S: My Story By Mary E. Jaenke (April 25, 1913 – January 23, 2011)
FC: My Story By Mary E. Jaenke (April 25,1913 – January 23, 2011)
1: Like branches on a tree, our lives may grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one. | "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow."
2: Foreword What a blessing it is to have this story, written by my mother in her own words, as part of a class she was taking at Baldwin-Wallace College. While she was from a modest family, which suffered with everyone else during the Great Depression, she always had a positive and forward-looking attitude toward life and her relationships with others. She had friends of all walks of life, and since she lived all of her life within a circle of 30 miles, she kept many friendships for over 50 years, some much longer. I remember her early married life as being very similar to what our families have experienced, with the stress and commotion involved with raising two children. She was a great mother, who was able to stay at home with us during our school years – which was the custom in the 1940’s and 1950’s. I learned most of what I know about life from her. My father was a very fine man, who was loved by those who knew him. He worked hard and his war-time job took long hors. He worked nearly an hour away from our home in Berea, Ohio, so we didn’t get to spend a lot of time sharing our lives during my school days. Life became very hard during the 1950’s and early 1960’s, with my dad’s health problems, my sister’s health problems and early death, the loss of most of mom and dad’s parents, and then the early death of my father before his 50th birthday. Pictures of my mother during that time showed the stress she was under. | But, through the inner strength from her early spiritual training, help from her many friends, good counseling from some business acquaintances and God’s blessing, she re-constructed her life. Her relationships and accomplishments were probably similar to what she had envisioned when she was a bright young student. She lived independently for over 45 years, staying in Cleveland with her friends and church, rather than trying to follow her family, as we lived in Indiana, California, and St. Louis. A short visit, and she was ready to continue the life she had established with her friends, living in the condominium in Berea and subsequently at the Renaisance retirement center. She was a world traveler, and for a period of over 20 years, saw most of Europe, some of Mexico, and much of the United States. She was blessed to have friends who allowed her to spend large amounts of time in California and Florida, primarily after retirement from her part-time job in 1989. It was a blessing to all of us, that she chose to up-root her life at the age of 95 and move to St. Louis to share her last years with her grandchildren and great-grand-children. We were able to see her as often as we wanted, although she continued to be active with bridge, bingo and social life at Breeze Park retirement center. May God continue to bless you Mom, and we look forward to the day when we will be with you in Paradise with your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Your son, Ted
3: My Story By Mary E. Jaenke April 25, 1913 – January 23, 2011 Preface My Roots School and Home Friends My Love Life My Work Life My Career My Christmas Tree
4: When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses. ~Joyce Brothers | 254 Clark St. - Berea House - 1941 | Theodore Otto Jaenke - 1945 | Ted Jaenke - January 1942
5: Carol Ann - 3 years old | Grandpa Fisher's Buick - 1942 | Charles & Odessa Fisher - 1941
6: Preface I hope all my family will enjoy this “Story of My Life.” I know that Ted and Robyn have encouraged me and I have promised a copy to my cousin Ann. I started this in a course at Baldwin Wallace College about five years ago and forget all about it for months. My early life was very entangled with my Mother’s family, as so often happens. It was at Uncle Charlie's house in Cambridge, Ohio that I learned about life in a small town. We went on to Gibson Station to the farm where my Aunt Mary lived and there I learned about farm life. In all of these visits I learned about people that I had never seen but have been related to. “Uncle Will”, who fought in the Battle of Lookout Mountain and part of the family that moved into Illinois and brought a little Indian blood ‘‘which you could see by their high cheekbones.” Uncle Charlie was Ann’s Great-grandfather. Aunt Mini was his wife and the mother of Clara, who was Patty’s mother. Clara was married to Delmar Dayton who was a soldier in the First World War. Delmar died at the age of thirty-five and that was the first funeral that I remember. Clara and Delmar had two children, Tom and Patty. Patty was Ann’s Mother and she spent a great deal of time at our house and Ann was just a little girl to me. The last years of Pat’s life were very much a part of mine and now I feel that Ann and Paul, her husband, are the last of the family that I knew as I grew up. Ann is the only living member of my Mother’s family that we are aware of. So there will be references to people that are part of Ann’s distance family that she does not even know. | Two people are excited about this “Story of My Life,” my oldest granddaughter and my cousin, Ann. Ann is in her forties and lives in California. I am sure my other grandchildren will appreciate it also, but Robyn has three boys of her own, so “family” already has more meaning to her. A group of people from the Isle of Guernsey arrived early in the Eighteen Hundreds and settled in Pennsylvania. When I was a little girl I saw a diary that had been saved by Uncle Charlie Long, that told how these families had come into Ohio and he believed that Guernsey County had been named for them. My Mother was a member of the “Long” family and lived her early life in Salesville, Ohio with Uncle Charlie’s older brother, because my Grandmother died when my Mother was a baby. My Grandmother died of “consumption”, which we know as tuberculosis, and since I was a skinny little girl, everyone worried that I might develop such a disease. Cambridge was the County Seat of Guernsey County and the place that we traveled to by train. This was the home of Uncle Charlie who I remember as a very old man. The address was 808 Gomber Avenue and was very well known because Clara Dayton (who was Uncle Charlie’s daughter and Ann’s Grandmother) was the town’s dressmaker and planned all the important weddings and knew everyone. I remember Clara as being so fashionable and always dressed up. The first time I was allowed to visit by myself, I was fifteen and I spent a week in Cambridge. Long before that my mother and I were put on the B&O Railroad chaircar by my father , who tipped the conductor very well to see that we were taken car of properly. It was a wonderful experience to eat on the table that the porter set into the wall between two chairs that could swing to face each
7: other. I remember the great fried potatoes and the fact that the windows were open at the top and soot sometimes come in on the white table cloth, but everything tasted so good. When my father came to get us, we went to Gibson Station which was between Cambridge and Salesville, but on the B&O. A few times we went by train directly to Gibson Station, but that was a little scary, because Gibson Station was only a whistle stop on the regular run, which meant that the train only stopped for passenger or freight. Otherwise the mail was put into a bag and passed out a window to a bar that caught it. Our visit at Gibson Station was quite different than in Cambridge. This was the home of the MeGee family where my Aunt Mary Weaver lived. It was a really great farm, that I hated. The house was large with a parlor and a huge kitchen that smelled so good. They were very prosperous farmers and had a Delco lighting system and water pumped into the house. They had a bath tub and bathroom but of course no inside toilets. This was before the chemical sanitation we know today was available. Between the necessity to go out to the “John” and the fact that sometimes the chickens got into the fenced yard and left their droppings, my “city” girl ideas found great objections. It wasn’t until years later that I realized what a great life that was and how “American” they were. No politician needed to do anything for them except keep the roads. The land was adequate if you worked and the hills were good grazing for sheep and hereford cattle, and besides they supplied springs for water. They had the best breeds of chickens, dairy cattle and horses. They provided their own church and furnished wood to heat it. They had a circuit preacher and my Aunt Mary taught Sunday School. A great thrill was going to church in a buggy behind a huge horse and smelling him and hearing his whinny and the clop of his huge feet. My father would drive down | to get us in his car but many times it took the horses to pull him out on the poor roads that went by the house. It was all right if you could make it to the “pike” as they called it. The best part of the farm besides the food, was the conversations of the older people catching up on all that had happened since we were together last. There were always references to people I had never seen but had been related to, like “Uncle Will, who fought in the “Battle of Lookout Mountain” or the family who moved into Illinois, who nobody admitted had a little Indian blood ‘‘which you could see by their high cheekbones. As I grew older and was more involved in my own affairs, the farm was visited less and the people from Cambridge started moving towards Cleveland. The Long family had become merchants and public servants, Uncle John was police or fire chief, Uncle Homer had a rural mail route, Uncle Charlie had owned the Men’s Store and the Seigfried family (Uncle Charlie’s wife and Minnie’s sister) had the grocery. It seemed to me that grocery business must be pretty profitable, because they had such a large house with a wrap-around porch and their daughter Lucille seemed to have everything, meaning lots of things that I didn’t have. Clara Dayton had two children, Tom who went to the Second World War as an army pilot and Patty who came to Cleveland to study nursing at Huron Road Hospital. We are now skipping about ten years and I am married and living in Berea. I will catch up on these years at another time. Clara was now alone since her mother and father had both passed away, so it was possible for her to visit us and be near Patty once in a while. It was also nice for me, since this was war time and rationing, and I then received Clara’s ration coupons, since they were
8: not so much needed in Cambridge where she did little cooking. Patty graduated from nursing school, it was only two or three years at that time, and went to Veterans Hospital on York Road as a Cadet Nurse. We had a lot of visits from her and she brought many nurses and doctors to our back yard for cook-outs. I remember many wild tales from this group, but we thought we were helping the war effort and were always glad to have them come. Tom married his hometown sweetheart and moved to Chagrin Falls when the war was over and Patty married a Cambridge law student who studied at Western Reserve for a short time and they moved back to Cambridge. And now for this chapter of “The Story of My Life” I would like to skip a few years again. My husband Ed loved to fish. He was not a boat person and really didn’t even care if he caught anything. In the years just following the war we spent our vacations at Seneca Lake, which was one of the water- shed projects built in the Roosevelt years. If you look at a map you will find it is partially in Guernsey County and the rest in Noble County. This meant of course that I was going back to Cambridge. The people on the farm had all passed away. Clara was still at Gomber avenue but our main anchor now was with Patty and her husband Jack. They had a daughter who is Ann (in California) and I had two children, Ted and Carol Ann. We stayed in the same cabin for several years in a row and I always complained because I had to clean the cabin the first day or two and then start getting ready to come home. But we stopped in Cambridge and kept in touch with the family. | Clara lived to bury her son Tom and see her daughter Patty divorced. Both were very sad days for me. Tom was too young to die and Patty and Jack had been too successful, to handle. Jack had succeeded in becoming county prosecutor and left politics to join a very successful law group. Sometimes things get rolling too fast and something like that happened to Patty. After the divorce, she moved back to Cleveland. When the house on Gomber Avenue was cleared out, I alerted Pat to look for her grandfather’s diary or other papers that might have been what I had seen when I was a little girl, but unfortunately they were never recovered. Even then,we returned to Seneca Lake, the last time was on November 9 sometime in the late 1950’s. Only this time we took our station wagon and a tent and camped. It was one of those wonderful warm week-ends that I will always remember. We built a fire from logs we found and enjoyed the trees and did not realize that this would be our last trip to Cambridge. By this time we had lost our daughter and our son was in college. With Pat in Cleveland and her daughter Ann in school, my life was complicated with my husband's illness and care for my father, so the contacts were lost and years passed. But my relationship remained with Pat until she died and now I am keeping that “family tie” with Ann and loving it. I just spent a week with her and her family in Grass Valley, near Donner Pass and Lake Tahoe. I am planning a quilt for her as she remodels her bedroom and hoping that her daughter Meghan can come to see “beautiful Ohio” and take it back. I think that a part of the person I am today was formed in Guernsey County and the attitudes that these rugged people taught me have been a great help in overcoming my own problems. My mother always said that it didn’t hurt to have an Irish grandmother whose name was Pinina McGuire.
