Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Robert and June Freydl

Int:  I am going to ask them some of their memories of growing up here in Northville. June has not lived here as long as Robert but Robert was born here, weren’t you, Robert?
R: Yes.
Int:  Yes, and you have a brother?
R: Yeah, I have a brother named Charles. He is running the family business right now. And of course, June and I have two kids, the oldest one is 25 named Foster, and the younger one is 20, who is named Carl. Foster works for the federal government through a contractor at the neighborhood spearmint station in Lexington Park, Maryland. Carl is a student up at Michigan State at the present time, studying engineering.
Int:  He’s not through college yet?
R: No, he is a junior this year.
Int:  I see, so you have two children, two boys.
R: Right.
Int:  Okay, your mother and dad were who?
R: Well, dad was named Charles M. Freydl, and mom was named Belda. Her maiden name was Belda Nelson. She lived on a farm in Salem here, about nine miles away on Five Mile between Curtis and Currie Roads, and dad was the son of Grandpa Freydl, who was a tailor in town.
Int:  Oh, so that’s how the business started?
R: yes, that’s how the business started. Grandpa had a tailoring shop, he started out above what is now called McK Restaurant. And then a few years later, bought the building which we still own and is part of the business and it serves as the ladies’ section of the business, that was Grandpa Freydl’s building.
Int:  Now did you work there when you were grown?
R: No, oh no, I helped out but I went to school and studied Forestry. Charles went to Cleary College and studied accounting so he went into the business and I went to work to Detroit Edison as a forester.
Int:  Okay, you and your brother were both born here?
R: Yes, Charles is about sixty now, he will be sixty on the twelfth of this month. I am 57. He was born in Sessions Hospital. I was born at home.
Int:  Where did you live when you two boys were born? Here?
R: Well, we lived up on 445 Eaton Drive, which is still where Mom and Dad have their home.
Int:  Now, you went to school here when you were growing up?
R: Yes
Int:  What school did you go to?
R: Well, we started in the grade school right here on Main Street, which is now the building that houses the Board of Education and then progressed right on through and went through the old high school, which is the adjacent building which is now used for what? The handicapped? The special education school, I graduated there in 1950.
Int:  And then went on to college?
R: That’s right.
Int:  Okay, now when you were growing up in the school you went to, were there different rooms for different grades then?
R: Oh yeah, in fact, in my class, there were 66 and we were broken into two groups.
Int:  You had a big class.
R: That is not big by today’s standards. It was done in that way, they broke us into two groups. We had room in the building, there was our homeroom for our particular one.
Int:  Do you remember anything when you were in the lower grades that they did differently than they do today?
R: Yeah.
Int:  A lot different right?
R: Yeah, the discipline was much stronger.
Int:  If you got into trouble, what happened?
R: You could get a lick’n if you got into serious trouble, I got one once. It wasn’t meted out too liberally.
Int:  It was fair.
R: It was fair, I can’t complain. I had it coming. I was in about the sixth grade when it happened. The discipline was there, you didn’t monkey around. I think that it is probably similar to what some of the parochial schools are now, they are still pretty strict.
Int:  What about your lunch? Did you have your lunch at school or did you come home?
R: Sometimes I took my lunch and other times I –
Int:  You could eat there?
R: Yes.
Int:  But if you took your lunch, there was no cafeteria or anything.
R: No, they did not have cafeterias in those days, we used to have a multi-purpose room down in the basement of the grade school. Which had a stage and a large gathering area and that served not only for putting on skits and plays that the kids had done during the years, but was also a lunch room.
Int:  And if it was real bad weather, you just stayed there and had your lunch.
R: Yeah, well it depended. Mom was working, helping dad in the business, so sometimes she would just pack our lunch and other times she’d say well come on down town and give us twenty-five cents or whatever it cost to get lunch and we would have to hustle back to school.
Int:  Now, what do you remember that was there on Main Street or in the neighborhood that is different today or that is torn down that used to be there that you remember?
