[00:00:00.090] - KR
So we are recording and I see that we have audio. I may look over hereoccasionally. So just if I do. Don't worry, it's just checking to make sure that we're still recording and that everything is this kind of behaving ojk. And I'd like to start with a very easy question, and this is for my transcript. My transcripts that don't get confused with my interviews and everything, if you could please say your first and last name and your maiden name and spell your name form me
[00:00:30.640] - CM
OK, never rate again. Clara l. Moomey c l a r a. L. m o o m e. Y.
[00:00:46.020] - KR
And what was your maiden name?
[00:00:49.340] - CM
Clara Van Roekel. V a n. Capital R o e k e l.
[00:00:58.200] - KR
OK. And you were in the waves, correct?00:01:00
[00:01:01.130] - CM
[00:01:01.530] - KR
All right. Before we get to your WAVES service, I'd like to find out a littlebit about your your growing up and your background. So if you can tell me, where did you grow up?
[00:01:10.460] - CM
Well, I grew up in Iowa, small town. And. I lived in town and my parents. Myfather was aa county auditor and I lived there for about 12 years. Both my parents died early. So I then I moved to Sioux Center and I lived with my grandmother. My sister and I both lived with my grandmother. And my brother lived with an uncle.
[00:01:52.870] - KR
So what? What did happen, did you. Did your parents get sick or.
[00:01:57.320] - CM
My mother got cancer. And my father died of a heart attack. And we were swimming00:02:00in a pond and he just went under. And then my mother died two years later. And in Sioux Center, we moved in with my grandparents. And she died of cancer.
[00:02:25.000] - KR
That must be really hard for you as a child.
[00:02:26.930] - CM
Well, it was. But, uh. We had good grandparents and lots of relatives in SiouxCenter and lots of cousins and. So we were well taken care of.
[00:02:41.460] - KR
Was it OK not having your brother live with you?
[00:02:44.810] - CM
Well, he just he lived in the same town and he. My sister and brother were veryyoung. They were. My sister doesn't remember my parents at all. Two or three? 00:03:00
[00:03:03.970] - KR
[00:03:04.420] - CM
And. My brother was in second grade. He remembers a little more.
[00:03:13.070] - KR
And did your grandparents figure. They just couldn't take care of the threeyoung child.
[00:03:16.310] - CM
They thought that would be better for my brother to be with a younger man. Myuncle and he had a son that was. You know, closer would be closer to him as a brother.
[00:03:34.500] - KR
But they thought it was okay for you to raise the girls.
[00:03:36.950] - CM
Yeah. My grandmother and grandfather raised us.
[00:03:43.820] - KR
So how was it was it to do? Did you find it different from being with yourparents or was it? I mean, how did it.
[00:03:50.980] - CM
Oh, yeah. It was quite different, but we adjust pretty well. Everybody in thetown was good to us. You know, they knew we were, our situation. So we were, 00:04:00well taken care of. And then I graduate from high school, I went on to college. There was enough money in the estate that I could go to college. I went to Iowa state teachers college and graduatde.
[00:04:24.330] - KR
Did your grandparents. Did they encourage you to go to college?
[00:04:30.600] - CM
Oh, yes. They just assumed I was going to go to college. Because it was college.My mother graduated from.
[00:04:37.750] - KR
So she was a college graduate as well.
[00:04:39.410] - CM
Well, yeah, I think she was a two year graduate. And you could teach countryschools. And, you know, and. So it was just kind of my ideal to go to that school because she graduated from home.
[00:04:54.340] - KR
And did you go for four years or four years?
[00:04:56.970] - CM
I went for four. And then and then the war started.00:05:00
[00:05:02.820] - KR
while you were in school or
[00:05:03.930] - CM
I was in school. It was in December that my senior year that. And. That was whenI discovered. I heard about the war in the dormitory. It was my senior year. We had a big meeting of all the students the next day. It's on a Sunday, you know, the next day we had a meeting.
[00:05:39.490] - KR
What did they say at the meeting or what did they do with the.
[00:05:44.100] - CM
Well, I don't remember exactly, but it was just preparation or things that wecould expect, you know, some of the boys would have to go into service. And of 00:06:00course, there weren't any women in service by then. But. So I went and taught school then for two years.
[00:06:12.190] - KR
Did you remember that it if it did a lot of the boys in your class, or do youremember boys you knew enlisted right away?
[00:06:20.700] - CM
Well, they might have, because I know one of them was captured and was aprisoner. And died in one of the German camps.
[00:06:35.170] - KR
Yeah. You don't remember seeing like a big rush of people like the day after?
[00:06:40.210] - CM
[00:06:45.840] - KR
So you went and taught?
[00:06:47.100] - CM
[00:06:47.600] - KR
Where did you teach?
[00:06:48.350] - CM
I taught in Lake Mills, Iowa, and I taught the 3RD grade. And I enjoyed it.Then. After two years, and that was. 00:07:00
[00:07:05.920] - CM
One of my friends was going into this, went into the service. Her husband waskilled in a plane crash in one of those big bombers.And she went into service.
[00:07:19.430] - KR
What did she. What did she join?
[00:07:23.260] - CM
The Navy. But she she became a commissioned officer. She had gone through schoolto. And but. The other girls from our town that went in were, I think they weren't they weren't commission, they weren't commission, and I wasn't either.
[00:07:44.560] - KR
So why did you decide to join? What made you decide to join the Navy?