9: Mary Jaenke's Quilts
10: My Roots I have already written about my early years at the farm in southern Ohio. I did not say anything particular about my Mother’s family because there is very little that I know. I have seen and heard pages read from a family record that Uncle Charlie had. I always expected that this would be available to me when he died because I was so close to his family. However, this did not happen. No one seems to know what happened to the family diary that he kept. My mother, Odessa Mae Long, was born on May 10, 1880. I know that my Mother’s father was Westley Long and that he died at the age of 48 years from a massive stroke. My Mother was seventeen years old when he died and was already living with Uncle Charlie, who was a first cousin and the son of Aunt Suse. My Mother was only eighteen months old when her mother died of consumption.. That was the common name for tuberculosis in those days, I am well aware of this, because I was always a skinny child and whenever we visited relatives, they commented that I was a candidate for consumption. My grandmother had been married before and had a daughter “Mary Weaver” who is one of the people I was named for. When I first met Aunt Mary she was already living with Uncle Tom and Aunt Mabel on the farm in Gibson Station. It appears that my Mother had stayed in Salesville, Ohio until time to go to high school. Then she moved to Cambridge, Ohio and went to school and business college . She learned Pittman shorthand and went to work for Cambridge Glass. At one time this was a competitor of Steuben Glass. The idea that I have was, that she was being encouraged to marry someone she did not care for, so she came to Cleveland to try to find a life for herself. When she arrived, she found if impossible to get a job as a secretary and as she was running out of money, she took a job as a cook assistant in the home of a very wealthy Jewish family on East Boulevard. They were very good to
11: her and she received many beautiful presents from them as they traveled and brought back presents. I remember a beautiful hat she had with a lined brim of red velvet and a large plum feather which was very much in vogue in those days. She met my Father through a maid in a house nearby, I remember her as Aunt Lilly. When Mother met my Dad, he was working on the lakes in the summer and driving “hack” in the winter. This would be like a taxi driver today. The only difference was, that “hack” drivers had regular customers who reserved their “hack” for frequent use. I was born at Women’s Hospital on April 28, 1913, and named Mary Eldora Fisher. That already makes me different. As far as I know, that was not the way things were at that time. All of the friends that I have ever discussed this with were born at home. But my Mother was twenty-nine years old when she was married and had lost a little boy in a mis-carriage, so my Father was not willing to take any more chances and so provided extra care for both of us. My Father found a new apartment for us and moved while my Mother and I were still in the hospital. Our new home was at the corner of 93rd and Superior Aye, just across 93rd from St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church and school. I really don’t remember very much about my early years except what my Mother told me. It seems that my Father took me out every Sunday morning to visit Friends and show me off, so it was important that I had nice clothes. I have a picture in a coat with a beaver collar and a beaver muff, white kid tops on patent leather shoes and a velvet hat with a beaver pompom. My Dad also took me to Rockefeller Park and to | the lagoons where we rented a canoe and went for a ride. That was close to Gordon Park which was on Lake Erie and a great place to fish. That reminds me that we had a fishman on Friday who had a horse and wagon and a horn that he blew to bring the women out to the street. I remember seeing fish flop around in the back of the wagon, because they had just been caught in nets and we were so close to the lake. The fishman had a scale like the ones we see in the produce department of Rego’s and he wrapped the fish in newspaper. Of course we also had a baker, an iceman and a milk man. All of these first appeared with horse and wagon. Later they came in trucks. I never remember the fishman in a truck, but that may be because when I was nine years old we moved to the west side and were not near a fishing area. When I got the whooping cough I could not ride on street cars so my Dad bought our first car. It was a model T Ford and had to be cranked. That didn’t last too long and my Dad got us a pretty olive green Oakland with a white top. It really was a nice car and we were very proud of it and it had a “self starter”. There were a lot of “kids” in our neighborhood. It was a mostly Catholic group that just went across the street to St. Thomas. When I was ready to start school, my Dad talked with one of the priests (they did not have cars and all got their exercise walking up and down the street and around the building and everyone knew them). My Dad was advised that since we were not part of the parish, they would have to charge tuition for my schooling, and suggested that I probably would be better off to go to Notre Dame which was just a few blocks further up Superior and was a private school. That is how I got started and it has had an effect on my life ever since, but that is for the next chapter “School and Home”.
12: My Father was born in Texas but there are no records. One of his family that I met later said that he was born in Missouri. Whatever, his family was from East Germany and always claimed he was German, and even was known by many old friends as “Dutch” Fisher. His mother died when he was in his early teens and his father remarried. The story goes that the stepmother whipped one of his sisters and that he and his older brother “beat up”the stepmother, and their father told both boys to get out. I guess the older brother, whose name was John, was old enough to get a job in a steel mill where he was eventually killed when a ladle of molten mettle overturned on the workmen. My Father found a home with an English family that had four daughters and no sons. They rented a farm and Dad Grills needed help in return for keep. So my Father lived with them until he was about eighteen and then Dad Grills found him a job with “Chewing Gum” White who was a very wealthy Westsider. My Dad went to work helping with the horses and eventually learned to drive “hack”, even “four-in-hand”, which meant four horses arranged in two teams and driven by one person. This was “class” like having a Rolls Royce and gave my Father an opportunity to drive for other people, so that when he did go to work on a ship on Lake Erie in the summer, he drove for a livery stable in the winter. That would be just like being taxi driver today. Except that nothing was just the same in the way that people lived then. My Dad got acquainted with certain well known men who preferred not to have the family employees know all about their outside activities. By the time I could remember, he worked for Whittmar-Jackson Lumber Co and stayed in that industry until he retired in his late seventies. I was thirty-seven years old when my Father met a man that he had known as a boy, and he learned where his sister Mary (for whom I am named) lived. Because the girls had married, it has never | been possible to find them. My Dad thought they did not care to find him, because his name had been in the phone book all these years. But when he went to see my Aunt, we found a whole family of very nice people who said they were Polish. The funny part of this story is that when I got married I discovered that my husband’s family who spoke German and were very much shunned during the First World War and had really stayed to themselves a great deal because of it, came from almost the same area. They actually came over as children and still had their naturalization papers and had records of where they came from. This has always seemed strange to me, but we are seeing the same thing today in Bosnia. People really have paid a big price for their heritage. Of course my in-laws did not think much of Polish people, but when I got married, I didn’t even know it and it didn’t matter to them either when I found out. My Mother’s family had an entirely different background.The Longs were a very big family and very much known in the area, so my mother was raised by an aunt who eventually developed cancer. I am not sure if this had anything to do with my mother moving to the home of another brother but at seventeen she moved to Cambridge, Ohio and that is the place I think of as my “ancestral” home. The fire chief was a “Long” and Uncle Charlie owned the Men’s Store. Aunt Mini s sister and husband owned the best grocery, and lived across the street from Aunt Mini and Uncle Charlie. This is where at fifteen, I was allowed to vacation for two weeks. Of course Aunt Mini and her daughter Clara were the local dressmakers and the people came all the time to get their fittings. They did all the big weddings and heard all the gossip. I learned a little more about sewing while I was there and even helped a little with simple
13: things. I had already become a beginner sewer. It was here that I learned from Uncle Charlie about my Mother’s family. They surely did not come over on the Mayflower, but had been in the country for several generations. The family came from the Isle of Guernsey, which is one of the channel islands. They were English and Irish, and although they didn’t claim it, probably a little French. They came over with a group of people that first lived in Pennsylvania and moved into Ohio early, almost on top of the Indians. Guernsey County is named for this group and the Longs and the Weavers probably were trades people rather than farmers for most of them lived in the city. My Mother had a half-sister, older than herself and the child my Grandmother whose first marriage was to a Weaver. Therefore my aunt’s name was Mary Weaver and she had been raised by a family named McGee who were farmers. Of course it was necessary to find a home for her when their mother died at such a young age. My Aunt Mary had a very different life than my mother. My grandfather s name was Westley Long and he did eventually marry again but I never knew anything about his new family because he died at 47 years from a massive cerebral hemorrhage. My early trips to my Aunt Mary’s were on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. We got off the train at Gibson Station which was a whistle stop and the mail was placed in a bag along the rails and the train did not stop, unless there was a passenger or some large freight. It was a great thrill to be in the chair car section and the waiter put a table up to serve us lunch. The windows were open and the ash from the coal in the steam engine would fly in and land on the spotless white table cloth. The fried potatoes were the best I ever ate. It was a great time for me. I was not so comfortable when I really arrived at the farm. | The McGee boys had divided the farm at the railroad and Uncle Tom farmed everything South and his brother farmed the North side. The roads were just dirt and went wherever people built houses. The families and a few neighbors built their own Church and had a circuit preacher who came about every other week. My Aunt Mary taught Sunday School and there were not many people there. The McGees furnished the coal or wood for a pot bellied stove. However, we were not there in the winter usually. Only once I remember we hitched up the sleigh and that was a real thrill. If you have never had a ride in a buggy or sleigh, you have missed a real experience. You can smell the horse and hear their funny noises and the clop of their hoofs. The way they shiver and whiny and throw their mane, it is all a great pleasure. This was the place where my Mother and I visited when I was a little girl. It is probably 20 miles further than Cambridge and since nobody down there had a car, we did not visit Aunt Mini and Uncle Charlie in these days. It was only after my Dad got a car and could get a few days vacation, that we could drive, or Mother and I would go on the train and Dad would come and get us. People did not get paid vacations in those days so there was no great attraction for Dad to go. There was a Delco light system on the farm and running water which was pumped from springs in the hill across the road, so there was a bathroom and a bath tub but of course no toilets because there was no real sewer system. So I was very uncomfortable because of the fact that chickens ran in the yard and left their droppings and I had to go to the cold, dark “out house”. But those were very independent people, they raised their own food and although they worked hard, they were really free in a way that we are not today. I always think of these people as the real Americans, before all the taxes and regulations. I am glad I have some of these memories, it will never be this way again.