R: The town has changed drastically since I was a boy. The old buildings that are still there were there when I was younger. A lot of the changes have occurred from making parking lots that are downtown. In fact, where the community building is, right by the high school, those were all homes along there all the way to Wing Street. The end building down on the corner of Wing and Main was City Hall. It was actually a home.
Int:  But they used it.
R: They tore that down whenever they build the new City Hall. It served the purpose for many years I bet. And all along there were homes and eventually the school bought them out as they got the need for more facilities. They build the community building there. I remember in seventh grade, somebody came to us and told us that they were going to have this community building and have the benefits of a big swimming pool, and this and that and the other thing. Well, as it resulted, it never happened until I graduated and it never did get a swimming pool. Their intentions were good.
Int:  They started planning way back, I guess, everything takes that. Anything big, anyway, as you were growing up. What were some of the activities that the young people did to give them something to do, to keep them busy?
R: I think that that’s probably one of the biggest differences that we had back then, that we don’t have today and that is most of the recreation that the young people had at that time was centered within the community, skiing and they would flood the parking lot in back of the community building for a skating rink, and of course, we had the mill pond down there that we used to skate on. So things like they used to do and they had, I remember what we called a “canteen” which was in the old scout building on the corner of Hutton and Dunlap. You know where Hutton branches over the top on the corner there where the drive-in-bank is, was the scout hall –
Int:  They had a hall all to themselves?

R: Well, the kids it was for the kids, Wilson Frank ran that while he was employed by the city as a recreation director and he ran the “canteen” down there, and the kids would be down there. They had ping pong down in the basement and I think they had a pool table. But up above they could dance and play records, it was all orientated to the community, very few kids had cars. I was lucky, I had an old Model A Dad bought it from Mrs. Gary in town and paid $125 for it.
Int:  Your first car.
R: Man, were we lucky. I would say that there weren’t more than a dozen cars in school at that time. The kids that came in from the township and at that time we even had kids coming in from Salem to go to school, they had cars and park them all along there. But in essence, people didn’t have cars and they just didn’t go very many places.
Int:  Did they have school buses that picked up children then?
R: Yes, there were two buses, I believe, one I know brought kids in from Novi, see Novi sent their kids here and east of Northville/ Novi Road they used to pick up all the way down to Haggerty Road and bring them in. Say from Ten Mile and in fact, we had someone come to school, someone in my class that lived on the South edge of Walled Lake.
Int:  Back then, that was a long ways.
R: That was a long distance at that time.
Int:  And the road…
R: I think that they had a couple of buses that brought kids in.
Int:  Now at graduation, where did you hold your graduation?
R: In the old gym up here in the old high school.
Int:  And that was the only graduation, you didn’t have graduation from grammar school or intermediate school?
R: No, we just went on through when we graduated from high school. That was it.
Int:  Were there some other places where the young people would get together and have fun?
R: Yeah, the boys used to gather down at Kathy and Joe Ilesses’, that was the red hall where they had billiards.
Int:  Where was that?
R: It was a one large building, one story building that was located between the Union 76 gas station on the corner of Wing and Main, and it extended all the way down to Harold Bloom’s office.
Int:  Is it still there?
R: No, it has been torn down. It is part of the parking facility there. Now there was one other building just to the east of that, that was an old meat market. Many, many years ago. That’s where most of the kids hung out. They used to have a little lunch counter there, in fact, I would eat down there every day, I would have a bowl of soup and a hamburger, and a glass of milk. 
Int:  This was high school time?
R: This was high school; they ran a real tight place, no monkey business.
Int:  That’s probably why it was a success.
R: Yeah, they would not let any hanky-panky go on there. They ran the business there for years, after I got through college, June and I went back in there and I saw Kathy and Joe, and things were changing and that time so, it was 50’s, the middle 50’s, and kids were getting cars and everything was changing.
J: Televisions.
R: Yeah, televisions coming on strong. And eventually, they just sold out and left because there were so many other activities for the kids to have.
