Arthur (Pat) Engelberg and Mary Shumar

Recorded September 16, 2010 Archived September 16, 2010 40:38 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: DDE000464


Mary Shumar (56) interviews her father, Pat Engelberg (95), about his childhood, meeting her mother and his advice for his great-grandchild. Pat talks about why he has had a good life.

Subject Log / Time Code

Pat talks about growing up in Alliance, OH and remembers the various jobs he worked as a kid to earn money. Pat talks about how he received the nickname “Marshmallow Kid” while working in the local grocery store.
Pat talks about being drafted into the Infantry during World War II. He remembers his first job during the war.
Mary asks Pat, “what are you proudest of in your life?” Pat talks about the volunteer work he does. Pat talks about his children.
Mary asks Pat, “how has your life been different than what you imagined?” Pat says that he never imagined what his life might be like.
Pat and Mary sing their family song.
May shares memories of Pat from her childhood. Mary remembers that he would compliment her everyday.


  • Arthur (Pat) Engelberg
  • Mary Shumar

Recording Location

Stark County District Library

Venue / Recording Kit

Partnership Type

Fee for Service


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00:02 This is Mary. Shumar. I am 56 years young today's today's date is September 16th, 2010. We are in Canton Ohio in the library and I am the interview of my father. So I am the daughter.

00:27 Hit it Dad relationship. Okay. I'm petting a burger Arthur and Goldberg and I'm 95 years young and it is September 16th 2010 and we are on the second floor the Stark County District Library, and I'm very proud father of Mary Jean Schirmer.

00:54 Okay, and here's my first question. So you're 95 years old very active and cute and no argument there to get us started. Can you just do a quick story of your life short K Flay. I was raised in Alliance, Ohio 756 East Fulton Street. I'm so proud of me that I can piss an urban area and

01:33 But went to grade school there South Seneca school and Alliance High School and Mount Union College.

01:41 And graduate from college in 1937.

01:46 I met my wife there. We were freshman. Alphabetically. She said next to me Arthur Engelberg next to Frances Farmer week 2 after 4 years sitting next to at least we could do is get married and we did a Thanksgiving Day 1937, November 25th.

02:08 That summarizes where I got started and I'm glad to fill in any other questions. You have glad you have it for Life Care Alliance.

02:25 I called Francis because I got a job with good year. It was very hard to get jobs in 1937 and I applied at Firestone on General and Goodyear took me for a bunch of manager and I went to Pittsburgh for training and while they're called Francis on the phone in Canton and ask her to marry me and she said yes, I did you say it was your proposal I said, you know, we fight a lot when we're together and I would really enjoy each other. I said why don't we get married just kind of try it and it's worked out pretty good. We dated like for 4 years and then we've been married now 73 years as of this year 2010.

03:16 So she went to Philadelphia with me suburbs of Philadelphia Upper Darby and Lansdowne and then we were transferred to the New York area and worked in Stamford, Connecticut. And after a couple years there and came back to Canton start got homesick for K that area and started at the Ohio battery and ignition and I was so ignorant of Auto Parts. First time. Someone asked me for a fuel pump. I I gave him a I don't know or remember what I gave them but it wasn't a fuel pump.

04:00 Well, I never owned a car to go back when we were young. I didn't have a car didn't have a phone but I don't want her for life. You know, I would go out and play ball everyday when I was 10 years old.

04:16 Go to the movies and I had different jobs. I worked at work. I would say earn money everyday of my life from the time. I was 10 years old till I retired at age 65.

04:30 I had all kinds of different jobs that I did. Shine shoes, you know sold newspapers on the streets of Alliance and that they had at my own route and

04:44 I was trying to psyche of the different jobs that I had when I was a child cuz she say that's right eye works in a grocery store. And that's led to so many interesting stories like jokes, you know, they used to call and say and those days people would roll their own cigarettes and they buy tobacco, you know Prince Albert and then have the papers and I would joke and call some grocery store up and safe. Do you have Prince Albert in a can and that would say yes, of course, they said you better let him out. There's a very exciting days that it was fun to have the bulk rice and bulk powdered sugar. And I know you used to weigh it out and put it in in bags.

