Mary Wilkinson-Greenberg and Timothy Scott

Recorded June 22, 2009 Archived June 23, 2009 01:24:08
0:00 / 0:00
Id: MBX005463


Mary Wilkinson-Greenberg (83) speaks with her son, Tim Scott (53) about her life as a teacher, adventureor, and mother.


  • Mary Wilkinson-Greenberg
  • Timothy Scott


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00:01 Who begins?

00:04 Ready? Okay. My name is Tim Scott. And I'm 53 years old today's date is June 22nd 2009 and where in Berlin New Hampshire and this is my mother that I'm interviewing today.

00:22 My name is

00:25 Mary bunny

00:28 Gardner

00:30 Oh God.

00:34 Wilkinson Greenberg

00:38 I made 83.

00:43 Today's date is June 22nd 2009. I'm in Berlin New Hampshire and

00:53 My son Tim Scott

00:55 Just introduce me.

00:58 Good.

01:01 Okay, so I guess I'd like to begin by asking you this question.

01:07 When you heard about storycorps and you thought you might like to do this, what why was that you thought this would be fun to do.

01:19 What was the first word and why is it that this would be fun to do?

01:30 And who would you share it with?

01:32 Well with you and Charlie.

01:38 And maybe my my nephew David.

01:43 Who is Charlie Charlie is my son?

01:50 Okay.

01:52 So you had a wonderful you've had a wonderful life and I agree with that. What would you say?

02:00 Is the highlight of that wonderful life?

02:04 . If there is one there may be more than one but what would be the highlight and then we'll go from there. That's a good way to put it because the highlight of courses is my marrying your father and having you and the many directions that

02:23 I have gone since I first met her your father and that was

02:30 Caption for tyrnos 30 years of my life 20 years of my life.

02:37 Shutters around your father

02:48 Marrying Kim's dad. That was so special to you. What was so special about him.

02:54 I knew Ron Scott.

03:01 I moved to a small town already Ontario and I met Ron Scott there because his father had being in the bar the truck payment University of Toronto with my dad. So when my dad who is the dentist and taking up his practice Santeria. He he found out that Charlie Scott was an old pal of his from college. So we met the Scots and the Scots had two sons Allen and Roth and Scott.

03:41 Was

03:45 At the University of Toronto at the time we moved to Rhea he was in the school of practical science in the second year of

03:56 Electrical engineering

03:59 And I had just moved from my home in Toronto and I was

04:06 Fish Out of Water

04:09 Because I had left my home and my friends and my school.

04:14 And everything that was great value to me. I left behind as it was a trauma to come to this small town and not know anybody. So it was nice to be able to connected to be connected with the Scots.

04:32 And then

04:35 Columbus Day came around and run Scott came home and I was introduced to him and he promptly said get on my motorcycle take you for a ride which was good and bad but it was a big beginning of a 20-year adventure with him. He was

04:59 He was very adventuresome and very very bright and

05:04 He was knowledgeable in every field of science and politics and

05:12 Relation, he had opinions on everything little bit over it very much overpowering but he was interesting more than anybody else that I ever knew in. This was back in 1941 and all the boys that I had known in Toronto. We're off to war and those that were left behind were my my friends in high school at the snoo snoo school. Collegiate then lie

05:45 They were very nice but not particularly inspiring. Bronze got was so after the

05:56 The ride on the motorcycle he we used to

06:05 We did many things together. I guess I guess I didn't see him after that weekend until

06:14 Thanks. It was some.

06:17 Close to Christmas and he came up and presented me with a pair of skis a pair of wooden skis with no.

06:27 Still I just said only a strap binding and a pair of square toes so dumb.

06:34 Boots, they said here you're going to learn to ski and they were his former girlfriends.

06:42 He said he'd given to her some years ago, and they had broken up. So I inherited this case and we went over a survey and Christmas holidays. We went over to the

06:56 The golf course nearby and to see that they go down the hill and I probably fell about 20 times before I got to the bottom of the hill, but that was the beginning of my love for skiing because we we kept staying all our lives pretty well and I still scan.

07:16 Good.

07:18 So the years with my father were at Adventure you described that went on for about 20 years. And so essentially you grew up together.

07:31 He was about six years older than I just haven't I forget.

07:37 So he was already in college and I still have three more years of high school before I cut cut up with him. So I grew up shall we say he was pretty much grown up when I metal.

07:52 Okay.

07:54 So that was

07:57 That was a highlight of your life. That was a highlight of your life. And then but your life is gone on a lot since then.

