Lois Lenzi and Sonya Michelle Lenzi

Recorded May 25, 2008 Archived May 25, 2008 35:11 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: MBY004041


Lois Lenzi talks with her daughter Sonya about meeting her husband, giving birth to Soyna and what it was like to raise Soyna and her other two daughters.

Subject Log / Time Code

Lois talks about the car they bought when the were first married
Lois gave birth to Soyna (who was one month late) and had to drive herself home from the hospital because her mother didn’t drive a stick
Lois wanted a strong woman name and says that it is why she picked the name Soyna. She remembers Soyna painting her sister with green paint
Lois and Soyna talk about Soyna’s room growing up and how it was decorated
Soyna asks Lois if she is worried that she isn’t married and has no kids
Lois and Soyna talk about Soyna’s father’s involvement in all of the girls’ lives
Lois talks about the move from Boston to Boise
Lois’s words of wisdom are that she should be happy, enjoy each day and keep gardening


  • Lois Lenzi
  • Sonya Michelle Lenzi

Recording Location

MobileBooth West


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00:04 Hello, my name is Sonya Lindsey. I am 27 almost 2737. Today's date is May 25th. 2008. We are in Boise, Idaho, and I am here with my mom Lois Lindsey.

00:21 I am Louis plenty. My age is 65 almost 66 today's dates May 25th. 2008. My location is Boise, Idaho, and I'm here with my first-born daughter.

00:42 Sonia Lindsey

00:44 Mom, how did you meet Papa?

00:48 Well the specific time I can't recall. It was through my twin brother and another good friend chuck had a mark. They both went to the College of Idaho and Bill.

01:02 Was a student there so somehow I always got invited around Christmas time.

01:11 I think it's the second time that I

01:15 Was around it was a skin and we were having dinner over at his parents house that I thought. This guy is really cool. He can cook. He's smart.

01:27 He might be going to med school at what he wanted to do. And I thought I have to start checking them out even more and then just kind of went on with my life and then

01:43 I'm trying to think we got serious and two letters and phone calls, and I thought it would propose to me at Christmas.

01:54 So he surprised me and he didn't so then I thought I picked up the wrong vibes.

02:03 I guess nothing really serious is going to happen and then at my parents annual New Year's Eve party, they weren't lots and lots of people in the house the house that we're living in now and he proposed to me in the laundry room because that was the only place that people weren't hanging out there people in the kitchen the dining room the living room and that's where the bottles of champagne were kept in this big deep sink, and I'm

02:41 He proposed to me there, but he had gone and then he turned around the next day and went and asked my dad if he could marry me and

02:55 It was funny how my dad was nervous and Bill was nervous cuz he went into the TV room and my mother and I were ecstatic that nervous the situation. Anyway, we really didn't have a long courtship this from

03:22 December January kind of the New Years and we were married July 9th, and we were separated and the best part is back in 1966.

03:34 Grandma, kirtley

03:37 Shop chaperone me we flew up to Seattle so that I could see see Bill because I hadn't for you were married before I was married Jazz. Yeah. Yeah, and we stayed in a hotel and

03:54 Got his car and it was a Chevy Corvair and it was a stick and it had a temper metal clutch and I went through 5 traffic lights trying to get up over the hill with the the car and I thought Grandma currently was going to have a heart attack. So she went back home and announced to all the relatives on both sides that that car was so dangerous that they bought us a car.

04:27 But they didn't tell us what kind of a car they were getting us. It just came as a present and it was this big humongous. I don't know. I don't know my car is but it was it was so

04:41 Ostentatious for medical students that we sold it and bought our little yellow Porsche that was such a probably a half. If not a fourth of the size of this big monstrosity gas guzzler.

05:01 My parents were really ticked off. They thought we had just thrown away a whole bunch of money, but we love that car and they only reason we sold it is that you came along and that was a no.

05:16 1970 but there weren't any car seats and that's okay. But you and our first German Shepherd Gunther didn't really fit in the backseat and I just had to go so with that we ended up getting

05:37 A Volkswagen Beetle convertible for me, but that didn't last long and then we ended up with them.

05:46 2002

05:49 BMW the best part about the the Porsche is I had to I had to drive you I had to drive myself to the hospital. I never had contractions never did with all three of you girls. I'm weird and that respect and you were

06:10 A month late and three days after you were born. We were inducted into the Navy thanks to Vietnam and I didn't want to deliver.

06:24 People in the hospital I never even been at so I had worked hard with this old fuddy-duddy, but well renowned doctor whose Name Escapes me and all the nurses at that hospital. We're cheering for me because I wanted to do a natural childbirth and word went out and so it was arranged that I would come in on.