05:44 Yeah, I love marshmallow cake candy and they I work for an IGA store that a knucklehead in Alliance and

05:55 Now get back to New York and then a New York area was wonderful that Francis would go downtown New York and she's such a shy person now as she was then but she had the courage to walk to Wanamaker's and Macy's and Gimbels and I would meet her maybe at a hotel mcalpin or somewhere after I attended meetings of the

06:23 At that time I was with

06:27 Goodyear Tire Company. Yes Auto auto mats, or we call those things where they had the money quarter, which was is a lot of money probably was a dime then you put a dime in a slot and you would get a piece of pie or you would get the coffee or milk or something to drink or eat and they automatic it look like

06:57 My pictures are like a bank of Post Office boxes kind of thing. I do a window in there then you sit there and eat it. So now do you prefer the modern way of sitting at the McDonald's drive-thru or the sitting and it in the people come and wait on you? Oh, I know the answer this one go ahead and I like to sit and have them wait. Wait wait on me. Yes. Yes or Ohio battery and then

07:37 War II start, of course in 41 and I was at a high battery then and work there till 43 and I was drafted into the Infantry and so Paris and London and

07:52 Came back and I want interesting things at my first job was carrying dead bodies off the field 6 months after the invasion of Normandy. And then when they learned that I could type which I was pretty good at pretty fast speed at the Alliance High School why they put me behind a desk and a typewriter and I would write you no Wards distinguished across the stingray Service Awards and so on for those who crossed you Miss Lee good passed away are those who were still living so that that was my job, but thankful. Thankfully. I was out of that more serious combat.

08:38 Then it was over in Germany and Mary. They said that I thought I would be coming home to my wife and they said no you're going to Japan and I realized it expected maybe a Million Lives will be lost trying to invade Japan. So we're all concerned. But good news Harry Truman the range for the mom-to-be. Okay to be dropped at Hiroshima and that ended World War. So I did come home and 46 went back to Ohio battery and ignition and always felt like to have my own business. So

09:21 1950s free

09:24 I started.

09:27 In life insurance with Phoenix mutual and I enjoyed that and I added peripherally with it casually and probate and as a result of being in the Army I could receive some.

09:47 Free education and law and I graduated with a degree in pre-law. So what they had in Canton to McKinley School of Law and I attended there was a night school and I realized I was very skinny only way to about a hundred and thirteen pounds when I drafted in the Army am finally wild in the Army. I got up to about a hundred forty pounds which I am today and I enjoy the other that area, but I enjoy that and

10:28 So, what was I talkin about Mary?

10:35 You were talking about coming back and going to McKinley School of Law education that background where I could discuss probate bonds and I become an area of the Casualty Insurance, which was most profitable for me because there are they ever any claims. So I enjoy that and after being in that field, thanks for the wonderful experiences and contacts and I had with a Toastmasters Club at the American Legion.

11:16 I was asked to go apply for a position is Court Administrator to start on it, Please courts which I did in 1973 and started there and I enjoyed that a lot when I was a little boy in Alliance. I used to go to the alliance municipal courts can just sit and watch you cases. You know that let me ride on the elevator as They Carried prisoners down from being judged to those jail cells and little boy like the time.

11:58 That's right by that time. I was I was in college and work my way through college as I might reporter for the Canton Repository made $15 a week now with that at that time.

12:13 For a date with a dollar bill you could rent a taxi and see a movie and buy a Coney afterwards and take a taxi you back. There was a wonderful era and when we married

12:31 I'm 37 and we lived north of Philadelphia on a Sunday. I was making big money than I was making $100 a month and lucky to have a job. And at that time we would go to a restaurant have a tablecloth or Erwin. I think it was and you to get soup when you get a complete meal and get the cert all for a dollar or try and do that today. I think you told me this was around that are the depression right 1937 when you like 37 to 4442 or whatever it where you guys went out east, but you used to say that everybody said there weren't any jobs. Don't drug your response to remember what you told me your response was that you're too stupid to know there aren't any job. So you just want to know

13:31 And it's worked in our other daughter and grandchildren just played so dumb. You don't know there's no jobs. I remember you went down in Milwaukee at Marquette University and applied for a job and you got it when you got back the girl said to you all my aunt just got fired their her. She lost her job there. And another one said I didn't know they were openings or I would have applied and that's the way it is. You got to try. You got to try and handle rejection. I always tell people

14:06 Aya nothing bothers me in effect because I used to sell a life insurance and I can handle rejection. And so I've had a wonderful life. I just thank God for a diving Francis all these years. We're still married. Although she has a broken had a broken happen is so recovery at st. Joseph's Care Center. I live in the same group of buildings and every day I can see her in Euchre and she eats with me so weak and even today Thursday Thursday, I was over and her activities room who got a low free massage and she she got her fingernails done. Usually there's exercising trivia there and I enjoy the exercise, you know, row row row your boat and you're throwing your arms out.

