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NORFOLK WOMEN'S ORAL HISTORY PROJECT

JEAN E. FRIEDMAN, COORDINATOR
INTERVIEW 2

Life experiences of a Jewish woman who came to New York in 1922 and to Tidewater in late 1939. Includes work history, sexual history, and sexual attitudes, with a focus on sex roles of the 1930's.

Interviewer: Jean E. Friedman
(Interview taken at Jewish Community Center)

Transcribed: October 5, 1983
ODU ARCHIVES


Interviewer: Could you approximate your age when you were married? How old you were when you married?

Jewish Woman: Oh, how old? I don't remember. No, how can I say? I just gave an age. 21! I gave an age I think.

Interviewer: Do you know how old your husband was?

Jewish Woman: He was in his, he was like thirty, thirty-one, something like that.

Interviewer: Umm -- were you employed?

Jewish Woman: No, I was not employed. I used to work now and then but I was not employed. You know, steadily. I lived with my sister who became widowed and she always wanted to have me and my younger sister with her. For sort of her, for her life, to make it easier for her. She was grieving very much. She was left with two children, the other was born after, shortly after he died. So, she in order for her to get over, she always kept us with her.

Interviewer: What about your educational background?

Jewish Woman: My education is very disarranged. Uh, I couldn't get an education, it's always like from others. I told you I was very curious and impressed by everything and I always wanted to catch up with my little girlfriend. It was hard to come by education at that time. Even though the earlier school and my, my, and I told you my parents were very, very religious especially my father. And they would not excuse -- yes, orthodox -- the school there, those who took charge of it. The school, the teachers, whatever it is whatever they are I should say, did not excuse Jewish children from writing on Sabbath. There was school on Saturday too. So, my parents wouldn't hear of it. So, I had to lick the book some other way. I learned from my little girlfriends. I used to make lessons with them and I was always with them. Until the revolution came and then, that was educational too but, Boy- Oh-Boy educational in some barns to hide youself from bandits. I didn't know why I had to hide, to run for my life since I haven't done anything to anybody.

Interviewer: UMM, about how old were you when the Revolution came?

Jewish Woman: I was a youngster growing up.

Interviewer: About eight year old?

Jewish Woman: No. Older a couple of years.

Interviewer: Twelve?

Jewish Woman: I was about thirteen years old, something like that. I feel that I was growing up and I wanted to be big already, you see. Now I want to be young. Then I wanted to be older, so I know I was young.

Interviewer: Umm, what kinds of things were you interested in, you know, when you were learning with your friends, trying to learn?

Jewish Woman: I was interested anything life holds that is beautiful and I was interested in dancing and singing. As a matter of fact, I entertain now a little bit and when it comes to dancing, I like to dance at all to the list.

Interviewer: Do you think that if your life wouldn't of been disrupted by the the revolution-

Jewish Woman: If I would live in one place, even with poor, poor parents, then you could establish it somehow. But if you have to run back and forth and be afraid of life and limb then you naturally, you can not establish anything of yourself except to learn from whatever you can if you want to learn and I certainly did.

Interviewer: Were there possiblities, at all, for you to become a dancer in Russia? Do you think that would have veen a real possibility even if you hadn't -

Jewish Woman: I uh -- at that time, Payola was the prime, you see, and I've heard of her so much, that I wanted to be, I wanted to be her. Yes, don't we all try to, yeah I thought if I could only do that. I'd have everything to do. So, like her, look I know now it takes so much practicing, but aside from practicing I thought I had all the abilities. I was not bad looking and I am the rhythm that needs for ballet and all the desires.

Interviewer: So, you wanted to become a ballet dancer?

Jewish Woman: I certainly wanted that, at different times. I don't know which one, I had so many different dreams and desires. I was quite a dreamer. I didn't know at times which precedented over the other.

Interviewer: Okay, you were saying you wanted to be -

Jewish Woman: I wanted to be alot of things but I couldn't be one.

Interviewer: Well, how did your family feel about you being a dancer or having dreams?

Jewish Woman: They didn't know. That was in me. I never expressed my desires.

Interviewer: What did your father-

Jewish Woman: I just had that feeling and desire in me.

Interviewer: Ummm -- Did your family ever talk to you about what they wanted you to do after you grew up?