16: School & Home In the section “My Roots” I described how I got to my first home. My Father rented an apartment on 93rd Street while my Mother and I were still in the hospital. Our apartment had a large living room, dining room, kitchen and two bedrooms. We had electric lights, but the pipes were still showing from gas lights that had been used when the building was new. We had a gas stove for cooking and a large gas “ belly” type stove in the dining room. The dining room was in the center of the house, so that was the center of the heating system. We used space heaters if it got really cold. | There were no doors between the bedrooms, because this would stop the heat flow. There were large archways to the rooms and heavy drapery rods where we hung what was called “portieres”. The bathroom had a door and a raised white tile floor. This room also entered from the dining room so that the heat could circulate. We had an enclosed hallway to the front door and a long, wide back-porch where we kids played and tried to catch birds by putting salt on their tails. We had a large basement where my Mother washed with a scrub board and a wash boiler where all the white clothes were “boiled”. There was a rather small side yard that we kids could never play in, because someone always had their wash hanging. There were no garages because no-one had an automobile. We lived on the street car line , Superior Avenue, and everyone used that. There was a real need for fur coats in those days because people stood on corners for a long time waiting for a ride. The cars had coal stoves for heat and you entered in the middle of the car where the conductor took your fare or made change from a money changer that was strapped to his waist. He called out the next stop and kept the stove going when heat was needed. I remember getting sick on the street cars because they swayed so much, it was like being sea sick. As I mentioned before, my Father bought our first car when I got the whooping cough and that created a problem to find a garage so that it did not have to sit on the street. The street was really our playground. We played Red Rover, hop-scotch and hide and seek. We played jacks and we had jump ropes. It was a very happy place for me to grow until I was nine years old. As an only child, I was never lonely. The Ribar family had seven
17: Avenue so I went with them. I also took my piano lessons there so everything was very convenient. The house was very nicely remodeled, but my Mother was not so happy living in the same house as the owner so we began to think of moving again. We found another double house at 50th and Franklin and moved next to Dr. Houck. The doctor was already ill and not practicing, but Mrs Houck’s brother was just finishing medical school so we were pleased to have him as our family doctor. He practiced at St John’s Hospital which was at Detroit at about 85th Street. Adelaide Houck was my neighbor, a little younger than I and went to St Stephens school. We were good friends and spent a lot of time together. We lived there for about four years. When I finished the sixth grade at Lourdes Academy, my parents thought I should be getting better acquainted with the boys and since there was no seventh grade at Lourdes, I transferred to public school and went to Detroit Junior High. This was a big change for me. The classes were much larger and we changed rooms for every class. I found that I had really progressed further than most of my classmates and had lots of time to get involved in activities. I did not have any close friends in my classes, but I seemed to enjoy the extra curricular activities that had not been a part of my past six years. I was a very happy school girl. But this was not to last too long. | children and there were the MacAtee girls and the Glass girls and lots of boys whose names I cannot remember. I have already explained that I started school at Notre Dame. It was much closer than Doan School, which was the public school that I should have attended, but none of our gang went there because they were all Catholic and went to St. Thomas, everyone but the MacAtee girls. They went to Notre Dame and that was nice for me, however, because I had to cross Superior Avenue to get to school. My Mother walked me to school so I did not go with the MacAtee girls. I loved school and my teacher. She was a novitiate named Sister Emmanuela and she wore a white veil. She was so sweet and pretty and young. It was a great way to start school. I was also starting piano lessons. My Dad bought us a player piano and I had a teacher who came to the house. He had been a professor at Oberlin College and was retired. I just can’t remember his name. I also took elocution lessons from a lady who lived in our apartment. I always had a very loud voice and my Mother said she could always hear me when I was outside playing. I guess someone thought it might a good idea to quiet me down, but I don’t think it did any good, but I learned a lot of good poetry. When I was nine, my Father suggested we move to the west side. A man who worked with my Dad bought a double house on Clinton Ave. He was doing a complete remodeling and we thought it would be nice to have everything new. The MacAtee girls already lived on Clinton Avenue so it was alright with me. My Mother knew that school would be a problem because I should go to Kentucky School and that was several blocks. But the MacAtee girls went to Lourdes Academy just up the street on Franklin
18: My Mother has a distant cousin who had lived in Cleveland for a long time, I always called her Aunt Carrie. Aunt Carrie was living on West Boulevard and knew of a house that would soon be vacated and since the rent was about the same and the location was better, she convinced my parents that it was to my advantage to go to high school in a better location, so we moved to 3060 West Boulevard. This move was the most important move in my life time, since it was the beginning of my adult life. Not that particular house, for as you will see we moved several times later, but my friendships were formed in this area and still have an effect on my life. Since I was still in Junior High, I did not have a choice but was assigned to West Technical, which at that time was both Junior and Senior High. I was very unhappy at the idea of moving to another school, but I remember my Father telling me “You are a big fish in a small pool and now you can be a big fish in a large pool”. That didn’t do much for me at the time, but of course I did not have anything to say about it. So the child who had spent six years in classes of 15, in a building that had four rooms, found herself in the largest building in the city. I am quite sure this was true at that time, at least we had the biggest principal in the city. C.C.Tuck was well known for his discipline and he was big enough to carry it out. He was about 6’4” tall with long arms that could reach from one locker to the other, so no one could sneak by him. He had a habit of making the boys run track at 7:00 am if he caught them doing something he did not approve of. He didn’t get so involved with the girls because we had a Dean of Women whose name was Julia Stahl and she was just as little as he was big and methods were very different, but very effective. I was a very interested student and found a | wonderful teacher in my first semester there, Lelia Gautreau, and I never was in any trouble. The time went fast, I got acquainted with lots of girls. I don’t remember any boys at that time. School still was very easy for me. I was very impressed with French and with Lelia, who had a lasting impression on my life. She organized trips for teachers in the summer time for the Cunard Lines, so that she was always talking about their itinerary. Of course in those days ocean liners were the only way to travel. Lelia always told me to “go to Venice while you are young, otherwise you will only see the garbage in the canals.” When it was time to move to Senior High, I had the option of West High, Marshall High (which had just moved into an old furniture store while a new building was going up) or staying at West Tech. Both West and Marshall were out of walking distance. West Tech was not that far from our first house on West Boulevard so the decision was made for me to stay there. I was very happy to do so. I really don’t remember why, but we moved again during those few years to 3271 West Boulevard. This was a very nice house and again just across the street from a catholic parish house. St Ignatius was a beautiful new church with imported marble from Italy and the parish house was just being completed when we made this move. I remember the kids in the neighborhood going in and out and telling us what they saw, but I don’t think I ever ventured in, I was rather a “goody-goody” kid. As we went along in Senior High we had a club and met at each other’s houses and it was all very nice. The parents of one of the girls in my class owned a stall in the West Side Market. They sold meat and their sister owned a shop on Lorain Ave that sold poultry. These were very profitable businesses by our standards and they entertained
