Theresa Hogan and Maureen Schlacter

Recorded May 14, 2008 Archived May 14, 2008 01:19:35
0:00 / 0:00
Id: NPL000300


Theresa Hogan tells memories of her happy life growing up in Canada to her daughter, Maureen Schlater.

Subject Log / Time Code

Theresa recalls her parents moving to Niagara Falls, Canada.
Theresa details becoming a nurse in Toronto.
Theresa meets her husband in 1947 after graduating from nursing school.
Theresa speaks of WWII and the boys in her class who went to war and some who died.
Theresa feels proud of her 16 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.


  • Theresa Hogan
  • Maureen Schlacter

Recording Locations

Nashville Public Library


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00:22 My name is Maureen Hogan schlachter. I am 57 years old today is May 14th. 2008. I'm at the Nashville Public Library with my mom.

00:36 My name is Theresa Hogan. My I'm 85 years old. I'm its May 14th 2008. I met public library in Nashville, Tennessee that and I've been visiting here for 3 weeks.

00:58 And Maureen is my daughter.

01:02 Okay.

01:05 Who was the most important person in your life?

01:09 There are so many but

01:12 I would say I have to give it to two people my mother and dad.

01:18 Can you tell me more about them will my mom?

01:21 Was a wonderful person she was

01:27 Very industrious never complained about a thing.

01:32 And grew up on a farm only went to the 8th grade, but she was very smart.

01:39 Went to work when she was 12.

01:47 But then he studied read a lot.

01:53 And became got a job in Ottawa Canada and met my father and got married later.

02:04 Doing today how they met. Well, he was a farmer to but he lived in Ottowa and but his mother had a farm in Hull Quebec and that for they neck but my mother was 25 when she got married and they stayed in Hull Quebec.

02:24 For a few years but then moved to Niagara Falls Ontario where I was born and you know why they move their well the farming business didn't

02:36 Do much didn't bring in much money and they had my sister first and decided they'd better go to a city where they had relatives and them my dad could find a job.

02:52 So what is your best memory of your childhood?

02:55 Was a lot of fun because my mother.

02:58 Came from a large family and they all moved to Niagara Falls, Ontario except five.

03:06 Anda but there were 11 in the family so I was surrounded by aunts and uncles and it was a small town we were only about

03:16 25000

03:20 And of course, we're at on the Canadian side, which is so beautiful, and it was just

03:29 A very happy childhood. They have so many people around that helped us grow up and it was a different life than we have today. What would a typical day been like when you were a child?

03:48 Well, we played outside all the time and you were safe and we had very very many.

04:00 Children in our area and we were able to go outside and play.

04:07 And come back for lunch.

04:12 Of course, we were older by then, but you were still maybe three or four and you could be outside playing all day and your mother would be inside doing the jobs that were necessary to keep the how any my father would work and it was just a lot of fun and we never knew who'd be there for lunch. One of my my mother being the oldest and my grandmother lived all about five blocks away, but she wasn't well in those days. My grandmother died when she was about 50, which was sad, but

04:49 We were just outside playing and you had you might even go to your aunt's for lunch or they'd come over and have lunch with you and we didn't have a lot to play with but we make up games Hopscotch in that sort of thing. And then if mother had time we could walk down to the river and see and go with a cousin or somebody like that. But it was just and we rode bikes played Hopscotch jump rope just the easy things, but we were and of course we just had a radio. So of course we were out and we didn't have a telephone till I think.

05:34 How about five years after they got married? I know you love to play cards. When did you start playing cards? Well at once because

05:46 If you didn't learn to play cards you were a pest.

05:51 To the older people and them

05:54 So they always would like to sit on your lap to learn how to play cards and my grandma and grandpa. My sister and I how to play Euchre.

06:04 And we played all the time and then of course we play the simple games, but everybody played cards and of course, we had a lot of music in those days my uncles all played the guitar and sang and played the violin and then of course everybody danced we danced every Saturday night at somebody's house and my mother always said if you can walk you can dance so we learn to dance very very very young.

06:37 We just had a lot of fun and of course the aunts and uncles were so supportive.

06:49 I know you went away to school in Toronto. What made you decide to become a nurse?

06:54 Well, I always wanted to be a nurse.

06:58 And of course, so we talked about it all the time and in those days.

