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Posts Tagged John Edward Spencer

29 January 2003

Heather: What is the difference in the amount of snow today versus when you were a child on the farm over 80 years ago.

William J.B. Spencer and Audrey Mae Spencer

Audrey: The weather is really changing. Winters were much worse then. As a little child, I always walked to the barn and the snow was up to my waist. The snow was up to the windows, all winter, the snow kept getting bigger and bigger. I would wait for spring and the green grass. Haven’t seen one of those storms since I grew up. There used to be banging outside, wind blowing snow into the house, big waves of snow come slamming at the house. Can’t ever remember snow going over the door. We always got out to shovel. Now (2003) there is just enough snow to cover the ground.

My mother’s bedroom went out to a deck of wood platform. There were a couple of steps. House settled there. Front went out to the road. My mother’s room faced the barn. There was a rock fence… The path to the barn was quite a ways, fifteen to twenty feet from the house. We had around ten cows. My brother, Eddy (John Edward Spencer), hitched up a horse and took a can of milk to a man in Crompton. This man, Mr. Louis, sold milk.

Audrey’ s father, William J.B. Spencer

Every summer a family came to Daisy Farm from Auburn or Providence. The family had two or three teens and that family came daily and bought a quart of milk. I’ve lived and seen everything change. I know it! Everything changed in my time. Oh, I got a whole batch of books that Crystal gave me!

12 February 2003

Heather: How are you doing?

Audrey’s mother MaryJane Vaughn Spencer and Audrey’s brother John Edward Spencer

Audrey: I’m going along fine. I’m tired and weak all the time. My legs hate to move. I’d rather be in bed than anywhere else. I’m tired all the time. I can’t do too much. It is just a relief to sit down. I can’t do much of anything anymore. Uncle Ed, (John Edward Spencer) he used a walker (when he was older) and then at the end (of his life) sat in a wheelchair. Edith sent him the wheelchair. Uncle Ed (at the end of his life) did a lot of crying every time anybody went near him, he would cry. My father lived with us at (420 East Greenwich Avenue) and he couldn’t get around too good. He didn’t walk too much. He got up and dressed up every day!

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.)