with Clara (Rogers) Hall (back
to WWII Project)
Tell us your name, please.
CH: I'm Clara Rogers Hall.
Okay. And what is your birthday?
CH: I was born
And who were your parents?
CH: My parents were C.D. Rogers and Laura Masterson Rogers.
What year did they get married, do you remember?
CH: They got married in 1904. I believe I'm saying the right
date. I have that date down and I believe that's right, 1904.
So you came along pretty late in the ballgame?
CH: Pretty late, pretty late. They had quite a large family
before they had me.
Are you the baby of the family?
CH: No, no. Then they had several after me.
Can you name your sisters and brothers?
CH: Yes, I can. There was Elsie, Ola, Jewel, Earl, Claude,
Clyde, Bertha, Blanche, Clara, me, and Nettie, Vernon, Laverne
Is that thirteen?
CH: That's thirteen.
And they all lived to adulthood?
CH: No, no. They lost Claude because in Arkansas, before we
moved to Oklahoma, before they moved to Oklahoma, they lost
Claude with diphtheria when he was two years old. Then Blanche,
the one just before I was born, they lost her in Oklahoma with
diphtheria. So that was must have been a bad time for that
Okay. I understand that your grandfather was an important part
of your life?
CH: Well, yes.
You want to start back with him and work forward?
CH: Yes, yes, let's do that. Grandfather Jacob Rogers and his
brother, Miles, went into the Union Army in 1863. And I don't
know just how long he was in the Army, but shortly after he was
discharged, he married my grandmother, Nancy. And an interesting
little thing, he gave her a white peony, and that peony is still
in the family. We kept dividing it.
CH: And my dad took me there to visit in '46, 1946. And he knew
that it was at his brother-in-law's house, his sister had passed
away, so he asked his nephew if he knew where mother's peony
was. He said yes. So he dug him up a clump of it and then we
passed it around and we're so proud of it.
I guess so. I just wouldn't think. So that's been going on for
2 hundred years?
CH: Well, I guess a little over a hundred years because that
would have been-- he would have married about '66, I would think
So a hundred and forty years?
CH: Yes, yes. I think I've heard that they're called an ancestor
plant because they live so long.
CH: I thought it was.
Well, where did they meet? What part of the country did they
CH: Did they meet in?
CH: Now that would have been Madison County.
CH: Arkansas. And near Drake's Creek. Are you familiar with
Fayetteville, between Fayetteville and Huntsville? There's a lot
of mountains through there.
JW: Yes, there is.
CH: Lot of mountains.
JW: And that's where they got married?
CH: That's where they got married.
JW: And is that where his log cabin was?
CH: Now we're going to talk about another grandfather.
CH: Because it was my mother's parents that built the log cabin,
and in the log cabin was where my mother was born.
JW: And what was that set of grandparents names?
CH: Now, that's Charles and Nancy Masterson.
JW: And that was in Madison County?
CH: That's in Madison County, and that's close to Japton, and
that's between Fayetteville and Huntsville.
JW: So they're all living there. And were any of your brothers
and sisters born there?
CH: My oldest sister, Elsie, was born in that cabin. And my
mother and her sister, Clara, were born in that cabin. And then
Elsie was born there. And they lived there quite awhile in that
community. They moved around a little bit. I think maybe my
parents lived in Yell County for a short period of time. And
maybe Grandfather Masterson may have bode there for a little
while. But the Mastersons had to come there in a covered wagon
from Missouri and settle there.
JW: So I understand your parents moved away from there
CH: Yes. When my brother, Clyde, was a baby, I believe in his
first year, that's when they lost Claude, and that was in 1915.
They moved to Sallisaw, Sequoyah County, and during that time is
when they moved.
JW: Well, what did your father do for a living?
CH: My father was a farmer, he hunted, he trapped. In those
days, people in the wintertime trapped for mink and other
animals that they could sell their hides, I believe they called
it. But mink was one of the most expensive ones, so he learned
how to trap for them.
JW: And so that means that there was wild mink?
CH: There was wild mink, plus you sold those and that gave you
money in the wintertime after the farming was over.
JW: So he had a farm in Sallisaw?
