May 26, 2010; interviewed by JoAnn Rossi
[Note: All speech fillers, such as “um” and “uh,” have been omitted.]
JoAnn Rossi: My name is JoAnn Rossi; I’m a member of the Alderwood Manor Heritage Association, and today’s date is May 26th, 2010. I’m here at the Alderwood Manor Heritage cottage in Alderwood Manor, also known as Lynnwood, Washington. I’m going to be interviewing today a lady who’s been in Alderwood—lived in Alderwood Manor for many, many years. And your name is—
Halide Patterson: Halide Lobdell Patterson.
JR: And your age?
HP: I’m 87.
JR: And the address where you live today?
HP: [edited for web publication]
JR: Okay. Halide, what was your birthdate?
HP: July 16th, 1922. [Mother: Mabel; father: Dice]
JR: And you were born where?
HP: In Swedish Hospital in Seattle.
JR: I see. And did you—What brought you to Alderwood Manor? Your family.
HP: Well, that was interesting. My folks said that they got tired of renting in Seattle and fixing places up, planting flowers in the front yard, vegetable garden in the backyard, and then the landlord would come to collect the rent, and say, “Wow! This place looks so wonderful, I think I’ll move my family in.” And they were out! And apparently that happened more than once, which made them think they wanted to have their own place.
JR: I see. So—And what year did they move to Alderwood Manor then?
JR: Did you go to school here in Alderwood Manor?
HP: Yes, Alderwood Elementary.
JR: And I wanted to ask you, too, where did you live? [pause in tape] I wanted to ask you where you lived when your family moved to Alderwood Manor.
HP: We lived on the corner of what was then Cedar Way and North Trunk West. And that is now 44th [Ave W] and 196th [St SW].
JR: And did you have a lot of property there?
HP: That was a corner place, so it was a little over five acres. Do you want to hear about the house?
HP: Well, my grandparents [Richard and Harriet Lobdell] always lived with us, from the time I was born, so we had to have a good-sized house. There were five of us. And this house had seven rooms—four bedrooms—and besides that, there was a separate building that housed a garage, the deep-well pump, and electric pump. The deep-well and the electric pump. And my mother’s washroom. [laughs] And there had been fruit trees planted enough years before; they were bearing. So it was a pretty decent place.
JR: Sounds like it was. What was your father’s occupation?
HP: He was a—an engineering draftsman. So he always worked in downtown Seattle.
JR: So he commuted every day then.
HP: Yes. We had never had a car before we moved out here, because we lived right on the streetcar line. We had to buy a car, and my mother said she had never seen such a big bill as three thousand dollars, how were they ever going to pay that off? So she went back to work. And the two of them went back and forth, every day.
JR: In the car.
HP: In the car.
JR: Uh huh. Did they ever take the Interurban trolley—
JR: Okay. And so, what grade in school did you start at Alderwood Elementary?
HP: They signed the papers for this three thousand dollars on July 16th, my birthday, 1928. And so then, of course, in September, I was ready to start the first grade.
JR: Wonderful. And did you spend quite a few years there at school? Did you go through all the seven grades [at Alderwood Elementary]?
JR: Did you have any favorite teachers through those years?
HP: Oh, well, of course I loved school, so I liked all the teachers. In first grade we had Mrs. DeLamater. She was wonderful to introduce you to school; she was kind of motherly. Then in the second grade we had Miss Wines; she was young and blonde and we thought she was so cute and we loved her and she loved us back. It was great. Third grade was Miss Durbin. Fourth grade was Miss Caspers. Then we came to the fifth grade. People had been moving in to Alderwood Manor, and there were too many kids for the fifth, sixth, and seventh grades that they liked to have about 25 per room. So they decided to take some of the not-so-swift learners out of the seventh grade, some of the faster learners out of the fourth grade, and made two rooms of the fifth grade. From then on there were 50 of us—
HP: [laughs] —in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. And in the eighth grade—I think that’s when it was—they hired the first two men teachers they’d ever had at Alderwood Elementary: Harold Magelson and Thomas Tucker. And they were both, I think, just out of teacher’s school, because they were pretty young.
JR: Did you have one of them as a teacher?
HP: Oh, yes! I had them both for different classes, different subjects. Yeah. Great! [chuckles]
JR: How did you get to school?
HP: Well, I lived within half-mile, and the bus didn’t pick up within a half mile, so I had to walk. And my grandfather would not have anything but the first couple years; he walked me up there, came up in the afternoon and got me.
