Kimberly Hauxhurst and Marian Veitch
DescriptionKimberly Hauxhurst (51) interviews her mother, Marian Veitch (76), about what it was like growing up in Alameda and Pleasant Hill, CA in the 1940s and '50s, and how her childhood impacted the way she decided to parent her own children.
Subject Log / Time Code
- Kimberly Hauxhurst
- Marian Veitch
Venue / Recording Kit
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00:04 Hi, my name is Kimberly hawxhurst. And I am 51 years old and today is Monday, March 2nd 2024 in Fresno this morning and I am interviewing my mother Marian Veitch.
00:25 My name is Marian Veitch. I am 76.
00:30 Today is Monday, March 2nd 2020.
00:35 The location is Fresno, California.
00:42 And the interviewer is my daughter Kimberly and Peach.
00:47 Hawks Hurst, hawxhurst
00:53 All right. So Mom, just I would like you to tell me a little bit about where you were born. What hospital and what your parents experienced when you were born that you can recall from their stories.
01:15 I was born in Alameda, California.
01:19 And and Alameda Hospital
01:23 I do not think that they ever said anything about what they thought or
01:30 Anything to me?
01:33 Was it just not discussed at that time or did you just never come up never came up never came out? Okay, and your mom's name?
01:42 Shirley Stewart fields and your dad's full name Herbert Brainerd feels right? I remember.
01:52 Go ahead. So
01:57 What do you recall first about living in Alameda? What would you say was one of your first memories of your childhood?
02:07 Probably going over to my grandmother's house.
02:11 And going upstairs into the Parlor which we were not allowed to play the piano unless it was at a certain time.
02:22 And then I could be excused and I would go outside and play.
02:28 In her backyard and look for Toby the turtle who is Toby the turtle turtle named Toby turtle pond out there and he was often in the house and he was shy and he wouldn't come out. I was trying to get him out.
02:49 Did you ever find him or did he hide from you all the time?
02:53 I don't recall probably he didn't I probably found them at some time of it.
02:59 And that was your dad's mom. Yes, and your dad's grandfather was not life know that dad's father and you had a nickname. How did that nickname come to be?
03:15 I do not know.
03:17 But I do know that I can I'm sort of embarrassed when I say it.
03:26 Cody Wright, but you don't know how you got it.
03:33 Grandma, no idea Grandpa. You don't know.
03:39 That's amazing and I was 12.
03:43 When a friend of my mother's finally said it's time to change from that silly nickname to Marion. And so we from this day forward. I'm going to call you Marianne.
04:00 And how did your mom feel about that conversation was she mad?
04:05 No, she like Margaret and they pretty much went along with whatever Margaret had to say.
04:12 So she did it out of respect for Margaret.
04:16 And she probably knew that it was time to
04:19 Give up the baby nickname. Will you call Tony and school no friends did too.
04:31 And their friends
04:34 Horrid, I agree.
04:37 So when was Dennis born ankle Tanasbourne? How old were you and where was he born?
04:48 He was sent he was born in Alameda.
04:54 I was probably a little over a year old so you don't remember him being born or coming in no house. No, he was always there pretty much from your memory.
05:05 Yes, and then when was your sister born? She was born?
05:12 Probably a little bit.
05:18 Dennis was a one and a half years old when she was born.
05:22 Wow, your parents didn't waste any time. There wasn't any birth control in those days. Okay, so none of them were planned.
05:33 They just happened if this was the early forties, so right, you know people didn't have what they have now, right?
05:43 And was Charlie born in Alameda, or did he come much later?
05:50 I was 11 when he was born.
05:53 Oh, so he was born way after he was born on Oakland, California. Okay, but that was after you moved away from Alameda. Yes. We were living in Pleasant Hill, California the time, right? Okay. So going back to Alameda tell me about one of your favorite stories where you and your brother and your sister, you know, we're getting crazy or doing something.
06:21 May be unsafe or a little in crazy.
