Audrey Mae SpencerSpencer Historical CemeteryHenry Straight / William Spencer Family Cemetery
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Posts Tagged Anthony

19 February 2003

Heather: Hello, Mother, I hear you have a lot of snow in New England!

MaryJane Vaughn Spencer and William J.B. Spencer at their home at 742 Washington Street, Coventry, Rhode Island

John Edward Spencer

Audrey: Yes, this is the first snow like this since I was a little child. It’s the first bad snow storm since I’ve grown up. The snow is twelve inches high next to the wall, but the streets are all right. Ernie shoveled by the door and Buddy went out and got stuck—he hopped and wiggled a little. (Laughter)

When we lived on the farm, we had to shovel a path to the outhouse. When we moved to Anthony (742 Washington St. in Coventry), we had a bathroom in the house! I was twelve years old and I moved from the country to the town! The Anthony house had one acre of land, I think. We had a garage, a barn, a hen yard and little building and shops. Spencer was a baby then and I can remember uncle Ed come down and took a bath and steam would come out of the bathroom.

Mother, she never would run down anybody. Mother was a very peaceful person. She, unfortunately, let everybody run all over her. She was a quiet woman, never opened her mouth. She liked to be called MaryJane, not Mary or Jane. She was a sweet, gentle person who was friends with all ladies around, even Annie Mertz and Lizzie.

Now Father was quiet but stern. Nobody got away with anything. He led a quiet life. He joined the Sons of Veterans and was busy doing things with Freddie Arnold. I never heard him holler at anybody. He had a nice quiet life. Once a week he played cards. He would milk the cow every day and a Mr. Smith came daily to get a quart of milk. They would talk for about an hour.

As for me, when I was a child, I would sit there and draw from the funnies in the newspaper. I drew Lillie the toiler*. She was so pretty.

Audrey: When are you coming out here again?

(Heather: I plan to be in R.I., for your birthday, March 19th.)

* (Crystal’s explanation of Tillie the Toiler: Tilly the Toiler is the name of the lady that Mom designed outfits for. She  found Tilly in a magazine or newspaper.  It may have been an advertisement for ladies clothes or a cartoon. I’m not aware of any paper or magazine around in 1924 to validate where Tilly the Toiler came from.)

24 April 2004

Heather: What was it like when you moved from the homestead’?

Audrey: When we moved to Anthony, Ed gave up school and went to work. He worked for Standard Oil Company of New York. He drove a big truck and loaded it up with gas. He went to gas stations and loaded the little tanks with gas.

24 April 2004

Heather: How was it that you were the academic and stayed in school?

Audrey: Oh, I loved going to school! I went to school when I went to Anthony. I was in the fourth grade when I started there, and there I met Beatrice. We were in thc same grade, and we were friends and always together until we went to high school when they would not let us have classes together, because I was in the classical course and she was in the commercial.

They would not even let us sing together. Beatrice and I sang together (a duet) at church. I could hit high C and I had a beautiful voice. If I had been trained, I bet I could have been in opera. We sang, The Lord is my Shepherd, No want shall I know... which was a very pretty song. I would sing the tenor part and Beatrice would sing the tune. When the minister’s twin sons who were missionaries were going to Africa, they requested that Beatrice and I sing that song at the last Church service before they left. They went to Africa where there was much danger, but they returned home with no difficulty.

22 May 2004

Heather: What was life like for your parents when they sold the homestead and bought the house on 742 Washington Street?

Audrey: Grandpa was thrilled to give the horse a vacation and get an auto. A man wanted to buy the horse. I can not remember if we had a horse in Anthony or not? I can’t remember if and how long we had the horse in Anthony.
I remember when we had a trolley go right by the house. In one ice storm, it skidded off the tracks into Grandma’s front door. There was little damage.