HP: It seemed to me like it rained all the time.
JR: [laughs] It probably did. [laughs] Did you know all of your neighbors along the way? Did you ever—
HP: Oh, yes.
JR: —visit with any of them?
HP: No. Mrs. Scott [Elizabeth Barrett-Scott] and her daughter, Jean, lived next-door to us. Of course, we lived on the corner, so there was nobody on that side. They lived next-door to us, and Jean was two years ahead of me in school after I skipped a grade, fifth grade. And then across the street was Mrs. [Blanche] Brechner. She came there from Minneapolis with her two grown children, neither one of them married. A son [Rex] and a daughter [Fae]. And the daughter became one of our teachers in high school [Fae McEachern]. And then next to her lived a woman named Persie Martin, who had—she fenced her yard. Fortunately, this was a new house, fenced yard; she had two huge, terrible dogs. Every day when I walked by, they’d bark bark bark and run up and down the fence. And then, I don’t remember from then on. A few years later, Jean McClelland Hoff, who is now one of our [AMHA] members, lived up the street, east of us. And on the corner was the man who was the mailman for many years.
JR: Did you—At that time, was the Snow White Ranchette there?
HP: They started that after we moved there. Apparently it was a kind of a demonstration to show people about yards and gardens and it was—The gardening was done by Cecil Solly. He was an Englishman; you could tell from his speaking. He—We heard him on the radio all the time. Mother didn’t think he really knew all there was to know about gardening. [laughs]
JR: [laughs] Did your family shop in downtown—I say “downtown,” but you know, the heart— of Alderwood Manor. It wasn’t really large, but there were several grocery stores there.
HP: Not as long as Mother worked in downtown Seattle. She and my dad both would go to the Pike Place Market; that was the place. Dan’s Meats. Oh, he had a big barrel of pickles that he’d always give me a free pickle. And coffee. I remember my dad and his coffee and the meat. He was very particular. And then after she quit work when I was about 12, we did [shop in Alderwood Manor]. I remember going with her, both to Wickers and Dahlin’s. Maybe it was like Jack Birt said to me one day about his haircuts. His dad said, “Well, we’ve got to patronize all of the businesses here,” so one day, one week he’d go for his haircut to Norm Johnson, and the next time he’d go to—what’s his name—Lee. So, [laughs]—And then, of course, I always went to— Hmm…across the street from the school was the man who fixed shoes. And I had to—Romano. I went over there with my shoes to get them soled always. After Mrs. [Laura] Seavey or Mrs. Lee started the 10-cent store—whichever came first, I don’t remember—we used to go there.
JR: There was a butcher store, too, wasn’t there? A meat market?
HP: Well that was later, yes.
JR: Oh, that was later?
JR: Yes. They had lockers, didn’t they?
HP: We had our lockers out on [Highway] 99, on the way from Seattle to Alderwood. My dad had, would stop with the stuff, either putting it in or taking it out.
JR: What was your social life like in Alderwood? Or did you have a social life here? Maybe you went to Seattle, huh, since your family came from Seattle.
HP: [laughs] Yeah, they did a lot. They joined the Grange [Cedar Valley Grange], early on. My dad didn’t join the Masons until later. But— Jean Scott, who lived next-door to me, was a Rainbow Girl, so she urged me to—she took me in to that. And so that’s when I was 12; I joined the Rainbow Girls. You didn’t have to have a Masonic affiliation to do that. We didn’t have—We had Boy Scouts out here; we didn’t have the Girl Scouts or the Campfire Girls yet. So the Rainbow Girls was about it.
JR: Did you take any kind of music lessons?
HP: Oh, yes. I took piano lessons from Mrs. [Isabel] Hawley. She lived over by Swamp Creek. She came every Saturday and—I don’t—It was really cheap; I don’t just remember—but Mother gave her lunch. [chuckles]
JR: What was summer like here for you in Alderwood?
JR: Summer, uh huh. Did you have picnics and things like that?
HP: Well, the Grange, of course, always had a picnic up at Silver Lake. I think one reason I liked school so well was because I was an only child and I missed, I liked the kids. And in the summertime, after I got a little older, we would walk to each other’s houses. That was the only way we had to get there. And I played the duets on the piano with Elsie Almaas, and she lived over near Mrs. Hawley, and we would do that.
JR: Did you ever go to Martha Lake, which was fairly close by?
