Oral history interview with Louise Schadauer
This is an oral history interview with Westmorland neighborhood resident Louise Schadauer.
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- Louise Schadauer Interview
(Interviewer: Joy Huntington, UW-Art History)
March 30, 2015
Westmorland Address: 4310 Keating Terrace, 1964-April 1, 2015 Current Address: Schmitt Woodlands Retirement Community, Richland Center (Since April 1, 2015)
Joy: My name is Joy and I'm speaking with Louise. And it is March 30th (2015), I believe. And we're at your house and I just want to talk to you a little bit about you and your time here in Westmorland. So where were you born Louise?
Louise: I was born in Richland County, Wisconsin on a farm. [Laughter]
Joy: Okay. And what is your earliest memory of Westmorland?
Louise: Fireworks. Our interest in the fireworks. Before we moved here. Yeah I think we came out here yearning for the fireworks. They had been at Vilas Park, and they had stopped there so everybody came to the (Westmorland) fireworks. They got so big they had to stop.
Joy: So how long have you lived in Westmorland?
Louise: 50 years.
Joy: 50 years? And what is your address?
Louise: 4310 Keating Terrace.
Joy: Okay. As you said you did not grow up in this house. What was it like when you first moved here?
Louise: There were a lot more families. Now, either there are several single people who have bought houses and they even rented out rooms at one time. I guess that was not awhile ago, one room could be people who are not related. But other than that I guess they were pretty strict on it. I didn't know it for a long time. Not that I have a room. That you can just rent out one, it was supposed to be homeowners and mostly homeowners and very few rented houses. So I supposed that's about it, because there are lots of kids around here. Those houses on either side to me at the time, single people bought. Some of them got married since, but they....so it's different that way.
Joy: And you moved here because?
Louise: I made it you say?
Joy: You moved into Westmorland--
Louise: We had a son who was.... We had been living out on third floor on Breese Terrace and there's.....First thing there's no kids around there. Second there's no place to play. It's right across from the stadium. And so we moved out here for the school and families.
Joy: Okay. And you weren't the first owner, were you? This house?
Louise: No. I think we're the third. We're the third.
Joy: And what struck you about the house and the neighborhood when you first came to Westmorland?
Louise: Well, it's the right size and a great location. Close to my mother-in-law who lived over on Euclid which is just across the parking lot, church parking lot, from here. And I was like……. But it was the area. My husband knew the area; been here since 1952, nearby on Euclid.
Joy: And have you done any significant remodeling or expansion of the home since you've been here?
Louise: We put the brick frontage on. The brick, I guess that you call it frontage. Added that, and other than that, no.
Joy: Do you remember when you did that? Or why you did that?
Louise: Well, we just did that; kind of added to it, and it did add to it. It made the house look a little richer.
Joy: What about your yard, did you change anything else about your yard?
Louise: We cut down the hedges. Well, that's all we did. We like to have it.... The person who've been here before like privacy. And I like to be able to see the street. We have a little hedge between here, but we kept it low and all that. Then you can see anybody. Joy: And what did you do for a living?
Louise: I was a teacher, school administrator.
Joy: Was it a school around here? Because I knew you grew up (in Richland County) ...
Louise: Well I started out in a rural school which is all eight grades. Because I'd just gone to two years to County Normal. And then I had my two summer schools and I went back to Platteville for '48-'49. And finished my degree there. Then I came to Madison to teach, and I got my Masters here in Elementary Ed and Administration.
Joy: At UW Madison?
Joy: Okay. And how did you decide you wanted to be a teacher?
Louise: [Laughter] I was born when my grandmother was a teacher. My mother and her three sisters were teachers and my dad's sister was a teacher. There was no question that I was going to be a teacher. [Laughter]
Joy: Okay. So where were you employed over the years besides in the rural school district?
Louise: I worked at....The rest of the summers in Gotham, that's about the most employment, I guess, I probably had outside the house. I had the Queen of Peace School job the later years because we moved close by.
Joy: Did you like it Queen of Peace?
Louise: Oh yeah. It was very...an excellent school. In fact one year I was principal there; it has an excellent faculty and they have maintained their students, number of students, through all the changes that have been made. And private schools and public schools.... because it's expensive to keep them going. Queen of Peace is a good--
Joy: Do you remember what year you were the principal?
Joy: Okay. And did you commute; you just walked to Queen of Peace?
Louise: Yeah, I just walked three doors and I was on Parish property.