07:06 It was the girls usually just learned how to type her.

07:11 Take shorthand.

07:15 Undo that sort of thing, but I always wanted a further education and my mother and dad and my aunts and uncles

07:23 They always encouraged us to do the best week we could.

07:28 And you had a lot of support back then there wasn't tell him.

07:32 This thing's getting all A's or that sort of thing you were you did the best you can.

07:39 And what got what?

07:43 The limit that God gave you and you were taught to be polite manners were great thing back then when anybody came into the house you got out of your chair and greeted them and you might even ask them do they want a cup of tea and we were very respectful we were

08:11 My mother and dad never wanted to hear a say anything against the teacher. And so therefore if you were in trouble unless the teacher wrote a note, but she never did it was like

08:25 What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? Well, whatever happened at school stayed at school and never did my mother and dad have to go to math to go to school. And of course religion was a big thing. We were Catholics and

08:42 So we were we had had a cousin from day one and church was a big deal.

08:50 And because of the depression

08:56 I think everyone was close closer than they are today. Everybody helped each other. Even if you were poor you help somebody that was

09:07 4

09:09 And that's just the way it was.

09:15 After you graduated I Dyno. I've heard stories of how you met dad. But I'd like to hear that. I don't know how soon it was after your graduation from nursing school. Well, I graduated from nursing school. And of course I had to go to wait to Toronto from Niagara Falls to Toronto, Canada.

09:37 To go to nursing school and we went it was Saint Michaels.

09:43 College Hospital, and it was a wonderful was run by the sisters of Saint Joseph and they were already college graduates before they became nuns.

09:58 And they were just wonderful and very very bright and they ran the hospital the doctors were afraid of them. Believe me. And of course we were

10:09 But I'm I Met Your Dad at sea.

10:15 Graduated in 44 and I might met him in 47 so prior to that. I had worked in the hospital and in a factory as a registered nurse, and then we had we had to work this shift work. Of course.

10:35 Nights were very terrible. But we had to do our turn every week every 3rd week you changed your shift which was hard but we were young and didn't know any better. We thought we had good jobs because we were paid every week and when you're raised during a depression, you think you're rich if you get a paycheck every week.

10:58 So and then I went away to New York City for 6 months for a postgraduate course.

11:06 And then came back and work in the hospital again, and then I met your father and married him and moved to the United States in 1947.

11:19 But I'd like to add that when I trained as a nurse.

11:24 It was before penicillin.

11:28 So it was a lot different than today the nurses of today are much more technical.

11:35 But I think in doing so we've lost a lot of bedside nursing which is sad, but that's the way it is and there is much more expected of the nurse today then when I trained and when I worked, but we were darn good nurses regardless.

11:58 What do you think is the biggest difference between nursing then and nursing now?

12:03 Well much more is expected of a nurse when I nursed we had to learn intravenous and all that but the doctor was closer to the patient then the doctor is today.

12:19 We were expected to tell the doctor and he signs that he didn't catch up on but today the doctor expects.

12:31 For instance. They expect you to know lung sounds Etc. And I think that is more. I don't think you can learn that in four years.

12:44 I think that's still up to the doctor and I I wish they would get back to more personal care of their patients. And of course the nurse is too but because of lawsuits it's very important that the nurse has to stay behind your desk so much and that is all our faults. We all allowed all this to happen.

13:08 Do people have to step up and if there's if they don't like something do something about it?

13:15 You mentioned earlier when after you got married you moved to the United States. Was that a difficult move to make from Canada?

13:23 Well, I think my aunt's. It was because I had to move from Niagara Falls Ontario to Detroit Michigan and they thought that was too.

13:34 Worst place in the world for a little young lady like myself and I didn't think it was and it wasn't it turned out to be wonderful, but it was it was bad because I had had to be in Toronto and then New York, so I had been away from home a lot.

13:56 But

13:58 No, because I guess I was in love and didn't know any better. Did it seem

14:05 Difficult to go to a different country or was it enough the same that it really didn't matter that much will back then it wasn't hard. You didn't need a passport. All you need is identification and but of course, I I couldn't become a citizen for 5 years, but I studied it in after 5 years. I was able to take the exam but the beauty of my move was that my husband had a wonderful family. And so I already had

14:37 It was a plus because he had

14:40 Two sisters and a brother and they were all very close and his mother and of course I had known as mother and father.