[00:07:49.000] - CM
Well, I just wanted to be part of it. I wanted to be part of the service Iwanted. And I'd never been hardly out of the state or Washington or Iowa. You 00:08:00know, you didn't go very far in those days. Of course, we had gas rationing too. And stuff. And so I went to Des Moines and signed up.
[00:08:23.820] - CM
Then they didn't call me until. I went in and October, November 4th. I landed atHunter College
[00:08:33.310] - KR
And this was in nineteen forty three or forty four.
[00:08:38.810] - CM
[00:08:38.920] - KR
Um. Why not one of the other branches? Why the Navy over some of the otherbranches of service?
[00:08:48.930] - CM
Well, my cousin was on an aircraft carrier. And that was kind of exciting. Hewas in Guadalcanal. And. Flying the planes and stuff. And it just seemed like it 00:09:00was a.
[00:09:13.300] - CM
Oh, I don't know. Something more unusual than joining the army. Although theWAACs were taught in Des Moines.
[00:09:24.060] - KR
were they? Do you think maybe that had something to do with it? The WAACs werelike kind of in your own backyard?
[00:09:30.910] - CM
Well, they could, but I, I just saw it will be kind of interesting to be in theNavy, you know, rather than the army.
[00:09:41.530] - KR
Do you remember seeing any publicity about the Navy or.
[00:09:46.240] - CM
Oh, just those posters, you know, those old posters.
[00:09:49.600] - KR
What sort of posters did you see describe theem for me.
[00:09:53.850] - CM
Well. Oh, I had some of those. So I just I just can't think to how they were.00:10:00There are some old posters around, though, that. I might have pictures of them.
[00:10:12.340] - KR
Mm hmm. Mm hmm. What did you what? What it was about he posters that you thoughtwas so appealing.Did it make you feel a certain way?
[00:10:28.910] - CM
I don't know.
[00:10:30.070] - KR
It's OK. I'm just curious
[00:10:33.610] - CM
They weren't so. Well, they were nice. I'll try and find some in fact, one ofthe women had some stationery made up with. I didn't think about. And, uh. And some of the things that we did, she she put out with her computer to0o.
[00:10:57.130] - KR
So obviously modern times that she did. Yeah. Why was. No. Never mind that my00:11:00brain goes blank. So you you enlisted and then you had a way. You said you had to wait a while.
[00:11:15.330] - CM
Yeah. I had to wait a while. I. I. I started in June. But then. And then I. InAugust, I was sworn in. And then I had to wait till October 4th. That's when I landed at Hunter.
[00:11:30.220] - CM
Uh. And I had to go, uh, you know, take the train. Uh, go ahead. Go back to thenewborn. Catch the train. And, uh, go to Chicago. And then, um. Through Chicago, and by that time, the train was pretty loaded with girls and I just don't remember all that stuff. Exactly how we got. We had to walk. I know. After we got to the East Coast and. And then we took a subway. And that was my first, 00:12:00right? Oh, it was noisy.
[00:12:11.920] - KR
They still are noisy. That hasn't changed. .
[00:12:15.700] - CM
That hasn't changedBut there was. I know by that time there was a whole bunch ofus here that were on that same train.
[00:12:25.530] - KR
Kind of excited and nervous, huh?
[00:12:27.650] - CM
[00:12:29.930] - KR
What did you think when you got to Hunter College? What did you think when yougot there?
[00:12:34.820] - CM
Oh, well, we we got assigned to these big apartment buildings and we were on oneof the sixth floor. I think something like that. So and we just walked up there, you know, every time. And there was a certain number of girls to every apartment and just bunks in there. And that's all just bunks. And they taught us how to 00:13:00make the beds and what to call that blanket the foot of the bed. That was the admiral.
[00:13:10.140] - KR
I haven't heard that before.
[00:13:14.050] - CM
And how to fold it and everything. We had to keep it really neat and everything.And we had one disappointment was we didn't get issued anything but our shoes and our hats.
[00:13:33.690] - KR
You didn't get the rest of the uniform
[00:13:35.830] - CM
Didn't get the rest of the uniform. They all had to be made different sizes, youknow. And so. We didn't get them for about three weeks. And so there,we were marching around with these hats and our shoes and. And our civilian clothes.
[00:13:57.060] - KR
you found it disappointing.
[00:13:58.410] - CM
Yeah, it was disappointing. Well, because here we were. We look kind of odd. But00:14:00that was the way it was with everybody. So. And we had some nice girls that were in charge of us, you know, and we all admired them so much that most of them were second class. And, and everywhere we went, we had to march to the college and we had to march through the different classrooms and things, and the eating place was over there. So we got a lot of marching in.
[00:14:41.240] - KR
Did you like the marching.
[00:14:42.000] - CM
Yeah. I didn't care. It was good. Yeah. And good exercise and. And got us inshape and then we after we got our uniforms and stuff. And we were we'd be in the lineup, you know. Special inspections. And. And then one time, Franklin D. 00:15:00Roosevelt came through. We stood there was an armory there, and we stood in this armory information and waited and waited and waited.
[00:15:18.460] - CM
You know? And then he drove through about five minutes. In his convertibe. Ilooked at him. So that was quite exciting.
[00:15:34.400] - KR
I'm sure it would have been. Yes, I was quite. I know he was just a lot ofpeople is quite the hero during that era.
