Transcripts, Part 2

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Guide to Transcription Conventions:
{ or } = Respondent and Interviewer are speaking at the same time

(word) = Transcriber’s best guess

(xx)=Transcriber could not make out word(s)

[word]=Non-verbal noises such as a laugh, phonetic spelling, or transcriber interpolation

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Madison: NewWI250 Manitowoc: NewWI035 Milwaukee: NewWI243 Milwaukee: NewWI257
Madison: NewWI251 Menasha: NewWI235 Milwaukee: NewWI246 Oshkosh: NewWI042
Madison: NewWI252 Menomonee Falls: NewWI032 Milwaukee: NewWI249 Oshkosh: NewWI063
Madison: NewWI256 Menomonee Falls: NewWI135 Milwaukee: NewWI255 Oshkosh: NewWI207

Madison: NewWI250

Interviewer:  Well, OK, let’s begin. Uh, as I mentioned, for the first fifteen minutes of our interview, uh, let’s talk about any topics that interest you.{Um—

Respondent:  OK.}

Interviewer:  Should we start by talking about, um, Madison itself? Uh, is there anything special about, uh, the city of Madison that you think other Wisconsinites might, uh, ought to know about?

Respondent:  Uh, the natural beauty, of course, is always one reason that people like Madison, but also the, uh, progressive and fairly liberal, um, tolerant, um, personality of the town is one of the reasons that we are here. We like the fact that we can live how we wanna live and not feel like, uh, we’re gonna have to conform to anybody else’s idea of how you’re supposed to live.

Interviewer:  Oh, I understand. Uh, you’d mentioned, uh, natural blu-, uh, beauty. Uh, uh, what do you think, uh, in particular is the most, uh—what would you say is the most beautiful about it?

Respondent:  Oh, you know, the lakes and the isthmus even though it makes driving kind of a hassle. It’s nice having the capitol situated where it is, and the beauty of being able to go to the farmers’ market in the summer, and go boating, and all that stuff.

Interviewer:  That is always pretty good. I love the farmers’ market.

Respondent:  Mm-hmm.

Interviewer:  Um, when’s the last time you went there?

Respondent:  Uh, probably about a month before it ended.

Interviewer:  Uh, {what’s your—

Respondent:  We—}

Interviewer:  Oh, sorry about that.

Respondent:  We tend to only go to the farmers’ market if we get up early enough to beat the crowds, [laugh] and we didn’t always wake up early enough to beat the crowds this year, so. We went with a friend when she was in town from Florida, I think, back in September.

Interviewer:  Um, what’s your favorite thing to get there?

Respondent:  Uh, we like to go to L’Etoile and get the chocolate croissants, and then we sit on the grass, and we people-watch.

Interviewer:  There’s chocolate croissants?

Respondent:  There are, and they’re wonderful, and they also have marzipan croissants which are, I would say, arguably, even a little bit better.

Interviewer:  Why have I never heard of this?

Respondent:  [laugh] Well, y-, they used to be able to get them at the Cafe Soleil, little place that they had where the Old-Fashioned is now, but then they moved to the glass bank, and now they set up a little stand out on the sidewalk, so you’ll definitely have to check it out once they reopen in the spring.

Interviewer:  Do you ever bother and wait in line for the cheesy bread?

Respondent:  You know, I don’t. I know a lot of people really love it, but it’s, eh, it’s not my favorite. There are other things (at) the market I like better.

Interviewer:  Yep, heh, if you have the patience to wait, fresh, you know, it is, of course, it’s good. It’s everything that people make it out to be.

Respondent:  Right. My husband likes it better than me, ’cause he likes the spicier stuff.

Interviewer:  It {can be pretty spicy, yeah. Oddly enough.

Respondent:  (xx)} It can, yeah.

Interviewer:  Either way, there’s a, I remember, I’ll go down to Fresh Market, but (xx) just have a few extra ones down there, but they’re not, you know, as fresh, but, you know, you bear with it anyways because it’s {cheese bread.

Respondent:  Right, right, yeah, Fresh Market’s actually b-, a good improvement to campus because campus really didn’t have a whole lot in terms of food, other than restaurants, you know, so I feel I, I’m happy for the students that there’s something a little closer.

Interviewer:  Yeah, too bad it’s really expensive.

Respondent:  It is, but then, you know, Sentry isn’t that much cheaper, and that’s probably the next closest place.

Interviewer:  Yeah, Sentry or Woodman’s—Woodman’s is like a . . .

Respondent:  Woodman’s is cheap, but then you have to deal with Woodman’s. [laugh]

Interviewer:  Oh, it’s, it’s like time-traveling back into the nineties is what that is.

Respondent:  It is, yeah. It’s so big. It’s so crowded, and I don’t think the produce is very good. I don’t like buying my apples out of, like, truck crates, you know. I like to feel, like, they’re kind of handled a little bit more gently, I guess, than that, but my husband shops there. I tend to go to the Willy Street Co-op if I’m going to get food, but . . .

Interviewer:  Where’s the Little Street Co-op?

Respondent:  Willy Street Co-op is at Williamson a-, almost to Baldwin, so it’s in the Willy Street neighborhood.

Interviewer:  If only I knew where that was.

Respondent:  OK, well, it’s east of downtown, probably about two miles, and it’s, um, Williamson Street runs parallel to East Washington, so it’s, uh, not that hard to find. You just have to make sure you’re over a couple of blocks from East Wash, and it’s pretty easy to catch it.

Interviewer:  Alright, I think I know where that is. I kn-, I know where East Wash is anyway.

Respondent:  Yeah, most students, I don’t think, go that far east. [laugh] They kinda tend to stay on the near-west side with campus and everything, and I understand it. It’s, it’s convenient to stay in one place.

Interviewer:  Oh, yeah.

Respondent:  I work on campus, so I’m very familiar with that.

Interviewer:  Oh, where do you work on campus?

Respondent:  Uh, for the School of Library and Information Studies in Helen C. White, right above College Library, if you know where that is.

Interviewer:  Yeah, I’m trying to, I’m trying to picture which building Helen C. White is.

Respondent:  It’s one of the ugly, brutalist, grey, con-, concrete ones. We’re right across the street from the Memor-, Memorial Union Theater, so we’ve been the heart of the construction zone for the last six months, and we’re very happy that Park Street is finally open again because it was a hassle.

Interviewer:  That’s Wisconsin, though. It’s, um, it’s, like, uh, ten—

Respondent:  It is.

Interviewer:  It’s ten months of winter and then two months of road construction.

Respondent:  [laugh] Exactly, especially on campus, it seems to be even more, uh, amplified there than (its) other places.

Interviewer:  Always. Oh, I know that pain.

Respondent:  Yes.

Interviewer:  I grew up in [beep]. Like, that’s, it, like, every summer was, like, oh, OK, now they’re working on this bridge? OK.

Respondent:  OK, yeah, my, I had an uncle that was in Hales Corners, so get over there every once in a while. I grew up in Madison, though. My parents, my dad worked for the state, so grew up here, went to school in Minnesota, and was back.

Interviewer:  Uh, what exactly do you do in Helen C. White? I’m just curious.

Respondent:  I am a program assistant for the School of Library Science, so I do a lot of their payroll, their financial stuff, um, pur-, purchasing cards, things like that, not very exciting.

Interviewer:  How long have you done that?

Respondent:  I’ve been with them for about eight months, and prior to that I was with UW system administration in a similar role up in Van Hise. I like the School of Library Science better.

Interviewer:  What’s better about it?

Respondent:  It has that human element, that you have coworkers you can actually have a conversation with, that they’ll actually ask you how you are, and they’ll care if your kid gets sick, or if you get sick, whereas my other job they, they were like pod people. They didn’t really—it was very high-level administration, and so everybody was so busy with meetings and everything that that human element really wasn’t there. Plus librarians are interesting people to talk to. They have lots of good information if you ever have a question about anything.

Interviewer:  Give me an example. What kind of information would you think?

Respondent:  Oh, you know, like, they’ll talk about how, well, we get a CSA every other week from a local farm, and I’ll say, oh, I have all this cabbage. I have no idea what to do with cabbage, and then suddenly you have, like, oh, well, you should check out this cookbook, and you should look at this recipe, and, like, they just will have, like, this total power of recall of anything that they’ve seen whenever they’ve helped anybody else, or ’cause they’ve seen when they’ve been looking for themselves, so it’s just that love of, of information that they have that’s part of the makeup of a person who would be a good librarian.

Interviewer:  Do you think that’s a trained thing? Or, a, uh, or kind of, like, just a, a . . .

Respondent:  I think you can learn it, but I think it’s better if you’re inclined that way. Like, you really like to seek out information, you’re gonna be a much happier librarian than somebody who just thinks, well, it’s, it would be a good job. I can learn how to do it. You know, ’cause, it’s, if it’s something you’re doing for your salary for forty-plus hours a week, you better at least enjoy some of it, or else it’s going to be a very long work week.

Interviewer:  That makes sense. I had a, I had a gym teacher said, like, yeah, he s-, um, you know, if you’re not, if you don’t like what you do then the, um—or, if you like what you do then you never have to worry about money for, um, the rest of your life.

Respondent:  Right, right, because you don’t dread getting up in the morning to go to work, and you’re not always thinking about greener pastures, you know. I think a lot of people don’t like what they do, and you can tell because they’re just very, they seem unhappy in what they do, and then when you have to deal with them for something, where your paths cross, you can tell that they’re just not very happy where they are, and it’s too bad that more people can’t find fulfilling work. I mean, I know some of the work is never gonna be fulfilling, but it’d be nice if more people could find that.

Interviewer:  Yeah, I hear ya. Say you weren’t living in Madison. Where would you like to live?

Respondent:  Uh, we lived in Chicago for a few years, and I liked that quite a bit. Um, we have young kids though, so I don’t think I’d wanna live there with kids. I think any big city, there’s just too many, um, factors that I don’t like, that a kid would have to grow up a little faster there. I think Madison’s a nicer place to raise a family. Um, my husband’s always wanted to live by the ocean, so we talk about that. Although with climate change, I am not real sure that I would be buying property anywhere near a sea [laugh] right now, because I think it’s gonna be dicey, um, more storms, and things like that, but, you know, there’s all sorts of fascinating places all over the world, so I would be open to living in Europe or Canada or if the right, you know, if the circumstances came up, we would definitely consider moving. Although all of our family is here, so it makes it easier if we’re here.

Interviewer:  I hear ya. Where would, um, say you, say you did have to, you did actually have to pick one place where you would move. Where do you think that would be?

Respondent:  Uh, I think Germany. We spent a couple weeks there this summer, and I really liked a lot of things about it, and I would love to have my kids grow up in a different culture for a while, and, and, uh, learn a bigger sens—I think American kids are so insulated here. We always learn about our own little place where we live, and I think people in other parts of the world are much better at teaching their kids about the greater world around them, and I think that would be, you know, lear-, learning a second language, learning a second culture would be really cool.

Interviewer:  Do you know any a, a, extra languages besides English?

Respondent:  I know some French. I studied it in school, but it’s been quite a while since I’ve used it, and I’ve been teaching myself German, um, in preparation for the trip we took, but also because we plan on going back to visit again. Um, my husband has family over there, so I’ve been trying to, I’ve been using this program online called Duolingo, which is a free language-learning software, and, uh, I can order a meal. I can’t really have a conversation, but I can kind of communicate as much as I needed to as a tourist anyway.

Interviewer:  Do you (end up) traveling a lot?

Respondent:  I do like traveling a lot. Um, I did a fair share of it when I was younger, and my kids are finally old enough to start doing it, too. So, we’re definitely gonna be trying to do more of it as they age. They’re seven and ten, so prior to this we thought they were too young to be able to handle, you know, nine hour flights, and trains, and everything that we have to do to get around. It seemed like it would be easier to wait until they could handle it a little better.

Interviewer:  What would you say was their favorite place they’ve ever been to if, um, maybe Germany, maybe somewhere else?

Respondent:  Uh, they really liked Austria, too. We went there, um, briefly. I think that, um, Legoland, if you asked them, that’s where they would wanna live, ’cause that was their favorite part of the trip. It’s a theme park there, so it’s, you know, it’s rides, and it’s restaurants, and all that stuff, um, and it is German, but they totally went through it just fine without knowing any German at all, and at their age that’s how they think, you know. Toys trump everything else.

Interviewer:  That’s a good, that’s a good mindset to have when you’re, when you’re really young.

Respondent:  Sure, yeah, might as well, right?

Interviewer:  Uh, well, let’s s-, what was, what was your favorite part about Austria then, if it wasn’t Legoland?

Respondent:  Um, just the, the Alps are just so gorgeous, and the, the cows with the bells around their necks, and stuff. It’s just such a serene place to be, and you can just kind of sit and look out at nature, and, of course, you know, you’re on vacation, so you do more of that anyway, but it’s just the history there, and we went to a violin museum. That was really cool, and just that whole, um, the sense that you get in Europe of the history that we don’t have here, just the hundreds of years of people living in the same place in essentially the same way that they always have, is pretty neat.

Interviewer:  You fond of history, you think?

Respondent:  Yeah, I have a History minor [laugh]. Almost double-majored in it, but then at the end of the, uh, undergrad experience, I decided, no, I wanna graduate, and, uh, now I kinda regret not finishing it, but it wouldn’t have helped me get a job any more than my fine art degree did, so it’s kinda moot, really, but . . .

Interviewer:  Did you graduate from Madison, or some other college?

Respondent:  Uh, Winona State University, in Minnesota.

Interviewer:  Oh, OK. I’ve, I had, I had never heard of that school before.

Respondent:  Ah, Winona is about half an hour northwest of La Crosse, so it’s just on the Mississippi River, and it was a comfortable three and a half hours away from home, so it was nice to be away from home, but not so far that I couldn’t come back for holidays and stuff.

Interviewer:  Yeah, I thought being, I thought being, um, in Madison away from Milwaukee was far enough for me, but I (can’t) imagine, like, too far of a drive.

Respondent:  Yeah, well, and, and Winona is a s-, it was the first teachers college acr-, uh, west of the Mississippi. It’s not just a teachers college anymore, but it is a smaller, liberal arts college, so at the time I was there, it was, like, seven thousand people, which was a lot better fit for me than Madison would have been, ’cause I was not as strong of a student when I started as an undergrad to have survived a campus this large. I would have totally just, um, like, not gone to class, and, you know, I mean, if your professors don’t know who you are, it’s very easy to just kind of, you kn-, work yourself out of, [laugh] of your undergraduate career, and I needed to be some place smaller where the professors actually taught the classes. They knew who I was. They would call me on it if I wasn’t there. You know, that kind of thing. That was a better environment for me. Plus I met my husband there, so there’s that.

Interviewer:  Oh, congratulations.

Respondent:  Yeah, well, it was twenty-two years ago. [laugh] It was a while. He’s from Verona, just outside of Madison, and he went to Winona, too, so it’s just funny that we met there instead of here.

Interviewer:  I hear ya. Welp, uh, thank you very much for this conversation.


Madison: NewWI251

Interviewer:  —I mentioned, for the first fifteen minutes of our interview let’s talk about any topic that interests you. Uh, shall we begin by talking about Madison?

Respondent:  Fine. {(That would be fine.)

Interviewer:  Is there, is there} anything special about Madison that you think other Wisconsinites ought to know about?

Respondent:  I think it’s rather unique in this state, uh, with the mix of people, uh, work activities. Um, it, it’s just, it’s kind of unto itself. It isn’t exactly homogeneous like the whole rest of the state.

Interviewer:  And what are some of the differences {uh, in Madison compared to the rest of the state?

Respondent:  Well,} uh, the population is very much affected by the university and the types of businesses that are here. It draws people from around the world and from other states in this country, um, so that’s one thing, and, of course, we’re the seat of government here, and so that adds a different complexion to the kinds of work and the kinds of people who are drawn to live here or near here, um, and the student mix, of course, so we have a higher number of younger adults in the area, and that affects, um, what goes on in the community some. Although, sometimes, they are disconnected from the city and what things, uh, the city itself would have them do or be interested in, because they’re, they’re kind of like a population unto themselves, or too busy to relate to other than their studies. Um, anything else?

Interviewer:  Uh, well, how do you feel that, uh, the student body affects Madison, positively or negatively?

Respondent:  I think it’s fantastic. Um, I think they make us think harder about a lot of things. They contribute by their presence, and their enthusiasm, and their volunteerism, and, um, just the fact that they chose to go to this institution speaks well of it, even though there are some cri-, criticisms that would be, could be made. I have to do a disclaimer here by admitting that, uh, my husband is a retired professor, uh, electrical computer engineering, and I have two grown children who both graduated, uh, from the University of Wisconsin, so I have an ongoing view of post-graduation, plus, uh, the teaching aspect, um, relating to the students, and how they contribute or affect Madison as a community.

Interviewer:  So, if you were trying to convince a friend to move to Madison, what features would you highlight?

Respondent:  Uh, what I said before, very interesting people. Um, except for the dead of winter, there’s always something interesting to do. Many times it’s free or low-charge. Um, walking, I can cite you one thing. We got a list, uh, in a welcome packet, and it, this was back in nineteen sixty-six when we first arrived here from Iowa City, and one of the first activities that was suggested was, take a walk on State Street. Well, as you can imagine, uh, State Street and everything around it has changed even more since then, but that was a fascinating thing to do at no charge, and it just kind of immersed you into what it was like to live in a university community, and we had come from, what I’ll call a much smaller version of the same thing, which we loved, um, being students, and this, this was just kind of opening our horizons even more to things that we really liked, um, yeah . . .

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, and if you didn’t live in Madison, uh, where else would you like to live, and why?

Respondent:  Uh, probably somewhere warmer at the age that I am. We, we talk about that a little bit. Because we have a local daughter, the likelihood we would be moving is slim to none. Our, our grandson is sixteen, so, and our other child lives in Portland, Oregon, which doesn’t necessarily have a weather advantage from our point of view either. We visit in the summer, but, um, I, I would be hard-pressed to pick a good place. Um, even Iowa City—to return there—has changed. It’s doubled probably in the size of the university. We liked it very much when we were there, and because our family is really rather small, um, I think we would tend to stay here as we age up. Um, if I had to, ideally, we lived one year in Berkeley which was lovely, but very expensive, but that’s fascinating, and, of course, you don’t have the winter to deal with, so that, if I had lots of money that would be an interesting place to relocate to. Um, gosh, I’m, I’m hard-pressed to come up with—Austin might be one, except for the hot summers, so it’s the reverse of the problem here. Can’t come up with too much else.

Interviewer:  Sure, uh, so, how have you spent your working life?

Respondent:  Um, kind of a classic of my era, a pattern—I worked, am, I’m, I have a bachelors in nursing, and I worked before we had children for two years as, um, a registered nurse a-, first at Iowa City, and then, um, our, our daughter was born, and I went back and worked two days a week before our son was born. So, that was for another three years, and after that I pretty much was a stay-at-home mom, and once they were both in school, I went back and took a refresher nursing course and decided to just work part-time. So I did, I did some, um, nursing time studies which were sporadic, and then I also, uh, this was, um, observational. It was like time and motion studies, if that, if that is at all familiar to you. Every ten minutes (find,) everybody logs what they’re doing and then summarize at the end of the shift, and I did, also, some observations of Headstart children, comparing a, uh, typical child, of which there is none, to a child who was having challenges, and you would, again, same thing, kind of a pattern, you’d log what they were doing about every ten minutes so that they could try and work with the child who was having difficulties, uh, based on what we observed, and I did those, oh, just occasionally. Every, every few years those would come up, and then I would work, oh, maybe half-time, uh, on those.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. So, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies?

Respondent:  I like reading. I volunteer at our local kindergarten on Mondays, which I did today, for the mornings. Um, I also am somebody who for, trying to think, the last, um, fourteen years have, I’ve been responsible for my aging mother. We moved her from Iowa about fourteen years ago. She’d been widowed for quite a while, and she’s now in, uh, the middle stages of dementia so, um, I have been involved in visiting her frequently, and taking her to the doctor, and a-, those kinds of (associated) activities. I, she is now, since last March, out at [beep] in the locked, um, dementia unit which means I have less responsibility with her day-to-day, um, appointments, that kind of thing, because most things can be cared for out there, but I do visit her at least twice a week, if not more, and spend time with her, and she knows me, and so that’s also part of my routine. And then, my husband and I travel, time to time. He couldn’t travel as easily when he was working as a professor, so that’s one of the things we tried to build in to our schedule, and we also, of course, go out to Portland, Oregon, to see our distant son with his family, which includes daughters, seven and nine. Both the families of our children are extremely busy, almost frenetic, I would say, so we kinda almost have to schedule time to see them, which, I guess, is not unusual.

Interviewer:  Um, so you mentioned earlier that, uh, you spend a lot of time reading, so what have you got on your nightstand, or what have you enjoyed recently?

Respondent:  I, I, I do this thing where—I like, um, science fiction, and I saw David Baldacci’s (out) with a new book. I’ve read some of his. Um, I, I’m, when we travel, I have this pattern where I will buy up, um, paperbacks and leave them behind kinda like Hansel and Gretel as I go, and so I, I’m very eclectic in what I read. Um, I, I don’t care for things that are violent, or, um, the things that kids have been liking, the vampire things, uh, those are not of great interest to me, nor are the romance novels, just general, general fiction, I would say, and occasionally, uh, non-fiction, a variety, but whatever sounds interesting.

Interviewer:  Uh, if you could go traveling to an exotic place that you haven’t been before, uh, where would you choose to go?

Respondent:  Oh, does it have to be where I haven’t been before? ’Cause we have, this is an ongoing fight we have. Uh, as a teenager I went with my parents to Cuba, and I really wanna go back there again, and I know that it’s a difficult travel destination. We did go hear the talk at the Union last week, which was fascinating, and, um, so I have been there before. I know it is totally changed. One of the things I loved was the musics, and most of the music I like is of the older style, not the hip-hop that the younger generation likes, and we have been to Puerto Rico, which has been wonderful. Um, I’m getting off topic here. You wanna know where I wanna go that I hadn’t been. Um, we did, uh, travel in Europe. We would, did not make it to, um, I guess it wouldn’t be called exotic, Austria, uh, um, to Vienna in Austria. We did not make it there, and I would like to go to Greece, but it’s in turmoil politically, so that’s a little bit of a decision that we’ll have to cope with, as well as budgetary aspects of that, so that would be fun.

Interviewer:  And so you mentioned that you, uh, had went with your parents to Cuba when you were younger. Uh, what was the occasion?

Respondent:  Uh, vacation. It was very serendipitous. Uh, my dad because he worked as, um, a, basically a chemical engineer in a, um, corn processing plant in Iowa, so his vacations had to occur before the corn crop came in, which meant we would often go to Florida in the summer, which isn’t the best time, but usually it was good, and we went to Miami, Miami Beach one summer when I was in high school, and he just said, out of the blue, “We have a little extra vacation money. We could get a trip that would last a day and a half to Havana. Would you like to?” And we did. We, he went across the street to the travel agency, and that was what we did, which was delightful. It was just lots of walking around, music, um, trying the food, a local person gave us a tour, including, probably, his relative’s cigar factory, and it was just, that’s why I want to go back, even though I saw from her travelogue it would be very sad to see the condition of some of the buildings and the economy that the people are struggling with, even though they are allowing more entrepreneurism than they used to (xx). We can, I can still remember, um, Batista signs were everywhere, and, of course, that soon changed, so you can kind of pinpoint when it was that I was there.

Interviewer:  Hm, mm-hmm, so, do you have a particularly fond memory from your childhood that you’d like to share?

Respondent:  Oh, gosh, it was all, it was all good, and it was the fifties mostly, is what I remember, and post-war they were beginning to be able to, uh, purchase more things that had been rationed, and people were getting jobs. It, it was, it was just a nice time to grow up in a small town in Iowa, and it was probably very insular, because compared to living in Madison, which I really do like, um, it was a very Caucasian society, uh, with dads present, and children behaved, and, uh, studied at school, and put on plays, and visited the elderly with caroling and, at holiday time, and just that, that kind of, it was almost Norman Rockwell-ish, the whole feel to it, and our family was very small. I was an only child, and was a, a grandmother who lived over in Illinois not far, so, uh, family get-togethers were good, too, and I had cousins from Elkhorn who would come and visit. Just, um, kind of a, um, a worry-free time for a child to grow up, which is a little bit deceptive, but, uh, it, it made it a very pleasant experience, I guess, I would say.