19: us by taking several of us to concerts at the symphony. It was a very nice house with a “sun porch” and for the first time, I was allowed to stay home alone when my parents went grocery shopping on Saturday. Of course we had an automobile that my Father drove to work and few women drove in those days, so Saturday was shopping and banking day. I now started a friendship with a boy who lived on the next street. We walked to school together sometimes and talked about all kinds of things. He did not have a sister and I never think of this as a romance. His name was Sherman Harmon and I will tell you later how strange circumstances bring people back together. I was very much involved in plays and earned my Athletic letter playing the piano for tap dancing classes. Sherm became the President of the General Assembly (our school government) and I was the Secretary. Because I had stayed with French classes in ninth grade, I had earned extra credits but I couldn’t go any further in French, so I took two years of German, all the time thinking of all the traveling I would do. Life has a jolt for all of us from time to time and it hit my family in 1930 just before I was to graduate. The crash of 1929 stopped most new home building and of course that was the main business for my Father’s company. He earned less money and felt we should get into less expensive housing, so we moved again to West 110th Street. Here we were in a small apartment and my walk to school was further. Most of us were feeling the changes in our life as we lived through “the great depression”. But otherwise things went on about the same. In order to get out of school and save lunch money etc., I went to summer school one summer and graduated one-half year before my class. It was a bitter disappointment not to have roses to carry, but the school decided that such an | expense could be avoided by promising huge baskets of roses on the platform. We graduated over 500 senior in my class and I am sure there were many girls other than myself that were disappointed and that also were relieved because our parents did not have money for flowers. We were lucky to have money for dresses. High school graduates did not rent gowns in those days. We wore white dresses of our own choice. I made mine and it was very pretty. I also made my prom dress and a family friend bought me long white kid gloves, which were the “in thing” in those days. My graduation was all very pleasing, I had a nice boy friend, Pete Buchanan and I will tell you about him later. The near tragedy was my disappointment when I was offered a full scholarship to Flora Stone Mather College and was not able to accept it. Of course my parents had always expected to send me on to college, not much had been said about it in the last years of school because of the financial situation, but when the school offered this great prize, I was very bitter when my parents told me they could not afford the lunch money and car-fare. I suddenly found all sort of fault with my parents that they had not somehow provided for this situation. Only a few of my friends went on to college, but for me it was a very serious disappointment. I know how young people allow themselves to get suicidal because it happened to me. I felt so sorry for myself and thought my life would be such a failure. Of course my parents were very sorry and aware of my sorrow but I can’t say I was very receptive to their sympathy. Those were very bad days for me. I had never considered taking typing or office classes because I was a snob and thought I was too smart to do anything like that. So I was not prepared to get any kind of job and there were not many available anyway. I will tell you later in “My Work Life” how people already in my life became important.
20: Great-Grandma Mary Mary Jaenke was grandma to three, Robyn, Karen and Todd, and great-grandma to nine, Taylor, Will & Hunter Florian, Jackson & Joshua Flood, and Reid, Victoria, Whitney & Ashleigh Jaenke.
21: Great-grandma Mary was very proud of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In her final years, it was her greatest joy to be around her family and to share in the news of their lives.
22: Friends I have already made reference to the effect that school had on the friends I have valued all these years. It is hard to be sure just whom among my current friends I have known the longest, but I think I am right to say “Lois Miller”. There was a long period in my life that I did not see Lois, but every once in a while something would be planned that brought us together. I met her when I was in the seventh grade at West Tech. We had a little group that hung together at school but I was not always free to go with them after school. My parents were very strict with me, but because Lois’s Father was a teacher at the school, my Mother and Dad considered that if she was allowed to go it was OK. Lois lived not to far away from me at one point in our adult life, but moved to the Far East side before my husband died. Her husband died a few years later and Lois moved back to the West Side, since then because she found that we had something in common, we have been very close friends. Lois married a second time and I found her husband very compatible so I was a friend in that marriage. Now he is also gone and we are like sisters, because she was one of four girls and her three sisters are all deceased. We see each other or talk to each other on almost a daily basis. You know that I went to West Tech and I think I told you I graduated one-half year before my class. Because I was separated from my class, I joined the alumna group and met Helen Ziegler and Kate Guenther. We joined all the political forces in the group, but these two girls had graduated about 10 years before me. Helen had a car and lived only a few blocks from where I lived. Having a car in those days was really special, so of course I was glad to go to church with her if she picked me up. I was presently going to Denison congregational Church and she was proposing that I go to a Disciples of Christ Church. | Harry | Rosemary & Mary Ellen Cook
23: For a person who had been baptized a Methodist, gone to Catholic school and attended a Presbyterian Sunday School, this did not present a problem. So I went to West Boulevard Church with Helen and met my husband and other friends who I am still in touch with. Helen married Helen Mellenbrook’s brother and her married name was Helen Littell. Helen introduced me to my future husband at a bazaar where I was selling candy. When we were married a few year later, Helen was my maid of honor. She and her husband George were wonderful friends as were her in-laws who lived here in Berea, the Mellenbrook's. I visited both of them several times in Florida. We had a bridge group which included both Helens and these were my best friends in my early years of marriage. Our best man was Ed Rost and though he has passed away many years ago, his wife and daughter are still family friends. I mentioned Kate Guenther as one of the girls I met at West Tech Alumni. I only saw Kate when our group got together. She married Preston Robertson who I always called “Rob”. They lived in small towns and became local business people. When they eventually located in Millersburgh, Ohio, they were on our route to Cambridge, which if you read “My Roots” you realize was a key location in our young married life. It was there that I discovered that my old friend “Sherm Harmon” my classmate at West Tech, was now their business partner. Sherni had earned a scholarship to Baldwin Wallace College in track. I had been a handy friend since this was depression and Sherm could not afford a car, so whenever he had a dance and needed a ride, he got me a date with a classmate who had a car and not a date. Sherm and I were rather like a brother, sister combination and never romantic. We were both so poor at this time that we enjoyed anything we could do, I could sew so I | always could come up with a gown at little cost and I remember being the belle of the ball at a B-W dance where I wore a pretty Pique long dress to a dance at the Women’s Club which was one of the first cotton formals anyone had seen. I was so surprised to find Sherm again and this was an extra bond in my friendship with Kate and Rob. As years went on and my husband died, Rob offered his advise and was a very important influence in putting me on an investment plan that has been so important to my life. The only place that I missed was when Sherm told me about his adventure into the stock market in the electronics market (of which Rob disapproved) and I never bothered to asked what he was buying. As it turned out, he bought MCI at $5 a share and invested every dollar he could get his hands on. He ended up with several million dollars, but the strain and excitement really ended his life. I was a regular visitor at Kate and Rob’s when they had a winter home in Palm Springs, California and later when they decided to move to Atlantis, Florida. For thirty years, I had a lush accommodation every winter and gained another very dear friend who lived with them all these years. Harry Lemmon started to work for Kate and Rob when he was eighteen years old, so he was like their son and of course also much younger than I. Harry helped them in their business when they owned a hotel and kept their home in California year around so that it was always available to them whether they wanted to be there all winter or for just a few weeks. I became very fond of Harry and he felt like I was a second Mother. Kate and Rob had no children and kept things on a rather business-like basis although they always included Harry in all of their social plans. Rob died about six years ago and Kate died this past November, so now I have only Harry left from this very close valuable relationship.