CH: Now, he didn't own a farm. He just farmed other people's
land there because when he came there, most of the land was
owned by people who lived in Sallisaw. I don't think very many
people owned their land that they farmed at that time, that
JW: Was this a share cropper arrangement?
CH: Yes, that's what it would have been called. And he did that
for a number of years.
JW: And is that where you were born?
CH: That's where I was born, yes.
JW: I guess you were born at home?
CH: Yes, yes, I was born at home.
JW: Did your father farm all his life?
CH: No, it got too hard for him to do that type work. And now
then, we're entering into the Depression and that was a hard
time for people that didn't own very much. Now, it was easier on
people that had, if they had a milk cow, they had chickens and
they had hogs, and people that had all those things made it
better. But the Depression was really hard. And I don't think
anyone that went through it would say that it was a very good
time, although I feel that the people that went through it, it
made stronger people than maybe someone that had always had
everything easy. It was a struggle for a lot of us during that
JW: By the time the Depression hit, were your older brothers and
sisters able to help?
CH: To help some, yes, yes, they were, especially Ola. She
worked, she would work in a cafe in Sallisaw there and that
helped. And let's see, when I was eleven, my mother passed away
and there was four younger than me. So that was a hard time,
really hard time, but God helped us through it. And course then
it wasn't a long time until the war came along. And really, that
seemed to be the first time that a lot of the farm people had
really employment, that they could earn a living. And that
seemed bad that the war had, you know, we've always said that
the war brought us out of the Depression, but that
4 really bad to me and it did to my dad, it bothered
him a lot. Because then Clyde went in service and was in the
Pacific and was there two year on those islands. He was in the,
let's see what they called his unit, he was in the 7th Division
in the field artillery and that was the heavy artillery. And it
took several people to-- several of the soldiers to handle those
big guns, and that's what he did. And so that was hard, that was
hard on all the families that had someone that they knew was in
a position like that.
JW: Did only one of your brothers go into World War II?
CH: No. Vernon went, but he was younger and he got in the last.
In fact, I think he did his overseas tour in Germany. So you
know, it wasn't as hard for him.
JW: When your mother died, who had to step in and be the mom?
CH: Ola is really the one that had to step in and take the mom's
place, and then we almost had to take turns. Finally it was me.
But you know, she didn't try to take our mother's place, but she
did the best she could with taking care of us.
JW: Somebody had to take care of five kids?
JW: If I'm counting right.
CH: Right, yes. Someone had to take care, and yes, she did.
Course it brings back a lot of sad memories.
JW: I'm sure it does.
CH: It really does.
JW: What happened to your mother? Did she just get sick?
CH: My mother had pneumonia. And in those days, the doctors
couldn't do as much as they do now. They tried, but at first, it
seemed that she had the flu. And then by the time that it was in
her lungs, the doctor came to the house, but couldn't do
nothing. He said some time that no one could do anything.
CH: He didn't give us any hope when he came. And he just told my
dad, he said if I would have called you sooner, and he said, no,
don't feel that way.
JW: Well, pneumonia used to kill a lot of people.
CH: Right, right, right.
JW: It was quite a killer. Well, your mother couldn't have been
CH: No, no, my mother was only forty-six.
JW: Did your father ever remarry?
CH: No, no. I sometimes thought that we might have been better
off had he remarried; but thinking back, too, I don't know how
we would have reacted to it, so he probably was wise not to
JW: Well, as the Depression wore on, I assume your older
brothers and sisters went their own way. And then the war came
and you said two of your brothers went off to war?
JW: You would have have been what, nineteen, when the war
CH: Around that, around that.
JW: Do you remember the day that Pearl Harbor was bombed?
CH: Yes, I do. We were home. By that time, it was the five of us
and our dad. And yes, I remember it well. We heard it on the
radio. And course, we knew what it meant and that we would be in
war, you know, because we knew they couldn't ignore that.
JW: Right. Do you remember anything about how all of that went
over in Sallisaw?
CH: Well, now, no, no, I don't. At that particular time, we
lived up near Stilwell for a little while. And then we moved
back to Sallisaw just shortly, so I don't-- And see, there
wasn't that many cars so you didn't go as much and you didn't
hear things. You read it in the paper or you heard it on the
radio or someone came by and visited and told you what was going
on. Information just wasn't like it is now.
