Personal narrative of Patsy Young
From: Patsy Young (py)
Date: Thursday, April 29, 1999
Place: Home of Patsy Young, 804 W. 54th St. Marion, Indiana 46952
Collected by: Jamie Shaffer (js)
00:07 js: I am Jamie Shaffer and this is the 29th of April of 1999 and this is being recorded at 804 W. 54th St. I am speaking with Pat Young. Can you please state your name?
py: Pat Young
js: Do I have your permission to interview you?
js: Do I have your permission to submit this interview to Marion High School?
js: Do I have permission to submit this interview to the Marion Public Library?
py: Yes you do.
00:30 js: Being in your early 20’s and your early adult age what were the kind of social events that went on in Marion that you could attend?
py: Well, uh in 41 I was 17 years old so I wasn’t really that old at the time and I was really doing things like this but. I have one sister, and um, and our thing of an evening was to walk, we lived in 1500 block of Nelson St., and after dinner we’d walk up town and the boys was always in the car going around the courthouse, you know, and the girls would walk around the sidewalk. And um they had a bowling alley up over where Brandts Jewelers is now there was a bowling alley, there at that time, and we all go up and um maybe bowl a couple games and then there was an ice cream parlor. Meyers that’s there at 10th St. now, had an ice cream parlor up there. And we’d go down there and have a coke and talk and then we’d walk back home. But that was during the week and then um. I have always been a dancer. All my life. And um I had a real good friend that loved to dance. And um my father had a filling station at the corner of 7th and Adams. And he was close to the old Spencer hotel where they used to have all their ballroom dancing. And he was friends with the women were you could get tickets so he was always getting me tickets. So um a couple times a month we would go the Spencer hotel and dance. And um then Custers was always a place that you uh. I didn’t have a car but when somebody would come by and pick me up, you know why, on a date or something we’d go to the movies and go to the drive in and things like that. And I like to play tennis. I went to the park and played a lot of tennis.
02:18 js: Okay, what was Custards?
py: Custers…Last Stand.
js: Custers…oh okay.
py: It was called Custers Last Stand. And uh it was just a kid hang out, you know, where you get your burgers that’s when they started out, you know that kind of stuff. And um, (pause) Well I met my husband, you know, when I was 16 years old. I went to a da- or to a party with one fellow and came home with him. And we dated for almost 2 years. We still, when we got married everybody told us we were too young. But we will have our 58th wedding anniversary in June of this year so, I guess we proved em wrong. (phone rings) And I have 4 Chil-
03:03 js: We’re going to pause for a phone call. (tape stopped)
03:09 js: Were coming back from a pause for the phone. Okay you can go on.
py: Back at that time it didn’t seem that there wasn’t too much to do in all. I guess all teenagers think there is not much to do. But I also like to sew and I made an awful lot of my clothes and all. Uh I had a grandmother that was a very good seamstress and she taught me from a real young age and all. And um how to crochet and, and knit and do all those things so I picked up all those crafts so I do all, all types of quilting and I’ve always done, you know, things like that. But uh back to uh, uh. We was always look forward to the Christmas parade and the Fourth of July parades and all of those ones. Even if it was political parades it was always fun just to have something to do. And uh, I can remember, uh when people went to, like on Friday night, uh used to be a very big night up town. Um, people would go up and do their shopping, and the men would stand along the curb and talk while the women and the kids would, you know, do their shopping. And uh, I can, I can remember even clear up to the time I was married, there was uh, it was called Buehlers Butcher shop that was on the corner where First Federal at now. And uh back at that time you just had butcher shops you didn’t go to the store much and buy meat, you know, you went to butcher shops. And I can remember when uh we’d get ready to go home. That was always the last thing we did we’d go into Buehlers and get our meat and the treat for the night, uh they had peanut butter that was in great big barrels. And it wasn’t homogenized like it is now, it had a lot of oil on it and you had to stir it all up, you know. And they’d put it in these paper dishes and then we’d come home and we’d have our peanut butter then. So that used to be a big treat for us, when um, you know, we were younger like that. So uh. And then we always enjoyed the Easter parade, er Easter Pageant. And uh it was always a treat they just had it the one morning just on Easter morning, at that time, you know. And it was always fun, there was always a group of us that uh we’d get together and go to that, you know. And then uh. And then New years was always a lot of fun too because they always had things going on up around the square for all the uh, for the young people, you know, they’d have things going on up there for New Years and all so you didn’t have to get out in trouble or anything, so that was always fun.