Joy: What did your husband do?
Louise: He was an Electrical Engineer. Maintained electronic equipment for the medical school.
Joy: Okay. And how did he commute to the university?
Louise: Mostly by bus.
Joy: By bus? Okay.
Louise: Entirely by bus, I should say. No place to park down there.
Joy: Yeah. That's true. What did you consider the best work of your life?
Louise: I was a good teacher? [Laughter]
Joy: What did you enjoy about teaching the most?
Louise: Fifth grade. The kids are great. I enjoy teaching more than being an administrator. It worked out very well, but I always said "It was a shame to take a good teacher out of the classroom, put them in the office?" Thought I was a good teacher.
Joy: Do you have any significant memories from work? Or volunteering?
Louise: I know I was very happy as a teacher. I enjoyed the various faculties that I worked with. And the kids. I never regretted being a teacher, no.
Louise: I almost was a secretary when I first graduated from high school. I applied for a job at the county agent's office in Richland County, my last name was Cooper and the poor mailman had three Cooper families, one of them had ten kids, one seven and we had five. And my letter went astray; so... and because we all got letters from the county agent's office, because we were in 4H club; they didn't worry about that letter, it came for me and they....Someone opened it up and they discovered that I’ve been offered a job as a secretary.
So I might have been a secretary. I could have. You know I could type 60 words a minute and take short hand. At that time shorthand was important, at a 100 words. And I like that too. I probably would have been a secretary. But that didn't work out and that's one of those things that’s, what they call, I don't know--that changes your life.
Joy: Yeah. So how did you meet your husband?
Louise: Dancing at the University, at Folk Fiesta. They called it, on Sunday nights and we met up there.
Joy: Okay. Did you see your neighbors socially once you moved here?
Louise: You used to see a lot. Yes with various families. But now like I said, I see them but I'm not close to them like I was with the ones who were here when we moved here. There were three of us at that time that practically socialized; and arranged socialization for the whole block and that sort of things. But that has changed with the change of the neighborhood.
Joy: And what did you do socially with your neighbors?
Louise: Oh we had block parties. Queen of Peace had New Year's Eve Dances. And everybody went. I mean it wasn't just the Catholics. I guess that was made into picnics and block picnics in the summer time. And I guess that was the main things.
Joy: Did you have any hobbies or.....
Louise: We were rail buffs. And we traveled a lot that way. We went just about any where you could go by train. My husband would find some other place where there's a train that went to it. Then we arranged our vacation around that. I've seen just about-- Where trains go: Canada, United States, Mexico and Central Europe. I guess that's all. But we did a lot of travelling.
Joy: What was your favorite places that you're at?
Louise: To live?
Joy: No, to travel for vacation?
Louise: Oh I enjoyed just about all of them. I guess Hawaii probably was one of the most-- I don't know, just nice, mostly warm, not hot. And the smell. I remember the first time we went. They had a small airport. And we got off the plane and you can just smell the flowers. Then later we went and then they had put in the whole new, great big, airport. The flowers were gone.
Joy: Did you participate in any city wide social or service clubs?
Louise: No. I don't think so.
Joy: And who are the people that you think had an impact on Westmorland or Madison.
Louise: I talked to somebody else after that-- If they knew of anybody, you know, that had a particular importance, impact; they could not name anybody. But different people, and I'm sure some didn't want another. I never had an office on the neighborhood board, so I was not a part of that. But everybody participated when they had things. And so when we request some leaders, and I don't remember any names to begin with.
Joy: Do you remember the first time you actually came in to Westmorland?
Louise: Probably it's for the fireworks.
Louise: Before we came to move out here.
Joy: Was that for the Fourth of July?
Louise: Yeah, Fourth of July fireworks.
Joy: Once your family moved here, did you attend church?
Louise: Yeah, Queen of Peace Church. The school, I'm involved in both church and school right there. Parish council and all that stuff.
Joy: Were there any areas, undeveloped areas where you son could play when he was growing up?
Louise: Midvale School, kids played over there during the summer. And at one time, they had.....Westmorland Park had somebody assigned for hours there every day of the week, I think it's all afternoon or something like that. We took them over to Vilas Park (to swim)--- So they could swim and they had an attendant-- That was real nice, I mean they had good help. They were very capable people. And the kids went there every day and they have crafts, games and played ball. It's great for parents because kids were really outdoors in the park-- That was a good program. But they don't do that anymore.
