Betty Jane Isaacs Moczygemba, Mary Margaret Isaacs Inselmann, and Mary Jane Moczygemba Verette

Recorded March 6, 2008 Archived March 6, 2008 39:57 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: MBY003724


Betty Jane Moczygemba, Mary Inselmann, and Mary Jane Verette remember Genevieve Isaacs, Betty and Mary’s mother and Mary Jane’s grandmother.

Subject Log / Time Code

Betty and Mary share their earliest memories of their mother with Mary Jane.
Betty remembers living during the Depression and describes the family’s home at that time, which they purchased for $6000.
The women remember their family’s Christmas celebration and traditions. Mary describes the extensive menu of turkey, fruit cake, green bean casserole, and ambrosia.
The women remember their family’s Easter traditions, including Betty’s egg dyeing parties.
Betty tells Mary Jane of the family’s Irish roots, remembering their ancestors from the American Revolution.


  • Betty Jane Isaacs Moczygemba
  • Mary Margaret Isaacs Inselmann
  • Mary Jane Moczygemba Verette

Recording Location

MobileBooth West

Partnership Type



StoryCorps uses Google Cloud Speech-to-Text and Natural Language API to provide machine-generated transcripts. Transcripts have not been checked for accuracy and may contain errors. Learn more about our FAQs through our Help Center or do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions.

00:08 My name is Mary Jane verret and I am 52 years old. Today's date is March 6th 2008 and I'm in San Antonio, Texas and I'm going to be interviewing my mother Betty mosa gamma and my aunt Mary Margaret insulin.

00:28 My name is Mary Margaret Isaacs and Solomon AKA Aunt Ouija. My age is 69. Today's date is March 6th 2008. I'm in San Antonio, Texas and my relationship to the partner is my niece Mary. Jane's rep.

00:51 This is Betty Jane Isaac supposed to Amber. I'm 81 years old. Today's date is March 6th 2008. This location is San Antonio, Texas, and I'm the sister too.

01:07 Mary Margaret is almond and the mother to Mary-Jane Verrett.

01:13 Okay. So today we're going to talk about my grandmother who was a major?

01:22 It's just a remarkable person who meant so much to all of us as we were growing up. And so I wanted to get together today and talk about my grandmother name is Genevieve Isaacs and to all of us. She was known as Jane.

01:40 And my mother is the oldest of five girls and

01:46 I thought first question I would ask you is to tell me what did Jane look like to you.

01:55 Well, she was about five foot five medium bill.

02:01 Had brown hair until she got old then she had white hair and she had a very Lively personality.

02:12 And how did you see her Ouija? Well, I see the same physical makeup. I see a bundle of energy that had almost a bottomless pit of of compassion and energy and enthusiasm for life.

02:28 That's my my memory when I see Jay and I see her eyes. I see her beautiful eyes.

02:40 Okay.

02:44 Do you ever still dream about Jane? Yes, I do. I still have certain memory pieces that will come to me at the oddest times in my dreams. Usually it is an action movie. She was always on the move and we're always doing all kinds of things. So every once in a while, I will see something that probably sticks in my subconscious and then it'll come back and visit me at night and that's a great thing.

03:15 Do you Mom?

03:17 Ever dream of Jane occasionally I do and then right after she died I did quite often but now I don't dream about it very often anymore. But occasionally it comes to mine various little things that happened when I was a child.

03:33 Like when it snowed when they lived on the Southside we scooped out was about four years old. We scooped up a bowl full of snow and put sugar and vanilla and some milk on it and we ate it and called it ice cream.

03:49 Which was a fun thing to do and we still made ice cream later on. Maybe we actually made ice cream. I remember what this was just a child doing something. Yeah.

04:03 If you had to look back in and ask yourself what your earliest memory is of your mother, what is that?

04:10 Well

04:11 When I was about three or four about four years old, I received a working electric stove something which they wouldn't allow nowadays and a working iron with ironing board. So I would cook little dinners on my stove. But one day I was determined. I was going to cook some green beans, but I didn't want to snap them.

04:35 So mothers as you go snap those green beans and my aunt happened to be there at the time and about that time. I said, no, I don't want to in about that time the lightning struck and the Thunder boomed and she said see that's what you get for not doing what I was supposed to have been at Rose mother said that she was listening to it and she just see you don't do what what you're told to do then it thunders and lightning and eventually I did snap the green beans and cook them on my little stove course nowadays. They wouldn't allow that a child might get hurt, but I did never get hurt.

05:18 Can you eat when you know this is funny. I remember her as I was probably about six it was during the summer and and the she had an enormous Garden. It was a lot of work to overturn. They was spayed it all up and work in the compost that she had been cooking all winter and there were some Mexican men's at work for my father or with my father who would come out there one was Joe Garcia. There was Little Joe and it was medium Joe and they would come and it was a blast of fun. It was during the during the very early spring and we got to build a bonfire burning up all the rubbish and excetera and we got to put toast on a stick and eat burnt toast that was pretty exciting and the of the course they had the faucets my father would take the

06:18 Owner off of this of the faucets because we were known for letting a lot of water go to waste so he had taken them and they would always screw them back on again when they got rid of use them. Well somebody and it wasn't me took that Turner offer and misplaced it. So I got blamed for it, even though I know I was innocent and so I was sent to my room and I was watching out the upstairs window just crying like mad. So Jane went outside and she burned me a piece of toast and brought it up to me. It really did make me feel better. But at least I got a piece of burnt toast do we know how we eat started calling or Jane to begin with? I don't even know the story behind that was she was called Jenny by her family as a you know, what nickname for Genevieve and then when we went to school we were at our Salon Academy, and she was very active.

