Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Dr. Ruth Mary (Baldwin) Atchison

Oral History of Dr. Ruth Mary (Baldwin) Atchison at 487 W. Cady, Northville
Interviewed by Lois Winters
Edited by Sally Henrikson
Q:        When did you first come to Northville? 
RMA:  Well, we came in, in January, the end of January, 1931.  You see, I was in my ah, well my father had been the editor of Albion Evening Record for seventeen years, and then he wasn’t feeling well so we went to California thinking it would help have a newspaper there that would print twice a week, which was murder.  And then in a year and a half we went back to Albion, and in the meantime for a year, he was looking for a newspaper.  The Jonesville Paper came up – Jonesville, Michigan, and so he bought that from the old gentleman and who was never going to see, but he sold it to my father, and then in six months he had a chance to buy the Northville Record, which he has always wanted because he thought it was the ideal location between Detroit, which was a commercial center, and Ann Arbor, which was a cultural center.  So he sold the Jonesville paper, and we moved to Northville, and I always remember we stopped out at a little rest station out on north of Plymouth Road in the park, and mother said, “Well, we must make a good impression in our new town.”  So we had to go in and wash our hands and comb our hair before we came into Northville.  So anyway, we couldn’t - we didn’t have any place to live.  We lived in what is now Veteran’s Hall next to Casterline’s, and that was turned around as you know.  It faced North Center – the other way.  It was a lovely home that Mrs. Um, oh the man that owned The Record has owned it.  Oh geez, what was her name?  Well, anyway that’s where we lived for about four or five weeks – then we rented a house down on South Wing Street for a while, and then we lived at the end of Wing and Fairbrook, where Mrs. Carlson lived for a while.  Then we lived up here on Ely in Ely’s old house on Rogers Street next to that little white house.  So anyway, when we moved into town we had to just kind of settle in there.  And in the meantime, the building had burned – the Northville Record building had burned so the only thing that was left was the printing press.  In fact, Mr. Eaton, who had owned the paper not-my father didn’t buy it right from him; he bought it from someone who had bought it from Mr. Eaton.  But this man had another paper…he wanted, so it didn’t-I mean he wasn’t the owner very long.  There was nothing left.  All that, Mr. Eaton had taken all the typewriters, all the printers ink – he’d taken everything out of there.  But then the building did burn, and we had to print across that little alley, which is now the little antique store and then – what’s her name – the craft shop there -
Q -Anne’s
RMA:  and I can remember everybody was so scared because with the weight of the printing press, the floor would sort of sink every time it would go on, you know, it was a lot of weight and a lot of noise.  So anyway, we printed there until – I imagine it must’ve been Mr. Carrington that built the building because it’s called the Carrington Building, so it was or was it called something else now?  It was Warner – Neal’s – Neal’s was the place we stayed.  Anyway…

Q:        So you basically did come to Northville with your parents?
RMA:  Yes I did.
Q:        You did not come as a new bride? 
RMA:  No, no.  I came in the last half of my junior year, so I had my last half year and my senior year, and I was graduated in ’32.
Q:        So then you graduated from Northville High School then? 
RMA:  Yeah, ’32 right.  Then I went to Albion College.
Q:        Now did you have brothers or sisters? 
RMA:  Yes, I had two brothers – Philip who’s an attorney at Albion and Paul who is deceased.
Q:        Now did they go to school here? 
RMA:  Yes, they both went to school here, and then Phil – Phil was only four when we came to Northville, and I remember Mrs. Babbitt down the way saying to my mother, “He is an exceptional young boy.”  And he was, he’s very smart, I mean he was the brain of the family really.  To anyway, we… let’s see… my father had gotten $27,000 for the Jonesville paper which we thought, you know, was a lot of money in those days.  Put it in our Lapham Bank which President Roosevelt closed and all my father’s money.  We had nothing.  He had signed notes for Linotypes, ah, all sorts of things so it was really very rough going, and then, you know, Northville went on script.  All we did – we did a lot of bartering.  I mean, my father would exchange advertising for milk, and I remember Mrs. Hunter on Wing Street – her son told my uncle, who lived in Indiana in the same town – he said, “I remember your uncle furnishing us with milk,” because she was a widow and had three sons and no income – so you know, by exchanging advertising for the milk and so forth she got her extra milk and things.  So people did a lot of that.  I remember when I went to Albion when I was going to go, the lady who bought that little antique shop is – who’s next to the craft shop had – or maybe it was part of the craft shop too, they’ve remodeled it so many times.
Q:        I know. 
RMA:  You don’t know what a fish tank place of what it is.
Q:        Well, it’s Banbury… 
RMA:  Who knows …
Q:        Gift shop at one time. 
RMA:  Yeah, that’s right.  So anyway, this lady in exchange for advertising knit me a sweater.  Except when the sweater came and I got to school, it came down to my knees.  It was just far too big.  So, anyway, that’s what people did.  And my father, after the office was rebuilt and they moved in, had a big dinner for three hundred of the business men and people in Northville, and Mr. Bingay, who was the editor of the Detroit News, was the chief speaker; and I remember my mother was furious because my father paid for that, see you know for his dinner, and we didn’t have …
Q:        Where did you have it?
RMA:  The Methodist Church – at the Church House, and so anyway, he was editor – I can’t – I was trying to think for how many years but then in the meantime, as I say, I went to Albion my freshman year, and then every time – well even before I went to Albion when I got up here to high school, my father would have me come down and write – I was a good typist – write letters, take phone calls, and so all this – write news.  So I did that the minute I got home from vacation from Albion, I would be down in the office working.  Any my mother had to go east to take care of her sister who had a stroke.  So she took my young brother Phil, and left me here.  I was 16 – left me here to keep house, do the cooking and work at The Record office, which was an education in itself.
Q:        Sure, sure. 
RMA:  So anyway, I didn’t resent it.  I was also a piano major – a piano student – I’d taken since the age of 4, and I was studying to be a concert pianist, and I took from Miss an, Miss Halverson’s up at Shipley’s House net to the office, next to Atchison House.  And she was an excellent teacher from Detroit, and I gave my student – my final senior recital down at the Presbyterian Church.  And I remember memorizing 84 pages of the Greek Concerto for the final – you know – finale.  But anyway, then I was offered a scholarship out in Iowa, but I didn’t want to go.  I wanted to go to Albion because all of my relatives had, and our family – Baldwin Hall is named after our family and so forth.  So anyway …
Q:        Well, let’s go back a little bit.  When you came to Northville, you went to Northville High.  Do you remember anything about your high school days? 
RMA:  I remember the worst time in the world was walking up from the front of the room to the back with Mariam Mitchell, who was Mariam, and gee her father was a minister – a Methodist minister, and oh you know, how awful it is in a strange school.  I was also – had a lead in a couple of plays, and but …
Q:        Do you recall any of y our teachers? 
RMA:  You know, Betty Chapman was my first English teacher – was my English teacher.  And I think it was her first teaching job, and I always liked Betty very much, and she always referred to me as her prize student, but I don’t think I was, but she just had – we had a feeling for one another, and she also, you know, had the plays, was in charge of it – the theater group and so forth.
Q:        Do you recall any of your classmates? 
RMA:  Well, yeah.  Oh gee, there was one called Peanut Clark, who lived up on Linden Street, but she married a professor from Albion.  Then Arlene Barry was there, and was Catherine Stauburn, who had died.  Those were the main ones.  We had a club called “Just Us Girls”, the J.U.G. Club only I couldn’t go very often because I was working at The Record office, and they played bridge and stuff – I never learned.
Q:        Did you have a nickname? 
RMA:  No, I don’t think so.
Q:        Because that’s one thing I found out – several of the people going to school all had nicknames. 
RMA:  Oh really?
Q:        Betty Schrader asked me what Cootie’s real name was. 
RMA:  Ker – that was the Kerr fellow.
Q:        But it’s Kenneth.  Yeah, she’s all these years, you know … 
RMA:  Isn’t that funny?
Q:        I guess that was – everybody had a nickname, and that’s why I … 
RMA:  Well, I probably – I don’t know …
Q:        Because you’re talking about Peanut – you know. 
RMA:  Well, the kids were not too nice to him.  I have to tell you that.  I don’t know why, but they just weren’t and not too friendly.  So I was …
Q:        Well, that’s a hard time to … 
RMA:  I was on the spot, you know, you’re on the spot, you’re a new girl in town, and the boys usually go for the new girls, and you know that didn’t make you friends.  So, and then I was so busy working I couldn’t, and then my parents were so strict, you know.  If the dance was over at 12:00, I had to be home by 12:15.  I couldn’t go into Detroit for things to eat.
Q:        Where did you go to the dances? 
RMA:  Right up here at the high school, yeah, we weren’t allowed out at Walled Lake and things like that…
Q:        OK, because I’ve heard about the Walled Lake. 
RMA:  I think I went once after I was out of college with Alex Mill, who lived up on Thayer or Eaton Drive – Eaton Drive, and he was a little bit older and very responsible so my Mom let me go with him, but that’s all.
Q:        Were you Methodists? 
RMA:  Oh, yeah.
Q:        And so they were strict? 
RMA:  Oh yes, my mother and father were both Methodist minister’s children, and we could play Flinch, and we could play Rook and that’s it.  We didn’t play other cards, we didn’t – her father thought, you know, dancing was the work of the devil.  So we were very limited as to what we could do.
Q:        Where did you graduate? 
RMA:  From Northville High.
Q:        When? Where, what building? 
RMA:  Up at the High School, and we had to make our white graduation dresses, and I made one of organdy that kept curling, you know, all the time, so but that, well it was Depression, you know.  Nobody had any money, and you had to really do the best you could with the least.  I think we took a Senior Trip to Washington on the bus, but that’s all I remember.  Oh, Ward was in our class too, and he – did he die recently?  Yes, I think he did.  I had the Senior Prom with him.  I remember, and we went to see – to show his grandmother my dress, which I bought for $17.00 in Detroit.  Um, it was a turquoise kind of chiffon type of thing or net, you know, and I had to hunt a long time for that, and I found it at the Learner’s Shop, and then I got to the dance, and I had black shoes, and black gloves, you know, up to here.  Any somebody else had the same color combination as I did and the same darn dress.
Q:        Oh, how crushing. 
RMA:  Anyway, how cruel, huh?  Well, we went up to see his grandmother who was in a little house across from our office or from the clinic, that little Victorian house, to show her how he looked and how I looked.  So I had the prom with him.  I don’t remember too many other things.  I got good marks, good enough to get into Albion, I know.  But I can’t think of too many other things that happened.
Q:        Well, you weren’t there that long. 
RMA:  No, I really wasn’t.