08:08 What happened after that after that 20 years College dances, and then he went into the radar in the Navy and I started teaching in a country school. And then I went to Toronto normal school and got my teaching degree at night time in Toronto and that I went down to South America to teach there for a year.

08:40 The start of school for the employees children of tell her I'll company and I taught school there for one year establishing a school Sylvia Ashton Warner technique of getting the children to talk and writing down the words that are important to him and building up sentences. And the first thing that they were it was very hot country in the only enjoyment was to going swim and it was right on the Caribbean.

09:17 What country were you in Venezuela?

09:23 Was Punta Cardone witches?

09:27 A little north of Maracaibo

09:32 That must have been pretty daring for a 17 year old to go to South America by herself in the 40s.

09:43 Yes, but I

09:46 I wanted to get away from us. He was domineering me in many ways and I wanted to find myself.

09:55 Away from him. So I was delighted to have this opportunity to go to South American Explorer and try my wings and we had gotten engaged to Summer before I left and so

10:11 I fell in love with a a man down there. Who was

10:16 12 years older than I and I realize that I felt toward him much differently from the way. I felt toward Ron so I came back and I broke my engagement.

10:28 To him, but I did come down to the Boston and went to BU.

10:35 While he was at MIT.

10:38 And then we had wonderful experiences learning about New England and Mom the timing and skiing and kannaway Hiking bicycling exploring this wonderful.

10:54 Area

11:03 About Venice. What was it like there?

11:06 It was

11:11 It was a new Refinery that was opened up by Shell Oil Company and

11:21 They got their oil from the interior and it was the all was also unrefined and robot and Island North of Brunswick Cardone, but they needed more to spend more. So they opened up photocard. Onanay. It was a small village Ascension centrally.

11:45 Cut off from the rest of them of The Villages nearby. It did it did have Gates around and fences, but I had my bicycle. So I explored all over that was a white woman. It's pouring all by herself on a bicycle into the small town. We I went with another teacher who taught

12:10 4th 5th and 6th grade and we had our own little cottage to ourselves which

12:17 We had our own bedrooms and kitchen and living room, but we ate our meals at the the nurses.

12:27 Residence and we had marvelous meals there. They have the best beef and ice cream I've ever tasted the nurses were.

12:39 About eight of them and they were fun and they were delightful. So we had a good time. We we were facing about 500.

12:50 British and Dutch men who had just gotten out of the war and they were

12:58 Pretty much lonely and they were delighted to have us there Sparkles their lives and they sparkled hours. So we had lots of parties in the evening the

13:13 The trade winds would come up and cool the air and so it was it was lovely we had dancing and films and

13:21 LifeWay evening times

13:25 And skating and party. I mean not skiing swimming.

13:31 So that must that must have been a very uncommon adventure for a small especially for a small town girl from Canada. I don't suppose too many others. Did those two things?

13:44 I had a friend in college with me at the same time Mimi Harris and she heard what I was doing. She said let me know who the Personnel manager is. I want to go down there too. So she she went down to and she said there's another part of Venezuela from where I was she married a young man British man from from there.

14:09 And they stay there for three years. They had three children then came back to Toronto.

14:15 And she was a very good friend of mine for many years.

14:20 We're going to talk later about how much you like to travel but it seems to me that you have a sense of adventure that is his lip is so provided your whole life. Is it curiosity? Is it wanting to know how other people live is it? Just wanting to see new places. What's what's the root of all of that both of us when you're here and when you're in school you hear about various places and you want to go there. I'm Scottish background, and I want to go to Scotland, but then we had a Carson Greek mythology, and I wanted to go to Greece so

15:07 Jumping ahead of myself, but I did Mary run Scott and we were

15:12 We had a 20 year.

15:15 Friendship and then when we were divorced I promptly went to Switzerland which was my first love and reading Heidi and hearing about skiing gorgeous country. And then I had a great friend and she said you being in Switzerland long enough. It's too pure come to Greece and meet me there and she was

15:40 Taking a group of girls from Regis College and giving them.

15:46 A tour of Greece and Italy learning about the Antiquities highlights of Greek history.

15:59 And I met her I'm at flew from Switzerland.

16:06 To Venice. No, not that

16:10 Iraq

16:12 I met her in Florence, and she

16:18 She had was a of the North or are they on?

16:22 Ancient history of Greece and took me to the ancient ruins of of Greece that were there in Italy and we

16:34 We learned about Florence then I would never known anything about that made one on to Ravenna and then we went on who had the bad wonderful.