Joy: So was it the parents that supervise and came up with the classes or was it by the neighborhood?
Louise: No, it was done by the city.....At the park, I supposed it was the park commission. I didn't worry much about it because it was all going on when we got here. And the kids walked over and walked back, you know there were enough kids down here at that age. They can walk over together and then they picked them up on the bus if they were going to Vilas once a week. Ever since it's been a great program.
Joy: And how many total children did you have?
Louise: We have one.
Joy: Just one? And what's his name?
Louise: Mike, Michael Anthony.
Joy: And when was he born?
Louise: November 25th, 1960. After I graduated.
Joy: Do you have grandchildren?
Louise: Yeah, two boys. Well, two men. One is graduating from college this year and the other is finishing his freshman year.
Joy: And did they come and spend a lot of time here in Westmorland?
Louise: No. They lived in Minneapolis.
Louise: Mike went to University of Minnesota. And then he married a girl there. And he's with the Department of Transportation in Minnesota.
Joy: And where did Mike go to school at?
Louise: He went to Queen of Peace, and West High, and the University of Minnesota.
Joy: Okay. Did Mike participate in any sports or clubs?
Louise: Not a lot. He was very young for his age, the 25th of November and the cutoff date was the 1st of December. So he was quite young and kind of funny, because......again, he had his newspaper route, during that time from when he was 12 to 16, and I figured he wasn’t to good--- You know, when you're that young in your class, you still play-- Well I guess you find out that he's quite active; now he's 54 or 55, and last year was the first that he had quit playing basketball and volleyball and softball. He said it was amazing how good his knees felt now [Laughter] compared to what they had been before.
Joy: Did he have any chores to do around the house?
Louise: Oh yeah. I got him to work, I mean like shoveling the walks, mowing the lawn, and that sort of thing. He had been making his own bed, stuff like that.
Joy: Did he receive an allowance for any of that?
Louise: No way. He didn't have an allowance. I don't think he had an allowance anyway. I don't remember. I know we talked about it, but I don't think.... Well by the time he's 12 years old, we didn't give him anything because he had his paper route.
Joy: His paper route?
Louise: We haven't given him anything for fun, for his entertainment, recreation after that. He was on his own. We didn't need to.
Joy: And did you have any special traditions throughout the year? Whether it’s for a holiday or birthdays?
Louise: Oh well, we celebrated birthdays, you know, cake and all that. We usually went out to Richland Center for the holidays because that's where my family was. And he loved his cousins dearly. And they're all there and we had a great time. My parents lived there a long time.
Joy: So where did you do your shopping? The grocery shopping?
Louise: Mostly over at the... I can't even think. [Laughter] What's the store over here on Whitney Way? Oh god...
Joy: Whitney Way?
Louise: What is that store? Good lord! [Laughter] I've gone perfect blank! Big... And I did some down at what used to be Sentry (on Mineral Point Road), and over here, but it's over on Whitney Way, and a short name (Copps). I’ll think of it when maybe before we are done here.
Joy: And did you use the library? You, Mike or your husband use the library?
Louise: Yeah, at one time I used the library a lot. I read a lot of books.
Joy: Which library was it?
Joy: Sequoya. Has it changed a lot since--?
Louise: Of course it's much bigger, but it's a very good library; just an excellent library. You can just go over there for books and movies, and rent things out there. I never rented stuff out, but I use it for the books.
Joy: And did you ever feel threatened for your safety living here in Westmorland?
Louise: Never did. Was kind of funny. One night, Mike forgot a paper for somebody, and finally, I guess, he realized who it was, or something; anyway, but he had to go and play basketball, or I think West was playing basketball, or something like that. So I said that they'd call if you didn't deliver the paper; he didn't remember. He thought that he'd delivered them all; taken it to every house, but he had a paper left over with him. So I said that if they called that night, I would deliver it; (the house) was somewhere over on Tokay. And by the time I picked up the paper (from the table).... well I took the wrong paper the first time! I picked up the county paper, my county paper, because the two papers were just lying here and I was looking at it, went over there and I had the wrong paper, so I came back! Took it back again and by that time it was getting dark. I was thinking how safe it was.
And that very night, a lady's purse has been snatched over near the Sequoya area there, by some boys that were around; I won’t say the name now, you know, because they straightened themselves out after that. But they had snatched the lady's purse, and I felt so safe in the dark! And I was in the same area where they did it. Of course I didn't have a purse [Laughter].