15:06 Are Daisy Daisy give me your answer do and your pump your legs. The questions are always say are interesting and fun. I wanted a spelling bee a few months ago. Then they had to spelling bees last week 1 and they have nursing area. I went down on the word giraffe. I spell the ger stead of GI. I went down on the word mischievous because I spell it with an IEP and an e at the end and I guess I thought it was a mischievous and it's really miss miss Misty mysterious, but I enjoyed that I love my computer which gives me so many contacts.

16:06 View I send you at least 10 items every day 7 days a week and I sure enjoyed using edges furnished by Saint Joseph. So

16:20 Life is good. Very good. I think my husband's birthday. But so you were talking about all your different careers and job experiences. Is there something you are proud of in terms of your professional life.

16:45 Long time ago now I show you what I'm proudest of and I enjoy and I'm about through three weeks from today. I'll be going back to Northwood School in North can wear a 20 some children around 10 years of age will be sitting and listening to me and they read to me under this program one or two children at that time. We'll go over to the library and sit and read but while I talk to them I look at that Mary and I I think of myself and I was 10 years old and I get them singing songs. You don't like doodly doo do You Are My Sunshine and all and I give him puzzles to give me jokes and they give me puzzles and they give me jokes and I could give them candy cane sleigh and stickers and snappy Banton.

17:38 I want to know if I have to for tennis rackets in the back of my car. I still play a little tennis but when I'm out

17:47 When I bought my new Saturn they had a picture taken of me and these 20 children and they send me the nicest gift, you know, I mean, they write to me when you're on vacation. I furnish each of them with a self-addressed stamped postcard and I just love him to death and I think I'm proud of stuff that of course having raised you in the past that makes my heart just fall into being married all this time. It doesn't thing for the purpose of this interview Beth is my sister. She's five years younger than I am Android you're so good-looking how old she is but she is and she's really a redhead. I just pretend now, how long were you married before you had children 16 years?

18:47 Adapt traveling different cities and course being away three years during the war was very difficult for Francis, but we got through that and I think it made us stronger together and still is so I'm real happy with my life and I look forward to continuing continuing it in definitely maybe longer.

19:20 Or do if you haven't seen or do I like what I'm doing now, for example of a few weeks ago. So you drove me to Cleveland. We got to see The Phantom of the Opera and then just a few days ago last Sunday you and I got to see the full monty. And you know, I enjoy that and I get so much pleasure from our grandchildren Sarah Sarah Beth and Greg's daughter is at Vanderbilt University. I'm so proud of her. She's just brilliant and math and physics and got a free ride at Vanderbilt know physics, Daddy.

20:03 You think there's physics? I don't think so. Yeah, that's in physics also. So proud of Sam. He says that I agree that he's got all of Grandpa's friends for Sarah's brother that son your nephew. My grandson is true and listen to her interview. I'd like to dedicate to my first

20:41 Great-grandchild expected January 11th, 2011. That would be one one one one one one. If only if only if only Laura would have this son this child and November it would be one one one one one one. So you're proposing that she have a 20 month gestation. Francis had a sister who did have four children in five years Play. The album Francis comes from good stock and she is

21:34 6 of about 1/8 in their family and I think there are 5 6 or mine and where are you order? Sex? So good. You're the youngest right of her mother live to be a hundred and three and although she broke her hip and was in a wheelchair. She's told recognize you and the other children and another sister passed away at 100. Marjorie. March is Saint Francis sister passed away at a hundred and another one was in her 90s. Right? Right. So she has good genes. I have terrible to you. So the whole truth all of my family passed well before they were 70

22:34 Brothers three older brothers and two older sisters, it's hard to explain these things, but that's the truth. But why do you think I never knew your siblings?

22:51 Well, they were way out of town. I mean that in the Indianapolis is not a next door and next door and I'll let me think.

23:04 Yes, like half an hour and we'll only you may think that's true. That's true. I never thought about that. I just wondered.

23:17 Took her back to my nice list of questions that we got off the internet. What is your earliest memory?

23:31 I'm trying to forget.

23:34 Earliest members what I forget.

23:38 I don't know what I remember. I like to remember it when I was driving a car and I was only 13 years old remember me, or was that when you were on the ship on your way to Ellis Island and somebody gave you a banana and you'd everything wasn't where I still hate bananas now, I eat them because of potassium right but I don't like

24:16 But you told it to me, maybe just made it up. So I'm glad you refresh.

