Ellie Hauschild Interview

Ellie Hauschild Transcript-PDF

Ellie Hauschild was born Eleanor Crymble in Boston, Massachusetts, with the family later relocating near Albany, New York. The daughter of Danish and Irish immigrants, Hauschild grew up during World War II. Her experiences on the World War II homefront are the subject of this interview.


Interview with Eleanor Hauschild

Interviewed by: Kelsey Matthews

Transcriber: Kelsey Matthews

[Interview #1: October 5, 2012]



Matthews: Today is October 5th 2012 and I’m here with my grandma, Ellie Hauschild and I’ll be asking her about her experiences during World War II. So, for the record, could you just state your name.



Hauschild: Eleanor C. Hauschild



Matthews: Alright. I guess where I want to start is can you tell me a little bit about where you lived during the Great Depression and World War II?



Hauschild: The Great Depression?



Matthews: Did you live in the same place during both of those?



Hauschild: I lived in Albany–



Matthews: Ok.



Hauschild: New York, but different streets. We moved every two years, in May. So always I was the new kid in school.



Matthews: Was there a reason for that moving every two years?



Hauschild: It’s um, [phone starts to ring] when



Matthews: I’m going to pause.



Hauschild: [finishing previous thought about leases] started and ended in May.



Matthews: So the lease was up?



Hauschild: Yeah, and then we packed up, we painted, and we always lived in a two family house, downstairs because we were a noisy bunch.



Matthews: How many were living in that house?



Hauschild: My grandparents (my father’s parents), and my mother and father, sister and brother, and me. And on occasion, my Aunt Elna, my mother’s twin sister.



Matthews: That sounds like a pretty crowded house.



Hauschild: It was.



Matthews: Do you think that having all those different people in the house like, changed your experience of the War?



Hauschild: No. It was great. You know, it was better than having no one.



Matthews: I know you’ve told me this story before about building the bomb shelter. Can you tell me a little bit more about it?



Hauschild: Oh yes, this was in Oceanside, New York on Long Island. And incidentally, Oceanside was not ocean side. It was originally called Christian Hook but we had a coal cellar with a chute on the outside, where the coal went but when we moved there it was empty and it was…we had an oil burner, naturally. My father worked for an oil company. And so I built, in the coal chute, a safe place to go when they bombed us which they were gonna do. We knew it. So I had chairs and cot and a place for water and some food, some canned food. Just basic things, you know, dorky things.



Matthews: Who is the ‘they’ that you thought was going to bomb you?



Hauschild: The Japanese and the Germans, particularly the Germans.



Matthews: How did you get all of your information about the War and the war effort?



Hauschild: From radio and newspapers.



Matthews: So you said you lived with a lot of people, was there, what did your parents do for a living?



Hauschild: My father was the district manager for Tidewater Oil Company, which later became Getty and he had all of Long Island as his territory when we first moved there but then later he had the whole east coast, including North Carolina.


Matthews: How ironic.



Hauschild: Yeah, and I have a picture of him in Manteo.



Matthews: That’s good. So I know you had a brother and a sister. Do you remember defining the war experience for them? Did they ask you questions about the war or—



Hauschild: No. No, I scared them. I used to tell them, they’re coming. No, I kid you. My sister was easy to scare because she was four years younger and I had to share a room with her and I hated it. But my brother was two years younger and we never really discussed the war. No, it was just something that was there.



Matthews: Do you think, maybe if you could tell me a little bit about the major war efforts like rationing and victory gardens? Just anything you remember about rationing in particular.



Hauschild: Yeah, rationing, you had coupons for sugar, for butter, for meat, for shoes. Now, my grandma Crymble [paternal grandmother] was in bed; she’d broken her hip and my mother used her coupons to buy shoes for herself. And shoes that I had were ballet slippers because you couldn’t get leather, couldn’t get rubber soles. It was hard to find a shoemaker that would fix shoes. So, you just kinda slopped around in ballet shoes. Not the guys, I think they wore sneakers.



Matthews: Did your eating habits change at all with rationing? Or did you all eat the same as you had before?



Hauschild: We ate the same but a little bit more because my father knew people who would give him meat particularly flank steak. It was my first encounter with flank steak. And he would do oil for them and flank steak for us.