Jewish Woman: How could they. They were so busy to make the meal food and shelter and then, uh, my mother was the business woman. She got sick, and two brothers and two sisters older than I am went to American, sold the house, because we had no means to live on because my mother didn't do anything anymore. And she was ill and I was left with an ill mother and what else - anything -- at that time I felt like playing on the steets with my little girlfriends. And I had to watch over my mother and I was pretty torn in pieces. I mean, how can you think about anything else. The dreamer, the stars, the moon -- I had quite a penchant for it.

Interviewer: What did your father do?

Jewish Woman: Well, first he was a teacher. I don't know, not for my age, that's what I heard from the elders. A lot of what I write in my manuscript -- I wrote what I heard. I established it, what I heard from my older sisters and brothers, my parents, neighbors. First, he was a teacher. He must have married very young in life from the Talmud Torah. I guess they didn't see each other before the marriage, and afterwards naturally mother saw that uh, she started trading with the peasants around in two villages and that -- and then we had to hide ourselves. We lived in a town you know -- Kiev state. And then we had to live in the village for security sake. We went there after our children were in America. We went to live with them -- you know -- the peasants used to like the people they deal with and uh, naturally they liked us and gave us security. If they heard anybody coming through, they would hide us in the barns, in the hay, in straw, wherever it is, so they wouldn't find us. I don't know! I used to always ask my mother, my father, why should we hide ourself, what have we done?

Interviewer: Were you, you know, I talked to a number of we -- their adults now, but a number of people. When they were children, went through the wars. They talk about two things - either they were terrified or they enjoyed it as children. You know it was exciting.

Jewish Woman: Enjoyed what??

Interviewer: Enjoyed the uh, well like the , the dog parks -- in Hyde Park. It seemed to them the glamour of war and they didn't really understand. Now, were you terrified as a child going through all this, or, you know, what did you feel, that it was just exciting moving from town to town?

Jewish Woman: What kind of excitement? When I have so many other beautiful things to indulge in and Uh -- and dream and sing in harmony with my little girlfriends -- the school songs? Who would enjoy anything like that I don't know. They must be sick in their mind!

Interviewer: Was it, you were probably old enough, older than most of these people were to realize the terror --

Jewish Woman: At what?

Interviewer: Of the revolution.

Jewish Woman: Of course! I realized the revolution! My father came from the synagogue. That's where all the news you know. Then the man would bring it home and while they ate lunch, we used to call it dinner. The lunch was the biggest. The mid-day lunch was the biggest. You see supper was anything, but lunch. And I still cannot call my supper dinner. Unless you go out for dinner like at eight o'clock. Uh, what was this question? Excuse me.

Interviewer: I just wondered if you were terrified mostly growing up.

Jewish Woman: What do you mean terrified? Everything happended to a person. Even loose stomach from fright. I cannot retell what happened. It's not really to tell -- it was horrible. It was just like a tornado hit us when there was an attack. First, there were pogroms. I remember as a child that I was carried but they didn't materialize. I remember children would hit me and I would call them hateful children, I don't call them Christian children. They are hateful and because Christian children supposed to be good. So, I call them hateful. And uh, when I, during the Revolution, it was a different era, such chaos and different armies would come. Anybody could a get an army together and call himself commander and everything. In the beginning, it was rob and beat and then it was kill and kill. It was believe me. I showed you the picture of the victims of the first pogrom.

Interviewer: When did you come to this country?

Jewish Woman: 1922. That I remember.

Interviewer: Where did you, how did you get along?

Jewish Woman: I was very hard for me to get adjusted. I had a very good family. I had two sisters and two brothers who didn't know what to do for us. My mother and my younger sister and I come here together. My father died of hunger and disease. Because we came from Kiev, you know we couldn't stand it there anymore in our town, somehow we get it together all those Jews that were left and there and be, all the wagons and some boys stole that were killed in our lot. The boys who took us there on horsepacking riding and they had guns, took us to the boat, and were there till -- until we left for Kiev. And Kiev at that time, the government was changing every minute. Everybody waged war on Kiev and they, Yeah--they put us in a big home from all over Kiev state you see. And they became, became clean and diseased of course there was an epidemic all over but more so there. And then, that's all.