16:43 Fresco's

16:48 Manifold

16:51 Cathedrals and then we went to Venice and of course Venice is a thrilling experience in itself. And then she took me on a very true the Corinth Canal down to two mountains and we went from Athens to sounion. I swam in in the again for the first time and explored.

17:19 The part of Grace just the first part but I loved I loved Athens. I love the Acropolis. So then I came back six or seven times to grease at other times.

17:35 But that was my first experience after getting away from being married for 20 years is grease your favorite country.

17:46 I feel that I own part of Grease. There's something in theory of Western the thought that our thinking was first affected by the Greek fire.

18:00 So startled

18:02 But you've often said is your favorite character is Zorba the Greek and then of course.

18:09 My friend Lily my crackers gave me the book of Zorba the Greek to read and I fell in love with Sora and then another time I went degrees should we went down to the Peloponnesian? I met some people that look like rat sorba.

18:30 He was free Zorba the Greek he was it was it was about an Englishman who is very uptight and

18:41 He loves to write but he was missing a whole lot of freedom in his life and when he met Zorba the Greek and Griot's are but was able to dance and

18:54 He watch the way to store but was able to make decisions freely without being inhibited and dance without being have his in his favorite.

19:06 Words at the end of Zorba. The Greek book was Zorba teach me how to dance and I think we all felt that too.

19:16 Do you think that in your life you you were raised in a fairly conservative World Canada during the war parents that were Society interested in society that when you left that first time that ever since then you've been striving to leave to get away the stayfree. Would you agree with that? Yes. Yes and nice. I guess that's why I went I went back another time. And when I went to degree to Crete and saw the ruins in creason, I was fascinated by the whole experience of the growth of

20:03 Greek Western the beginning of Western sod and the and the what happened to Crete during huge.

20:15 Earthquake

20:17 I wanted to go to Santorini and I did say the room so that a rainy in that and when my son grew up and got married. I said you have to go to Santorini.

20:30 Yes. There's something special about Greece.

20:36 So you you began adventure with Ron actually before Ryan you began with going to South America and then you had to venture with Ron and then you traveled you begin to travel.

20:48 At the constant theme through all that was used. You still had a career in that was teaching tell me a little bit about why you chose teaching and how that was the constant in your life. Well as Ron always wanted to leave me in the direction. He wanted to go he was convinced. He will bring that we were going to be Madame and Pierre.

21:12 Carrie he wanted me to go into my house and physics on Mom and Dad put their foot down and said no, they wouldn't send me the college, but they would send me to go to normal school. So I had a teaching degree so that got me to South America and teaching them starting and then came back and

21:36 I went to

21:38 Down to Boston and finish might my education and in Psychology and started teaching in Newton and that loving activity. Just wait there then in the New England area and in Newton, I got very interested in teaching reading in first grade and then I became a leader in special. I mean in Title 1 and found out that some children could not learn to read because of a troubled they had with

22:19 Either hearing or with their language development, and so I got into special that so then I got my Master's in special ed, and I think one thing just followed another and I started special ed Department in Rockport, Massachusetts.

22:37 And then I went to Wilmington and

22:42 Worked in a resource room for reading and then a self-contained classroom in special education. And that was my Handful in my town. Elder and we're needing a mother more than a teacher. You're very severely emotionally disturbed children.

23:00 Forgot told me away from just the joy of teaching that was the end of my teaching career. I got burned out what your secret was children how to read.

23:15 When was listening?

23:18 Finding out

23:24 What was the secret what was the reward?

23:28 What was their reward?

23:30 Oh, I used to get them M&M's.

23:39 Reading bills

23:41 Knows I forgot that my son with me. Yes. I called them reading pills tonight if they read well, I would give them an Eminem and they were reading pills. I forgot all about that.

23:54 I started when I turned it in title one that was in my eye was.

24:01 I had a group of teachers under me a speech therapist a psychologist. Another reading takes her.

24:14 We were essentially superimposed on the school and Emerson School in.