Interviewer:  And you mentioned earlier one of the things that you had enjoyed about going to Havana, uh, was the music.

Respondent:  Mm-hmm.

Interviewer:  So, uh, would you care to talk about that?

Respondent:  Ah, it was wonderful. You got the impression, just like Puerto Rico, that almost every child had had music lessons, uh, and music instruction in the parochial schools they attended, because there were very few monotone children, and the groups were wonderful. They were horns. They were mostly men. I do not remember a lot of female singers or musicians, but it was, and it was everywhere. I mean, it was just part of their life, and i-, I, we, um, my dad bought some music after we came back, and we played it on the, uh, record player, [laugh] if you know what that is, so that we kinda perpetuated, um, the good memories of hearing that. And again, I’m very sad because I, I do realize that what I wish to go back and see is no longer there, but, um, occasionally we have been able to go down to the Overture Center and hear some of the old-timers play some of that music. We actually went one time, tried to hear them, and they couldn’t get a visa to get out of the country, or a passport, or whatever was required so they had to cancel, which kind of made you realize what a different culture it is right now for them politically.

Interviewer:  Hm. OK, uh, thanks very much for this in-, uh, conversation. {Uh, let’s move on—

Respondent:  Sure, uh-huh.}


Madison: NewWI252

Interviewer:  OK, let’s begin. As I mentioned, for the first fifteen minutes of our interview let’s talk about any topic that interests you. Um, shall we begin with talking about Madison?

Respondent:  OK, that’s fine.

Interviewer:  Uh, is there anything special about Madison that you think other Wisconsinites ought to know about?

Respondent:  Um, I think it’s a very beautiful city. It’s a liveable city. Uh, it has a great intellectual atmosphere. Um, the arts here are wonderful, and I spent my life at the university. I taught there for thirty years, and, uh, was drawn here to graduate school from Indiana, and, um, I never thought I’d stay here as long as I have, but I’ve been here now for about forty years, uh, and, uh, even though it was so cold. I, I decided to stay here, regardless, so, um, Madison is al-, also a great place to retire, even though it’s cold, because of the availability of, um, resources at the university.

Interviewer:  And, um, you mentioned th-, yeah, um, you were a pr-, uh, you taught. Uh, what did you teach?

Respondent:  Uh, I taught in the School of Social Work and I taught graduate, uh, s-, graduate level students, and my courses were on, uh, substance abuse, uh, causes and treatments, and professional ethics.

Interviewer:  And you said you did that for thirty years?

Respondent:  Uh-huh

Interviewer:  Um, and, um, you know, if you, uh, didn’t live in Madison, where else would you like to live, and why?

Respondent:  Say that again.

Interviewer:  Um, if you didn’t live in Madison, um, where else would you like to live, and why?

Respondent:  Well, that’s a problem. [laugh] If I knew that I would go there. Um, St. Augustine, Florida, is a place that I love, um, parts of the east coast, uh, but mostly, uh, I’ve chosen this area and stayed here because I can’t find anything that’s superior to it, except perhaps Seattle and parts of California.

Interviewer:  Um, and wh-, what do you do, uh, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Um, do you have any hobbies?

Respondent:  Yeah, I do lots of things. I, I belong with a bicycle club. I cross-country ski. I have season basketball tickets to the Badgers games. Um, I sing in a couple of choruses. Um, I play the French horn, uh, lots of stuff, lots of athletics, um, and the arts.

Interviewer:  Alright, um, and, uh, you mentioned you’re a sports fan. Um, what (other) type of sports do you enjoy watching?

Respondent:  Mostly basketball, I watch some football, but not as much as basketball. I’m from Indiana, and basketball is part of our blood.

Interviewer:  And then you mentioned, um, cross skiing. Um, how often do you do that? {Are you (xx), are you looking forward to winter coming?

Respondent:  Uh, when there’s} snow I do it often, and I usually take a trip once a year up north and ski on some, some trails up north by Eagle River, Antigo, and Langlade County. Um, so I ski a lot.

Interviewer:  Are those public parks?

Respondent:  Yeah, some, yeah, public trails.

Interviewer:  Are, are there any, um, you know, uh, w-, like, interesting land sights there that you could talk about?

Respondent:  Um y-, uh, up north, you mean, or . . .

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm, on, on the, uh, at the parks.

Respondent:  Um, really I just go for the trails. Yeah, ’cause the trails, some of them are very, very hilly and c-, challenging skiing, and this would be at the end of the lake, uh, area, uh, east of Eagle River.

Interviewer:  You mentioned that, um, other cities, um, have you taken any, uh, um, interesting, um, trips or vacations lately?

Respondent:  Um, I was in Oregon in, uh, August, and the August before that, I returned to Alaska where I used to work and spent uh, three weeks in Alaska which was fantastic.

Interviewer:  Um, and then going back to, um, y-, your working life, um, you said that you did that for thirty years. Um, anything interesting about, um, teaching, um, college students?

Respondent:  [laugh] Well, yeah, uh, it was a lot of fun, and they’re enthusiastic and, and interested, and, um, and, uh, f-, fun to be around. Um, that age of person I think is really fun to be around, like, around between twenty and twenty-five. Uh, I think that over time a lot changed. Um, uh, I think preparation for the university changed over time, um, and I found that the students were writing more and more poorly, uh, and, of course, you know, y-, uh, the change to, um, uh, the change in technology over time was really interesting to watch, but students are students. You d-, they’re fun and interesting, and most of them wanna learn and are there, uh, th-, for social workers they’re going to go out and work with the public, so they’re there because they, they wanna be there, ’cause it was a graduate level training, so they were serious about their professions.

Interviewer:  What made you, um, decide to go in that, um, line of, um, or, the career line?

Respondent:  Um, I had, I was entering nurses training, uh, in Indiana, and, uh, I came to Wisconsin to work in a summer camp, and I met some social workers who had been very involved in the civil rights movement and who had marched, um, with Dr. King in, in, uh, the South, and I thought these people were so fantastic that I decided to change course, and so it was a, basically, an interest in social justice, um, that took me to social work, and later on, I got to meet Mrs. King and some other people who were really, uh, part of that whole movement. This is after, uh, Martin Luther King died, but it was a matter of, of seeking justice for people who had fewer resources than other people.

Interviewer:  Did you participate in any rallies or protests or anything?

Respondent:  Oh, yeah, uh, yeah, especially here, I pr-, I, I, in fact I just got done participating [laugh] in protests all last year, um, over Governor Walker’s Act 10, and during the war, that is, the, uh, Vietnam War I pr-, took, participated in lots of protests, got maced in the eyes, and that kind of stuff.

Interviewer:  Um, and then, so back, uh, back to Madison, um, are there any special places that you enjoy visiting, or, um, seeing, as far as any landmarks, or anything like that?

Respondent:  Um, y-, I, I, g-, I spend a lot of time at the Arb, and, uh, Vilas Park, uh, Monona Terrace, uh, the Terrace, and a lot of time on the bike paths. I do a lot of biking. Um, s-, uh, the Overture Center, I spend time there quite a bit, and sometimes I perform with a chorus there, and, let’s see, where else? I don’t know. I go all over the city. [laugh] I’ve lived here a long time and know a lot of places.

Interviewer:  Um, and you mentioned earlier that you play the horn, um—

Respondent:  Uh-huh.

Interviewer:  What, what types, uh, any types of music that you e-, really enjoy, or . . . ?

Respondent:  Oh, yeah, mostly I love all kinds of music. Um, I also play the piano and the guitar, and I love all kinds of music, and, uh, right now I’m spending more time with classical music than other kinds of music, but, like, on the radio in my car I listen to WERN. I listen to Ninety-eight, which is, you know, soft kinda adult, adult rock kind of stuff, and, yeah, I guess I, I like all kinds of music.

Interviewer:  Um, you mentioned classical. Any, any certain composers that you really—

Respondent:  Schumann, Mahler, those two particularly, um, Verdi and Puccini for opera. Um, right now I was listening to a thing by a guy named David Popper who, uh, uh, wrote for cello trios, so just, you know, all kinds of stuff. I just finished a performance with a choral union which was, uh, Mendelssohn and, uh, Vaughan Williams.

Interviewer:  Ah, do you, uh, do you like animals?

Respondent:  Yeah, oh, yeah.

Interviewer:  Do you have any pets?

Respondent:  Uh, my dog died, but I had a dog.

Interviewer:  Anything you can tell me about him?

Respondent:  Oh, w-, he was a mixed poodle, um, kinda small, funny, uh, smart. Uh, he looked like a little sheepdog. Uh, he liked the run of the house. Uh, [laugh] he was very funny, and I like, I actually, I like all animals. I’m a animal lover.

Interviewer:  Do you have a favorite holiday?

Respondent:  Yeah, I think Thanksgiving.

Interviewer:  Do you have any, uh, s-, do you normally do anything on Thanksgiving, any, uh, see family and whatnot?

Respondent:  Yeah, and, uh, depends on where we all are. Now this year I won’t, this year I’m spending with a bunch of friends. Um, my family is spread all over the place, so it depends on who can travel. I think I like Thanksgiving because it’s, it’s, uh, less chaotic and it’s more about people’s relationships than it is about stuff.

Interviewer:  Do you, uh, enjoy reading?

Respondent:  Uh-huh.

Interviewer:  Um, what types of things do you read?

Respondent:  Mostly non-fiction.

Interviewer:  Do you have any favorite authors?

Respondent:  No, not really, no. No, I just like non-fiction. Mostly stuff about, right now I’m into stuff about, um, the grand, the Great Migration, um, and, uh, yeah, the Great Migration is the last thing I read I thought was great.

Interviewer:  Anything particular about it?

Respondent:  Yeah, it’s talking about the movement of African-Americans north during the early nineteen hundreds to the nineteen forties, um, trying to get out of the Old South and into a place they could find some decent jobs and, uh, wages, um, and I’m particularly interested in Native Americans, and, um, read quite a bit about Native Americans.

Interviewer:  Do you enjoy any television shows?

Respondent:  Yeah, [laugh] I like, uh, oh, gosh, Sixty Minutes, and then I like really trash, like, uh, Person of Interest, um, CSI, NCIS, uh, Independent Lens—that, all this stuff is on, um, Wisconsin Public TV. Um, I’ve been watching Henry Gates’s series on, uh, um, African-Americans, uh, the riv-, I think it’s The Water is Wide [sic] or The River is Wide, [sic] um, so just all kinds of stuff.

Interviewer:  Do you have any particular fond memories or stories from your childhood that you like to share?

Respondent:  Hm, yeah, my father would put up, um, tents in the backyard, and we would, the whole neighbor-, we had al-, a neighborhood full of kids. There were, oh, about ten kids, uh, and our houses were all located around a, an alleyway, and so the whole neighborhood was very close, and we played together pretty much every night after school. We’d play kickball and basketball. Uh, we’d, we’d just run around, and we’d make up things and put on plays, and, um, just basic-, yeah, we were just together all the time, and, uh, they were like my brothers and sisters.

Interviewer:  Are there any, uh, current events you’d like to talk about?

Respondent:  Uh, what do you mean?

Interviewer:  Uh, just anything happening in the world.

Respondent:  Yeah, [laugh] yeah, the whole world’s coming apart. That’s current. Yeah, I’m very upset about global warming, and, uh, trashing the environment, and, uh, failure to end the wars in the Mid-East, and all of that. So, I’m very concerned about the state of affairs.

Interviewer:  Do you have any more, uh, any more you could say on it, or . . . ?

Respondent:  I don’t, yeah, um, in my worst days I’m very depressed about it. I think we’re, we’ve turned, uh, we’ve turned a corner, and unless something is done very, very quickly, we’re not gonna be able to get it back. I w-, I mentioned I worked in Alaska. Some of the villages I worked in up there are literally falling into the sea. They’re flooding. The permafrost is, is deteriorating and melting at a pace they’ve never seen before. Th-, it’s emitting a lot of C-O-Two and methane into the, uh, atmosphere. Um I, I belong to lots of environmental organizations, and you just, you know, for thirty years you throw money at this stuff, and it just gets worse and worse, so in that way, I’m very pessimistic.

Interviewer:  What, what brought you to Alaska?

Respondent:  Um, I worked with, uh, I worked with Native Americans. I, I applied for a job and got it and went there and worked with Native Americans.

Interviewer:  What did that job entail?

Respondent:  Um, I worked in Anchorage, and every, uh, A-, Native, w-, uh—two things—w-, every social worker there was given a territory, and my territory was the Kenai Peninsula, and every Native American on the Kenai peninsula was my client, so I traveled a lot, I d-, uh, on that part, in that part of Alaska, and then, in the office, native people who came in from all over the state for help, um, I worked with the eighteen to twenty-five-year-olds, and then I also traveled around the state a lot, uh, to meet with families, or transport kids, or take people where they needed to go, so there was a lot of flying.

Interviewer:  OK, uh, thanks very much for this conversation. Uh, let’s move on to the nex—


Madison: NewWI256

Interviewer:  OK, let’s begin. As I mentioned, for the first fifteen minutes of our interview, let’s talk about any topic that interests you. Shall we begin by talking about Madison? Is there anything special about Madison that you think other Wisconsinites, um, excuse me, Wisconsinites, ought to know about?

Respondent:  Um, [laugh] well, um, let’s see, let, let’s pretend you’re thinking about moving here. That might be a good way to approach it. Um, well, you know, we have these beautiful lakes that create an isthmus, and, um, if you’re lucky enough to live in the central part of the city, you’re never more than a few minutes away from a lake which even in winter can be beautiful. We have other wonderful natural resources that are very accessible: a great park system, the university provides us with a terrific e-, um, arboretum, and recreational areas like Picnic Point. Um, and, despite yesterday’s snowstorm it’s generally very easy to get around Madison, um, (you know,) to go to, from one side of town to another for a meeting or an errand. Really, it can take a half hour. So while it’s a sizable city, um, it’s highly livable. How’s that?

Interviewer:  That [laugh] that’s good. Um, are you, do you enjoy being on, in, out in the outdoors, or, by the lakes?

Respondent:  Um, I enjoy being in the outdoors when it’s a little bit warmer than it is now. Um, I am a, a cross-country skier, but, um, I pick my days very carefully. It had better be sunny and not windy. [laugh] Th-, those days I enjoy. Um, otherwise, I, I prefer my outdoor activities to be when it’s a little bit, um, warmer than thirty-two degrees.

Interviewer:  Um, and so, do you, um, do you, where el-, I’m sorry, w-, so where else would you like to live if you didn’t live in Madison, um, where else in Wisconsin?

Respondent:  Where else in Wisconsin . . . um, well, I would definitely like to live in Milwaukee. Um, I find it very interesting that the health care organization I work for is talking with a large health care provider there. And it caused me to think, well, what would that be like? And I realized that, um, oh, my really close friends, most of them live in Milwaukee, and, um, it’s always fun to visit there, and it’s also very easy city to get around in. There’s beautiful Lake Michigan, um, and I don’t know. There’s just a lot of really great things about Milwaukee. They’ve made the riverwalk and, um, you know, just cute little neighborhoods and fun shopping, and it’s, um, for a big city, um, it’s, I don’t know. I think it’s just, it’s really, there’s a lot to do there, that’s, um, you know, fun, but also really easy.

Interviewer:  Do you, um, do you prefer living in larger cities, then, or (xx) . . .

Respondent:  Well, I prefer to have a job which, um, for me pretty much requires me to live in a larger city. Um, I suppose I could live in a little town and, you know, drive to Madison, but, um, with my job, it really makes it a lot easier to just live closer to where I work. I worked in Spring Green for a long time, and, um, you know enjoyed Spring Green, but it’s, um, it’s mostly just the driving. Uh, you know, it’s less, um, it’s less about really the size of the community. I think it’s more about, um, you know, just more the, the location of where I live relative to where I work. Um, although, I did say, I mean, I worked in rural Wisconsin. It’s possible that could happen again, and I certainly wouldn’t mind living in a smaller community where, oh, maybe the property taxes would be lower, and, um, you know, it could be a little bit easier, but, you know, for now, I think living in the city is, is the easiest thing for me.

Interviewer:  So how, how have you spent your working life?

Respondent:  How have I spent my working life? Working! [laugh] Hard! Um, so right now I work in health care although I don’t provide health care. I, um, do, um, I’m the community relations director for UW-Health, and so in my current position I really do a lot of relationship-building and project management. I manage our charitable giving, which is a great privilege, um, and it’s not just giving away money. It’s also developing the partnerships with over, (well,) probably, about three hundred community organizations that we work with in various ways, and, you know, in general, you know, my work life has always been about creating relationships that move organizations further along in their mission. So before this, I worked at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin. That was the Spring Green part of my life, and I ran the organization that does, um, public education and the physical preservation of the estate. So that was everything from hey, a drain filled up with pine needles, come over and stick your hand in cold water and dig them out, to raising millions of dollars. So that was a really diverse job that included, um, a lot of problem solving, and a lot of leadership, as well as a lot of chief cook and bottle washer activity, like, you know, giving tours and fixing the fax machine. So [laugh] it was a small, a small operation with a huge mission. Um, and before that I worked in public policy and lobbying, and I did that in several different, um, guises, and so I know government really well, and, I, I’ve done a lot of work on creating legislation and policy and also implementing it.

Interviewer:  I see. Um, have you had any, um, interesting, uh, works b-, uh, in the past, or, um, {(have)—

Respondent:  Didn’t that sound pretty interesting? {[laugh]

Interviewer:  [laugh] That was interesting.} Um, so, uh, but, um, what about when you were, um, you know, like, did you do, any waitering, or, um, anything interes-, um, any other things in the past, how you spent {your working life?

Respondent:  Catering?}

Interviewer:  Or, have you catered?

Respondent:  Did you say catering?

Interviewer:  Oh, oh, no.[laugh] I, I’m sorry. Can you hear me?

Respondent:  Yeah, I just, I misheard you. I thought you said, “Have you done any catering?” and I was, like—what did you say?

Interviewer:  Oh, I said a waitering, or waiting?

Respondent:  Waitering. Um, no, I haven’t, um, my, my most, food service, well, I’ve had two food service-y kind of jobs. Um, in high school, I worked at the Dairy Queen, so there’s a Wisconsin job for you. Um, so I can make the curl, uh, make the Dairy Queen curl, and I can also dip a cone without it falling into the dip. [laugh] So, um, I did that. That was really super fun, and then I also lived in North Carolina. Um, I went to school there, and during one winter break, I sold honey-baked hams, and that was an experience, um, but, no, I’ve never, I’ve never waited, um, I’ve never waited tables. I’ve been guest bartender a few times, but, um, just for fun.

Interviewer:  So, um, when you’re not working, how do you enjoy, um, your spare time. Or, a-, do you have any hobbies?

Respondent:  Do I have any hobbies? Well, my husband told me six months ago that I needed a hobby. Apparently I work a lot, so I’ve been, I’ve been exploring hobbies. Um, let’s see, this is kind of funny. I started out with knitting, and that was a catastrophe. I couldn’t get the yarn from one needle to the other needle, so that is where that ended. Um, I got my goddaughters the same knitting, k-, learning-to-knit kits that I got. They are twelve, and, um, within a week they had both completed mitten projects, [laugh] so all I did was play with the cat with the yarn, and that was pretty much knitting. And then I got a hula hoop, and that was kinda fun, but that, that didn’t really stick, and then my personal trainer taught me how to box. So I’ve been boxing, and that’s been really a pretty good hobby. That’s a good fit with me, and I started, um, horseback riding. So I was learning, you know, sort of, like, me and seven-year-old girls learning how to horseback ride, and I did that all summer and all fall, and I’m taking a break right now from that, and I also tutor English as a second language to adult learners. Is that really a hobby? I don’t know, um, but that’s been pretty interesting and challenging, and I occasionally run political campaigns as a hobby, um, but I’m not doing anything right now. So, let’s see, do I have any other hobbies? I mean, I do, you know, like, I work out and I do-, I don’t really call that a hobby. I started yoga. I started learning yoga this fall, and that’s been really wonderful. So those are my hobbies. I don’t think all of them are gonna remain hobbies, but, um, that’s the twenty thirteen investigating of hobbies report.

Interviewer:  Um, and, OK, so, um, have you, um, have you traveled re-, recently, or . . . ?

Respondent:  Um, (xx) have I traveled recently? Uh, the most recent travel was in the spring, or, late winter, um, I went to (Belize) with my husband, and, um, that was awesome. That was incredible. That was really great, and other than that, not really. Our summer vacation, um, turned into me, um, kind of accidentally being the, a live auction winner of a piano, [laugh] and that caused the summer vacation to get cancelled, so, um, we stay-cationed, and played the piano, um, and other than that, no. I mean, we went to Milwaukee in that horrible weather last weekend. That was terrifying, but, um, not a ton of, not a ton of travel.

Interviewer:  And do you know how to play the piano, then? Or did . . . ?

Respondent:  Well, I know how to play the piano as well as I did when I was in eighth grade which is aw-, kind of awful. Um, I did master “Winter Wonderland” last year, um, but my husband is a musician, and he is extremely proficient, um, playing the piano. So he plays the piano every day. It’s a player piano, but it’s never worked. (xx) if you turn the player on, it has its own, um, wireless server, and it pulls our wireless internet down, and I consider that to be not a good thing. So the thousands of songs in the player computer are trapped there forever. So we don’t ever use the player. It’s just played like a real piano.

Interviewer:  And, um, well, Thanksgiving is coming up soon. Do you have any plans for the holiday?

Respondent:  Um, yes, I do have plans for the holidays. I visit my, sort of, um, adopted family in, uh, Glendale, (xx) which is a suburb of Milwaukee. I’ve been going to my college roommate’s family for Thanksgiving, um, since we were in college, so her, um, her brothers come home. Well, her, one, one brother comes with his family from Denver. She comes from Oakland, and then her cousins, and, you know, kind of the extended family get together, and it’s the whole weekend. It’s the whole four days. It’s just madness, with little kids, and so it starts out with Thanksgiving, and then Friday is like family game day, um, which is generally dodgeball, which is horrible, and, um, then we, you know, just kind of do random things, play some cribbage, um, maybe go bowling. See? I really am from Wisconsin, [laugh] and, uh, then Friday night we have a f-, huge family game. Friends come over. There’s usually, like, forty people. The little kids run wild. Um, this year we’re doing karaoke. And then Saturday is a little more mellow, um, hopefully doing something involving activity, not sitting around, and this year it’s my college roommate’s birthday on Saturday. So we have Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, and her birthday, all, you know, in that same four-day weekend, {so it’s, it’ll be pretty crazy.

Interviewer:  Oh, wow.}[laugh]

Respondent:  That’s the Thanksgiving-ukkah-birthday plan. I hope to live until Monday. That’s my goal.

Interviewer:  [laugh] Um, so when you, um, so for Thanksgiving, do you enjoy, um, doing more of the cooking, or do you enjoy more of the, um, the game days, and, um, celebrating, um, other, um, more of, doing activities, or would you, like, are you more, like, a kitchen person, you like cooking, and . . . ?

Respondent:  For the holidays?

Interviewer:  Uh, yes.

Respondent:  Um, well, I’m really lucky in that I don’t, because I go for Thanksgiving, I don’t cook.

Interviewer:  Oh. [laugh]

Respondent:  Yeah, I} do cook, but I don’t, we just show up. So for twenty-five years, I’ve been bringing a case of wine for the weekend. And so that’s pretty much my total responsibility, although I’ve threatened to make a birthday cake on Saturday morning, {(so it happens.

Interviewer:  [laugh]

Respondent:  Um, and so, and I, I’ve not, I mean, we usually go to TJ Maxx for Black Friday which is not a good idea, um, but, and I’m so not really a shopper at all. I mean, it’s really about being with family, and not about getting caught up in all of this, you know, the kind of the rigamarole, so we tend to really focus on just spending time together, and hopefully avoiding drama, which is the slogan this year, which, you know, doesn’t usually go very well. Um, I’m a football fan. My husband’s a football fan. We are not among many football fans, so fitting the Packer game in is going to be a challenge, um, and the Badger game, and that may, we may just have to let that go, ’cause it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Our, my family, um, which is basically me and my eighty-eight-year old father, um, are huge football fans, and so, um, I always grew up with, you know, the game on Thanksgiving was the most important thing, and I’ve, I’ve had to sort of surrender that attachment, um, and right now that’s probably not such a bad thing given how the Packers have been playing. So that’s sort of the Thanksgiving philosophy. No, no standing in line all night, no, um, pushing people down. Uh, I really don’t, we don’t really celebrate Christmas. It’s really just my husband and I and my dad for Christmas, and so I do stockings and pretend Santa came, and that’s it. So we’re not, you know, I don’t, I get my goddaughters something, and that’s really it. So not a big, the month of December is not this hugely stressful ordeal. It’s, like, OK—

Interviewer:  Um, just a {(xx)—

Respondent:  (xx) a couple} minutes on Amazon, and I’m done.