06:54 June 26th and have

06:59 I dripped which nowadays they really don't do it unless it's absolutely necessary to start my contractions and all the nurses were coming in picture Clea. For some reason there was a lot of Swedish nurses at this Winchester Hospital. It was a Catholic Hospital, but

07:26 You were born and then your dad your papa came because he missed the whole delivery. He was finishing up his residency. And then he came I don't remember too much about it because I was so tired and I knew we were packing I had already started packing but we were going into the military Newport.

07:53 Rhode Island, and my mother was coming out to help us move and supposedly take care of you. But since she can't drive a stick.

08:06 And that was the car I had.

08:08 And they packed up all the stuff and Bill was finishing signing all the records.

08:18 The nurse said well, where's your husband? And I said, well he's back at

08:23 The hospital finishing up because tomorrow we move we go into Newport Rhode Island's the military by naval hospital and

08:37 She said well you didn't plan this very well, and I still remember saying.

08:43 I thought we planned this. Well I said this child just has a life of her own. She just had to come a month late and she looked at me and she said who's driving and I said, well, my mother can't drive a stick. My husband's in the hospital I said

09:02 That's it. She said well, where are you putting the baby? You can't have the baby in your lap. And I said, well, I brought a bath a basket. That's where she's going. And now when I put our Grandsons in these

09:18 Car seat I keep thinking how I didn't throw throw you or did you around and she just shook her head? So we got home and there were movers packing everything up. It was unbelievable. I mean the military waste so much money. I still remember to lampshades went in one box and that was it and that we had for the little amount that we had it took up a whole half of a big moving van. It was unbelievable.

09:59 So we stayed in a motel that night and

10:04 Didn't get any sleep because it was graduation at Harvard and Boston University and all the colleges around the head at all. Pretty much the same day and your party is going on below us above us and on both sides and with a newborn and I was like every 2 hours and I literally had to drive down to Newport because my mother I can measure could not try to stick and we had to stop once on the road and I thought my mother survived having twins in 1942.

10:43 When there wasn't really a dryer and there was all the the whole restriction on what what you can buy. I thought I will somehow manage my car and we're going into the Navy and I just decided then I was going to be a strong person, you know, and

11:06 That's it.

11:09 So, how did you choose my name?

11:13 Calling that was hard was hard with all three of you girls. We got pushed. I mean Helen to Old fuddy-duddy name Hazel is even worse Virginia. There's I just didn't like it that would lend itself to a nickname and I just wanted to choose names that never lent themselves to nicknames that other kids could twist and

11:45 All about that time, you know, I haven't gone through the Cold War and Russia everything about Russia was just kind of an ugly being a bad connotations and yet there's so much history back there and we had a very good friend Ingersoll install who

12:09 If you have friends that were named Sonia, but it was Sonja and I like that store that sound but I didn't want it because we have no Scandinavian ancestry. So I looked up and saw that.

12:28 There was a Russian derivation and it just sounded sounded good and strong and that's that's what I wanted out of you. I was just hoping that you would and you have you have become a very strong.

12:48 Forceful independent woman, so maybe the nickname and everything else helped. Thank you.

12:57 How about what is one of your favorite memories of me as a child?

13:04 Well with you. There are a lot.

13:14 How can I say I life with you was never adult never never never the one that everyone knows and I didn't realize that the time that you were an artist.

13:29 You painted your younger sister with the green pain because I was out yakking to Miriam segun across the road to you know, she would come across the road. She would come on the property because of Gunther and all of a sudden my great ESP kicked in and I thought oh my God, I left a can of paint in the paintbrush ran up and I'm there.

13:57 Kendra never moved at 9 months. You had totally painted her hair face, except the eyes and then you didn't stick the paid brush up the nose. But yeah, you totally painted her and I freaked out the only good thing is that was the beginning of latex paint, so we were able to wash

14:19 I just regret that I didn't take a picture because now all it is is just the story but it still makes for a

14:30 A funny situation and little did I realize how to do it before the other is that you used to love to take your clothes out on the hangers. I don't want to see your aclotheshorse, but you would hang it on this little tree that I had planted in the backyard and Greenwood Street Newton Centre and the wind would just kind of the clothes would just kind of dance and I could always count on you.

15:06 Being out there hanging your clothes not too dry. But just to show them off or something while it was color of the you know, and I have to say is that

15:19 You were

15:21 Around 2 maybe two and a half.

15:25 When this

15:28 When that occurred

15:32 Other times

15:35 You would get into trouble, but I always never really thought of you as

15:47 Adult child having had a twin brother who led the way and sometimes getting into trouble but

16:01 Teenage years or tough.

16:05 But everyone really really likes you.

16:11 Teachers kids all your teammates, but you know, there's one in a family that has to be defiant and it was after I had

16:25 You each had your own room.