HP: Oh, yes!
JR: Probably the closest lake.
HP: My dad tried to teach both Mother and me how to swim, and that was—We both swam like a rock. He liked to swim, but— Well, Halls Lake—Well, after I got older, I went down there with my friends who lived in Cedar Valley, but I didn’t swim. I didn’t care about swimming. The thing about those lakes in those days, they all had a place where they had a jukebox, and you could dance. That’s what I liked to do!
JR: You—I think you mentioned to me one time about your, was it your mother who used to play a musical instrument and—
HP: Oh, yes!
JR: —at the Grange, the—
HP: Mother and Dad, both. Oh, yes. After I got older, that was our social—One night a month. And it was so packed. The boys from all over found out there was a dance going on there, and they came from Everett and Bothell and Edmonds, and we had a great time. [laughs]
JR: [laughs] Well, the Grange was really quite the social place for a lot of people that lived here, wasn’t it?
HP: Yes. I think I joined—I think I was a charter member of the Juvenile Grange when they started.
JR: Oh, you were? Did you go through the chairs, then?
HP: No. I don’t remember much about it somehow.
JR: Now, after you left the eighth grade here in Alderwood, where did you go to school?
HP: Edmonds High School. And then I got to ride the bus to school! [laughs]
JR: Big thing, huh?
HP: Big thing! Except once in a while, in the winter, Maplewood Hill [on 196th St SW in Edmonds] would get so icy that the bus couldn’t go down there from Alderwood, so they just had to close up the whole school because the Alderwood kids couldn’t come. [laughs]
JR: And there were quite a few kids from Alderwood, weren’t there, at that time?
HP: Oh, yeah! Well, as I say, when we went in as Freshmen, there were fifty of us. And then there was Edmonds and Esperance, and…the beach… [Meadowdale]
JR: Oh, Richmond Beach?
HP: No, north of us. Where Pennocks and those people lived.
JR: Oh, I’m trying to think of it. Mukilteo? Was it Mukilteo?
HP: No, not that far.
JR: Hmmm…. Well, it will come to you. We’ll think of it later. So, when you graduated from high school, then what did you do?
HP: I went down to the University of Washington.
JR: Oh, you did?
HP: I rode with Cheri’s [Cheri Stadler] grandparents, grandfather.
JR: Is that so?
HP: He was a fine carpenter, made furniture and cupboards and things for new houses and worked, always worked in this cabinet shop, they called it, on University Avenue. And the Lichtensteins had ridden with him, and Jean Scott, who lived next-door to me, and of course Agnes Stadler. And so, he always had people; full car! [laughs]
JR: Boy, that was great!
HP: It was wonderful! Yeah.
JR: It was great for you, huh, not having to take a bus or anything?
JR: So, then, did you graduate from the University of Washington?
HP: Yeah, ’43.
JR: And then where did you go from there? Then did you work?
HP: Oh, yes! [clears throat] I went to the airport and got a job with Pan American Airways. Of course, as I’ve said, you know, it was the middle of the war, and anybody that could walk into a place could get a job. [laughs] However, they were looking for specific things, and they had been in our Dean’s office at the University, in the Art department, looking for people before I graduated, and I remembered that. So I got a job easily. And I was working in a place, an office called Maps and Charts. [laughs] And that’s what we were doing; we were making maps and charts.
JR: Was this in downtown Seattle?
HP: It was at the airport. At the only airport: Boeing Field.
JR: Oh, that was the airport, in those days.
HP: Yes, yes. [to self: Well, let’s see, what—.] [pause in tape] The Navy had taken over the Seattle part of Pan American, and so they were running to Alaska, and that was it. Up and back and forth to Alaska. And that was kind of a dangerous place to be flying, in the middle of the winter, especially. And we kept all the maps and charts in our office, locked up, and every time one of the flights was going out, the captain or the first officer had to come in and get them. Then they decided that things were so bad, we kept guns! When I read this about guns on planes nowadays, they had to—we had guns locked up in there, and they had to come and check that out and check it back in every day.
JR: So it’s nothing new, then, is it, huh? [laughs]
HP: [laughs] Not really.
JR: I understand that you were married. And did you meet your future husband in Seattle, or did you grow up with him here in Alderwood?
HP: No, no, the first one was—I met him at Pan American, working there.
JR: And how long were you married?
HP: Four years. [laughs]
JR: Oh! Did you have children?
HP: Yeah. My older son.