[00:15:46.040] - CM
You know, I enjoy boot camp, and I thought I was great.
[00:15:50.130] - KR
Is there a reason why you because you qualified to be an officer, correct?
[00:15:54.570] - CM
Oh, yes. But most of them, when that I was going in, they didn't need any moreofficers. And so everybody even a lot of them that I went in with were teachers. 00:16:00From the south and they were a lot of four yeur graduates. Same as I was,. They didn't need it anymore.
[00:16:27.350] - KR
Did you? Is there anything else you remember about boot camp being interesting?
[00:16:35.730] - CM
Well. I thought those those big. I don't know what they call it, when we wouldparade on Saturdays, you know, we'd all march. By the viewing stand. That was quite spectacular. So we got to watch it until we got our uniforms, you know. So we got a real good impression of that. And one time we all were so hot in the 00:17:00uniform of the day to wear the rain bonnets.
[00:17:12.680] - CM
Don't know that the what they call them anymore.
[00:17:19.250] - KR
[00:17:21.630] - CM
Havelock. And raincoats. There we'd stand and were so hot.
[00:17:27.260] - KR
So it wasn't raining?
[00:17:28.420] - CM
No, it wasn't raining and it was hot and dry. But it was the uniform of the day.And we just had to grin and bear it.
[00:17:36.990] - KR
Did anyone get dizzy or pass out or anything?
[00:17:40.200] - CM
Not that I know of. But. You know, it was hard on us.
[00:17:44.680] - KR
Oh, I would think so. Yeah, I think so, because there's culture. I mean, I'veseen those those coats. They're pretty heavy.
[00:17:50.590] - CM
Oh, they are. Yeah. So that was okay.But then I stayed at after boot camp. There00:18:00were a number of us that signed up for working in the mail.
[00:18:07.680] - KR
So like to work at it to distribute letters and that sort of thing.
[00:18:11.550] - CM
Yeah, and, uh, well, we had to go to mail school and we were taught by threefellows from Samsun.
[00:18:18.310] - CM
That was another naval base father up in New York. And they came down and taughtus. And, you know, they just gave us a bad time.
[00:18:31.730] - KR
Did they not like that women were doing the work or what was.
[00:18:34.670] - CM
Oh, I don't know. But, well, that was one thing. See, for a guy, if he was inthe mail room or something. He's more most likely on shore duty. And so we took --
[00:18:49.390] - CM
We eventually it turned out that we took a lot of their places and they had togo to sea themn.
[00:18:55.870] - KR
Some of them didn't want to know.
[00:18:59.110] - CM
But there are others that weren't taken either. That that's what I worked in. I00:19:00worked in Fleet Records office and we got musters from all the different bases and ships. And and we had to make up, if it was a new ship, why we had to make up cards and things and file them.
[00:19:23.410] - KR
And what do you mean? Let me just interrupt you. What do you mean by. You gotmusters from different ships. What does that mean?
[00:19:29.120] - CM
Well, it's a complete the whole company is listed.
[00:19:34.120] - KR
So muster can refer to both in like assembling and also to the list of ships.Oh, I've heard it referred to like when you're you know, you were mustering, you would all have to be in line.
[00:19:44.260] - CM
Oh, yeah. I think that's what it was.
[00:19:47.400] - KR
No, IYou're probably right. I was just curious.
[00:19:50.750] - CM
So anyway. Uh. We get and we had big files right in front of us.00:20:00
[00:20:01.810] - KR
Now how long we would email school to learn how to have your mail?
[00:20:06.470] - CM
Oh, I think it was about six weeks.
[00:20:08.740] - KR
And that was still held just at Hunter College.
[00:20:10.910] - CM
Yeah, right there. Huh. And then we get to then we were assigned and I wasassigned to a New York Post office.
[00:20:24.870] - CM
And so we moved downtown on sort of like Eighty Fifth Street and in a hotel. Andwe would catch the transportation down to Canal Street, that was in lower Manhattan. We would work there and then we'd go back up and it was so neat, in New York. There was a place called 90 Church, and they would give you a ticket to the plays, to the opera, to the movies. Rockefeller Center. 00:21:00
[00:21:05.820] - KR
[00:21:06.260] - CM
Yeah, for free
[00:21:07.330] - KR
because you were in the service.
[00:21:08.370] - CM
[00:21:09.260] - KR
[00:21:09.890] - CM
This was just for the service people. And so we go there sometimes to stop offand pick up stuff.
[00:21:16.860] - KR
Did you see any good plaus?
[00:21:18.200] - CM
Oh, yeah. I saw On the Town.
[00:21:22.830] - KR
[00:21:23.890] - CM
Yeah. Oh, what else did I see? Oh, uh. And when we went to the opera, it wentmetropolitan one time. And, uh, they were there for us.
[00:21:42.060] - CM
Oh, I don't know what it was. I remember what it was. And. Well, I can't thinkof all of things, but we went to a lot of a lot of plays and uh oh, I saw, uh, Oklahoma.
[00:21:58.510] - KR
[00:21:59.180] - CM
Yeah, I saw that on the stage.00:22:00
[00:22:01.620] - KR
Do you remember what did you see any prominent performers in any of these plays?
[00:22:04.950] - CM
Oh, yeah. But, uh. Oh, I don't know.
[00:22:10.140] - CM
We never I never collected a lot of stuff. But I really enjoyed those.
[00:22:15.720] - KR
It's a lot of fun to see those Broadway show.