24:25 When in life and I'm very curious to ask you this particular question when in life have you felt most alone or have you and I am always feel there's no stranger to me. You know that I'll talk to everyone and anyone and I love it and I always assumed they all love me if they don't it's their problem, you know, I don't worry about it.

24:54 And how has your life been different than what you imagined or never imagined life? Seriously. I never knew I'd be going to college my wife. My mother said to me you're going to Mount Union College and I said, okay. So first I knew of it and she passed away as I was a freshman, so

25:17 I'm a princess at that time. She I never bought my clothes my whole life even though I don't you you buy but my mother bought them for me till she passed away when I was about 18 and I was an orphan and my my girlfriend Francis my wife now. She bought all my clothes after that. I don't even know my sizes and I like that and I don't worry about that.

25:49 So I think that's very interesting that you didn't have, you know, has your life been different than what you imagined that you you must really like live in the moment from now or 5 years from now and I'm not going to worry about it. I like today. I don't worry about yesterday and I don't worry about tomorrow and you know that tree top canopy things. They put you in a harness hook it to a line and you are you're going to do that is like an hour away. How would you like to be remembered? I'd like to be remembered as a

26:36 The volunteer tutors a 20 10 year old kids.

26:42 It's a very interesting and our father to two beautiful daughters and three very nice grandchildren and also in-laws are wonderful. Wonderful. It's a great day. A lot of people we married. That's right. Are you married a wonderful husband Larry shumar and Beth married, Greg Mullen and Laura married Tom Cantrell and they're going to give me our first great-grandchild baby boys middle name be

27:22 I heard a rumor that could BR it is set him up. As soon as I get a Social Security number. Is there anything you've never told me that you would like to tell me now?

27:47 You kind of tell me everything. That's Friday. I call you in the middle of the night and I have if I have a problem, aren't you glad I haven't called you for a while in the middle of the night all the people at st. Joe's when it says that's right. Is there something that about me that you've always wanted to know but have never asked how to say probably no more and I want to know about you.

28:16 Who has been the kindest to you in your life?

28:21 Well, I think people unknown to me you have touch my life and none of us. You're not gross alone. Did you get help from other people and I'm thankful to them everyday and I see him everyday I smile, Huh? Get my sticker to my Snappy band. Are you Spaz out tennis balls? You know that lottery tickets the real off lottery tickets room.

28:52 I'm getting desperate for tennis players Mary. I might even ask you.

29:00 Text ya Thang.

29:03 When you said when you said about it's just been the kind people in your life would be kind to you in your life. And you said it's been like kind of strangers kind of thing. Is that what you mean? Could you use to tell me about the the guys in the firehouse or they were very good to me when I was a boy.

29:25 I got no I was poor but everybody was poor so nobody was poor will get along fine, but always had job always had them come anyway that they would give me a bathing suit and put me on their shoulders and hugs me down with a bitter. One of the temperature was a real hot in August, you know, they were good and we would play alliance City Hall running around once in a while a deputy or officer would come over tell us not to make so much noise in the fireman or making noise next door to the farm.

30:08 And then I had to go across the street from that to the Salvation Army and they gave me an orange for Christmas. That was pretty nice. Let me play their piano. I enjoyed that they're the Elks they they have pool table in Alliance and I would go there on a Sunday afternoon and then about six tables to shoot pool and they would let me shoot pool all alone. No, no one should with me and I enjoy it now. They are pool tables St. Joseph is you tell I get this picture of this little guy about 6 years old getting up in the morning getting dressed leaving the house and work in the streets. He has like you went to the grocery store and they let you suck the raw eggs. You told me.

31:06 Thanks. Anyway, they're good for you. So I would like you that two things more. I think we should get on the CD before we run out of time. And then the fact we do these two things if there's still time left over on us more question. The first thing is I would like you to share your recipe for scrambled eggs. What kind of things do you like to put in your scrambled eggs, bro. First should have grape jelly.

31:38 And you should have nuts that you should have a little cheese.

31:44 Applesauce is a good thing. I said, yes, and then of course Cool Whip on top when you're not the reason why you are now in the assisted living and no longer cook three meals a day, but you introduced me to that when you lived in the Philadelphia area. This restaurant had scrambled eggs with grape jelly, and I apologize for that. In case peanut your soon-to-be grandson should ever hear this Great Clips on family song the song.