06:25 There were a lot of times that I don't think things were very safe because we lived in a house built in the 1890s 1990 and so on.
06:41 In those days we didn't have TV you didn't have
06:48 This computer games that kids have now so pretty much you went outside in the morning.
06:55 You came home for lunch and you came home at dinner time and do didn't do things indoors unless it was raining you were outside and was Alameda and we will we live right by the bay. Yeah, so we were away about a half a block. Oh, wow. So we go down there to play. It wasn't a beach Bay. It was just know it wasn't there was a beach down there. Oh, wow. Okay, but we would play nobody was supervising. We just go down to the ocean and play was that because your mom was kind of a crummy mom, or was that just because that's what was done.
07:42 No. She wasn't you know, she wasn't Kwame truth.
07:49 And all of the kids did it everybody didn't I? Okay the kids down the street would have a buzzer.
07:58 Would you know you would hear at all throughout the neighborhood?
08:03 And one big buzz was for German two buses for Debbie and so on and so forth say their mom used a buzzer to call them home. Yes.
08:15 A buzzer. Why did your mom have a buzzer? No, we did not own a buzzer.
08:25 So you went down to the beach and what would you guys do bills castles? Yeah look for
08:34 Starfish shirt
08:37 We didn't think anything about it. I was just died or the Oceanside. It was the Bayside Bayside. Okay. Oh, yeah, right.
08:48 All right. I was it were there a lot of houses on Ella and Alameda the time is pretty congested now. So is it was it the same or was it will people doing their own cars? A lot of people didn't own them. Okay.
09:07 So it wasn't it wasn't really congested. I wouldn't say traffic-wise, okay.
09:14 All the kids would from the neighborhood run down the to the beach. So that's where we would play games.
09:21 We play things like
09:29 That was batting a a ball against the wall of a house or
09:36 A garage for whatever we had at hand.
09:40 And there were jacks.
09:43 Jump rope hopscotch
09:47 One foot off the gutter
09:50 We kept busy. It sounds absolutely divine.
09:57 Can only imagine just sending out my kids to play hopscotch and having them run back. This is so boring.
10:09 So was Dennis a troublemaker from day one or did you just think he was cuz he was a boy.
10:17 My mother was born with three girls when she grew up and I don't think that she knew how to mother a boy.
10:29 So he was perceived trouble. Yes, but he was just being a just was being a boy, but he would get into all sorts of things.
10:39 Seppuku a typical example was one time we were all dressed up.
10:50 And in those days you had to iron clothes.
10:55 Everything right? So there were no dryers.
11:01 You tan your clothes out my gosh. So it's not like you had a lot of things that you could just quickly change into because everything was maybe in the laundry being prepared.
11:17 Laundry room, you know
11:21 It was a big deal. Anyway, we were dressed up. Our shoes were all shined. Everybody was ready to go. My mother wanted to just get dressed with my and my father.
11:33 So she sent us down the stairs in the backyard and told us do not get dirty.
11:40 We weren't down there two seconds and Dennis was busy at the apricot tree. And one of you came down at apricot smeared all over is closed. So
11:55 Mother wasn't exactly thrilled. However, that was typical of Dennis.
12:02 So typical boy typical do you think that affected the way you raised Matt my brother?
12:13 No, because I made a conscious effort to change.
12:21 I just a plan and what I expected out of us, are you guys?
12:28 So you knew that that was just being a boy. Just yeah.
12:34 Obviously cuz Matt was a handful to yes, he was okay. And so what about my show is she a troublemaker or was she pretty easy-going?
12:49 She was easy going, but she always I don't know what she did.
12:55 But she always looked disheveled.
12:59 Who said to you or just in general in general? Yes, I am picky if my mother told me.
13:08 Once you put on a dress
13:11 Did not get it dirty. I would stand there Stone like a statue. I wouldn't move because that dress couldn't get wrinkled.
13:21 Couldn't get a spot on it.