Interviewer: When you got here did you come in through New York?

Jewish Woman: Yes, we came in through New York.

Interviewer: Were you married by that time?

Jewish Woman: No. Oh no. I was very much single. I was starting already to enjoy company of young male students believe it or not. As educated as I was! It was hard when you get used to nice company you know, the club, I nice club. But I guess everybody else had to leave and left too.

Interviewer: Well, how did you live? Did you have a job after you arrived here?

Jewish Woman: After I arrived here, that's what I said. What? You tell me, because it's the first time I hold these things. (Laughter).

Interviewer: You're doing very well. Did you have a job after you got here?

Jewish Woman: I used to work at times, at different things but in general they were so tickled that we came. They were so tickled they couldn't sleep-day-night -- My brother, my older brother, he had a store, he sold it, he couldn't rest until we came. He went to Washington every month and he pleaded with them to take us out. They were so terrified that the father wasn't with us anymore and. So, they didn't know what, actually I had it against them that they didn't leave me work. It was hard. I thought I would get adjusted better if I would work with people. But they get me like something -- like a bird in a cage and I didn't like it.

Interviewer: The immigration people kept you?

Jewish Woman: No, my family, my family!

Interviewer: To protect you?

Jewish Woman: Yes! They were very protective. They thought we need healing up. We needed healing up but they didn't know what to do for us.

Interviewer: Well, when did you marry?

Jewish Woman: Eight years later. Eight years after I got to the United States. I got married and there came a child with birth injuries and then Depression. Right there in Depression I gave birth to a child. And my husband worked as a teller in a bank. The bank closed and then he became at something else and it was very -- soup lines. I'm getting into the Depression -- soup lines. I lived in Chicago at that time. Uh -- were terrible in the winter, and it's cold in the winter. It could be below zero. Many times during the winter, the winds are horrible and uh -- it-I owed a bill for him. He was sick. You know he had a cerebral hemorrhage. So, he had to drink a certain milk. Lactic acid they called it. I think you could call it like a cream buttermilk. It cost more than the usual milk and I had milk in there. My husband had a little bit of a job. I owed $20.00 and my husband was looking again for a job so uh, he was not the only one. So, he said, why don't you go to charity? He said, I'm not going to stop the milk. It was $20.00 for it. That was a lot of money at that time, you know. You can stop me. I don't know, but I'm not going to charity. Because I feel he's going to get a job. Well, he did get a job. So, I paid him a dollar a month on top of what I paid him each week. Then his brother and his mother were in Los Angeles. So, he bought on my payment a car and we went there in the car. I remember we got $20.00 for gas and food and everything like that and… Who talked about eating? I would have lived without food.

Interviewer: You, excuse me, you went from Chicago to Los Angeles....

Jewish Woman: Yeah we had $20.00 to pocket.

Interviewer: Excuse me, could you tell me something about that trip if you remember what it was like?

Jewish Woman: I don't know, when you are young, it was beautiful, beautiful. When you I forget, go out on the road you forget. You don't think of the future. If you do think, everything is going to be rosy, you see especially I am a dreamer and I am not too practical. Practically, yeah I'm a dreamer no matter how much I go through. I dream but I still have my feet on the ground. With it I'm a combination of anything I don't know what you call it -- good or bad but that's what I am.

Interviewer: How did you get from Los Angeles to Chicago on $20.00?

Jewish Woman: We got it I can assure it. We put it away, this is what we're going to spend and this is how we do it. The only thing I can tell you that we didn't indulge in is much food. The only thing -- for the baby there should be enough. I really started there. It was still worse because a lot of people were coming there looking for jobs in the movies and so on. What didn't they do selling drinks, selling juice, it was horrible. And then there were the young boys who work. It was 1939, 1938. .1938, the young boys, you could see anything on the streets written down -- slogans. Every corner had "We want jobs -- we don't want war." "We want jobs --with crayon, the sidewalks on each corner.

Interviewer: Well, do you know much about how these fellows survived?

Jewish Woman: No, I mean I don't know these fellows. I saw them writing it down and going away. What I know about them?

Interviewer: How did you get along?

Jewish Woman: Probably got killed in a war.

Interviewer: How did you get along in Los Angeles? Did you husband get a job?