JW: I assume that you lived out in the country all the time
because your father was a farmer?
CH: Yes, yes. We lived in the country all that time.
JW: Well, what happened during the war years, what happened to
you during the war years?
CH: Well now, that's when my sister went to Shawnee and got
employment at Douglas.
JW: Douglas Aircraft?
CH: Douglas Aircraft, yes.
JW: And it was at Shawnee?
CH: No, no. Now it was in Oklahoma City, but I think it was just
easier for some people to get there from Shawnee than maybe
Oklahoma City being pretty large. And there was buses, I believe
it was called Oklahoma Transportation Company, just buses that
that's all they did, go from the surrounding towns and cities
and take people to work. And Ola was there awhile and then she
had me to come over. And that was a little frightening for me
because that was my first employment away from the farm. And I
remember going to the employment office and that was even
JW: I bet, because you know, I hear with all these veterans,
they always say I'd never been off the farm. And I suppose you
had never been off the farm?
CH: Fort Smith was the fartherest I had been. And no, you just
can't, you can't imagine the feelings one would have because
you're afraid you'll get off at the wrong bus stop. So my sister
had to go to work so she couldn't go about me, so she explained
where I would get off the bus. And the employment office, it
wasn't all that large but
6 had a lot of desks, a lot of people in there.
JW: This was in Shawnee?
CH: No, this is in Oklahoma City. I had to ride a bus to
JW: About how far is Shawnee from Oklahoma City?
CH: Shawnee would be, I'm thinking thirty-five or forty miles.
Now I'm not positive on that, but that's pretty close, I think.
But you rode the bus into Oklahoma City and then you had to get
a local bus and go to the employment office. And my sister had
explained pretty well what I would do. And you go into the front
door of the employment office and they work you through that
building, and when you went out the back door, you had your
badge and everything to go to work. And they didn't tell you to
come back, you know, told you what shift you would work and what
day to go. So I guess that was in the last part of '43 because I
worked seemed like a year and a half or so before the war ended.
But I was in the paint department. The building was a terribly
long building. You can imagine putting an airplane together.
CH: And we built the C-47 cargo plane. And the paint department,
they had a dipping place that you dipped the little tiny parts.
Then there was, I can't remember what they called that, but you
hung the parts on a conveyor belt and it would go around and it
would go through a process of drying, there would be air. And
then come back around and you took the parts off. So that would
just be for someone that maybe feeling a little bad that day and
would work on that part.
JW: That was considered light work?
CH: Light work. So the next place, the paint was up above you in
a vat of some kind, you couldn't see it. And it came, you
painted with a spray, spray gun. You wore a respirator, if they
could get you to wear it, but the respirator was really hard to
wear. But we painted most of the things there in that particular
place. Course you sprayed the paint on and then you dried it.
And then those parts were taken to the next place which they
started putting them together. Then they had one place in the
back that we painted the fuel tanks, and they were, they were
huge. And it was easy to mess one of those up because if you got
too much paint, it would run. So that way, you had to be pretty
good at it before they would trust you to paint those. But we
put a coat of primer coat on everything that went in before it
was put together. And then you put a primer coat on those tanks,
fuel tanks, and then black was the color to go on it. Then
that's about all of about the work in there. I remember one day
we had a safety chief, he was about six foot three or four, and
would scare us all to death when he walked up. He was an
American Indian, but he was the safety chief, I guess, for the
whole plant. So one day, he walked up, and wouldn't you know, my
respirator was hanging around my neck. And I thought, oh, I'm in
trouble. So he walked over to me and he just shook his head and
he said, "Honey, it's your lungs." And you know that did more
good, that did more good for me because I was more sure then of
respirator. And then he just turned and walked off. And I
thought, well, that was getting out of it pretty easy, but it
made me think.
JW: Do you know, are those buildings still standing?
CH: Yes, yes. Those buildings are there and it's Tinker Air
Force Base, that's where Tinker is now.
JW: That's where Tinker is now?
JW: That's interesting. Do you remember, did you feel rich all
of a sudden?
CH: Well, not really, not really.
JW: Wasn't that much money?