Matthews: So do you remember your dad doing a lot of trade-off with people during the War and even the Great Depression—



Hauschild: No, he was a, an air raid warden. So any time we had air raids or pseudo-air raids, air raid practices…he would go out at night with his hard hat and traverse the neighborhood and you had to have your windows, the curtains closed, no lights showing ever. I mean, this was not just during an air raid practice, it was the whole, whole time during the war.



Matthews: So what made the air raid practices so special? Was it like a different, did you have different procedures you had to do other than close the curtains and all lights off?



Hauschild: Well in school, you had to go in the hall and cover your head and sit next to a locker that was sure to fall on you and kill you.



Matthews: So now that we’re changing gears into school, can you tell me a little bit about what was your favorite class in school?



Hauschild: Study hall. No, journalism.



Matthews: So did you write for the school newspaper?



Hauschild: I wrote for the school newspaper and the yearbook.



Matthews: Ok, did you include war events in your school newspaper?



Hauschild: Yes. Letters from different guys who volunteered at the time, they weren’t drafted at the time.



Matthews: So did most of the people you knew from school volunteer for the army or the service and not get drafted?



Hauschild: No. No, I’d say about half. Half of a hundred and twenty students was not, in my senior class, was not that many guys. Nobody really wanted to be in the service. Some of them died during… Somebody died of pneumonia at a training camp in the Great Lakes. You know, everybody was really sad about it. And I thought, well he was a lucky dog, you know, at least he didn’t get shot. And parties. There were always going away parties for somebody.



Matthews: Did you attend these going away parties?



Hauschild: Oh yes!



Matthews: What was the atmosphere at these parties? Was it a sad atmosphere, was it like a happy…



Hauschild: Woop de doo. Lots of drinking.



Matthews: So there was a lot…



Hauschild: Lots of drinking.



Matthews: So there was a lot of alcohol at these events?



Hauschild: Yes. Mostly beer. Nobody could afford liquor and at the time, New York state, you could drink, I think when you were sixteen. So you were sixteen forever. You know, you were sixteen when you were fifteen.



Matthews: Going back to the newspaper, what grade were you in when Pearl Harbor happened?



Hauschild: I think I was in eighth grade.



Matthews: So you weren’t writing for the newspaper yet?



Hauschild: No, I was in junior high. And I remember the day that Pearl Harbor happened. That I was in the Bronx, visiting a girlfriend and her parents who were friends of my parents. And we called, Lenore and I called her aunt to say we were coming to visit her. And she said go home and tell your parents that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, which meant nothing. Where was Pearl Harbor? Who are the Japanese? And so we went, ran back and told our parents, who immediately got in the car, we were whisked home, terrified. Everybody was. You know, you’d look up in the sky and say, are they up there? It was a scary experience. I remember going down Sunrise highway and thinking, will we ever get back to our house. And then when we got back, there was a greenhouse close by and it was painted, after a while, it was painted black so that the sun did not reflect, or the moon, would not reflect and people put candles in the window, which I didn’t understand then, but I understood later. That they were, come on and see me sailors cause in Long Beach, which wasn’t that far away, there were Quonset huts and navy stationed there so there were lots of sailors. And sailors used to come and see the goat lady. The goat lady had a sister named the pigeon lady and that’s where my cousin Bill and Carol still live to this day, in the pigeon lady’s house.



Matthews: How did the goat lady and the pigeon lady get their nicknames?



Hauschild: They had goats and pigeons and red lights in the window. And I remember one Christmas my mother put candles in our window and she had red lights. And I said ‘my god! get these out of here! you’re advertising’ and she was ‘advertising for what?’ and I said just advertising.



Matthews: You didn’t explain it to her, the whole advertising thing?



Hauschild: No, I was too embarrassed.



Matthews: So there was, at the same time of the war, there was still this kind of people finding happiness in different ways from this advertising thing maybe? Or through the parties, you said the attitude was kind of happy so…



Hauschild: Well there were war bonds things. Well it was a, life went on. It was not depressing at all except when the lights went out and you were in a soda shop and everybody grabbed ice cream and cherries and things and then the lights went back on and you pretended that you didn’t see anything. But there were, my father had a ‘c’, c as in the letter c, gasoline card which meant you could get all the gasoline you needed or wanted. An ‘a’ or ‘b’ you could only have so much. So when there were football games or basketball games, my father would drive a bunch of us. I mean we sat on each other’s laps, running board, they had running boards then which were neat, so I was popular, sort of.