JR: And then you remarried again, did you not?
HP: Yeah. What I call my “long-term husband” [Thomas Jeroue]. We were married 34 years. He passed away.
HP: And another son.
JR: And you had another son by that marriage, huh? So, I would like to ask you a little more about your grandparents, who lived with you.
JR: Tell me about them.
HP: Well, they started out in Wisconsin; that’s where my dad came from. Then they moved to Montana. That’s where they came from to live with us when I was born. They had just been farmers and there was the story about the time that the neighbor’s rabbit got into our garden, and my mother thought she was going to chase it off with a rock. Well, it was a well-aimed rock; it hit the rabbit in the head and that was—She was frantic. Grandpa says, “Don’t give it a thought. I’ll just skin that sucker out and we’ll have him for dinner.” So—[laughs] Of course, he was used to that kind of thing. So that’s what we did. The neighbors—that was in Seattle—they lived across the street and they never knew what happened to their rabbit, I don’t think. But they were so protective of me. Of course, they were there so my mother could go to work. And Grandpa taught me how to play checkers and dominoes and solitaire. He was deaf as a post, but as mother said, he and I could always understand each other.
JR: Well, being an only child, too, he was good company for you, wasn’t he?
HP: [laughs] Oh, yes, that he was.
JR: Your grandmother, too? She—
HP: Oh, yeah. But she was—She was a very different kind of person. [laughs]
JR: You got along with your grandfather well? Spent a lot of time with him?
HP: Yeah. Apparently I did, yes.
JR: Did you have some—quite a few friends in Alderwood Manor?
HP: Well, yes, after I got—Well, we always had birthday parties. I’ve got pictures of every one of my birthday parties. And there was Ruth Pedersen, who lived over behind the [Masonic] Temple—there was a street went back in there—and so I could walk over there. Then there was several that lived in Cedar Valley, so I walked right straight down past where you eventually lived.
JR: Yes. On Cedar Way South, mm-hmm.
HP: Across the tracks and up the hill there.
JR: Yes. Did you know the Johnson family?
HP: Well, Johnnie and I started in the first grade. And then there was—I knew there was Nellie—she was older—and Charlie—he was older. Then apparently there were some younger ones that I didn’t know.
JR: Yes, there was a Rudy and I believe he and I were the same grade together.
HP: Oh, uh huh. Then there was Jean Hill, the Howard Hills. They lived down there by the Johnsons. Mr. and Mrs. Hill eventually had the butcher shop after Schoners.
JR: Did you know the Carlson family? They had a couple of boys.
HP: Yes, but they were much older than I. They were about getting through high school when I started.
JR: Then there was the Beck family.
HP: Oh, yes. Now the Becks, yeah, Johnny, he was older. And then, was it June, she was younger than I. Neither one were in my grade. Johnny, didn’t he marry Betty Johnson? She and Betty Peterson were such buddies. And they married—Betty Peterson married Harry Einmo. And the two boys were such good friends and the two girls were such good friends. Then the Fry [?] sisters moved in down there, and they have since surfaced and belong to—or, one of them belongs to our group [AMHA]. They were not there too many years, and they moved back to Ballard. A lot of people decided—after times got a little better and they could afford a place in Seattle, which was more expensive, I guess, than living out here—they didn’t care much for this farming business, and they moved back. There were quite a few people moved back.
JR: Yes. There were a lot of—Were there quite a few farms where they raised chickens here at that time?
HP: I really didn’t know that much about it. We just had chickens for our own use. Of course, they always lay more eggs than you can use, and so my dad would take them to work and sell them for 50 cents a dozen, and people were happy to get fresh eggs.
JR: Sure. One of the places that I remember is across the street from where you lived. That would be west, which is now where the large Fred Meyers [sic] store is. What was that like then, do you recall?
HP: There was nothing there! It was—I think it had been part of the property that the Puget Mill had designated for school, because the very first school was a little white wood building that was down on the west end of that place. Down near Wilcox [Park]. No, there was nothing there. Mr. [Carl] Olson, our dairyman, where we got our milk—he brought it around every day—he pastured his cows there in the summer. It was low and full of springs and a wonderful place for cows. There were all these Johnny Jump Ups and violets and trilliums and the skunk cabbage and all that grew in there.
JR: Did you play over there?