CH: Well, yes, we were paid good. We were paid good, and I might
mention, and this may not be interesting to you but it was to
me. The Union wanted in, and people didn't know what to do about
the Union. Most people there hadn't been paid a whole lot of
money before so I guess we didn't really know how much money you
should have. But we voted once we didn't want the Union. We
voted twice we didn't want the Union. But they wouldn't stop, so
they came back the third time and was voted in. So I talked to
my supervisor before they came in and he said, "Now, I'm not
allowed to say anything to you against the Union." I didn't
understand that, see, but he told me, said, "I'm not allowed to
say anything." But he said, "I will say this much. It won't be
like people think." He said, "In other words, people wouldn't
immediately get a raise, that just wouldn't happen." And that
was the truth. When the Union came in during the war, I don't
remember what we were paid, but it was quite a bit of money.
JW: That was going to be my next question, if you remembered how
much you got paid.
CH: I don't remember the salary, I wish I did. But I studied
about it and I don't remember, but--
JW: Well, did you send some of your money back home to the farm?
CH: I'm sure we did. But do you remember the saying that you
seem to forget the good you do? In other words, you remember the
good someone did to you, but you seem to forget what you did.
But I will tell you this. Ola and I saved enough money that when
the war was over, we came home, bought a piece of land, I
believe we bought forty acres and we built a five room, just a
little five room frame house. And then bought furniture that was
needed at the time. I remember she bought a new cook stove. You
know, we didn't have electricity, see, still, so it was just
still in the country. And so that told me quite a bit, that if
we took care of ourselves during that time and then had enough
money to do that, course land was cheap and material didn't
cost. It's almost shocking to hear how much something did cost
then. So we were paid pretty well, I would say.
JW: What did you do, what did you do on the weekends when you
didn't work when you were living in Shawnee?
CH: In Shawnee? Now there wasn't much to do. We saw movies, but
8 worked nights, so seemed like then the weekend, a lot of
times, you're doing the things that you didn't have time to do
during the week. But movies is one thing I remember that we did.
And we'd be wide awake when we'd get off of the bus coming in
from work, even if we had worked hard, we still were, some of us
were. And several would get together, and in Shawnee, there was
a little cafe called City Cafe, and it was one of their better
cafes. A group of us would go there and have coffee and pie and
just sit around and visit and, I guess, wind down. But seemed
like during the war, there wasn't a whole lot of entertainment.
I don't remember. Now, people tried to be jolly and I tried, I
guess I tried to not think about it. My sister wasn't like that.
She read every paper she could read and she knew all about it,
and of course she would tell me. But I couldn't think about it
with my brother over there, I guess I couldn't have worked if I
had. But we did have one place, I'm not sure what they called it
but they wanted us to know there was a war going on. And I'm
sure they used a park to do this in, I can't remember where it
was, but it was in Oklahoma City. And they had a group of people
that came and explained about what was going on with the war.
And now that's vague in my mind, I can't remember just really
the things they said. But what stuck in my mind, at the end of
it, they had a mock battle. They turned the lights out,
airplanes flew over, they had explosions, they turned the lights
back on and there was people laying all over the ground. And we
knew it was going to happen, we knew what they were going to do,
but it still was shocking. And then they played Taps, and that
stuck in my memory that it brought the war home to us.
JW: I think it would have been something very upsetting to sit
CH: Right, right. And it's just something that you remember.
JW: Did you date during that time?
CH: Not during that time. I don't know if this is the right
thing to say about it, but remember, the men were gone.
JW: That's true. The able-bodied ones, right, they sure were.
CH: Right, right. We had very few young men in the City, in
Shawnee and in the plant, there was very few young men.
JW: Were the majority of the people you worked with at McDonald,
were they women?
CH: Women and men, older, older men, there was older men and
women. There was a lot of women of different ages, but it was
mostly older men. Our supervisors were older men, but I would
imagine they came from the other plants for Douglas, that they
had worked in other plants and then were sent to Oklahoma City
to supervise that, that plant.
JW: How long did you work at Douglas?
CH: I believe a year and a half. I didn't remember that either
whether I started trying to think.
JW: Did you work until the end of the war?
JW: More or less?
JW: Did you quit or did they lay you off?