Matthews: How did your dad get the ‘C’ gas card? Was it because of his job in the oil?



Hauschild: Yeah.



Matthews: Do you remember your parents reactions when they first heard about the war?



Hauschild: No.



Matthews: Do you remember your first time hearing about the war?



Hauschild: Yeah. When I was terrified that we wouldn’t get home that someone was going to bomb us. But then after a while, you get used to things and it was just part of, part of growing up, part of life. You listened to the bombers coming over the house cause we lived near airfields and incidently, Idlewild, Idlewild Airport used to be, was, it was Idlewild to start with then it became JFK and kids in my class, boys in my class help plant the grass for the airport and they also got out of school. Guys had a  lucky time. They cleared the tracks for the trains cause there was manpower shortage. And so they would get kids out of high school, boys to shovel the tracks for the Long Island Railroad.



Matthews: Did you have a job in high school?



Hauschild: Yes. Working in the five and ten. Everybody did. Stole in the line.



Matthews: Do you have any memories of, did you discuss the war with your coworkers?



Hauschild: Nah. No, you would say you got a letter from somebody, V-mail which was a little piece of paper that was photo, photographed somehow or another. All this was very new. There were some new, plastic even. Plastic I can remember bringing a piece of plastic in to a speech class and saying ‘this is plastic’. Nobody knew what it was. It was, it was an age of innocence and dumbness.



Matthews: So did you see a lot of new things, like plastic, coming about because of the war?



Hauschild: Yeah.



Matthews: Do you remember any other things, other than plastic that were new to you?



Hauschild: Tangee Lipstick and oh, and razor blades, to shave your legs. You used this things like a spatula and it was sandpaper and you rubbed it on your leg like this [demonstrates] to get the hair off.



Matthews: Was that painful?



Hauschild: No, no it was dusty. But you had no, no razor blades.



Matthews: So, going back to rationing, how old were you, did you, I know you smoked earlier in your life, did you smoke during the war?



Hauschild: No.



Matthews: Did anybody in your family smoke



Hauschild: My mother’s father smoked.



Matthews: Was it harder to get cigarettes and tobacco during the war?



Hauschild: I think so, Lucky Strike Green has gone to war, I can remember that because they used to have Lucky Strikes in a green pack and for some reason, unbeknownst to me, the green coloring was part of the war effort and so, there was this thing. “Lucky Strike Green Has Gone to War”. And when I say I didn’t smoke, I puffed to look cool til my mother found some cigarettes in my purse, she was a snoop and she said ‘what are you doing with these cigarettes?’ and I said I’m holding them for someone, but I didn’t smoke during the war. I didn’t smoke til I went to college.



Matthews: Speaking of college, how did you decide you were going to go to college after high school instead of doing, I’ve heard that a lot of people got married after high school before and during the war so how did you see college as an option?



Hauschild: Through a minister who came to the house, and he told us about Tusculum which was in Tennessee where he had gone. His name was Irving Birdsong and he said I would enjoy going there. Unbeknownst to me, I didn’t know there were no men there, that there was no drinking, it was a rude awakening. But, I was working at a newspaper doing obituaries in the morning. And I would say, you know write out this stuff and then I decided this was not the journalistic world that I was encountering and that I should do something so I decided to go to college.



Matthews: Were your parents supportive of that decision?



Hauschild: Yes, yeah, yeah. I think they were glad to get rid of me.



Matthews: Did you feel the pressures of your parents wanting you to get married though too?



Hauschild: No, No, when I finally did get married—my mother used to say ‘it’s time you got married’. She used to say that about anybody-‘it’s time she got married’. You know and you would be maybe twenty, twenty, twenty I was when I first got married. Too young. Didn’t know enough.



Matthews: How many years of college did you get through before you got married?



Hauschild: Which time?



Matthews: Whatever time you would like to talk about [both laugh]



Hauschild: The first time I got through two, two years, two and a half years.



Matthews: But you kept trying to go back?



Hauschild: Yeah, cause I went to many schools. I went to Columbia University one summer because I took psychology there because I didn’t like the psychology teacher at Tusculum and then I went to the University of Kentucky and lived with my roommate and her parents. And then I got married that summer to Jim Martin, who was working in Atlantic Beach as a, I don’t know, he was working somewhere as a club, something to do with Cornell Hotel School and he used to take his dry cleaning in and I said, afterward, I took you to the cleaners once, I’ll take you again. Which I did.