HP: Yeah! Well, sure. There was never anybody going up and down that street! In the wintertime, I’d get out my sled and it was—there was kind of a hill up there, north of us, and I’d get out my sled and go up and down that hill. Well, yeah—Oh, and I remember going with mother with the wheelbarrow over to that property and getting the leaf mold, and dragging it back for the gardens. Now I think of all that wonderful dirt they fixed with all the compost. It’s all under blacktop.
JR: It’s all asphalt now, isn’t it? Put in a parking lot, that’s right.
HP: [laughs] Dear!
JR: Yes. Well, yeah.
[end of side A]
[beginning of side B]
JR: Halide, would you like to tell me a little bit about your parents, how they met?
HP: Okay. My father—They were both living in Seattle. My father had a little dance band, and he was hired by Schoenfeld Standard Furniture Company, where my mother worked, for their Christmas dance. Well, when he got there, his piano player didn’t show, so he got up on the bandstand and said, “Is there anybody here who can play the piano, and fill in for us for this night?” And my mother pops up, and that’s how they met! [laughs] And they were playing from then on dances, different places, like—as I say, some of these summer places at lakes, and then they got into that with the— Oh! When they were—While we were living in Seattle, they played at a place called The Lonesome Club. They always talked about that. It was somewhere in downtown Seattle [Holyoke Building, First Ave and Spring St] and they played there on a regular basis. And went there and back to our house where we were living, on the streetcar, in the middle of the night. [laughs]
JR: That was part of life then.
HP: That was—That was—Yes! Yes!
JR: Uh-huh. Where—So they were married in Seattle, then?
HP: No, actually they weren’t!
HP: They got on—You’ve heard of the mosquito fleet? The boats that went up and down?
HP: They got on one of those and went to Tacoma and got married.
JR: Oh! [laughs] I see. Okay. So, when they came out here then, their house, which was on Cedar Way, what did that house look like? The one you grew up in here.
HP: Well, I’ll have to tell you the part about when we went to the Puget Mill and hooked up with Mr. Wigen, who was their real estate man. Mother said, “Now, it has to have electricity”—because she was used to cooking on an electric stove and she wasn’t going to give that up—“and it has to have indoor plumbing. None of these outhouses for our family.” So, he thought a minute and said, “Well, I’ve got three houses out there I can show you that would qualify.” So that’s the one they picked out.
They heard about Alderwood Manor from somebody that they worked—one of them worked with. He had lived up on Cedar Way and knew there was a For Sale sign on that corner, and so that’s how they first thought about Alderwood Manor.
JR: So, and what did the house consist of?
HP: Oh, well, it was, as I say, seven rooms; there were four bedrooms: three upstairs and one down.
JR: That’s a big house!
HP: Yeah. Of course, it had a separate dining room like houses did in those days. Big kitchen. And, well, that was about it. And then—Well, I told you about the separate building that had a garage.
JR: Yes, yes. Well, that was quite a large house,—
JR: —and quite a nice, refined house, wasn’t it, for—because there were many homes here in Alderwood at that time that were small, and did have outhouses only.
HP: That’s right! Most of my friends whom I visited—as I say, when we walked to each other’s homes—were not finished. Their fathers were building them around them as they got the money, because you didn’t run a big bill anyplace in those days, you know. I think—So, yeah, we were—I was lucky.
JR: Did your father ever become a “gentleman farmer”?
HP: Oh, I think he kind of thought he was. He went at it in a scientific way. We took every magazine that there was, and I think one of them was called Country Gentleman, as I remember. And he took all of the seed catalogs; in the spring he was sending out these orders. He heard about when they first, made the first Golden Delicious apple trees—an apple tree, as I recall him explaining it, had to be from a piece of the original tree. Apple trees from seeds, you never know what they’re going to come out with. So, he had his name down on the chart; when they got enough of these things started, we had one in our yard.
He tried to plant a peach tree. Well, it lasted a few years, but we had harsh winters in those days. Lots of snow and it broke the tree down. So he gave that up. He tried to plant—We had—One year he tried cantaloupes. Well, we had—Mother and I wound up in the fall with a whole lot of little ones. It wasn’t warm enough. And so we made preserves out of them. I remember they were delicious!
JR: That’s interesting.
HP: That was the last time he tried cantaloupes. [laughs]
JR: So, did you ever have—did he ever have any animals, livestock, or anything like that?