The kids at that time were afraid of these boys. When they were coming, and the kids saw them , they would come running in the house, you know kids are kids, I guess they were robbing-- I don't know. But I do know they did rob two paper boys. That family had a couple of boys and I don't know what had happened to them, but I don't want to say their names. So I never let Mike go out after dark to run the papers just to be safe. That was the only time that I ever felt like there might be somebody. And I didn't feel that they would hurt you. It was just they didn't have much money and they were known to do it.
Joy: And what about the Vietnam protests on a campus and the Sterling Hall bombing?
Louise: My husband was affected quite a bit because he worked on the campus grounds. He worked right near-- The bomb! And the bomb, we heard the bomb out here when it blew up. We sat right up in the bed. It was that loud. It was three miles from the University; he was in the electronics shop......where he worked was just full of dust. And it had blown in through the air vents and everything from the hall; was it Sterling Hall, I don't know, but the one that was bombed. It had a math department in it, and they thought they were working on the Vietnam War, or something. And Armstrong, I guess it was him that drove the car with the
powerful explosives up to the building, and took off in another car.
And they were way out on (highway) 12 before it went off, I guess, but, they were caught. Except one of them. That boy, that young fellow disappeared and his face never showed up, never come back. They had an article in the paper not too long ago and he never did turn up anywhere. And they knew he was there. The others said he wasn’t there anyway, and he never showed up anywhere. He just disappeared. But Joe was involved in that part, otherwise it didn't affect me because I was actually far enough way. But where he worked was quite in the middle of it.
Joy: Did he ever talk about any other protests that were happening around campus?
Louise: I supposed he did. I supposed he talked about it, everybody did. It was in the papers and everything else. I can't remember. He probably did, they just came to the shop and did their work. They (protesters) didn't go into the building as I remember. Maybe they did but as a rule it's all in the streets rather than the buildings. I guess he said something about it had.... It become quiet, you know, on the campus. But I certainly wasn't affected, but he was.
Joy: Do you remember any national trends or events that affected life here like the hippies?
Not particularly with that. We at Westmorland didn't have many hippies. I mean it was a little different area. I think we saw them all over, of course.
And I remember being, where was it, at some resort in Canada and they were sitting on the porch. There were sitting right up against the wall, with their feet straight out like that and you thought you could barely get around them. In time, you almost had to walk over their feet. But that was as close as I came to them... for they were really, I don't know what you call it doing, but they were protesting, or just being there; but we didn't pay much attention to it. Just went on our way. But I do remember that. And it was a resort of some kind of, probably in the territories north of Montana, up in there; in some resort town in there, taking off towards the Canadian Rockies. And they sat there with their big feet, they had their big boots on. Just enough, I don't know, you stepped over, or just walk around. And I'm sure they were around here too but I wasn't involved. But that was one place we saw them.
Joy: Do you think there's a reason why you didn't see a lot of hippies around in Westmorland?
Louise: I think we're just not that type of neighborhood. There were plenty of hippies, and a whole lot in Madison, but not this area, the people here just weren't quite that involved that I saw.
Joy: Do you remember any major weather events like the ice storm in 1976 or the tornado?
Louise: Yes, I remember that (ice storm) because we were out of power from Thursday until Saturday. Right across the street they had power. And they had power up in the church. But our block was out. And then Mike and Joe decided that Saturday morning, they would go sliding downhill at Blackhawk, the golf course, you know, they did that. Joe had grown up doing that I think. And so they went there and did that; then I meet them at West Towne, because we didn't have electricity, for lunch that day. And when we went into the house, we didn't have an electric door opener at that time for the garage. And as we went in to the house, I said that, "Well if the power is not on, we are heading for Richland Center because they had power." And my sisters lived up there. So I hit the light switch going in to the kitchen from the garage, I hit the light switch and the lights were on.
So we were just off from Thursday until Saturday. And that was pretty cold. I know we were a little worried about the pipes freezing but we had the fireplace. And I remember, Mike and I, we built a fire in the fireplace. And Joe went down to see if they had power where his mother was at a nursing home. And they did. I don't think that the ice was down in the valley and the University like it was up here; we were just high enough. And I remember Mike saying that this fireplace is so small. It was good thing that dad was not here because there's not room for three of us. And the rest of the house was pretty chilly. I remember that when Joe came in, he just kept his coat on and stuff and went into the den to do some paper work and stuff. But he did not sit around much. He worked. Not room for all three of us around the fire place.