Q:        And then you went away to Albion. 
RMA:  Yeah, I went away to Albion.
Q:        How?  No scholarship – your parents by this time? 
RMA:  Yes, well see what happened was the first year I guess my uncle – I had a wealthy uncle in Detroit, that’s how we survived here on the paper.  My uncle was President of Standard Savings & Loan, so he shoved all the legal notices to the newspaper here.  It had to be in Wayne County.  We were in Wayne County, so my father got all those legal notices, and I learned to ready “legals”.  Today, I pick up a magazine or a paper, and there’s the mistake.  It’s just, it’s you just see it.  That and Stinson Aircraft.  Now we did job printing for Stinson Aircraft, which maybe they’d have thirty copies in all different colors in the same number.  You had to be sure everything was just perfect, and we had to deliver it, I know, over at Wayne.  Because Stinson used to be over here but you know he moved to Wayne.  So that’s what kept us going.  I don’t remember, I think my uncle helped the first year.  When I got home after my first year in college, and my father said, “I can’t send you back.”  He said, “We don’t have any money.”  I said, “That’s OK.”  So I worked a year for him for nothing – supposedly $5.00, but who had $5.00?  And as I said I did the books; I took “legal’s”; I wrote his letters; I had a column called…I had a column in high school called… something I forgot.
Q:        Did you know? 
RMA:  And it was all about the things that kids were doing in high school.  So I learned a lot that one year.  I remember I went back to school, and then he signed notes, and I never knew this,  Lois, until – when was it – not too many years ago we were still living in that house over on Rogers, and somebody told me – I think it was Tom Star told me.  Tom Star was editor of the Michigan Bell Magazine, and he ended up with M. S. out here at White Hall (nursing home).  He had me – us come over one time and we saw him.  He had one of those switchboards so he could call anywhere in the United States.  This was years ago, I mean, that had to be forty years ago and um…
Q:        They plugged in? 
RMA:  Uh-huh.
Q:        Yes, learned on one of those. 
RMA:  And so he said, “There’s someone who’d like to talk to you.  So I got on the phone, and it was Dr. Seaton, the president of Albion College, who had signed all my notes, and I never knew this until years after I was out of college that and Tom Star.  He said that “Did you know Dr. Seaton signed your notes personally?”  I said, “No, I never knew that.”  And I doubt that he was ever paid back because when my father developed cancer, you see, when I met Russell he had just operated, finished sewing up my father with a cancerous tumor and removed a kidney.  So anyhow, I came right back with I always knew he was – he always took a partial, you know, liking to me and every time – I worked as waitress my sophomore year on the ground – two meals a day.  Then I worked as head waitress for two years.  And every time we’d have the birthday dinner with Dr. Seaton’s birthday, he would ask to have me bring in the cake, and he would pull me down and give me a big kiss.  I have letters from him still that say, “I love you dearly, John L. Seaton.”  Which was a really special thing. 
Q:        Now, did your brothers go to Albion? 
RMA:  Um-now Phil went into the Air Force at eighteen and then he went to – he went to Albion after he got out of the war, he went to Albion, and then he went to Michigan Law School.  My other brother never finished.  I don’t think he – he went through high school, but that was it.  He never …
Q:        Let’s get into the romantic part of your life. 

RMA:  Oh yes, OK.
Q:        When and where did you meet Russ? 
Q:        Since you both were born in Ann Arbor. 
RMA:  Yes.
Q:        You moved to Northville? 
RMA:  Yeah, but a lot had gone on in between.  See he had been in there – his review will tell you he’d been in Ann Arbor – they lived in Detroit, Virginia Park, and then came back to Ann Arbor and then to Northville.  But anyway, oh, I’d heard about him, and my mother, you know, was friends with his parents.  And I’d heard of his record – ah, then his accomplishments would be in the paper, and my mother would tell about this doctor, wonderful Dr. Russell Atchison.  I was going with somebody else very seriously at Albion.  I could have cared less.  But well I didn’t meet him the first time when he finished sewing up my father when he had his operation, urological operation.
Q:        Where was that?
 RMA:  Ann Arbor – over at the University Hospital, and Russell was in the surgical residency.  He had to give that up, you know, to come home, and his father had developed “Parkinson’s”, and it was the Depression.  There was nothing to eat.  So he gave up two years of surgical residency, and he was one of seven chosen out of his whole class to take his residency at the University of Michigan, which was quite an honor...
Q:        Oh yes. 
RMA:  It really was.  And he’d been very good anyway.  So he happened to be in this urological services, and boy, the young man that was sewing up my father following the main part of the surgery passed out.  And Russell was scrubbed so he stepped in and said, “Who’s the patient?”  And they said Mr. Baldwin from Northville, and he said, “Oh, he’s a friend of my parents.”  Well, I never swathe man, he was still in school.  Any then my father was shot, you know, down here at the…
Q:        No I didn’t know that.
RMA:  Well, that’s I said – we had – it was just destined for us to be married.  Russell had just been home a few weeks from U of M and my father went down into the basement of The Record office on Wednesday night.  They were printing, and he went down to fix the furnace and came up and was shot by a lad from the shooting gallery, which is Little People Shoppe (Main Street) … had a Boy Scout shooting thing there to give the kids something to do, but either they didn’t use the proper backdrop or a too high-powered rifle – it came across that alley through this huge oak door, and I mean that oak door was that thick.  And the boy from the Training School that we had printing, doing, running the press, you know, they could be trained to …
Q:        M’hm. 
RMA:  He had the mentality of an eleven year old or so, but was 27.  He kept saying there’s bees in here, there’s bees in here, and what it was, was the bullets flying around and they missed him, but they caught my father, and he staggered into the office and said, “I think I’ve been shot.”  Well, my friend, Virginia Anderson from Detroit was his right-hand gal then, and he’d gone to Kansas to get her, and she’s been my friend ever since.  This 1933 about… and um, so when we first met, when she first came.  So anyway we… she called Russell, who was just home, and they had this small hospital – his father had a hospital upstairs.  So, Russell always laughs because he cut off his new tie that my mother had given my father, which my mother didn’t let me forget; and then the upshot of the whole thing was to appease her for having – cutting off his tie, he sent her a primrose and she – he met her at the door, or she met him at the door, and her eyes were all swollen shut and her face was all swollen.  She was allergic to the primrose but anyway… so I was, as I say, I was at Albion and …
Q:        Now, did your father survive the shooting? 
RMA:  Yes he did.  They took him up there, and Russell began, he probably tells about this – about cutting down tie and to find the bullet.  And he had taken some sort of an x-ray.  He realizes he should have the other side too because it had ricocheted all around the ribs.  But my father was kind of weakened, you know, I mean he’d had this major surgery.  The Dean of Women met me at my door one morning.  I was head of self-government at Albion, and I had a special room with a bath, which the other didn’t have.  And she said, “Have you seen the Free Press about your father?”  And I said, “No, is he dead?” because, you know, it was just so soon.  She said, “No, but he’s been shot.”  So I called home, and everything was all right, and I was due up at Mt. Pleasant for a meeting, which I went to and then came right down here, and that’s when I met Russell – so we had to get married.  We had to – it was just inevitable, although he dated others, while I was back at Albion and things like that.  So then I came back from Albion and worked for my father again, and we were married in January of 1938.
Q:        Where? 
RMA:  Yeah, with no home to go to, we lived up on Rouge Street in a little tiny house for $25.00 a month.  I remember asking the man that owned it if I could paint the kitchen walls.  “Well, he said, if you don’t mess it up.”  So I mean they were brown – everything was brown, and I was so scared the walls were beaver board, or whatever you call it, it wasn’t even plywood, and they would shift, you know.  And it would sound like people walking, so I would go with Russell on house calls until three in the morning sometimes.  I lost fifteen pounds the first month we were married because I was afraid to stay up there, and if I went with him he would have office hours until twelve; then he would go on house calls, and I would just sit in the car or else in somebody’s front room and wait for him, you know.  So I lost quite a bit of weight, and then we bought the little house on Fairbrook six months later.  We got that little house around the corner, the one that has shutters on it and a fenced back yard.  Let’s see, it’d be our first real house that we had, and then our kids were born while we were there.  We moved to S. Rogers when Rhonda was about to be born because we didn’t have enough room in the other house.
Q:        Right. 
RMA:  So it was ’45 that we moved to S. Rogers.  But anyway – do you want to know what the town looked like – I was trying to figure out what the town looked like when we first came?  Is that what you were going to ask me?
Q:        Yes, what basically when you first came – saw Northville – what was your impression?  Was it a tiny town, was it – did it seem cosmopolitan? 