CH: Well, we were laid off the day that the war ended. I don't
believe anyone worked after that. It might have been that they
finished up the shift they were on. But I was home with the
mumps, so I would never forget that, unless I forgot everything
else. I had been sick for, I think I had that for about two
weeks. In fact, I missed the last two weeks of work. But
everyone had to go in and turn in our badge. Really, I think the
badge was all we had, you know, that had to be turned in.
JW: Well, were you sad?
CH: Well, my daughter and I were talking about that. And you're
thrilled to death that the war is over, there's no question
about that. But it's bittersweet because you're going back,
you're going back to the farm, so to speak. And that and you're
leaving your friends that you had made. Even a year and a half,
you meet a lot of people that you get pretty close to. And I
remember that being sad, but just the thought that our boys were
going to come home, now that was, that was great.
JW: I'm sure it was. Did you stay in contact with any of the
people you worked with?
CH: Yes, yes. Two of the girls that I was closer to than
probably anyone else, they visited me there in Sallisaw. They
lived in Shawnee and they visited me. Well, one lived in
Oklahoma City. And I haven't had contact with any of them now,
though, for quite a few years, so I don't know.
JW: Well, your sister, you and your sister moved back to the
CH: Yes, we moved back. And I guess I got a little ahead of
myself talking about building the house. But we moved back, and
in '46 I guess we built the house.
JW: And that was for the--
CH: For the family. For the family, yes. And we were happy to be
able to do that. And then Clyde came home, my brother came home
from, I can't recall, I believe '46 is when he got home. And he
was married, had a little girl. They had a little girl that was
two years old before he saw her. And that was always, I thought,
was always hard that they had to stay over there that long. And
then Vernon came home and he moved, he moved to Wichita, and
Clyde moved to Wichita.
CH: Kansas. Elsie moved to Wichita, she was the oldest one. And
let's see, Laverne moved to Wichita. So Laverne was married then
and that was my sister younger. Well, one sister married a man
from the Navy and she moved to North Carolina. And then it left
my dad, Ola, Will and I. So in '48, I was helping two school
teachers, a husband and wife, that needed someone with their
children. So she asked me to come stay with them awhile, so I
did. And now I'm talking about '48 0 And that's when the tornado
came, and it took the life of my dad and Ola. And Will, my
brother, the youngest one, was there. He was hurt, he had to
stay in the hospital maybe three or four days, he had a
concussion, but he made it, you know, got over it. They were
JW: Did it hit the new house?
CH: The new house. It picked the house up. We could see when we
got there to see what had happened, it picked the house up and
throwed it into the ground before it exploded is what we think
because there was a ridge in the ground that was the length of
the house. And my brother told us, when he could talk about it,
he said Dad woke him and Ola up and said there's going to be a
bad storm and I think we need to get out of the house. He'd
always told us that you were better off to be out of a building,
not in a building. And Will said they got awake and walked, they
were starting to go out the back of the house, which would have
been toward the storm. Will said they walked in the kitchen,
which was the room nearest that door. And he didn't remember
anymore. When it hit the house, however it did it, that's the
last he remembered and then he came to in the hospital. But from
all that anyone could tell us, they died instantly.
JW: And why weren't you there?
CH: I was with these people that I stayed with a while, yes. And
Mrs. Phillips, she came to my bedroom that night and she knocked
on my door and she said, "Clara, you might want to get up." She
said, "There's a storm." And she stood in her door and saw it
because they were close enough, they were close enough that she
could see it went over the mountain and went in front of her
house. And of course in the night, you don't see as much.
CH: But the neighbors came to the house as soon as they could
and picked me up, and that was a devestating time, too. But I
think just the fact that they had a long life helped me through
that. My dad was seventy-three, and of course my sister wasn't--
now I would have to think about how old she was, she never
married. But then at the time I thought-- I believe I made the
remark what am I going to do. You feel, well, it's hard to say.
And at that time, people didn't have insurance. So my brother's
house, my brother, Earl, older brother, lived close by. It tore
his house up, too. But they were in bed so none of them were
hurt seriously. So he started trying to help me to know what to
do for Will and me, because it just left us now out of the large
family to be at home. And we had a cow and I think maybe a hog.