24: I mentioned the Mellenbrook's who became friends through my meeting and relationship with Helen Ziegler Littell. When we thought of purchasing our first home, we talked with Helen and Earl Mellenbrook. He was an architect in Berea and my husband’s company had just moved there. Helen and Earl were very conscientious. They recommended a small group of homes built by Gladys and Howard Wyles. We bought a house and gained a whole group of new friends, most of who are very close today. Another affect in my life that resulted from Helen and Earl is my wonderful experiences traveling. They had been going with the Bixler Group who was already a familiar name to me. When my. husband died I was working and able to do some traveling but rather reluctant to do so. In 1970, Helen and Earl decided that I should make the Oberammagan trip to Germany and offered me luggage and every convenience in planning. I told you that I had been encouraged to travel by my French teacher Lela Geautreau and the adventure of going on such a glamorous trip was very appealing to me, but I do not think I would have had the courage or the willingness to spend the money if it had not been for Helen and Earl. I had a wonderful time, met three “gals” that became friends and made plans that took me to Hawaii and Mexico in the next few years. I have skipped over a very important few years. After we had been in our new small home in Berea for about ten years, we were out-growing our space. We could not afford a larger home and two cars and in Berea you really needed a car to haul the kids around for after school activities. So we moved to Valley View in Cleveland. This was just in the city and on the Berea bus line, so it was possible for Ted to get back out here if he wanted to and that put him in John Marshall and my daughter in Valley View elementary where I met my neighbors, particularly Anne Celebrezze, | whose husband had just been elected to the state legislature. We really got acquainted through Camp Fire Girls and sleep over, etc - the things that girls do. Tony ran for Mayor of Cleveland while we lived there and all the neighborhood participated in the election. It was a great time to have the Mayor at the end of your street and the street was always plowed first but I was very fond of Anne in other ways also. Later in my life, after my husband died, I visited Washington while Tony served as Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, first for Kennedy, who appointed him and then for Lyndon Johnson. Because of their close friendship, I met Lady Bird and joined a reception for her that was held in Cleveland. My “boss” at Union Carbide always kidded me that he had to call New York to find out if he should excuse me from work in order to meet the “President’s Wife." I mentioned the recommendation that we received from the Mellenbrook's that introduced us to Gladys Wyles. This beginning of friends in Berea is probably the mainstay of my life today. We moved to a small house on Clark Street in Berea and found the other new occupants were very much like ourselves, all from Cleveland and in their first home. It was a wonderful time, even though we were fighting a war soon after we moved, our age group was just over the draft age and most of the men worked in vital war materials, so were exempt. Everyone worked long hours but we found time to have a lot of fun together. When someone went into the back yard we all brought the kids out and it was a great place to be. The day the war ended we will never forget, since we were up almost all night, swinging on the swings and everyone so excited. Most of us went to the same church, went back and forth to each others house on Christmas eve
25: and set up the kids trains together and hoped we wouldn’t wake them up making so much noise. It was a wonderful group and we were very lucky. Phyllis Hoppman and Bill were behind us, Ginny and George Elgin were next door, Loren and Rosemary Cook lived behind the Elgin's. The Hoppman's, the Elgin's and Ed and I went to Chippewa Lake Park to dance, Ed and I joined the Hoppman's at Columbia Hills for some dances. As the years passed we lost some of the group but Phyllis, Ginny and George, Gladys Wyles and I are still together at special events. I see Rosemary when I go to Florida. When I moved back to Berea, after being in Cleveland for eleven years, I started to go to Heritage Congregational where Phyllis and the Cooks attended church. That has been my church home ever since and I have had a very happy experience serving in many jobs and meeting many more wonderful people. These people are the center of my bridge clubs and many social activities. I still have a very close relationship with Anne Celebrezze and others connected with the Cleveland neighborhood. I have a very special group of friends that I met through work. Most of them are connected some way to Union Carbide. I will be naming them in my notes on “My Career." John Fleck, Joyce Leverett, the Kelly's and others are people who have had a very important place in my life and all were met through my wonderful years at Carbide. | John & Jean Fleck | Carol & Bob Rini | Wyles, Elgins & Hoppmans
26: Charles Theodore Jaenke July 4, 1938 - | Carol Ann Jaenke February 2, 1943 - September 2, 1956
27: Mother & Son Mary Jaenke loved her son. And he loved her back. In the midst of great life loss, God blessed them both with over 70 years of life together on this earth, with eternity waiting in the wings.
28: My Love Life This is being written in September of 1998 and we have all the Clinton scandals on the TV all day long. Since I was a “girl” in the thirties and forties it seems like a different world. My Mother was really wonderful and told me all about the wonders of true love. As I now look back on the life of my parents I realize that they had the only thing that really matters because their need for each other made them face up to their problems and as they aged, each in his own way completed the life of the other. My Father caused a great deal of unnecessary problems because of his gambling, but when my Mother needed his help in her illness, he was willing | and loving in caring for her. So I had good advice, didn’t always like it, but the real meaning of “love” was always in my home. As I have already noted, I went to Catholic School, only girls, for six years. The only “boy” I really was around as a little girl was Charles McElliqott, whose father and mother were friends of my parents. In fact, they were next door neighbors when I was born. We fought about everything, his father smoked Camel cigarettes and my father smoked Chesterfields and we fought about which was better. Of course I played with lots of boys when I was real little, but once I moved to the West Side, I only remember “girl” friends. So when I went to Junior High I was aware of the boys, but I was so anxious about being in a big school and trying to be at the head of the class, that “boys” were not really important. When I moved to the second house on West Boulevard, I met Sherm Harmon. I refer to Sherm in “Friends” and I think it probably is a different relationship than most young people have. I don’t remember worrying about “boys” until we were in High School, and then you really had to have a date for dances, etc. I am sure that I was aware of my appearance and trying to be popular, but I don’t remember any real problems. When I was a Junior, I had my first “boyfriend.” His name was Peter Buchanan. His parents were from Scotland and he was a very nice boy. Not really well known or a “jock”, not a football player or anyone that you would call a “catch”. Peter was a Senior and maybe was only looking for a date for his prom, but we went to
29: the movies downtown in Cleveland and that meant he came on the streetcar and we went downtown on the streetcar and came home on the streetcar and after a quick kiss at the door, he had to go home on the streetcar. Once in a while he got his brothers car, but that didn’t change our plans, it only meant that he didn’t have to ride the streetcar. I can’t imagine anybody going through all that to have a date today!! I know that I went with Peter all the next year because I invited him to my prom. By that time I had smoked my first cigarette, believe it or not offered to me by my Aunt Carrie. I didn’t care about smoking and didn’t have money to buy them, but I did accept a cigarette at my prom and Peter objected. I guess he was just supposed to be there for proms because I don’t remember anything more about Peter and none of my friends knew him , so I have no idea what happened to him. My next big experience with “boys” was the summer following my graduation. I got a job through Aunt Carrie’s son who was sent to Chippewa Lake by the bank since the depression was still in full swing and the park was in financial trouble. That was a big decision for my Mother and Dad, to let me go off on my own, but the lack of jobs and the offer from a “friend” was more than they could turn down. I guess I was supposed to get that chance to get a “college” education for I really aged a lot that summer. I worked as ticket seller on the roller coaster which was the biggest ride at the park. We had rooms over the pavilion and meals were served for the employees. It was a real experience and I was really faced with all the problems that can come up. Basically the people that ran the park were a good family, who tried hard to keep a good reputation for the park. There was a group of boys and girls and all the things that could happen did. | However, it wasn’t like the “nineties”. We did a lot of “wild” things like tying our bathing suits on the line and “skinny dipping” but we were pretty well supervised, so things didn’t get out of hand. It was still prohibition, but there was “bootleg hooch” at one of the clubs, so we walked down the railroad tracks and grabbed a drink, knowing that we had to walk back. Once in a while someone had a car, but mainly we got to ride to Medina in Parker Beach’s white Cord. I remember being in the front seat and going down Route 3 when the speedometer read 103!! It was a “crowd” atmosphere where one night you were with one guy and the next night with another, no one seemed to mean anything except fun and the summer went fast. But this was my first time away from home and with nobody checking on me about when I came home etc,. I suppose that I was rather safe in that I was related to the man that represented the bank and everyone wanted the park to succeed. I had a great time. The next part of my social life started when I met Helen and Kate as I explained in “Friends”. I started to go to West Boulevard Christian Church. It just happened that we had a great youth group. By this time I was in my early twenties and had found a job that I liked. The group at church had a great group that did plays etc. My best friend in this group was Helen Ziegler, who I had met at the West Tech Alumni group. Helen had been engaged before I met her, as she was ten years older than I. Her fiance had died of a lingering illness and she was still grieving. Helen had a very good job and a car. To have a car was unheard of, so we were very independent gals. There were a couple of young men in the church group and it is so funny, but I cannot remember either of their names, but Helen and I dated them. Mostly we double dated, but occasionally we went out on our own. Every body knew that we didn’t have any interest in each other on a personal basis. It was in this atmosphere that I met Ed.
30: We had a bazaar and I was selling candy. Helen was at the booth with me when Ed Jaenke came to buy some candy. It so happened that Ed had an older sister that had died a few years earlier. Helen had known her and everyone at church knew his family. I had never seen him at church and I doubt very much that he was there very often. After the introduction, he seemed to show up at the youth group and of course I was very flattered. We started out as a part of the group, but it soon developed that I was having dates with Ed. Of course, he had a car and an interesting job and he was so “good looking” and so nice and “fell in love”. My parents were very pleased with Ed and very pleased with his parents. It wasn’t very long until we started to think “that we were made for each other”. My Mother did not believe in long engagements and I was about twenty-three when we met. It was very acceptable to everyone when we decided to get married. Because of the death of Ed’s sister just a few years before, his family did not wish us to have a big wedding. Of course things were better, but not real good in 1937 50 we had a small wedding and just a family reception. Helen was my Maid of Honor. While everything in my life didn’t go the way I would have liked, I never doubted that I was intended to marry Ed. I had already started to work at Union Carbide before Ed died. He had been ill and it was necessary that I be able to take care of myself. I was so fortunate that I had such a job when he died. I was totally absorbed in trying to make a life with my son just finishing college. With the help of lots of people, I moved to Berea and reduced my living expenses and work load. I | will always remember all the people from Carbide that were in support in those difficult days. My Father was still alive and I was working hard at a job that I loved. So my life was filled with all kinds of things that kept me busy. My cousin Pat (Ann’s mother) lived in Cleveland and I saw her a lot and she spent a lot of time at my house. It was at this period in the seventies that I got started with the travel group at B-W. That was because of Phyllis Hoppmann who worked for the college. I was very busy at work and at home and thrilled with the prospect of traveling. After all these years, the things that my teacher Lilia Geautraeu had planted in my desires appeared to be before me. It was a wonderful group and with all that was happening, my son getting married and my Father still alive and needing my help, I was complete. And so the years went on until I was in my fifties. I became acquainted with a man in business that I talked to often. It so happened that he had been brought in to take from New York to take this job. He seemed very nice and appreciated all that I was able to do for him in doing his job with efficiency. Probably a year or so later his wife died and after a few months, he asked to meet me for lunch. I was properly escorted to the Athletic Club and I met Carl. It seemed that we had a great deal in common, he had four grown children, some still at home and we knew a lot of the same people in business. The following year was very interesting, since he lived on the East Side and it was a real adventure to come to Berea. We did the best we could but he had a very responsible position and I was very busy with mine. We discussed marriage, but there really wasn’t any spark there. I felt a lot of responsibility to his children and he didn’t feel the same, really more interested in getting away. He talked of retiring to Aruba and all kinds of things
31: that would have torn me from the life that I had built. I was having grand- children and I wanted to be here. I guess I am not a “romantic”!! So our decision was to give it some space. That was the last fling I had. Carl did get married a year or so later, but he did not succeed at his job and left the city. I have no idea what happened to him. I think I had a wonderful “love life” because I married the only man I ever loved and I know that he loved me. What more can anyone hope for? | The Jaenke Family - 1946
33: There's Something About Mary ...