RMA:  Well, it didn’t seem cosmopolitan because I had come from a college town which was Albion, and I had lived in California, which was a little more sophisticated.  It just seemed like a small town.  But you know, you didn’t question things then so much.  But I don’t know, it was – my mother was the type of person that met everybody very well.  Georgianna (Couse Chase) tells me this.  There was a little restaurant – I suppose it was maybe where Genitti’s Hole in the Wall Restaurant is now that just had lunches, as I recall – not dinners; and Georgianna and Walter (Couse) ate there the first day they came, and my mother greeted them and said, “Welcome to Northville,” She was great a doing this, and besides she worked with my father.  He could not have run any of these papers without her.  She was a writer.  She had written for magazine and so forth.  And she was the best asset he ever had.  So anyway …
Q:        Well, the business district –  
RMA:  The business district was very similar – well you know how it looked a few years ago without anything done to it.  It was not the pretty village it is now – the City.  But I remember Fredyl’s women’s store and I remember Nellie Freydl – whatever her last name was – she married someone else.  The older mother was there, and the daughter was there, and the daughter lived above Freydl’s.  I remember the soda fountains in the Stuart’s Drugstore and Gunzel’s – each had.  And Stuart’s kept their soda fountains longer than Gunzel’s did and across the street – Russell said the A & P Store was where Genitti's is.  I don’t remember that.  I remember the A & P Store being I thought on the north side – a very small store on the north side.
Q:        All right – what about C. A. Smith Store?  Before A & P wasn’t there … 
RMA:  That probably was it, and that might have been what I was thinking of because a friend of mine, Pat Dickey, that lived up on Thayer, on Eaton Drive, yeah Eaton Drive built that darling house up there, was pregnant, and she went in to ask for a pound of meat, and then the man told her how much it was, she fainted.  But she didn’t faint from the meat price – she just…the smell was terrible.  One thing I do remember, and I wrote this down – the meat market, which was Baldwin’s Meat Market, which was like where the insurance company (building just north of walkway from parking lot on N. Center St.), Lee’s Insurance – it was an old rickety building – of course, they built those over.  But there was a meat market there – Butch Baldwin, I think Baldwin filled out here – it’s not Baldwin – it was Baldin, you know, named after that family.  But anyway he had a meat market and, you know, they’d sweep all the leavings in with the sawdust, and that place smelled.  But there was no health control in this town until Russell took over as Health Officer and made a world of enemies, but he insisted on covering the barrels of open cookies and open things.  And now they get back to that in, you know, some of these stores.  What made him quit being health officer was Mrs. Rackham who was forever calling him and asking him to get the dogs off her lawn.  He said, “I’m not the dog catcher, I’m the Health Officer.”  But back of Stuart’s Drug Store back of Northville Drugs, they found junk.  They found a fence under four feet, no four – well yes – six feet of junk.  They cleared it all out, and there was a fence, and on top of that was all this stuff.  He made them clean up the alley.  He made them clean up their stores, you know.
Q:        Well, Fred Kerr will never eat at MacKinnon’s, particularly if he has to overlook the alley because he swept that. 
RMA:  Oh, is that right.
Q:        And he worked at Stuart’s at Northville Drug. 
RMA:  That’s right, he did.
Q:        And there was a bathroom back there on the back that has now – is no longer there.  But it was, you know, and he did work the soda fountains. 
RMA:  Yes, I see.  I remember that now.  Oh my gosh.
Q:        So that actually the business district sort of stopped there and then went on to Gunsel’s? 
RMA:  Oh yeah, yes it did.  And I was trying to think, there was a Seifrost Bakery was on the north side of the street, where the bakery is now.  Mrs. Seifrost ran it for years, and that’s where Roxy – I couldn’t get – we couldn’t get Roxanne a job anywhere to earn any money.  You know “Doctors children never needed any money,” was the attitude.  And Mrs. Seifrost, bless her heart, let her work there.  She earned $100.00 to go to Europe, you know, for her spending money.  Anyway, there was that.  And then – did anybody ever tell you about Alfred Sibley having a store?  Well, I think it was where the Marquis is, next – this side of the theater.  He had a little shop …
Q:        That was the P & A then, wasn’t it? 
RMA:  Yes, the P & A Theater.  He had women’s clothes, and then some people bought him out, and they moved over to what was Lapham’s for a while.  Lapham’s I think, you know Mr. Ponsford had owned it, and then back when her husband bought it.  But in between there was another couple and I can’t – they went up north after this.  They had wonderful Scottish woolens and English china.  I bought my… I think what they had left went to Alfred Sibley, and he started up again… I bought my Spoke from them.  And we had some very nice shops that way.  And then, you know, Laphams came in, and Beth had yard goods and things like that to begin with, or else Ponsford’s did – I don’t remember.
Q:        Well, where’d you buy the material for your graduation dress? 
RMA:  Probably there.  I imagine that’s where we probably bought it.
Q:        Now, you recall when Schraders came to town? 
RMA:  No, because …oh, Nelson Schrader, you know, the father had…was here when we came to town.  I know Eliza said to me one time, “Do you remember that day – you remember the gazebo in the middle of the ‘four corners’?  I said, “I wasn’t here.”  Oh, you were too.”  I said, “No, I wasn’t Eliza.”  The street car tracks were no longer in use, and there was no gazebo there, so… And see Mrs. Schrader and my father – one was a Democrat and one was a Republican.  And my father and he would run back and forth with all this wonderful news about their parties.  But he was a very nice man, and then they had the funeral parlor right next to that.  But see, I didn’t come here until…he was here in ’31 – yeah, ’31 when I was here – well established, so I assume.  And you know the Casterline’s and they had a big falling out and all this stuff, which we won’t go into.
Q:        Ok, I don’t know anything about it so… 
RMA:  Well, that was when the broke up their furniture and …
Q:        Their funeral business? 
RMA:  Yeah, the funeral business.
Q:        Right, well they were in Plymouth and then they moved… 
RMA:  Yeah right.  So that’s…let’s see if I have anything else down here.  Well, what else do you want to find out about?
Q:        Well, OK, you were active as a doctor’s wife.  I presume you were supposed to be active in the community? 
RMA:  Everything.
Q:        Everything – so the Methodist Church.
RMA:  Well I taught Sunday School there six years, and oh I did lots of other things.  I used to play for Sunday School of course.
Q:        I imagine you did if you were a pianist. 
RMA:  Yes, and I was the Board of Trustees and on that because Russell and I were invited…they had – was it two years ago – they had the people who had been members twenty-five years or more were honored out at the new church.  And so I said to Russell, “Do you want to go?”  And he said, “I don’t really, but we will.”  And so we went, and they first asked for those twenty-five years, and some stood up, and then thirty years, forty years.  I think that we’d been – I’d been – he’d been a member fifty-five years, and I’d been a member fifty years at least or fifty-five.  I don’t … We were the last ones to stand up, except one lady in a wheelchair that they’d wheeled up to the front.
Q:        Oh dear. 
RMA:  I thought, “Oh gee, there we are.”
Q:        All right, was the church … 
RMA:  It was right on Dunlap.
Q:        Right … 
RMA:  Yes, right where the other church is.  And then the parsonage was right next to it.  You know, right on the corner there.  It was a wooden structure.  And um…then after the…after the church, you know, got the other parsonage.  What’s her name…Black…the Black…the daughter of the Black’s, the sister to Del Black, had the White Kitchen Restaurant.
Q:        Hmm. 
RMA:  And Pat Goodrich and I used to give going-back-to-school coffees or something there, or we’d give luncheons or Christmas luncheons, and she had wonderful food, she really did.
Q:        So that, you went to not the present church, but the original Methodist Church? 
RMA:  Yes, the original Methodist Church.
Q:        And then the one that was now turned into the Drawbridge was the second? 
RMA:  Yes.
Q:        And were you instrumental in raising funds for that? 
RMA:  No, wait a minute; was that the second Methodist Church?
Q:        I don’t know, was it? 
RMA:  No, no that was the first.
Q:        That was the first?  That was the original? 
RMA:  The only one I know of.
Q:        Ok, ok. 
RMA:  Yeah, that was the first, and Roxy’s was the last, I guess, big wedding that they had there, you know, before they changed to the new church out there on Eight Mile.
Q:        How’d you feel about the change - moving? 
RMA:  I was unhappy about it.  But to be perfectly frank, I didn’t like the architecture of the new church.  I feel that Northville – I still feel this way.  I don’t like that building across from that Presbyterian Church.  I think it’s terrible.  I think we should have kept it within a certain architecture, but I know who planned the church out there, and I know their taste is all in the mouth, you know …
Q:        Yes.
RMA:  It just, it isn’t … to me, it isn’t a …
Q:        Well? 
RMA:  Well, it isn’t the same.  Anyway …
Q:        No, it’s not, but … 
RMA:  But, you know, you do what you can.  We aren’t so active anymore because we don’t know anybody out there.  And I know they called Russell to rake the yard.  Wondered if he’d come out and help them rake recently.  He said, “Well, I’ve done that – I’ve already done that.  I’m a little too old for that.”  And the man said, “How old are you?”  And he said, “I’m 78.”
And he said, “You are?”
Q:        Right. 
RMA:  Well, that’s true, he shouldn’t be doing that.
Q:        Well, you go through phases in your church life. 
RMA:  That’s right.
Q:        And I think once your children are grown, and they have children, you feel like it’s time to step back and… 
RMA:  Yes … right.
Q:        And…your children all went to the Methodist Church? 
RMA:  Yeah, sure, and I was President of Service Guild.  You know when that started, and my mother was a charter member.
Q:        Was she really? 
RMA:  Yeah, she was.  So I was with the church group up until the last probably – what fifteen years.  And then I don’t like to leave Russell at night sitting here watching TV or something and I go off to these meetings.  You know, I did that for so many years while he was busy with office hours.  I was always at a meeting somewhere.
Q:        Well… 
RMA:  And so now …
Q:        Don’t you find too – my husband has the feeling he doesn’t care what I do all day but… 

RMA:  Yeah, he’d like to have you home at night.
Q:        Why’d we get married? 
RMA:  That’s true.  I remember Georgianna saying, “You know, Walter and I used to meet each other going out the door.”  And there was a stage in my life when I felt the same way.  I might have to give the scholarship for Women’s Club.  I was having a tea in the afternoon for a new doctor’s wife, you know, and it would just be almost more than you could bear.  And I remember this one doctor, Dr. Kapuzi’s wife, we gave a tea for her, and that was the day we had to give the – present the scholarship for Women’s Club up at the school at the Honors Convocation, and she hadn’t planned to leave, I think, until he was through with office hours which was about 9 pm.  I had to be there at 7:30, and I had to really take her to the office and leave her because people didn’t leave the tea until almost six, and then we had hamburgs or something and her, you know.
Q:        Did? 
RMA:  She looked at me as if I’d lost my mind.
Q:        Well OK, was Russ the only doctor in town? 
RMA:  No, there was Dr. Snow was here.

Q:        Oh, that’s right. 
RMA:  And Dr. Handorf was here, and I think Dr. Holcomb, and Russell worked out of Sessions Hospital until things… It didn’t have the reputation he wanted surrounding his name – I won’t say anymore.  But ah, no, it just didn’t.  So that why we started our own little hospital which was the only one, you know, between Howell and Detroit.  We used to get all these accident cases, I can’t tell you.  I wouldn’t see Russell for maybe well, during the flu epidemic, four days.  He and Laura Hicks were laughing about it because I said, “Did you ever get tired of the bologna and tomato sandwiches I made?  Russell asked me, “Please don’t make anymore of those, they fell apart.”  But they would come home, and she would go – her husband win the War in the Army, so she was glad to be busy, and she was his only nurse up there.  I mean she did everything.  She kept books, she took the phone, she did everything.  Wonderful girl, and anyway…we just …
Q:        And that building was located? 
RMA:  Which one, now?
Q:        The hospital. 
RMA:  The Doctors’ Clinic - his father’s home for our office.  Our clinic - building- yeah, the Doctors’ Clinic, which is now the…
Q:        Atchison House. 
RMA:  But he was gone an awful, awful lot.
Q:        Who then when he was there, who did, who were the doctors that came in with him?  You mentioned Dr., Kapuzi… 
RMA:  Oh, okay.  Well Dir Kapuzi came in.  First came Dr. Wetterstrom.  He had been in Public Health up in the Upper Peninsula, and then Russell got him in, and what I always remember about Bob is that a good Catholic had to eat fish on Friday, and I was pregnant with Roxanne and sick as a horse, and we were doing over the kitchen completely in the house on Rogers.  So we had to walk across the boards to the dining room, and I had to cook in the basement and do the dishes in the laundry tubs.  And he had to have fish, and I can still, you know, remember taking the bones out of this fish and feeling so sick.  And Mr. Goetz, who was the world’s best carpenter, but the slowest.  It took him three months to do that kitchen.  I mean we had Christmas do across those boards.
Q:        That’s Annabel’s husband? 
RMA:  No, that was his uncle (oh, okay) Fred Goetz – wonderful carpenter.  Anyway, yeah, Russell took him in then he got Bud Robinson in with him.  Well then, he had other doctors too that came maybe one or two days a week, and orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Lamberson for ‘P and ‘A’s’ and ear, nose and throat things, and then, of course, Dr. Kapuzi.  Dr. Rogers was in.  He gave is OP work to Dr. Rogers.  And Dr. Rogers was the grandson of the Rogers out here that the – what is it called now – that restaurant on Nine Mile Road, that beautiful old house they turned…

Q:        Home Sweet Home. 
RMA:  Yes, that was the one.  I shouldn’t have said that. 
Q:        I haven’t been in it, but from what I’ve heard, I… 
RMA:  I don’t want to see it because Russell took care of them all their lives.  In fact, we have a needlepoint stool downstairs that Mrs. Rogers did for him, and he won’t let me change the top because he sat with them for four days and four nights while Mr. Rogers was dying.  And they were friends of my parents.  They – I remember when they built the house – they had ten coats of channel finish woodwork.  It was just beautiful, and it would break my parents’ heart, and it broke ours when we went to the other restaurant that was out there, and that was done more tastefully than it is now, I guess.
Q:        Yes. 
RMA:  But those black pillars, they just kill it, you know.
Q:        I went by, and I thought – well of course, people say “Home Cooking” – we can get that at home anyway. 
RMA:  Yes, right.  So anyway….
Q:        Well, I know that the Rogers House was – I’m going through some of…We haven’t got into Women’s Club yet, but going through some of the minutes, hers, I couldn’t imagine who had a house big enough that you could combine Plymouth, Farmington, and Northville Woman’s Club, and then Ruth Porter said, “Oh that was Rogers House,” and I thought…. 
RMA:  It probably was with the dining room and living room, and then because Marie Caruso bought that later, you know, and she used to give big parties.  And it was a large house, but a beautiful house.
Q:        Well, then you and Russ did have some free time… 
RMA:  Like when?
Q:        Well, did you ever have family outings or get together with other couples? 
RMA:  Well, there were a lot, we had a lot- yes, we had a lot of fun in those years.  We had a lot of couples that got together, but invariably we would get to the party and Russell would be called out.  I mean, there was just…I always remember a New Year’s Eve party and Eden and Russell Clark.  You know, he was with the bank, and Russell went over to Novi to get the babysitter for me, and he walked in the door, and he was called.  Some kids, some kids had been riding out on Nine Mile Road, and apparently there’s a curve on Nine Mile west, Nine Mile someplace – a very sharp turn, and they had run into the end of the road because it was icy, and he and he called Dr. Lamberson, and they were down at Mt. Carmel.  Russell was on the staff of Mt. Carmel then – down there until I think six in the morning, and then the people wouldn’t pay them because they didn’t – the doctors didn’t want a certain – oh, what do you call them when, you know, they have to line up the teeth or whatever…orthodontist.