24:22 In Newton lower falls on the teachers really didn't like his because

24:27 They felt they could handle the students themselves. And that was that's always been a rift in teaching with specialist and regular teachers that exist today. What were the was there a highlight of your teaching that you was there a highlight of your teaching career? Was there a penultimate moment first started teaching in Newton and I taught first grade and I really was scared to death. I don't I taught Entrada when I taught in South America and then I Totten into a very excellent school system known as in West End Newton and I was petrified I had 35 children and I really didn't know how to handle them and I had a first grade teacher next to me and was in the room next to me and I relied on her heavily to

25:23 Help me in discipline and the second year. I was there. I was much better and I had two terrific group of kids and that was the highlight of my teaching cuz I had receipts Ford Schwarzenegger Allen edelberg and I Gordon Allen and they all were in love with me and I was in love with him and yours later when I was

25:49 Teaching in in

25:54 In your schooling in Cambridge and God damn school. I had a phone call and it was Rusty Swartz and he was in Kali in in Harvard and he said to remember me. Mrs. I'll never forget you I never would forget him. I was a whole bunch of arrows arrows Arizona highways magazine for the reading table and Rusty absorbed them like a sponge sponge. He was interested in everything I gave him and it was so thrilling to

26:31 To have that kind of receptive child. Is it safe to say you like teaching children the most that were like you they were curious and wanting to learn was that was that was in Alice's?

26:52 Also, I did like children know that were.

26:55 Eating mother mothering to that's why I guess I got into special ed.

27:06 Why is that what you liked also that I want? Why did you like special ed?

27:13 Mothering

27:16 I just had one son and I could have used it. I could have had 10 children. I love children.

27:21 I think that's a very essential part to bring out and I did love children. I think Mom and Dad knew that at the very beginning when they didn't want me to go into mass in physics children. What do you love?

27:38 Their curiosity their innocence

27:44 There's joy.

27:51 They're easy. They're very easy to relate to for me.

27:57 And I think small children. Also, there's that they haven't been jaded yet. They actually think school is fun. Yes play in in first grade. It was marvellous. They came to his babies and they couldn't read a ride or do any kind of arithmetic and they went out the door in June and they could read and write and do arithmetic. You felt the two gave them something as a child.

28:41 I waited quite a while for him to come and when he was born, he was born without an esophagus. He had we had I had natural childbirth with him and I had a good obstetrician doctor heels and Ron was right there to help me and it was a very hard birth.

29:07 I finally had to have an episiotomy and he came out beautiful, baby.

29:14 But

29:16 They put him in the nursery and call. Dr. McDonald right away the pediatrician to come and check them over and where I was sleeping in my bedroom I could hear.

29:29 Kim crying aloud horse cry and then it stopped it was because dr. Mack and come in to check him through and took them away and put them in a nice lap and told me the next morning that Tim was had a pneumonia and he had to be on drugs for about 8.

29:52 8 days to clear that up and at the end of days

29:58 I was already 2 to take him home. I was popping popping milk so that he could have mother's milk. And dr. Matt came in and said, I'm sorry, but

30:13 Tim was born without another soft like us so we had to take him over.

30:20 To Children's Hospital right away and I had seen him in that I saw that that's all I ever saw Doctor Mac. Saw the nurse take the baby out to put them in a carrier to take him over to children's hospital and doctor Mike said wait.

30:41 Let Mom hold him.

30:47 That was the first time I really

30:51 How old is Tim but then he was operated on at Children's Hospital. Dr. Lunch in order to a wonderful job and he was able to come home, but then he had job.

31:03 He's what they did was.

31:06 Open up his chest open up the esophagus and pull it down to.

31:12 Connected with the stomach and where those stitches were they kept tightening up so that he was would choke on any kind of

31:26 Solid food it would back up into his lungs. So we had about three months of touch and go.

31:36 Whether he would live and Ron was busy writing a book on circuit Theory so he wasn't home a whole lot and what night?

31:49 Tim started to choke and turn blue blue Spa chairs over his back. So I called doctor Mac and he lived about three blocks away. It was 11:00 at night and day.

32:03 He came over in about 2 minutes for the shirt sleeves oxygen over.

32:10 Tennis face right away into the blue and this one away and he was able to breathe specially so doctor Mac drove me and

32:22 Dim the hospital is we had many experiences for many months with his esophagus shrinking and it had to be dilated, but that finally got all over and I kept

32:39 I kept I kept him on mother's make milk in a in a bottle. He had to be fed through a gastrostomy tube and

32:51 He would yell, but I would have to put the milk in this tube and have it go down into a stomach and he was starved eventually got to eat solid food.

