Monday, June 21, 2010

Interview with Maria Winblad (1891-1987) in August of 1986 by Susan Penny Van Deusen at the Lutheran Home in Jersey City, New Jersey

Interview with Maria Winblad (1891-1987) in August of 1986 by Susan Penny Van Deusen at the Lutheran Home in JAdd Videoersey City, New Jersey.

Penny: We thought of some questions to ask you.
Penny: Like what year were you born in?
Maria: 1895. ...

Penny: We brought a tape recorder.
Maria: Have a nice day in and a nice year in your home there ... where you can run around in the grass with your friends

Penny: Christy wanted to know what your parents were like.
Maria: I will show you [she gets her bible] .
April: Hi, I am April

Penny: What was your mother’s name and your father’s name?
Maria: Salmine ... Selma gets her name from her. ... Salmina and my father's name was John, that is another John, John Edward. That was my father’s name.

Penny: How many children did they have?
Maria: I think my mother had seven, she raised three. We went up the street and a little girl had whooping cough and she had everyone in the yard ... we went up there and they had things to drink there. Eddie and I came down with whooping cough. The little girl there was no hope for. My brother the little fellow ... pneumonia and died. I was 4 and I think he was 2, 2 years old. They never should have let all thise children there, they had lemonade. There was no hope for the little girl. ... Eddie went into pneumonia and he died ... Like my mother said ... piece of bread ... Not Eddie ... He was such a good little fellow. Daddy has the papers that is where I will be buried.

Penny: Is that in New Jersey?
Maria: New York Bay cemetery ... Daddy had paid so that I have that grave there.

Penny: Were all of you born in the United States?
Maria: Yes. My grandparents were both Christian. My mother was only 2 years old when her mother died ... How old is your little one?
Penny: 14 months
Maria:... baker ... he never remarried and raised these seven children, and my mother was only 2 years old when her mother died, and he never remarried. He was a very religious man. He lived it.

Penny: What did he do for a living?
Maria: He was a baker

Maria: He was the dean of a college there [Note: He was the only school teacher, not a dean of a college. His daughter Frideborg would become the principle of the high school and the stories have become conflated and exaggerated]

Penny: What was your last name before you were married?
Maria: Winblad

Christy: Where were you born?
Maria: New York City ... I was 9 months old when my father had the house built.
Apple street and a dirt road across the street and a big pasture there. They had a carriage, a two seater, it had the fringe around it [laughs], ... I would like to have a ride in one of them. He had a big pasture across the street ... one block to the other ...

Penny:Who was the youngest child and who was the oldest?
Maria: Otto was the youngest ... Tony was the oldest. Otto was 75, Tony was 88 when he died.

Penny: Why did they come here?
Maria: He was on a ship when he met my mother ... They had a cleaning lady and a lady that did the cooking.
Penny: I would like to have two ladies [to help at home].
Maria: He was gone for 5 years, he ran away from college. Selma said I can't sleep ... try it for one month and I will talk to your teacher. Try it for a month. Selma. When she got the report ... I am not going to make the mistake that my father did. ... She was happy. ... He was gone 5 years and he was in Norway and must have liked her. He said he wanted her to go up to Sweden to meet his father and mother before they were married. I don't think his father was alive. [NOte: his father was alive and died in 1901]... I think the father had died. He was gone for 5 years . He had four sisters and two of them were nurses, and his father wanted him to be a pastor. If my grandfather had not been so strict, he may have been a pastor. With Selma ... and she did and she got a good report.

Penny: So they came to the United States right after they were married?
Maria: ... Brides ... She washed the chicken off and put it in the oven. You can never take that back. Your supposed to take that out.

Penny: They didn’t know anyone here?

Penny: How old were you when you started school?
Maria: Number 11 school ... firehouse

Penny: Do you remember any friends from school?
Maria: I remember the day I graduated

Penny: Did you go all the way to 12th grade?
Maria: [inaudible, volume lowers as microphone becomes too far from the speaker] ... My father paid $10 a month

Penny: You had to finish the course?
Maria: That bothered me

Penny: What did you do after you finished your business course?
Maria: ... Cuba ...

Penny: What did he try to do?
Maria: ... He would tell them where to put the They were in the ship in the bottom ...

Penny: Why couldn’t he stay in Cuba?
Maria: He was a man of the sea, he couldn’t make a penny there. ... It had four rooms ... four bedrooms.

Penny: How old were you?
Maria: I was 15 ... Otto and I were there a year and a half. Tony married Eva ... She lived across from us, one day a storm came up and the house blew down the road
Maria: My mother got sick down there ... her heart ... I did the washing, the ironing ... the Bronx

Penny: Why did they go to Norway?

Penny: How long were they gone over there?
Maria: They died over there.

Penny: They took Otto?
Maria: ... My aunt’s house. ...

Penny: How old were they?
[recording ends]