Jane was saying, what was the composition of the different students in your school then?
R: Most of the kids were white, but we had quite a few that were from Salem, they were black and they were real nice kids from good families, good athletes, I would say when I was in school, at that time, let’s see, there were 305 kids in high school, at the time, from nine on to twelve. There were probably six or seven kids from Salem that were black.
Int:  Did you have football or baseball?
R: Yes, we had football and basketball, track, baseball, and I would say while I was in high school, they started girls’ sports, that was not too common back then. The only physical activity that the girls got as I remember was gym class, and that was it. They changed that, they started to change that when I was in seventh or eighth grades, they started to bring in softball and other things. We weren’t competing with other schools and that time, but they had the girls’ teams. And they started to change, in fact, that is when they introduced football in the seventh and eighth grades, that started probably when I was a freshman or sophomore. They all practiced down at the field I remember that because I could not play because I had problems with my legs so I was manager of the teams. The high school teams and the seventh and eighth grade kids would come down and practice down at the park. That’s where we did a lot of practicing.
Int:  Now, June said that you had polio when you were a child?
R: Yes, I had it when I was in the ninth grade.
Int:  Ninth grade, now was that when the polio vaccine came out after that?
R: Long after we were married.
Int:  Oh yeah, it was in the 50’s when it came out.
R: In 1957, it came out with the vaccine. You put it on a sugar cube and took the sugar cube.
Int:  I remember taking our children. 
R: 1957. So it was long before that I was lucky though, I did not end up with an iron lung. All it did basically was affected my legs.
Int:  Can you walk today?
R: I can today, but I have difficulties.
Int:  You had therapy for it so…
R: Yeah, I had what you’d call therapy. Mom had Dr. Luvel come up and what he’d give me, I was just completely out of it. I could not walk or anything. I could not even get out of bed. So Dr. Luvel, now that’s not the woman, but her husband used to come up to the house and work on my legs. Eventually, he got to the point where I started to get some strength back.
Int:  Now was this in the summertime that you contracted this?
R: No, it was in the fall. Yeah that was the time for it. Everybody was scared to death back in those days of polio.
Int:  Yeah, I remember when we used to go on vacations, my parents were…
R: That was scourge of the country and come polio season, everybody was scared.
Int:  Now did that necessitate you coming and did you have a teacher come in or what…?
R: No, I missed several weeks of school.
Int:  And then you were able to go?
R: I went back and I managed to get through. How I did it, I will never know. I think it had an impact on me later on because learning came hard to me, but I was out for several weeks.
Int:  But you did manage to go back to school.
R: I went to school as soon as I had enough strength to go on crutches, I went back to school.
Int:  That was great.
R: I kept gaining and kept working on it and working on it and finally, I got to the point where I could throw out the crutches and I could walk.
Int:  How long did it take?

R: It was into the spring before I could throw away the crutches. I remember that it was in the spring that I threw away the crutches. It was in the spring, as I say, I was lucky. I recovered quite well.
Int:  Now your brother did not pick it up?
R: No.
Int:  When did you meet June?
R: We had a mutual friend that lives up on top of the hill. Her name is Elinor Haid. I was friends with her husband Ralph. I guess she figured that she was going to be matchmaker so she started to push it.  This was after I had graduated from college and I was 24 years old, I think. She kept telling me about this girl that was living with Mr. Hill and his family, and was working her way through school going to Eastern, so after that, I wanted to see if I could develop an interest. I said okay, I was not a Casanova by any means, in fact, I had very few dates.
Int:  You were cautious.
R: Yes, I was cautious. So actually, Ralph arranged it, what was it? I was going to take you to a football game here in town?
J: No, you were supposed to go to a girl bit at Eastern.
R: That was afterwards.