Joy: Did the neighbors help each other out during that?
Louise: Yes. My neighbor had-- Jean Wiencek (at 4302 Keating Terrace), and I come over for coffee on their (enclosed) porch because they had power. We came over in the middle of morning and had a good visit. Came back to our cold house but we got warmed up. That's about all. And some of them down here, two doors down, it pulled the power line off, the attachments where the power went onto the house. The wires were so laden with ice, they had to pull the whole thing off. They went and lived in a motel for a week before they got to them. They fixed the (main) power lines of course and then they went to the houses. And they were gone for a week because they didn't have power.
Joy: Do you remember the tornado of 2014?
Louise: No I didn't even know that it happened! And it was just right over there. And Joe went over to, I think, he went to the library or something; they had a store over there at Sequoya, near the library. He came home and he said "You know there was a tornado last night!" And we didn't know anything about it. And it did quite a bit of damage just right around the bend. Damaged the buildings, it was a full block away. That's a pretty big block over there. We didn't even go down the basement, I don't think.
Joy: You said that your husband used to sled over at the golf course. So he grew up here in Westmorland?
Louise: No. He grew up downtown. He was right on the 400 block, I think, of West Johnson Street, right off State Street. He lived downtown. He did his banking downtown. He still was a downtown person. If he could, he would always get something downtown.
Joy: He would go downtown instead of around here?
Louise: Yeah. I would go the other direction.
Joy: Do you remember any civic issues affecting you?
Louise: I don't think so. Probably were, but I don't remember any more.
Joy: And what buildings do you remember as the oldest being around here?
Louise: When Midvale School was built. We came out and we couldn't find it. The Church was far out of town. We had a car where I had taught. Both my friend and me. At that time, I taught at Lowell School on the east side. And she had an apartment right downtown. When I bought my car, we came out to see where they had built the Midvale School. And we went straight ahead at West High and ended up in the park where they get to Lookout Point. And we couldn't find the place.
So finally when we did try it again, we came out through the cemeteries, and came right out here. And the only thing that was out here, there might have been a few houses, because this house was built in '52, was Queen of Peace School. And there wasn't a tree around. And it just looked like a great big building, and just the original part. Now it's got additions. They joined it on to the church, and everything else. But it looked so big, and yet the school (was the only building) over there. And Midvale (Blvd) had not gone through. I think I said this, but they promised Midvale (Blvd) would never go through. Within two years it had gone through. [Laughter] You can’t make promises like that you know. There's woods in there and they said that they would never be close to that woods, or anything.
But it was in no time that Midvale School.... we were at Lowell School and they said they needed a second grade teacher at Midvale. And she was my partner, and so she was a second grade teacher. She came over and became one of the first teachers at Midvale (School). That was it. That was the end (of the city). There are no houses beyond at that time. I saw the end of town. We would use to park at the lookout there in Hoyt Park and it was absolutely black. You could look out there and there wasn't any light in the cows and pastures over there. And then one time after we moved out here, we said, "Well, let's just drive out there and see what it looks like now." And lights, there were lights all the way out to Middleton.
Joy: So do you remember them developing the area?
Louise: Oh yeah. I did not see any of these houses (being built). The family that lived next to me, and Baileys, they lived over there in the yellow house. And they were here early and they saw this house built. And they're gone, both of them are dead. And this was all complete when we got here. And Joe helped his parents move out (here). At that time, young men and most of the young women too, there were a few young women, it seemed like got apartments.
Louise: A lot of them stayed with their parents rather than moving out. If you confide in them, "How come you're moving out?" When they were living with their folks.. He helped them move out (to Westmorland) because West Johnson where they lived right off State Street, all of the trucks that went to Oscar Meyer from the west came in-- Now I think there's a road so they go around back, County M, or something. But all the trucks went up West Johnson on to East Johnson onto Oscar Meyer. And his mother was a fastidious house keeper. And she was having him wash the walls all the time. Because they had been so dirty from all the dust and stuff. And so he helped them move out to the-- If Keating went through to Euclid. They were some of the earlier people; they came in '52; we came in ’60. I'm sorry we came in '64.
Joy: Okay. So Sunset Village was that.....
Louise: That's older than this quite a bit. We went thru Sunset Village to get to the Hoyt Park, to get out there. And that was much... they used to join together for the Fourth of July; Sunset Village, Midvale Heights and Westmorland. Join the others for the big event; we had fireworks for the Fourth of July. Everybody came.