Q:        Dentist. 
RMA:  Orthodontist doctor because they didn’t know of his work.  He was new in the field, and they didn’t know.  They wanted someone whose work they were acquainted with.  Well, just another one who didn’t get paid.  Too many parties we went to.  That night I always remember sitting there ‘till three in the morning, and finally Russ Clark took he home and took the babysitter home, which was hard because and often times we gave parties at our house.  We had a bunch of people like the Schraeders and the Clarks and, oh gee, all kinds of people.  Did you ever know PEEWEE Hoffman and Paul Hoffman?  He was the Ford Motor and Edsel Ford’s right hand man.  That was another crowd and another group and a couple and Harriet and Rick Goodrich and just an awful lot of people.  We had Jo Hahn and Del Hahn and the Blooms and all those.  I remember giving dinner parties for 42 people.  The neighbor next door said, “You’re running all the time.”  I said, “Yes, I have to.”  I had four children then then have to, you know, you fix a big cooker full of chicken with wine or something, but we had a awful a nice group, a lot of fun.  They used to have dances up here at the high school.  Did anybody tell you about those?  What was that club called.  It was a dance club, and then we’d go out to Hillside to eat afterwards, when Hillside still had wood floors, and it wasn’t very fancy, but it was a lot of fun up here.
Q:        Do you remember any picnics at the park? 
RMA:  Oh yeah, our family used to go on picnics, and Rick and Harriet would go with us, and you know Harriet’s a great cook, so we’d have fried potatoes and everything.  We’d either go to Kensington, or we’d go out here, and I remember taking our son Rick and his new baby and his wife out here for picnics.  We had a lot of them.  My favorite picnic dessert was that I…we used to take doctors out here on picnics if they would come out, and they’d be working with Russell – then you’d say, “Let’s go on a picnic.”  And I would make…I don’t remember what the main course was- probably we cooked something, but I can just…lime pie that was about 4” tall, and, you know, from the summer time, and everybody loved that.  So, I don’t know, we always had a lot of fun.  We made fun.  I did a lot with the children alone.  There was just no way Russell – he was too tied to that office delivering babies.  He finally had the first car phone in Wayne County, and it did save him some miles, and I would catch him on the way home from delivering one and say, “You’ve got another.  Go back.”  And I remember one night- the worst night of my life.  I think I was upstairs and getting ready for bed and… You know Billy Leon?  You know Mrs. Leon?  Her husband had a bleeding ulcer all over the floor.  Um…somebody was having a heart attack.  I sent the ambulance there in three times, and the next one was a boy that was home working on a wrecker, and some local boys were home from the Navy and had been drinking and ran into him – he was trying to get fixed or something and ran into him.  It was Betty Willis’ brother.  I can’t think of what his name is.  But anyway, Russell…I had to send him in, and he didn’t live.  I mean, he went into shock, and they couldn’t do anything about it.  So, you know, I was alone an awful lot, and we laugh about Rhonda, her horse and all her horse shows.  And I would be out there all by myself.  I’d have to take a bunch of kids and the horse tack and everything and go to these shows because Russell would be on call.
Q:        So you’re – so Rhonda – she owned a horse.  I know that Betty Schrader’s daughter had a horse. 
RMA:  Probably Sarah did.  Rhonda’s became, you know State Pleasure Champion.  We sold it to Milton Cole because Rhonda was going to college, and we couldn’t manage $125 a month just to feed the darned thing – so it broke her heart.  But on the other hand, as you say, life is a series of stages.  You have to do these things.
Q:        All right.  Okay.  You were a Girl Scout leader? 
RMA:  Oh yeah, first – Girl Scout leader.  Then Betty…Ware – what were her … not Mary Ware – the other Ware, Dorothy Ware, his (Don Ware) first wife, was the Campfire leader, and we worked together.  And then I was a Girl Scout leader, for quite a few years.  I was on the Girl Scout Council for a couple of years.  I was a Cub Scout leader.  I met a boy, a man now, over in the waiting room at St. Joe’s a couple years ago, and he came towards me and said “Are you Mrs. Atchison?”, and I said, “Yes.” “You used to be my Cub Scout leader.”  I said, “Dennis, I remember you,” because I took him down here, you know, what do you do?  You could handle about 24 girls to seven boys.  And by the end, when spring came, you were so tired of trying to think of things for them to do every week.  So, we went on a hike down here by the river, and there was still a little snow.  Were looking for animal tracks – you know rabbits or whatever.  All of a sudden, I’m missing two boys, and I thought, “Oh my God!”  You know, here I am with these kids, and they’re gone, and the river was right up to the bank.  What they had done was hide under the viaduct.  I could’ve killed them cheerfully.  I said, “Dennis, I remember you.  You were one of the two who hid under the viaduct.”  But that…that’s normal kids for you.
Q:        Right – Russ was not able to be active in any of the things with the boys? 
RMA:  Well  He was on the School Board, of course.  But not in with the kids.  There was no way he could, you know, he was just so tied down.  And his practice came first.
Q:        Definitely. 
RMA:  Definitely!  Right.  I used to go with him a lot.  I used to go with him on house calls.
Q:        Mothers’ Club. 
RMA:  Okay.