Jewish Woman: Very bad. The air was wonderful. I don't know how it is now. It was just delicious. I must tell you again the wonders of being young. The way you can brace up again when you go down. Right now my life is a matter of submerging and emerging. And I am trying to emerge because I have a lot of beautiful memories through this stormy weather.

Interviewer: How did you survive in Los Angeles? What job did your husband have?

Jewish Woman: He had a job: $10.00 a week. $10.00 a week in those playing machines. So, I paid $25.00 rent for a bungalow. So, believe me I weighed 98 pounds. I feel better than I feel now. (Laughter) I lived on air and the air was delicious.

Interviewer: But you had your family there then?

Jewish Woman: I didn't have no family. My family were left here.

Interviewer: His family was there?

Jewish Woman: His family yeah, but its alright. He used to give a few dollars now and then -- his brother. We lived by ourselves already you know. We came once a visit and the next time we came to live there.So, its different. The visit -- we lived with them. And when we came to stay here -- we got a place. It was very gloomy. The war you can just feel it. You can just touch it. It seems as if this change it came. After the war, they wrote us from here to take your smarties and come here. (Laughter). So, they sent us money and we came by train. Oh no, his brother gave us money and we went by train in Portsmouth and that's where we lived until we got a little dinky store.

Interviewer: You came to Portsmouth in 1941?

Jewish Woman: I came between 1939-1941, the end of '39 something like that.

Interviewer: Do you remember much about Portsmouth in '39? When you first came? What was it like?

Jewish Woman: Well, it was much better than there!

Interviewer: There were jobs in Portsmouth?

Jewish Woman: Yeah, he got a job at provision company. My husband. And, uh, we stayed there for awhile and they bought for us a little grocery. The neighborhood isn't even there. We worked very hard.

Interviewer: Did you have any other children at this time?

Jewish Woman: No, my husband didn't want any more children. He said lightning might strike twice. I did want children. He didn't want it, so I still have this one. He is very smart but disabled.

Interviewer: Well, now your business -- you got - was it in '4l? Something like that?

Jewish Woman: Yes, something like that.

Interviewer: Did you work with your husband in the business?

Jewish Woman: (heavy sigh) Yes.

Interviewer: And that was what? A full-time job for both of you?

Jewish Woman: It was a full-time from (Laughter) six a.m. to eleven p.m. Selling a penny cigarette, a penny cookie, of course, there were other things to sell but this is what at this time you sold. A penny cookie, a penny cigarette, and they used to come for it every minute until both of us got sick. I got sick. I went to the hospital with nervous tension. It was a restricted neighborhood you know. It was horrible. I came here. It's not America's fault, I didn't get any dessert. It's just a matter how life folds for someone.

Interviewer: Where was this restricted neighborhood in Portsmouth?

Jewish Woman: It was -- were you born in Portsmouth?

Interviewer: No.

Jewish Woman: Oh -- then you wouldn't know! You see there is a new neighborhood near the triangle, a colored neighborhood. Water used to come there and the high tide. If a high tide met up with a rain, there was the water. Vacant. A prarie, like a fort in front of the store. And the water would come within a quarter yard of the store.

Interviewer: Well, how did you stay in business there?

Jewish Woman: That's how you stayed!!! There is no alternative. Israel get to be no alternative.

Interviewer: That's amazing!

Jewish Woman: Huh?

Interviewer: That is amazing.

Jewish Woman: Are you wondering why I have a manuscript?

Interviewer: Yes, I'm very interested in it.

Jewish Woman: I know. I asked you whether you are wondering, since you hardly babble.

Interviewer: OK! Tell me, tell me about it.

Jewish Woman: No, I can't tell you. Although, if you want to type, you'll see. I need a typist.

Interviewer: Uh, you'll have a tough time.

Jewish Woman: I know. You see, I have it already. I have about one hundred and sixty pages typed. I have the beginning and the end. I have it full. But I like to improve it a little bit. Inserts.

Interviewer: Well, you don't want to talk about what you're writing. What interests me is the fact that you are writing and uh --

Jewish Woman: I have written already and now I am thinking. Every time I find out, I write something down. All the pages out of my mind and I get a little paper and I scribble on a little paper, this is this and I'm going to put there.