13:25 There was a spot I'd want it changed and to this day. I don't like spots or wrinkles. I don't like anything that hasn't been ironed. I know mother take Brian you're holding. Yes. So do you think that the way you were raised or we are the expectations of you were different than Dennis and Marsha.
13:58 It isn't probably the right thing to say, but I think that being the first child you're sort of timid or not as venturesome Joey site, right?
14:13 Whereas Marsha?
14:16 Was all over the place and she did things that you know, and then she come back all dirty and her hair was already and everything. I mean, she just she played differently than I did but she was two years younger than me and then
14:36 Dennis was just Dennis. I mean, he always was in trouble.
14:47 So, what did your mom do during the day while your dad was working?
14:54 She worked I mean not she didn't she worked around the house but a 19:45 or for whatever. What is that? What is that? It looks 4203 tank should be downstairs doing the wash.
15:12 At but the wash didn't do itself you had to go down and
15:18 Change the clothes to the so that they could be rinsed.
15:25 And you had a ringer to dry them out sort of.
15:30 And now we spend them dry. Right but she had a ringer.
15:36 And you had to pack them all up the stairs cuz we lived in this to two-story house. Right or the living quarters were on the second floor and then she have to put them out on the line to dry.
15:52 And everything was a lot less convenient so she could work all day long.
16:00 Just to keep the house, right?
16:03 Get the shopping done, right? I mean there weren't supermarkets.
16:11 If we went to the store because we needed something then.
16:18 That entailed
16:20 You know, maybe a wagon.
16:25 And we walked four blocks.
16:29 And then there was a little tiny store had sawdust on the floor to keep it clean. Oh my goodness. Yes. It was a little
16:46 A little bit about the size of a
16:50 Like a master bedroom today.
16:54 Wow, it was not not large didn't have a meat market had very few dairy products. You could get Mayonnaise & bread.
17:06 I think there may have been some vegetables. I'm not positive but the bread and mayonnaise.
17:15 4 people were in there was crowded.
17:21 Yes with all the
17:23 Staff with all those shelves and stuff and then we'd walk down to the bakery to get in Bakery Goods.
17:31 The meat was at another place the meat market.
17:35 If you wanted any kind of
17:38 Prescription or any flight
17:41 Hair products or something like that, then you go to the drugstore.
17:49 Alameda at that time. I mean from your perspective now, do you think that you lived in an older house? And the market was small excetera because your parents couldn't have a lot of money and that was kind of a poor part of town or do you think that that was just normal you were living about a normal average Middle America lifestyle?
18:15 I would say it was average really. Yes. So everyone was putting their clothes on the line. So absolutely, okay. It wasn't cuz your parents didn't have the money for the conveniences. No.
18:28 Do you think that your grandparents gave your dad any money to help know? He did the other way around you helped his mom and his sister, right? Because Grandpa died. Yes, and we had the war right?
18:47 So there was things were scarce. You couldn't get some stuff.
18:55 And then do you remember the start of the war and how it impacted you? I don't remember the start of the war.
19:03 The only thing I do remember was my father was some sort of Asia.
19:09 Captain went around and made sure that everybody's lights were out.
19:16 So they couldn't be seen from the air, right? Cuz you're right there on the coast. Yes.
19:23 So, do you remember your friend's dad's being gone or?
19:29 You because you were lucky that Grandpa didn't have to go.
19:33 My grandfather didn't have to go down.
19:37 I don't think we ever talked about it or thought about it.
19:41 Two middle
19:46 And he couldn't go because he was at 4 right for a 4-f. Right? Right. Why was he for if you'd had trichinosis when he was a child?
20:00 Man High School
20:02 What is trichinosis what's the modern name for the trichinosis?
20:11 And it was a disease that pig pigs had and you would eat the meat and then you would get this disease that affect your muscles.
20:23 So he can you know, he couldn't do the walks or
20:28 Heavy lifting or anything like that.
20:31 And what was it like when your dad came home every day?