[00:22:17.950] - CM
Oh, yeah. And of course, it was just great for us. You know, so out of the usualfor us.
[00:22:31.810] - KR
I wanted to just kind of go back because you had said that you had volunteeredto do the mailroom to do the mail work, huh?
[00:22:38.320] - CM
Yes, we did. When we were in mail school, we worked Christmas Eve and worked the mail.
[00:22:48.910] - KR
Well, I was just wait, because I know a lot of women, when they were in bootcamp, they were assigned their jobs. They didn't necessarily get to request either they work or they get a request for jobs. I was kind of curious that you got. You said you basically you asked to be in to do this work. 00:23:00
[00:23:03.190] - CM
Oh, yeah. We asked we we were in mail school that day and they asked or theyassigned us to do that as part of the training and stuff.
[00:23:14.290] - KR
Why did you think It sounded interesting.
[00:23:17.030] - CM
Mail school? Well, there wasn't a lot of choice. I wasn't a good typer, so Ididn't want to go to yeoman school. Huh. n fact, they made that Bartlett Hall where I went to school in Iowls Univeristy. It's University of Northern Iowa now. But it was Iowa State Teachers College. When I went there. But they made Bartman Hall yeomen training school.
[00:23:52.840] - CM
But I wasn't a good typer. And then Link trainer was another, and I thought,well, I really don't know much about that, but it might have been more 00:24:00interesting. I had a lot of good friends that I met. Still correspond with one of them.
[00:24:13.880] - KR
Who were in the mail all with you?
[00:24:16.180] - CM
[00:24:18.760] - KR
So you were in New York. So you're in New York doing this. And what was it? Imean, this seems like it would be something very challenging to keep track of all. You have to keep busy. Do you have to keep track of all of that wherever one is? Or how do you how do you sort the things?
[00:24:33.220] - CM
Oh, well, everybody has a job. It was they divided every letter into many tubs,you know, and like the one I remember this, the girl that had the S's and she had the Smiths and she said that she thought there must be at least fifteen hundred William Smiths in the Navy,
[00:24:54.880] - KR
just William .
[00:24:55.570] - CM
just William Smith. And you know, one thing about the Navy, they didn't youdidn't put your serial number on the card or on the mail. In the mail. On the 00:25:00mail. So it was terribly confusing.
[00:25:08.950] - KR
Oh, yeah. I would think so.
[00:25:10.740] - CM
Like the army, they put their serial numbers on the net.
[00:25:15.280] - KR
So how did you know if you were there something like fifteen hundred WilliamSmiths, how would you know which was the right William Smith.
[00:25:20.780] - CM
Yeah, well you have to kind of be a detective and go,did he, was he at thisplace before he, you know, kind of that way. And if he had a middle initial. Kind of helped. Yeah, it was terrific. Well. And the William Smiths
[00:25:45.760] - KR
What letter of the alphabet, did you end up working with.
[00:25:48.550] - CM
Oh, it wasn't. I forget. It wasn't very, you know, pardon. Yeah. That's why youhad to to kind of just -- because the cards would have a whole list of wher the 00:26:00guy had been.
[00:26:05.700] - CM
See you each. You entered right after every time you knew when you're. So that,you could kind of do tell it that way. Where he had been before.
[00:26:25.210] - KR
It would seem to be very timed. It could be very time consuming, trying to sortout, especially when you're in war time time situation where people might be moving frequently.
[00:26:33.770] - CM
[00:26:34.490] - KR
To figure out where they are.
[00:26:36.200] - CM
[00:26:40.850] - KR
Did you stay? Did you stay in New York the whole time?
[00:26:43.970] - CM
No. When the war was over in May, why they sent us a troop train to Californiato San Francisco's fleet post office there.
[00:26:58.070] - KR
The other the other side of the country.
[00:26:59.600] - CM
Yeah. For the war over there.00:27:00
[00:27:01.920] - KR
So this is when the war in Europe was over. Yeah. They sent you across.
[00:27:05.680] - KR
How long did it take you to get across country?
[00:27:07.580] - CM
Oh, it took a long time because I remember one of these people said they wentthrough Canada.
[00:27:13.830] - CM
We took the routes that weren't being used. The busy routes, you know, so wewent through Canada and we went clear down through Kansas. Through the Royal Gorge and. Uh, Colorado. Then we zoomed up Northern California Feather, River Canyon through there. But one thing about those cattle cars, those doors are right in the middle. You know, they were open and we they would. Put our luggage, our laundry in bags right in front of those doors. And so we would sit on that laundry and just watch the scenery go by. 00:28:00
[00:28:02.450] - KR
[00:28:03.500] - CM
Yeah. Because the rest of the car was all shut up and all the bunk beds, youknow, a triple bunk beds in it. We did have a dining car, though, that we could go to.
[00:28:18.480] - KR
Did you ever stop seeing the train stops? so you could Iget off and stretch yourlegs. W
[00:28:22.560] - CM
ell, I remember remember stopping in Kansas and, you know, people would talk tous and stuff. And then. I don't remember stopping so much, but I know where it did stop in Kansas.
[00:28:41.090] - KR
And so you ended up in San Francisco?
[00:28:42.990] - CM
Yeah. And they had barracks there right underneath the where the cross was, thebig cross there. On Mount Davidson, wasn't it?
[00:28:55.730] - KR
I think so, yes. And.