Interviewer: When did you start writing?

Jewish Woman: I long time ago and I wasn't serious till a book "EVA" came out. Eva, the persecution of Hitler. It came out and it is if I may criticize it. It's a free country. I guess you can criticize it. It's horrible really but you've got to put sex in a book to make it sellable. And she has put plenty in there. You know the facts about the persecution alone is enough. I think this is a thing of almost a documentary. Mine, I didn't set out to write. I'm not a writer anyway but it's just I had a story to tell! But uh, inadvertently it is documentary. It is unique. The episodes are very unique -- the happenings. And Germany too. Germany is more uniformed. They had a camp and they burned them -- of course with some exceptions. But in Europe. I can't even talk about it. It was not very much in quantity but in quality it was very thick there. So, I am very angry with the people here and I'm going to establish with the people here that they shouldn't put the Holocaust. They had a memoriam for Holocaust. It's not Holocaust it's Holocause. He wanted just us people -- Germany. I am sorry. It is a horrible thing. So many millions what about the others, not in million killed. It's just the same. It's horrible. Why shouldn't it be Holocaus, than Holocaust. Now the young people wouldn't know. This is Germany. It started with Germany. The persecution.

Interviewer: What interests me was that the anti-Semitism was not just or Russia. It was America too. And you lived in the worst sections, with the worst experiences then you come to America, which was supposed to be the land of freedom and you had to put up with a restricted neighborhood and put up with this kind of...

Jewish Woman: Sure. What do you mean? How did you understand it as restricted neighborhood?

Interviewer: You said--

Jewish Woman: The colored folks? They themselves were afraid to walk, at night.

Interviewer: You said in Portsmouth you lived in --

Jewish Woman: In Norfolk then, in Norfolk the store. In Norfolk, I got the the s-tore, we got the store, this is --

Interviewer: Do you think that it was just the thirties that this particular like anti-Semitism was--

Jewish Woman: This wasn't a matter of anti-Semitism in restriction.

Interviewer: Oh! What was it?

Jewish Woman: It was they used to get drunk and kill each other.

Interviewer: Oh I see, I see.

Jewish Woman: You see, that's unfortunate. It was a beaten up neighborhood. I used to call it what was left of Hiroshima. It was such a beaten up neighborhood. And the people there, I don't know if it was their fault. I, I, I'm not an authority on that. But they drank. They had croaches (?). I suppose or they had a fight and knifed each other.

Interviewer: You didn't find anti--Semitism that strong?

Jewish Woman: No. Oh well, you always find a little bit everywhere. I did find there but uh, no, I can't talk about, it. I have different stories about it. I have plenty. I met up with anti-Semitism. If you want to write a book with me I'll give you material.

Interviewer: Uh-huh! Well, generally what kinds of anti-Semitism did you find living here?

Jewish Woman: Well. Individuals. Individual people. You think I didn't hear. It's here a little bit, here and there and everywhere. It didn't evaporage yet. Not yet.

Interviewer: UMM! Do you remember what you were reading in the thirties when you were first married? Did you do much reading then?

Jewish Woman: No, no! I was --

Interviewer: Relaxing?

Jewish Woman: All my reading...I used to read now and then if they brought up. We had a friend. A Russian friend -- quite intellectual. They used to come out with something that was interesting so I used to read. Otherwise, I didn't indulge in reading because as it so happens, my maid didn't come every day and I had to do my work (Laughter). I had to do my work and worry for tomorrow's day.

Jewish Woman: So, I couldn't relax and read. That's the only time you can read, when you relax, and leave all the other burdens to fly in the air.

Interviewer: So. Where was you Russian friend? This was in Chicago?

Jewish Woman: In Chicago. In Chicago.

Interviewer: What kinds of things did you do for relaxation?

Jewish Woman: Oh, we used to go in a park, go in a movie. We used to get together mainly with the club. We used to get together and sing songs and dance, go out sometimes to a restaurant. Go to the popular concerts they had every Thursday. Every Thursday they had popular concerts which meant appealing music, familiar, popular music or sometimes a ballet. We used to go every week someplace to feed ourselves.

Interviewer: Do you remember the movies you saw?