HP: Well, we had the chickens, of course. He built a couple different chicken houses. And there was—He loved smoked meat. And—Oh, that’s a story. So, we had a pig, we raised one pig a couple different years, and he built this smokehouse out by the driveway. And—funny story—somebody who didn’t know us very well came to visit one time, and they drove up the driveway, and here was this smoke pouring out of this little building. And the guy came running up to the back door: “Lobdell! Lobdell! Your outhouse is on fire!” That’s that one. Yeah, well, anyway, after a couple years of that, and the darned pig would get out of the pen and my mother and grandmother would have to chase it around, and so that was the end of that. [laughs]
No, we had no cows. My dad, of course, had been raised on a farm in Wisconsin, where he had tried to milk cows, and he said it made his hands cramp up and he just couldn’t do it!
JR: Oh! Isn’t that something?
HP: We had big, bony hands in our family.
JR: Well, what nationalities were in your family, your background?
HP: Well, they started coming to the United States from Europe in the 1600s, my family.
JR: Oh! Is that so?
HP: Yes. There were Scottish men and Dutch men [laughs], and my dad always said, “Well, we probably had some Indian in our family,” because of all the young men that came by themselves. But anyway, the Dutch people settled in, where the Dutch people settled, in New York, over on the Hudson River. And then, of course, Grandma always said every generation got up and moved farther west.
JR: Oh, they did, huh?
HP: Yeah, they didn’t stick around. That’s why they never had any money! They didn’t stay anywhere long enough in one place to—
HP: —you know, start a business or anything like that.
JR: To accumulate any wealth.
HP: Yeah, yeah! So that’s—And then my mother’s family came from Maine. And her grandfather homesteaded in Washington before it was a state. So—
JR: And where was that?
HP: Up in Whatcom County.
JR: Oh, uh huh.
HP: I have gotten together with Betty Gaeng over at the genealogy house [Sno-Isle Genealogical Society, at the Humble house at Heritage Park in Lynnwood] and I now have a certificate that I am bona fide Washington state pioneer.
JR: Well, isn’t that nice?
HP: If you have ancestors that were here before it was a state—
JR: Before it was a state.
HP: Mm-hmm. [chuckles]
JR: That’s interesting!
HP: It’s kind of fun. It hangs on my wall.
JR: Yes. So, your grandparents, then, they came from the Midwest, and back east and that sort. Did you have—What was your—When your father and mother used to drive to Seattle, what kind of a car did they have?
HP: Well, the first one they bought was a second-hander, a Star.
HP: I don’t know if anybody ever heard of those nowadays. It was the kind that had side curtains. It was—
JR: Oh, Eisenglass, was it?
HP: Yes, yes! Well, [laughs] those things didn’t always do such a good job. Mother always had her umbrella handy, in case she had to put that up [laughs].
JR: [laughs] Right, especially when it rained out here, as it always did. [laughs]
HP: [laughs] It did a lot. And then, of course, they tended to get stuck down there by Wilcox Park, which was low because of the lake, Scriber Lake over there. And it was very low and mushy and marshy in those days. And [sighs] —Oh, dear, it was a chore getting back and forth. And that road was, I guess, the only one, as far as I know.
JR: That was it. How did they drive to Seattle, then, in their car? Because there was no Highway 99 then, was there?
HP: Well, yes.
JR: Was there?
HP: Cheri just said it opened in ’27.
JR: Oh, okay.
HP: So they went down there that way. And then—because they had to go to downtown Seattle. And then sometimes my dad worked at Harbor Island; he had to go on out there.
JR: Did your grandparents work at all when they lived here?
HP: No, no.
JR: They stayed home and took care of you—
HP: Yeah, that’s right. They had been farmers, and so they were happy to muckle [?] around in the dirt out there. Grandpa always had the wood cut for the—as long as we had a wood stove—for heat. Kept that up. And then of course there was the chickens [sic] to cut the head off one of those every now and then. I didn’t go out there when that was going on.
JR: Being an only child, did you have a pet?
JR: No dogs or cats?
HP: Somebody gave my dad a dog one time. It was a beautiful Irish setter that had hair about the same color as mine. And—But it grew up, and they have a big tail, and they’re real friendly, frisky dog [sic], and when it would go through my mother’s flower garden, with that tail going, and flowers falling—No. It didn’t last very long.
Well, we did have—usually had a cat, because there were mice around, of course. But that was it. And the cat stayed outside. [chuckles]
JR: What was Christmas like for you? Did you have a nice—have a big tree?
HP: Oh, yes! We could usually cut the tree out of our own backyard.