Q:        I’m sure. When did it…where…? 
RMA:  Oh my.  Well Mother’s Club started, I think, about the year before we were married.  That’s when Iris and Lillian Dorsey and all those started Mothers’ Club.  And you know the reason for it was to give milk to children that couldn’t afford milk during the Depression.  That’s what it was started as.  Not the big business it is today.  It’s wonderful what’s being accomplished.  And then, as soon as I was married – I guess I was pregnant – I was taken into Mothers’ Club, and I had various offices in that, and I was president.  I don’t remember what years I was president.  But we had an entirely different group then.  I mean, you know, some left and some…but I thought we did a lot of good work, and we used to have these…  Do you remember the – you probably don’t remember the carnivals up at the school?
Q:        No, I only had one son that went to Northville schools. 
RMA:  Well, our two boys went away to school too.  (Telephone rings)  Russell can get that.  But anyway…
Q:        Money makers- what’s the carnival in the basement of the grade school? 
RMA:  That was a money maker for the school, and all the different clubs, like Mothers’ Club.  Womans’ Club had the cake booth, and you know, everybody would donate cakes.  And with the Girl Scouts – I was thinking about that tool.  We’d have this Girl Scout card party, and we’d raffle off the cakes that were left and so forth.  We had a lot of money that way.  Cliff Hill was the auctioneer, and if could do it anybody could.  We earned a lot.  Well anyway, we earned a lot at this carnival.  We had it about four years in a row.  It was a lot of work, you know.  As I say, Rotary took one, Exchange took another.  It was terrific.  And Woman’s Club had this cake booth, and the ice cream was donated by Guernsey.
Q:        Guernsey? 
RMA:  Cloverdale, I think.  And it would be hard as rocks, you know, and you’d have to have a man to help us do this.  Well, one time I came home from so-called managing this thing, and the boys had gotten in a fight,  pushed each other down the stairs and broken a door knob, and Russell came home, and the sitter was complaining – an older woman we had was telling me about it, and Russell looked at me very quietly, and he said, “Couldn’t someone who doesn’t have four children manage that?”  And he was so right, you know – he really was right.  But you think – you’re into this – you have to do it.  So what was some of the money makers we had.  I’m trying to…
[Tape stops]
Q:        You were really never alone.  You never felt left out of anything in town? 
RMA:  Oh no, I didn’t.  And I know Harriet Gibbins said to me at one time, we were talking about prestige one time.  I said, “You know, prestige has never bothered me.”  She said, “Ruth, you had it.”  You see, a newcomer coming to town found Northville very cold.  Harriet always said if it hadn’t been for me, “I don’t know where I’d of been in this town.”  And she said, “You know what I liked you?”  She said, “I saw you get up in front of a meeting at school,” I suppose it was PTA.  She said, “You had a slip on that had the kind of lace on I liked, and it was down about half inch below in the back of your dress,” but she said, “It was the kind I liked, so I figured I liked you too.”  I said, “It wasn’t what Harriet said.”  She said, “No.”  But anyway…well, you know, you’re automatically just pushed into everything.
Q:        And so, what I’m thinking, because Russ couldn’t be there, people just – they took more or less care of you. 
RMA:  Oh yes.  People were wonderful that way.  Yeah, I never felt…I never felt ostracized or excluded or anything like that.  And, of course, our family had always been in community things.  I mean, in Albion, my father was editor.  He did things because you were part of the community, and when we cam here, boy we were told that we were part of this community, and we should assume – take these responsibilities.
Q:        Well, and as a doctor’s wife. 
RMA:  Well, you get it, you know?
Q:        Yes.  I would imagine more so than anyone other than the minister’s wife. 
RMA:  But it was always funny because the new doctor – the young, new doctor in town, you know, you get…There’s a lot of talk that goes on around I suppose among the other doctors and so forth.  So you have to watch what you’re doing.
Q:        You’re the new kid on the block – but he used to do it his way, and we didn’t do it that way? 
RMA:  That’s right.  I remember the first OB I ever got in on, and I was no nurse, you know.  People say “Are you a nurse?”  I say, “No, heavens no.”  We were trying to get one day off – one half afternoon off.  It was Wednesdays then.  And we were going to go up to Port Huron and have dinner by the water and come back.  And he had this Packard convertible – Russell did.  And when we were married, he even had a Packard convertible.  His mother said that’s why I married him.  That and his money.  He didn’t have any money.
Q:        But he had the Packard – that was enough. 
RMA:  He had the car.  So anyway, and I’d go on house calls with him – one up to Rochester.  When we were courting, he would pick me up at maybe nine o’clock at night.  I’d sit there embroidering ‘till he got through office house or even later and go up to see a mental patient, and he’d leave my sitting out front with the top down.  I’d think, “Oh gee, I don’t want to be out here with these kinds of loonies.”  And em, so the next time he took me in, and it was worse because they could come and look at me, you know.  They’d just look you all up and down.  So anyway, I was used to going with him on places like that.  But we went up to Port Huron, and I remember we ordered a fish dinner, and we got the tomato juice, and we started to drink the tomato juice, and the phone range.  And here was an OB down here, down in Northville, and it was out on Seven Mile in Orvil Owen’s house.  The people had nothing.  I won’t mention names.  They had absolutely nothing.  The woman was on newspapers in the bed.  And this baby was being born a breech, and Russell kept me busy poring mercrescent on cotton or on gauze bandages or stuff just to keep me, so I wouldn’t probably faint, OK.  But that was the first and last I ever sat in on or wanted to.
Q:        So you never really were a member of his office staff, so to speak? 
RMA:  Oh no, I just took phone calls.
Q:        You took the phone calls. 
RMA:  I was the phone girl – all the time.
Q:        Okay, we know that you’ve been a member of Northville Woman’s Club for over fifty years. 
RMA:  Fifty years!  Yeah, isn’t that amazing? 
Q:        Yes. 
RMA: I feel it is.  I’m also surprised that I’ve lived that long, you know. 
Q:        Well… 
RMA:  Really, and I’ve loved Woman’s Club ever since…I remember..The first.
Q:        Okay, let’s go back and just sort of reminisce about when you…Who got you to – asked you to join? 
RMA:  I think Jo Hahn was the one…
Q:        Was you sponsor? 
RMA:  I think Jo Hahn was my sponsor, and I hear that she’s not in very good shape.  She’s over in Ann Arbor now.  She was, when I was President, she was my Program Chairman, and I always felt in good hands with her because she was so very excellent.  But anyway, the first thing they did was give me the office of Secretary – I think the second year I was in there.  Secretary, yes.  Not treasurer – I could never be treasurer of anything, I’m sure.  It was Secretary, and that was all right except all the new members had to participate in a program.  So I was to write a paper on the history of American music.  Do you know the history of American music incorporates everything in Europe?  You might say anything from anywhere.  I worked hard on that.  Oh I worked hard, and then I got pregnant with Rick and was sick as a horse.  I was so sick I couldn’t give the paper.
Q:        Well, how many members went in when you did? 
RMA:  Oh gosh.
Q:        When you say new members, and you met every week? 
RMA:  Not.. we didn’t.. gosh, I can’t remember who went in.  Well, Georgianna has been a member fifty years.
Q:        M’hmm.  But I’m thinking… you say all the new members had to give papers. 
RMA:  I think that was the… No, they had to do something – give a program, and I don’t know that it was that year, but if you were a new member, that’s when you took part.  I mean, there were more people taking part in the meetings than have guest speakers and stuff, you know.
Q:        Yes, right. 
RMA:  And we put on little skits and plays.
Q:        Yes, tell me about the skits. 
RMA:  Oh my gosh.  We would dress up in our worst – our nightgowns or whatever and do dances like the can-can and things like this.  I remember my hair all up in bobby pins, and other people, I don’t remember nightcaps.  I can’t remember the theme of it, you know, ‘cause we did this three or four times.  But we put on…
Q:        So many people recall the skits and are sorry that we don’t do them anymore. 
RMA:  They were fun, and it was a good way of getting acquainted.  It was part of your initiation is really what it was.  And I think it’s good to have more people participate – somebody give a book review, or something.  Because that paper, although I couldn’t give it, I was so sick at the time.  I had my friends, Pat Dickey, who came in with me, but she was living in the East – she gave it for me.  But, you know, that was kind of a neat idea as part of your being new in the Club to take part that way.
Q:        Well, when the Club was first formed, the members did all the programs? 
RMA:  That’s right.
Q:        And, as I said, they did meet every week and …well, and it was the Club to belong to, I understand. 
RMA:  Yeah really!  And, you know, when I was President, there were – we had a waiting list for two or three years.  My lord, there wasn’t any room for anybody because there was a lower number, fewer people.
Q:        Well, you were meeting… 
RMA:  In the library.
Q:        The old library building?  (ED:  New School Church/Mill Race Village) 
RMA:  I loved it that way, too.  It was really nice.
Q:        What about – did you have the same kind of teas that we put on, so to speak? 
RMA:  Oh yeah!  We had very nice teas.  Yes, we did, and the Christmas program, and…you know.
Q:        What are a couple things that we don’t do anymore that you wish… 
RMA:  I’m trying to think.
Q:        I miss the Mother-Daughter tea. 
RMA:  That was nice.  It was a nice thing.  I don’t know – I can’t think of what else except the skits and having somebody, more maybe book review or some other program, of course travel log or something like that.  More anticipation, anticipation – participation by members might be kind of nice, I think.
Q:        Well, we’re coming up to celebrating our 100th in four years. 
RMA:  Yeah.  They had a style show – you would probably remember that – of the old…
Q:        Yes. 
RMA:  …costumes.  Mary Haney, I think got that together, didn’t she?
Q:        Yes, I think so.  I’ve suggested that they talk to her because I think she was quite instrumental in that.
RMA:  Oh, I think she was.  And Betty Chapman loaned some of her things.
Q:        Well to find people tiny enough to wear them? 
RMA:  That’s true, yeah.  Right.  That would be part of it wouldn’t it?  But I think it would be nice to have something like that, if we possibly could.
Q:        Well, a committee is being formed to work on it. 
RMA:  That’s good.
Q:        And I sort of try to take notes on things like that so we can have some kind of a plan for that year. 
RMA:  You know, we used to dress up to Woman’s Club.  We’d wear our furs.  We’d wear, you know, very good looking suits and we sometimes had our opening lunches in Ann Arbor and things like that and…
Q:        Yes, you did go further afield. 
RMA:  Oh, yeah!  When I was President, one year we went to the over there in the North Campus.  There’s a – what is it?  An Engineering Society or something over there.  There’s a building where at least you could – they had a nice lunch room thing, and that’s where we went one year.
Q:        Did you ever go to the Woman’s City Club for lunch there? 
RMA:  Yes, I think we went one year.  And, of course, we’ve been at Botsford.
Q:        What about Plymouth?
RMA:  I’ll never forget that Botsford one.
Q:        Oh really? 
RMA:  There was a lady in this town noted for putting her foot in her mouth, and apparently the speaker that they had lined up, at the last minute or something, couldn’t come.  So here introduction of the speaker was, “We’re so glad to have you with us.  We’ve tried and tried and tried to get somebody else…”  And all of us just sat there just thinking, “Oh no, please don’t let her say these things.”  We just kind of shrunk down in our chairs.
Q:        Oh my! 
RMA:  That was at – I remember that was Botsford’s – one I’ll never forget.  But it was kind of fun to dress up, but, you know, I was used to being a doctor’s wife, and everybody thinks doctors have all this money and stuff, which is really ridiculous.  Maybe some do.  Maybe they do today – more than they did.  I don’t know.  I’m sure they do.  I would go home and change.  I would never go to the grocery store or never go anywhere in my good looking suit or my fur scarf or anything.  I would come home and change before I’d ever go out around people that might be Russell’s patients.
Q:        That’s right! 
RMA:  I just wouldn’t do it!
Q:        Yeah – my dad always had the policy that you never drove a car bigger than the customer you might be calling on. 
RMA:  Oh that’s true.  Except, you know, one time we were going to buy a secondhand Cadillac.  We don’t have new cars.  Russell believes in secondhand cars ‘cause everything, you know, all the troubles are out of them, he thinks.  Anyway, he said “Well, we shouldn’t really drive a Cadillac.”  I said “Russell, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t because if you drive a big car, they’ll say, “Oh my goodness, he’s making all that money.”  If you drive a rickety old car, they’ll say, “He can’t be a very good doctor because he doesn’t drive a very good car.”  So I said, “You do what you want to do.”  You know you have to in this life to a certain point.  But we were kind of cognizant of...we didn’t try to throw anything around.  I remember how hurt I was one time.  A lady – two women from the Maybury San had been drinking down at the bar on North Center, and they hit out car out in front of our garages because it was snowing; you couldn’t get up that drive.  That drive was made for horses and buggies.  And we would gun it and try to make it up, but half the time we couldn’t so we were parked out there, and I heard this crash.  And I grabbed my fifteen-year-old beaver coat.  I think it was beaver.  No, seal.  It was fifteen years old and ratty and everything, but it was there on the chair or something, and I grabbed, put it on, and ran down.  This woman says to me, “Well, here comes Mrs. Rich Bitch.”  And I thought, "I never!"  “I just came to help you, you know.”  I said, “I just came to see if you were all right.”  But, you know, you never know what people are thinking about you or saying about you, Lois, really.  And all you can do is walk as straight a path as you think you should and just ignore that people are saying.
Q:        Now, did the Woman’s Club just meet in the library building and then did they switch over to the Presbyterian Church? 
RMA:  Presbyterian Church – yes.
Q:        Nothing in between or anything? 
RMA:  No.
Q:        Not like Town Hall has switched around. 
RMA:  No, no, no.  Well, there weren’t too many places to switch around, you know, that large.  I mean that you could accommodate….
Q:        But they used to have combination meetings.  I mean, you know, with Farmington and Plymouth, and they were active with the Detroit Chapter.  And I know that people are upset because we don’t pay dues anymore to the…’cause we’re not federated.  Well, tell me about that. 
RMA:  It does give…we – we were with the Federation when I was President.  And Mary Haney and I went down to the meetings, you, know, to the training courses and all this stuff they offered.  We never felt we got anything for our money from the Detroit Federation.  We were doing just fine by ourselves.  But Mary and I went to this one meeting down there in their building on Jefferson.  I think it was.  It was on how to conduct a meeting.  So we sat there, and the woman said, “well, you know you’re not supposed to put your hands in your pockets, “and told us how to conduct ourselves.  I looked at May and Mary looked at me, and I poled her, and this woman had her thumbs over the top of her skirt band or trousers or whatever she had on, I don’t know.  We just almost got hysterical and had to leave because, you know.  Well, that was neither here nor there, but it was just funny because this was a workshop on how to conduct a meeting, and she was doing all the wrong things.
Q:        Well, now…Detroit City Club – was that anything like Northville Woman’s Club? 
RMA:  No, I don’t know the City Club.
Q:        Ok, the City Club is privately owned. 

RMA:  Well, that’s where I’ve had lunch there several times.
Q:        Right!  Because they’ve had people come into Northville, who want to become a member of Northville Woman’s Club, but our dues are so small, they say, “Oh, then you must not be… 
RMA:  Oh no!  I think the City Club is a place you could go swim.  If you want to, and they have wonderful lunches – beautiful food.  It was more like a Meadowbrook Country Club in the middle of the city or something….
Q:        Right…. 
RMA:  I think.
Q:        But we’ve had that, that… 
RMA:  Oh, really!
Q:       People will say, “My goodness, your dues are too low and”…Well, we don’t own a building. 
RMA:  No, right.  That was a different kind of club, I think – maybe more like Ann Arbor City Club.
Q:        Right, right. 
RMA:  Not Northville Woman’s Club.
Q:        Well, we kept thinking – wouldn’t it be nice if the White House (ED:  Nine Mile east of Novi Rd.) would have been donated to the Woman’s Club?  We would’ve had this… 
RMA:  Oh hey, wouldn’t that have been something?  I never thought of that.
Q:        What a pipe dream! 
RMA:  Yeah, we could paint the pillars white again.
Q:        Right.  Well, do you remember any of the common – the meetings with Farmington and Plymouth? 
RMA:  It’s funny, I really don’t.  I don’t remember any with Plymouth.  We’ve never had lunches with Farmington.  Opening lunches?  I don’t think so.  Not in my tenure.  I don’t remember any of that.