Matthews: Going back to your first college experience, you graduated high school in 1945, and I know I’ve heard you talk about this before but could you just—you took summer classes in ’45, is that right?



Hauschild: No.



Matthews: Ok. When did you take your summer classes at college?



Hauschild: In ‘46



Matthews: Ok, and do you have memories, like people coming back from the war?



Hauschild: Yeah, men. All veterans. All on the GI Bill. When I first went to Tusculum, there were seven guys there. Seven men. One was a minister, or studying to be a minister and he sent flowers, which I found rather disgusting, on Mother’s day. And I said, ‘I’m not your mother’ but he was a good dancer. And the other guys were 4F, you know, they couldn’t, unfortunate, they couldn’t be accepted into the service so they were dumb. But that summer, I went to summer school there, and that’s when the guys started coming back so I had my pick. I knew all of them before anybody else did. And I had great fun.



Matthews: Did you all have lots of social events and lots of parties?



Hauschild: No.



Matthews: Did you just meet them in class then?



Hauschild: Yeah


Matthews: What did you do for fun at, in college or in high school?



Hauschild: Went out and had beers.



Matthews: So you could just walk into a store and just…



Hauschild: No, not in Tennessee.



Matthews: Ok, but back in New York, in high school you could just drink whenever you wanted



Hauschild: Yeah, and movies. We went to a lot of movies. And this is the first time that I encountered actually second time, but the first time I really encountered racial, racism where the blacks and you didn’t call them blacks then, you called them colored went through different door and this is in a Presbyterian town. Couldn’t believe it. And they sat up in the balcony which I’d like to sit up in the balcony but you couldn’t because that was called [whispers: nigger] bad word ‘nigger heaven’. And it was horrible. The first time I encountered this was when I went to Tusculum by myself cause I’d never been there and I was in DC and changing trains and they had different restrooms, different drinking fountains for whites and blacks or colored. It was and sat in the back, you couldn’t sit in the back of the bus where at least the seats were long and you could stretch out if you wanted to. You weren’t allowed to sit in the back of the bus. It was not nice.


Matthews: So you hadn’t experienced any of that in New York though?



Hauschild: No. No, my father saw to it that we did not go to school with blacks.



Matthews: So your parents harbored…



Hauschild: My father harbored



Matthews: racism



Hauschild: yes.



Matthews: Were you aware of other ethnicities when you were living in New York?



Hauschild: Yeah. Jewish people, cause they had different holidays they got off.



Matthews: Were there any Japanese people that you knew that were living in New York at the time?



Hauschild: No. No Japanese, no Thais, no anybody.



Matthews: Did you have any boyfriends during high school?



Hauschild: Oh yeah. I had three or four. Depended. My grandfather would say ‘Are you the boy that was here last night?’ And I’d say ‘Grandpa, no he wasn’t’. Yeah.



Matthews: Were they from the same, were they Irish or Danish like you were or were they um, different.



Hauschild: I was Danish-Irish.



Matthews: Right, so were they from the same background as you, did you have any German boyfriends or boyfriends that pulled from any different countries in Europe?



Hauschild: No. No.



Matthews: Did you watch movies in high school—did you go to movies a lot [Hauschild nods]? What movies do you remember seeing?



Hauschild: African Queen. I liked Casablanca. I loved that. And I don’t know. Just anything.



Matthews: Would you go to the movies with your friends?



Hauschild: Yes. And it cost twelve cents, if you can imagine. Plus a nickel for candy.



Matthews: Do you remember seeing war propaganda films at the beginning of movies during the war?



Hauschild: Propaganda? No. But war films, they always had news, they had cartoons and news and you know, and you could stay. You didn’t have to leave. You could stay and go to the second show, if you wanted.



Matthews: What were some of the war newsreels like? Did they—I’ve heard that there were some, I know I’ve seen a few that would talk about STDs or Hitler—do you remember seeing anything like that?



Hauschild: Yes. But it didn’t hit me personally. I guess cause I was female and [long pause] I don’t know.



Matthews: What other classes did they offer in your high school?