[00:28:59.050] - CM
Sort of toward San Francisco State college or something in that area. And. So we00:29:00had nice barracks there. But then.
[00:29:14.000] - CM
And the office that we worked in was right, way downtown. It was in a garage.They had converted a garage and it was right across the street from the mint. On Market Street there . We worked there. We didn't have to go clear downtown.
[00:29:37.620] - KR
I said, did you did you a you show me a picture of you working in San Francisco.Or just see a picture of the I mean, or maybe I saw it somewhere else.
[00:29:46.720] - CM
[00:29:48.520] - KR
I seem to remember seeing a picture of San Francisco. It was mail and it wasjust like it looked like miles and miles of desk. Y
[00:29:56.080] - CM
Right. Yeah. There were miles and miles of desks. That's all. There were always00:30:00big files, right. Sitting in front of you. And just. But that's that's Fleet Records Office.
[00:30:11.150] - KR
And you're still sorting mail there and still going through, making sure thingsare getting directed to the right place and all that, so.
[00:30:17.140] - CM
[00:30:19.230] - KR
Well. Did it get more confusing as the war was ending? For that sort of thing.
[00:30:27.810] - CM
Well. Yeah, it did, it did, because they finally packed up all the stuff. And weended up at Treasure Island. So then we had to take the ferry. But by that time, it was cut down quite a bit. And. So it was a lot different.
[00:30:53.140] - KR
Your people that you have to look for.
[00:30:54.500] - CM
That's right. Yeah.
[00:30:56.130] - KR
Was this before or after V-J Day?
[00:30:59.050] - CM
It was after V-J Day.00:31:00
[00:31:00.980] - KR
What was V-J Day like?
[00:31:02.680] - CM
Well, I didn't get into it. Most of us didn't because they didn't allow us to goback downtown. Onc I got home from work, I couldn't go back downtown.
[00:31:13.630] - KR
So what was it like?What was the mood like in the barracks then. That's what yousaid. Staying, right?
[00:31:19.720] - CM
Yeah, but, oh, I don't know. We just we couldn't do too much. Um, but, uh, Idon't remember what we did or anything, but, uh. Downtown was pretty wild, you know.
[00:31:34.470] - KR
Do you remember why they wouldn't let you go downtown?
[00:31:36.260] - CM
Well, because of that, they didn't want us down there because they figured, youknow, there might be a lot of people so excited they break the windows and stuff and things like that. They didn't want us down there.
[00:31:54.170] - CM
But then we also had to move out later because people were coming from Hawaii.00:32:00The women that were in Hawaii were coming back to get discharged and they had to go through it right there in our barracks. So we all had to get out and find an apartment. Find some housing.
[00:32:17.510] - KR
[00:32:18.230] - CM
Yeah. It was kind of rough. And yet it wasn't as much as, you know, it wasn't asmuch fun to. The three of us went and got a place. And we just ate out and we didn't cook or anything, we just had a room.
[00:32:37.220] - KR
Yes, but you wouldn't be quite so much. Not quite somilitary.
[00:32:40.160] - CM
[00:32:42.630] - KR
You he didn't enjoy that very much. Were you worried about I mean, did you wantit? Were you ready to get out by this point or how did you feel about.
[00:32:51.300] - CM
No, I stay. I wanted to stay in and I did sign up for three more months.
[00:32:55.820] - KR
We cut now, so because I know initially they were they were pushing all thewomen out. 00:33:00
[00:33:01.630] - CM
[00:33:02.180] - KR
So then how were you able to stay in?
[00:33:04.540] - CM
I don't know. I don't know what changed. But we could we could sign up, we couldextend. And so that's how I ended up at aTreasure Island too. The other girls, didn't they hadn't got they left as soon as they could get out. They got out.
[00:33:21.850] - KR
Why did you want to stay on?
[00:33:23.630] - CM
Oh, I don't know. I just liked it and it was, San Francisco is a interestingcity. When we got there, they took us on trips on the water, we. Took a boat over to an estate that was on kind of a hillside. And we had a picnic there and stuff, you know. And then there were a lot of things to see that we just did on our own. You know, went down to Palo Alto. 00:34:00
[00:34:02.180] - CM
And even down to L.A.
[00:34:06.140] - KR
That was a pretty big haul at that time.
[00:34:07.860] - CM
Yeah. We went down there in. And they were nice to us, too. They took us around,showed us where all the, some of the stars lived, you know, things. And this was just a guy that, a civilian. But that's, the civilians were so nice to us. In all the cities.
[00:34:26.980] - KR
[00:34:27.930] - CM
Mm hmm. And he took us around and showed us. And we went up and saw the bigtelescope, you know, on Palomar. And Olivera Street. kind of a Mexican place in L.A. La Brea Tar Pits. All of that. I don't remember exactly which Hollywood stars we saw. The civilians were so good to us, and even in New York, we'd go to 00:35:00a restaurant and they'd pick up the tab for us
[00:35:16.410] - CM
We were surprised. You know, you could go anywhere in your uniform. And you arewelcome. You know, we've met some of these places, I think it was a 21 club or something like that in New York. I don't know if it's still there, but it was quite a posh place. Otherwise, we've stuck with the automat, the automats. Is that what they call them?
[00:35:39.980] - KR
I yeah, I think that is that they don't have them anymore. Where you could getthe food out of the like a vending machine sort of thing, huh. But it was good too. Not like vending machines. So the people treated you well.