Jewish Woman: Oh, all the movies. My goodness! Like Joan Crawford, The Dancing Daughters came out. Then the Mad Max, Of Human Bondage. I always go to a movie which is worthwhile. I haven't gone to a movie which is worthwhile. I haven't gone to a movie since Dr. Zhivago came out because I don't think there is hardly a movie worthwhile to see. Then with the TV, if you want something you can--

Interviewer: The movies you saw portrayed very strong women in control of their life's. Is this the impression you got of Women? Your ideal of what the American women were? That they were like Joan Crawford, that they were tough? That they could take care of themselves? Is that the ideal woman that you remember?

Jewish Woman: Well, uh, I found people actually the same as in Russia. Of course, we look alike very much so and I know that there very much the same and you know, no matter how much I'm not a pro at makeup. I still know for a fact. We should know that just like the American soldiers that the Russian soldiers, would come to the rescue of civilian people. They would have compassion. They are not like a Hitler army. That's one thing I can tell you. I found that out.

Interviewer: So, the bad name that the Russian army actually had came from the German army?

Jewish Woman: I don't know who got it with the red herring. Actually, the, it is somethings that are not bad there. Somethings that are -- you see a lot of people are going away because they want more of a free live. They don't feel like, like they are on their own. That's what I think.

Interviewer: Just getting back to the Russian Army. Why would you say that the Russian army was as Compassionate --

Jewish Woman: Because they are not killers. I know they are not killers. I have confidence in the Russian people in general. If I don't have it in the government, I have it in the people.

Interviewer: Even after they went through the Pogrom you still feel confidence in the Russian army.

Jewish Woman: No. Here I'm talking about this government now. At that time, no I wouldn't have confidence at that time. I don't know at that time I was a child but I know, I remember when the Cossacks used to pass our town, going to some other place. They were, some used to pass by. But you know the Jewish girls were hidden. The Jewish girls were afraid of them. There must be something that I remember that my oldest sisters and their girlfriends used to hide themselves.

Interviewer: Did you ever regret not having a child, a normal child?

Jewish Woman: A normal child? All the time! I have a complex about it. I feel that something is missing in my life. I am not a full person now on account of this. Yes? That's what I think.

Interviewer: Do you feel you've gained part of your emotional self back with your marriage, has that helped any?

Jewish Woman: Yes. It did help, it did help for a while.

Interviewer: Well, let's get back to the thirties which kind of interest me. I'm interested in survival mainly from 1930-1939. It seems to me that they call a Depression -- a depression - because that is exactly what it is.

Jewish Woman: Yes! Of course!

Interviewer: How do you, you say you're a dreamer, is that how you got through the Depression by just putting misery aside? How did you make it through-psychologically-through the Depression?

Jewish Woman: I stayed very much emerged. No, I stayed very much submerged most of the time. Then, I was submerging like nothing happened. I, it must be the will. I have a great will to emerge.

Interviewer: Tell me what you mean by emerging?

Jewish Woman: By coming here. I come here. I have all the work at home. Anything. From little things that mean alot to people. People think if they don't spend money and go to Europe or something. Of course, it's very good, a change for anyone. I wish I can go someplace but I'm arrested. I can't go anyplace. Uh -- but anything I go out and …

Interviewer: Our generation had birth control. They have abortion as an option also. Would you encourage someone to have an abortion?

Jewish Woman: Why have an abortion when there are some pills?

Interviewer: Well, suppose the pills are not 100% effective?

Jewish Woman: They are not 100% effective? Well, uh, there is no real depression yet. Their getting ready for one. Well, at least not to have too many. To have just one.

Interviewer: Did you feel the same way back in the thirties?

Jewish Woman: I didn't feel anything about the thirties. I know I loved my child and wanted to give it everything. It really is very, very distressing if you can't. They tested on everything else. I don't know how the provision is about doctors but not everybody can get Medicaid or Medicare and insurance costs money which you cannot meet. Bills, so, we had to drop it because we couldn't meet it.

Interviewer: Can I ask you what kind of medical treatment your son got in the thirties?

Jewish Woman: Medicaid. Nothing, nothing. I had to go from one sign to another.

Interviewer: You mean from one doctor to another.