16:28 Because you had taken the masking tape and had taped off your territory as long room and

16:39 You thought that you were really smart and the other two being what they are and lacking in that ability to not think ahead. But just I don't know what's it's because you're an interior design and in it dealing with function and such you had drawn the steps that of the masking tape down the room that you forgot a common walkway. So

17:13 You were all in your

17:16 Kind of cells with an Isabella escape to get out. I like you jumped from one, but that was not what either and if you wanted you were in your territory, so that's when I ended up talking to her to Bill to Papa and said I think the time has come we've got to split that the kids but you and Nicole would set up and read really late at night and kill who's crash so that there were two factors that caused us to split rooms. So then in your teenage years

17:51 You decided that you the paneling in that room was really boring, which I admit but it cost a lot of money and we weren't going to tear down.

18:04 Or

18:06 Well, I guess it would have to be torn down you would know that and put plaster up get out stuck out what whatever so you passed the you taped the entire room with posters and all sorts of teenage. I found pictures.

18:24 Yeah, I just found pictures of all of those of all my walls. I took pictures of my walls and I just love to say that I found him some going through all my stuff from recovery Union. Do I have all the pictures you took pictures again? It's just something in my brain. Anyway, and you were the messiest of the three girls. The clothes were everywhere and the only way I got you to clean your room as I mentioned that it had been possible it because we couldn't even clean it.

19:05 That probably spiders and bugs were crawling in there. And since you are horrified of spiders I got you but I always made my bed. Yes, you did makes your bed. And now you are the neatest and the the child Kendra. That was the neatest.

19:25 Is now the messiest although Nicole is coming up. She's pretty close to being messy to anyway, you know, it's it is absolute flip flop what occurs in

19:38 Your teenage years just is no guarantee that that's how I hear you're going to really really attend to your personal activities in your your life spear your space and I just keep thinking of that.

19:59 If you have another question for you, if you could do everything again, would you raise me differently?

20:08 And with your 20/20 hindsight.

20:13 I don't think so. But you've turned out I had to ask, you know, we're really proud of you for what you've accomplished. I think the fact that

20:30 I just always said and and Grammy my mother, you know mentioned to you. Yeah, how embarrassed she was that she never went to college and that's one of the few things that I did find out that it was years and years after I'd gone to college how

20:52 She wasn't that a scholarship to the Art Institute. She didn't get because her father did not believe in college education for girls and that $5,000 that would have cost. You know was turned into Apartments, you know? Yeah, she got money for that.

21:18 Part of 30-40 years maybe more real until he died until the whole situation was change. That was her money. And that's how she ended up buying all the Antiques that she did write. No, I I I I think she turned out beautiful and as we get older,

21:38 You're the one that we count on more to him the other two.

21:45 Yeah, yeah. Yes. Yes.

21:49 Aiea

21:52 I don't mind it.

21:54 I don't I don't at all. I actually enjoy that you guys ask me for more help and I think that's just kind of the the thing of being the firstborn. So I'm honored actually that I get to help you out and do things like that.

22:11 So you must be pretty proud of all three of us since we did our college and all three of us have Masters that is fairly rare it is.

22:21 So I've got some other of course questions.

22:26 Are you concerned that I'm not married nor do I have children?

22:33 Not at all. In fact, it's it's funny. You know, you've had boyfriends which I have.

22:42 Really liked what I

22:47 And I've agreed with why you've broken up with him or the relationship hasn't gone very far.

22:56 To be really happy isn't necessarily a real need to have to have dinner a living.

23:06 Boyfriend

23:09 Or partner or whatever. It's

23:14 No, I've I've never really pushed and I know you haven't that's been one of the thing that has been really nice. You've never I get questions because all of my friends absolutely adore you and I can't believe that quote. You can't find a guy that and I go there is time. You know I said she is just over qualified for a lot of the guys that are real jerks or nice and she isn't going to to carry them then I'll break and she has enough sense to realize it's you know that it's a partnership. It's not a kind of a piggyback thing that then

24:02 I'm not too sure lucky girl would would like some of it.

24:08 I don't know about them kids ain't worried about that. I don't have kids. No I date.

24:20 Oh, I think personally that you have to be married to have kids cuz I just think that's important. So that what time does. Yeah, yeah.

24:32 It's just another safety. You know, it's one of those.

24:37 Old traditions but I think you seen a lot of your friends go through in a questionable marriages and then the women get saddled with the guys and I saw that on my line of Social Work headsets and terrible and the kids really are suffering and that's that's the problem with a lot of the children in school. Now. I know I'm not saying you are making it up but I think you are without a doubt and a lot of my friends say the same thing, but they know your relationship with Ben and Alex that you are the most fantastic auntie.

25:18 Flash Nanny that has ever been around, you know, I truly don't know what Tad and Kendra would do without you, you know a day. The classic was Ben wanted a bed in his new pitch for Angie's Sonia that was pretty funny. He asked me today if I was moving in. I told him I couldn't I said, I have my own house with lucky girl and that was that was a a stress for him. But I think he's going to be okay. He has my Lego people now so he'll be all right when I go people.