Joy: Everybody came? It was that great?
Louise: They would have a parade from up here (Queen of Peace). They still have the parade! Too many people got together here for the fireworks, and (fireworks) stuff falling onto people so they had to quit (the fireworks). I don't know when that stopped (1986), but everybody came. And then they still have a parade. But everything's over by 2:00 o'clock. So they don't stay. Otherwise they used to make picnics in the afternoon and stay, have a good spot to watch the fireworks. [Laughter] So they had to cut it down; not quite as big as it was.
Joy: Do you remember the development of Hilldale Shopping Mall?
Louise: Oh yeah. I remember I took my mother in law down there to see it. I think that was in '63 when the shops opened. Yeah, we were down there, I took her down to see the new shopping center. And it was all opened out in the front. They didn't have it closed. Now they're talking about opening part of it. There was a fellow who came from where I came from, and he said, "Louise don't do that! Oh, we saw them do that one time and now they're doing it again!" Don’t they know that people want to-- If you don't have your coats on, if you ever spend time walking, or really shopping in the mall. And you go down to Sentry, whatever you call that, and now you will have to put your coats on. We saw that didn't work 20
years ago [Laughter].
Joy: What about the Midvale Plaza Strip Mall? Do you remember that?
Louise: Oh yeah. It has grown up in the last ten years or so, I don't know. Ever one goes to the library. Usually there was a store at the corner there which was nice. They had the little shops there, of course. That store was very handy. Handy running over there and get some things. But must not have been financially sound because it didn't last very long.
Joy: Was it a small grocery store?
Louise: Yeah. Well it was like produce or something like that. There was a Kroeger at one time; there was another one, I don't remember the name. But they probably didn't make it.....to last too long.
Joy: At one time Westmorland homeowners agreed to covenants that restricted sales of homes to black people. Where you aware of or affected by this red lining?
I never knew about it. Never knew it. I know that makes you feel kind of funny doesn’t it. [Laughter].
Joy: Not too much.
Louise: I never heard of it. I never even knew any black people lived here. I don’t even like the name-- I had no idea that they put some restraint like that. But, I also didn't know that-- But that doesn't mean that they didn’t do that.
Joy: Yeah that's true. I know you said Westmorland has changed. What things in particular have you noticed that's changed in Westmorland?
Louise: Big thing I think is that single people are buying houses in Westmorland. Because women didn't used to buy houses. If somebody did, it was an exception. I remember that there was a woman, two women...one was in charge of the Art Department in the Madison Public Schools. And the other one was in charge of the libraries. And they built a two-story, it was in the papers. One of them had the downstairs and one of them had the upstairs. And that was important enough that they put it in the papers that they had built the house; of course they had pretty good salaries too. But it was not common for women.... like Lisa across the street from here. We don't think anything about it, she bought the house and at that time she had a boy who came from Kentucky, I guess. He rented a room there for four years, to go to the University, and then he graduated and went back to Kentucky.
And at the time she moved in here, he moved in at the same time. I think she usually has somebody (living there). I haven't seen anybody lately. But there is probably somebody there. I don't know. She's really busy, she's an artist. She molds glass, figures, big things, I don't know how she does it. I'd love to see her work but she also has a full time job to pay for the house and all that stuff. And she goes to show and things. And sometimes she'll come over and tell me when she's going to be gone and she doesn't have time to really socialize, and different things, and all that. She's nice and we really get along fine. If she had more time, we would probably get along more.
Joy: So why do think not too many singles purchased homes in the '50s and '60s?
Louise: It just wasn't done. I don't know why. Well, probably they didn't have enough money. You have to have a pretty good job to buy a house and make the payments all by yourself, and all that stuff. If you're a couple... lots of time there is just one salary, but you need two good salaries to buy a house. And it's a lot to take care of. Business wise and physically to do it by yourself.
Joy: The Sequoya Commons development is the most recent to impact the neighborhood, how did you feel about it when you first heard of it?
Louise: It didn't affect me. My son works with the Department of Transportation in Minnesota. And he had said, you know, we all have to go up. We just can't keep taking farms, and all that. And he had just said that, made that statement, that we're going to have to go up rather than out. And then they said that they were going to go up above the library, and go up for the other (apartment) building there so they have another story and all.