Q:        Ok, because we certainly don’t do it any more. 
RMA:  No.  Uh, huh. No, we never… 
Q:        How big was the membership when you were… “Cause we’re up to… 
RMA:  You’re up to what now? 
Q:        Hmmm..175. 

RMA:  Yeah.  We were at the most… It seemed to… Was it 65?  Am I wrong? 
Q:        It could be.  Well, we’ve just redone the bylaws again. 
RMA:  Or 125 at the most. 
Q:        No, that’s right.           
RMA:  Well, that library didn’t take over 65 people.  As I recall, 65 or 75 was our limit then, and that’s why we had such a long waiting list, because you couldn’t get any more in. 
Q:        That’s right, yeah, yeah,  a… everybody looked their vest best. 
RMA:  Oh yeah.  It was really great.  I remember – you remember Ed Yerkes?  Did you ever know Ed and his wife?  She was such a lovely girl.  She had, you know, had so many troubles.  And I remember she had just had that first stroke, and she was living at her mother’s in Plymouth, and I went over and got Buzz so that she could come back to Woman’s Club to the Christmas Tea, you know.  And she struggled in, and I’ll never forget that gal had more backbone that anybody I’d ever known.  I used to watch her tying Chucky’s little baby shoes with here teeth and one hand.  And I’ll never forget the night that she had the stroke because I was… you know, how you associate foods with things?  I was making a big kettle of homemade soup.  It was wintertime, I guess, and Russell was off on a call or out at the hospital, and Ed called, and he said, “Get Russ quick.  Buzz had had a stroke or something.”  So.  I got Russell, and they rushed her to Ann Arbor, and she almost died of course.  But anyway, then she had another and almost died.  But I still associate the soup with it and in that little house over there.  I also associate…. Well, we have a funny sort of thing – we have records, a phonograph record we made with Sally Britton, the Schraders, the Clarks, all of them on what they thought about the war, because war had just been declared, when they were over there.  And I remember that day too because Rick, our son Rick, was always climbing up into this great big radio thing we had, and I was getting him down because I couldn’t hear.  I said, “You have to get down out of here.  I can’t hear, and then they’re declaring war.”  So war and the soup and this party with the Schraders.  And I remember somebody saying, “Now here’s Giggles Schrader,” meaning Betty.  And then we would listen to what she thought about how long the war was going to last – same way with Sally.  Guess she’s gone too.
Q:        Yes. 
RMA:  So it really makes you feel like Moses.
Q:        Well, I know that people did a lot of things that a lot of people don’t know about.  Were you – did you sort of be a philanthropist too, when there was a needy family or something? 
RMA:  Oh, Russell – yes absolutely – Russell had the most wonderful… Well, Roxy was so thrilled.  When she went up to Central, there was this little girl that came to her, and she was hunchback, you know, and I don’t know what all wrong with her.  And she said, “Your father saved my life.”  And Roxy said, “What do you mean?”  She said, “They told mother at the hospital…take me home and let me die because I wasn’t going to survive.  And she said she called your husband (ED – father) and he came out and made a little homemade incubator out of box with an electric light bulb or something in it and put her in it and had the mother feed her with a dropper.”  And he told me what happened later.  He said she…he saw her..she came in the office – I don’t know how many years ago.  She has a child, and she was so thrilled because she said, “You know I never would have lived.”  And I remember out across the railroad tracks there was a – he went out on a house call, and they had no neat of any sort.  So he had Ely’s bring them coal and stuff like that.  And I don’t know how long he paid for… He bought them a stove in the first place and then had Ely’s supply that.
Q:        What about you? 
RMA:  What about me?  What did I do, you mean?  Well, one time Russell came home from a call out on Five Mile Road there – this side of Beck – halfway – in an old farmhouse.  And this family was up from Tennessee or some place.  And he went out, or maybe somebody was sick.  And they had rags just stuffed in the windows and nothing to eat but a box of salt on the table and half a tin of Carnation Milk.  So Russell comes home again.  I was pregnant with Sue, but he… it seems I spent half of my life that way.  He came home, and he said, “Oh, this is almost Christmas.  Oh, they just have nothing.”  He said “Could you get some people to get things together?”  So, Marian Silver, Pat Hickey, and Jean Wetterstrom all – we got blankets – we gave blankets of our own, you know.  We gave towels, we gave pillows, we gave…  And some people gave money, and we bought… Some people we called gave money, so we bought groceries.  So then Jean Wetterstrom… I had a little Studebaker, a cute little Studebaker, and we went out with this thing loaded.  I mean we had to make two trips out there.  And this man practically met us with a gun.  He was a very belligerent man.  He said, “Where’d you get all these things?”  We said, “Well, we just collected them.  We thought maybe you could use them.”  Well, he did let us bring them in, but we had some meat, and they had an old hound dog there that was after the meat.  And they put all this stuff on top of this brand new baby.  All of a sudden somebody said, “Where’s the baby?”  You know.  Then we began looking, and it was under the bedding.  It could’ve suffocated.  And so the County worker or something call up out at… wanted to know why we had done this, and Russell said because they felt so sorry for them.  And I was going to get a little Christmas tree together and all, and Russell said, “I think that would be a little much.  When they have nothing, maybe that would just emphasize it that much more.”  But anyway, she said when she went out – this worker whatever – this social worker, they’d taken the coat and stuffed the windows again with the clothing, and they still – the food was gone.  And I don’t know what ever happened to them.  But, you know, we did things like that.  And oh, you know, if you knew somebody was sick, you would take food to them.  And if people died, you took – a case I remember – Becky Lenhardt was a member of Mother’s Club.  Her husband worked for my father.  He now has a … I guess he’s retired.  But he had a printing company in Royal Oak, and they came from South Dakota, and when we lived on South Rogers, my mother… Fern had just had this baby but was bleeding badly.  So my mother, out on the side porch there, made a little hospital for her.  My mother always wanted to be a nurse, and my father said she’s not strong enough.  My mother lived through a lot.  And – but anyway, she took care of her, but Frank – oh geez, what was I going to tell you about…
Q:        The baby? 
RMA:  Oh, Fern Hart.  I made her… Well, mother took care of Fern and the baby ‘till she was well enough to be on her feet.  And my mother not only had to, you know, work at The Record all day, she had to cook for… My father was always inviting itinerant printers home with their little dogs, and she’d have to cook for them.  And one time she came in and lay on the davenport at night before dinner, and she said, “I am so tired, so bone tired,” you know.  And she worked so hard.  But anyway, Frank.. what was I doing?  Oh yes, here I go again, telling you about Frank and then… we were talking about providing food.  Oh, I made Fern’s cake – Fern was a Mother’s Club member, and she had a wonderful black, chocolate cake recipe, and the frosting was the kind that you cooked almost like a pudding, you know.  It wasn’t the frosting as we know it today, sort of.  I worked so hard over that cake.  Took me all day.  I got to the back seat of this car and to take it to somebody’s home, slid around the corner of Main Street and North Center or of Dunlap and North Center.  The top of the cake went right off on the floor of the car and broke into three pieces.  So ended my good deed for the day.  But you know, you did a lot of that.  But that was part of it.
Q:        That’s part of Northville. 
RMA:  Yeah, Northville is a unique town.  I think it is, and I’m sorry that people – some people do not like it, you know.  Some people don’t feel at home, and then they leave.  I think the people that just sold a house down on Thayer and Rogers felt that way.  She intimated that to me one time, and so they sold it and left.  I don’t know where they went. 
Q:        Thayer and..oh that… 
RMA:  … that little white house. 
Q:        Yeah. 
RMA:  They sold for $160,000. 
Q:        And she – they were quite instrumental in donating toward the gazebo?  And I think when we had the dedication, she had that pretty little parasol? 
RMA:  Could be. 
Q:        Do you recall her name?  Greenwall? 
RMA:  And she used to live here… 
Q:        I thought it was a double name.  But I remember the parasol, and I kept thinking during this hot summer – oh, I wish I had the parasol. 
RMA:  But wasn’t he a retired Army Colonel or something like that? 
Q:        Could be.  I think so – something like that.  I just loved that little house. 
RMA:  Yeah, well it’s a darling house.  It’s next to the one that we used to live in, and when my mother had it, we had a lot of … 
Q:        Next to where? 
RMA:  That little white house where McKernan’s lived there.  The one that’s the junky place where they have all the stuff in the backyard. 

Q:        Ok, you said it all right. 
RMA:  And my mother had, you know, flower boxes. 
Q:        Your mother –that was your mother? 
RMA:  That’s where we lived when I was in college.  They moved there, and that’s where
Q:        That must just break your heart to go by there and see that? 
RMA:  It does.  Yeah, I don’t even like to even think of it.  That’s where I left from to be married down at Albion, you know.  I left from that house and…
Q:        It looks like such a pretty house. 
RMA:  It was a pretty house, and my mother was…you know, she did a lot with flowers, and we had a nice backyard with a picnic table, and we always had picnics out there.
Q:        Well, maybe when the new ordinance on maintenance goes through… 
RMA:  I hope so, but, you know they took that to court, and that man won.  I don’t …the neighbors took it to court, and he won, and I don’t know how he could possible win.
Q:        I don’t either. 
RMA:  …Well, that stuff.  Its just - it’s really an eyesore to the whole street. 
Q:        Well it is!  It definitely is! 
RMA:  Yeah, it is – yeah.  Well, I was trying to think of anything more about Woman’s Club.  It was always a lot of fun.  The opening lunches were always wonderful.

Q:        Well, we’re going back to Meadowbrook this year. 
RMA:  Are we?
Q:        Yes. 
RMA:  At least, we won’t have Bob Talbert for a speaker. 
Q:        Oh, listen….. 

