A. Varesano interviewing Anna Timko
361 trouble with her eyes, and she was afraid they wouldn't pass her. And the
father-in-law was here about two or three different times. And she was afraid
they wouldn't pass her and so she didn't want to come. But the father-- her
husband, rather- the father-in-law says to her, if you don't want to come,
send the children to me, then. So then she decided to come over. So I guess
it was about 1908, 1909, something like that, when she came over, and her
husband had been here. She went back to Europe, I think, about twice, or
something like that, you know, and the family was still in Europe.
AV: So, what do you mean, some women were handy, it was because they came from
AT: No, they just had interest in these things, like it is now. Look Helen.
Helen's like a carpenter. She'll do anything. She's handy. Now, I couldn't
do that, like she does. Here last year, she went and fixed her garage, ad
then she made, well the garage, that I wouldn't mind it, because it was only the
tarpaper she put on. but then later on, she went and she fixed those garage
doors that, now they're very big and heavy, and she took them off, and she
fixed them, she went to Hazleton and bought the kind of wood that you needed
for it, and she fixed it, she jsut got one of the nephews or somebody there to
help her, you know, just to hold it or something, and she did all the work
herself. Then the front porches, if the steps are bad she fixed that. I says,
You are handy, I said, to do things like that, I said, that's hard work, and
it takes strength, you know to do things like that. So she said if there
was a vocational school some place, you know, that would be teaching carpentry
she said she would go! Just to get a little more idea! And she woud, she's
that type, she would!
AV: So, if some women were handy, it's because they had an interest in it not
that they'd have to do it.
AT: That's right - no, but they have interest in it, and they do it. Now there
is lady mechanics, fixing cars or something else. Well, they don't have to
do that, they're just interested in that. Or engineers, or, you know, a lot
of that stuff, that women do that, or dadies do things, what is men's work,
and still they do it.
AV: Well, I thought that, like in the old days they had to do this work, otherwise
the family wouldn't eat?
AT: Well, they wouldn't have it. That's about all. There'd be other things, you
know, they'd have to substitute. But if you want something home-made, it's
much better, you know? So that's the reason. Of course you had to one day
only make everything at home, you couldn't buy anything. Now, take, for
instance, my mother was sick in 1924, and I think it was around Christmas time.
392 She was craving for lettuce. Do you know, money couldn't buy lettuce? So
she asked me, she says, Annie, go and get me lettuce someplace, she said, I will
eat. Because she couldn't eat, you know, she had a poor appetite. So she
would just think what she could eat, you know, to build up an appetite for
something. So she thought she wanted some lettuce. So she asked me. I said
Mom, there's no place to get it! One time there was a produce store, some
grocer started with produce. But it didn't sell, so he went bankrupt. The
stuff spoiled for him. People didn't have the money. they wouldn't but that
stuff, because they couldn't afford to buy it. You know, you bought what was
filling, but produce, you didn't buy that stuff. So then that guy went bankrupt.
so you coudn't buy it. So, you know how she got it then? There was a
man working for a grocery man - see, the grocers and butchers used to come to
town and deliver the stuff, the grocer would come I think every other day, and
the butcher would come I guess about four or five times a week and bring it
to your door. So, this guy that was working for this grocer, he come to the
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