34: My Work Life First Job and Where it Lead My first job is not too hard to remember. You must remember that I had enjoyed a really privileged schooling and it never occurred to me that I would not go to college. Of course my decisions on classes that I would elect were based on this idea, so when just before I was to graduate in 1930 we had the “crash” and the beginning of the “great depression “it was too late for me to change from a college preparatory course. I would not have considered doing that anyway, because in my own way, I was a snob. I had lead the class academically and I was looking forward to being some sort of personal companion and travel the world. Those great teachers that had so inspired me to study hard had never reminded me that someone else was paying all the bills. Some months before graduation, I was called to the office and told that I was eligible for a full scholarship to Flora Stone Mather, which was a part of Western Reserve and trained teachers. I wasn’t thrilled to be a teacher, but I was happy to see a possibility for going on to school. When I presented this idea to my parents, my Father told me it would be impossible. I would be required to pay for my own books and transportation and lunches, etc and at that time his work had been so reduced that there was not that amount of extra money, looking forward to four years, and he thought the scholarship should go to someone who would be able to complete it. Of course this was a terrible blow to me and caused all sort of hard feelings against my Dad. I was very critical of all his good intentions and I | really know how young people get “suicidal” because I felt my life was ruined. It was not until I was a parent myself that I realized how difficult that discussion must have been for my parents. So I graduated in January 1930 a half year ahead of my class and wondered what I would do with my life. I have already referred to this attitude in my Chapter on “School and Home.” I am not proud of it, but I never really felt that I was any different from the other kids in my class and never knew how much I had that other people did without because they were in larger families and had to share. I just thought I had worked so hard and studied so faithfully that I deserved all that I had dreamed of. It probably was one of the best things that ever happened to me because it surely jolted me into the real world. We were never people of wealth and I liked nice clothes and I never had any household responsibilities except to iron my own laundry and many times I willingly ironed linens etc. for my Mother. I like fabrics and learned to sew when I was about twelve years old. In “My Roots” I referred to Aunt Mini and Clara who lived in Cambridge Ohio and were local dressmakers in this small town. These industrious ladies had an interesting life and knew all that went on in that little town. They had allowed me to help put in a hem when I was visiting them and I thought this might be a job I could do. When I was in about the fifth grade we lived next to a woman who was a dressmaker. We had remained friends and I knew that she sometimes was very busy, so I asked if she might need a little help. That was a time when a great deal of hand work went into ladies dresses and Mrs. Houck had at least one rather special customer who had been a fashion model for hats and had gained quite a bit of
35: weight. She found it difficult to buy clothes and loved beautiful”neck lines” to frame her really lovely face, so Mrs. Houck employed me mainly to free herself to do other things while I did fine sewing for her favorite customer. This may sound strange, but I was quite challenged and went to work willingly in Mrs. Houck’s large house. The only trouble was, I was not earning very much money, I can’t even remember what she paid me. When fall came I felt that I should be doing something more lucrative and told Mrs. Houck I thought I should try to get a job downtown in alterations and she encouraged me to do so. That was the beginning of a very interesting period in my life. Of course since I was not answering any ads, I went to what I considered the most expensive store and asked if there were any openings. I was told to sit down and wait a minute. I know now that a phone call was made upstairs and after a little while a very cute little Irish woman came down and talked with me. She seemed to be interested and offered me a job, but it wasn’t until I had said yes, that I found out I would be working in the fur department. The store was Engel and Fetzer and was the largest fur shop between New York and Chicago, but they did have cloth coats and suits and lovely dresses and I had expected to be working on these. Since money was the real goal at that time, I found myself in rather good shape. There was no Union in Cleveland at that time and the store kept its fur shop open all year and made new coats when the season was over. I can’t remember all the details but I do remember that we were paid time and one-half for anything over thirty-five hours per week. | After I had been there a year or two, I was earning more money than most of my friends who graduated with me and who had not been able to go on to college. There was another part of the job that was satisfying to me. We worked on or made new glamorous furs for people whose picture was in the society section or on the front page, like the wife of the Secretary of the Treasury whose name I forget. I worked there about six or seven years and was there when I was married. Theresa Gibbons, the little Irish lady became a very good friend and played a very important role in my next job as I will tell you later. I think I was supposed to be there and even though I think of working on furs with no air-conditioning, at that time I felt very lucky to earning a very good salary. | Mary as "Cinderella"
36: My Career This may seem a strange time to talk about my relationship with God, but it is a very important part of my CAREER in my mind. As I have already stated, I was very disappointed when I was not able to go on to college. I was pleased with my first job at making money when I went to work at Engel and Fetzer and I really felt that Theresa Gibbons, the woman that hired me there, was great. I must admit that except as it was a “high paying job” it was not very fulfilling. I was happy to be married with two children and a nice group of friends. We were not very rich but we had a nice life and Ed was succeeding in his job at General Motors, being made head of the Cost Accounting Department during the war. This was a very responsible job and Ed was very good at the part of negotiation with the Navy. Ed was very honest in all ways and it was easy for the Navy Auditors to accept his figures and of course this was all done over a couple of drinks. I know the men who were heads of other departments at GM at that time and some of them were undoubtedly equally smart about their jobs, but none of them were as personable and slow to anger as Ed. This is what lead to his appointment as Comptroller at Fawick Airflex Corporation when the war ended. However, the years at GM had taken their toll and our family was just not ready for all the health problems that were about to descend on us. Ted had developed hay fever and asthma when he was about five years old and was taking shots until he was sixteen. Carol Ann had developed diabetes when she was nine. When Ed took the job with Fawick he was eligible for high insurance and other benefits, but he was forced to pass a physical. It was then that we learned that he too | was a diabetic. This seemed to be just too much for him and he floundered with his treatment. What followed was difficult and sad. The next years took Ed’s father and mother and Carol Ann. This was just too much for Ed. It was obvious that he was not going to regain his health, and I felt trapped and wanted to get back to work and have some security. I went back to see Theresa Gibbons and talk about going back to Engel & Fetzer. Things had changed greatly through the years and Theresa was a real friend and told me so. She told me not to consider it and recommended that I take some courses at Dykes Business School and go to work in an office. I was such a “zombie” by this time that I just did what she suggested. I sure felt that nobody wanted me. So the “gal” that looked down on the commercial students was a “commercial student” at age 43. But someone was already watching out for me. I had no idea what goes on in an office and what skills would be required so I took typing and shorthand. The typing of course was a necessity; the shorthand was rather useless. As I have stated, I was living a zombie life, but I had met a gal who was an office worker through Fran Prior who was a very good friend. Elise was her name and her husband worked at the Glidden Company. Elise just rather took over and suggested that I just take the eight-week course and then look for a job. Her idea was that I would improve my speed on the job and that speed wasn’t the only requirement for success. So I did what Elise told me, because I had no idea of what to do on my own. I will always remember that weekend and the days that followed. I found three job offers in the Sunday paper that seemed possible for me. One was for the Saturday Evening Post, with an office
37: on Public Square in the Williamson Building; one was for a coal company in the Union Commerce Building at East Ninth and Superior and the other add was a ”blind” ad to “call Mr. Christopher.” I don’t remember if I called before on the magazine and coal company ads, but I do remember doing the personal interviews. The coal company job interview was with a young woman about her early twenties. I felt so dumb and uncomfortable. I did get a call back a few days later with a job offer, but by that time my fate was sealed. The “call Mr. Christopher” was much more interesting. When Henrietta, his secretary, answered the phone and said “Union Carbide” I froze. She asked me a few questions that I do not remember, but when she started to explain where they were and how to get there, I told her I was sure they would not want me because I was too old. She suggested that I come on down and let them decide. Mr. Christopher was the building manager at the Union Carbide building on Lakeside near 12th Street and there were very few buildings in the area at that time. There were no restaurants or other business buildings. So it was an effort to get there and I had no hopes of landing a job with an important office, so I thought it was useless. But I was supposed to go and it was the best thing that happened to me in a long time. Mr. Christopher asked me if I just wanted a job until I bought a new washing machine or carpet, or if I really needed to work. I tried to explain that I thought I would need to work forever and told him a bit about what was happening in my life. He asked me to wait and be interviewed by the office manager for the Chemicals Sales office and a very nice young man came in to talk with me. Right now I can’t remember his name, but he called me back before 5:00pm and told me that he hoped I would come to work. Years later I asked | Dick Christopher why he considered me for the job, he said it was because of the hat I was wearing. I will always remember that hat - it was black straw with white and red straw bands woven into it. It had three little black ribbon bows on the woven stripes ... a lucky hat. I remember how awkward I felt and how nice everyone was. As I remember it now, John Fleck, Ernie Bigelow and Joyce were the three people that are still in my life today that worked in the office at that time. Joyce was in the same part of the office that I was assigned, Niaomi Grindon was the secretary to the “boss” who I think was Jack Marshall. I started out at the bottom of the chain and I think I typed orders to New York and I know that I had charge of the literature and I think the samples. Elise was sure right; my typing was not critical. I loved being involved with the literature because that gave me an opportunity to learn a little bit about the chemicals and the business. Carbide appeared to be a very successful company and growing and changing, everyone was very nice and everyone liked to have a little fun. They were all young. I suppose that Marshall was the oldest, John and Ernie were about thirty and Joyce was about twenty. It wasn’t long until I felt comfortable and able to do what was expected of me. Since there was nothing around us, we had a lunch room and kitchen facility and everyone ate in. Of course our salesmen were out but all the girls in the building who worked for different divisions got acquainted. On pay day I went up town with Joyce and we went to the bank and ate out and took a cab back. I am not sure just when this started, but that became our routine as time went on. We had lots of men coming in from New York to call on customers with our salesmen and this became a big adventure for me, because when