Interviewer:  [laugh] Well, thank you, um, very much for this conversation. Uh, let’s move on to the next activity.

Respondent:  I’m having a really hard time hearing you now.

Interviewer:  Oh, OK. Um, can you hear me better now?

Respondent:  Yes.

Interviewer:  OK, um, so thank you very much for this conversation. Let’s move on to the next activity.


Manitowoc: NewWI035

Interviewer:  OK, let’s begin. Uh, as I mentioned, for the first fifteen minutes of our interview, uh, let’s talk about any topic that interests you. Uh, you know, I’ve never actually been to Manitowoc. Is there anything special about, uh, Manitowoc that you think other Wisconsinites ought to know about?

Respondent:  Oh, anything special? [sigh] It’s a lakeshore community, and, I guess, the history behind Manitowoc that people would wanna know would be, um, it, it built it, its namesake on shipbuilding. It built for th-, like, submarines, and, et cetera. It even has a submarine yet there that’s on display at the local museum.

Interviewer:  Interesting. What’s at, what else is at that local museum? Is it all just about shipbuilding?

Respondent:  Um, yeah, it’s called the Maritime Museum, so its, obviously, its focus is on the, on shipping and the maritime industry.

Interviewer:  Oh, I understand. Is that all that was built out there was just submarines?

Respondent:  Oh, well that’s the main th-, th-, it’s, the main industry was shipbuilding. It wasn’t just submarines, but it was ships of all kinds. In fact, the local high school is called Manitowoc-Lincoln Ships.

Interviewer:  I’ve never heard of a high school being called Ships before.

Respondent:  Yep, that’s what they are. [laugh]

Interviewer:  Uh, say you were gonna try and convince a friend to move to Manitowoc, uh, what would, would you highlight exactly?

Respondent:  Probably the lake, Lake Michigan, because it, there’s nice, there are some nice beaches. There’s a great path, a recreational trail that focuses on Lake Michigan that’s pretty heavily used by walkers, um, rollerbladers, bikers, that kind of thing.

Interviewer:  You go swimming a lot in that lake?

Respondent:  I don’t, but most people do. I’m more of a pool kind of person than a freshwater person.

Interviewer:  Oh, I understand. I was thinking ’cause I used to live by, um, like, [beep] Milwaukee and swing by Lake Michigan down there, or, or even here in Madison (xx) the lakes, uh, oh, now I’m blanking on them, uh, Mendota, Monona, you generally don’t swim in those.

Respondent:  Yeah, exactly, well, I wouldn’t want to swim in the Milwaukee area, too, ’cause I heard they dump their, their waste in it [laugh].

Interviewer:  OK, yep, that’d be a, that’d be an accurate assessment.

Respondent:  Yep, yep, yep, I know. [laugh]

Interviewer:  Uh, say you’ve, say you didn’t live in Manitowoc. Uh, where else di-, where else would you like to live and why?

Respondent:  Well, I would like to live, I mean, I guess when you said life-long resident, I was a life-long resident of Manitowoc, but I have recently moved to Appleton.

Interviewer:  Ah, I understand. Uh, what, what was appealing about Appleton?

Respondent:  Uh, the, I got a job here.

Interviewer:  Oh, what do you do?

Respondent:  I’m an accountant.

Interviewer:  Uh, do you like it?

Respondent:  Do I like my job?

Interviewer:  I guess, yeah.

Respondent:  Yeah, of course I do, yes.

Interviewer:  Um, what kind of, what kind of business do you work for exactly?

Respondent:  I work in the real estate industry.

Interviewer:  I understand. And, uh, oh, see, now I’m trying to, like, draw on any kind of real estate accounting knowledge that I have, which is zero, so . . .

Respondent:  [laugh] OK.

Interviewer:  Uh, do you watch sports?

Respondent:  No.

Interviewer:  Oh, I understand.

Respondent:  I’d rather not. I do participate but I don’t like to watch.

Interviewer:  What sports do you participate in, then?

Respondent:  Oh, I play anything with my kids. I mean, we like to bike a lot, um, and my son has played Pop Warner football for the last three years. My daughter plays flag football and basketball. My son does basketball, so there’s a number of sports in the a-, in, that we participate or that we are spectators for, but to sit down and watch TV and watch a sport would not be my thing.

Interviewer:  Oh, I, so you didn’t watch, uh, World Cup, I guess.

Respondent:  No, mm-mm, nope.

Interviewer:  Well, um, let’s see, uh, what do you do in your spare time then. So, you watch, I, you’ve, heard, uh, you, your, watch your kids play sports a lot. What else do you like to do?

Respondent:  Hm, um, anything that interacts with my children. I have five kids, so they keep me busy. Um, we go, every day we try and get out and do something outside, something physical, and, then, we like going to parks. We like going to pools a, or aquatic centers. Um, what else do I—I like biking, myself. I do enjoy reading as long as it’s a book I’m interested in, so, um, right now, I’m on the Percy Jackson series, ’cause my daughter, my ten-year-old daughter and I, we’re reading them together.

Interviewer:  Oh, I understand. So, do you prefer reading books that are more, um, that are more tailored to, ’cause, um, so that you can read them with your kids, or do you prefer more, like, the adult ones, or, like . . . ?

Respondent:  No, I’ll do both. I’ve done both. I’ve read, certainly, some adult books that I wouldn’t want my children to read, and then I’ve done some that, that would be appealing to both generations, like the Hunger Games series. I mean, you can’t really, you can’t really (xx) that as either a child favorite or an adult favorite. It’s kinda both.

Interviewer:  I understand. What would you say is your favorite book on both ends of the spectrum, then?

Respondent:  Both ends of the spectrum? {Um

Interviewer:  Like, your} favorite book for one and then your favorite book for the other.

Respondent:  [sigh] Let’s see, for really young kids, I’d say, like, I really enjoy Clifford the Big Red Dog.

Interviewer:  I {(xx) him very well.

Respondent:  Um, for,} yeah, yep, for, um, like, ten-year-old’s, like my daughter is, I’d say r-, we really enjoy the Percy Jackson series. For pr-, like, teenage age, I would say The Hunger Games, and then for a-, more adult, I enjoyed the Twilight series.

Interviewer:  I understand. Who is your favorite author?

Respondent:  I don’t have a favorite author.

Interviewer:  Um, honorable mentions, then. Not necessarily one favorite, but who could you highlight as being, like, a really—

Respondent:  Well, Karen Kingsbury, I read her novels. She’s more of a Christian, family-type stories, (she’ll read), so she’s one of my favorites. So she’d get an honorable mention.

Interviewer:  I understand. Uh, any others that, uh, you’d like to throw out there?

Respondent:  Um, nope.

Interviewer:  Uh, so you read books, do you watch movies at all?

Respondent:  I do watch some movies, yes.

Interviewer:  What’s your favorite movie?

Respondent:  Favorite movie of all time would be Ever After with Drew Barrymore. It’s a period piece, kind of like a Cinderella but taking place hundreds of years ago.

Interviewer:  Alright, um, well, let’s see, I’ve never actually heard of that movie. At least, I don’t think so. Uh, what’s the plot synopsis?

Respondent:  Well, you know the plot to Cinderella, it’s k-, she’s kind of like a, th-, her father dies, and she ends up living with her step, her evil step-mother—it’s not a cartoon, of course, it’s, it’s an actual, the characters in there—and then meets a handsome prince, and, but it’s, there’s some amusing parts in there. Um, it’s, and, of course, it’s gotta have a happy ending, or I wouldn’t bother spending time [laugh] on the movie. I’m one of those that people hate because I will look to the end of a book to make sure the main character doesn’t get killed off, or I’ll ask the end of a movie because I’m not gonna invest two hours of my time to have a, a sad ending.

Interviewer:  Oh, so Game of Thrones would be just out of the question for you, then.

Respondent:  See, I don’t know the ending to that one.

Interviewer:  Well, not many people know the ending, but, like, a lot of mai-, a lot of characters just get killed off one after another.

Respondent:  [laugh] Then that probably would not be appealing to me, nope.

Interviewer:  Yeah, that would be, that would, might be a little intense. Uh, well, I suppose, uh, what other I suppose what other TV do you watch then. (xx) I don’t know if you watch TV.

Respondent:  For TV I, my, our f-, we tend, my husband and I tend to favor the crime drama series, like, CSI, Criminal Minds, Rizzoli and Isles, those kinds of shows. For comedies, we do watch Modern Family.

Interviewer:  I have, I haven’t actually been watching a lot of TV recently, or at least a lot of, like, network TV. What would you, um, what would you, what’s the, what’s the, uh, best crime drama in your, in your opinion, then?

Respondent:  [sigh] Best one. Um, I’d probably go with Blue Bloods. It’s got Tom Selleck and, let’s see, one of the Wahlberg’s. I think it’s Donnie Wahlberg.

Interviewer:  I know some commercials for that. Uh, why is that one the best?

Respondent:  Um, because it’s not really as, as gross as some of the others. Like, Criminal Minds can get pretty intense and show, [laugh] show more graphic pictures than I would care to see, but Blue Bloods always has a nice story written in and family backstories are included in there as well.

Interviewer:  Alright, so, you, you don’t like, so much, the gore, but you want a, a gripping kind of narr{ative.

Respondent:  Yeah,} yep, yep, and then not, not, I don’t want the sole focus to just be the case they’re solving. I want some other, some other personal touches to it as well.

Interviewer:  You wanna relate to the characters. You don’t want them {to—

Respondent:  Yeah.}

Interviewer:  I mean, they, they can be flawed, but not to a point where they’re evil.

Respondent:  Sure.

Interviewer:  Or, they’re criminal, {(xx)

Respondent:  Right,} yeah, yeah, {mm-hmm.

Interviewer:  So,} like, Breaking Bad would be a little tough for you.

Respondent:  Well, I’ve heard a lotta good things about it,[laugh] but, yeah, I do-, I’m not sure how easy it would be to fall in love with a teacher who was a drug dealer, or makes crystal meth, or whatever. [laugh] I think that’s what the story is.

Interviewer:  Yeah, it’s, I mean, I’ve, I haven’t watched, the first two seasons, but, yeah, at the f-, at the beginning, he just, you know, he’s doing it, like, oh, this is all for my family, doing that, and then later on it just gets more and more and more twisted. Uh, did you ever see, uh, Goodfellas? I suppose not, but I had to throw that out there.

Respondent:  I don’t think I’ve ever seen—nope, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that.

Interviewer:  Oh, OK. It’s kinda li-, it’s kinda the, almost like that where you can kinda, the character starts out, I mean, he can, he’s a gangster, but, you know, you kinda relate to him, and he’s, like, oh, he’s a family man, and then it just, you know—

Respondent:  Like The Sopranos, probably. {Yeah, mm-hmm.

Interviewer:  Yeah, and then,} and then it’ll just keep testing you to see, oh, d-, do you still like him yet? How about, {how about now?

Respondent:  Yeah, exactly.} Mm-hmm.

Interviewer:  Alright, let’s see, what else we have here. Um, OK, here’s one. What is your favorite holiday and why?

Respondent:  Oh, my gosh. Probably Thanksgiving, because the s-, the, it’s a time to get together with the family, and we usually do the big meal kind of thing with family gathering, and it doesn’t have quite the pressure that Christmas does.

Interviewer:  Oh, I get that. Um, is there a place you usually have the Thanksgiving dinner? Like, uh, for me, we always have it, it’s always been at our house as opposed to, like, you know, at another uncle’s {house or something like that.

Respondent:  My brother I} I’m, I have just one brother, and we, um, take turns each year. One of us hosts Thanksgiving, and one of us hosts Christmas, and then the next year we flip-flop.

Interviewer:  That’s not a bad system, actually.

Respondent:  No.

Interviewer:  What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food, then? And don’t pick turkey ’cause that’s cheating.

Respondent:  It’s not, because I don’t eat meat. [laugh]

Interviewer:  Oh, OK, well, that, that makes it easier.

Respondent:  Mm-hmm, um, probably be the mashed potatoes.

Interviewer:  Uh, who cooks the potatoes?

Respondent:  Usually, my mom does.

Interviewer:  What is it about your mother’s mashed potatoes? This is getting a little personal, but, I’m sorry I’m {just kinda (reaching.)

Respondent:  [laugh]} Well, th-, the, lately she, she likes to add a little bit of cream cheese in them, and damn that’s good. [laugh]

Interviewer:  Alright, did you ever have, um, I don’t actually eat too many foods like that, ’cause I know I don’t like, um, there’s some weird things that I don’t like, but did you ever have bacon carrots? Oh, I suppose not. You don’t eat meat, {but—

Respondent:  Nope.}

Interviewer:  —oh, no, those are fantastic. Um, uh, let’s see, what is your favorite band? Or, do you have a favorite band? Or what types of music do you like?

Respondent:  Um, I guess, probably, the pop music would be my favorite right now.

Interviewer:  What era of pop? Or, like, you know, current pop, or, like, uh, nineties, {Michael Jackson kinda—

Respondent:  Any.} Any of those. I listen to current stuff, like, uh, the, um, it’s a Green Bay, uh, station, WIXX, which is, like, y-, your top forty hits, not the hard rock, but I’ll listen to that, ’cause that’s, that’s probably what I have on the radio eighty percent of the time, and then, um, I will switch to, to a station that will play some from the eighties, ’cause, of course, I grew up in the eighties, so probably my favorite are the eighties and the current stuff.

Interviewer:  Of the, of, uh, I’m probably more versed in eighties music than I am in actually current stuff, so what would you say is your favorite, uh, band or artist from the, uh, eighties period?

Respondent:  Hall and Oates.

Interviewer:  I’ve never heard of that one.

Respondent:  Hall and Oates? Daryl Hall, John Oates.

Interviewer:  Nope.

Respondent:  They were the top-selling duo of all time.

Interviewer:  Agai-, I, nope. It escapes me.

Respondent:  Uh, Pri-, “Private Eye,” let’s see, “Kisses on my Lips,” what else do they do? You gotta look them up, ’cause you’ll, I guarantee you’ll know at least one of their songs.

Interviewer:  Hopefully. I’ll have to look that up later, yeah.

Respondent:  Mm-hmm.

Interviewer:  What about current era? What’s your, uh, favorite artist from there, if you have one, or honorable mention, I guess?

Respondent:  Katy Perry.

Interviewer:  Why is it Katy Perry?

Respondent:  ’Cause the tunes are catchy. Sh-, she hasn’t gone completely off the deep end yet. Give her time. [laugh]


Interviewer:  That makes sense, actually. That’s respectable, um, hold on, uh, now I’m just trying to think of one last thing that we can kind of go over here. Where did you go on your last vacation? Again, very personal, but that’s one of the sample questions we have here.

Respondent:  Um, let’s see, where was our last vacation? We don’t really take very many vacations. I guess the, the extended, like, overnight thing was to Sandusky, Ohio, to the Cedar Point amusement park.

Interviewer:  Cedar Point, oh, Ce-, oh, so you are a fan of amusement parks, or is that your kids are more {into that?

Respondent:  Nope} it’s amu-, I am a fan of amusement parks, yes. I c-, I can’t ride enough rollercoasters.

Interviewer:  I feel like Great America would be a lot closer than that, though.

Respondent:  Great America is, but, you know, my daughter did some research on the best parks for rollercoasters and enthusiasts and that was, like, ranked, almost always ranked in the top two or three, and so we decided that that was probably the closest one, because the other one, I think, was out in, like, New York, Boston kind of area, so we picked that one, and drove over there, and spent two days riding rollercoasters, and then came home, but, yes, we’ve gone to Six Flags as well.

Interviewer:  Shoot, well, uh, thank you very much for this conversation. Uh, let’s move on to the next activity.

Respondent:  OK.


Menasha: NewWI235

Interviewer:  One moment here. OK, let’s begin. As I mentioned for the first fifteen minutes of our interview, let’s talk about any topic that interests you. Uh, shall we begin by talking about Menasha? Is there anything special about Menasha that you think other Wisconsinites ought to know about it?

Respondent:  I guess the, um, prominent part is the river canal that, um, led to development back in the eighteen hundreds with the paper industry. Um, the paper industry has largely been moving away from the valley, um, but it’s still, um, part of our heritage. We have a good historical society. They’re, um, working real hard to, um, gather information, artifacts in the community. Um, it’s, um, small commu-, relatively small community, even though the valley itself is large. Um, it’s, from my experience the heritage is primarily Irish, German, and Polish. And now we’re much more diversified, of course, and amalgamated I will say now, but in my early years those three communities were quite separate. And, um, we’ve a wonderful park system. We have an incredibly great, um, wetland reserve, uh, Heckro-, -rodt Wetland Reserve. Our city actually owns it and, um, it’s at the northern tip of Lake Winnebago. It’s really important en-, environmentally speaking, for the habitat. I think it’s about sixty-two acres (xx) system of boardwalks and a very nice, um, educational center. Many, many schoolchildren go there, go through there each year for classes and education. I think it’s a real asset to the community. And I happen to live on the eastern edge of the city, and we have two silos here left from our, the farm out of the area that they then developed with the residential housing, but those two silos are like landmarks with a connection to the past, the, um, the farmland that used to be in this area. Um, the city is going to be taking them down, I am sad to say, that the fight that we and our immediate neighborhood, um, tried to, uh, convince the city otherwise. Um, so that’s, uh, one sad thing I would say about the city. Um, education system is good. Um, the police force, all of our, um, community agencies, I think, are healthy, working hard. Um, and, I guess, one thing we don’t have, which I think may be rather typical of small-town Wisconsin—we’re largely Christian. We don’t have a, a lot of diversity religiously. Um, community is, the whole Fox Valley is welcomi-, welcoming in a group of, um, refugees at this time from different parts of the world, and, um, that’s something I think that’s very important, and, um, and I’m proud of that. Now, that’s kind of an overview. Is there something more I can, um, share with you?

Interviewer:  Oh, wow. Well, that’s, that’s very interesting. Um, d-, so do you, you personally feel like the two silos shouldn’t be taken down then?

Respondent:  Absolutely. They’re beautiful. There’s no reason they need to be. They are, um, they actually aren’t even that old. They’re, I think I recall the farmer told me they were put up in the seventies, and, um, in the life of a silo I guess that is quite young, but the city feels that they are, um, a detriment, a, a liability.

Interviewer:  Oh, I see.

Respondent:  (xx)} And the, the real estate developer wants to put houses near there, and he’s worried about the silos falling on houses and feels that will deter anyone from buying properties, that sort of thing.

Interviewer:  Oh, I see.

Respondent:  And I think the city had done some research in preserving smokestacks and through that process because, we also recently lost one of our paper mill smokestacks which was very old and could not be saved, and through that process, I think, the city leaders developed (an opinion) that it just wasn’t practical to try to save the silos. So, (xx)(They will go.)

Interviewer:  Oh, that is sad.

Respondent:  Yeah, it is. They’re beautiful.

Interviewer:  And, so, um, do you, do you like, um, living, do you think you would, do you, do you prefer living in a smaller community, then, and having the, um, historical background preserved?

Respondent:  I think historical background is important no matter the community or the size. I, um, I guess it’s, might be awful (xx), I guess I’m a little bit more sensitive to this, because I just spent two or three years researching my own family history, doing a little bit of {genealogy. Yeah–

Interviewer:  Oh.} Oh, wow.

Respondent:  So I’ve been, I think, just more aware and looking backwards rather than forwards. And I think it’s im-, important for communities to do that. But I do like the small community. My preference would be to leave Wisconsin entirely because of the weather.

Interviewer:  Oh.

Respondent:  [laugh] But, uh, but that’s something that’s not going to happen. My family is here, and my husband—I married him—my husband is not interested in moving, so if I went, I’d be going alone. [laugh]

Interviewer:  {Oh, I see.

Respondent:  So I have to} yes, travel, um, when I can to k-, see other s-, parts of the country.

Interviewer:  Well, um, if, if you didn’t live in Menasha, do you, where, where else do you think you would live then, you would like to live?

Respondent:  Most recently we visited Texas. I really like, uh, what I saw there. Uh, course it was a brief, um, visit you, you know you get impressions that are, um, superficial, but people were incredibly open, and, um, warm, and I like the terrain. I like the vegetation. I like the air. I like the balance of water to vegetation. Uh, (doing things about it), um, I, I would, I found Texas much more appealing than, for example, Florida, or (xx) Arizona.

Interviewer:  Oh.}

Respondent:  (xx)} (which are both common states for snowbirds to retire to. Um, but (xx) those are just thoughts I entertain. I, I, im-, imagine if it ever came to reality that I would relocate, I think I’d be hard-pressed to pick one place.

Interviewer:  [laugh]

Respondent:  And, you know, every place has pros and cons but my family’s, family’s here.

Interviewer:  So, uh, h-, what made you go to Texas?

Respondent:  It was just a place that I-, I’d always, my impressions from a distance of Austin, um, were interesting, were, uh, it looked like an interesting place culturally.

Interviewer:  Oh, OK.}

Respondent:  So around} to see Austin, and then we spent time over in San Antonio. And then, driving east to west across the state, got to see a lot of (xx). It was a nice visit.

Interviewer:  Have you gotten to travel a lot around the country, then?

Respondent:  We’ve seen most of the east of the Rockies, not too much of the west. I’ve not been to California. Um, we did do Oregon and Seattle, and, um, but otherwise, I think most, yeah, most of the east. Yep, beautiful country.

Interviewer:  And, so, um, do you, I know that you had mentioned that, uh, you might’ve wanted to get away from the cold, then. Do you, you would prefer living somewhere in the south, then or somewhere where there’s not much snow? Do you like {the winters here?

Respondent:  Yes, yes.} Right, exac-. It’s the ice that’s the issue that’s hard with walking. I like to walk outside, and it’s real limiting that way. And I, I don’t mind the diversity, uh, I mean, the sea-, change of seasons is wonderful from, from a gardening perspective, you know. We have a lot of beautiful options here, but I always thought, oh, around Kentucky or southern Indiana—those are pretty areas also.

Interviewer:  Do you—

Respondent:  Mm. Those are my other . . .

Interviewer:  Oh, um, do you, do you like gardening? {Do you garden?

Respondent:  Mm-hmm.} Um, used to garden a lot, and not so much anymore, but, yes, especially herbs. I always enjoyed herbs and, and having a nice herb garden, too, uh, outside of my kitchen. It was always really nice, and, of course, habitat for birds. Gardens are important. That’s another, I don’t know, just interesting part of, uh, my experience here in this particular development that I’m living in. It started out as, let’s see, um, landscaped with native plants. And the (xx) has low maintenance and that appeals, uh, to me a lot. I like the natural environment, but as people have moved in here it’s interesting be-, to me, it’s like, it’s like, um, irony really that people move here, because they don’t want to do a lot of maintenance. I appreciate that, but then I, I think it’s a certain mindset in people who may-, maybe never liked to do yardwork.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  Or did much of it, or had much skills in it, so therefore, I think, they are making poor decisions about, um, what’s being done and how the property is cared for. The native plants are suffering, um, and it’s kind of an attitude of well, that’s OK. We’ll just plant grass, and that’s a pretty depressing option for me.

Interviewer:  Oh. So, um, I know that, um, you said that you’ve liked to travel. Have you traveled outside of the country?

Respondent:  Long time ago we did go to Mexico, Acapulco and Mexico City, loved that very much. But, i-, and we do have, uh, uh, well, of course, most people in Wisconsin that you ask probably have visited Canada. Um, we’ve been up into Ontario a little bit, but other than that, no, we haven’t gone on, uh, (week) vacations, or the islands, that sorta thing. Or, we haven’t even been to Hawaii.

Interviewer:  {Oh.

Respondent:  But} we, we do have a friend in Italy, so we may get over to visit that person some time which would be fun.