Jewish Woman: It was very bad even then. Three institutions were very quack and not too many and I cannot go into that and I am very sensitive about the whole thing, because I went through so much.

Interviewer: Well, can you. I'm interested you see in the welfare agencies in the thirties. What kind of help they gave to people in need?

Jewish Woman: It was hardly anything.

Interviewer: Did they provide any kind of drugs?

Jewish Woman: I don't know. I didn't go to welfare agencies. I don't know what it was there. I was a very foolishly proud person. When I was in Chicago, before I went to Los Angeles, before we went there... uh... a woman came to me. A lawyer's wife and said you have no right to live in the basement with the baby. We are going to provide for you. She belonged to a (?). I suppose who sent her to a neighborhood grocery, a basement. The grocery woman used to chum with me and she drove a car at that time. Part of the time and she used to take me to lectures, and so on. And she told another woman about that and she said, Why don't you come. I have people who owe me $100. They take her $100 and say they can't afford to pay, which I know they can't. They attribute it to the Depression and so on. So, I didn't. I didn't take nothing. If I had a few cents, I'd come in and get what I needed. I never did.

Interviewer: Why not?

Jewish Woman: I don't know. I don't like it. I'm so happy that I can get along on my own. I haven't got the need that I should have. I should have someone attend to him. Still, this is you have to be rich. But I have no means. I work hard and want to be on my own.

Interviewer: But don't you think that the state should provide for you if you're in trouble? What about the state's responsibility?

Jewish Woman: Well. Look the only thing I would like to have is a doctor. The doctor's don't come to the house when he gets sick. I get so depressed. I get desperate that I have no one to turn to. I can't drag him. He doesn't walk and I'm still looking for someone to come to the house. He has Medicaid and I can't get anyone. If you hear of someone, tell me! Take him to the emergency room. He is not the kind of man you take to the emergency room. He's got to have someone at home. So, I'm still in it. I didn't get comfort when I came to the United States. Believe me. I'm trying to make it. I'm still emerging. Everyday I'm emerging. I say I cannot put myself in a song right now. But I'm going to try for you and me.

Interviewer: What would you still like to do? What do you want to do?

Jewish Woman: I like to, uh, what I like to do is travel a little if I could and I like to publish my manuscript. I like to publish if and I very much so. My house is so disorganized with these little notes. I'm going crazy. But I don't like to give it to someplace that put it one the bottom space and read it in a couple of years. So, what I want is a private publisher.

Interviewer: That's very good. I hope you can do that.

Jewish Woman: So, I can see results in seven or eight months. But I have -- this is not important to talk in here.

Interviewer: OK. I just wanted to suggest instead of typing your ideas to tape them. It may be a little more helpful for your work.

Jewish Woman: For insertion?

Interviewer: For your work.

Jewish Woman: Yes. That would be wonderful if someone would ask me questions.

Interviewer: Well, okay. Can you tell me if -- in what aspect of your life most changed by your depression?

Jewish Woman: What do you mean?

Interviewer: Well, the fact that all of a sudden in 1930 you were deprived didn't have any income coming. Your life changed. You said you withdrew during the Depression.

Jewish Woman: In 1930, I got married. That changed my life, yes! It changed it that's all. I didn't feel the Depression until a couple of years later.

Interviewer: What year?

Jewish Woman: 1933 or something like that. When the soups started, the banks closed. It was such a sad thing, that such a big country, so helpless. It was so helpless. It was like taking the crown off a king.

Interviewer: Did you lose any money in the bank? Did you have a savings--

Jewish Woman: Huh?

Interviewer: Did you lose your savings in the bank that closed?

Jewish Woman: Uh, no we had about $25.00 or so, we lost. We didn't have much I think. But, the funny part was it was a lot of money for us. You're just standing there, if somebody was in the bank there, the big shots, they look at you as if you had glassy eyes. As if you were just a dog barking.

Interviewer: Did your husband help you with the housework at all? Did he help you? Umm -- Did you notice that most of your friends got help from their husbands?

Jewish Woman: Huh?

Interviewer: Did your friends' husbands help them with the housework?

Jewish Woman: Some of them.

Interviewer: But this wasn't in general.

Jewish Woman: Not in general. Some of them.

Interviewer: Okay. Is there anything else you'd like to add?

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