07:18 The PTA and the people there didn't know her her nickname of Jenny. So because she was Genevieve somebody shortened it. It was a friend of hers sharted to join and that was probably in I was probably about time.

07:38 Probably five or six at that time went when we got ready when I got ready to go to school.

07:46 So that's how she got Jane and she stayed that way. I think it's kind of weird that we all called her Jane and said, I never thought of calling her grandmother or anything else and you don't recall my father grandpere because I was when I was in college, I was taking French and you were little and and Robbie was little and I was trying to always try and teach you kids French, of course not at work and I don't believe anybody says anything in French today not even me but I called grandpere grandpere Grand pear and it stuck and you kids all called him that yeah, but we never called her grand mer

08:27 When you think about the the best times that we had I have to think of the holidays. So tell me about your what's your fondest memory is of the holidays. It's got to be Christmas first, but Easter second, I think.

08:41 Talk about Christmas Mom. Well, I think of Christmas when I was about 4 years old and we were still living on the Southside and I got a precious little doll house for Christmas.

08:55 And I was so elated over and it had all these little Furnitures and all the other people and I was just having the greatest time.

09:04 A few days later. We went over to visit my parents friend Dutch Meyer and they had a little girl call Rosalie and she had a doll house but hers had electric lights and oh I was so devastated because mine didn't have electric lights and her lamps in her dollhouse would light up and I thought I got jipped but in another time, I got a lot of dolls and when we move to the north side well before we moved I had a little doll house. I mean on a doll house a playhouse.

09:42 It was about 5 foot tall and had two windows in a front door and it has Shutters on the windows and I was so proud of that little house. And so I carried all my dolls out there and all the furniture and I just had the greatest time.

10:00 But when we move to the north side, of course They Carried up my little dollhouse and I played in it quite a while, but the first thing you know

10:11 My father decided to slaughter a pig we had two piglets and they grew pretty big. So he slaughtered one of the pigs and I went off that was sent off to the neighbors to play while they did the dirty dirty deal.

10:30 And when I came back there was a little fire going on in my dog my play house and they were smoking the house in your pink and my little playhouse but I lived over but it was an interesting thing was that out in the country at that time at that time card was in the only house at the end of the street and the street was graveled and there was no houses beside us not in front of us and the closest house was in the next block now Clower would be really considered inner city in San Antonio.

11:09 So I guess when I so that was a big piece of property then was it always that large. I mean wasn't that does not they had just the One login the house.

11:21 Well, they tried to buy the lot next door, but they never could find the person but they found he did and they this woman.

11:30 Had a had to give them a quick claim deed because there was no other.

11:35 Paper document available. The one that was in her name so they got a quick claim deed from her and then that's when mother planted the big garden and that's when they had the rabbit hutches and the chickens and all this kind of good stuff in later years.

11:55 The the two lots between the street and their house were purchased by my grandparents and they built a house and had chicken yards and all that kind of good stuff in it. So that's when nanny nanny was on the corner. They bought that house then after you already live there for a while that house there.

12:14 It wasn't there before. I think it was right after the war or uncle was able to appropriate enough Building Supplies to actually build a little house and they moved over here then because they were both in declining health. And I think that house was built around 1947 and at that point how many of you had already been gone.

12:40 Oh when you did when you were in that house was built. I was already gone by that the Chandler's that were on the other side of the street. They were there though when you were growing up.

12:52 And we bought milk from them when are cows was dry. They had cows also and we went and bought milk from them when hours are dry.

13:01 Did mrs. Chandler always baked bread. Was that something I remember her occasionally?

13:10 She had a big Garden occasionally. She would give us things out of her garden and we give her some out-of-hours.

13:18 How was it during the Depression? The Depression was previous to that time. Yeah, the Depression was when we lived over on the south side and my father who was an operating engineer, he made $200 a month for all of us and that the house we lived in I believe was Rendon.

13:40 But in later years, maybe about 19 30 or 31. Maybe then they bought the house out in the country on Flower Street, and they paid a whole $6,000 for it.

13:55 And so away then we moved out there and it had only water electricity and phone there was no gas and no septic no sewer system. So we had a septic tank and we cook with kerosene.

14:14 We had to cook on the stove. We had to warm water on the stove for a bath.

14:21 And the house needed a lot of work was father did overtime because he generally work from 3 to 11. So he did all this work around the house. He put the fence up around the house. It had no fence or move there.

14:37 But

14:39 It turned out very nicely.

14:42 It was a long time doing when I think of Christmas I think of just are you in the family was all together and we were just it was just so marvelous because Jane did Jane loved holidays and she loved Christmas and she loved to celebrate and I think she love to cook and she loved to garden and she loved to sew but sad.