Interviewer:  Yeah, that would be really exciting. It’s, uh, it’s a very beautiful country.

Respondent:  Have you been there?

Interviewer:  Um, I haven’t. My sister has, so it’s—

Respondent:  Ah. {(Where?)

Interviewer:  —and she has,} yes. [laugh] Um, and so, I guess, um, in, in this case, wh-, what do you do during your free time now if, if you don’t garden as much anymore, and, and it’s cold out? [laugh]

Respondent:  [laugh] Um, most of my time now is, uh, spent, well, like I mentioned, the ancestry—that was a huge commitment. I, I certainly appreciate history in a whole different way. (xx) kind of, um, real challenging and it would even keep me awake at night. When you start, it’s like a big puzzle, and you don’t even know what the pieces are. [laugh] But, um, my, in my work life, I worked in the dental profession, and once I retired, well, I started while I was still working on developing my skills of graphic design. And so in retirement I’ve spent a lot of time, um, working, volunteering for non-profits, mostly environmental ones, and, oh, doing things like brochures, and promotional materials, newsletters, that sort of thing. It’s been very rewarding. So those are great—both ancestry and graphic design are good, leisure time activities.

Interviewer:  So you haven’t thought about doing, uh, like some freelance [laugh]? Any {freelancing for, uh, graphic design, or—?

Respondent:  Um. I di-} I did for a while. Um, I did for a while, and, but then my husband retired. And that, that was just gonna be too much of a time commitment, and it just isn’t wh-, what I wanted anymore. So I moved on from that. I still do some volunteer work, um, but I’ve cut, scaled back on it quite a bit. But it was fun. It was a wonderful, learning experience and quite rewarding.

Interviewer:  And so, um, I guess, uh, going back to th-, your ancestry, um—I have, I’ve done a lot of, uh, some research on myself, as well—um, so how many generations have you gone back? Or, found about your origin? Or, um, how l-, how long have you spent on doing that?

Respondent:  Um, um, my paternal, um, let’s see, my dad’s side, let’s see, how to answer that—(I’ve gone) back to, um, the seventeen hundreds, um, not in—I don’t have the records. The birth, the oldest birth certificate I have is eighteen fifty.

Interviewer:  {Oh, wow.

Respondent:  And the, uh,} oral history a little older than that. (xx) connections to earlier people but not with the documentation. And, um, we come from Bohemia and Germany and, um, Czechoslovakia and Ireland and, um, French Canadian. So it’s, it’s kind of a mix.

Interviewer:  Yeah, {that’s—

Respondent:  And,} all of it is, um, as far as I can find, all of my ancestors came over in the eighteen fifties and sixties. I don’t have anybody in this country earlier than that.

Interviewer:  Oh, OK, I see. Well it’s, it’s amazing how, um, well-preserved you had the latest, uh, the ear-, well, the earliest birth certificate, and, um, and to keep in mind all the, the oral history. Um, well, thank you so much, um, for this conversation. Um, it’s time to move on to the next activity.

Respondent:  OK.


Menomonee Falls: NewWI032

Interviewer:  Let’s begin. As I mentioned, for the first fifteen minutes of our interview, uh, let’s talk about any topic that interests you. Uh, shall we begin by talking about Menomonee Falls? Uh, is there anything special about Menomonee Falls that you think other Wisconsinites oughta know about?

Respondent:  Something we’re very proud of in Menomonee Falls is the fact that it’s the biggest village in Wisconsin.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  Which, it, growing up there, I think it’s a very boring place, but, there’s not much to do or anything, but, um, we always joke that it’s the biggest village which is something exciting, I guess.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. If you were trying to convince a friend to move to Menomonee Falls, uh, what features would you highlight?

Respondent:  [laugh] Well, um, I think it depends on why someone would want to live there.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  Um, it is a very, I guess it’s a relatively big community compared to some other Wisconsin towns, but, um, it feels like a really small town. Like, there’s only one high school.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  So everyone knows everyone, and a lot of people who live there have lived there their whole lives, and their parents lived there their whole lives.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  Um, like, my, the friends I went to high school with, their parents went to high school with my parents.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  Um, and a lot of my teachers were also teachers who taught my parents, so it does feel like a little, small town, and everyone kinda looks out for everyone and knows everyone else’s business. I don’t know if that’s a positive thing or not.

Interviewer:  Sure, sure.

Respondent:  But, um, it is kinda fun, just because you do know everyone and, um, everyone is just in touch with each other and knows what’s going on, um, so it’s fun. I think high school sports tend to be a fun thing to do in the fall, like going to the football games on Friday nights, and—

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  —um, doing all the little community things, like there’s a corn roast before one of the games, and we have Falls Fest in the summer, where everyone just goes down to, like, where the junior high school is and, um, just gathers and plays games, and eats and stuff, so . . .

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm. [throat clearing] Uh, i-if you didn’t live in Menomonee Falls, where else would you like to live, and why?

Respondent:  I am a student at UW-Madison, so I, um, live in Madison during the semesters, um, so I really love Madison, just because it feels a lot bigger than Menomonee Falls, um, and there’s a lot more to do, and it’s a lot more diverse than the Falls is. Um, and I have a sister who recently moved to Milwaukee, um, which is also a fun place, and it’s nice there, too. I’ve thought about moving there after I graduate, just because it is close to the Falls, um, so it’s nice being close to home and my parents and stuff, but it’s still a bit farther away, so there’s, um, more things to do and more going on. Um, it’s easier to, an easier city to walk around, you don’t have to drive everywhere.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. And, uh, what do you study at UW?

Respondent:  I study social work.

Interviewer:  And what particular area is most exciting to you, or what do you want to do with this?

Respondent:  [laugh] Um, I currently have an internship in Madison, um, and I work in a hospice, actually, which is not something that a lot of people do, I guess, but I really enjoy it, and I love, um, I work both with people who are dying, and then after they die, work with their loved ones, doing grief counseling and, um, just supporting them however they need it. Um, which, it’s a really interesting field, I guess, just because a lot of people don’t do it, and it’s something that our society doesn’t really talk about too much, like death and grief and dying. Um, but it’s really rewarding work, and it’s so interesting, ’cause working with dying people, you definitely learn a lot about, um, just people’s lives and what they think and believe, ’cause it’s such a vulnerable time in people’s lives.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. It sounds very interesting. Do you intend to keep working in hospice after you graduate, or are you gonna go somewhere else?

Respondent:  I hope so. I would really like to continue doing hospice social work, but I just want a job. [laugh] Whoever hires me, I will be happy. But, hopefully, I definitely, I love working with, um, older adults, and hospice, there’s lots of old people. Um, but I’d be happy to work in any sort of setting with older adults.

Interviewer:  So then, do you plan on staying in the state after you graduate, or are you gonna do graduate school somewhere, or . . . ?

Respondent:  Yeah, I’m a graduate student right now.

Interviewer:  Oh, oh, {I see.

Respondent:  Um,} yes, I’m at UW for grad school.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm, {mm-hmm.

Respondent:  Um,} I did my undergrad here though, too, so—

Interviewer:  Oh.

Respondent:  —um, yeah, but, I would like to stay in Madison once I graduate, but there are so many social workers, that there aren’t too many jobs available in Madison, just because a lot of people do like to stay here, but I would go anywhere, and if I’m not in Madison, I’d like to be in southeastern Wisconsin.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Uh, so, before, when we were trying to find the websites, you’d mentioned that you had been traveling quite a bit, that you were kinda globe-trotting, {uh—

Respondent:  Yeah.} {[laugh]

Interviewer:  Why don’t} you talk about that experience?

Respondent:  Yeah, um, so I just got back on Sunday. I went to Ireland and Northern Ireland, and then Taiwan, China, and Japan, so all of our winter break I was all over the place. Uh, my family is Irish, so I was there for Christmas, with aunts and cousins and people. Um, and then my best friend from high school is teaching in Taiwan, so I just went to go visit her, which was really cool, um, and my high school, o-, offers Japanese as one of the foreign languages, so I studied it all in high school, and I had exchange students, so I went to go visit them in Japan, so I was just all over the place, visiting lots of people, which was so much fun. Now I’m back to freezing cold in Wisconsin. [laugh]

Interviewer:  Yeah, yeah. Uh, which of those places did you have the most fun at?

Respondent:  Mm. They were all so good for such different reasons. Um, Ireland, (for) a lot of just, like, family time, and Christmas, and that kind of stuff, and it was, in Taiwan, it was so good to see my friend. And Japan has delicious food, so, I don’t know, they’re all so good for such different reasons.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Now what {kinda food—

Respondent:  Taiwan} also has, um, it’s like seventy-five and sunny every single day, and when I was there, it was the days here that was so cold, like, negative forty or whatever it was, the polar vortex thing, so it was nice to be in Taiwan where I could wear a t-shirt and not have to wear a coat at all.

Interviewer:  Have you, uh, traveled to other places?

Respondent:  Before this trip, I had only ever been to Ireland and Northern Ireland, so it was my first time in Asia, um, which was a fun experience. It’s definitely a different culture, um, so it was fun to see that and just be a tourist for a little bit.

Interviewer:  Uh, was there a lot of culture shock, like, was there anything that really stood out to you or surprised you when you were over in Asia?

Respondent:  Um, since I had studied Japanese language in high school, through that you learn a lot about the culture and stuff, too, so I feel like I was pretty prepared for that. In Taiwan, something that was really interesting, we were in a pretty small, a smaller town, um, and people would take our picture wherever we would go, um, just ’cause they weren’t, I don’t know why, they weren’t used to seeing people—I have red hair, so I don’t know if that was it, or what it was, but we would, like, walk into places and people would just, like, laugh and take our picture, which was really interesting, and something I wasn’t totally prepared for.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

Respondent:  So . . .

Interviewer:  So, uh, do you have any favorite sights or attractions that you like to go to when you’re in Ireland?

Respondent:  Um, hmm. I’m trying to think—I don’t even know, in, I was in Ireland for about five days, and I was just kind of around Dublin mostly. Um, a small town outside of Dublin called Malahide. And then, in Northern Ireland I was staying with one of my friends. They live on a dairy farm that their whole family runs, um, and it’s one of the bigger dairy farms in Northern Ireland, um, in Belfast. So, it’s always funny; I don’t live on a farm here, but there’s obviously a lot of farms in Wisconsin, so it’s funny to talk to them, just about, like, different farming things, um, and how their farm works and what they do and all that kind of stuff. They, um, recently started making and selling ice cream on their farm, um, and, which is absolutely delicious. They make, um, one that has, um, honeycomb or fairy food in it, um, one of the flavors, and it’s so good. And I wish we had it here, but we don’t. [laugh]

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm. Uh, so, uh, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time, then? Do you have any hobbies, or have you been involved in this acti-, any activities for a long time, or . . . ?

Respondent:  Um, when I was growing up, I was an Irish dancer, for, ever, since I was four until I graduated high school. Um, and most people stop that when they graduate high school and move to college. But it was a lot of fun; it was something my whole family did, um, all of us. I have three sisters and a brother, um, and both of my parents Irish dance, too, so it was always something that was fun to do. Um, me and my older sister, we were at the same level always, so we would always compete and perform and stuff together, which was a lot of fun. We got to travel quite a bit with that, um, just all over the state here, um, performing at different events and things, um, but I haven’t done that since high school, like I said, because most people stop once they graduate, um, but I always really loved doing that. Now I spend a lot of time studying and reading and writing papers, really exciting grad school things. Um, but if I have free time, I love to bake and cook, try new recipes, um, yeah.

Interviewer:  What are some of your favorite recipes?

Respondent:  Favorite recipes? I love trying new things, um, and just experimenting with things, but I do some standard things. I love baking bread, um, just because it’s cheaper than buying bread, and as a grad student, that’s important to me. Um, but it’s also delicious, and it makes my apartment smell so nice, so I always have fun with that. And I always like trying new cupcakes, too, different cupcake recipes—

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm, {mm-hmm.

Respondent:  —um,} they’re fun to make and decorate, and I live by myself when I’m in Madison, and I have a job at an office, so I always bring my treats into the office because I can’t eat them all on my own, so I’m sure they appreciate it, too.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Uh, what kinda television shows do you like to watch in your spare time?

Respondent:  Um, I don’t really watch too much TV, just because I am so busy, just working at the hospice and in the office and being a grad student, but, um, I think Parks and Rec [sic] is hilarious. It’s probably my favorite show. Um, I’m trying to think what else—I really don’t watch TV much at all. Um, I have a dog, too, who I like to play with. (She) keeps me busy. I guess I like to be more active and doing things, and I just am by the nature of being a grad student, so I don’t have too much spare time.

Interviewer:  Uh, do you like doing, uh, outdoor activities?

Respondent:  Um, I guess so. I guess—I take my dog for walks a lot, because she needs lots of walks. Um, and in Madison, since I’m newer here, um, I always like just exploring different little neighborhoods and walking around the lake sometimes. Um, which is fun just ’cause there’s so many different places to go, and Madison has a lot of different, like, bike trails and things like that, um, which is fun, just to see what there is to see. That was one of my favorite things about when I was traveling, too, was just walking around the new cities, um, and just seeing the different sights and finding little coffee shops and places to stop to eat.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. OK, so thanks very much for this conversation. Uh, let’s move on to the next activity.


Menomonee Falls: NewWI135

Interviewer:  OK, let’s, uh, begin. As I mentioned, for the first fifteen minutes of our interview, uh, let’s talk about any topic that interests you. Uh, shall we begin by talking about Menomonee Falls?

Respondent:  Uh, sure.

Interviewer:  Is there anything special about Menomonee Falls that you think other Wisconsinites ought to know?

Respondent:  Um, yeah, no, I mean, it’s just a standard suburb of Milwaukee. Um, it’s, I don’t know, it’s about thirty-five or forty thousand people, and, yeah, we moved there when I was two, so I, I have spent all of my English-speaking life there.

Interviewer:  How long have you lived in Menomonee Falls?

Respondent:  Um I, I’ve lived, uh, yeah, since I was two, so, thirty years.

Interviewer:  If you were trying to convince a friend to move to Menomonee Falls, uh, what features would you highlight?

Respondent:  Um, I guess I, it’s a safe town. People are nice. Um, it’s got good schools. I, it’s good proximity to Milwaukee. Milwaukee has good jobs.

Interviewer:  If you didn’t live in Menomonee Falls, uh, where else would you like to live and why?

Respondent:  Um, really anywhere within the Midwest. Um, I, yeah, I just, um, I, I, I went to Swathmore for college which is right outside of Philadelphia, um, and then moved back. And, yeah, I just, I think I just determined that I liked the Midwest a little better, like, in terms of living there, so I, I mean, I think Menomonee Falls or anywhere in Wisconsin or Minnesota, Illinois, you know, or anywhere in the wid-, Midwest would probably be good.

Interviewer:  Oh, you mentioned that uh, you went to school in, uh, Philadelphia. Uh, what did you get your degree in?

Respondent:  Um, my undergraduate degree is in Psychology.

Interviewer:  And how did you like your, um, college life out in Philadelphia?

Respondent:  Oh, I loved my college. Um, yeah, it was really, it was wonderful. I was on the swim team, and I met a lot of (fabulous) people, and I, I liked it a lot, but, um, in terms of where I wanted to live (xx) as an adult, I wanted to go back to the Midwest.

Interviewer:  H-, how have you spent your working life?

Respondent:  Um, after undergraduate I went to law school, and then, um, since then I’ve been a lawyer.

Interviewer:  Do you, uh, is it, uh, any type of law or specializing in any law or . . . ?

Respondent:  Um, I mostly deal with contracts, so, like, um, drafting, negotiating, editing, that sort of thing. And I’ve kind of, I’ve done, I started off in health care, but then I moved, um, and now I’m doing, like, banking.

Interviewer:  Uh, what do you do, uh, uh, what do you do, um, uh, wh-, what act-, activities do you do in your spare time?

Respondent:  Um, I’m a competitive Scrabble player. [laugh] So, uh, I, yeah, I play Scrabble, um, and I’m also on a recreational softball team, and I love to read.

Interviewer:  Um, so, with the Scrabble, do you, like, go to the tournaments, or do you do it online, or . . . ?

Respondent:  Uh, yeah, no, I go to, um, we have Scrabble club once a week, and then I do about three or four tournaments a year.

Interviewer:  Now are those just located in, uh, Menomonee Falls? Or do you travel to go to, uh, {Scrabble?

Respondent:  Yeah,} I travel. Like, they’re throughout the Midwest, so, um, we’ll do them in Des Moines or Kansas City, or, um, there’s one in Wisconsin Dells. There’s one in Chicago, so, regionally, mostly driving distance, but . . .

Interviewer:  Are you reading any, um, uh, interesting books currently?

Respondent:  Um, I’m currently reading, it’s called All Joy and No Fun and it’s a book a friend lent me, and it’s pretty interesting, but . . .

Interviewer:  Could {you tell me—

Respondent:  Uh, it’s, I—}

Interviewer:  Sorry.

Respondent:  Oh, yep, go ahead, sorry.

Interviewer:  No, uh, but (would) you tell me about that, the book?

Respondent:  Uh, sure, I mean, it’s, um, it’s actually on modern parenting, and I don’t have any kids, but, uh, we h-, I have several friends who do, and it’s kind of on, um, on just how parenting is different now than it was in the fifties, and, um, studies that they’ve done about how people think life isn’t nearly as safe now as it was then. Except that’s not actually true. Like, people have misconceptions about, um, like, we’re just more aware of things, because we’re in the internet age and the age of technology, so that’s, yeah . . .

Interviewer:  Uh, where did you, uh, last go on vacation?

Respondent:  Um, uh, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Interviewer:  Did you do anything interesting on that trip?

Respondent:  Uh, we-, yeah, (xx) it was really for Scrabble Nationals. So, um, my mom plays competitive Scrabble as well, so I went with her, and we played, um, Scrabble for five days, and then also y-, you know we saw a couple shows since it was Vegas.

Interviewer:  How did you place in the tournament?

Respondent:  Um, I think in my division there were like a hundred and sixty, and I think I got, like, fifty-fifth, something like that, um, but I was seeded a hundred and fortieth so I moved up quite a bit.

Interviewer:  Uh, wh-, what countries have you traveled to?

Respondent:  Um, I have been to Mexico and Aruba and Belgium, France, England, Germany, and Amsterdam.

Interviewer:  Do you have any interesting stories about any of your trips?

Respondent:  Um, well, [laugh] yeah, the Germany trip was—a-, we did Germany, Belgium, and Amsterdam all in the same trip—but, um—it was my sister and I—and we were going to meet, um, one of my friends from college. She lives in Germany now. And she had said that there was a, it was a race on the North Sea of Germany, and she thought that might be fun for all of us to do, so we signed up for it, and it was supposed to be the first day after we arrived in Germany, and what happened was we lost our luggage. Like, our luggage didn’t make it to Germany with us. So both my sister and I wound up w-, we, like, we were wearing, like, shorts on the plane, and we were wearing these, um—they gave you these, like, little bags of, uh, you know, toothpaste and basic necessities, um, to get you through for twenty-four hours, and the only thing they had in them were, like, XXL white tee shirts. Like, that was what they had in order e-, for, to wear. So, um, we were supposed to do that race, and we were both wearing sandals and these giant t-shirts and shorts, and it was, like, forty degrees. It was really cold, and, um, yeah, we were, we were definitely very underdressed, and, um, yeah, we wound up, we wound up not doing the race, because we didn’t really have any footwear that was appropriate, so we got, um, we got to do this carriage ride instead which was, which was very fun. But, it was just, the pictures from it are very interesting, because everyone surrounding us is wearing, like, jeans and sweaters, and, like, we kept hearing, like, German people—like, we could tell that they were talking about us, because it would be, like, German, German, German, and then we’d hear “t-shirt” and [laugh] so that, that was, that was an adventure, but . . .

Interviewer:  Any other, uh, interesting stories or anecdotes, uh, about your trips?

Respondent:  Um, well, y-, I mean, Amsterdam was really fun if, if I were recommending someone to go somewhere, I would definitely recommend Amsterdam, um, wholeheartedly. Uh, we did, we went to see the Anne Frank House which was just amazing, and then, um, the food was amazing. It’s so beautiful there, and, yeah, if I could, if I could repeat any of my trips, I would definitely go back to Amsterdam and spend longer there, ’cause we only spent three days, and it didn’t feel like nearly enough.

Interviewer:  Uh, do you have a particularly fond, uh, memory from your childhood that you like to share?

Respondent:  Um, well, I, I mean, I was a competitive swimmer growing up, and we, we would always do, um, outdoor practice in the summer with, uh, Port Washington which is, um, just another suburb about twenty minutes away, and that was always really fun. We would always have, um, we’d have morning practice from like six to nine a.m., and then, um, we’d go get doughnuts after, and I always really enjoyed doing that.

Interviewer:  Are there any, uh, current events that you like to talk about?

Respondent:  Um, I know there’s a lot going on and nothing’s springing to mind [laugh]. Um, I, I think it’s gonna be interesting to see if, uh, Hillary Clinton decides to run for president in, um, twenty sixteen. I know that’s a little bit in the future, but it was the cover of People magazine this week, and, um, it sounds like she’s considering it, so I’m curious to see if she’ll wind up winning the Democratic nomination, if she gets, if she does decide to run, and then I think it’ll be interesting to see if we wind up having a female president.

Interviewer:  (xx) any interesting, um, things that you’ve l-, uh, read or learned recently?

Respondent:  Um, read or learned . . . Well, I mean, I’m, I-, I’m always studying Scrabble words, so I, I learned a couple new ones recently that I thought were interesting. Um, one was tivy, t-i-v-y, and, um, I don’t know what it means, but that one’s a good one to know, just because it’s an interesting four-letter word, and if someone plays ivy then you can put the t on the front of it. And, hm, and then, the book I read before this last one that I’m reading is called, um, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, and it was about the Hmong community, and just kind of their, um, spiritual and religious beliefs, and that was interesting to read, too.

Interviewer:  Uh, do you like animals?

Respondent:  Yeah, I do. I have a, I have a Basset Hound, um, as a pet.

Interviewer:  Any interesting stories about him?

Respondent:  Um, she is pretty funny, actually, ’cause she’s an eight-year-old Basset Hound, and, I don’t know if you’re familiar with Bassets. They have like really short legs and really long bodies, and she has jumped up on my kitchen counters which is kind of impressive for a Basset Hound. Um, they’re, they’re not really thought of as an athletic breed, and yet she really is very agile. Um, I didn’t realize she could do that until I was pulling up in my driveway, and I see her looking out from the kitchen counter over the driveway, and I was, like, how on earth did she get up there? And I’ve seen her do it since, and she jumps up from the floor onto the chair, onto the table, onto the counter. So, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s kind of impressive to see.

Interviewer:  Sounds like it. Um, do you, um, do you enjoy any outdoor activity?

Respondent:  Um, mo-, I mo-, mostly softball and then I, I own a house so I wind up doing a fair amount of yardwork which I enjoy somewhat [laugh].

Interviewer:  Do you do any gardening?

Respondent:  Um, basically what’s necessary to keep my house from looking overgrown, so, not a ton, but, um . . .

Interviewer:  Do you enjoy any, uh, television shows or movies?

Respondent:  Uh, yeah, I’ve actually, I’ve been watching, um, MASH lately, but—a TV show that went off the air in the eighties. Um, I’ve been working my way through that chronologically, so I am, I’m currently on season nine, and there’s eleven seasons, and I’m actually, I’m gonna be really sad when I’m done with it. Which, I think it’s kinda funny, ’cause it’s been off the air basically since I’ve been born, [laugh] so . . .

Interviewer:  Uh, could you tell me little bit about the show? I, I haven’t watched it.

Respondent:  Oh, sure, um, it’s, it’s, it’s kind of a serious comedy, or, like, black comedy. Um, it’s set in the Korean War, and, um, it’s about a MASH, which is Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. And they had several character changes over the course of the shows, since it went on for so long, but, um, the primary character is Hawkeye Pierce. Um, and it focuses really on this, the surgeons, and then, um, so, it’s kind of th-, there are some funnier episodes, and then there are some more serious episodes. Um, I, I like it ’cause it’s kind of a good mix of humor and serious. Uh, ’cause I, I would say the majority of it is pretty light-hearted, but then, every once in a while they have a, you know, more serious episode about the realities of war, and that sort of thing. Um, yeah, I’m not, my mom always really liked it, and I think that’s kind of what I, you know, I saw a few reruns, and then I decided to start watching it. And, yeah, it, it certainly takes a while to work through, ’cause, you know, eleven seasons at, like, twenty-some episodes per season y-, have a lot of, a lot of material to,[laugh] to get through.