05:41 js: What were the type of things they did on New Years?
py: On New Years? Uh a lot of the stores, like Meyers and some of those places would have specials and things and they’d open up, I mean it would be cold, but they’d open up the door and we’d get out there and, you know, everybody would, you know, “Happy New Year”, you know, and toast with cokes and stuff instead of, you know, any kind of alcoholic or anything, it was just things like that. And then we’d dance and go back in and play the jukebox and stuff until you know, like 12:30 - 1:00 and then my dad would always come and pick us up then. He’d never let us let us, you know, ride if I didn’t have a date, now if I had a date then I’d go home with my date, but I didn’t have he’d bring, bring us home. And uh, I did go to the junior prom. I did not graduate, but I went to the junior prom. And that was very nice. I had a nice date that night. Got my first Gardenia that night, but uh back then, you know you didn’t get flowers too often, that was always a treat. And uh, so I don’t…
06:48 js: Do you want to talk about your marriage?
py: Um, like I say I met my husband when I was 16. And uh we were married in 1941, and uh we had three, uh three boys and a girl. And they’ve always been a delight to me I mean they’ve really been a good, stand by me and they’re very good, you know with all of us and. We really, my children all skated they were competition skaters with the Idyl Wyld. And we traveled all over the country with them, so uh. We’ve had a good life it’s, it’s really been a very good life. And uh I just hope that children today, you know can, it seems like there are so many divorces and things I just hope that, you know they can get back to the place where they really think a marriage is really worth while just, you know to stick with. And not, you know to not go into just for the fact that their getting marriage, you know because there’s a lot of ups and downs in marriage and if your, if you don’t have the thing to go along with it, the ups ad the downs then you have problems, you know. And I’ve always uh been very active in church and, um so I think that helps a lot too, you know when you spend a lot of time in the church.
08:12 js: Did you go to church when you were younger?
py: Umm, hmm.
js: In the forties?
py: Umm, hmm. Yup, always went to the First Church of God. And uh, all my children all went there. So it’s been a real good thing for all of us, I think you know.
08:33 js: What were the type of dances that you and your friend did?
py: Uh well back when um, it was just mostly ballroom dancing at the time uh when I did the ballroom. Then in later years uh we picked up uh, we’ve never done any square dancing but we’ve done round dancing and then uh about oh, twelve years ago we decided we’d like to learn line dancing, so uh, we went to the UAW hall and um, well we’s gonna take Texas Two Step is what we really went for, and uh got in to the line dancing and liked that really well and I’ve been teaching it for five years at the senior center now. So uh that makes me feel good to think that I have started so many people I have about forty that dance. And we go the State Fair and dance out at the nursing homes and um all kind of different places like that, you know. So it makes me feel real good to think that I have helped that many people to have a good time.
09:33 js: Okay, um is there anything else that you want to add about the forties?
py: It was, it was a good time it, it, it’s, it I think about it so many times that at that time, like I say, of an evening my sister and I would walk to town, you had no fear of going on the streets walking to town, I mean my mother never had the fear of letting us go, you know, or anything like that. It’s so sad today that you can’t do so many of those things that we did, you know when we were young and not have to worry about anything, so. I just hope that one of these days, that maybe some of these, I don’t know, I think some of these young people maybe need to have a little bit of God in their life, to give them a little bit of where they are going. You know I think so many of the children are lost. They don’t think I don’t think they even realize where they’re going or what their goal should be, you know. And uh, I just like to see, and I love working with people with young people, you know like that and all. Just so many times I think well if there’s just something else I can do help get some of them, you know. On their right way.