[00:35:59.140] - CM
Oh, they did. They did.00:36:00
[00:36:04.530] - KR
So you signed it for another three years. In the military?
[00:36:09.180] - CM
Well, I. When I got out. I signed up for the reserves.
[00:36:17.530] - KR
So what did that what did that mean that you had to do?
[00:36:20.450] - CM
Well, it meant you had to go on training duty and maybe, you know. And I went toGreat Lakes.
[00:36:29.600] - KR
So you were back in Iowa then I guess.
[00:36:31.080] - CM
Yeah, I was back in Iowa and I was teaching school, back Teaching school. One ofmy friends needed somebody in at the end of December. So I went to Washington, Iowa, and thought.
[00:36:48.540] - KR
This is 1946?
[00:36:52.910] - CM
Yeah, And then 1947, I guess. Because forty six, I got out.00:37:00
[00:37:00.570] - KR
Right. OK. So you did start teaching . Go back to teaching in 4r.
[00:37:03.980] - CM
No, I'm I'm forty seven. OK. So I don't know. Somewhere along the way, Ienlisted in the reserves.
[00:37:13.150] - KR
Had you met Earl by this point?
[00:37:14.900] - CM
No. No. And, uh. I went out on training duty at Great Lakes and I met a girlthere that I still write to and her mother was a yeomanette in World War I..
[00:37:32.270] - KR
That's a tradition.
[00:37:33.300] - CM
Yeah. And, uh, so, uh, yeah, I still write to her. And. So then, uh, when I, uh,I taught another year at Washington. And then that year, I got the bug to go to Alaska. Because that was kind of the thing, uh, kind of a neat thing to do.
[00:37:57.530] - KR
Why did you think it was a neat thing to do with this? I mean, because thatseems like I mean, you know what would seem like an awful rugged and remote and. 00:38:00
[00:38:04.280] - CM
Well, it's. I ended up at Ketchikan right on the coast, but, uh, uh. Anyway, Ihad heard that people got teaching jobs in Alaska and that the pay was so much better. I wrote and got offered a job at Ketchikan.
[00:38:28.160] - KR
Wow. Were you nervous about going? I because I know it's. It's so far away.
[00:38:35.650] - CM
Yeah, I know. I didn't know a thing about it, but it so happened there was agirl from Iowa City.
[00:38:43.320] - CM
That got our names that we were gonna be there. We're going to go there. So shewrote to us.
[00:38:53.530] - KR
Who else? You said our names.
[00:38:55.390] - CM
Well. Let's see, I don't know how in the world all this happened, but somehow00:39:00there was a girl from Washington and I both getting jobs at. And she wasn't in the service at all. Washington, D.C., it was Washington and Seattle area. OK. Well, she was actually from, uh, Stanwick, Washington.
[00:39:21.320] - CM
But she was going to Alaska, too, and we got on the same boat. I met her beforesomehow that maybe maybe that girl in Iowa City told us this. I don't know how the word got around, you know. But anyway. And so there we were on the boat. So it was it worked out real good and we room together and had a place where we could cook. And. taught school in the same building.
[00:39:59.500] - KR
So how long did you stay00:40:00
[00:40:01.630] - CM
Just one year. Because it rained one hundred forty four inches. That year wewere there.
[00:40:08.280] - KR
Was that unusual?
[00:40:09.320] - CM
Oh, no. That's, that's what they get.
[00:40:12.610] - KR
They don't get snow. They get the rain.
[00:40:14.010] - CM
They get the rain. And they warned -- they told us ahead of time. This girlwrote and told us, get some galoshes, get some, get a raincoat and umbrella and be prepared.
[00:40:32.370] - KR
Oh, my goodness.
[00:40:33.230] - CM
So that's what we did. We and we were galoshes there in Alaska. Because of the.And then they had these wooden sidewalks. I don't know if that's changed, now, but. But it was fun. It was different, you know, and, uh, some of those Alaska people taught up there for years, you know. Yeah. Mm hmm. No. Ruth and Ruth was 00:41:00going to get married, so she wanted to go.
[00:41:04.040] - CM
She was she was going to, only going to be there for a year. And so I went downto and then I taught school in Seattle at Shoreline District in Seattle.
[00:41:18.570] - KR
And you're still in the reserves?
[00:41:20.780] - CM
No. When we adopted our boy, I had to get out because they didn't. You know,when you had a child by then, you weren't in anymore.
[00:41:30.440] - KR
So where did you meet Earl?
[00:41:34.910] - CM
Well, I met him at, I went to church. In the university district in Seattle
[00:41:44.680] - KR
[00:41:47.680] - CM
Presbyterian Church. And of course, all the churches in that area had big groupsof people that our age, just beyond college age, you know. And. We had big 00:42:00groups and we had a great time because they organized a lot of sightseeing around Seattle. And then I was then I joined the reserves, active reserves, too. On Union Street that a submarine down there.
[00:42:25.350] - CM
And it went down once. Once a week, I think I went.
[00:42:32.350] - KR
So so you'd been aware of the reserves in Iowa. You were a member of the ActiveReserves in Seattle.
[00:42:38.810] - CM
[00:42:39.560] - KR
And you met Earl at the church group?
[00:42:41.260] - CM
Yeah, it's a church group. And we were married in '56 and moved to Oregon. Andthen I. I didn't have any active reserve at all and at that time. And then when we adopted Tim in 64, why I dropped out. 00:43:00
[00:43:00.890] - KR
You say you were in the military for a long, long, you were affiliate with themiliary for quite a long time.