So I wasn't too surprised. I know that people who live on Caromar, they didn't want it because they said it's going to be high enough so it will cut off the sun in the late afternoons, especially the winter time; they wouldn’t see too much. And even in the summer if you got those higher buildings, the sun sets earlier right there on that street. And they weren't very anxious to have it. They wanted to keep it the way it was. Like last night, the lady in the back, her son and his wife took her and me out for dinner because I'm going to be gone.
Louise: Yes, he said he can't remember when I wasn't here, you know. They took us out for dinner. We went over to Luigi's over there, and it was nice. Really busy. Boy was it busy, for a Sunday night. That was amazing. So it was...it changed but it's also kind of nice to have a place you can go right in the neighborhood.
Joy: What do you miss most about the way Westmorland used to be?
Louise: Families. I had an interest for neighbors. They have gradually gotten younger, the single ones are getting married and having babies. I assume they're married, I don't care if you're married or not! But they're having babies, they're going to be families so it is going to go back (to families) probably. Unless, they would move away. But these are doctors here. They're Oriental, I heard some say they're from Singapore, but they've been residents for more than three years. And I have seen very little of them because they're so tired by the time they come home. They just--- The bathroom light goes on, the bedroom light goes on for a minute, bang!
They’re out. His dad came with him to live here so they bought a house. So he would have a place to be here. So he came from San Francisco and they paid over $300,000, well over $300,000 for that house.
Now this one, when I put it up (for sale) it's going to be not quite up to $260,000. But they got it, they got that money because he came from the coast, and, you know, the housing is more expensive in California than here. He did not thing that was to bad of a price for the house and so the guy who owned it was very happy. And the rest of us go, "Oh there goes our property taxes." Because they're going to raise the assessed value of our houses. Westmorland taxes are high. But the lack of families and kids in the neighborhood is kind of sad. They like to live downtown in their apartments. They are trying to get some grocery stores down there so that they don't have to have a car. They'd be close to work and everything, and that's what they want. But, I guess they would like to have a good, big grocery store that they can have, but it's hard to support when you...it seems anyway... in the downtown area. Because there aren't enough families. Yah, I miss not having more kids around.
Joy: So, on the other hand, what do you like most about the way Westmorland has changed?
Louise: Well, I kind of like the way it hasn't changed in these many years. That's there still is not a lot of traffic. And the schools are still going, which is nice; because--and Queen of Peace is quite a (nice) place to be, especially being a member of Queen of Peace; well that's nice having all of that up there. We have it all up there. And most of the people moving here are aware that it's close, you know, so if they don't want to be surrounded by Catholics [Laughter]; why then they probably don't move into the area.
[0:49:13] [Indiscernible] But there are people around here that don’t go to church up there... I don't know. Used to be everybody did, but not that much now. I call it the parade of vans. The school, every morning there's a string of cars come up on Holly Avenue; come to the school grounds to let the kids out and it's just a continuous stream for half an hour. And of course, the same thing at night. When we bought this house I asked the gal....we became very good friends, I asked her about how the traffic was around here. And she said, "Well, you just have to watch out when mass is out." [Laughter]; because the people come down the street (in their cars).
Louise: But then the school buses go by. But it's not like that now. Are we about done, huh?
Joy: Almost. We have just two more sections left.
Louise: Why don't we go over them then. I won’t talk so much...
Joy: Do you have any memories of Westmorland Golf Club, the Speedway Golf Driving Field or Glenway Golf Course?
Louise: No, our house was built on the (old) 6th hole, I think. And it was built before I knew about it. I never saw it. No.
Joy: And what was your favorite memory of Westmorland Park?
Louise: Park. Well, I think the Fourth of July celebrations.
Joy: The old railroad was redeveloped as the Southwest Commuter Path beginning in 2001, did you use the path, or did you husband?
Louise: My husband used it for bicycling a lot. He was a real biker; I mean bike, he would put 4,000 miles on the bike in a year, and he loved the trails because there were no cars. And he drove only to get to work.
Joy: What were some of the best times you had as a family in Westmorland? 21
Louise: Probably the Fourth of July. We spend the day over at the park.
Joy: Were there any big neighborhood issues or challenges that you remember?
Louise: No, it's been very peaceful. [Laughter]
Joy: I know you mentioned this one time previously, about participating in the Christmas Decoration Contest.
Louise: Oh yeah. That was a nice contest. I think everybody did something. Some of them did so much; Joe got a prize one year. It still gets put out every year. I gave it to our neighbors. He cut out a silhouette of the manger scene and back lighted it. And he got a prize one year. They put it out; they live on Owen Drive. I could not get it out of the basement by myself. So, I asked them if they would like it. They get it out and put it up every year.