10:51 js: You said that one of your main things was going to the movies. What kind of movies do you remember?
py: Oh my. If you’d see my book in here. I’ve got a book in here that’s got all the movies we used to go to Paramount and to the Lyric and all those. And I have two books in here that are full of where I cut out of the newspaper the, the movies the stars and things all about them you now their really, really quite interesting. People get a big kick out of that, cause I really was a big moviegoer. I really, oh I wanted all the romance I could find you now back at that time that was all the big thing you know. And uh I really, really enjoyed the movies. But movies back then didn’t have the violence in them they have today, I mean you know they were all, like I say mostly love stories, or there was some westerns and things but they, they didn’t seem to be near as violent as they are today, you know. So I really enjoyed that part too. So…
11:54 js: After you and your husband got married what were the types of activities, you did in your spare time?
py: Well, we always liked our dancing. Our dancing always came first. And then um we uh, uh my husbands mother and father had a cottage up at Big Chapman lake so we spent a lot of time up there we spent we’s up there until what was it? 1989? 1989 or something like that and we sold our cottage. And in between that we camped, we’ve always did a lot of camping around the campgrounds. So and our children like that too it gave them a lot of things to do, you know being able to swim and build bon fires and all of that good stuff that boys liked to do. That was the main part of our, and then as our boys got older they were competition skaters. And so we traveled around a lot with them skating.
12:51 js: What types of places did you travel to?
py: With them? Oh uh Chicago, Detroit, Michigan, we never went to New York but our children went there, but I mean they skated out there. And our youngest son got a lot of championships and all he was top ranked skater and all, come home with a lot of metals, trophies.
13:16 js: Okay um… What about the Great Depression, and wars?
py: Well that was back before, uh Smokie and I was married. I can remember when food was very scarce, very, very scarce and it was nothing for you to have to eat jelly bread for supper or a cheese sandwich or something like that. And I mean you were just glad that you had it because I mean it was very, very, very rough and all to be able to maintain a home. And uh there was four of us in the family and it was uh, it was rough to keep all of your bills paid. And as general rule food was the last thing, I mean you tried to keep the bills paid and then and you eat, you know. A lot of macaroni and potatoes and beans and that type of food I mean things that didn’t cost too awfully much. But we were lucky, um my parents lived on a farm and they did a lot of butchering so consequently, uh we did a lot of canning and a lot of, and had a lot of uh canned meat and things like that that kept us going, where a lot of people didn’t have that at all. It was, it was still a very rough time. I can remember when you got a new dress; gee you thought you were in seventh heaven (laugh), uh because there just wasn’t that much money for new clothes, you know. And what you did get was usually homemade. Uh usually my grandmother would make them whenever we had a new dress. But it always thrilled you to death because you didn’t have that many of em and when you got one you really was thrilled to death over, so I can remember that. But uh I really don’t remember much more. I know my dad couldn’t afford a car at that time, I mean he’d had one and then after he lost his job then he couldn’t afford to have a car then so I know we didn’t have a car. So it was kinda rough time but I hope that it never comes back.
15:13 js: Um, being involved in your church what were the types of activities you guys did outside of going to church?
py: Well, I’m mostly, I’m the head um uh, well what you call volunteer I guess for everything that they need, but I am also the head hostess and I take care of all the parties and everything like that, that comes in. And I keep, uh well there’s, I have three of four other people that I can choose to help me. But we keep the altar decorated and we keep the, the decorations in the church done. Uh we keep the kitchen real nice and all I mean we clean and keep everything real clean in the kitchen you know the refrigerator and the deep freeze and keep everything like that going and we cook a lot of funeral dinners and parties. We have a lot of parties and all that I have to oversee.
16:04 js: What about the forties?
py: Back in the forties? Um I didn’t do as much then, and all it was mostly Sunday school at that time, I wasn’t real, real active in it like, um not that to that point. Well kids didn’t do much at that time. Today their real active, I mean in church you know they have a lot of things going on. But back then it was mostly Sunday school and bible study and things like that and all. I do remember once I went to a Halloween party (laugh) at uh church; it was so funny my mother was so upset when I got home. They had apple cider and it had went hard and nobody knew it. And I mean we had a Sunday school class full of kids that was happy. I mean we had a ball, we come home from church and we had been drinking this cider and it was really funny. I mean, oh our preacher just never lived that down, to think that he almost got all of the kids inebriated at the Halloween party. But that was always a really fun thing and all I mean every time at Halloween I think about that. You know it is something that sticks with you that you remember through the years. Not that it was enough that any, I mean nobody drank that much but, you know you take a child and you give them a good size glass of that, you know they get, they get real, real funny. (laughs) So uh I do remember that but uh, I guess that’s one of the main things I can remember about that, uh. I can’t ‘ think of anything else.
17:57 js: Okay, well thank-you very much.
py: Your sure welcome.
17:40 js: And it was greatly appreciated. (stop tape)