32:33 Trying to get the whole world to sing it. Here we go. Please play for me that sweet mel-o-dee call doodly. Doodly Doodly Doo Gothic of the mic. I love it. So what I love best is doodly doodly Doodly Doo sample of spring. There isn't much to it. You don't have to sing just Doodly Doo it. I love it. So wherever I go, I do really doodly doodly doodly doodly Doodly Doo.

33:19 Do we still have time left?

33:21 Excellent. Is there anything that didn't come up?

33:27 Did you think we should state state other than I do. Love you, Daddy.

33:32 Well, I love you Mary and always will but I like the idea of the fact that I still have my own teeth after I read the newspaper everyday with no glasses that I have access to a computer every day and that I have a lot of people up and down the hall at St. Joseph's where I start singing. I wonder what's become of Sally and my golly some of these older people remember these songs and they join right in and sing. I'm I really enjoy that when you say older people you mean people younger than you right? There is no there is no telling who's a hundred and she walks without with a walker but that wears glasses and it's just amazing. She just became a hundred. Wow.

34:33 Are there big party was there a big party St. Joseph's to celebrate wedding anniversary. I know there are very few men. The percentage is very low and I especially couples together, but

34:55 I think they're about eight couples now in our assisted living and I think they should recognize that and I believe that those were mainly widows are out.

35:10 I would enjoy that would enjoy seeing couples together remind them when they had a spouse.

35:18 Are there any words of wisdom that you'd like to pass along to me or our general listeners? Like when you get lemons you make lemonade or play the cards you're dealt. And so I'm now I just feel so fortunate that I have wonderful doctors. They've kept me going and I just feel lucky to make it day by day. I have nothing I want to add.

35:52 Excellent. What do you want for Christmas?

35:56 I'll think of something I like the present. You got me for Father's Day that I requested. That's a dictionary with big Printing and it's so heavy. I can't move it. I leave it near the TV but I scan it almost every day on to see if I run my finger along entire page at what words I can't spell or I don't know. I I read them and I try to remember my think it's help me broaden my horizons. So I see you Embrace technology. So you embrace the computer and that's a lot different from when you were growing up so that you feel like things are just really changed in the course of July 1st. Take that each day as it comes up. Nothing will surprise me.

36:48 But I like what I do and I do what I like.

36:58 And tell about when I was born.

37:02 I hear that you looked at me and you said okay, you're going to have to be the disciplinarian tomorrow and we would be driving along you girls wouldn't behave in the backseat. I would pull a car off and turn off the motor and satyr Francis and you hit them and you would protect her younger daughter. Kristen says you're younger sister and that worked out very well. We enjoy this trip. So Lake. Hope immensely though the vacations we took together.

37:41 And then we took you to Florida to Virginia Beach to Washington DC the Toastmasters Club played a big part in my life are the people that I met and also the ability to speak is to speak like I'm speaking now. I think a lot of it came from being in the Toastmasters Club and made and made friends that I have even today Daddy. I meant a lot that every day you would say to me when I was little grown up in the house that you're getting prettier every day. It's true and when you come home from work, we be in the kitchen and you kisses all in the back of our neck. I think I learned it from dr. Fisher. I noticed one time he came to our house and kiss you on the back of your neck and not me.

38:32 I didn't know him that well, thank you were Beth were sitting at the table and chewing on toast and offering him a bite and he took a d8 right out of your ear your mouth are out of out of out of the fight that you had died. And I thought I'd never do that. But he would by golly. I'll have to realize that we're all one.

39:01 Okay. I was just waiting to hear of the kiss on the back of the next thing. He told me at the window and said to this day, I love thunderstorms thunderstorm there be a thunderstorm you'd hold me and we'd watch it out the window when I was a little together and I love Storms. Remember I used to feel the best man. I've tell Francis. I'm going down the basement. Do you want to go down with me? You know, they threatened terrible weather should know she stayed there and watch TV and read the paper.

39:38 I still go down take a blanket and take a radio.

39:43 You don't do that now. We're already there.

39:50 Oh, it's really nice will lead a good life. I'm glad to tell the world about it because I like to hear stories like this like the Honor Flight that you and I are going to go to a day after tomorrow. We'll welcome others who came in and I am made that trip but you're a go September I went to Washington DC and with a hundred and fifteen other veterans and you end by Beth. Where are Guardian Angels. It's just wonderful to have you along that was a real Adventure.

40:24 I love you, Daddy. Thanks for doing this with me. Let's do it again.

40:32 False names and do it tomorrow. Okay, okay.