Louise: You said that your husband won an award for it?
Joy: Yeah. We had the little sign out here in front of the house. Do you remember what award it was, what it was called?
Louise: Just an award, I don't think... they might have at one time given first prize awards. We weren't really trying that much. It wasn't really that much compared to what some people do. It was in the Christmas spirit, in that sense. It has lasted for so many years.
Joy: I know you brought up the Fourth of July picnic and the parade and the festivities, did you participate in the parade at all?
Louise: No. Mike did. Then he brought his kids down so that they could participate when they were little; they brought their bicycles. I guess he wanted them in that parade, so I guess that impressed them. We still have a Halloween parade too. At one time they judged costumes, that was in the first years, of course I didn't know anybody so they asked me to be one of the judges. And they quit doing that, because they were dressed up anyway, and I guess they didn't want to hurt people's feelings by doing that. You can give out only so many prizes.
Joy: So the Halloween parade it wasn't as big as the Fourth of July parade?
Louise: They still do that, come to think of it. They come out and meet down in the park, Westmorland Park, and come up Holly Avenue. And then they go into the Church basement where they have a magician, or somebody for entertainment and treats for them. I always take---bring some brownies, or something.
Joy: Did you enjoy judging the parade?
Louise: Not really. I didn’t want to judge being known by so my people. I know one of the other ladies said “this is all hard for me because I know different ones, I almost feel obligated.... to get too judgmental”. She said it was hard at that time; I don't know anybody now. They sure put on the characters and they still come in all kinds of costumes and everything else. But they used to go in the opposite direction, then they changed it. So they come up, they gather down in the park and march across the parking lot there. And they go down there and met someone like, I say, a magician, I don't know how often they get him. And treats, so they had fun.
Joy: Are there any concerns that you have about the neighborhood at all?
Louise: No, I hope they don't get too much more traffic going.....because a lot of people come from Segoe Road up to here to this corner down here. So we get people cutting through, but the traffic still isn't bad. Well, I put my house up for sale in May, so I won't be here much longer anyway.
Joy: What would you like to see in terms of change for Westmorland? And what would you like to stay the same?
Louise: Well, I suppose I would like to see more families around if they could; but also single people have every right to have a nice house too, for a home too. It's nice to have kids around, not everybody has them. They have a perfect right too, I don't know. I'm glad they keep Midvale as a school.
It'd be nice to make it a neighborhood school, again. I don’t' suppose that ever will happen. Other than that, just keep it going.
Joy: What would you say would probably be--- What do you think your son, Mike, would say was his favorite thing about Westmorland?
Louise: I supposed it was the Fourth of July parade, and all that. Because he brought his kids back for it.
They had pickup games over there; and they played over at Midvale, or just on the Midvale playground, because their friends would be there. Sometimes they drew circles on the school...would practice batting, pitching and play ball. And one time maybe the school put some circles on the wall, but I noticed that boys would go over there and play baseball, and all that stuff. Everybody played, I know (that I found out) later; I didn’t know too much about it at the time.
But Mike was hired to do some work (at the playground), to do some work because she said he was a nice guy and when they played games, he made sure that the younger kids played too. So he got a job because of that. So it pays to be a decent kid. He never thought anything about it. They just made sure that everybody got in the game and played. The kids thought it was great, of course! It happened to work for him.
I think it's a nice neighborhood. It was a neighborhood of families. More families than there are now. Right next door they had a new baby. And then next door here they have a young boy; now I see he's running around. So families are coming back. I think that this one (house) is (going to be) a single man, when he first came (to look at the house, he was alone).
Joy: And the last time we talked you did say something about playing cards with your neighbors.
Louise: Yeah, we used to play cards with the Baileys. Church still does have its card marathon.
And of course, so many are still around that do go to church; the neighbors, would then......and we would just go out for fish and come back and play Euchre, something like that. The card party that I belong to—for 50 years, they had farewell parties for the others (that left), but they.....we were all just a neighborhood, and they're no longer here anymore. I am the only one left here. They all moved west to retirement places. The neighborhood has changed of course completely. And of course, I’m going to be leaving.
Joy: Well, thank you.
Louise: Well thank you. I’m sorry we had to do it twice.
Joy: Yeah, I really think that we got everything.
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