33:08 They get they gave him all the kinds of drugs take a picture of it when they gave him iron and turned all his teeth black but he survives in the after there's only one other time when he was 12 years old. He called me and he said Mom, I'm stuck. What am I going to do about the unexpected choked up pull up the stuff that was stuck in his throat. Anyway, I'm getting sidetracked. We have about six or seven minutes left. So tell us a little bit about the other we talked about your work you're teaching and we've talked about your the sense of adventure. How about the other two parts of your life there was ever and then there was Bob. Those are the two other

34:08 Everything up at this cabin and in Pinkham Notch and then Everett Wilkinson was head being a friend of Emily Wicks and he got very interested in me, and he wanted eventually we married and we lived in Rockport and we sailed for 10 years with a tarian Henry Cooper ever sailed down Main and down to Nantucket on Long Island and wonderful sailing years with them.

34:40 And then

34:44 Everett died of

34:52 He had a long. Of being sick. He was he was very ill after then. You met Bob and Bob became a sort of came full circle you fell in love again you fell in love when you were Seventeen on eight years and I'm at Bob Greenberg and he was the love of my life. I mean, he was really love the way I thought I would.

35:16 Way back when I know Johnny Norman in South America, and we had wonderful year. Isn't we went to New Zealand skiing together? We went to Austria for a top or five times together went to Scotland.

35:33 Switzerland climbed in Switzerland and we had a wonderful life and then gradually he became more and more second with Alzheimer's disease and that's where I am now.

35:48 What what why was he the love of your life? What did you love about him?

35:57 Everything we did we laugh together. He had a wonderful sense of humor. We did we like the same things together. We had a good physical relationship. Wish I had never really had before and we just had great times together.

36:16 He read the New York Times And The New Yorker and I still read them because of Bob.

36:22 So he is he's in the nursing home now. So you're alone and how does it feel to be your age all by yourself? I don't mind being by myself. I have a dog and I love to read and I love to travel. I'm going to Greece again this summer or this fall.

36:47 I miss Bob.

36:50 But

36:52 Tim is being very good and very helpful with me. He's here today to help me through this interview.

37:02 So a couple of other things one is is there anything in your life that you would have done differently?

37:10 I think.

37:12 I might have said oh I should never have married Ron Scott cuz I wasn't really deeply in love with him. But without Ron Scott, I wouldn't have you or New Hampshire horror skin.

37:27 So I don't think you should ever have any regrets. So there's no regrets. Tell us something that

37:35 Do you think we ought to know about you that nobody else knows?

37:39 Sub story that you never told.

37:43 All the facts. I think that I

37:47 I think probably Johnny Norman was a homosexual and I didn't know anything about homosexuality and the doctor who cared for you up at in Jackson was a homosexual and I didn't know that either and I was madly in love with him, but it didn't it didn't go anywhere just as it didn't go anywhere with Johnny Norman.

38:13 Homosexuals have a different life. Wish I didn't really understand.

38:21 What what would you what advice would you like to give to your grandson Charlie or your step? Grandson, Ron?

38:33 What does that mean? Don't don't hate.

38:36 Love

38:40 Don't

38:43 Don't lose your confidence in yourself.

38:47 Be proud of what you are.

38:55 I know that he he's a he's loved.

39:11 Are there

39:13 Things you'd still like to do.

39:16 I got to go back skin.

39:20 I would like to be able to do more for the town in which I live in the church that I belong to but I can't hear.

39:32 I'd like to help him do a lot of things.

39:36 But I can't get directions and I can't hear.

39:41 So that's mean isolating.

39:43 Yeah, I'm going to have them.

39:47 A t the summer with a sewing Circle

39:51 Carbon Jackson because I belong to a sewing Circle in Salem New Hampshire and I'm a member of that sewing Circle. So I'm going to get two of those friends from Salem to come up and join the sewing Circle people in Jackson so they can get kind of an idea of

40:13 Expanding themselves

40:16 Okay, so we have about one minute left. What else would you like to tell people that are going to hear this years from now?

40:25 Vehicle be glad to be alive.

40:29 This is one wonderful world we live in and don't let the wars and the anchors in the religion religious hatreds.

40:41 Spoil

40:44 Your Love Of Life

40:47 Look to the Hills.

40:52 From whence whence cometh our Aid

40:57 As you've often said everything matters, but not much.

41:03 Or what did Perry the squirrel say?

41:07 It's a

41:10 It's a beautiful world but not an easy one. That's what I told you when you were two years old from that little book.

41:20 You remember that?

41:25 And it hasn't been easy, but it's been it hasn't been easy, but it's been good.

41:32 Beautiful world out there

41:36 Set the little the little baby squirrels had always beautiful, but mama said whole but not an easy one.

41:43 Maybe it's maybe it's overcoming the hard parts to make life. Richer. Yes.

41:50 Yes, exactly.

41:55 Any last words?

41:58 I love you, too.