Anyway we had a little bit of things that could be sold. So he
sold those and bought a lot in town in Sallisaw and the Red
Cross helped us. And I've always thought they did a good deed
there. There was other people that lost their homes other than
our family and my brothers, there was another home or two. So
they helped us just build a small house, which was fine. And it
would shock you to know how little it took then to build
something you could live in. And I think maybe fifteen hundred
dollars could build a little four room house, frame house. But
then it was, it was the two of us until Will got eighteen
11 then he went in the Marine Corps.
JW: He was younger than you?
CH: Yes, he was the baby, so that, that was hard. I think by
that time, I'm getting a little bit older, and you see a little
more of what's going on. And knowing Clyde had gone through the
other war, then it bothered me for him to go in the Marine
Corps. And as long as it's been, I remember the look on his
face. I was working for Marvin's in Sallisaw, in a grocery store
at the time. I worked there, I worked there until I met my
husband. Will came to the store to tell me what he had done. And
I was, oh, I just couldn't even think about it. So later, when I
left the store, one of the men said to Mr. Marvin, "You think
she'll be all right?" And he said, "Yes, she'll go home and have
a cry and then she'll be all right." So that's what happened.
But then I was fine until it come time for him to go overseas.
Then I just thought that my world had just about gone for me,
and I didn't know-- One of my sisters was living in California.
So I thought I'll just go out there awhile before he had to go
overseas. I knew he was going to have to go pretty soon. Now
we're talking about Korea.
JW: Right, I was going to say this is 1950?
CH: Yes, this is close to-- I really think '51 is when he-- I
didn't look at the dates I guess or I could tell you, but
probably '51. He was, I believe he was at El Toro, and my sister
lived in Long Beach so he could come there pretty often on
weekends. So I talked to Mr. Marvin and I said, "I think I'm
going out there." I'd been there quite a while and I hated to
just leave, I just didn't know what to do. So one of the boys
asked me, said are you just going to wait until you're about
halfway out there and then call back and say I won't be to work?
And so finally I decided to talk to him about it. And he said,
"Well, how long are you going to stay?" And I told him I didn't
know because I really didn't know. He said, "Well, give me a
time." Said, "You think if you stayed six months, you think
maybe that would be long enough?" And I knew that Will would be
going on overseas, and I finally decided maybe I'd be better off
just to come back, just go stay awhile and then come back. So he
gave me six months leave. And I went out there and stayed with
my sister and her family and got to be with him quite awhile.
Then he went on overseas, went to Korea. But we were blessed in
that time, he was in the motor pool, they called it. He serviced
the planes. And now I say serviced the planes, I'm not sure
except I know they put fuel in the planes and that type thing,
and he didn't have to fight. So I've always felt blessed in
that. And then he came home in '53, I believe was when he came
home. Did his ever how many year they were doing and he didn't
want to stay in. He came home and he decided he would go to
Wichita, so he was working in Wichita. And he would come home
fairly often to see me, and you have to remember that he was
almost like a son to me. He was three and I was eleven when my
mother passed away, so he was almost like a son. And I know now,
I have a son, so I know now there's a difference. But at the
time, it was like almost like a son. So he came home in '54, he
hadn't been out a long time. He came home to spend the weekend,
and a bunch of his friends and him got
12 and was out like boys will do. And they came about eleven
o'clock and knocked on my door, there'd been an accident. Well,
it was hard to even dress to go, but they told me you have to
hurry because the ambulance is waiting for you. So they took me
took me over to the Sallisaw Hospital and I got in the
ambulance, we drove to Muskogee. He had a broken vertebra and he
was paralyzed from the shoulders down. He could talk, he knew
everything, but just couldn't move. So he lived that way two
weeks, he took pneumonia and we lost him about, well, I said two
weeks, I believe it was exactly two weeks after the accident.
And they hadn't operated because they thought that he needed
more use, they were trying to get everything in place before
they operated, then he took pneumonia. Well then, they couldn't.