J: No, that was the next day, once we had the one date set up on Saturday. You called me up the night before and said, “How would you like to go to a football game?” and all my life I had never been to a football game. Here, I was ready to graduate from college and I had never been to a football game. So our first date then, was a Northville High School football game. But the way we met was pretty funny. When I shook hands with him the first time, we were in the men’s room of Mr. Halls’ law offices, and he was always coming into the other room to use the mirror when he had to go to court, you know, he would shave a little bit or something. And the women’s restroom had a mirror and the men’s room did not, so Helen, his secretary, and I who were friends, acquaintances anyway, we were pretty good friends, I was helping her and I think it was Fathers’ Day. This is when we first met, we did not start dating a while after that.
R: In the fall.
J: The first time I met you, you walked in, so I met him in a men’s room. He walked in when we were putting a mermaid’s tail on the light switch or something there. We were having a hard time, Helen and I, we are not mechanically orientated.
Int:  So he came in and helped?
J: He came in to show how good he was.
Int:  Oh, that’s cute.
R: See, that was another thing we did, we talked about the olden days that were so much more community orientated then there is now and any sporting event… was just completely filled.
Int:  Everyone went to these activities. When we had a band concert, we had the whole gym filled. I would say in the neighborhood of five to six hundred people would come and when we had a basketball game, you couldn’t get in the place. And when you had football, the whole dang town showed up. It was everybody.
J: it was the place to go.
Int:  Everybody was interested.
R: That’s right, you had an interest in the community and an interest in the kids. You don’t have that.
Int:  When Carl was up here in school and Foster, we would go to some games, in fact we went to basketball games, you were lucky to have 150 people up there. It is completely different then it was back…
J: And the band concerts, sometimes at the band concerts the only people there were about a third of the parents, hardly anybody from town.
R: And you wonder sometimes, I am sure the people that were there were the parents of the kids, but even then, they are much better than we were back when I was young. They were much better. The athletes were better trained, the kids in the band were better musicians. But for some reason or another, there is not the community interest.
J: People don’t go out for stuff like that anymore. They sit home and watch TV and watch the VCR and go riding around, I guess.
Int:  They come home and the TV goes on.
R: It is a shame because I think people miss a lot.
Int:  Even your friend that you’re back and forth with, you are not with them as much now.
R: That’s right, I really think that the people themselves miss out on an awful lot by not being part of the community.
Int:  They don’t know what they are missing.
R: I don’t know what it is.
Int:  Now how long did you go together?
R: Six months, a year.
Int:  And then you got married?
R: We started, it was almost a year before we got married.
Int:  Okay, and then you lived here in town?
R: Yeah, we got married and moved into an apartment.
Int:  Which is gone now?
R: Which is gone now, it is a parking lot.
J: Right across from the Star Manor, they call it now.
R: We lived there a year and got enough money to make a down payment on this house.
Int:  Then you moved here? And your children were born here? While you lived here?
R: While we lived here.
J: It’s the only home we have ever lived in.
Int:  That’s nice.
J: And it’s about 122 years old, this house is.
Int:  Would that be…?
J: It was over ninety when we bought it from
Int:  Up for a historical home?
R: No, because we have changed it so much. We have altered it from what it was. We have replaced all the windows and put the thermal pane windows in.
Int:  And made it larger too.
R: I have added this room too. It does not have the historic…
Int:  If it had been just the same way as it was.
R: yeah, if we would have restored it, it would have been different. See, this was a farm house.
Int:  So was it a farm when you moved here?
R: No, it was a farm when they build it and the house next door was the barn.
Int:  You’re kidding, so they made a home out of the barn?
R: that’s right, but that’s been years ago.
J: That was a long time ago.
R: As I say, this was one of the original farms and that house has been there as a house ever since I was a kid.
Int:  You moved in about what year?
R: ‘57-‘58.
Int:  Who were some of the neighbors that lived here then? Around you?
J: Elroy Ellison’s lived there then, and still live there now.
Int:  Across the street?
R: My brother Charles bought the house next door. A year or so later.
Int:  Old John Trumbel’s house.
R: Old John worked for the city. He was a character. He was a collector.
Int:  Are the houses here then too? Like they are now?
