Lorene Andris, Mother
What I did as a child
by Lorene Andris
I was born at 115 S. 4th St., Marietta, Ohio. We moved often; my mother told me this after dad died. I lived on a farm when I was two and three. Then we lived on a little truck farm, which had about 11 acres. I remember this: we had a cow, 2 pigs, a hrose named Candy and a flock of chickens. Dad died here when I was seven.
In 1918 I remember Armistice Day. Dad came home from work. It was a day of great jubilation. All the whistles were blowing from factories around. All church bells were ringing, and there was calling back and forth between neighbors. They were yelling, "The war is over." and "Peace at last." I remember I sat in my swing and sang "Over there." It was a great day, and the noises kept on into the night.
We moved over in Norwood on Woodland and made our home with Aunt Mary and Uncle Jake Fickeisen [after my dad died when I was 7]. He was Grandma Eva Noe's brother. He was a carpenter and built 23 houses in Norwood before he died in 1942. Grandma quit her job at Pape's Grocery and stayed with Mom and me. She helped mom hold her job at the A. L. Savage Cigar Company. She also got me off to school in the morning and got home around 3:30 to look after me til Mom got off at 5:00. In those days you worked 10 or 12 hours a day. Mom was paid $10 a week, and she gave Grandma $3 for helping her.
We barely got along, but I learned to work early in my life. I swept off sidewalks for people. Sometimes, I would get a nickle. Mr. Rice was a shoe repairman, and he fixed my shoes once in a while. Mr. Van Camden was a barber, and he would cut my hair free as payment for my cleaning his sidewalk. Back in those days, everyone took care of his own sidewalk. We had street cleaners then, and they cleaned every day downtown. Everyone worked on the street who didn't have a regular job. I must say, our town was very clean. Of course, when horses were the transportation, it was necessary to clean every day.
In those days we had several junkyards in town, and they bought up newspapers, magazines, and rags. I used to go around and gather up rags and papers and sell to Mr. Goldberg. He was an old Jewish fellow, and he would weigh my stuff and give me 6 or 7 cents. Some of the kids"Rag Pickers"would put rocks in their sacks to make them heavy, but old Mr. Goldberg was too smart for them. He would throw out the rocks. He never had to do that with me. I felt kind of proud that he never checked my sack.
I worked for a Jewish family quite a while also. I was their "schicksah." I lit their fires and did chores while they were not to do on the Sabbath. I also waited on customers in their store. They could not handle money, so I would work their register and give change. Mr. Kuller would say to me, "Du bist ein schöne Mädel," which means "You are a pretty girl." He would pat my head ever so gently. He was a very nice man.
I always managed to have a few pennies in my pocket, but the "big money"75 cents for working at Kuller's or 75 cents for ironing all day for Ulmers, I gave to Mom.
In all this time, we moved a number of times. We would get back in our rent and move, but we never left the neighborhood. From age 8 to 18, we lived at 114 S. 4th, 117 S. 4th, 119 S. 4th, 105 S. 4th, and 115 S. 4th. After I got steady work until I got married at age 24, we lived at 107 S. 4th St. Then when I married, Mom and Grandma stayed on until 1943. They then moved to Squee and Al's house at 103 N. 4th. [Squee was her husband, and Al, his brother.]
My schooling. I was a good student, loved school, but never finished high school. I left school in September of 1929. I had one year until I would graduate, but Mom went to Frank Fleming, Probate Judge, and got a permit to take me out of school so I could work. She said her health was so bad, she could no longer work. So I went to work washing dishes at Braun's Restaurant. I made $1 a day and meals. I worked 7 days a week from 7 to 5. Mom went on to live til she was 91 years old and enjoyed good health!!
Special projects. I wanted to have a better life. I wanted my own home; I wanted security, financially and spiritually. I have achieved all these. I got a firm grip on my bootstraps, and I kept pulling up. I thank my Lord that I had enough gumption to do all this.
Gifts and talents. You wanted to know if I had any gifts or talents. Not really, except one. I have a talent to talk on and on and on and not really say anything of importance. Like your Dad says, "You just keep jabbering on and on." Ha. I think he gets pretty fed up with me. But I really like to talk. Maybe a thousand years ago, I was an orator, or maybe a thousand yars from now, I can be an orator. Who knows?!