14:49 When they came to Niagara Falls I met them so I knew them ahead of time. Can you talk more about what you're early married years were like

14:59 Well, I only worked a year.

15:04 And then

15:07 I became pregnant with my first child. And so I quit my husband did not believe.

15:15 Married women especially pregnant women working and at that time, I don't think there was anybody on our street and a married woman on our street who went out to work outside the home there was a lot of work to do at home because we didn't have them.

15:36 Washers or dryers like they have today and of course we didn't have the distractions of of the TV. I call that a distraction and also the computer and cell phones. I won't go on because you'll get tired of listening to me. So what would you do as a young married couple but they on the weekend or with your friends?

16:04 I will usually the men usually work till at least 5 or 6 at night so

16:13 And they didn't get time off the way personal time Etc that men get today you were expected to be on the job.

16:24 No matter what was happening at home, which was good because it made women much stronger than they are today. I know women go out to work today, which is admirable but we had to make all the decisions for instance if a child.

16:42 Felon cut his head you would take him to the doctor by yourself and take care of the situation. So you were very busy during that the wheat the week because your husband work 5 days a week and sometimes Saturday morning. So Saturdays and Sundays were home. You didn't you didn't usually well you to go to a movie or we danced a lot. Usually Saturday nights before children, you go out to a movie or dinner dancing and then Sunday was always church. And of course, I was raised where you didn't do anything on Sunday, but

17:29 Go to church and read the paper go for a walk or go swimming you could do so you could go swimming, but that was about it you didn't call for.

17:42 Cut the grass or clean the house you did that during the week.

17:49 We moved a lot as a family. How did you manage that as a as a mother and as a wife it seems like it was always an adventure for us, but it was fun because I had moved.

18:07 When I married

18:09 And that is a plus because it made me a much much stronger than the average person because I didn't have

18:21 I could ask my sister-in-law's or my mother-in-law but it's a lot different than having your mother and father with you to help you with things. So we were very I think we were very independent family and we had a lot of fun. I was raised where we had fun with in the family. You didn't have to go to a weekend retreat or anything. They have fun you had it within your with your friends or your family.

18:55 And of course, my husband was transferred.

18:59 And in those days usually if you said no you lost your job. So you just went and I found early in life that if I wasn't happy.

19:13 Nobody was happy and so you put on a brave face and you do what you have to do, but I had wonderful children and they were raised not to be selfish.

19:25 And they didn't even tell us.

19:29 That that nobody said they didn't want to move they said they knew they had to move they missed their chilled their fam their excuse me their friends, but it was an adventure and of course the company moved us so they did the packing and but it was a job and then my mother usually came and helped after we got settled or my mother-in-law her father-in-law him you had the support of your family.

20:03 What are the most important lessons you've learned in your life? Oh my

20:11 The most important was to be patient, which I didn't have all the time and

20:18 The lessons I learned.

20:21 From my family and I had an extended family my uncles and aunts.

20:29 Would tell you

20:31 If they thought you weren't doing what you're supposed to do and you listened but they didn't nag like people do today. They didn't tell you that you were.

20:44 You're supposed to be at a job like this if you wanted to be a

20:48 A secretary be a secretary if you wanted to be a nurse be a nurse but be a damn good one and don't complain don't complain but I think morals we were expected my father used to say.

21:05 You could have all the money in the world. But if you lose your self-respect.

21:12 You don't have anything so he taught us and my mother car has to be.

21:19 Honest and if you cease and don't ever pick on anybody don't ever think you're better than anybody don't be a snob and of course.

21:34 You had to

21:37 If you did something wrong, you had to pay the consequences and I think that's what's wrong today parents make excuses for their kids. And if you want to say no to them say no.

21:49 Don't beat around the bush and tell him why and

21:54 But and we were taught to have respect for other people.

21:59 And to be just

22:03 Anda and of course I have faith in in your religion, whatever that maybe it could not be I was raised Catholic but my mother and dad respected all religions and I think that's so important today.

22:22 What would you say? We're the happiest times of your life or a lot?

22:30 I just can't put it into words.

22:36 My marriage

22:46 And my children

22:48 And I've been open do 18 years.

22:52 And I still feel married.

22:56 And that's not to say I look down on anyone who hasn't felt like this. This is the way I feel.