JR: Oh, that was good.
HP: Yeah. And I like books. I now have, I think, the whole set of the Bobbsey Twins.
HP: Because Mother never threw anything away.
JR: Have you been collecting them over the years?
HP: No! I got them all then!
JR: Oh, you had them then?
HP: I wanted—That’s what I wanted for Christmases: another book, so I got the whole thing.
JR: Do you read a lot now?
HP: No. No. I did when I was young. I read a lot.
JR: Well, I think, too, being an only child, you probably—
HP: Oh, sure!
JR: —tended to do that. I’m an only child, too, so that’s why I can relate.
HP: Yes. I—And I knew all my ABCs and 1-2-3s and everything when I went to school. Because, you know, I’d had—
JR: Sure. And you mentioned that you skipped the fifth grade, and, because you probably were so well-read—
HP: I guess.
JR: —and already knew what you needed to know, huh? [laughs]
HP: Well, there are three or four of us women—girls—women now—who have kept in touch who were part of that bunch that skipped, and we have agreed it wasn’t the best idea in the world. My—That’s, I think, where I became weak in math. That fifth grade is the fractions and the decimals and—
JR: So it was a stumbling block for you at that time.
HP: Yeah, yeah. From then on—Of course, math, I’m not interested in anyway, because it’s not something you can see. It’s just something in your head.
JR: That’s interesting. And who were these ladies that you kept in touch with all these years?
HP: Well, there was Evelyn Wellwood, was her maiden name. She lived—we went down 44th [Ave W] to some street down there. It was the end of the road. It only went down there a little ways.
JR: On 44th.
JR: You go south on 44th, past the Interurban, all the—Yes, it did end there, that’s right.
HP: Yeah. Well, it went up the hill—
JR: Up the hill—
HP: And through—that was Cedar Valley, everybody called it, where Saltys lived. You know, we got about Saltys here. And Lindblooms. And so they lived down at the end of the road down there. Her parents had come from Canada. We had lots of Canadians here in Alderwood. Lots of them. Then there was Mavis Slettebo; of course, obviously, that name is Scandinavian. And Lois Browder, they lived on 44th, before you got to the top of the hill there.
JR: So they advanced several students then out of—past the fifth grade.
HP: Oh, they did a bunch!
JR: Because—Probably because that grade was so crowded, huh?
HP: It was.
JR: That’s what they were trying to do.
HP: And then, as I say, they took some back that weren’t doing that well in the grade ahead. So they made another whole 25. So we had two rooms of 25 sixth-graders.
JR: Was there a gymnasium in that school when you were there?
HP: No. No.
JR: It was a—It was ground, wasn’t it? It was just built upwards?
HP: They built it with a covered play porch, it was called. They put the cement way out there, and a roof over it. It was open.
HP: So we could go out there and—[laughs] when it was raining, and do something, I don’t remember what. And then out on the grounds, they had teeter-totters and swings and something that I don’t think they would allow nowadays. They called it the Giant Stride. There was a great big iron pole, and these iron—out—came out from it with a thing on the end of it, like—
JR: Kind of like arms, huh?
HP: —you hooked yourself on to this thing on the end. Well, they were chains. They were chains. And you hooked on here. And then somebody started and you got to going, and you got to going so fast, your feet were off the ground, and everybody was flying around.
JR: Could have been dangerous. [laughs]
HP: It could have been. [laughs]
The front of the school, I don’t know if it shows in that picture, but there were a set of iron bars, like [a] little fence, in the front of the school, and then behind that they had bushes, shrubs, up next—And we used to like to whirl around on those things. That wasn’t what they were there for, but—.
JR: But that’s what you did. Alright, so when you graduated from the University of Washington, were you living at home, here, then, or were you in Seattle?
HP: I was living at home.
JR: Uh-huh. And when did you eventually move away from home then?
HP: When I married.
HP: Yeah. And then my folks continued to live there—My father died in ’57.
JR: Was he the first to pass?
HP: Yes. Yes. And then Mother sold the corner off to a man who built a gas station there. And then she took a job with the post office, delivering the mail. Well, she worked at that for about four or five years, and then she married again, our old friend [William Heath]. He and his wife and my folks had been really great buddies over the years. And his wife had died, so—you hear this a lot—
HP: —and they married. And that’s how she got the name Heath.
JR: And are those people, were they from Alderwood Manor?
HP: No, they were from Seattle.
JR: Seattle? Uh-huh.