They said if they did anything about that, then they couldn't do
the other surgery. I didn't understand it at the time, but that
was-- but we lost him. Well then, I'm devastated. I still, till
this day, it's hard to think about it. But God knew what I
needed, so it wasn't long after that until I met Farrell. And we
didn't know each other a long time, but we met in Sallisaw and
we didn't date, I don't know, I can't remember the exact months,
but I guess that doesn't matter. But we were married in '57. And
Farrell had been to Japan, he had some problems. I'm not real
sure what happened, but all of a sudden his family-- see now, I
hadn't met him then. His family didn't hear from him so they
contacted the Red Cross. And the Red Cross found him and he was
in a hospital, and Farrell didn't remember what had happened. So
I guess it's anyone's guess as to what happened. If he
remembered it, he didn't talk about it, let's just put it that
way. So it took Farrell quite awhile to get over whatever it
was. And then by the time I met Farrell, he was okay, maybe
never like the boy that had left. He was eighteen when he went
in the service, so that's pretty young. But then we bought a
JW: This is Sallisaw?
CH: Yes, yes, where I live now. Bought a little farm, he got a
tractor, some cattle. And for awhile made it okay on the farm,
but then when everything started going up so much, then you
couldn't make a living there. So he worked, he went to work, I
don't remember what year, but he went to work for the Corps of
Engineers at Robert S. Kerr Lock and Dam. Now before we had our
children, before he worked out there, we had a little girl named
Joyce and we were so happy because we were both a little older
when we got married. So we were blessed and then two years
later, we had our little boy, John. And then we were happy with
our little family. And things went along about like most other
families, you have your ups and downs; but all in all,
everything was okay. Then in the '90s, Farrell had a heart
attack. He had retired, he retired in '89. I had worked for a
short time at the school, at a little school close to our home,
in the cafeteria. I worked there a little while and I retired in
'87. He retired from the Corps of Engineers in '89. I believe in
'91 is when he had a heart attack and then his health went down
really fast. But he stayed able to take care of himself, like
bathe, dress himself, he never had to have any help. It got to
where I shaved him because sometimes that's one thing that it's
hard for a person ill to do 3 But that makes the '90s a little
hard to talk about because he never, he never got really well
after the heart attack. He had congestive heart failure after
the attack so that part of it then, it was just hard for him.
But then in 2000, he passed away. So now I'm back alone. But we
had forty-three years and they were good years, for the most
part they were good years. And our children have lived to be
grown and have children of their own. I have five grandchildren.
And the Lord has blessed me. I never blamed, I never blamed Him
for my problems. I always thought even when I felt devastated
and what could I do, I tried to look to Him. And so now my
daughter lives next-door to me, and I'm still in my home, and
lives next-door and they're a comfort and a big help to me.
JW: Well, I'm sure that's nice to have family still around.
CH: Right, right.
JW: Are any of your brothers and sisters alive, still alive?
CH: Yes, yes. Clyde, the one that was in service for so long in
World War II, he's ninety-one. And he and his wife are still
living, and they're living in Wichita. My younger sister is
living in North Carolina and my youngest sister is living in
Wichita. And I lost my sister just older than me this year, she
lived to be eighty-nine. My oldest sister lived to be
ninety-seven, I believe, we lost her about two years ago. And
that just about covers the family, I believe.
JW: Well, let me ask you a few things. I've read about women who
went to work during World War II because all the men were gone.
JW: And then when the war as over and all the men came back, a
lot of the women were sent back to the house to being a
housewife or back to the farm or whatever, like that, and they
sort of resented it. I didn't hear any of that from you.
CH: No, no, no. I can only speak for myself, but no, I didn't, I
didn't feel that way. I have always thought that if a family
could make it on one salary and there was children, that the
home was where, that was the best place for the mother to be.
But there are circumstances that change that.
JW: Can you think of anything else that somebody twenty or
thirty years from now needs to know?
CH: Needs to know? I thought about that and the one thing, the
one thing that frightens me is the way people are trying to push
God out of everything, that bothers me. Our God is a jealous
God, I think we're told, and I thought He'll just be pushed so
far. And organizations that are supposed to be helping us,
sometimes I think they may be helping us too much. So that's the
one thing that I have thought about, that I believe we need to
be careful with the people who are doing that. And try to have
the Judges that would-- maybe that wouldn't be so-- they would
interpret the Constitution in a way that would help us instead
of hurting us. I don't know. Not being a lawyer, I don't know
all about that, but that has bothered me.
JW: Well, I thank you for sharing your life with us 4
CH: Well, you're just welcome and I have enjoyed it.
JW: Thank you a lot.
CH: You're welcome