23:05 And whatever is important to you you do.

23:10 And but make other people happy.

23:14 And I tried.

23:16 But my family and my children.

23:22 Are beautiful people

23:25 And I had to

23:27 A wonderful life and I was lucky.

23:31 To get such a good husband.

23:34 And everyone loved him. Can you share some of your happy memories with Dad?

23:41 Lacrosse meeting him

23:43 And getting married

23:47 Get engaged in 5 days.

23:50 And married in 4 months, but back then it was easy because Frances I couldn't get a wedding dress. It was after the World War II.

24:03 And the saddest part of my life was World War II. I want to mention that because I was only 18.

24:13 Every boy in my class, but two went to Europe.

24:20 And that they didn't all come back and some that come back.

24:27 To committed suicide

24:31 And others had their back then we didn't know about support sessions Etc. They just had to

24:42 Live as best they could and it was very very hard.

24:47 But that was the saddest part of my life and my cousin.

24:53 Was killed in the World War I and many of my friends my sisters.

25:03 Fiance was killed in that was very very sad. And I must say my sister's been.

25:10 The best which I only had one sister no brothers, and she was

25:17 Only 17 months older than I so it was like we were Twins and to this day I go back to Canada.

25:25 And we always go out with

25:28 No it 85. A lot of my friends are dead. You must realize that but I still have a lot of friends still alive and playing cards Bridge Etc has really been a lot of fun and

25:45 And of course my knitting and all those things but

25:50 Still having my sister live in Canada and I go back there and see all my old friends and nieces and nephews.

26:02 And of course, I must mention my grandchildren my 16 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. Everybody is a pride in my life.

26:14 What did you and your sister do together as children everything everything and

26:23 And just like today you don't tell your parents all the trouble you get into but the trouble we got into it was like she fell out of the

26:33 Tree tree tree top

26:36 And she must have been unconscious wake up and we didn't tell my mother and dad.

26:45 And death but we just played it would we would go all over the city on our roller skates, and of course, isn't that wonderful but today?

26:57 That can't be done. We was do the rent money card back. Then I didn't drive a car till I was on the car till I got married and I was 26 years old, but back was my sister. We could go all over town.

27:13 Anna roller skates or then we'll be got older our bicycles.

27:18 And we went to a lot of ball games because the boys were cute and them.

27:25 We went swimming.

27:27 And of course every Sunday we'd all walk downtown. Down to the falls and meet all our friends because we couldn't play and there were Saturday's we would you always went to a movie on a Saturday because for $0.25 you could have a double feature.

27:49 And them but we went to a lot of dances that was a big thing with boys and girls then and and of course we played every sport imaginable. We all played baseball even if you weren't any good.

28:06 And them

28:08 Then later on in high school, we played tennis and basketball.

28:19 But my sister and I were very close. But until we were in high school, we didn't have the same friends. We had a closer friends together in high schools in grade school, but you'd play with everybody went back and forth right after school. And then you have to go into your homework and get to bed early and we had a lot more sleep than people today then the kids today because there wasn't that much to do you could listen to the radio.

28:57 At night or read course the library during the Depression was their big salvation because you didn't buy books you just

29:09 Went to the library and read them and that was another home for you was your library and of course your church was a big thing. And of course we in Canada, we ice skate during the winter every Saturday night if you weren't dancing you were ice skating.

29:30 So there was a lot of physical activity much more than the kids have today. You were always outside playing.

29:38 You mentioned the War years were you out of high school during that time working or Inn in ironto? I was too young to go to Toronto to st. Michael's.

29:54 Because I wasn't 18 yet. So.

29:58 Isaiah I worked in a bank for

30:06 Oh about half a year and then I could go to school but at 18 every the war started for me. And as I said, it was really sad that so many died, but it was a necessary War. How did the war change your your life? I will be here about rationing but we don't know all the rest is well, I was lucky there too. Because when you're in the hospital and you don't have rationing you had tea you had sugar you had everything you needed except nylon stockings, of course, but and of course in Toronto via public transportation, nobody had a car.

30:58 And gum because gas was rationed and so we didn't have to worry about if you didn't have a car but we had to streetcar and things like that. But my mother of course when I would go home on vacation, she couldn't bake everything. She wanted to everything was rationed and I just had to do without

31:25 But as I say at the four years I was in Toronto. I didn't have to worry about it that much because we had everything at the hospital that we needed and I was in a dorm connected to the hospital so we had

31:41 Things that we need it but I know other people suffered.