Interviewer:  OK, uh, thanks very much for this conversation. Uh, we can move on to the next activity.

Respondent:  OK.


Milwaukee: NewWI243

Interviewer:  OK, uh, let’s begin. As I mentioned, for the first fifteen minutes of our interview, um, let’s talk about any topic that interests you. Um, shall we begin talking about Milwaukee?

Respondent:  Sure.

Interviewer:  Alright.

Respondent:  What would you like to know? [laugh]

Interviewer:  Um, is there anything special about Milwaukee that you think other Wisconsinites ought to know about?

Respondent:  I, um, sure, I’ve lived in Milwaukee my whole life.

Interviewer:  OK.

Respondent:  Um, I, and I’m a grandma, so, [laugh] so it’s a long time. I, um, Milwaukee’s a great city because there are so many, um, ethnic groups.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  (xx) here. Um, I went to school with, an, with, I, I went to a huge high school on the north side, and, um, I’ll betcha sixty or seventy percent of the kids that I went to school with were first-generation, um, immigrants—

Interviewer:  Oh, OK.

Respondent:  —meaning that, meaning their parents came over after World War Two, and that’s when we were all, you know, ’cause we’re all kinda the same age at that time. That was in the late sixties and early seventies, so, and I went to school with all sorts of kids, African-Americans, um, not too many Hispanic kids now, which we called Puerto, they were mostly Puerto Rican at that time, um, but Greeks, Serbians, um, Bohemians, Germans, Polish, the whole deal, so it was really fun. [laugh]

Interviewer:  Yeah, that’s cool. Um, [throat clearing] there’s still a lot of, uh, German and Polish in Wisconsin.

Respondent:  Oh, yeah, and, and as I, when I got to college, and I actually went to college in Madison, I discovered, um, that the whole western part of the state is populated by Scandinavian people. Not so many around here, but, um, so it was, it was pretty cool.

Interviewer:  What did, um, did you go to the University of Wisconsin in Madison?

Respondent:  Yes, I did, starting in, uh, you know what, I never, I never finished. Um, I went for about two years. I went to UW-M for about a year and a half, and actually I am enrolling again. I’m sixty years old. I’m gonna go back to school and get my Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  ’Cause I never did when I was, you know, eighteen, or nineteen, or twenty.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  So, um—

Interviewer:  Well, {that should be fun. [laugh]

Respondent:  What else can I tell you about,} what else can I tell you about Milwaukee? You know what, the biggest deal when I was a kid, they have great parks.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  There’s a, there’s a park in every neighborhood. There’s a big park in every neighborhood, lots of parkways along all the rivers. You know, of course, we have the lakefront which is something, well, they kinda do in Madison, but it’s really not the same. [laugh]

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  As evidenced by last, this last weekend, they couldn’t do the air show because of the, the fog on the lakefront which was literally on the lakefront. If you went three blocks west, it was sunny, [laugh] so, um, so that’s, I, and I, m-, when I was a kid we’d go to the lake all the time. We’d go to the beach and park the car and, you know, have a picnic and whatever, so . . .

Interviewer:  Yeah, does it take a long time for, for the water to warm up though in the summer?

Respondent:  It does. It never, I don’t think it ever gets above, I would say, sixty-five degrees, and even so, I would swim in the lake, even though back in the late sixties the lake was pretty dirty. It’s much cleaner now than it used to be.

Interviewer:  Oh, OK.

Respondent:  Um, but, I think that the lake temperature now is maybe fifty-four degrees, [laugh] so pretty cold, and, of course, you know, it’s been warm, and we’ve had all this rain and stuff, so that’s why it’s been so foggy, um, at the lakefront, but, and, and I live about three miles west of the lake, and it’s sunny and nice here now {finally.

Interviewer:  Yeah.}[throat clearing] Excuse me. Um, let’s see, uh, i-, if you didn’t live in Milwaukee where else would you like to live, and why?

Respondent:  Well, I used to think that I wanted to live in Minneapolis, and mostly because it’s a city kinda the similar size of Milwaukee—

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  —and it kinda has, it doesn’t have quite the ethnic variety, but it just, I’d visit there a lot. My ex-husband’s family is from there.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  And, um, so we would visit often, and it’s kind of comfortable. You know, it’s, you know, there’s a lot of parks, and there’s, of course, like Madison, there’s lakes within the city limits, and, um, I don’t know. It’s just kind of a Midwest, nice city.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  Now, [laugh] now though, I would actually rather live in the country, probably west of Madison somewhere around the Spring Green area, Spring Green, or Mineral Point, or . . .

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  Um, I, uh, and I’m not quite sure why. I used to love being in the city, and now, you know, I’m kinda past the age where I can g-, tolerate it. [laugh]

Interviewer:  Yeah, OK. [laugh]

Respondent:  Maybe that’s what it is, (let me see.) I’m really kind of a loner so I kinda like the quiet a little more.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  Of course, I live in Greenfield which is, and I don’t know if you know where south is, south of Milwaukee. I mean, we’re in a southern suburb.

Interviewer:  OK.

Respondent:  And I’m just about, I wanna say two miles, um, west of the airport, and we’re, and I’m in the area where we all have pretty large lots. I have, we have about a half an acre.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  And, um, so it’s pretty quiet out here. [laugh] I kinda feel like we’re in the country once in a while, {but—

Interviewer:  Have you} ever considered, like, uh, leaving the Midwest and moving somewhere else?

Respondent:  You know, I never have.

Interviewer:  No.

Respondent:  Um, my husband’s from Chicago, so the, [laugh] we thought about moving there for a while.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  But, uh, and I do have a daughter that lives in Seattle, um, but I don’t know. I like the, the way the seasons change.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  And, um, so, I don’t know that I would wanna live on the West Coast at all even though my sister lives in Los Angeles. I know I would never wanna live there.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  And, um, the East Coast seems, and this might be just a bad perception, but it seems really crowded. [laugh]

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  And so I, I really like it here, and, I guess, maybe I would, I’ve traveled, um, down to, um, the Tennessee area.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  When I was in college we went there, we went camping there, and, um, [laugh] and I enjoyed that so that might be a possibility, but, you know, it kinda looks like Tennessee in western Wisconsin, if you’ve ever driv-, driving, dri-, you know, driving through the, the coulees, and the valleys, and the hills, and everything.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  So, I don’t (need) to leave. [laugh]

Interviewer:  OK.

Respondent:  So . . .

Interviewer:  Um, alright, uh, how have you spent your working life?

Respondent:  I started out studying Forestry and Outdoor Recreation—

Interviewer:  OK.

Respondent:  —in college. That’s where, why I went to Madison, um, however, then I got married, and, um, shortly thereafter about a y-, m-, two, almost two years later, um, had my first child and, um, kinda figured out that I wasn’t ever gonna be a forest ranger. [laugh]

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  That’s kind of what I wanted to do, so I just started working at an office, and actually I started working at medical offices.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  So I learned a lot about, um, billing, and coding, and that kind of thing.

Interviewer:  OK.

Respondent:  And, um, eventually, you know, it took a bunch of different jobs, but, eventually, um, I wanna say about twenty years later, I became the manager of a medical clinic.

Interviewer:  Alright.

Respondent:  So, then, our medical clinic, and this was about nineteen ninety-three. Our medical clinic was bought by Aurora Health Care which is a big health care conglomerate in Milwaukee, kind of like the Dean Clinic in Madison or the Mayo Clinic in, in, uh, Minnesota.

Interviewer:  (Right.)

Respondent:  Um, and they didn’t need, well, they, the doctors sold their practice to Aurora, so they didn’t need an office manager anymore because everything was centrally, kinda centrally, um, so I lost my job. So I opened a coffee house. [laugh]

Interviewer: Oh, OK.

Respondent: And, um, I ran a coffee house for about seven or eight years, and then we sold that, and then I kind of didn’t do much, and then my husband, um, who, at this whole time—this is my new husband. We got married in nineteen ninety-four. Um, he’d been an IT guy, so we started a little IT company doing networking.

Interviewer:  Oh, OK.

Respondent:  So, um, that started in two thousand four, and, actually, we just sold it last year.

Interviewer:  (Oh.)

Respondent:  And now I’m (xx) retired. [laugh] So that’s my entire work life {in a nutshell.

Interviewer:  Yeah,} that’s interesting.

Respondent:  Although, before I started at the medical clinics, I worked at a dentist office. I worked at a knitting mill for a while. Um, what else did I do? I’ve worked retail, like, for Boston Store.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  Um, and actually both my kids went into retail because they learned their work habits at the coffee house.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  So, they like working with customers. Um, and at one time, m-, I worked w-, my daughter was the manager of a store in a mall, and I went to work for her for a, you know, just during Christmas. [laugh] So for a while she was my boss. That was kinda interesting.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  But, and now, I’m actually, I’ve learned to become a quilter, and (I’m actively) looking for clients to make things for. I’ve become a maker.

Interviewer:  You could open another shop, a {quilt, a quilt shop.

Respondent:  Well, I, yeah,} maybe [laugh] I, but I don’t wanna sell fabric. I would, I actually would rather have, like, a gallery—

Interviewer:  Oh, yeah.

Respondent:  —or, um, yeah, where artists come in and bring stuff on consignment. I’d really like to do that. We have a few places here in town that do that. Um, you know, it’s not anything that you’d ever get rich in. Of course, I’ve never done anything [laugh] really to get rich, but, um, but that would be kind of a fun thing to do.

Interviewer:  Yeah, it’s not, like, um, is art, like, a hobby that you have? {Something you do in your spare time?

Respondent:  It is, um,} well, you know, I o-, I always did do cr-, artsy-fartsy stuff and creative stuff when I was a kid, but my parents being from the Old Country, of course, frowned on me becoming an artist because what are you gonna do when you’re an artist? You know, how are you gonna make a living? That was their big deal.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  So, um, so I was discouraged, but, you know, I managed to, I mean, I learned how to sew, and I’ve always liked to paint, and I do crafty stuff, and paint furniture, and I’ve made draperies, and sewn costumes, and all sorts of stuff my whole life, so . . .

Interviewer:  OK.

Respondent:  And that’s what I do now.

Interviewer:  Yeah, that’s {interesting.

Respondent:  I don’t know if I’ll ever,} I don’t know if I’ll ever make a living at it, but, [laugh] but at least—and that’s what I said—I wanted to finish my Bachelor’s degree, and I thought, well, now, now I can finish it and get a Fine Arts degree rather than, (I don’t even,) well, you know, rather than Forestry which is what I started in.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  But, um, or even business or anything like that.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm, um, so have you gone, have you, like, gone any interesting places recently for, like, vacation, or something?

Respondent:  Um, well, we were in Europe last summer. [laugh]

Interviewer:  Oh, OK, {where’d you go?

Respondent:  My,} my, um, my mother and my husband’s parents are from Estonia, and, so, we, um, we planned a trip to Estonia, but we also went to Copenhagen.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  And Stockholm, and we spent a day in Norway except it rained all day. [laugh]

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  And then, um, we spent a week in Tallinn, in Estonia, to visit our relatives, and—

Interviewer:  That’s cool.

Respondent:  —(and) my husband had been there several times, well, a couple of times before then, but back in the seventies, when the Communists were still there.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  So, it was really interesting. I had never been there. We flew from Stockholm into Tallinn, which is the, the capital city.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  And, now, my husband hadn’t been there since seventy-five, I think he said, and he’s looking out the window and he s-, there’s skyscrapers. There’s, like, new buildings.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  You know, of course, under the Communist rule, they didn’t build anything except for really ugly apartment buildings, and, um, nothing else. [laugh] Oh, and, oh, military installations, there were lots of those, but, so that was fun.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  And, uh, actually this coming weekend, we are driving down to Indiana to go to the Fiddlers’ Convention [sic].

Interviewer:  Oh-hoh.

Respondent:  [laugh]

Interviewer:  H-, f-, sorry, {fiddling.

Respondent:  Well, it,} it’s, it’s all about, um, bluegrass music—

Interviewer:  Oh, OK.

Respondent:  —which is my husband’s very favorite. And, uh, we just decided that we were gonna go. It’s just, you know, we’re driving down on Saturday, and we’re coming back on Sunday, so just a quick trip.

Interviewer:  Well, I’m sure that’ll be fun. Um—

Respondent:  Yeah, {mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

Interviewer:  Alright, uh,} thank you very much for the conversation. Uh, let’s mo—


Milwaukee: NewWI246

Interviewer:  OK, let’s begin. As I mentioned, for the first fifteen minutes of our interview, let’s talk about any topic that interests you. Shall we begin by talking about Milwaukee? Is there {any—

Respondent:  Sure.}

Interviewer:  —specific reason that you chose to live in Milwaukee or that you came to Milwaukee?

Respondent:  Well, um, I moved to Milwaukee in nineteen sixty-five, when I was five years old. Um, my dad got transferred here. He was working for, uh, uh, he was working for a candy company, selling candy, and we came here, and, uh, we stayed here ever since.

Interviewer:  So, you’ve grown up in Milwaukee? Is that correct?

Respondent:  Yes.

Interviewer:  Do you have any really, like, fond memories of Milwaukee from your childhood?

Respondent:  Um, just, uh, lots of school memories, very fond public school memories.

Interviewer:  Which, uh, school did you go to when you were growing up?

Respondent:  Uh, I went to Milwaukee Public Schools.

Interviewer:  Very interesting. Um, do you know any of, do you have any specific memories from, like, school when you were growing up?

Respondent:  Well, um, when I, when I first moved here to Milwaukee, when I was in first grade, the teacher thought that I had a speech impediment. But, and, she sent me to the, uh, speech therapist, but it turns out that I just had an Indiana accent. So I thought, I think that’s kinda funny.

Interviewer:  Oh, interesting. Um, yeah, and so, did you, were you originally from Indiana, then?

Respondent:  Yes.

Interviewer:  Do you have any specific memories about, like, hm, any differences between Indiana and, like, Wisconsin?

Respondent:  Um, not really, uh, my grandparents were from Indiana. My parents grew up there. Um, I don’t really have any memories. Except we, we had a cat there named Midnight, and it was kind of an alley cat, and, um, I don’t know what happened to that cat when we moved away. My dad said that it just left one night and never came back and we moved away. So, [laugh] I guess that’s not a very fond memory, but . . .

Interviewer:  Interesting. And, do you have any (ve-), any, like, favorite places to go in Milwaukee? Or any events that you like going to in Milwaukee?

Respondent:  Yeah, I like, uh, I like parades. I like, I liked it when we used to have a circus parade, and, um, we went to the pride parade this year, and we went to a Fourth of July parade this, this weekend. I love, I love the parades and the festivals, the church festivals.

Interviewer:  Do you have a {favorite one?

Respondent:  (xx)} Um, I think Our Lady of Lourdes has a great church festival on the south side.

Interviewer:  What do you like about that festival?

Respondent:  Um, they have some really good food. It’s, uh, family friendly, and they have a great bingo set up.

Interviewer:  Interesting. Do you, like, play any other games besides bingo, or anything like that, at festivals?

Respondent:  Uh, yeah, that tossing the ring over the, the, uh, liquor bottles. Who doesn’t like that?

Interviewer:  Interesting. Do you have any, um, do you have any interest in Summerfest? Have you been to Summerfest ever in Milwaukee?

Respondent:  I love going to Summerfest. Last time we went was probably about seven years ago. We went to see the Indigo Girls, and it was about four hundred degrees there, and crowded as all get out, and, [throat clearing] and we waited probably three hours to hear the concert, and by the time the concert started it was so crowded we couldn’t see anything, and we were just stuck to people. It was, it was a great time [laugh].

Interviewer:  Interesting. Uh, if you didn’t live in Milwaukee, w-, is there any other place you’d like to live?

Respondent:  Yeah, if I didn’t live in Milwaukee, uh, um. No, I would-, I like Milwaukee. I’ve never really thought about living anywhere else.

Interviewer:  Interesting. And is there anything specific that makes you think that?

Respondent:  Well, um, my partner’s family’s from up north near, uh, Duluth, and we’ve vacationed up there quite a bit, visiting relatives and, and I really like the area. I just, um, gol, it just seems so, so homogeneous, so, so white, and kinda white-trashy.

Interviewer:  Interesting. I understand. And, um, now, if you wanna turn the conversation to something like your career, how have you spent your working life?

Respondent:  How what?

Interviewer:  How have you spent your working life?

Respondent:  Um, [throat clearing] I’m a teacher. I work for Milwaukee Public Schools, and, uh, I’ve been at the same school for twenty years. It’s in the inner city, and it’s, um, challenging working with kids that come from, uh, homes that are poor and disadvantaged, but it, it’s a challenge, and I really like it.

Interviewer:  Oh, I understand, and, um, so, what, d-, um, are you still working for that school?

Respondent:  Yes, mm-hmm, yes.

Interviewer:  So, would you like to walk me through sort of, like, a day-to-day thing that you would do when you’re, like, at the school? {Just for a better picture of it.

Respondent:  Well, our school—} Sure, our school day, uh, starts early. It starts at 7:30, and the kids come in, and, um, everybody gets free breakfast. Um, it’s called universal breakfast. It’s a government program, because our school is, um, ninety-eight percent free and reduced lunch. Everybody gets a free breakfast, and then, um, we use that time to kinda bond and talk about what’s going on in our lives and do a little morning work, and then, um, then we—pretty much every day is the same thing. We do reading and writing in the morning and, uh, math and science and social studies in the afternoon.

Interviewer:  Is there like a favorite subject you like to teach?

Respondent:  I, I, r-, I really like teaching reading {and writing.

Interviewer:  Any} specific (reason?) or any, like, specific {grade you like teaching?

Respondent:  I give,} it gives the kids a cr-, it gives them a time to be creative and use their imaginations and kinda get out of the-, get out of themselves and talk about their hopes and dreams and the future for themselves.

Interviewer:  Interesting. And what would you say is the most enriching part of teaching?

Respondent:  Uh, getting to know people that are very different from myself.

Interviewer:  Interest{ing.

Respondent:  (xx)} the parents, and the, and some of the people that I work with. I wouldn’t normally be exposed to them if I were working in a different field or a different, different area of the country. I wouldn’t normally, you know, hang around with inner-city youth, if I weren’t working with them.

Interviewer:  I understand. And do you do any other sort of programs, or anything like that, through the school that you assist with?

Respondent:  Uh, no, [throat clearing] no. I have tutored, tutored afterschool, tutoring some—

Interviewer:  Oh, {fun.

Respondent:  at the} school. Mm-hmm.

Interviewer:  And do you teach, like, a specific grade? Or do you float around, or . . . ?

Respondent:  Um I, I teach fourth grade, um, and I’ve taught, I taught first for a year, and it almost killed me, ’cause they’re too, they’re a l-, too young. They don’t understand humor, and I, I didn’t care for the little ones so much. I like the older kids.

Interviewer:  I understand. And then, uh, is there anything you enjoy doing in your spare time? Do you have any, sort of, hobbies, or anything like that?

Respondent:  Y- know, sadly, um, my biggest hobby right now is watching TV. That is a sad, sad hobby.

Interviewer:  That is not a sad hobby. Is there anything you like watching or anything of that sort?

Respondent:  Well, right now, we’re binge watching, uh, old Netflix series. We’re watching Weeds right now. And, um, and then we’re gonna rewatch, uh, Breaking Bad.

Interviewer:  And is there a particular reason you like watching those shows? Or, is there anything that draws you to certain types of shows?

Respondent:  (Yeah, they’re) a nice mixture of drama and humor, a kind of dark humor, but humor, nevertheless.

Interviewer:  And do you have an all-time favorite show, and, if so, would you mind describing it?

Respondent:  My all-time favorite show . . . all-time favorite show . . . probably, right now probably Modern Family.

Interviewer:  Is there any particular reason you like that show?

Respondent:  Well, because they have people that are very, that are different on there, that you don’t get to see on other TV shows. It’s not, it’s a sitcom, but it’s, um, not the typical, um, just set ’em up and knock ’em down sitcom. It’s, um, th-, it has, the people are interesting and complicated.

Interviewer:  I understand. And, um, do you have any, sort of, other, like, do you have any, like, pets that you take care of at this time, or any kind of favorite pets from over your lifetime?

Respondent:  Yes, I do have a favorite pet, although he is now dec-, dead. He’s been dead now three years. God bless his soul. He was a standard poodle. His name was Cecil, and, um, we adopted him from the Humane Society, and he, [throat clearing] he had Addison’s disease which is, uh, an adrenal gland disease, kind of like, uh, diabetes, only he had to have a shot every twenty-eight days. And we were so happy when we got him, ’cause he’s, he was a purebred standard poodle with papers, and we thought, oh, we’re getting a great deal for seventy-five dollars from Humane Society. Well, he turned out to be a money pit, and he, his shots that he had to have every twenty-eight days were like an extra car payment to us. It was like two hundred fifty dollars a month for him. {And he—

Interviewer:  I understand.}

Respondent:  —he, um, he lived with us, and we took care of him, and we ended up spending, like, twenty-four thousand dollars on him by the time, by the time we had to put him down, but we loved him so. {And we miss his, we miss him every day.

Interviewer:  Do you have any favorite memories of Cecil?}

Respondent:  Mm, any favorite memories of Cecil? Yeah, whenever we would call, like, for takeout for pizza or for Chinese, he knew when we were making the order over the phone, and he would run to the window and sit on the back of the couch and look out the window and wait for that delivery person to come. We didn’t even have to tell him l-, you know, go look out the window or anything. He knew.

Interviewer:  Interesting.

Respondent:  Yeah, he was pretty smart.

Interviewer:  And, um, I know it’s the summer, and I know you already talked about TV shows. Are there any movies you’re looking forward to that are coming out this summer?

Respondent:  Um, the, next on our Netflix, uh, is gonna be The Lego Movie, which I hear is supposed to be pretty funny and not just for, not just for kids, so we’re, we’re kinda looking forward to seeing that.

Interviewer:  Interesting. Are there any types of movies you like seeing, or any types of, like, shows, or any, like, even, like, outside of television you like to see?

Respondent:  I’m like, I like, uh, I like comedies and romantic comedies. I’m not so much with the, uh, with, uh, murder-y suspense things. I, I don’t like that so much. I like, uh, I like things that are light. I can’t watch creepy stuff before I go to sleep, or, otherwise my dreams are messed up.

Interviewer:  I understand. And, um, going along with the comedies, romantic comedies, are there any that are your favorites?

Respondent:  Favorite romantic comedies. Well, I like, well, I don’t know if it’s a romantic comedy, but, um, The Hangover is funny to me, and— [Speaking to auxiliary speaker:] What’s that, what’s that one? (Our boys) really liked that. What was that movie?

Respondent: I can’t remember what the name of that movie was.

Auxiliary speaker: Bridesmaids? (xx)

Respondent: Yeah, Bridesmaids. That was funny. I’m looking, oh, I’m looking forward to seeing Tammy. I guess that opens this weekend.

Interviewer:  Interest{ing.

Respondent:  I like} {(xx)

Interviewer:  What’s the movie supposed to be about?

Respondent:  It’s, um, [throat clearing] Tammy’s about, well, it’s got Melissa McCarthy in it, and she’s hilarious to me. And, um, I think it’s, she robs a fast food store and then has to go on the run with her mother, and her mother’s Susan Sarandon, and just kind of their, their escapades and shenanigans that they get up to on their road trip.

Interviewer:  And is there a particular thing, like, along with that, in other comedies that kind of draws you towards them?

Respondent:  Mm, I think probably the actors and actresses that, you know, you like certain people. I like Melissa McCarthy. I like, um, I like S-, I like Susan Sarandon. I like Bradley Cooper, and I like Paul Rudd. I like movies with Paul Rudd in them.

Interviewer:  Oh, for sure. And do you have any other favorite actors or actresses or movies?

Respondent:  Um, well, we just watched Philomena today with Judi Dench. Oh my God, that was a great movie.

Interviewer:  And what is that movie about?