38: some of them came, we all went out for dinner and a meeting. Among the people I met was Warren Anderson, who I was told would someday be Chairman of the Board and head of the whole corporation. It proved to be true, but unfortunately he was in that position when the plant at Bropaul, India had its problems and he had a very terrible problem to face. So it was in this safe atmosphere that Ed died and I found myself alone, accept for my Dad. Ted was in college, I was in a big house, and it was time to move again. It is very hard for me to get everything in chronological order, but sometime just before that Bob Halley had come into our office from California. I remember that because it was at his suggestion that Ted and I made a trip the summer after Ed died. Bob made all the contacts for us with Carbide people. Ted had a girl friend we visited in Long Beach. We had a wonderful train trip and visited the World’s Fair in Seattle. I know that I was already acquainted with Marion Costley, who worked for the Silicone Division because last year when I visited her in Arizona, we discussed the post cards that I sent to her young friends from the space needle. Somewhere in these years Herb Noren came to our office and I remember him. Then a person that I am still in touch with Bill Cribbin came as office manager. That was a real fun group with Don Mercaldi. There were big changes at Carbide with the building of Tarrytown and I was lucky to be able to visit NY and Don’s Mother, who lived in White Plains. I really enjoyed my work and felt that the company was going places and making money and was very generous with its employees. I worked with Ernie and Lubrizol and got acquainted with Dick Porter in the International Division. During this period Ted got married and my Dad was still alive. My cousin Pat was in | Cleveland and I was busy, a very satisfying life, but made that way because of the people I spent every day with. Somewhere along the line Joyce got married and moved away and my responsibilities changed as I worked more and more with John and his customers. I loved the people at Glidden and made new friends there. I met Jean Fleck and the whole family. As I have said, I can’t keep everything in a time sequence, but I was happy and working hard as we made changes at work and people came and went. Two of those I missed most were John and Ernie, Ernie went to New York headquarters and John went to St. Louis. I stayed in touch with both of them and gained new friends at the same time. Bob Halley went to Cincinnati, but we still saw him because he was part of our region. We gained Bill Krebs, Charlie Herion and Ron Quarnstrom over the years. I was also getting to know several great people among our customers. Bill Orch and I really had a lot of fun at the Glidden golf outings, which were an important part of our sales efforts. Also the annual Christmas party for the chemical group was a big event. There I saw our competitors and some of the customers that I talked with on the phone but seldom saw, like Jim DePew, who gave me such great help when we were making major changes in our business. Great people like Bob Annonio and of course my “rabbi” George Kuehn. Over the years I had a great time with Gordon Blankford and bridge and wine. He taught me about both. Good friends like Bill Schneider and Carol Rini. Erwin Szela and Dick Bannon and Frank Williamson and Phyllis Brown - it is hard to remember everyone as I write this. Ginger Marion from plastics I still hear from occasionally, Joyce I hear from almost every day via E-mail.
39: I think Carbide was an unusual place to work at that time. We had trips to New York to the headquarters building while we were at 70 Park Avenue and to Tarrytown to the research center. As our reorganization took place, we made trips to South Charleston, WV, Lake River, IL (Chicago), Cartaret, NJ and regional sales meetings at various places like Kings Island. The best of all for me, was a trip to Orlando, FL to a national sales meeting. In the last year of work for me, as I approached sixty-five, a “window” for early retirement opened. At first I felt bad that it was even mentioned, because everyone know that I would be leaving in April. However it was another great opportunity for me, because by leaving at the end of the year I gained several little perks and unemployment insurance for most of the following year, so I left with a tear in my eye. My Dad was still alive, in his late nineties, and Ted and Nancy were building a house in St. Louis so I had a busy year taking Dad up to see the house a couple of times and getting myself adjusted to being at home. I was able now to join some bridge clubs, etc. and of course I was still traveling with the BW group. At the end of the year I was invited to the chemicals annual Christmas Party and of course I looked forward to seeing all my friends. One of the people I visited with was Ray Groya who was the president of Technical Products, one of our distributors. I knew Ray and had been to the Open House he had held just a few months earlier when they did some remodeling. The remodeling was done because they had just purchased a new IBM computer and in those days computers were considered “delicate” and usually had their own rooms. This need to move desks also meant moving people. Ray asked me if I had considered looking for a job and I answered that I was going to look in the New Year on a part time basis. At | that, he said just give me your phone number and I will call you after the first of the year. That is just what happened and I started working three days a week, Monday through Wednesday, sometime early in January. I was told that after a year I could share in the bonus plans and that if I worked for ten more years, I would receive the pay out. So here I was with another goal and I was already sixty-five. I loved it, I was meeting new people, but also seeing people that I had known for years and being called on by my old competitors. Ray was ill when I went there, but I didn’t know it. He passed away about two years after I started and I had a new boss, Dick Kelly. Of course by this time I knew Dick and that has become a very special friendship with him and his wife Betty. My Dad died at ninety-eight and after his passing I had more time to get involved. But when my eleven years were up I knew it finally was time to retire. Looking back I know that I was meant to go to Carbide. It was such a high quality of people that I was never faced with some of the problems that are part of every day life for some people. Most of them were quietly involved with their own churches, Ernie Bigelow was a liaison to their Bishop. I visited him and Laura in New Jersey and went with them to their high Episcopal service. John and Jean Fleck were active Lutherans. I was told that he saw her at church and said “that’s the girl I am going to marry”!! Charlie Herion was always leaving something in the copy machine that had to do with his church. Bill Cribbin was always singing in his Catholic Church and Bob and Louise Halley managed the music in their Methodist Church. Louise played the organ there at Indian Hills. We had a lot of fun. I have been blessed.
40: My Christmas Tree As I went through my Christmas cards again to enjoy their beauty and retrieve messages, I closed down the season with memories flooding back. The holiday seasons have enriched my life, but somehow most centered on my Christmas tree. I remember my first tree like a vision of “Oh Tannenbaum”. I remember being held up to see ornaments near the top and Mother’s disappointment if my Dad was not on hand when she considered it time to “light up” because my first trees were lit by candles clipped on to branches and could only be lit when my father was home. As I got a little older, I remember my Mother and Dad joining me in playing “I spy” with the ornaments - by now the tree was lighted with glistening electric lights. That was a special time for me - I didn’t know anybody else whose parents played “I spy” with them. We always had a Christmas tree but I don’t remember anything special, as I was a teen-ager, except that wonderful smell of a “real” tree and all those terrible needles falling. My Mother gave me the family ornaments when I got married and my husband and I started our own tradition. We always put up the tree on Christmas Eve and after our children were born, it was after they went to bed. Such hurrying and scurrying to have everything ready with presents put out meant going to bed so late and getting up so early. Our young married life was so much fun preparing our own Christmas and visiting our neighbors at one or two o’clock in the morning with the men running the trains while we mothers worried that they would wake the kids.
41: Then there was a period when I know the tree went up, but my life was so filled with problems of health and death that it is all very foggy. Regardless of problems, we always had a Christmas tree. When I moved to smaller quarters, I had a live potted tree. By this time my son was married and the family ornaments had passed on to him. I had new small lights and just a few new color coordinated bulbs. After the holiday these trees spent the rest of the winter in my patio and were lovingly planted in my Son’s back yard in Indiana when Spring came. When my Indiana family moved west, I faced the fact that an artificial tree was the best for me. I remember my journey to get my new beautiful white tree. I bought new small white lights and Danbury Mint gold ornaments, which I add to every year. This is my “official” tree and sits each year now in the corner of living room and I shall put it up as long as the “good Lord” gives me the strength. Strange as it may seem, I decorate a Ficus tree in my family room with all the special small ornaments that my friends and grandchildren have made or given me. I spend Christmas with my family in St. Louis and I always look at my Son’s tree for those few ornaments that have survived all these years. So now it seems I have three Christmas trees and I love them all - I like Christmas trees!!