25:56 Who was the most important person in your life and what can you tell me about him or her?

26:05 Well, it's interesting I think with

26:09 The majority of women and that is my case is the mothers and yet

26:18 I see some of my I drive my strength has come for my mother and the Porta to dance but a certain organization.

26:34 Has come to my Father which I never really realized until I was much older because he was away all the time and

26:45 Traveling it was just part of what?

26:49 Aspiring business corporate people did in the

26:56 40 is the 50s and the 60s.

27:01 I really did not know him that well.

27:06 Which is truly sad knew very little about him.

27:10 Is that one of the reasons why you really chose Papa? Because you knew he would be more involved with us.

27:19 I was out of town because he came from a family where his grandparents, you know, it was it was one of those things that you know, and

27:33 Bill loved you know, when when you were little the two of you often times you would sit on his lap and watch Sesame Street, and now when he would come home and don't forget Star Trek and Star Trek. Yes.

27:50 Yes. Yeah, but he saw the relationship that was needed.

27:59 At very early age and how I did say that my dad would take my twin brother and Bob and I to where you work tonight when we were in Salt Lake and we loved it. I mean the big secretarial room with all the typewriters, you know, it was in case I still can't even tell you what direction of the room went but there was impression. So I said was that what what job was that for Grandpa Tri-State Lumber Company in Salt Lake and with that?

28:41 I didn't insist but I really hinted strongly my way of doing things to him how important it would be that the girls got to stay where he worked because when we when he was in residency in Boston, I would call you guys in on Sunday for Sunday dinner with Eden the cafeteria, but you never got to see the floor. So when we moved here when you were you were six and Kendra was for 4, and then Nicole has to he would make a special effort to take one or two of you Patrick Lee you and Kendra when he made rounds up in the hospital. I remember it and I'll remember that. I mean the thought of germs and all of that but the patients left it because

29:40 Orthopedics back then was you were in for a very very long time. So yeah that it is that involvement.

29:50 I know we got sidetracked but the story so what made your decision to move from Boston to Boise when Papa was done with his residency?

30:04 Well, it goes back at Henry Banks who was chief of the Massachusetts General when we were in the Navy had his eye on Papa because of his extreme ability to he just had good hands as what they used to say and you wanted him to go into General Orthopedics and really have almost promised him a job. Then he had a rotation and hand fellowship and that was when he met at Dale, but I mean loved that.

30:44 But we could see what was happening in Harvard with the liberalization of medicine and the big push and we started talking about where we were going to live because living right real close to Boston was so expensive, but the most important thing is that we were losing touch with the two mothers because the grandfathers were gone for you guys, and we just assess the situation and

31:19 He was offered a job a good position here. And we decided we needed to come come back home. I guess that's the best way to put it is we came back home, even though I guess it never been here and I do have to say it was so important for us to wait till after my 6th birthday. That's right. You remember who you remember? Absolutely. That was so important.

31:46 Has your life been different than what you imagined it would be growing up.

31:53 You know, it's um, I seem to just kind of

31:59 Live in the present

32:02 And sort of sort of plan in a lot of help start lots of organization since such here in Boise, but I am not an unrealistic Dreamer.

32:17 Growing up. I never thought I'd leave Salt Lake we moved here and I love Boise and yet there were constraints and it was really kind of enough for teenagers.

32:33 Just beginning of the sixties in the Catholic school. We were beginning to be rebellious and

32:45 I can hardly wait to get out of Boise. Yeah, but love living in Seattle. It's one of my favorite cities talked your papa into taking internship in Boston because I done that summer of working in New York City and had on my way home. I want to see Boston spend just one day and fell in love with it and he got he got accepted into the Cambridge City hospital and that's how we love the East Coast.

33:24 But there's every time we now fly out of Boise. I'm really happy to be going somewhere. But when we come home, I'm really happy to be here. I think it's just a perfect perfect place to raise children and family is very important. I think you realize because Scott and Monica are moving here because my cousins are like cousins. Yeah, are there any words of wisdom he like to pass along to me.

34:03 Be happy.

34:06 I enjoy each day.

34:09 Be strong.

34:12 Have your dreams?

34:18 Have those colors floating in your head.

34:22 Not close on a tree not close on a tree keep gardening, of course so I can come and pack tie. You showed me the pink lilac tree and I thought yes, she she's now.

34:37 Introducing plants and trees and touch to me that I didn't even know existed my Tinkerbelle lilac. Yeah. Yeah, even your papa said that was only put one of those I said, well just might find a spot there was something I was going to tell you.

34:56 I just

35:00 I just am so proud of you.

35:02 Thanks, Mom.

35:05 Love you.