R: All these homes were here.
J: The one on the other side of Charles house, they brought from somewhere else.
R: That was one of the homes they took, but when they made the parking, that would be directly across from Arbor, on the south side of the street, right next to where Edwards catering is. That is the house she is talking about.
Int:  It was a vacant lot then?
R: Right, it was down on Dunlap.
J: It was pretty exciting. They had to cut half of the trees off to get on the street. It was a high house.
Int:  When did they make this house next door out of the barn?
R: Oh, that had to have been…
Int:  Many years ago?
R: Marvel Montgomery told us that. Yes, we bought this house from Marvel Montgomery. She and Earl lived here years.
Int:  Did they build this house?
R: No, his father I think was involved somewhere, I don’t know just where but she was the one who told us it was part of the old house, and that was the barn.
Int:  Was the street paved when you moved here?
R: Yes.
Int:  So they had most of the streets in Northville paved?
R: Most of them were paved in the 50’s.
Int:  Did either of you take part in the activities in the town? I know that you did because you were on the Terrace board and some other things you have said here.
R: Well, the Bony authority had already built Allen Terrace, we were just a working arm at the council. Through our positions, we were authorized by law to issue bonds and issue contracts for construction purposes. We served at the will of the council. And did their job for them.
Int:  Was that vacant land when that was built or did they tear down something else to build that?
R: Well that was part of the East Lawn Sanitarium complex. They had two TB facilities and one was up there. That one was known as the major sanitarium.
Int:  I knew that Maybury was here, but I did not know a thing about this other one being up there and that was for women?
R: No, that was for men and women.
Int:  Why did they have two so close?
R: Now this one was apparently a private one, whereas Maybury was the city of Detroit. Leonard Bougentitis as whatever he did. Leonard is still in town, in fact, he lived right down by Lutheran Church.
Int:  They closed that when they closed Maybury?
R: Actually, I think they closed it before Maybury.
Int:  So they took that down and built Allen Terrace?
R: I think it had a few small buildings, I don’t know what they were doing down there. But the city bought it and the whole hill was called Buchner’s Hill. My dad used to tell us about the kids getting in bobsleds and coming down that hill down high street and going all the way down to the race track.
J: 1900-1910.
Int:  That means that there wasn’t too much in their way between there and the race track area.
R: No, that’s true, it is closing in fast. If you go down high street, you can go straight up the hill and there is a road, used to be a road. It wasn’t a big one, just a two laner, a two route road, and that’s where they had a rundown that way, and a run going down Walnut Street, which was east off the back hill. Dad went down that one and broke his leg. The bobsled hit a house down at the bottom and he ended up with a broken leg.
Int:  And that was a high hill and he was going pretty fast.
R: Yeah, you would have to be going pretty fast, you know, it was a big bobsled and had maybe 6-8 kids or more, on it. That was before my time.
Int:  When you came along, you couldn’t do that activity, it was too built up.
R: No.
Int:  When your boys came along, what activities did they do now?
R: They had so many more activities, it’s not funny.
Int:  And you had to keep up with them.
R: T-Ball, swimming, you name it.
Int:  This was provided by what? The city? Or the schools? Or what?
R: Well, it was really a combination of both.
J: The Novi Bobcats, you joined and paid to go.
R: That was swimming.
Int:  They swam at the school?
J: Yes, the Novi High School. At the time, they did not have any swimming teams in Northville for little kids, and Novi did. They would take you at age five, if you could swim. It was interesting when Carl joined the swimming team, he was too heavy to play little Colts Football. He was ten, but he is real big for his age, but he was very strong and very agile and very fast, and he was a super swimmer. Because he was strong and he had the lung power and large body.
Int:  So he was on the team?  
R: yeah, that was a recreational team and he was not on the school team. They had a recreation team for the metropolitan area. They swam against teams like Royal Oak, Farmington Hills, Clarkston, and some others. The years that he swam there, they came in second the first year, and first the following year.
J: They were an awesome team.