Respondent:  She’s a, she was a pregnant teen in Ireland, and her family made her go to a convent to have the baby. And then once she had the baby there, they made the pregnant gals work for four years to pay off their debt. And then her son was adopted out and sent to America, but she didn’t know what happened to him. So she was able to hook up with a journalist who was gonna write a human interest story about her, and th-, brought her here to America, and she finally found out what happened with her son. It was, it was really good. It was touching, it was heartfelt, it was a little bit humorous . . .

Interviewer:  Interesting and {who were the actors in that movie?

Respondent:  And, and it was also} a true story. Um, it was Judi Dench, and, oh, some, Steve Coogan. He’s a British actor. He’s been in things that I’ve seen before, but I can’t remember what they were, and, um, a gal that was on The Bletchley Circle.

Interviewer:  Interesting.

Respondent:  Yeah, yeah, it was a good (xx), I would suggest, I would highly recommend it.

Interviewer:  Interesting. And, um, actually that concludes the time of our conversation. Um, thank you very much for this conversation. Let’s move on to the next activity.


Milwaukee: NewWI249

Interviewer:  Uh, let’s begin. As I mentioned, for the first fifteen minutes of our interview, uh, let’s talk about any topic that interests you. Um, shall we begin by talking about Milwaukee? Uh, is there anything special about Milwaukee that you think, uh, other Wisconsinites ought to know about?

Respondent:  Um, I think a lot of people don’t realize that they are, is, it’s a really nice metropolitan city in their state. They kind of think of it as, I’ve heard a lot of people say it’s really dangerous, or scary, or all this thing, and that’s, um, for instance, the governor said a lot of bad things about Milwaukee, but I think that people just don’t really appreciate it. I’ve, I’ve lived there just about my whole life, and I’ve never felt any danger or anything, and, um, especially Milwaukee in the summer, it’s just wonderful with the lakefront, and all the festivals, and it’s just, it’s a nice place to be, a lot of nice food, nice people.

Interviewer:  Yeah, that’s cool, and, uh, uh, Brewers games is always fun. {Do you go to Brewers games?

Respondent:  Yeah, love Brewers games.} I do. And then I also like Bucks games, but those are more sad.

Interviewer:  [laugh] Why is that?

Respondent:  Uh, because the Bucks are pretty horrible. [laugh]

Interviewer:  I see. Um, so if you were like con-, trying, trying to convince somebody to move to Milwaukee, uh, what features would you highlight?

Respondent:  Um, I guess I would kinda talk about the downtown area and maybe the parks system. That might be a little weird but (xx)—but Milwaukee has the gold, like, medal award winning park system, and it’s huge (xx.) There’s a lot of nice green space, and, um, downtown there’s a lot of revival there, and there are a lot of, like, condos being built in old warehouses, and it’s just really nice, and there are like shopping areas springing up and restaurants just springing up all the time, a lot of good food, and a lot of just, kind of, like, I don’t know, chic food, if that makes any sense.

Interviewer:  Um, I’m not so sure. Chic? What is that?

Respondent:  Oh, no, like, like, I don’t know, just, um, food that’s, like, in style at the moment.

Interviewer:  OK, uh, so, like, what’s in style now?

Respondent:  Um, cupcakes and, like, (soy) are really big now. I know that’s more desserts, but, um, and so, they just got kind of big, and now they’re just everywhere.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm. What about, like, bubble tea? Do you drink bubble tea?

Respondent:  Uh, I have friends who drink bubble tea, and that’s pretty easy to find, too, a lot of tea places, or, like, little coffee places, or, like, Alterra, which is now Colectivo. Everyone from Milwaukee loves that.

Interviewer:  Um, OK, so, if, if you didn’t live in Milwaukee, uh, where else would you like to live?

Respondent:  Um, well, right now I’m in Madison, which I love, but I’m not sure how I would feel about it after college, just because it’s such a college town. Um, I would like to maybe experience Chicago, um, and then I also, um, I’d like to live in Europe for a while {maybe, um—

Interviewer:  Where,} where in Europe?

Respondent:  Um, I speak French and Italian so {maybe Paris.

Interviewer:  Both of them?}

Respondent:  Yeah, I speak both, so, either Paris, France or Switzerland.

Interviewer:  Huh, a-, so, do you speak both of them, uh, fluently?

Respondent:  Um, I’m fluent in French, and I’m pretty near fluency in Italian.

Interviewer:  When did you start, um, taking foreign language?

Respondent:  Um, I started studying French when I was in middle school, and I just kind of figured out I was good at it.

Interviewer:  Hm, s-, so, um, why would you, uh, maybe like to live in Chicago?

Respondent:  Um, I just think it’s, um, it’s nice. It’s, like, a big city. It’s obviously bigger than Milwaukee, but it’s still got some Midwestern charm, and it’s, it’s close to home, but it’s, like, very different, and there’s always something to do.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  And it’s not as expensive as, say, New York.

Interviewer:  Yeah. Do you have any interest in like, uh, the coasts?

Respondent:  Um, well, I think the coasts are really nice, but I think of it more as kind of, like, a vacation spot. I feel like, if I lived in California, I’d never get anything done.

Interviewer:  [laugh] Very well, um, OK, let’s see, what else? Uh, how have you spent your working life? Do you work, or what do you do?

Respondent:  Um, well, because I’m in school full-time, I just have a, a part-time job. I’m a tutor. I’m a French and an Italian tutor. Um, during high school I was a receptionist at a salon.

Interviewer:  Uh, wh-, what was your favorite job?

Respondent:  Um, I really like tutoring. It just makes me feel like I’m helping people, but I also just kinda get to chat with people.

Interviewer:  Yeah, um, wh-, when you tutor, do you tutor like, uh, English-speaking students in the other languages, or do you teach, uh, the foreign students English?

Respondent:  Um, I tutor English-speaking students in the other languages.

Interviewer:  OK. Um, so, besides work, um, what do you, what else do you enjoy doing, like, in your spare time? Do you have any other hobbies besides foreign language?

Respondent:  Um, I watch a lot of movies, I guess, a lot of TV. Um, what else do I do? I don’t know. I like going out to eat with friends.

Interviewer:  Yeah, um, any new interests, or that you’ve picked up, like, since college, or anything you’ve been doing for a very long time?

Respondent:  Oh, um, I kind of slowed down since college, but I like to swim. I swam competitively, um, from the time I was, like, nine until I graduated high school, and so, every once in a while I’ll go swim here, but not so much anymore.

Interviewer:  [throat clearing] Excuse me, um, uh, let’s see, we have, like, Thanksgiving come up, coming up. Um, do you have a favorite holiday? If yes, which one do you celebrate?

Respondent:  Um, well, I really like Thanksgiving, just because the food, and it’s a nice little break from school, but it’s not long enough, so I (xx). I really like, um—I’m, I’m Jewish, so I can’t really say Christmas, but I really like New Year’s.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  I just think it’s kind of, um, it’s fun. You like, or, how, like, I go out with my friends on New Year’s Eve, and then, um, New Year’s Day I’ve always spent with my family, and we always, like, make waffles, which we never do.

Interviewer:  Waffles, do you do waffles every year?

Respondent:  Yeah, every New Year’s Day we make waffles [laugh].

Interviewer:  Like homemade waffles with the, or {just, or do you just buy a box of them?

Respondent:  Yeah.} Oh, no, we, um, we, like, make them from scratch, and then put them on the little waffle iron.

Interviewer:  OK.

Respondent:  I don’t know how it started, but ever since I can remember.

Interviewer:  Um, what is your, what would you say is your favorite type of music?

Respondent:  Um, I’d say, like, like, hip-hop or rap would be my favorite type of music.

Interviewer:  Yeah, who do you listen to?

Respondent:  Um, whenever anyone asks me that I can never think of anything. [laugh] Uh, the only thing that’s coming to mind right now is, uh, I’ve been listening to a lot of, like, Kanye West lately, like, not his new stuff, but his older stuff.

Interviewer:  You don’t like Yeezus?

Respondent:  Yeezus is a little intense for me [laugh].

Interviewer:  Yeah, I like it.

Respondent:  Yeah, like, I don’t dislike it, it’s just more intense [laugh].

Interviewer:  Um, so, which one of his older ones, uh, do you like the best I guess?

Respondent:  I like, like, actually I like a lot. I like, like, College Dropout, like, Graduation, um, I also like, like, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, um, Eight-o-eights and Heartbreak. I liked Watch the Throne with Jay Z.

Interviewer:  Yeah, me, too. Uh, what, what other type of music do you listen to?

Respondent:  Um, I’m pretty boring, I guess. I like mostly listen to the mainstream music, not very exciting there.

Interviewer:  Like hip-hop and pop and stuff?

Respondent:  Yeah, like Top Forty type things, I guess, mostly because I don’t really take the time to find out what else is out there [laugh].

Interviewer:  Yeah, um, are there any, uh, maybe any current events, uh, you’d like to talk about, or you have any interest in?

Respondent:  Um, (OK) current events, let me think. Well, I was just talking about, um, in my class, how, uh, Ukraine kind of (xx) this deal with the EU, and they’re siding with Russia, and there’s a lot of backlash by, um, Ukrainian citizens, because they want to be in more of a, um, like, more involved in the, be more of an up-and-coming and influential country, but with, siding with Russia on this trade agreement is kind of hindering them from doing so.

Interviewer:  Yeah, so is that gonna have, like, uh—

Respondent:  An impact on my life? {Probably not.

Interviewer:  An imp, an impact} in, like, American, uh, foreign policy, or . . . ?

Respondent:  Probably zero. {I don’t think it’ll affect it at all, but—

Interviewer:  But it’s import-, but it’s important over there.}

Respondent:  Yeah, it’s very important over there, and it kind of shows, um, that the EU is losing some power, and, um, but it also shows that though they’re using, losing power politically, the citizens still wanna be associated with it.

Interviewer:  OK. Let me check here, we got a few minutes to go, um, so, let’s talk about animals. Do you like animals? Do you have any pets?

Respondent:  I do like animals. Um, I have a dog. She is an Australian Labradoodle, which is like really specific (xx). Yeah, I guess they’re bred to be, like, therapy dogs, so she’s like really chill. Um, her name’s Gigi. We didn’t name her, but that’s her name, and she, uh, has, like, brown curly hair, nice dog. I had a dog before. His name was Sparky, but he died. That was sad. We used to have a cat, too, but our cat, like, had a lot of health issues, so, I don’t know.

Interviewer:  That’s too bad.

Respondent:  I really liked—what’d you say?

Interviewer:  I said, that’s too bad.

Respondent:  Yeah, sad life, but, um, if I could choose a random animal to have, one that’s not really a pet, I would choose the red panda.

Interviewer:  A, r-, I, I’m sorry, a what?

Respondent:  A red panda, they look kind of like raccoons. They’re like {really cute and small. They’re not, yeah, they’re not pandas, but . . .

Interviewer:  Yeah, ok, yeah, I know what they are.} Is it legal to have those?

Respondent:  I’m pretty sure it’s not legal to have them [laugh].

Interviewer:  OK, um, hm, you said, uh, you said you like movies and television shows, right?

Respondent:  Yeah.

Interviewer:  So, what, what have you been watching?

Respondent:  Um, I started watching Homeland a while ago. Um, someone gave me the DVD of, like, the first two seasons, so I kinda bin-, binge-watched that, and I’m waiting to, when I’m home for Thanksgiving I’m gonna watch it, like, On Demand, or whatever, and catch up.

Interviewer:  Yeah, did you watch Breaking Bad?

Respondent:  Um, this is really embarrassing, but I haven’t watched Breaking Bad [laugh].

Interviewer:  [sigh] That’s OK.

Respondent:  I’m really embarrassed to admit it. I have nothing against it, and I wanna watch it, but at some point I hadn’t watched it and I was, like, well, I can’t start now.

Interviewer:  Yeah, well, I’m, I mean, you could totally start now.

Respondent:  Yeah, now I could start, but I couldn’t start, like, a year ago.

Interviewer:  Yeah, as, as long as you don’t Google anything.

Respondent:  Yeah, [laugh] that’s gonna be hard to do.

Interviewer:  Um, what about, like, I’ve been hearing a lot about Dr. Who lately. Is it coming back or something? Do you watch that?

Respondent:  I don’t watch that, but I know a lot of people who are, like, really into it. Um, it kind of seems random to me because it’s been around for so long.

Interviewer:  Yeah, I don’t even know what it is. Do you know what it is?

Respondent:  It’s something about time travel and British people. I don’t, I don’t know [laugh].

Interviewer:  OK, uh, so what, what movies have you, uh, enjoyed lately?

Respondent:  Uh, I haven’t, I guess, like, watched that many new movies. Um, like, there aren’t really movie theaters around, uh, or at least not that are walking distance. I saw Top Gun recently for the first time, and, um {(xx)—

Interviewer:  For the first time?}

Respondent:  Yeah, I don’t know how I hadn’t. I’m, I’m always, like, really behind on, like, big things that everyone loves, and then it’s really embarrassing to admit, but I was a fan, so I guess I don’t have to be embarrassed anymore.

Interviewer:  Have you seen Gravity?

Respondent:  I haven’t seen Gravity, but I heard it’s really good and intense.

Interviewer:  Yeah, same with me.

Respondent:  Um, I’ve been watching, I’ve been, like, re-watching a lot of Always Sunny in Philadelphia [sic] on Netflix.

Interviewer:  Yeah, I’m a big fan of Charlie, Charlie’s work.

Respondent:  Oh, he’s hilarious.

Interviewer:  OK, uh, thanks very much for the conversation. Uh, let’s move on to the ne-


Milwaukee: NewWI255

Interviewer:  OK, let’s begin. As I mentioned, for the first fifteen minutes of our interview, let’s talk about any topic that interests you. Shall we begin by talking about Milwaukee? Is there anything special about Milwaukee that you think other Wisconsinites oughta know?

Respondent:  Oh, sure. Um, I love Milwaukee. It has a large, diverse group of people here. The festivals are great. There are a lot of different restaurants to eat at, um, a lot of fun things to do.

Interviewer:  Do you have a {favorite festival, perhaps, in Milwaukee?

Respondent:  And} I do like Summerfest. I like to go, um, for the music, ’cause the beer’s too expensive, but, um, I’ve been going to Summerfest since I was sixteen, so I’ve been going there for, gosh, over half my life now, and I just went this past week and saw a DJ and did some dancing so that was fun.

Interviewer:  Is there a favorite concert or any performance you’ve ever seen at Summerfest?

Respondent:  Um, at Summerfest, hm, I don’t know, um, just this, well, this past week I went and saw Girl Talk and then my husband and I went and saw Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker ’cause my husband likes country music, so that was nice, and my favorite concert I’ve ever probably seen would be Radiohead, but that was at Alpine Valley.

Interviewer:  Interesting, and have you seen any other concerts, like, outside of (xx) you’ve really enjoyed?

Respondent:  I, probably seen several hundred concerts. I love music, love going to concerts, um, like, a little bit of everything. Like I said, my husband loves country music, so, and we’ve gone to country concerts. I, when I was younger, I used to like a lot of punk music so I went to the Rave, which is a concert venue here in Milwaukee, a lot, and, um, now I like more independent music so, I think, I saw Regina Spektor recently which was really nice and, uh, some other stuff.

Interviewer:  Interesting. You also mentioned like a lot of great restaurants in Milwaukee. Do you have a favorite restaurant or a favorite type of food you perhaps like getting?

Respondent:  Um, my favorite restaurant in Milwaukee is probably Maxie’s Southern Comfort. Um, they have good drinks, excellent southern soul food, like, hopping john, and greens, and fried green tomatoes.

Interviewer:  Interesting. {I’ve heard of that before.

Respondent:  But other than that—}

Interviewer:  Is there a favorite dish you like getting there?

Respondent:  I love the pulled-pork plate. They make their own barbecues. They make their own, um, cole slaw, and their own beans and everything. It’s so good. I would definitely recommend it.

Interviewer:  Interesting. And, um, is there any other sort of, like, place you like going in Milwaukee that you like to visit or anything like that?

Respondent:  Um, well, my kids love going to the children’s museum which I think Milwaukee has a, an excellent children’s museum. Um, I love going down to the lakefront. I like, uh, there’s some other restaurants I like, like, Meritage, the Highlands Cafe, um, the (xx) — {a lot of good, good places.

Interviewer:  Interesting.} If you (didn’t) live in Milwaukee, is there another place you would like to live?

Respondent:  I would love to live in the South. Either in Kentucky or, um, Georgia.

Interviewer:  Are there any particular reasons you would like to live there?

Respondent:  I love the South. I’ve, I’ve been to the South several times traveling, and I just, I love the geography, the climate in particular because, uh, it’s cold up here, so cold and snowy. [laugh] The South doesn’t have any of that. They get a half an inch of snow and they shut down.

Interviewer:  Interesting, and kind of in keeping with that topic, um, have you gone on any recent vacations, or are you planning on going on any vacations?

Respondent:  Um, at, let-, in m-, the middle of August, uh, we are taking the family to Tennessee. We’re gonna go to the Smoky Mountains which is one of my favorite places, and, um, (where I) take the kids white-water rafting and, uh, horseback riding and try and give them an appreciation for nature. So hopefully that’ll be fun, and I just bought my husband for, um, our anniversary and his birthday a trip to New Orleans. So we’re going down there in November, and hopefully that’ll be fun, {never been there.

Interviewer:  Is there anything you’re} looking forward to doing down there?

Respondent:  Probably the food in New Orleans, the food, and the history, um, the music. I’ve never been there, but I’ve heard from some of my friends that it’s really amazing. My husband hasn’t, my husband had gone there, uh, (back) after Katrina, and he didn’t get to really enjoy any of the culture because he was helping, uh, to clean up the, with the hurricane and all, but, um, so he’s looking forward to it, too, to kind of get to experience it from a different angle.

Interviewer:  Interesting, and kind of switching gears then, or actually you, we can, do you have a favorite type of food, or is there any type of, um, unusual food that you’ve tried when you’ve been on vacation or just at a restaurant?

Respondent:  I don’t really like trying unusual [laugh] (food). I love, like, I, I like typical things, but, um, yeah, really strange things. One time I tried to eat bone marrow, but I couldn’t even get, I, I, it was there, it smelled nice, but I couldn’t get it in my mouth. I was just too creeped out.

Interviewer:  I understand. When did you try that?

Respondent:  Um, at Meritage which is a restaurant here in Milwaukee.

Interviewer:  Interesting, do they have a lot of unusual things on their menu, or is it more with that, like, kind of a special ite-, {item?

Respondent:  Um,}I think they, they have like a, kind of like a (rustic’s) menu so they’ll have, like, braised leg of lamb and things like that, but then they’ll also have some of those things like bone marrow, and, just, uh, the more rustic things I guess you could say.

Interviewer:  Interesting, and then we’ll switch gears a little bit here. Um, do you wanna talk a little bit about your career, or what you do for a living? Or what you have done for most of your working life?

Respondent:  Sure. I, um, I work for Goodwill Industries, and everyone thinks Goodwill is always, you know, like, oh, you work for the store, but I work for the, um, human services side of Goodwill. So when you take the money that you spend at Goodwill, they put it into programs, so I’m actually supervisor at a day program for adults with, um, brain injuries and mental illness. So the money that people spend at the store goes into those sorts of programs that help people with brain injury and mental illness to be more independent, to continue to live in the community, um, and to just increase their quality of life.

Interviewer:  Interesting, so what do you do as a supervisor in (xx) program?

Respondent:  I get to do a little bit of everything. I get to be a music director, and a counselor, and a, an administrator, and an art teacher, and, uh, a little bit of everything, but I have, um, five staff under me, a case manager and four recreation assistants, and, uh, I oversee the program, the implementation of the, uh, different classes and different programs, and then also the financial aspects of the program, and other things like that.

Interviewer:  Interesting, what would you say is the most rewarding part of your job?

Respondent:  Uh, I think making a difference in people’s lives, and it, (xx) tangible difference at that. You know, you have people who come in, and, and they have because of their brain injury maybe they have trouble speaking. Or, maybe they have trouble, um, with their mobility, and after a period of time in the program and developing a personalized objective they’re able to make progress, and to, you know, to either come out on the other side regaining some of their speech, or some of their mobility, or, you know, their home, or their caregiver says, wow, we’ve seen such a great, great, um, increase in their happiness since we’ve been in the program, and just making, you know, people’s lives a little easier and a little better.

Interviewer:  Interesting, and then kind of switching gears again here, um, do you have any, like, sort of hobbies or anything that you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Respondent:  Uh, right now my spare time is pretty much devoted to my children. I have two daughters. They are, um, six—no, not six, one just turned seven—seven and nine, and, um, they’re a handful. So I work full-time, and, and then have the two kids and my husband and try and make that all work together picking them up from their various camps, and they’re in Tae Kwon Do, and swimming lessons, and all kinds of other things.

Interviewer:  Interesting, are there any sorts of family activities you like doing as a group, or with your daughters, or any sort of, like, hobbies you have with your husband or anything like that?

Respondent:  My kids love the pool. Uh, I think this summer we’ve been spending, like, three to four hours a day at the pool. So the pool is a big deal. We have a pool at our condo so that is very convenient and we’re able to go down there so that’s nice. Um, they also like riding their bikes. Um, I really enjoy camping and doing outdoor sports, and this year, uh, we are taking them camping so hopefully they also have an appreciation for it. I’m worried because they, um, they hate bugs and the hot weather,[laugh] and camping is pretty much bugs and hot weather but hopefully it’ll be nice weather and, uh, not too many bugs, and then they’ll come to enjoy it as well.

Interviewer:  Oh, I understand. Are there any sorts of, any, like, favorite sights you have to go camping either in Wisconsin or around the country in general?

Respondent:  Um, in Wisconsin, I like going to Devil’s Lake, which is near Baraboo, and I’ve actually been going there since I was a little girl. My parents used to take me and my sister and brother there when we were little. We would go every year, and now, um, we go with my sister and her son and my family. We go, um, there and, and camp, too, so it’s, uh, pretty exciting.

Interviewer:  Interesting.

Respondent:  [laugh] (xx) that family tradition going.

Interviewer:  Yeah, for sure. Do you have any sort of, like, activities you do with your family when you’re in Devil’s Lake or any sorts of (xx) (specific) camping activities?

Respondent:  Well, we like to go to the beach and go hiking. Um, they have really pretty bluffs there to climb, and, um, they have, you can rent boats and canoes and paddleboards. Um, and, of course, kids always like making s’mores and catching fireflies and that kind of stuff. And then every time we go, we go, um, to Noah’s Ark when we’re done, (and) that’s something that we used to do with my parents when we were kids. So we’re still doing that.

Interviewer:  Interesting, and I know that’s in the Dells. Do you, are there any, like, other places you like visiting in the Dells, or anywhere around (there, or in) Wisconsin?

Respondent:  We took our kids to the Wilderness Hotel, um, for the first time this Easter break, and they really liked it. I had, we had, my husband and I had stayed there years ago because we had some friends who got married there, but we’d never taken the kids there. And the kids, uh, really enjoyed it. The hotel was really nice, and the, they have a, a variety of different water parks, and they were really nice to be in.

Interviewer:  Interesting, and then we can switch gears h-, here a little bit again. Um, are there any, do you enjoy any television shows in particular?

Respondent:  Um, I loved Breaking Bad when it was on. It was just such a good series, and, uh, my husband and I just binge-watched Parks and Recreation on the Netflix. Um, my kids really like this show called The Fosters on ABC Family so they watch that all the time.

Interviewer:  Interesting. {And now, we’ll—

Respondent:  But, and Life in the} Dreamhouse with Barbie. [sic] {[laugh]

Interviewer:  [laugh] Oh, (interesting.) Now, um, going back to Parks and Recreation would you mind telling me a little bit about that television show? I’m not familiar with it.

Respondent:  Oh, you’re not? It’s so funny. Uh, it stars Amy Poehler who was on Saturday Night Live, and she plays a, um, a deputy director of a parks department in a rural community, um, and, it’s just kind of about her, what she wants to do for this community, and then she gets bogged down by all this bureaucracy and can’t do it, but there’s also a whole bunch of different characters. Um, you know, the st-, staff that she has, and then (the other) characters in the, in the show are really funny, and they have different storylines themselves, and it’s a funny show. I would recommend it.

Interviewer:  Interesting and now that sounds very different from Bake-, Breaking Bad. What kind of drew you to Breaking Bad as opposed to Parks and Recreation?