RMA:  Wasn’t that…? 
Q:        And I was the Program Chairman. 
RMA:  Were the Chair?  Oh, were you really? 
Q:        I thought – would he ever get out of the bathroom jokes.  I was never so embarrassed. 
RMA:  I read…I look at his column, and sometimes I can hardly bear to even skim it, you know. 
Q:        I know..I was… Well, we all have warm memories. 
RMA:  One would never think that he would be that way. 
Q:         No, I had no idea. 
RMA:  Oh no!  He’s a renowned… 
Q:         It’s why you should always go hear somebody before you… 
RMA:  I guess.
Q:        But he was so highly recommended that…And I think he wore denims with studs in…Oh, it was… 
RMA:  Oh probably, and then he probably didn’t have his ponytail yet? 
Q:        No, he didn’t. 
RMA:  He now has that. 
Q:        Yeah, you did have to remember something. 
RMA:  And I didn’t know you were Program Chairman.  I wouldn’t have mentioned it, but…No, that’s true, but I always laugh about that because…Well, that goes right along with my Christmas program that I had that somebody didn’t like the Santa Claus we had. 
Q:        Oh really? 
RMA:  Were you there? 
Q:        No. 
RMA:  Well, I had gotten a little tired of somebody reading the Bible all the time… 
Q:        Sure. 
RMA:  …So I thought let’s have something different, and Glad Evans said, “What are we doing to do?”  We had the Music Committee, you know; she’s in charge of it.  So I said, “Well, let’s have a Santa Claus.  I know a good one, Andy Bertoni.”  And I said, “He comes to our office breakfasts, and I’ll tell him to tone down the jokes.  And…because I know some of them he told at our office breakfast, I wouldn’t want him to tell at…”  So, I heard him come in with the sleigh bells ringing.  He was supposed to have sleigh bells and given everyone…give the ladies in the front a candy cane.  I thought it would be really a cute idea for a change.  And I heard him at the kitchen door.  He got the wrong door.  So then he came out the other one, and Marge Davis was standing by at the door from the church, you know.  She said, “I hope he isn’t going to tell that one.”  So he came down the side, “Ho, ho, ho,” you know.  And the first joke he said – the first thing he said, “Oh, look at all those lovely dolls, just like those I laid under the Christmas tree last year.”  And with that he was off-and-running.  And people – Pat Brown, I’ll never forget here.  She sat there with her tears just rolling down her face.  All of us were just in hysterics, and he said – he did say, “I hope I haven’t offended any of you ladies.”  And we all said, “Oh no.”  But one gal we never saw her again at Woman’s Club.  I don’t know who she was.  She just glared like this, you know, and I never saw her again.  And I’ve never been asked to do that again – thank goodness!  It goes along with Bob Talbert.

Q:        Yes, yes! 
RMA:  We’re even. I think Lois.
Q:        Ok, I guess so.  We’ll call it a draw on that one.  Oh dear we were…I was at the Mill Race this morning, and your talk – you said that he got it – he came first to the wrong door.  Did that building have two doors? 
RMA:  I’m talking about your church (ED – Presbyterian).
Q:        OK, the church. 
RMA:  The Woman’s Club – the church – yeah. 
Q:        Ok – yeah, because we were discussing… 
RMA:  Oh no, now the little old one..not the library.  It was the church. 
Q:        Ok, it was the church. 
RMA:  That was quite a program.  Liz Allison says it was the best one she ever went to. 
Q:        Well, we’ve had, you know, when we’ve had things like Mohawk Distillery do a program at Mill Race rather than… There were people that were offended by that. 
RMA:  Well, you’re can’t have a cross section of humanity and not have somebody…
Q:        But I think, well you know, I always think of liqueurs as a festive kind of thing.  And when we..I…of course I enjoy the people like chefs come in. 
RMA:  Em, hem. 
Q:        Of course, I think you can always learn. 
RMA:  Of course, I do too.  I enjoyed that. 
Q:        And… 
RMA:  Well, it takes all kinds to make a world, I guess… 
Q:        Right! 
RMA:  But you know… 
Q:        Well, your daughters followed after you.  Is Roxanne and… 
RMA:  Rhonda.
Q:        Both are members of Woman’s Club? 
RMA:  Oh no, Rhonda isn’t.  Rhonda lives up in Troy.
Q:        Ok, well Roxanne, though? 
RMA:  Oh yeah, Roxanne is.  When she can get there on time.  Oh, poor dear.  She’s talking about teaching full time at Montessori again, and I said, “How’re you going to be able to do anything else?”  And she’s got little Whitney in first grade at St. Paul, and Whitney has food allergies and can’t sit still a lot of the time.  She may end up in kindergarten in public school ‘till she gets a little bit older and learns… No Roxy, but Roxy is – she’s – I said, “Do you ever say ‘No?’”  She said, “Not very often.”  She’s got the Mother’s Club cocktail party again this year…
Q:        Does she? 
RMA:  Last year she didn’t, well – first year she hasn’t had it in five years.  Well she says, “I get my house decorated that way.”  I said, “I know, honey, but when you’re doing all these other things, how about just…”  She’s very inventive, and she’s very – she just does a lot of wonderful things… with children.  She’s so good with children, and she loves those kids out at Montessori.  They’re darling!
Q:        Well, she was very active with the drug program. 
RMA:  Well, she still is, you know.  When is it?  Wednesday night at City Hall, they’re having a meeting with the State Substance Abuse Committee, and Roxy was the one that started this red ribbon campaign, and she has taken it over and in fact, it’s been… They had a letter from Washington about it…
Q:        Oh, great!
RMA:  So they’re having something at the City Hall, and there’s supposed to be a meeting at her house of our regular committee that’s trying to find a new way of – we want anybody that wants to – to come because this is not a money-raising one.  It is a – we need people’s brains and expertise in how we can have permanent solution to having our counselor at school.
Q:        Yes. 
RMA:  You see we had a meeting, and the school was not going to renew his grant as of September or November.  Then we had the second meeting over at Roxanne’s house.  The first meeting here.  We had about twenty over there, and Mr. Hamilton was on the phone to Dr. Bell and came back and said, “They’ve agreed to do it for another year,” and know, Bruce Miller…
Q:        Em, hem.
RMA:  Bruce turned to me and said, “My, isn’t it wonderful what a little pressure can do?”
Q:        Right! 
RMA:  Which is true.

Q:        Right! 
RMA:  So we’re trying to find… We’re trying to get the town’s people… It might even be a maybe small millage although everybody jumps at that word, but if it were $10.00 a family, so what?  And it would given, you know, us – they need it very badly.  They need this man, and he is very good, and we were going to lose him this year.  Plymouth wanted him very much.
Q:        Really? 
RMA:  Em, hem.  Yeah, no wait a minute, Livonia wanted him.  So, she’s very active in that and still continues.
Q:        Well, when your…where does Richard live? 
RMA:  Rick’s a Colonel in the Air Force.  He lives in Springfield, Virginia.  He’s in the Pentagon right now.
Q:        And Russell? 
RMA:  Rusty’s in..out in Montana.  Helena, Montana, and he’s married and loves it out there.  Wouldn’t come back to the East for anything.  He came back for our party, but he thinks it’s far too crowded back here.
Q:        Does he…Ok…They came back.  What did..did they notice a change? 

RMA:  Oh yes, they did.  They noticed…But they liked what has been done to the City, the town itself.  They…I’m not sure they were happy with all the building around, you know.  I mean all the condominiums and all the apartments.  It’s just such a complete change for them.  And I know Rusty, when he came home once before, we were driving out to Troy – to Metamora where Rhonda lives and coming back, and he noticed all these small, you know, little malls like on the corner of Ten Mile and all this.  And he said, “How do these people survive?”  He said, “I don’t know how they survive.”  He said..of course out there in Montana…we were out there last Fall…I mean 65 miles before you hit another town, or 85 or 100, and there’s nothing in between.
Q:        No, so it..Not even a rest stop. 
RMA:  No.  Right.  But no, they like the downtown.  They think it’s just darling, and the homes – they can’t get over the price of homes here. 
Q:        No. 

RMA:  They really can’t.
Q:        And have you noticed that people are adding on to their homes more now.  I think, than they did even ten years ago rather than move into another house?  They’re putting another bedroom on or adding on to it. 
RMA:  Yeah.  Did you know that young Rick Ambler just bought Ruth Angell’s house? 
Q:        Oh, is that who bought it? 
RMA:  Yes, and they want to put on a bigger kitchen, a larger kitchen and above that a master bedroom and a bath, which would be wonderful.
Q:        Now, they’ve been your neighbors… 
RMA:  Ruth Angell?  Oh my gosh, ever since…Of course, we’ve only lived here thirteen years.  But she’s...I don’t know how long she’s been here.  She would be one to interview.
Q:        She has.  She has been.
 RMA:  Because, my lord, she’s been here forever. 
Q:        It’s just too bad… 
RMA:  Along with her mother. 
Q:        Right.  But she’s going up to Allen Terrace. 
RMA:  She won’t be so lonesome up there.  You know she did a wonderful job with her mother.  My goodness, she took care of her.
Q:        See, now our kids bought Emma Reed’s house. 
RMA:  Oh, OK.  Now I know where they live.  Yes, I’ve walked by there with Whitney on occasion.  Yes, they’ve done a lot with that too.
Q:        And are still. 
RMA:  And are still.  Oh, I know, yeah, I just… But you know, it’s really amazing.  Of course, the price of houses may go down.  I was talking to Russell Clark; they stopped – Russell and Marilyn Clark, this summer.  And he said, “Oh, if I’d only bought the house next door.”  They bought their house for tax…oh, what do you call it?  Back taxes, for, I think $4,500 or $2,500 – it was a very small amount.  This house could’ve been bought – Kerrs' house could’ve been bought for $5,600, you know, at that time.  But nobody had any money. 
Q:        No.  Ok, the house on the corner of Rogers and Cady? 
RMA:  Rogers and Cady.  The little white house?
Q:        Yes.  That’s supposed to be one of the oldest houses in Northville. 
RMA:  Yeah, Ellen Whipple lived there for years.
Q:        Right. 
RMA:  Yes. 
Q:        And then? 
RMA:  Oh, before that I was trying to…Alex Milne’s aunt lived there.  But I can’t remember her name.  My mother liked her very much.  A lovely lady… 
Q:        Now, who lives there now? 
RMA:  Um…
Q:        I can’t think of … 
RMA:  …wait a minute now. 
Q:        Because she remarried… 
RMA:  Yes, she’s Ray Swallow’s mother. 
Q:        Right. 
RMA:  Yeah.  Russell could tell you their name.  I can’t think of it. 
Q:        Oh well, the thing is… the front part is the oldest part. 
RMA:  Yes, uh, huh. 
Q:        Because you – when you walk in and she has that gorgeous Wedgewood collection. 
RMA:  Oh, I don’t know.  I never…did you go in?  Were you in there? 
Q:        Yes, several years ago when home tours were still… 
RMA:  Oh, well I didn’t realize. 
Q:        And we tried to get the Swallow house and her house. 
RMA:  Oh, uh, huh. 
Q:        And I can’t think of her name either.
RMA:  Rosalie, Rosalie… 
Q:        That’s right.  But anyway, she … 
RMA:  Russell could tell.  I know he knows.  She’s not very… 
Q:        But then they added on in the back, and it’s so unique to go from that very old part where everything is slanty to … 
RMA:  Yes, right.
Q:        And into… What a wonderful way of adding on.  It blends so well.  But then Chuck Ely was telling me that the house on the corner of West and Dunlap (Ed. Randolph – 247 West St) is also very very old.  It’s like…it was built in… He said, “Well, you know, Northville was founded in 1825, and that house was built in 1826. 
RMA:  Now which house is that?  I’m trying to think.  West…
Q:        That’s where…West.  It’s where Henrikson’s live now. 
RMA:  The big white house?  No?
Q:        Well, it’s a white house.  It sits back from…but then I… 
RMA:  I’m thinking of High, I guess.  West is next.  But isn’t that the big white house on the corner that was…
Q:        No.  This is across the street up on the hill. 