R: They were good. They had some good swimmers but there are so many more activities to take part in compared to when I was young.
J: Scouting… The kids were both in band like you were, you were in band grade seven to twelve.
R: I played the tuba.
Int:  Can you still play it?
R: I could, but I don’t know how good I would be. I haven’t touched it since I graduated.
J: Our kids both played the trumpet, they were pretty good.
Int:  Do they still play? They still have their trumpets.
J: Carl played in the Elementary Area Honors Jazz Ensemble when he was a senior and he won some music awards. If we ever win the lottery he claims he will be a musician.
Int:  So he really has a feel for it?
R: I thought it was something they should take and at least learn how to play at least one, it is something they will always be able to do. And if they decide later on that they are going to be a part of a group in the community where they live.
Int:  Or for their own enjoyment even.
R: That’s right.
J: I think it is a wonderful thing that the schools have started teaching music instruction because that is something that one can never take from you, you may forget a lot of the studies but appreciation for music and the love of music stay with you for life. The younger you start the better the chance you have.
R: The problem with music is it is always on the short end of the stick when dealing with the funds.
J: They are always the first to cut, which is too bad. Because there are finer things in life.
Int:  It enriches the children’s lives so much.
R: Just put yourself in this position, how would you like to live without music, no music at all? People don’t stop to think about that.
Int:  I could live without some of the music today, but the beautiful music, I love that. Can you remember any outstanding things that have happened? Whether it was good, some big things that was accomplished in the town, or a catastrophe?
J: I remember the day the jet plane crashed in the Kings’ backyard.
R: Something went wrong with the plane.
J: It was not a big passenger jet.
R: A fighter jet.
J: There was like one pilot that bailed out, but it was like the same time of day that the kids were getting out of school. It could have been a catastrophe. It could have hit Main Street Elementary. It was in that block area.
Int:  Did anyone get hurt?
R: Jean Kings’ kids got burned a little bit, but nobody got killed. It was a miracle it crashed right down here between Main and Cady, just east of the house on Rogers. It crashed in the backyards.
Int:  The pilot was out of it?
R: The pilot, he had ejected. He steered it away from the city and ejected. Something happened and he came back around and then drove straight into the ground and as I say, it was a miracle because nobody got severely hurt. The King girl got burned pretty bad. But the government, of course, paid all the expenses. She had a number of operations. To this day, I don’t know whether it came out.  Int:  Yeah, the chief came. That happened, he was in Elmonte last I heard, but I think he died.
J: What else has happened?
R: In my life, of course, the biggest impact was World War II.
Int:  How did that affect this town?
R: I was pretty young then, I think I was maybe nine years old, and all I can tell you is how I saw it. I think it brought the people together. Everybody just pitched in. A lot of the things we did just contributed to the government to let us know we were at war. I am sure we did not have to worry about gasoline, as I understand it. We were pouring out the drain, but …
Int:  You still had rationing?
R: We had gas rationings, meat rationings, sugar rationings. Everything was rationed. It was done to let people know we were at war. But it gave me the impression that the community was really coming together. Working as a kid, we had that big scrap metal grinder in that parking lot in back of the old grade school, metal there that was almost as high as the building. Just junk that everyone went around town and collected and hauled it. Then they came and loaded it up and hauled it away.
Int:  They needed that metal, because they had been shipping it out to Japan.
R: I remember those things. We had a medical corner, in fact, Dr. Atchison was in charge of that. My dad was a participant because he was forty some years old at the time. And they had five of six units that he would meet with a month, and teach them temporary first aid, broken arms, broken legs.
Int:  You never knew what was going to happen.
R: No, nobody knew.
Int:  Did you have blackouts?
R: I don’t remember. I think we probably did. I don’t think it was too common. I think they had practice blackouts.
J: Do you remember picking up foil out of cigarette packages and making a big ball of foil?
R: Yes, but even during the war, the thing that impressed on me was the size of the Memorial Day parades, and I mean they were big.