Respondent:  Um, I don’t know. I mean it just sucks you in when you get to watching it. It’s so good. I like the suspense. You never knew what was gonna happen, um, that Walter White was like an anti-hero you just grew to hate (him) more and more, but you couldn’t stop watching. Um, I don’t know. It was an addictive show.

Interviewer:  I understand. OK, thanks very much for this conversation. Let’s move on—


Milwaukee: NewWI257

Interviewer:  OK, let’s begin. As I men-, and as I mentioned for the first fifteen minutes of our interview, let’s talk about any topic that interests you. Shall we begin by talking about Milwaukee?

Respondent:  Sure.

Interviewer:  So is there anything special about Milwaukee that you think other Wisconsinites ought to know, or . . . ?

Respondent:  Well (Milwaukee) has a lot of really good theater. Um, there’s always something to do, um, and it’s a kind of a small town in a, um, or it’s a big town with a small town feeling, I guess.

Interviewer:  That’s always really nice to have those kind of options, (xx) comfort. So, you mentioned the theater. Do you like to, is there any particular theater that you go to there?

Respondent:  Um, I usher at, um, several theaters in Milwaukee as well as, uh, the, uh, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.

Interviewer:  Oh, wow, they have a lot of great performances there.

Respondent:  They do.

Interviewer:  What’s the last one that you saw?

Respondent:  Oh dear, um, I’m up in Door County now (for) summer. Um, what did I see last? Um, probably the symphony, yeah, it was the symphony, I think.

Interviewer:  Do you go often, other than ushering?

Respondent:  Um, no, I just do ushering, but I’m able to pretty much do all the things I wanna see there, so it’s free.

Interviewer:  That’s even better. So, if you, you mentioned Door County. Why, why are you up in Door County?

Respondent:  Um, I bought a place up here, and I like, I like spending time in Door County.

Interviewer:  Do you (xx) go with a group of friends or family, or is it a {quiet retreat?

Respondent:  Um,} I have a sister who lives up here, a niece who goes up here, and a nephew who comes up here on weekends.

Interviewer:  Nice, so that’s kind of a gathering spot.

Respondent:  Yeah.

Interviewer:  If you were trying to convince a friend to move to Milwaukee, or Door County, uh, what features would you highlight?

Respondent:  Um, I would highlight the art museum, um, the fine dining, um, the, um, you know, the theater and the, um, cultural things, and I guess I would say the weather, usually, in summer is, [laugh] is nice, um, and um, I guess that would be mainly it.

Interviewer:  Yeah, (art) museum is really beautiful there. That’s, that’s a p-, pretty exceptional building.

Respondent:  Mm-hmm.

Interviewer:  So if you didn’t live in Milwau-, in Milwaukee or, or Door County for that matter, where else would you like to live, and why?

Respondent:  Um, I actually spend some time in the winter in Arizona. Um, I like the weather there, um, and they have a lot of great, um, (xx) to see and do, um, and the weather, of course, is much nicer there in the winter.

Interviewer:  So did you spend last winter there?

Respondent:  I was there for March and April.

Interviewer:  This was definitely the winter to escape Wisconsin.

Respondent:  It was.

Interviewer:  So do you do any, any outdoor activities while you’re out there?

Respondent:  Um, yeah, I golf, do a little bit of hiking, um, little bit of bicycling, walking.

Interviewer:  Do you (xx) anyone, um, do these with you, any, um, kids or, um, significant others that go with you, with, on these, or . . . ?

Respondent:  Um, my, both my sisters have a place down there as well, and then I have some friends who live down there.

Interviewer:  So, you seem to have family kind of all over the place. Do you get to do a lot of, um, fun traveling with them, or . . . ?

Respondent:  Uh, yeah, I went to Central America in January—

Interviewer:  {Where were you?

Respondent:  —with my,} um, we were, flew in to El Salvador, and then we were in Honduras for a couple days, and then mainly (all) Guatemala, and then finished up in Belize.

Interviewer:  Wow, that sounds so much, like so much fun.

Respondent:  It was a great trip, yeah. It was just Over-, Overseas Adventure Travel, so they go in small groups. There were only sixteen of us, and so we got to see and do some things that you wouldn’t normally do if you were with a much larger group, or even on your own, because you wouldn’t know these [laugh] (places) existed.

Interviewer:  Wow, like what, like wh-,—

Respondent:  Well, we stopped and, um, saw a family, um, operation of where they just process, um, cashews, roasted them out in the, the open, and then another little, another artisan along the way who did carvings, stone carvings, and another artisan who made little chicken (xx), and another artisan who made, um, processed cocoa in her backyard.

Interviewer:  Wow.

Respondent:  Yeah, another lady who was, um, I don’t know if we ever found out her age, but she was, um, probably in her eighties who, um, made clay pottery, you know, by hand, with her hands, you know, no machinery involved at all.

Interviewer:  (None.)

Respondent:  None.

Interviewer:  That’s so impressive.

Respondent:  Yep, other than, you know, the fire kiln that she had to . . .

Interviewer:  Of course, yes.

Respondent:  (xx), yeah.

Interviewer:  Wow, did you get to do any, any pottery-making with her, or . . . ?

Respondent:  Um, no, I don’t think we had any opportunity to do that. We did also see a, another man who was (probably) around eighty who made, um, tile, you know, roof tiles by hand, and someone was able to do that, um, try that out, but I didn’t.

Interviewer:  Wow, that takes so much craftmanship.

Respondent:  Yes, mm-hmm.

Interviewer:  So you went with fifteen people. Was this a group of people that you knew, or, um . . . ?

Respondent:  Um, two, I knew three (of the) people.

Interviewer:  What made you decide to do Central America?

Respondent:  Um, my sister and brother-in-law had signed up for the trip, and I didn’t have any, the place I really wanted to go, no one wanted to go, so . . .[laugh]

Interviewer:  Where did you wanna go?

Respondent:  I wanted to go to Vietnam.

Interviewer:  Oh, wow. Have you ever been to Southeast Asia?

Respondent:  I have. I’ve been to Thailand, um, Bhutan.

Interviewer:  When, when did you go to Thailand?

Respondent:  Um, that was in, let’s see, a year ago this past November, so it (would’ve) been November of twenty thirteen, huh, yeah, I guess.

Interviewer:  That’s a beautiful, beautiful country.

Respondent:  Yeah, it was, or is, I should say, and, um, I went, um, it was part of a medical mission, um, trip, and, um, so we got to see, again, some things that we don’t ordinarily see, um, or do, and ate our meals on the street every night for about two bucks, and . . . [laugh]

Interviewer:  Ah, that’s the best, the street vendor food.

Respondent:  Yeah. You been there?

Interviewer:  I have, yes. I, I loved it. Um, where did you go?

Respondent:  We were in, well, (xx) we spent a couple days in Bangkok before we went up to Bhutan, and then we went to, returned there but didn’t really spend any time and went up to Nong-, Nong Khai, I think it was called. It’s on the, um, on the Mekong, um, on the north, sorta central, northeast part of Thailand.

Interviewer:  Some of the, the villages up there are gorgeous.

Respondent:  Mm-hmm.

Interviewer:  So you mentioned doing hiking in Arizona. Did you get to do any of that in Thailand?

Respondent:  Um, no, we did not because we were pretty much, um, going out to the different villages during the day for the, um, medical mission part of it and then on our free time we, we did go over to, uh, Laos for a day. That was quite an adventure, um, but we didn’t do any, any hiking other than lots of walking ’cause we didn’t use any public transportation while we were in the town.

Interviewer:  It’s pretty, it’s pretty walk (too,) to Bangkok for the most part, but or the, the public transportation at least, but what, what are the medical missions that you do? What does that entail?

Respondent:  Um, they, um, go into the small villages and just sort of set up, um, in the central part of the city and (things). Then they do put out some information that they’re going to be there beforehand, (just) sorta word-of-mouth. It was pretty much just, um, you know, finding out, um, why they were there, and most of them there were mainly for complaints of arthritis, um, because they do, you know, all this, m-, um, labor, um, in the rice fields, and then in the, um, rubber plants, um, plantations, I guess they’re called. So, you know, that was the season where they were harvesting the rice during the day and then at night they would go to the rubber tree and, um, remove the, uh, latex from them during the night. So, um, you know, they weren’t getting a lot of sleep plus just doing all of this, um, menial tasks. Um, so, you know, there were (always) complaints of sore shoulders, sore knees, et cetera, and there were a few people who had um, um, you know kids, probably anemia that they had, but we didn’t have any diagnostic stuff. It was just giving out either, um, like, Tylenol, ibuprofen, um, for the kids, vitamins, um, that kind of thing, and if they had anything serious, i-, a-, we were quite surprised. There was some people who had diabetes or, um, high blood pressure, were well-treated, um, medically. Um, they would see their physician, like, monthly.

Interviewer:  Really?

Respondent:  Um, yeah, mm-hmm, yeah, we were quite, I was, I personally was. I don’t know if the people who’d been there before found that quite so surprising, but, um, and so serious, there were, we had one, I think, (person) who had an electrical burn, um, which, you know, he had some of the residuals he was complaining about, um, and one man who had some serious cataracts, and he was complaining he couldn’t see anymore. Well, we could actually see the cataracts on his eyes.

Interviewer:  {Oh, wow.

Respondent:  Um,} so, but most of them were, you know, minor ailments, like, if you can call arthritis a minor ailment. [laugh]

Interviewer:  Well, I mean, if you, i-, seems from the, the work you described, it makes sense that that would be a major complaint, or—

Respondent:  Yeah, mm-hmm.

Interviewer:  —a main issue. So have you done these medical missions elsewhere?

Respondent:  No, I have not. I have not.

Interviewer:  So what, what, how did you learn about it? Or, what made you decide to do it?

Respondent:  Well, it is kind of interesting because a friend of mine who lives in Arizona sent out an email that they were, um, looking for people to go on this medical mission trip, um, and it just [laugh] so happened, coincidentally, that they were flying in to Bangkok the day I was flying back in to Bangkok from my trip to Bhutan, and so it just [laugh] was, like, well, I’m there. I might as well go with them on this medical mission trip, and it was through my church, so . . .

Interviewer:  That is an amazing opportunity.

Respondent:  Yeah, it was, truly.

Interviewer:  What a coincidence. Wow, so you seem to have been all over. Is there, is there any place you haven’t been that you would want to go?

Respondent:  Oh, yeah. [laugh] Um, I wanna go to Norway very badly, um, Vietnam, um, the Greek Isles, um, Cuba. Um, I would like to see Argentina, and, um, um, Chile, um, where else do I wanna go that’s on my list? Um, the, um, South Pacific, I would like to see. I would like to go back to New Zealand if I could, um, Poland, um, . . [laugh]

Interviewer:  {Wow.

Respondent:  (xx)} yeah, there’s lots of places that I would like to see yet.

Interviewer:  Wow, when did you go to N-, New Zealand?

Respondent:  Well, (was it) back in ninety-five? Four other friends and I went for four weeks and we were in New Zealand and Australia, but we were only in New Zealand for one week, so only the North Island.

Interviewer:  Ah, everything there just looks like a postcard.

Respondent:  Yeah, it was, um, and, um, yeah, the, the scenery is gorgeous and, uh, the weather where we were there, the week was, um, well, sort of like we’re having here in Wisconsin. (It) rained in [laugh] Australia every day, but we were still able to, um, do most of the things we wanted to do.

Interviewer:  What sortsa things did you do there? (Was it . . . ?)

Respondent:  Um, we, um, (xx) we did hikes, and, um, there was some (xx) tours. Like, we went, I think we did a couple tours that were arranged, (you know). Like, we went to the, um, Maori, um, evening thing where they, you know, prepared food where they roast it in the ground, and then they, you know, do their performances. Um, I think mostly (everything’s, been) trying to remember now since it’s so long ago already, um, you know, we had, t-, most of the things we did we had to drive. We had a timeshare so we always had to drive about an hour to wherever we were going. Um, part of the group did a raft trip, and the rest of us did a, did a hike that day. Um, so, yeah, it was, I think we actually went fishing one day, too, caught some fish and got the neighbor to prepare them for us [laugh].

Interviewer:  That’s awesome. That’s amazing. So you mentioned the Maori performances. What did you think of those?

Respondent:  Oh, it was very interesting, (you know), um, like nothing you have seen before. That’s for sure.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm. It’s always really amazing seeing {how decorative they are.

Respondent:  Yeah,} yeah, exactly. Oh yeah, we did take a train up to where they mine opals. Um, I think it was one of the steepest cog railways in the world or something like that. Um, that was very interesting too.

Interviewer:  I didn’t know opals were a, a major mining thing {there.

Respondent:  Mm-hmm,} yeah, um, and they, um, oh, and then they, I think there they per-, the r-, the aborigines did a performance for us. Oh, we climbed Mount, um, U-, Urulu [sic].

Interviewer:  Pardon?

Respondent:  The, the big rock, oh, Mou-, oh, what’s it called? Oh, I can’t think of the name of it now. It’s ju-, it’s just, you can’t climb it anymore. It’s the sacred rock of the, of the aborigines. It’s out in the middle of, um, oh, shoot, what do they call that? Um, hm, m-, um, crap, hm, can’t think of the name of it, and we also did a balloon ride there in the, out of Alice Springs.

Interviewer:  That sounds amazing.

Respondent:  The outback, the outback. The, um, what is that mountain called? Oh, I can’t think of the name of it. It’s a big red rock. It’s, any pictures of Arizona—or, Arizona—of Australia will have that on.

Interviewer:  I’ll have to look that up later. That sounds incredible that you got to do that before.

Respondent:  Yeah, um, yes, it was, um, an interesting climb up there.

Interviewer:  OK, well, thanks very much for this conversation. {Um—

Respondent:  Oh,} you’re welcome.

Interviewer:  Let’s move on to the next activity.

Respondent:  OK.

Oshkosh: NewWI042

Interviewer:  OK, let’s begin. As I mentioned, for the first fifteen minutes of our interview, uh, let’s talk about any topic that interests you. Uh, shall we begin by talking about Oshkosh?

Respondent:  {Lovely.

Interviewer:  Um,} is there anything special about Oshkosh, uh, that you think other Wisconsinites, um, oughta know about?

Respondent:  Oh, we have a lovely, uh, thirty-mile lake (xx), Lake Winnebago.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm. {Uh, anything else?

Respondent:  Um,} pardon me. We have quite a great deal of festivals in this town. Oshkosh is trying to become the city of festivals.

Interviewer:  Uh, what kind of festivals are there?

Respondent:  There is a—oh, sorry—there’s the Christian rock one, Country USA, uh, our Irish Fest is extremely nice.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  Uh, there’s also, I can see, oh, the Miss Wisconsin pageant is held here—

Interviewer:  Oh.

Respondent:  —and Rock USA.

Interviewer:  OK, uh, do you, uh, attend any of these festivals?

Respondent:  I’ve attended the—pardon me, dear, my, um, I have fibromyalgia, and, and it, uh, sometimes slows down my cursor.

Interviewer:  OK.

Respondent:  I’ve attended, uh, Miss Wisconsin. My partner has attended Country USA, and Rock USA, and, and all of us have gone to Irish Fest.

Interviewer:  Yeah, that’s cool. Uh, do they have those, like, out on the lake, or . . . ?

Respondent:  No, that’s the, uh, Otter Street Fisheree—

Interviewer:  OK.

Respondent:  —that they have out on the lake.

Interviewer:  Alright, um, let’s see, uh, i-, hypothetically, if you, if you were trying to convince a friend to move to Oshkosh, uh, what features would you highlight?

Respondent:  Depending on what neighborhood, it, it’s relatively quiet. We have very little crime, except in certain neighborhoods.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  And they’d be near us.

Interviewer:  [laugh] Um, OK, so, uh, if you, um, if you didn’t live in Oshkosh, uh, where else would you like to live, and why?

Respondent:  I want, I would love to go back to the southwest corner.

Interviewer:  Oh, yeah, {whe-, where down there.

Respondent:  (Ya betcha)} um, Richland County.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  I’d go back where I grew up. I would like to, uh, have an earthen home. (Now they’d begin to (xx) {(xx))

Interviewer:  Uh, uh, what kind of home?

Respondent:  Sorta like a hobbit hole.

Interviewer:  OK, uh, wh-, what do you like about those?

Respondent:  Well, they’re earth-friendly. They would stand a tornado extremely well.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  But the problem is, (that’d) be putting in a lot of light.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  That’s why I like it in the south(-facing) valley. Otherwise, I’d move down to the east side of, the eastern corner of the state, down, uh, near—oh, I can’t remember—u-, down near Old World Wisconsin.

Interviewer:  OK, yeah, what do you like about that area?

Respondent:  It has hills. It’s not just flat up here like Oshkosh is, but, uh, I used to work at Old World Wisconsin. I would go back there at a heartbeat.

Interviewer:  OK, alright, uh, let’s see here. How have you spent, uh, your working life, if you’d like to talk about that?

Respondent:  My working life has been a series of, um, let’s see, just under the, uh, poverty line. It’s a good thing I live with my partner.

Interviewer:  Hm, {uh—

Respondent:  She,} she makes more than I do, and now I’m disabled.

Interviewer:  I see. Um, so where did you, uh, where did you work or what did you do when you were younger?

Respondent:  Let’s see. I was a, I was a, a medical assistant.

Interviewer:  Oh.

Respondent:  I spent, uh, about six years doing that. Then I went, uh, to Old World Wisconsin, and, um, w-, was there for four years . . .

Interviewer:  OK, {uh—

Respondent:  Had,} um, had worked with DHI.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  Then milk-, uh, testing milking cows.

Interviewer:  OK.

Respondent:  Went up to Heritage Hill, another, um, state park in Wis-, up in Green Bay, and, um, then, uh, worked part-time for a friend of mine managing her store.

Interviewer:  OK, so, uh, Old World Wisconsin, is that, uh, were you, like, an actress there? Did you take part in, like, is that where the students come and see that stuff?

Respondent:  Yes, they do bless their little hearts. Yeah, I was a costumed interpreter.

Interviewer:  Oh, OK. So what did you do?

Respondent:  I talked about whichever building we were in, how the, uh, life was like in the year we were in.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm. Do {they change years?

Respondent:  I enjoyed,} hm?

Interviewer:  Uh, did you guys change years sometimes?

Respondent:  Oh, yes.

Interviewer:  Oh, OK.

Respondent:  We had everything from almost nineteen hundred back to, uh, the oldest building was my favorite one, which was eighteen thirty-nine.

Interviewer:  Wow.

Respondent:  I learned to spin there.

Interviewer:  Hm.

Respondent:  And I’ve been spinning ever since. It’s a rather, it, it catches on with you.

Interviewer:  I {see.

Respondent:  I’ve got} four spinning wheels and a whole bunch of wool.

Interviewer:  Oh, OK [laugh]. Alright, thank you for that. Um, where, uh, let’s see, uh, w-, where did you, where have you gone on vacation? Have you traveled to any countries?

Respondent:  No, I’ve, I rarely leave the state of Wisconsin. I’d like to go out—

Interviewer:  Oh, OK.

Respondent:  —but, uh—

Interviewer:  Where would you like to go?

Respondent:  Norway.

Interviewer:  Norway.

Respondent:  Yep, my, my grandfather came from Norway—

Interviewer:  I see.

Respondent:  —and, um, I’d like to go back. Mama has us to the seventeen hundreds in Norway, but I’d, I’d love to go back and see the, the area.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  (Apart of) the fact I’ve been making a, an informal study of uh the, the Norse, uh, the [laugh] the, uh, Viking era.

Interviewer:  Yeah, that’s interesting. Yeah, I would like to go, uh, to Norway {myself.

Respondent:  Where would you like,} would you?

Interviewer:  Yeah, um, yeah. {That’d be nice.

Respondent:  It is lovely.}

Interviewer:  Yeah, that’s what I’ve heard. Alright, uh, let’s see, uh, music, do you enjoy music?

Respondent:  Oh, yes.

Interviewer:  Uh, what’s your favorite type of music?

Respondent:  Right now, classical and new age.

Interviewer:  {OK.

Respondent:  I was,} I was raised on heavy rock, oddly enough.

Interviewer:  Alright.

Respondent:  My parents had, uh, a, a phonograph, and they brought home Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, which was hard rock then.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  (Isn’t) now.

Interviewer:  Uh, so, who do you listen to now?

Respondent:  It all depends. Sometimes I listen to the hard rock station. Sometimes I lis-, listen to the oldies station.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  If I want classical, I have to take a CD out to the car. Although, I could put it in the CD player here, but since we have Direct TV, they have that lovely (selection) of music.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  So, if I wanna clean, all I have to do is put on Mexican, Mexi-, [non-verbal noise] pardon me, Mexican salsa.

Interviewer:  [laugh] Right, um, so, like, who would, who would be your favorite hard rock artist?

Respondent:  I still say, I’d still say Black Sabbath.

Interviewer:  Cool.

Respondent:  Although, AC/DC runs, sort of, just a bit behind it.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm. Alright, sounds good, um, how about, uh, animals. Uh, do you have any pets?

Respondent:  Yes, we have five cats.

Interviewer:  Five cats? Uh, what do you like about cats?

Respondent:  They’re calming. They’re self-sufficient, mostly. You can leave the food down. They won’t gobble it up. They go, they have a box they can go to the bathroom, provided we always keep it clean, and we do.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  Right now, the kids are out on the, uh, porch enjoying themselves. It’s sixty-five degrees up here.

Interviewer:  Yeah, it’s nice.

Respondent:  I went out without a t-, I mean, I went out with a t-shirt on to go grocery shopping. That’s all I needed.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  That was quite nice.

Interviewer:  Yeah, it’s been a while.

Respondent:  Yeah, [laugh] it has.

Interviewer:  Um, OK, uh, do you watch, uh, do you watch TV, or what, {what, uh, TV shows do you enjoy?

Respondent:  Yes.} I mostly stick to cartoons, but right now there’s a movie on called Dragon Seed. It’s a, was in, I think it was thirty-nine or forty it was made.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm. What’s that about?

Respondent:  It’s based on a, it’s based on a book by Pearl S. Buck, and it’s how Chi-, Chinese farmers deal with, uh, occupational Japanese forces.

Interviewer:  OK.

Respondent:  Otherwise, I, we have movie channels. I’ll watch that if something’s, something good is on.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  I like, I liked aminal, Animal Planet. Um, my apologies—

Interviewer:  That’s alright.

Respondent:  A and E has stopped becoming a-, has stopped becoming arts and entertainment—

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  —which annoys me greatly.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  But I do like, uh, River Monsters, where the gentleman is finding these huge fish.

Interviewer:  Yeah, I’ve seen that. I, I enjoy that, too.

Respondent:  Some of those fish are l-, holy crap.

Interviewer:  Yeah, and he jumps in there sometimes, too.

Respondent:  I know. (I’d) almost gotten my big toe snipped off by a snapping turtle when I was a girl.

Interviewer:  [laugh] Alright, um, we’ve got a couple minutes left for this section. Uh, is, is there anything else you’d like to talk about, or . . . ?

Respondent:  Oh, right now—oh, excuse me.

Interviewer:  Sure.

Respondent:  Right now, I’m waiting for my, um, I should go out there and prune today while I still have light. I’m waiting for the garden to wake up.

Interviewer:  Oh, yeah, you garden?

Respondent:  Y-, yes, we do. I’ve got an extensive rose garden that I started the year we moved in to the house. This is our eighth year now. We’re on [beep] Avenue.

Interviewer:  What else, uh, do you grow?

Respondent:  Uh, butterfly bushes, milkweed, I have a mock orange, a bridal wreath spirea. I’m trying to get poppies to grow.

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm.

Respondent:  More hostas than I, I really can manage, so that I have to split them apart this year.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  But my roses are my favorite. Oh, and I’ve got a, an heirloom, uh, dem-, uh, it’s not dem-, green damson plum tree that I, uh, got from my neighbors before they moved.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Respondent:  I was able to take a, a bunch of seedlings. Actually, they weren’t seedlings. They were about knee-high, plant them, and they, they’re well over twelve feet now.

Interviewer:  Oh, wow. Um, wh-, what type of plant is that?

Respondent:  It’s a green damson, uh, plum tree.

Interviewer:  Oh, a plum tree, OK.

Respondent:  Yes. We also have two apples. Um, we have, it’s, it’s a historical apple. Oh, it’s a snow apple—

Interviewer:  OK.

