Monday, October 11, 2010

Bitter Sweet Fall

On September 25th, 2010 at 1:11pm, my grandmother, Pauline Wright, left this world. I had the opportunity to be by her side, along with family, when she passed away.

This was the last picture taken of Pauline before she passed away. (She loved her dog Lexi)
Pauline adored Shepherd! She loved his weekly visits and would get a little upset if we were too busy to come by. Pauline always asked, “Where is my pretty baby?”, that is what she called Shepherd. Then she would always say, “Oh, I should say handsome boy instead of pretty baby.” I would let her know that I thought Shepherd was more than just handsome, he was pretty.

A couple of years ago, I interviewed Pauline on just a few of her memories from her past. I am not sure if all of the names/places/spellings are correct, but I hope you will enjoy reading this little interview. I have loved getting to know my grandmother and I am very thankful to have her in my life. I want to share this, so Shepherd will know a little about his great grandmother.

Julia Faught

What is your favorite meal? Steak, baked potato, and salad.

What was your children’s favorite breakfast? Oatmeal and cinnamon toast (She made that in the wintertime. It would take an entire loaf of bread to feed all her kids. She would also do hot chocolate.)

What were your children’s favorite after school snack? Momo would make cookies when the kids came home from school. She would make the cookies out of cake mix, and she had a good recipe for cookies out of bisquick. The cake mix would make a lot of cookies.

What was the children’s favorite meal? The kid’s favorite meal was Spaghetti and the Arlis liked meat, potatoes, and gravy.

What is your favorite desert? Coconut Cream Pie (That is David’s favorite!)

Why do you enjoy reading? Momo loves to read because she can escape and imagine where she is at. Pauline has always read. She started reading at age 4 and didn’t tell anyone that she could read. She would get up Sunday morning early to read the newspaper and the comic books before her parents got up. Pauline could never sow well, cook, or do the things that women were suppose to do because she had a passion to read. Her mama didn’t like her messing up the house and reading kept her out of trouble. She didn’t have a good library at school but WPA put in a really good library when she was 9 and she went a lot. She read about a book a day.

How many books have you read in your lifetime? She didn’t read much when the kids were young, nor did she have time to watch TV.

What did you watch on TV? Jack Paar and then Johnny Carson took his place. She would watch Jack Paar and rock her babies. She could not nurse her babies so she rocked them at night. She felt this was very important to give the baby time to bond and give the mama a rest.

Tell me a story that you remember from your past? Breakfast Story…Pauline lived in Mena and Arlis would come home for lunch. Lunch was the big meal of the day, because she never new if or when Arlis would come home for supper. One night, the kids wanted pancakes for supper, so that is what she fed them. Arlis walked in and wanted a divorce!! He said that he was going to take the kids away because she was feeding them pancakes for supper! Momo still doesn’t understand what was so wrong with feeding your kids pancakes for supper? (Every time I make pancakes for supper, I think of Momo)

What did you cook for breakfast? Arlis wanted toast, eggs, and bacon every morning for breakfast. He was a big breakfast eater.

What was a significant moment in your childhood? When Pauline was in high school, she took her IQ test, it was 147-153. People treated her like there was something wrong with her. They didn’t know what to do with her. She wished she hadn’t taken the test. (152 is MENSA-the upper 2% of the population.)

How did you meet Arlis? Pauline lived with her Aunt and Uncle in Oklahoma City. Winifred Bradshaw was Pauline’s aunt, she was from Chicago. Pauline’s Aunt and Uncle were having another child and they were running out of room. Pauline decided to move across the hall and live with her girlfriend, Betty. (Side Note: Pauline remembers sitting on a swing crying because her mom did not name her Betty June.) Arlis was from Paden, OK and the girlfriend that she moved in with, Betty, knew Arlis from Paden. Arlis had been in England and came home to Paden. Pauline would go home with Betty on weekends; they would get on the bus and visit her parents. Everyone knew each other in this tiny town and one day she met Arlis. Pauline doesn’t remember exactly when she met him, but they dated less than 6 months. Arlis did buy her a tiny engagement ring; he paid a lot for it at the small town Jewelers. (Later, she traded it for a bigger one.) Arlis got a job in Cordell, Ok before they got married. She doesn’t remember how he proposed.

Tell me about your wedding? Arlis and Pauline got married in the Catholic Church, August 3rd, in 1946. They had a reception at her Aunt Winifred’s house. Pauline didn’t have a wedding dress. Due to the war, people couldn’t buy much and they had a small wedding. They were still under rationings.

Tell us about Rationing? There was a little book that would limit things like, coffee, shoes, soap, and meat. Each person would get a coupon book.

Who were you close with growing up? Pauline was really close to Winifred, her Aunt. Pauline’s mother had cancer at age 11 or 12 and Pauline would go visit her grandmother in Chicago, or her Aunt Winifred in OKC. Since her mother was sick, they always had help at home. They just knew Pauline’s mother wasn’t going to live but she got over the cancer. Pauline was never made to do much work at home because there was always help in the home. Winifred always had help also. Arlis would always get mad at Pauline because she never new how to do much. Arlis also thought it was terrible that she had help as a kid because he didn’t have enough to eat. When she was a kid they would go to this Jewish shop and get a really nice dress for $4.

What is a memory about your father? Pauline’s daddy had to get a new car every 2 years because he didn’t want to have to buy new tires. He would go down to the lot and give the dealer $150 for the new car and they would sell the other one for them. Pauline had money growing up, her father had a job at the coal mine and he was coal manager. Since the mine was the only job in the town, the coal manager had a lot of prestige. Pauline’s family had no insurance and they spent most of their resources on her mother’s cancer. Pauline had to make her own clothes in high school and she was terrible at it. They looked really bad because she could not get her gathers right. Her mom could sow really well.

Were you popular or a nerd in high school? Popular. She had pretty clothes and would make good grades. She was terrible at sports, she decided it was because she had a lazy eye and it messed up her eye hand coordination. She did walk a lot and play the piano. She was the editor of the paper, Co-editor of the yearbook, Valedictorian, and Homecoming Queen. There were about 20 in her graduating class in Valier, IL. She went to Valier Community High School. She was always the lead in the plays because she could memorize and act. But she couldn’t sing; she always wanted to sing. Their mascot was the blue birds. She had to put together the year book and only put 1 little picture of herself in the year book; a picture of her riding on the back of the convertible.

Who was your first date? Lawrence Teel. Several years ago she went to the class reunion with Rosemary and Susan. She got to see Lawrence; he got his engineering degree and is retired in Houston. She couldn’t date till she was 16. She went to the junior prom with him and wore a white lace dress.

Favorite Color? Red

Here is a picture of the entire Wright family after the funeral.

Wright family photo

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