HP: He and my dad had worked together. He was another one of these engineering draftsmen.
HP: That’s how they knew each other. And so they built a new house, then, on the back of the property, up, going up 44th, and lived there for a few years. And then the bank, Shoreline—Highline—Highline Bank came along and made them an offer they couldn’t refuse, and gave them two years to move their house off, free rent, and so they did that and moved it over on 52nd.
JR: Is the house still there now?
HP: Mm-hmm. Yeah.
JR: It is? Someone’s living in it?
JR: Well, isn’t that interesting?
HP: But that—that’s the new house.
JR: That was the newer house.
HP: The old one—The older one was torn down there eventually. And Mother lived to be 99 and 8 months, you know.
JR: You have good genes, don’t you? [laughs]
HP: Well, [laughs] my dad only got to 69! So, you know—
JR: I think you got your mother’s genes. [laughs]
HP: I can only hope. [laughs] So that’s what happened to the house and the property. That street that’s—comes out there where the police department is [192nd St SW], that wasn’t even there.
JR: They added that later.
JR: Do you—Is there anything that stands out in your mind about your life here as a child? Something that—about your childhood that you particularly enjoyed and remember?
HP: Well, it was a good place to grow up.
JR: Was it?
HP: Yeah. We were all—
JR: Yes, I can attest to that. It was.
HP: Yes. It was—What I’ve always said is we were all alike. And of course, my folks never bad-mouthed people anyway, so I never—I grew up without hearing that kind of thing, which is good. But yeah, we just went up here to Alderwood Community Church, and—Oh, I didn’t put that in there. I went to Sunday School there till I got married and left home.
JR: Did you?
HP: Yeah. [laughs]
JR: That was the white—the white church that was there for so many, many years—
JR: —before they enlarged and—
HP: Yeah. It just, it’s just like an auditorium now, is all it is. It’s not like a church; it’s so big. I went there to Shirley Echelbarger’s funeral . First time I’d been there in years and years and years.
JR: Did you know Shirley Echelbarger [Keeler] then when you were young?
HP: Oh, of course! We were in the same grade!
JR: Same grade, huh?
HP: Yeah! Oh, sure!
JR: Well there was so many Echelbargers, too. [laughs]
JR: So you must have known quite a few of them.
HP: Mrs. Echelbarger had her famous story. Someone who didn’t know them well came there to visit one day, and saw the dining room table all set with the big table with the lace cloth and all, everything, and said, “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know you were having company!”
HP: They didn’t know that there were eight children! [laughs]
JR: And they lived on the house on 188th Street [SW]?
HP: It’s still there!
JR: It’s still there. And they all grew up in that house, didn’t they.
HP: Yeah, yeah. And besides them, there was Elmer Ahola and his father [Elmer O.]. Now they, apparently, were homeless, and they just fell in there to help—asked Mr. Echelbarger if Mr. Ahola could get a job, you know. And they had—Elmer had no mother. And he grew up there, went to school with us. And eventually—after many years and other marriages—he and Jenny Korshaven married. Jenny Korshaven from over on Swamp Creek. Yeah.
JR: Did you ever know anybody who lived around Lake Serene? Of course, that was a ways north of us here, from Alderwood.
HP: Yeah. It was called Mud Lake to start with.
JR: That’s right, yes.
HP: I don’t think—
JR: Williams. Was it Lew Williams’ family—?
HP: I think they did, I think they did.
HP: Lew—Lewis Junior and I started the first grade together. And of course I [inaudible].
JR: Well, this has been a very interesting—
HP: And—Oh! Scriber Lake—
HP: The Sennetts lived on Scriber Lake. Murray Sennett played the drums with my folks in their little band. He was two years ahead of me in school. And then he went to the University and graduated as a music teacher.
JR: Did he come back here, then, or was he teaching somewhere else?
HP: No, in Seattle.
JR: Well, this is a very interesting conversation that we’ve had and I’ve enjoyed listening to everything that you tell me.
HP: [laughs] Oh, heck.
JR: You paint a wonderful picture of Alderwood Manor—
HP: It was good.
JR: —and those days.
HP: It was good.
JR: Thank you very much, Halide.
HP: Well, you’re welcome! Gee, I’ll probably go home and think of all kinds of things I didn’t tell you! [laughs]
JR: Well, that’s alright. We’ll do another one if you do. [laughs] Thank you.
Transcribed by tv, March 2014