Respondent:  —and a northern peach.

Interviewer:  Alright. That sounds good. Um, and thank you very much for this conversation. Uh—

Respondent:  Oh, you’re welcome.}

Interviewer:  Uh,} and let’s move on to the—


Oshkosh: NewWI063

Interviewer:  OK, let’s begin. As I mentioned, for the first fifteen minutes of our interview, um, let’s talk about any topic that interests you, so shall we begin by talking about Oshkosh?

Respondent:  Sure.

Interviewer:  Is there anything special about Oshkosh that you think other Wisconsinites ought to know, or . . . ?

Respondent:  Um, well, Oshkosh is a very nice community. We have many waterways here that we have lots of opportunities for, recreation on the water. The fishing is excellent here. There’s lots of beautiful parks and golf courses. Uh, we have a university here so there’s lots of cultural opportunities, and it brings in a lot of diversity into our community.

Interviewer:  Interesting. You mentioned, um, water recreation, or recreational water sports. Do you, do you do any of those, or . . . ?

Respondent:  Ah, yes, my family has always done, uh, boating and fishing. My nephew is a fishing guide, and, uh, there’s tournament fishing, so that’s kind of an exciting thing for us to root for him in his fishing tournaments.

Interviewer:  That’s really interest—

Respondent:  And we enjoy sw-, the swimming and taking the boat out for cruises to local restaurants.

Interviewer:  That’s nice. That’s really nice. Um, the fishing tournaments, uh, those can get really competitive. Is there any type of fish he goes for, or . . . ?

Respondent:  He was just in a walleye tournament last weekend and, uh, had one good day and one, one not so good day, and he also likes fishing for muskies and sometimes will take, uh, people out and do some cane pole fishing for perch, or crappies, and blue gills.

Interviewer:  And does he do that on the, the tours?

Respondent:  Yes, and he does it for his own recreation, too. He’s been fishing since he’s just been a tiny little boy with his Mickey Mouse fishing pole and he just was, I think, born to fish.

Interviewer:  That’s fun, (though. Well,) a big family activity with you, then?

Respondent:  Yes, nice family activity.

Interviewer:  Um, and what’s your favorite thing to fish for? Do you have {one, or . . . ?

Respondent:  Um,} I would say, probably, walleyes.

Interviewer:  And if you were trying to convince a friend to move to Offko-, Oshkosh, what features would you highlight specifically?

Respondent:  Um, probably, recreation, education, we have a nice location here. We’re halfway between Milwaukee and Green Bay. Are you in Madison?

Interviewer:  I am, yeah.

Respondent:  OK, so, you’re kind of familiar with Oshkosh. Are you, um, conducting this interview with people from all over the country?

Interviewer:  Um, yeah, it’s the Diale-, uh, excuse me, it’s the Dictionary of American Regional English. So, um, it’s, we’re trying to see how language has changed over the last fifty years, so, um . . .

Respondent:  (xx) I think I (xx) on the survey that I sent in that I’m a retired speech and language pathologist.

Interviewer:  That’s really interesting.

Respondent:  This is, so this is very interesting to me, and it’s something I’ve been interested in in a long time. Um, I think I (knew) in junior high, uh, when my English teacher brought in some recordings of different dialects and someone from down south was talking about a greasy [greazy] spoon instead of a greasy[greasy] spoon and I was just amazed. And, uh, my niece goes to college at the University of Arkansas. (xx) very interesting talking to her, uh, college classmates and teammates who come from all over the country, and, and the different ways we say things. And, um, like, like, bag. [laugh] They make so much fun of her because we say bag with a lo-, with a long “a” instead of a short “a,” and it’s, yeah, little things like that— {I, I, very fascinating.

Interviewer:  Wow, that’s very interesting to s—} It’s really fascinating to see how that changes from place to place. Um, but, yeah, what, how, how did you spend your working life, then? You were a speech and language pathologist?

Respondent:  Yes, in an elementary school.

Interviewer:  Interesting. Was it the same one, or, just different ones?

Respondent:  Yes, it was in Neenah. Uh, I, depending on how big the schools were through the years I was, sometimes I served two schools. Sometimes I served three schools, but probably, for the last fifteen years, I was just at one school because it, it got really big, and we had a lot of special ed, that, so I had a big caseload just at my one school.

Interviewer:  So is (that) something you were interested in since your teacher brought in that tape in junior high? Is this, always been something?

Respondent:  Yes, I’ve always been fascinated by the way people say things. (xx) maybe you know the answer to this question. What, you know the phrase, “whole nother thing,” is that a Wisconsin thing?

Interviewer:  You know, I actually don’t know. Um, we, we do the survey with people, but I’m not really sure. I, I’ve heard it generally, {but—

Respondent:  And} I listen for it on TV and lots of times, like, the news people and the interviewers and people that are really trying to use correct pronunciations and correct phrasing will say i-, “It’s a whole other thing.” But around here, people say, “That’s a whole nother thing.”

Interviewer:  Yeah, I’m really not sure. I haven’t, I haven’t noticed that. I didn’t, I didn’t realize that.

Respondent:  So, (yes,) I mean, just little things like that I really find very interesting.

Interviewer:  (Really) interesting, wow. So have there, um, you said you had a, a niece that went to school in Arkansas. Is that correct?

Respondent:  Yes.

Interviewer:  Have you noticed her accent changing or anything different?

Respondent:  A little bit, just a little bit, and (yet) she swore she was not gonna be saying “y’all,” but, uh, [laugh] about three months after she was down there, she was saying “y’all.”

Interviewer:  Things catch on {fast.

Respondent:  Instead of, and not “you guys” like we say up here.

Interviewer:  Well, if you didn’t live in Oshkosh where else would you like to live, and any particular reason, or . . . ?

Respondent:  Um, I have some friends in Montana so I’ve been out there skiing, and I have some family in Colorado so I kinda like the mountains, and I’m getting tired of this winter weather, uh, so at least out there the sun shines a little bit more often. Uh, I like, uh, Florida. I’d like to get out of the winter weather for a few months and go to Florida, and Arkansas (is) a beautiful state.

Interviewer:  I’ve never been to Arkansas, mm-mm.

Respondent:  Yeah, I never really thought too much about it until my, uh, a couple of my colleagues retired and went down to Arkansas, and then my niece looked at the college, and my sister and I went with her, and we were just amazed at how beautiful it was. She’s in this upper northwest corner that’s a lot like the Fox Valley and, uh, like, a string of cities like Appleton, Oshkosh, and Menasha, and there’s some big companies located there, Walmart headquarters and, uh, Tyson food headquarters.

Interviewer:  Oh.

Respondent:  So it’s very prosperous area, and the university, the campus is just beautiful. The Ozark Mountains and beautiful lakes. It’s very, very pretty there.

Interviewer:  Oh, that’s nice. Uh, so are you more of, uh, more of an outdoors person, then?

Respondent:  Um, yeah, I guess I am.

Interviewer:  You mentioned, um, the mountains in Montana and Colorado. Are you, do you ski?

Respondent:  Yes, I still ski even at my age, but only about once a year, and I, I’m slowing down a little bit, but I still love getting out there and . . .

Interviewer:  Have you ever tried snowboarding?

Respondent:  No, I think the window of opportunity for my snowboarding days are over. Do you snowboard?

Interviewer:  I tried it once. It terrified me, um, but, I always wanted to learn to ski. When did you learn to ski?

Respondent:  Oh, I think my mom started taking us when I was in high school and my brother and sister were in junior high, elementary school. So I’ve been skiing for a long time.

Interviewer:  That’s nice. Do you go with your family now, or . . . ?

Respondent:  Ah, no, I usually just go with my, we used to have a girls’ ski weekend up in the, Upper Michigan, and we did that for many, many years but recently I only ski once a year and that’s when I go visit my friend in Bozeman, Montana.

Interviewer:  Oh, OK. Who did you do that, the ski weekend with?

Respondent:  Oh, I did it with a whole bunch of my friends here from Oshkosh. I think we had like eleven or twelve girls—

Interviewer:  {That’s so fun.

Respondent:  —that would} (make) the trip up. It was really fun, lots of fun.

Interviewer:  How long have you been doing that trip? Or, did you used to do that trip?

Respondent:  I think we did that trip for about fifteen years, and then one of the gals in a, that was part of our group, and her husband bought a place in, Telluride, and after that happened, then they started going there instead, and it just kinda fell apart a little bit, so I kinda quit doing that.

Interviewer:  That’s kinda nice that you get to go on an annual basis, though.

Respondent:  It was a fun, it was a very fun time for us in our youth.

Interviewer:  What else do you enjoy doing in your, in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies?

Respondent:  Um, I have a lot of yard that I have to take care of, so, I guess, gardening is a hobby of mine in the summertime, and I like to golf. I like hiking.

Interviewer:  And you, do you garden for anything in particular, or . . . ?

Respondent:  Um, no, I have a small vegetable garden, and I ha-, I have quite a few perennials, but, uh, it’s, (it’s) a lot. It’s almost too much. I need more help.

Interviewer:  I (xx) that trouble with g-, with, with gardening, but, um, what about golfing? Do you go on a course with a group of people, or . . . ?

Respondent:  I have a couple retired teacher friends that I golf with about once a week or so, once or twice a week, and, uh, I’m not a fabulous golfer, but I’m good enough to not be totally frustrated out there anymore.

Interviewer:  That must be relaxing, too, with the walking around and . . .

Respondent:  Pardon me?

Interviewer:  That seems like a, a relaxing activity as well.

Respondent:  Well, it’s nice. It’s, you know, always in beautiful surroundings, and I get a nice walk in, visit with your friends, it’s fun.

Interviewer:  That’s nice. I’m gonna (xx) it but what would you say is your favorite golfing experience, or gardening experience, or story?

Respondent:  Um, oh, let’s see, I have a, I have a nice golf story. I was golfing with my mother. We were in Florida on a little executive golf course, and it was a par-three hole, and I stood up there, and I hadn’t golfed in quite a while. It was January, and I swung the club and completely missed the ball, and my mom started laughing, and said, “Oh, I didn’t see that.” And then I swung again, and the ball went straight for the pin, and I thought it could be a hole-in-one which wouldn’t have counted because I whiffed the first, the first shot, and, uh, it landed about two, landed about two inches away from the hole, and I tapped it in, and, uh, I told my mother that, uh, I would have had a hole-in-one I wouldn’t have been able to count it, and she would have been my “whiff-ness,” because she saw me whiff the ball.

Interviewer:  Oh, no. Oh, that’s so sad. I didn’t know it didn’t count if you missed the first one.

Respondent:  It wouldn’t have. Technically, I would have had to have counted that, and it would not have counted as a hole-in-one, but it didn’t go in. It was about two inches away, but we had a good laugh about that.

Interviewer:  Oh, that’s, that’s funny. Did you, now, when you golf, does that, if you miss the swing the first time . . . ?

Respondent:  You’re supposed to count it. If you swing and miss, you are supposed to count it.

Interviewer:  OK. I don’t, I don’t really know rules of golf, but, um, that makes sense.

Respondent:  But when I’m out golfing with my friends, and we have beginners that are with us, and we’re just out for a good time, and we’re not, no league and our score doesn’t count for anything, we usually don’t make somebody count if they miss the ball.

Interviewer:  That’s nice. It’s just time with friends then.

Respondent:  It’s just time with friends. We’re supposed to be out there having fun.

Interviewer:  That’s really nice to catch up with, catch up with friends that way. Now, on these girls’ ski weekends, did you, was it strictly your girlfriends, or did you ever bring people with, like, families and stuff?

Respondent:  Well, we have, like, three different sets of sisters that are also friends, so we do, we do have some sisters that come along, and, uh, but that makes it really special, too.

Interviewer:  And do your sisters go along as well, or . . . ? {Or did they?

Respondent:  My sister} did. Yes, I have one sister, and she comes along. That’s my, my sister, [beep], daughter in Arkansas, who’s a N-C-double-A gymnast.

Interviewer:  Wow.

Respondent:  Yes, and she just graduated, and her last season she ended her career by being SEC [beep] and [beep] on floor and vault.

Interviewer:  That’s amazing.

Respondent:  Yeah, she’s an amazing girl.

Interviewer:  Wow, did she, I’m assuming she, did she start early then?

Respondent:  Yes, like, at two, two-years-old I think she (xx) her first tumbling class.

Interviewer:  Wow, and, do you know, what’s her favorite, um, favorite part?

Respondent:  She likes it all, but I think, her biggest challenge is the bars, but, uh, otherwise I think she likes it all, and now I don’t know what she’s gonna do, now that it’s over, but it will be interesting to see where her career takes her.

Interviewer:  You mentioned there was a lot in Arkansas. Do you, is she gonna stay there, or . . . ?

Respondent:  She is going to stay there. Yes, she got a job being a coach at a local gym down there, and there’s some other opportunities coming up. So we’ll see what happens.

Interviewer:  That sounds like a good fit, though.

Respondent:  Yes, I think she’s making a good, good start.

Interviewer:  That’s nice. So you get to see her often, or does she come {up—

Respondent:  Um,} we saw her a lot during the gymnastics season because it was her senior year. My sister and I went to every meet. So that was every weekend we were traveling.

Interviewer:  Wow.

Respondent:  And we made it to every meet except one when we were stranded in an airport and, uh, didn’t get to Arkansas till eleven thirty at night with no luggage.

Interviewer:  Oh, no.

Respondent:  Yes, we had lots of interesting travel experiences this last winter, but, uh, they’re over now. She graduated. She was home for about a month, and she just left this morning to go back to Arkansas.

Interviewer:  Were most of her meets in Arkansas then?

Respondent:  Um, no, but most were in the Southeast this year. She had, like, we went to Florida, Georgia, Alabama, um, I can’t even remember where all, all she went, and i-, in the past we’ve had meets in California, Colorado, Louisiana. Uh, we traveled quite, (more than a few) places in the last four years with her.

Interviewer:  That’s nice to have that as part of, part of how you grow up, though, for her.

Respondent:  Yes, it’s been really nice for me, (xx) follow her, ’cause I, my husband and I didn’t have any children, so, been really nice to be so close to my niece and nephew.

Interviewer:  That’s nice.


Oshkosh: NewWI207

Interviewer:  OK, let’s begin. Uh, as I mentioned, for the first fifteen minutes of our interview, uh, let’s talk about any topic that interests you. Um, I suppose we could begin, I, by talking about Oshkosh. I think I’ve been there, like, once or twice. Uh, what would you, if there’s anything special about Oshkosh that you think other Wisconsinites, uh, ought to know about?

Respondent:  Hmm. Well, we have a great library. Uh, that’s where I work, but people come from out of state for the, um, Exper-, Experimental Aircraft Association convention, which is also something special about Oshkosh that draws people from all over the world, actually. Um, it is in late July, and it’s a convention for people who love aircraft and the history of aircraft. (Yeah,) so that’s special. It’s a, it’s a town that’s, uh, uh, on the water, so we try to capitalize on, um, the use of our water system. The, um, Lake Winnebago is one of the largest inland lakes in the country, and it’s freshwater, so that’s something special about Oshkosh. Also, the people in the town are just lovely people.

Interviewer:  {I’ve never heard, er—

Respondent:  (xx) university, as well.}

Interviewer:  Oh, yeah, I had, uh, I had visited, um, UW-Oshkosh once before, but other than that, I haven’t really been, uh, around the town much.

Respondent:  Mm-hmm. We’re trying to be progressive, um, not like Madison, of course, but on our way. We’re getting a food co-op, and, uh, we’re starting to get, you know, on board with the sustainable living and farm-to-table restaurant scene, and things like that.

Interviewer:  Tell me more about this, uh, experimental aviation show. I’ve never heard of it.

Respondent:  Well, it takes place in late July; it’s over a, probably a nine-day period. People come and camp on the grounds of the, uh, regional airport, which is Wittman Field, and it spreads, uh, around a large, um, area out by our airfield, and aircraft come in from all over the world; people come in their planes, and we also have, uh, representatives from, you know, the Voyager was here a few years ago. Uh, air-, uh, warplanes come, and then there are vendors, of course, selling everything, aer-, aeronautical. Uh, it’s just a big convention, and it attracts people because, you know, like-minded people love to, hobbyists, come and talk about their craft, and see other aircraft, and, in a beautiful, uh, facility out, uh, by the airport grounds, and a museum, and, uh, it’s just very fun.

Interviewer:  Would you say it’s anything like, uh, state fair down in li-, uh, West Allis, Milwaukee area?

Respondent:  I wouldn’t, it’s not a state fair in any way, really; it’s more of a, I-I would call it a convention.

Interviewer:  That’s interesting. Because that’s the, I suppose that would be the closest I could compare it to. I’ve never, I mean, I go to state fair a lot; I, like, live down there pretty much, but . . . Uh, well let’s see, um, let’s see, what else were you saying? Uh, let’s say you were trying to convince a friend of yours to move to Oshkosh. What would be your number-one selling point?

Respondent:  Well, it’s, it’s a perfect-sized town, it’s, you know, and we’ve pretty much remained, uh, at a level of, of, uh, population of about between fifty-six and sixty thousand. And there are very good schools, it’s small enough to, uh, pay attention to detail. We have a revitalized downtown scene, like I said, a beautiful library, great schools, good neighborhoods, low crime, um, the housing is, is affordable. It’s on the water, we have a park system, we are very close to, uh, other places you would go for culture if Osh-, if Oshkosh isn’t enough; we’re an hour and a half north of Milwaukee, an hour and a half from Madison, our wonderful state capital. Um, Green Bay is home of the Green Bay Packers, which is an hour north, so it’s pretty centrally located. Uh, there’s an outlet mall here with a lot of different, uh, very desirable name-brand outlets. What else do we have? Um, like I said, we’re also in close proximity to all these other places; we’re only three hours from Chicago. Uh, that’s about it.

Interviewer:  Mm. How’s the weather up there, actually? I’d, {I’m kinda—

Respondent:  (The weather?)}

Interviewer:  —hung up on that. Yeah, I’d, I just walked over to work from here, and it was absolutely beautiful outside; it was like eighty {degrees and sunny.

Respondent:  The weather’s} beautiful right now [laugh], but, um, you know, it’s typical Wisconsin weather. Wait five minutes and it’ll change. It’s, uh, sometimes long, brutal winters, um, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful summers, and, uh, and as I said, the waterway, the, the, Lake Winnebago is a big draw. People come from Chicago to Lake Winnebago. There are, there’s sturgeon fishing in the winter; there’s, you know, all other kinds of fishing in the summer, and, uh, the weather is typical Wisconsin weather. It’s, Oshkosh is not very much different than,I suppose it’s a little warmer in Milwaukee and Racine down south. Sometimes the days are warmer in Madison when we go there, but not that much of a fluctuation. Uh, the average temperature, seventy to eighty in summers; spring is anywhere from late March to late May, and it should be sixties. Fall is beautiful, so really, winters are the only time that you can expect undesirable weather, even though some people love them.

Interviewer:  What about you? Do you love the winters up there? I can, I can tell you, I’m sick of them.

Respondent:  I do not love winter. I, I’m not, I’m not a snowbird kind of, type of person where, we don’t go south in the winter, we stay here, and we find things to do. We’re outdoor, uh, very active outdoors, so we went snowshoeing, and we go cross-country skiing, and we just go for hikes. There are trail systems all over the state, and, uh, we just put our hiking boots on and get out there, because that’s what you have to do in winter, but I don’t desire winter. We just kind of muddle our way through and try to get enough exercise until we can get outdoors for it. We just got back from a trip to California. I can talk about travel a lot. [laugh]

Interviewer:  What did y-, well, what, uh, what did you do or where’d you go in California?

Respondent:  We flew in to San Francisco, and ever-, we’ve done this about, maybe sixteen times since we’ve been married. We always fly in to the city, and then we go, either south, north, east, or west in California, depending on what it is we want to do. This time we went north, up to Lake Tahoe, and actually we did a lot of different areas in California in the ten days that we were there. We, um, we drove to the wine country first off, which is only an hour north of the city, and we went to a couple outdoor winery, um, garden parties, if you will, and a wine, uh, tour, and then we drove north to Lake Tahoe, which, uh, is another, I found out, one of the third, in the third of the largest or deepest lakes in the country, freshwater, and it’s just beautiful. It’s, uh, it can get to sixteen hundred sixty-five feet deep, which, if you think about it, whoa. Um, and it’s totally clear and beautiful; it’s just a gorgeous area. There’s high elevation there, which is what my husband and I do always on our trips; we go west most of the time, to mountains, and we go off-season, so we don’t go to ski, we go to hike. And, uh, we hiked in Lake Tahoe, uh, on the Tahoe Rim trail, and we were on the Pacific Crest Trail for a while. We do day hikes that are six to seven hours long. Um, and just get a nice workout. We also rented bikes, and rode the bikes on a pathway up there along the, I can’t remember what the word, but oh, I think it’s called the Donner River. You know, Donner Pass is up there. Do you know the story about Donner Pass?

Interviewer:  I don’t, actually.

Respondent:  It [laugh] is a very well-known story about, um, a bunch of people who were trying to make it to California, and they, this was way back in the, oh, boy, now my history is gonna, eighteen hundreds, I guess, and, um, they got snowed in, and they, it was horrendous, they, uh, they were starving, and they didn’t have water, and they were stuck in the snow, and they had to, um, well, there’s no way to put this delicately, resort to cannibalism. So they, it was not a good story. [laugh] And the Donner Pass memorial is up there by Lake Tahoe. Um, it’s a museum, and you can read all about how horrendous the conditions were, and what happened to those people.

Interviewer:  Uh-huh. I didn’t, I never knew there was a mem-, I never knew there was a memorial about it.

Respondent:  Oh, yes. You should educate yourself on that. It’s really quite an interesting story about the pioneering of this country. So there’s that, and, um, then when we came back from there, we, what did we do? We went along the coast, Point Reyes, which is a beautiful, beautiful area on the ocean, north of San Francisco. And then we went to a, another wine festival on Sunday after-, Saturday afternoon before we flew back. And, uh, met a lot of people, some that we will probably stay in touch with.

Interviewer:  I’ve heard that, I, uh, the only places I’ve been to in, um, in California were, I was, I flew into the L.A. area (there), around, like, UCLA, and then went to Santa Monica and, like, Venice Beach, but I’ve never been, uh, north (xx), but I heard that San Francisco is, like, an absolutely beautiful city.

Respondent:  It is, and it’s almost, it almost feels like a different, um, state. Mm, Los Angeles is Los Angeles; I mean, it’s, it’s just, oh, overrun with people, a lot of traffic, and I’m not sure I like the vibe there. We went there, uh, as part of our honeymoon thirty years ago, but, um, we haven’t really been back there since. We like the north, northern part, over the bridge, um, is called Marin County, and while it’s, it has, you know, uh, blossomed greatly in population since we started going there, it is still just much more beautiful for us, because it’s green as green can be, and there are rolling hills, and it’s on the ocean, and it’s just a little more temperate, uh, uh, climate, I think, than Los Angeles, which strikes me as being a little more, little hotter, um, and it’s just beautiful.

Interviewer:  You said you travel a lot westward. What other places would you say you travel?

Respondent:  We’ve been anywhere there are mountains. We’ve been to Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Vancouver, Canada, you know, British Columbia, Alberta, um, other Western states. (xx) Colorado—

Interviewer:  What would you say, what would you, or it sounds like San Franci-, or, goodness, I’m sorry for interrupting you, it sounds like, uh, you know, San Francisco’s a personal favorite, or at least a favorite of you and your husband, but, what would you say is, uh, assuming that one is your favorite, would you say is your second favorite place to go to?

Respondent:  Uh, without a doubt, uh, there are two that vie for our favorites, and that is, um, Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Glacier, uh, National Park in Montana.

Interviewer:  Why is that?

Respondent:  Because it’s just the most beautiful place on earth.

Interviewer:  Could you describe it?

Respondent:  Uh, yes. It is paradise. There are high, beautiful, snow-capped peaks, there are gorgeous turquoise clear lakes, there are meadows filled with wildflowers, there are streams that are clear and clean and rushing, and I can’t picture anything more beautiful than the sunshine on a gorgeous day, with a blue-sky backdrop and, uh, a hiking trail in front of me. It’s just, it’s God’s gift to us. Completely free, it’ll heal you, nature.

Interviewer:  OK. Uh, thank you very much for this conversation. Uh, let’s move on to the—

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