42: Born April 25, 1913, as Mary Eldora Fisher to Charles Henry Fisher and Odessa May Fisher in Cleveland, Ohio. Mary lived all of her life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, until joining her family in St. Louis in June, 2008 at the Breeze Park retirement facility, where she died on January 23, 2011. Mary is survived by Ted and Nancy and their family; Robyn Florian and her sons, Taylor, Will, and Hunter; Karen Flood and her twin sons, Jackson and Joshua; and Todd and Stacy Jaenke with their children, Reid, Tori, Whitney, and Ashleigh. | Mary E. Jaenke April 25,1913 – January 23, 2011
43: Mary was a bright young girl and student. She graduated from West Tech High School at the top of her class and became a seamstress and then a furrier with Engel & Fetzer Company, fashioning high quality fur clothing. She continued to be an excellent seamstress and quilter until late in life. She married Edward Theodore Jaenke in 1936 and lived on the West Side of Cleveland, where her first child, Charles Theodore Jaenke was born on July 4, 1938. They gave him the nickname Ted after his paternal grandfather. In 1942, they moved to a home on Clark Street in Berea, Ohio where they met many of the people who became long term friends throughout her life. Her second child was Carol Ann Jaenke, born on February 2, 1943. Carol was a wonderful young girl, who died prematurely in a pool accident in September, 1956. In 1950, the family moved to a large home on Valley View Ave. in west Cleveland. This became the primary home for her children through their school life. Her parents lived with the family for several years, which was a great time for them to share in the life of their grandchildren. Her husband, Edward, died in January, 1962 and she and Ted moved back to Berea, to a condominium on Greenfield Court later that year. Mary lived there alone until moving to The Renaissance senior living center in Olmsted Township in1997. Mary found herself with a husband who was very ill, and no other means of support, so she went to secretarial school, and found a wonderful job with Union Carbide Corporation, where she progressed to a sales support position for salesmen calling on the nations largest chemical customers. Many of her office and customer contacts continued to be friends after her retirement in 1977. | Upon retirement, she was immediately recruited to a part time position with one of her chemical customer contacts at Technical Products company, where she continued to use her knowledge and experience until her second retirement in 1989. Mary had many friends, shared many life experiences with people influential in politics and business, and became an active contributor of her time and talents to the ministry at Heritage Congregational Church in Berea. Mary loved to travel and visited most of the major countries of Europe. She studied French in high school and loved to visit Paris. She sometimes went with travel companies, and often enjoyed travel with groups from Baldwin-Wallace College. She went with a B-W group for a month study in Israel in 1994. Her involvement with Baldwin Wallace College included many years as a golden age student, extending into her mid-80’s. She also traveled by car to visit friends and Ted’s family as they lived in Indiana, California, and St. Louis. She drove her red Oldsmobile coupe until her 90th birthday. During her time at The Renaissance, she was a volunteer for the marketing department, served in the gift shop and volunteered in the nursing center. She also became a regular attendee at Red Hat Society luncheon functions. In June, 2008, she moved to be with her family in the St. Louis area. She lived in an independent living apartment at Breeze Park in St. Charles County, She continued to be active with bridge and bingo groups and became very happy with her new home. In February, 2010, she fell and cracked her pelvis. From then on she was a patient in the Care Center at Breeze Park until her death.
44: God’s Handiwork Passed Down I polled my siblings and sons for their fondest memories of Grandma Mary. Some of these memories include: ~ lots of cards, including pinochle with Great Grandpa ~ Christmases in Ohio and St. Louis ~ breakfast in her kitchen in Berea watching the Today Show on her little TV ~ the dolls she would bring us from her world travels ~ visits to Howard and Gladys Wyles home, rides in their antique cars and getting to know their granddaughters, Michelle and Pamela ~ rocking out to Neil Diamond and Barry Manillow on her 8-track player in the living room (Copacabana and Mandy were favorites) ~ going to the bank to see her coin collection hearing stories about her Red Hat activities and bridge games, as well as tales of her extensive travel opportunities to places like Hawaii, Mexico, Germany and Israel ~ visits with her friends, Lois, Phyllis, the Celebreeze’s, Kate, Rob and Harry, Ginny & George, and meeting her friends at church. Karen and I had our first solo plane trips to see Grandma. Todd remembers going to the Cleveland Indians games with her when he was in town and I remember a fun trip to Cedar Point one summer. When we moved to St. Louis, she told us about some interesting things to do and introduced us to the Fleck family, who we looked forward to seeing whenever Grandma would come to town. Grandma would make regular, brief phone calls to us, which, along with her voicemail messages, usually ended with, “I didn’t need to talk long. I just wanted to hear your voice.” I’m afraid I wasn’t overly sympathetic when these calls were coming at 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning, but appreciated her interest none the less. Grandma found great joy bragging about her grandchildren to anyone who would listen, and | she took equal pleasure in her great grandchildren. Even as her health deteriorated, she welcomed any opportunity to see her family, always greeting us with a kiss. My boys appreciated her interest in them she was always asking them what they had been up to and really listening to their responses. Hunter smiled as he remembered her enjoyment of bingo and her concern over the location of her bingo money. I cannot remember a visit in the last few years when Grandma Mary did not tell me and/or the boys how proud she was of us. But the legacy she leaves with me is probably most evident in her creativity. Grandma Mary learned to sew at an early age. When the financial challenges of the Great Depression prevented Grandma from attending college, she established herself first as a seamstress (a skill she had picked up during her summers with her Aunt Mini and Clara, dressmakers in their town of Cambridge, OH). Her employer had at least “one rather special customer,” as Grandma stated in her memoir, “who had been a fashion model for hats and had gained quite a bit of weight. She found it difficult to buy clothes and loved beautiful ‘neck lines’ to frame her really lovely face, so Mrs. Houck employed me mainly to free herself to do other things while I did fine sewing for her favorite customer.” Later, in search for something more lucrative, Grandma obtained a position as a furrier, making fur coats for some very high-end clients. Grandma shares, “We worked on or made new glamorous furs for people whose picture was in the society section or on the front page, like the wife of the Secretary of the Treasury.” Even after hanging up her seamstress hat for a long career with Union Carbide (where she first became acquainted with John Fleck and his family), Grandma made numerous clothing items for Karen and I. We didn’t always have the same
45: I think the pain of the loss of Carol Ann for grandma – and my dad – has been evidenced by their near silence about Carol Ann’s life as we grew up and in grandma’s memoir, but on one visit Grandma took me into the den and pulled out a large scrapbook of photos and mementos, as well as a newspaper article about Carol Ann’s pool accident and funeral notice. It was important to her that someone new this scrapbook existed. I respect the pain, and know that Ed and Carol Ann’s lives shaped my Grandma and my dad’s lives as much by their absence as they did by their presence. On Sunday as I grieved new loss, even more so for my dad, their memory was my greatest comfort. I just have to believe that God had Carol Ann and Ed, from whom she had been separated for so many years, waiting for her at the entrance to the gate. I am equally thankful for my dad that God allowed his mom to stay here with him for over 70 years. Her love for her son ran deep, and I know her presence in his life held great value. (Now, I’m afraid, he’s stuck with us for the rest of this life. ) Ephesians 2:10 states, “For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” As Grandma Mary was His handiwork and set out to do good works through her family, career and art, we are all her handiwork ... pieces of her quilt. Each of us has been blessed by her generosity, her creativity and her strength and I believe this is the legacy – her final quilt – that we can pass on to those who come behind us. In Memory of Grandma Mary, Robyn (Jaenke) Florian January 30, 2011 | tastes in fabrics , but we always appreciated her expert craftsmanship. Grandma knew how to make things to last and in her retirement Grandma took up quilting. She set out to make a quilt for each of us. She was always excited to show me the next quilt project she was working on, the fabrics she chose, and the meaning behind the fabric or design. She made my quilt out of scraps of material she had saved from the many things she had sewn for me over the years which, if you think back to my comment about our different tastes in fabrics, made me chuckle a bit, but also made the quilt all the more endearing. And ever since I saw the “thirteen colonies” quilt on her bed, I have envisioned how good it would look in my log cottage (which I don’t have yet, but still dream of ) and appreciate that my parents have now entrusted it to me for safe keeping. The time, skill and patience it took to hand-stitch these beautiful works of art around us amazed me. Grandma, as we all know, was a tough old bird, a strong woman who was blessed with great success in her work but weathered great loss at home and sometimes that tough exterior was difficult to handle, but with age came greater understanding. For whatever reason, Grandma – and dad’s – early loss of their daughter and sister, Carol Ann, as dad was preparing to leave for college, and six years later, their husband and father, Ed, has always mattered to me. In her memoir she states, “I think I had a wonderful ‘love life’ because I married the only man I ever loved and I know that he loved me.” Some of you may not know, but grandma had one serious relationship after her husband passed away. She told me that in the end he wanted to sail off to Aruba, but she wanted to stay with her friends and family (in her memoir she specifically states “grandchildren” as her motivation for staying :-)) and thus ended the relationship.
46: Martha Sutton & Louise Irwin | Keith Sutton | The Red Hats
47: The last family picture with mother, mother-in-law, grandma and great-grandma, Mary Thanksgiving 2007