Hauschild: Biology. Calculus. Geometry. All, any science. Journalism as I said, English, history, I disliked history cause it was dull and boring. And the teacher wasn’t very with it. But they also had sewing where you made things for the poor servicemen. Which I used to take home to my mother and have her finish it. And my mother worked for the Red Cross and she did, she knit sweaters and mittens and scarves and hats. And she would also, if somebody made a mistake, she would unravel it and do it again. You know, she was clever.



Matthews: So you said your mother worked for the Red Cross. Do you remember her bringing home any stories of soldiers she might have met or…



Hauschild: No.



Matthews: Did she, how did she get the addresses or did the Red Cross give her the addresses?



Hauschild: Yes.



Matthews: Did you get the addresses of anybody you were in high school with so you could write to them while they were at war?



Hauschild: Oh yes. Yeah. We, we had a—I got some from, from my older cousin Peggy who lived in New Jersey. She went to Barnard and she sent me addresses of guys to write to. Everybody had somebody to write to. I don’t know particularly where we got them but somebody would know somebody in the service and they would say, write to so and so and so you did. And when I was in I think a senior, this one guy Phil Geffner, he wrote me fantastic letters about going through Italy and shoot ‘ems up and different things. Which I used some of his letters for the Cider Press, which was the name of our school newspaper.



Matthews: So people were interested in what other people’s experiences were with the war during the war?



Hauschild: Yes. I had a dog named SNAFU, situation normal all fouled up.



Matthews: Did you learn that from your communication with soldiers?



Hauschild: Yeah.



Matthews: Was there anything else, like coded, that you learned from the soldiers in the letters?



Hauschild: No. Nothing that I recall or want to recall [laughs].



Matthews: Do you remember when you first heard about the war being over?



Hauschild: Yeah.



Matthews: Can you tell me a little bit about that?



Hauschild: Yeah. Sirens blew. Which war?



Matthews: World War II.



Hauschild: Yeah, but there was the war in Europe was over long before the war in Japan.



Matthews: Let’s talk about Europe first and then I’ll ask you—then we can talk about Japan if that’s ok.



Hauschild: Yeah. Europe was in May, I think was D-Day. And everybody went into New York and celebrated, just being part of the crowd there and there was a woman who wrote in the reunion book, ‘it was our only insurrection all through high school’. We just poured out of the building and hopped a train into New York where all the celebration was going on. It was neat.



Matthews: So you all just left school?



Hauschild: Yeah.



Matthews: and went to New York City?



Hauschild: Yeah.



Matthews: Was it just a big street celebration in New York City or was it different places had different celebrations going on?



Hauschild: Well, I don’t know for sure but the whole New York City was ecstatic, you know, absolutely wild.



Matthews: Alright, so you remember your—so was there—do you remember hearing about nuclear bombs for the first time and how did you hear about like Hiroshima and Nagasaki?



Hauschild: Actually through television cause we had a television set then. We were the only ones in the neighborhood who had one and [long pause] it was August. Oh it was the fourteenth, I want to say, somewhere around. They hadn’t smashed the atom when I took chemistry in high school. No one knew anything about atoms or bombs or atomic bombs I should say. But there were pictures. There were pictures anywhere you went, on the bus, on street corners, “loose lips sink ships buy war bonds” you know, there were always big rallies for war bonds.



Matthews: So did the neighborhood know you were the only people with a television?



Hauschild: Yes.



Matthews: Did you have a revolving door kind of effect after people found out you had a television?



Hauschild: Oh, yeah people brought and you sat, first of all sat in the dark with just a tiny little light on and people brought food, snacks. It was pary time. It was neat.



Matthews: So did the news of Hiroshima and Nagasaki come across your television screen?



Hauschild: I don’t know. I was working.



Matthews: Ok. Do you remember how you felt after hearing about the atomic bomb being dropped on those two cities?



Hauschild: It felt really gleeful. I didn’t feel sorry for them. Which I would now and do now. But I think we were conditioned to not like them.



Matthews: Certainly there’s a lot of anti-Japanese propaganda at that time so it’s understandable that you would feel that way. How did your television work? Do you remember like—did you have an antenna on it?



Hauschild: Rabbit ears



Matthews: Ok.



Hauschild: That sat on the top.



Matthews: Did you have any other, what we would call now electronics like a camera or any other things that you would use to document your life?



Hauschild: No. No, we were poor. We had balloon tires on our bikes. That was the big thing, a ten speedster or anything like we have now. No.



Matthews: Can you explain a little bit more about balloon tires?