31:49 Oh my goodness. It was wonderful. My son was born first and 7:15 months later. You were 18 19 months later more and Maureen was born and it was such a joyous occasion and my mother-in-law took my son and kept her kept him. I was in the hospital 15 days. So I had this because everybody was so I had 15 days alone with my daughter except when my husband would come and my mother

32:27 Because then you were expected only to have that much company because you had to rest and it was such a joyous occasion because I could spend all my time with my daughter and in the car. She was a very good baby. I think I can't remember but you had very good care. You weren't allowed. I didn't drive a car. I had to wait six weeks before I could even drive a car after she was born and and she and my son we had five children, but the first two are very close because

33:14 They played together that was the beauty of having two children. So close together and he has always been very kind to her. Although he isn't around as much as heat girls seem to be around their mother is a lot more than boys, but she was a great joy to us and then we had three other daughters later in life.

33:43 I guess wrapping up. What would you say you're proudest of in your life?

33:49 I think of being a good person.

33:54 As good as I could be.

33:57 To everybody and I think

34:02 The fact that my mother and dad were so proud of me made me very happy.

34:15 And I'm proud of the way my children have turned out.

34:20 And of course my grandchildren

34:24 At my age to have all this love and care.

34:30 Is exceptional

34:32 Everybody tells me how lucky I am.

34:36 But I'm the person that knows I'm the luckiest person in the world.

34:44 And I must mention my daughter love.

34:48 Mi for do I have M for son's in-laws?

34:53 They couldn't be more generous and more loving.

34:58 And there I am so proud of all of them.

35:03 And I want them to know how much I love them.

35:09 It will always keep them in my heart.

35:15 They've made nightlife most enjoyable.

35:21 And they should all be proud of themselves.

35:25 And these

35:28 I can't say more.

35:34 And anybody that tells me in my life, I thank them.

35:38 Do you have a special memory of each one of us kids that you can share?

35:46 Can I put share by each one of you? Let's see now.

35:55 What specific would you like Mario anyting anything? You can think of of each one of us 2?

36:03 That we would be able that. We wouldn't know maybe oh

36:08 Well, I'm sure Tom of course boys don't.

36:16 Call as much or talk as much.

36:23 As the girls, but Tom is absolutely wonderful.

36:27 I don't think I could have made.

36:32 The move to five states

36:36 Without

36:37 Tom

36:40 Because he was a Rock of Gibraltar cuz my husband come home and say I have to be in Wisconsin on Monday, and this would be Friday.

36:51 And when Tom was older he could just take over the whole.

36:57 Household practically and then of course Maureen

37:04 Was next in line and she was just

37:07 Like his right hand man, vice a versa and the two of them together saved my life many of times because my husband would be gone.

37:20 And then Maureen, of course, I was like a little mother.

37:27 Maureen is next. She was like a little mother to pad to an that was born late in life to my husband and I I was 38 and my husband was 45 and was born so Marine helped a lot and then Along Came Patty who was The Quiet One?

37:49 But we didn't know that she was always lurking behind a chair or a wall or a door listening to everything that went on but never would say too much until later in life and she sure says a lot now and she's always been a joy. She's I didn't even realize when I was raising my children that I should worry about the middle one or the oldest one or the second one or the fourth one or the fifth one. I just read them all the same and I thought I you know props to open Lazyron, but I never yelled it Patty cuz she was always so quiet and then Kathleen came along and God love her. I think she talked in uterus. She was always the one that if you had cookies everybody in the neighborhood got cookies, even though she knew I wanted some for

38:48 And then an came along and she always said

38:53 That everybody left her and they did because then, not to college Maureen went off to college and I didn't realize how hard that was on her and I

39:07 Anyway, I like to say I'm sorry to any of them but I did wrong or they didn't if they thought I was too hard on them cuz I thought I was always very easy on them all but they all knew I love them as much as any mother could love anybody, but we sure do know that and

39:27 And I want you to know how proud I am of you and of dad and how

39:34 Now I feel so fortunate to have grown up in our family.

39:40 Thank you. I love you, Mom. Love you, sweetheart.