Int:  Did you have a lot of people from Northville go into the war?
R: Yes, I don’t remember the numbers, but we have an iron board down in town where they are building this new facility. The new complex, it was a great big board. If I remember right, we lost twelve or thirteen guys in the War.
Int:  Now what happened to that board?
R: After the War was over, it disappeared. It was as big mammoth thing. I would say it stood up there a story and half high, and 30 feet wide. It had names of all the guys in the service, and the women were even allowed in the service then.
Int:  I wonder why they took it down, because those weren’t the ones that died?
R: They weren’t very many, but for a town our size, it was a lot. I think it was thirteen. You can check with the VFW to verify, they know. The VFW post down there.
Int:  On Northville Road.
R: There were fellows there that got killed that I knew, I think that left an impression on me.
Int:  Yes, that would.
R: Recalling my early days, I would call that the most significant event. But that went on for four years, you know. So we were pretty conscience of all the things that were going on.
Int:  Now when you were growing up as about, did they have a streetcar or trolley or anything in town?
R: They had what they called a interurban. It wasn’t running while I was a boy. It had just stopped, but the tracks were still there.
Int:  That was down Main Street.
R: Right down Main Street, and during World War II, they dug them up, that was part of the scrap metal.
Int:  When did they put the clock there?
R: The one down on Main? That was recent, probably ‘78-‘79.
Int:  I think it makes the town look more unique, with the clock there, it sort of gives it something, it’s not just a little town.
R: They put that in after they redeveloped Main Street.
J: When they first had that barricade there, people were hitting it right and left, but once they put the clock on top, then you kind of noticed it. Once people got used to it, it was not a problem, but at first, they said, “You don’t want a clock in the middle of the street.”
Int:  It looks sort of old timey, and sort of adds something to the town. 
J: I think we have a very unique uptown, and I hope they continue to use it, or they will lose it.
Int:  We have only lived here four years, but that is why we like it out here. It was a town. Now it is getting so built up, just since we have lived here.
R: That is what it is, people living further in and moving out to the country. It still maintains its small town…
Int:  It has the huge shopping malls out around it, but here still you get a different feeling.
R: It’s a nice community, and we are getting a lot of people.
Int:  It is sort of nice to go downtown and see somebody you know.
R: There aren’t very many around when Dad died five years ago, all the old people came out, I don’t know where they all came from. But I saw people I had not seen in thirty years. I didn’t realize they were all still alive.
Int:  And it was really good to see them.
R: It was great to see them. I was overwhelmed.
Int:  It is so great to see people walking the streets downtown.
J: You see people walking the dogs after 11:00. There are not many places in the world you can do that and feel safe about it.
Int:  And just to see people walking is just a nice feeling, rather than just look out and there is nobody on the streets.
J: They are all inside cars.
Int:  Are there any hobbies that your family has that you have been interested in over the years? Any of you, you, your wife, did you have any hobbies?
R: I used to like to work with wood. I had a small setup in the garage. I got interested in model railroading.
Int:  Did you do those houses?
R: Yes, that’s my retirement project.
Int:  Those are lovely. That’s a wonderful hobby.
R: My dad got me involved, involved in shooting. We did some of that. Target shooting. I am not a hunter. I don’t have the heart to go out and shoot a bunny rabbit.
Int:  But those houses are so lovely and so small, and the detail. What are you doing? Making a village?
R: Yes.
Int:  Are you making Main Street?
R: No.
Int:  That sort of looks like it.
R: It would be tough to scratch build all that stuff. It would be nice to make it look like town.
Int:  It looked like you have a start on it. The group of stores. And that building looks like the one on the southwest corner.
R: It is actually a hotel in Oregon.
Int:  What do you plan on doing with these?
R: I will eventually put them into a layout. I have all of the stuff. I have been buying that since 1971. I would save my lunch money, and on Fridays, I would end up with a couple of dollars in my pocket and I would go to the downtown train store in Detroit, and get a little N gage car.

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