[00:43:05.300] - CM
Yeah, I was, uh. Yeah, I figure. Eight years after the war. Oh, I was recalledto the Korean War while I was in the Reserves.
[00:43:17.250] - KR
[00:43:18.060] - CM
When I was in Seattle.
[00:43:19.680] - KR
So what did you have to do for Korea?
[00:43:21.550] - CM
I was I worked in the RPIO Registered Publication Issuing Office.
[00:43:27.800] - KR
And is in Washington state?
[00:43:30.200] - CM
Yeah, it was right in Seattle on Pier 91.
[00:43:32.770] - KR
OK. And so what does that mean? What were you doing?
[00:43:37.410] - CM
It was I worked as a registered publication. So every night we had to put a lotof the files in the safe, in the big safe. And there were civilian women working there under the civil service, you know. And they did the corrections in these books as they came through, you know, and stuff.
[00:43:58.620] - CM
And so there were a lot of quite a few civilian women, who had pretty good jobs00:44:00there to do that. But then we had a crew of Navy boys and girls. And then, of course, then we we got our first black. At that time to one.
[00:44:18.240] - KR
[00:44:18.420] - CM
Uh huh, the officer went about, you know, we were going to have a black in ouroffice. Well, you know, and preparing us and everybody loved her. We just had a great time.
[00:44:32.870] - KR
Was he trying -- what did he what did he think was going to happen?
[00:44:36.050] - CM
I don't know what he thought was gonna happen, whether we would shun her orwhat. Anyhow, everybody loved her. And, uh, she was a lot of fun. So it was not a big trauma at all.
[00:44:50.040] - KR
But that was kind of a. I mean, this is beginning to be I know that women wereallowed in the waves during World War two, but this is like that's kind of getting to be a you're getting these more integrated offices and things. That seems to be kind of a big step. 00:45:00
[00:45:03.510] - CM
Oh, I don't know. It didn't seem to us at all.
[00:45:07.280] - KR
Not at all.
[00:45:12.060] - CM
Maybe it was for the southern girls. I remember when the Southern girls, wewould go to the football games in San Francisco. They had an arena there. And I don't know where the teams all came from, but they played and they said, oh, our mothers would just die because there were blacks on those football teams. And so they, you know, they said.
[00:45:39.590] - CM
That doesn't bother them. But it is our brother, our parents,
[00:45:45.330] - KR
because it's something. Yeah. You just knew it wasn't done.
[00:45:48.410] - CM
[00:45:52.070] - KR
So you retired at 19. Did you retire in 1964 from the military? Did you retire earlier?
[00:45:58.340] - CM
Oh, no. That was, um. I think I did about that time. Because we had Tim and I00:46:00knew I couldn't be any more. But see, I wasn't active any more too, so that it didn't mean so much to me either.
[00:46:17.120] - CM
Like in Seattle, I went to the meetings. And did my training duty. Now,they havetraining duty in foreign countries and things like that. So we just stayed right there.
[00:46:37.100] - KR
Are you envious of that?
[00:46:38.190] - CM
Oh, I was. Yeah. I'd like to have traveled, but. And I didn't realize that theywere getting to go that far. But I ran into some people that were there's a lot of people, women in the reserves and stuff now that. You are aware of. 00:47:00
[00:47:01.430] - KR
So you decide to move to Oregon.
[00:47:04.930] - CM
Well, Earl was working in Oregon.
[00:47:07.490] - KR
where was he working?
[00:47:08.060] - CM
He was working for the Bureau of roads. And he was surveying. And so when wecame down, we bought a trailer in Eugene. A little trailer and hitched to our Ford, went down the river to Roseburg and worked out of the north Umpqua on the road to, we worked on the road to Diamond Lake.
[00:47:33.370] - KR
[00:47:33.820] - CM
There was no road .
[00:47:36.490] - KR
And sometimes in the winter there's still no road.
[00:47:37.510] - CM
Yeah. And the kids would come down to Glide and they would live with the peoplethere and go to high school because they couldn't get back and forth. And so we were there are three different times where that road got finished. We when we started out there in '56 and we ended up there in '64 when we moved to Reedsport and he went on working for the BLM, maintaining roads. 00:48:00
[00:48:06.770] - KR
So he moved from just from one group to the other?
[00:48:14.600] - CM
[00:48:16.460] - KR
Why did you decide on Reedsport?
[00:48:19.590] - CM
Well, that was where the job was, BLM. And he worked around Elkton in that area.And Smith River. Up Smith River.
[00:48:31.390] - KR
It's pretty pretty country. Yeah, pretty, uh..
[00:48:35.480] - CM
But we moved there. And in August of 64 and we were hit by the flood in. Sixtyfour, December 64. So there went our new trailer, we had bought a new trailer.
[00:48:52.350] - CM
So that was it. And we bought a house then.
[00:48:57.070] - KR
Yes, it hasn't. It's a little more attached to the ground.
[00:48:59.240] - CM
Yeah. Up on a hill. Oh, yeah.00:49:00
[00:49:07.240] - KR
Was your son a baby when you adoptin him?
[00:49:09.070] - CM
A year old? Just a year old. Cute little kid. And he is a good worker now. He'sa good kid.
[00:49:17.550] - KR
Where does. Where did what does he do?