Hauschild: Yeah. They were, instead of tires that were maybe this wide, they were big things. And my sister and I shared a bike and she sold it when I was in college and kept the money. And I never forgave her [looks up and speaks] I do now Beverly [laughs]



Matthews: Were there any other things that were trendy at the time that you remember?



Hauschild: Yes. Nudes. Snudes.  They were fishnet kind of things that you wore in your hair, around your hair, pulled back and as I said, the ballet slippers. Nobody wore jeans. Nobody wore slacks. Everybody wore skirts.



Matthews: Did you ever find yourself wanting to wear jeans or slacks?



Hauschild: No. No I was glad I didn’t have to wear snow pants or stocking cause my legs were so thin and the seam in the stocking was in the back and it cut my leg in half [shows]. Sometimes the seam would end up over here because my legs were so skinny but I had to wear them my mother said and I would roll them down on the way to school, put socks on.



Matthews: If I’m not mistaken, nylon was rationed during the war, or was it.



Hauschild: I don’t know. Probably. I don’t even know if there was nylon.



Matthews: So how did you get stockings, was it just somebody stocked up on them?



Hauschild: Well they weren’t made of nylon



Matthews: Do you know what they were made of?



Hauschild: No. Coarse material.



Matthews: Were there games you remembered playing as a child or in high school? Like popular games?



Hauschild: Everybody liked Monopoly. Poker. Michigan Rummy.



Matthews: What is Michigan Rummy?



Hauschild: Well it’s a board or a plastic thing that—it was part poker and part hearts. And hearts we played and spades.



Matthews: When you got to college were there any popular games? Different ones?



Hauschild: No. Bridge.



Matthews: I know there’s this story about this goldfish you tell. Would you mind telling it again?



Hauschild: Oh this was when I was married the first time. And we went to this watering hole called Zincks. z-i-n-c-k-s. Everybody went to Zincks. And somebody got the idea of swallowing goldfish. So we, poor lady in the five and ten. She had such a run on goldfish that day, or that evening. And so you had to pop one down and chug a beer. And I could feel it flip flopping in my throat for the longest time. And I waited forever for it to reappear but I did swallow a goldfish.



Matthews: Going back to your work at the five and ten, what kind of things did you sell there?



Hauschild: Oh this was when I was in high school



Matthews: Right, at your five and ten.



Hauschild: I worked in china dish, dish plates. And I used to sit behind the counter and raise my eyebrow. I learned how to raise my eyebrow. But at Cornell I worked the motolith machine, cranking things and ink all over the place. I was a whiz at it.



Matthews: So was that like a typewriter kind of job?



Hauschild: No, no. I couldn’t type. I took a typing test when I went to Cornell with Martin and first thing I did was write—type—Eleanor Crymble is my name and I said oohh that’s wrong and then I couldn’t type fast enough because I had long fingernails that I wouldn’t cut. Here comes somebody.



Matthews: I can pause it



Hauschild: No, that’s alright. But the big thing was, when we got the goldfish, that we put a big fish in the cigarette machine. So that when anybody dropped coins in to get a pack of cigarettes, they felt this fish.



Matthews: Did you play a lot of pranks on people?



Hauschild: Oh yeah.



Matthews: What’s your best prank you remember?



Hauschild: When I was younger, I used to scare the hell out of my sister pretending that I was somebody else. I’m going to get you. And I might look like your sister Eleanor, but I’m really not. And I would scare her, scare her, and I loved it.



Matthews: Going back to where we started with the bomb shelter, how did you know what to put in it or how to make one?



Hauschild: I didn’t.



Matthews: You just made it up?



Hauschild: Yeah. I just wanted to be comfortable.



Matthews: Did you tell your parents you had made a place for them to be safe?



Hauschild: Yeah. And they thought it was fine. They never went down there.



Matthews: Did you end up using it as a place to find peace and quiet or did you really go down there thinking you were going to be bombed?



Hauschild: I—I’m not sure. I think I left it empty. I mean, no one used it really, it was a place to go in case. And I was ready. I was ready for it. And I would go in and dust and replenish things every once and a while. But mostly, if I wanted to get away from people I went up to the attic and spent lots of time up there. This is before my cousins came to live with us. Before I went to college. I’d sleep on an Army cot with a light on. It was lovely. It was away from people and the noise. Who is that?

[Cousin interrupts interview. ]