I was helping him, with the other help. Getting things together for a meal was something. ‘Cause you had to try different uh, meat markets or different wholesale places to see what they had, that you could get. Things were short. That’s one thing. That was your big worry ‘cause you couldn’t plan your meals far enough ahead.
js: Did, were your church services affected by the war?
ec: Well at that time I wasn’t going to church then. ‘Cause we had, he was a Methodist and I was a Christian down at Converse. And uh, of course we had gone to California and stayed there for four or five years, and then uh, come home. And I never did taken up a church there, uh here. But the children, when they got big enough, why they went down the street to the church there at Thirtieth and Gallatin street. They went there. But uh, I don’t know. That’s all I know.
js: Was there, did you guys have any type of entertainment during the war, or were you usually too busy?
ec: Not much entertainment.
js: Could you explain the rationing system any, during the war?
ec: Yes. We got uh, uh books you know. And we got uh, little round things that told we could buy so much. Each one took so many of those, or so many out of your book that you had. I use to have one of those books. I don’t think I have it anymore. I should have kept that. But uh, no you had everything rationed to you. And of course at the restaurant, we did uh, get it but my we had to go all over town or all over the country to get what we wanted. But uh, we got plenty to feed ‘um. But of course that’s where I ate. The kids too, at that matter. But uh, that was it.
js: What would you say was the public opinion of the war?
ec: Well, we wanted it to quit. I know that. Before somebody we knew would get killed. I don’t know how to say that because it uh, to me it didn’t amount to much. I mean by that in the end it wasn’t all, worth all the trouble they had, and all the boys who were killed. War’s not nice I tell ya. We were lucky we didn’t lose anybody. And that’s all I know. It’s been a along time ago. I had to stop and think what.
js: Can you think of any prolonged affect in, that the war had upon you, or your family?
ec: I can’t think of any. Not outside of our business being curtailed. Uh, the only big thing we had, we were busy getting stuff to feed people. But uh, we were lucky we didn’t have anybody real close that got killed. Or you know, anything. We had several of ‘em that had to go. But uh, outside of that one brother-in-law of mine. He was gone all that time. He saw most of it. That’s it.
js: Is there any subject that has been left out of this interview, that you think is interesting or had some significant effect upon your life, in which you would like to add?
ec: Well, what would it be? I can’t think of anything. Not outside of, we’ve been in business all of these years like I said. We’ve been there fifty-six years going on fifty-seven. On that same corner, and that’s a long time. I don’t work anymore, too tired. My son’s got it now. I can’t think of anything. ‘Cause we came out alright. I mean financially and all. So, I’ve got a lot of grandchildren who are real sweet.
js: Well, I’d thank you for the interview.
ec: Well I hope it was worth something. ‘Cause it, after she told me what you was wanting, or uh, what the interview was about I tried to think of stuff. But shoot that’s a long way back. Things have changed. The only thing is we had that business, and we hung on to it till it was over with, and we still have it. It’s Carey’s. But my son has it now. Like I said, the only thing that kept us going was that we put beer and wine in. Otherwise we had the drive-in, and uh, the Hilltop. You don’t remember that. The Hilltop and our place was the only drive-ins that was here. Then of course the Hilltop’s gone, but we don’t have the drive-in either. So we went ahead and put the beer and wine to uh, to have something to fall back on to make money. We had to uh, get something. You couldn’t get enough food, or you got food, but then uh. That’s all. That’s the only thing. That was hard, that was a hardship, was when we had to give up the drive-in. It came out alright I guess. I don’t think of anything else but uh. (pause) But then uh, I don’t know. Is there anything you can think of that you, maybe I’d know something about?
js: Do you know any, how upkept were you guys about the news about the war and what was going on, about the battles and stuff?
ec: Well we were very interested because we had neighbors that uh, they had their son-in-law. And uh, of course my brother-in-law, and different ones that we knew in the war. Some of them it rough. We just kept up with the news, and where they were. Of course you never know where they were until everything was over with, I mean with that battle. And uh, then they’d uh, they could write home about it and say they were so and so. Otherwise, the letters that they would get never said where they were, we never knew. Of course the government mailed their letters. But uh, no it was pretty rough on a lot of people that we knew, on friends. But we were lucky, and we never lost any. It’s a wonder we didn’t. ‘Cause they were in the thick of it.
js: Did the community seem to take the war pretty hard, was it effected quite a bit/
ec: Oh yes, yes it was. Everybody was concerned. Of course I was just in the second world war. My folks was in the first world war too. And they uh, it was felt by them too. And they could remember things that happened then, and here they were happening. No, there isn’t any wars that are good, I don’t think. For what they get out of it, I can’t see any. It didn’t seem to me like they gained very much through the war. But some of these countries I don’t know, kind of rough. That’s all.
js: Did the local newspapers print a lot of propaganda about the war:?
ec: Well it wasn’t propaganda. No, they didn’t. They colud print all they could get, and to uh get news they had to hustle for it. Of course they didn’t tell any, didn’t ever tell things; if they, it was missing something or a lot of times they didn’t find anything to tell. But uh, then after it was all over with, then they could be published some things. But, no the papers did pretty good, kept you up on, but everything was over with when they got to the paper. Because they uh, of course you don’t tell things before it happens, your enemy will jump right in.
js: Were you and you husband, did you purchase war bonds? Can you explain a little bit about those?
ec: Yes, oh lets see what was it. Well we purchased some, but I can’t tell you. I don’t even remember what they cost us, and then of course you’d turn them in. Yeah, we had war bonds. You felt like that was helping the country, even though you weren’t on the front line. But uh, I don’t really remember how many we had or anything. But we did have some.
js: Would you say that here was a strong sense of patriotism during the war, for its cause?
ec: Oh yes. It’s amazing how people get together with feelings you know. Of course your all, they all had relatives in the war, and we had relatives in the war. That makes you closer you know, I think. Yes uh, people got close.
js: Thank you for the interview.
ec: I hope it helped you. I can’t hardly, it’s been so long since uh. Of course uh, Ralph was only about one years old, in the war.