[00:49:21.600] - CM
He works for country coach and. He works four days a week and 10 to 10 hours a day.
[00:49:30.390] - KR
This is does he live in town or.
[00:49:32.490] - CM
He lives in Monroe. he has place up there
[00:49:33.320] - KR
OK ? So not far?
[00:49:37.280] - CM
No. He stops by every Tuesdays and Thursdays to bring us cans from country coach.
[00:49:44.520] - KR
o help you with your can collection.
[00:49:45.820] - CM
Yeah. Right. Right. Get overloaded this week. A lot of recycling back there.
[00:49:56.090] - KR
So how did you end up in Junction City?
[00:50:00.760] - CM
Well, Earl got a chance to be the foreman at this BLM job here at work work in 74.00:50:00
[00:50:11.900] - CM
And. He worked out of L.C and the roads there. L.C Park. Have you heard of that?And around there and. Maintained them. So anyway, he worked for the roads until he retired in '79.
[00:50:36.890] - KR
And what were you doing? Were you working or were you saying at home, or?
[00:50:40.040] - CM
I was volunteering at the school and then they said, why don't you apply for ajob? So I got my job. When he retired. Worked about six years at the school. So I'm getting a little Social Security, too.
[00:50:57.320] - KR
So you were teaching?
[00:50:58.990] - CM
No. Well, I was helping with the teaching for a part with when I volunteered. I00:51:00went I volunteered every morning and I went to a different class. Different, there were six, five or six force first grades. So I volunteered for the reading program in eac one, and it worked. So then they said, why don't you get, get a job doing the library opening while I worked in the library? Otherwise, I didn't have any Social Security/
[00:51:34.240] - KR
Really, even though you had worked in the schools and all that other sort of stuff?
[00:51:37.590] - CM
Yeah, because they were all under pensions at that time. So I didn't haveanything, actually. And, uh, it was just a good thing that I got that little job. And then Earl got, um, he worked as a janitor at the church.
[00:51:57.000] - CM
And so he got his Social Security built up a little bit. So we each got a little00:52:00bit, so. But it's the Medicare that, you know, you're.
[00:52:05.320] - KR
Oh, yeah. Well, that's the thing that you need. Yeah. Of, you know, having tohave private insurance would just be. Yeah. That. Yeah. Right. So you so you've got this house when you move to Junction City and you've kind of been here.
[00:52:19.130] - CM
Yeah, I did.
[00:52:20.220] - KR
Did y your son went to school here?
[00:52:22.300] - CM
Yeah. Yeah. And, uh. So I have one grandson in Corvallis, so. He's 22. Startingto work and stuff. Get on his feet.
[00:52:41.220] - KR
Did you enjoy your time in the service?
[00:52:42.800] - CM
Oh, yes, I did. Yes, I did. Yeah, I think it's a good career for women. And goodbenefits and everything. Where else can you work for 20 years? 00:53:00
[00:53:01.420] - KR
[00:53:02.380] - CM
[00:53:02.800] - KR
this is true, huh? This is true. I mean, you're still if you get in when you'reyoung, you're still fairly young when you. When you move on to do to do something.
[00:53:10.900] - CM
Oh, yeah. Right. Yeah. It's great. And I'm surprised we have a V.A. meeting, youknow, and every other year. I think it's gonna be on the other side of the mountains this year. But I'm amazed at all the women from Oregon that are in the service have been in the service.
[00:53:31.270] - KR
You know, I've been doing this project and I was actually kind of doing my countand and looking around and things. And there are more WAVES National groups in Oregon than in any other state in the West except for California. Oh. And I think there are even more. I want to say they're either more or the same number is like Texas.
[00:53:52.460] - KR
I mean, it's just it's these states with a lot more people. You would thinkwould have the groups. And they just I mean, Oregon's got four of the waves. 00:54:00National groups, which I based. Yeah. He was just dumb luck for my my, you know, pick school here because I thought. We'll work on this project because I thought because I knew that there were so many women, it was just.
[00:54:13.590] - CM
So are you working with other states, too?
[00:54:16.180] - KR
Oh, yeah, yeah. Over. I got kind of. I've been yeah. I've talked with all of the country.
[00:54:20.690] - CM
Oh, is that right?
[00:54:21.640] - KR
Yeah. But most from here, just because of convenience. Yeah. It's just kind ofmy own backyard. Yeah. From here. So if you went back again, would you. Would you enlist again? If you had to do it,
[00:54:34.740] - CM
If I had. Oh, sure, yeah.
[00:54:36.650] - CM
Oh yes, I I've gone in sooner, I think. I probably have gone in. Yeah, I think.But it was too soon. Uh. And I was graduating, you know, and I, I didn't even think about it then. But. Yeah, I'm glad I went in. It's been a big part of my life. 00:55:00
[00:55:03.240] - KR
How do you think it's impacted your life? I mean, aside from just having hadthat experience, is military service impacted your life in any other way?
[00:55:09.770] - CM
Oh, yes. You're interested in a lot of things like the Navy or the what's goingon, you know, with this and that and. Mm hmm, yeah. I think it broadens you. And, uh. Yeah, I think it makes you wanna see more.
[00:55:30.260] - KR
I can't think of any other questions. Do you have anything that you would?
[00:55:40.220] - CM
Can't think of anything, right now. Dr.. It's been fun talking to you.
[00:55:45.710] - KR