RMA:  Up on the hill?
Q:        Well, you know where Chuck lives? 
RMA:  Yeah. 
Q:        OK, then there’s that house next door which used to be the dump. 
RMA:  Betty Schrader lived there. 
Q:        Right and then the house on the corner. 
RMA:  Oh, that’s where the … 
Q:        I can’t think of their names. 
RMA:  I can’t think of it, either.
Q:        OK.  But then I understood that where Bob Kruger, and I don’t know who lived there before him, across Randolph, has one of the older houses in town, which is sort of a saltbox, and they’ve added on to that. 
RMA:  I wouldn’t doubt that at all.  And of course, that one that… the one that …
Q:        Canterbury. 
RMA:  Canterbury lived in… is one of the old ones, and Miss Timball – what was her name?  Timmons, no.  Yeah that was her house.  Or was it the one next to it?  No, that was her house, and then they built it all over and did a wonderful job. 
Q:        Well that was … 
RMA:  And so was Jo Hahn’s house.  My gosh, that was just a wreck before Jo Hahn bought it.  Jo and (?) had it all done over – on the corner of Main and Rogers. 
Q:        Oh, yes. 
RMA:  That was just a little white frame house, and they just, you know, did a lot to that. 
Q:        Yeah. 
RMA:  They all change, but I think for the better, you know.
Q:        Well, the little house across the – from Atchisons’ House is getting a nice addition on the top.
RMA:  Yes, it is.  And I was worried for fear the Historical District Committee wouldn’t let young Rick and Kathy add on out here or change it.  They really should take the asbestos siding off, and I know that Blair Miller, next door, would love it if they would because it’s really an eyesore – the siding is. 
Q:        M’hmm. 
RMA:  If they could take if off and just even put the narrow…
Q:        Right. 
RMA:  …aluminum siding.  I was afraid they might not.  But if they allow that little house to have it, I’m sure they would have to allow this one. 
Q:        Well, that’s it.  It’s one of those things. 
RMA:  Because that’s even more authentic.  I mean that’s an older house by far.
Q:        Right.  I think that slipped through the cracks, but I… 
RMA:  Do you really? 
Q:        Well, but a…. 
RMA:  Wouldn’t Hilda turn over in her grave if she saw that?  But, you know, they’re having a baby, I understand. 
Q:        Yes. 
RMA:  Well there just is – upstairs the bathroom is made out of a closet.  It’s just tiny… 
Q:        Well, see now Karen’s house does not have a bathroom upstairs. 
RMA:  Don’t they?
Q:        They only have the one downstairs. 
RMA:  And so does Kerrs'. 
Q:        Yeah, just a … and a… 
RMA:  Are they going to put one in? 
Q:        I… (laughter) 
RMA:  Who knows?
Q:        Right.  They need an addition like – well, their house is very similar to the house there… 
RMA:  That’s right. 
Q:        …and , no, they were very fortunate to have Emma sell it to them.  And Emma was looking for people, a Northville couple, they – she didn’t want to sell it as rental property. 
RMA:  No, uh, uh.
 Q:        And I think that’s what you notice with Wing. 
RMA:  You know what Jerry’s talking of doing?  Of having somebody buy it because they got three acres there.  Somebody and let them live there as long as they will, and then develop it.  They’re talking of selling it to developers. 
Q:        Oh. 
RMA:  And now Walter, the architect, Walt Caponen says it’s zoned commercial residential. 
Q:        Oh really. 
RMA:  Yeah. 
Q:        Oh. 
RMA:  So I, I don’t know. 
Q:        Well, I mean the Kerr house is down there.  And I know Mrs. Kerr was upset because we let the trailer go in there with the street paving. 
RMA:  Oh yes. 
Q:        But it should be out of there by fall, and well, it’s almost fall, isn’t it? 
RMA:  I remember Mrs. Kerr telling me one time, she had those three boys, and she said their rooms were always a mess, and she said, “I finally trained them.” She said, “I …” 
Q:        There were four. 
RMA:  Four, ok four.  She said, “I finally picked up all their clothes and put them in a big barrel, and they had to pay me to get it out.”  And she said that worked. 
Q:        One thing I haven’t asked Fred is why is that the Kerr house. 
RMA:  They built it for their mother. 
Q:        The boys did? 
RMA:  The boys built it for their mother to live in.  M’hmm.  Yeah, I remember when they built it. 
Q:        But it wasn’t always there? 
RMA:  No.  What…wait a minute now.  Was it there? 
Q:        Was it there? 
RMA:  Yeah… 
Q:        OK. 
RMA:  I think they built it there – I think so. 
Q:        Ok, ok.  Because Fred said they used to live in Beal Town. 
RMA:  Yes, they did.  Burt then when his father died, and all the boys built this for their mother, and I thought they built it right there, but I may be wrong. 
Q:        No, that’s probably right. 
RMA:  When Roxy had Montessori, there was quite a bit of room there.
Q:        Yes, the Scouts were there. 
FMA:  Yeah… well now, wait a minute.  The Scouts were there, yes.  That’s the house Vince moved?  That was the house.
Q:        Oh, that was the Kerr – 
RMA:  That was the house that he moved?  Yeah, yeah. 
Q:        Ok. 
RMA:  So, I think the Scout building was built with donations from Mr. Carlson and all this other stuff.  Yeah, this is the house around the corner.
Q:        Right.  OK. 
RMA:  That was the Kerr house, I think.  You know, you live here long enough, and you’re so busy with everyday things that these sort of things evaporate.
Q:        Well, I know Fred mentioned that – well, down at the corner was, you know, Plymouth and Yerkes.  And I said, “Fred, Plymouth Road is down in Plymouth.”  And he said, “No, South Main was known as Plymouth.” 
RMA:  Yes, it was Plymouth Road. 
Q:        And a… 
RMA:  At least when I was here, it was that.  It was never called Northville-Plymouth Road, and it wasn’t called South Main.
Q:        No. 
RMA:  Oh, I have to tell you one more thing.  During the War, the man that had the stables down at the race track, Mr. Hoffman, had been the Kaiser’s – in charge of the Kaiser’s stables in Germany.  So of course, there was a lot of worry, you know about …
Q:        Oh sure. 
RMA:  Hitler, and this sort of stuff. 
Q:        Oh my! 
RMA:  And I dated the German, Prince Louis Ferdinand Von Hollen Zollen, who used to come out and see Mr. Hoffman because he had been at his grandfather's stable. 

Q:        Oh for goodness sakes.
RMA:  And he was working for Ford Motor.  He came over – not working, but learning how the company ran and this sort of thing.  How the machines ran and everything.  He came over from Germany, and so Mr. Hoffman would ride up with him on a – and this Prince, I have a picture of him on a white horse.  And we lived down there where Carlsons lived down there at the foot of Wing Street.  And he would take me for a ride on his – he had a Ford.  They gave him a Ford, so he would come take me for a ride in his Ford a couple of times.  But then after the War, and I was married, you know, and I think we were in – I think I was living on Rogers Street, I couldn’t – well ’45.  The FBI came to the house one day; wanted to know if I had seen any pictures of Hitler or any swastikas or anything in Hoffman’s house.
Q:        Oh for goodness sake! 

RMA:  …and if I did, I hadn’t noticed, you know.  But that was kind of funny because Northville, you know, we were right in the district where we were building bombers and everything else, and people were interested to know if there was any connection. 
Q:        Right. 
RMA:  So – I just thought about that.  I thought about the Fairgrounds.  We used to have wonderful fairs down there.  Oh, Lois, they were terrific.  We had hunters and jumpers, you know, from Bloomfield and Birmingham.  Oh, that’s one thing our Senior Class did.  We had a booth down there.  I remember my mother baking ham.  We had homemade ham sandwiches, homemade pies, and that’s how we earned money for our Senior trip. 
Q:        Oh. 
RMA:  And we did this about three years in a row.  From Sophomore year – I was there in my Junior year – I wasn’t there Sophomore.  But they had started the year before, and it was just more of a country fair.  But that’s – I used to go to the horse shows with my friend, Virginia, who wrote for the paper.  That was Virginia Anderson.  She worked later for Jam Handy and was one of their top writers.  She edited the Drivers Training Digest for years.  Anyway, we would go watch the horse shows and the most beautiful hunters and jumpers that you ever saw in your life.

Q:        Well, the Fair still… 
RMA:  Was the Fair still on when you were here?
Q:        Un, huh.  I won a couple of ribbons at it. 
RMA:  Did you? 
Q:        Yes, oh yeah! 
RMA:  In what? 
Q:        Quilting and baking.
RMA:  Oh, great!
Q:        So, no, I was sorry to see it’s demise. 
RMA:  I was to, because it really – I suppose now maybe the health authorities wouldn’t let you have a booth like that.
Q:        Probably not 
RMA:  Look at the Mothers Club pie sale.  They won’t let them have it this year.
Q:        Oh, really. 
RMA:  Not unless they’re packaged, you know.
Q:        Well, I know John told me that after we’d decided to – I sort of got a kick out of an article – I don’t know if it was this mornings or not about east-siders and west-siders and suburbia kind of thing. 
RMA:  Oh, yeah.
Q:        And John was an east-sider and I was a west-sider.  And when he decided that we should make the transitional move from the east side and he found Northville.  He had an aunt who lived in Plymouth, and his cousins lived in Northville.  In fact, Susan Shoots was a Physical Education teacher at the Cooke School. 
RMA:  Oh, uh huh.
Q:        And he said, “Well, you know in Northville, the horses have the right-of-way,” and I had no idea what he was talking about.  Well, when I got here and at Seven Mile Road… 
RMA:  That’s right. 
Q:        They sure did. 
RMA:  It’s like the sailing ships down on the Detroit River. 
Q:        Right, right. 
RMA:  They had the right-of-way.  Uh huh, that’s right.  It was a nice era then, I think.  It was smaller, more small-townish.
Q:        And I – I know that we live in one of the first condominiums that was built (ED: Lexington Commons), and I know that the people were upset when they were going in.  And I feel bad that we’re a part of that, but I wouldn’t change any of the years that we’ve lived her because there’s a feeling of hominess.  And we’re so fortunate because we have Karen on Fairbrook. 
RMA:  Yes, that’s why we stayed here.  Russ is always saying maybe we should go to a warmer climate I said, “I won’t leave.  I won’t leave”.  These kids need us.  They need grandparents.
Q:        That’s right. 
RMA:  Grandparents are stability, I feel.
Q:        And see, we have one in Milford. 
RMA:  Yeah, well…
Q:        And one… 
RMA:  This is a great area.  You can go away in the winter if you want to – when it’s cold and that sort of thing.  But I just think this is – my father said – the ideal community.
Q:        It is. 
RMA:  He really did.  And I know he hated to leave.  He had to go back to Albion because he was so ill.  We have a home in Albion and still owned it, you know, and my mother had to take care of him until he died.
Q:        When did you lose your mother? 
RMA:  Oh dear – my mother.  She was 87 and I lost her about ten years ago, and she went back to, as I say, Albion.  She lived next to my brother in a little apartment, you know, and I’d say, “Mama, I’ll come down and spring houseclean for you.”  “Don’t you think I keep it clean enough?”  You know, she’d get offended.  So, I couldn’t do that – things that I would have liked to have done for her.
Q:        So who did your dad sell The Record to? 
RMA:  He sold it to Bill Cansfield, and then he sold to…

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