20:40 You know, we just run to the door and meet him.
20:44 She didn't have to be dressed or anything like that.
20:50 Okay, just curious or just dinner close.
20:56 Nice, and she had dinner on the table every night.
21:00 She Was preparing it
21:05 And so you said Grandma wasn't really rough at that time.
21:10 We should not drinking it then or did she just wish you not so overwhelmed then or
21:16 They did drink but only one friends came over.
21:25 My father would have some maybe at lunch time.
21:29 When he worked
21:34 And so and then she would get very angry with him.
21:40 For drinking at lunch for drinking at lunch or if they had a party at the office because we used to have parties at the office and everybody drank. It didn't matter whether you were a beige or not.
21:56 This is definitely the Dark Ages.
22:00 So but she was jealous or she was just angry that he wasn't, you know, he probably is tired over sober frequently that that would happen. Okay, so they didn't start drinking that I could tell until I was probably in.
22:23 Oh just their sixth grade.
22:27 So by the time Charlie came along for the time to really came along. All right, that's when your mom started to go over the edge.
22:35 Yes, I would say she was plenty stricto before.
22:40 Was she overly strict you think?
22:43 I think sometimes with the
22:48 I think sometimes with
22:52 Dennis I think she could be
22:56 Overly strict
22:59 Portis eats you didn't mind.
23:03 Right, and it wasn't enough to deter him.
23:07 Nothing was if you wanted to do it you did it.
23:12 That's funny. You'd suffer the consequences remember anything significant happening in Alameda that
23:22 Was Neil affected the whole community?
23:26 Know whether or no now know we didn't have anything that was.
23:35 Nope, rope memorable and then you move to Oakland.
23:40 No, we moved Contra Costa to Pleasant Hill. Al right doesn't he'll that's right. And that's his that's the house that I've seen. Yes. It was that an upgrade.
23:51 I know but I think that it's all that they could afford.
23:56 Because it was an Eastbay.
24:01 No, I think it was our first house.
24:05 The house that I grew up in you know.
24:10 At first was a rental I okay.
24:15 Then they purchased it and then they purchased this house in Pleasant Hill.
24:20 Okay, nice, and then Charlie was born shortly after that. Yes.
24:27 Lori didn't come along until Houston.
24:30 To remove to Euston how many years between Charlie and Lori five? Wow, so I was 16 probably when Mom said she was going to have another baby.
24:46 And then I was almost 20 years old when Shannon came along.
24:52 So when she told you she was going to have Lori, I'm sure she was not happy. She was not happy about it a long time. I think she just didn't want any more kids.
25:10 Was your dad happy to see Charlie and Lori and Shannon come along.
25:17 I'm sure he would she like, you know, he was a good dad.
25:24 But they were totally opposite. He was a quiet one and reserved and
25:34 He didn't say a lot.
25:38 My mother would say things and do things. Where did they meet? I don't know probably at a party.
25:49 Where how were they in the same High School know she lived in San Rafael and he lived in Alameda. So
26:00 I don't know how they knew.
26:03 On the nerves another how they came to meet or anyting.
26:09 And when were they married 1941?
26:13 When were you born?
26:16 September 42
26:21 Okay. So was that the did you seal the deal?
26:26 I don't think so. Oh, okay. Well, I don't know the months, but it was more than a year and I verified it okay to I mean I didn't verify it until later later much later, but I went I looked it up and made sure I was with your birthday. Yes. I'm positive. Okay. Just checking.
26:56 Wow, it's amazing. You don't know where they were before they met.
27:03 Mother friend probably wouldn't tell me Kimberly it you know, they just
27:10 That wasn't discussed.
27:14 I understand.
27:19 All right. So you lived in Alameda know we live in Pleasant Hill and Along Came Charlie. And what do you remember from living there?
27:34 It was a very small house.
27:36 And I always shared a room with Marsha my sister.
27:44 And all of our lives in the same bedroom.
27:49 And then
27:54 What was the question but asked you remember about Pleasant Hill?
28:02 And then I do remember having to do the dishes a lot.
28:07 Because of family had grown dry and there were more dishes to do and we would fight about who was going to wash and drying.
28:18 Clean up.
28:20 Okay, so tell me how you think your childhood affected how you raised Matt Nye.
28:31 As I said, my mother was strict and she was unpredictable and
28:43 When I met your father.
28:46 I would have I would see how his parents were treating him and things like choices were given to him. Well, I'd prefer you didn't go to say the movie, but you can make up your mind while I was never given that opportunity, right so
29:08 Beaches did it differently and they gave him a choice and sometimes he took he went to the movie but he never enjoyed it because he knew that his parents didn't really want him to go but they wouldn't be angry wear when he went if I'd been given that choice and I chose the movie.
29:30 There would have been a price to pay for that. Right and I would have been punished, right?
29:38 For the wrong choice, right?
29:41 Severely so
29:47 You know, it's easy to say you're going to make a conscious choice, but it's really hard to execute it. So do you think you were it was hard in the beginning or did dad help out a lot your father helped a lot.
30:02 And so
30:07 And his mother
30:10 But I asked him about his childhood and what they did.
30:14 So you knew already by your Twenties that I wasn't going to do it the same way.
30:20 And did it affect your decision to have kids.
30:26 You want to I didn't want children at first?
30:31 And then I did.
30:34 Thank you for that.
30:41 So Daddy travel though, so
30:45 Have you ever struggle with that later?
30:50 With his traveling now with raising us when Dad wasn't around.
30:56 No, I wouldn't say that. I was a lenient mother.
31:03 But I wasn't cruel. No. No, you are not and yes you were you were not a lenient mother but that's that's all right. It's good cocktail for cocktail party fodder for me now. Thanks for killing my hard shoes until I was 13 years old and that's just terrible.
31:32 But it always is funny, you know to my friend, but I never worked on issues and
31:39 But I have very well, you know shaped feet. So thank you for that. Alright, so do you think that you know, when you look back at your childhood there were so many things that were difficult about it, but
32:00 You know, it was what it was. Did you do still have fond memories of your childhood?
32:10 I do and I don't think that Marcia does and I know Dennis didn't write and Charlie didn't write Shannon did not write and Lori doesn't either.
32:24 I don't know much about Lori. Yeah, but she as well as the others don't look back. What with any fondness to this time. It was tough. What do you why do you think that you are able to glean out the good memories and they're not
32:46 From the boy's perspective. I think that
32:51 Dennis she was always harder on him.
32:56 Charlie dad died when Charlie was probably 11 then and he became the man of the house and Shannon didn't like.
33:10 You know that he was the man of the house, right?
33:16 It was just a hard life for them. Right and Marsha and Lori.
33:24 Lori was always afraid, you know about if she did something what was going to happen. Unfortunately, I feel like Lori's pretty much like my mother and Aunt Marsha.
33:40 Marshall was rebellious.
33:43 In later years she ran away from home. All right.
33:48 And I had kids of her own early.
33:54 Well, I wonder if they just are from the perspective of.
33:59 Resentment vs. Regret, you know all of them sort of resented what happened and they still hold that resentment and because you were the eldest you saw it from a different perspective near able to see some of the happy times or what was happy about it.
34:17 Is you were more mature when the really bad part started?
34:24 No, I just think that I prefer to focus on what was right rather than to vilify my mother. Right, right.
34:36 I would I didn't like what she did right but
34:41 I don't hate her for it.
34:43 Right, sometimes I did.
34:47 Just cuz she hurt you so many times and then sometimes when you were mad at me, you know, I look back and go. This is my grandmother talking. I can hear her. I can hear it in my sister today about your childhood.
35:08 No, I think that pretty much the sort of what happened. All right. Thank you, Mommy for braving this and
35:19 Speaking your please. Yes. Thank you for asking.