following was written by Elizabeth (Betty) Moore Julik before her
death in 1994 and before her daughter Corinne's death in 1988.
She did not date it, but I believe it was written in about 1987.
This is dedicated
to my three daughters. I was born March 8, 1923. I was
the 7th child in a family of 9 children. Lillian was the
oldest, Harry, then Jim, Jessie (baby girl born stillborn), Jack,
Betty, Bill and Bud. This is my Story:
It was depression
days but I don't recall thinking that we were poor, but looking back
we were very poor. When I was in 1st grade I had a girlfriend
who lived 2 doors down from us. I would go to her house at
noon to wait for her while she ate lunch and we'd walk back to
school together. She always had a glass of milk with her lunch
everyday and I remember thinking how lucky she was to have milk
everyday because we only had milk on Sundays with our Sunday dinner,
the rest of the week we had water with our meals.
After school I
would go home with her and wait for her until she changed from her
school clothes to her play clothes. She had a whole drawer of
anklets. I had never had even one pair of anklets. We
wore long tan or black stockings that came up to our thighs.
It's funny how little things impress you when you're a child and you
never forget them. She shared a bedroom with her sister, where in our
house there was about 4 of us to each bedroom. Her name was
Lorraine and we remained good friends all through school even though
our family moved about 5 times when I was in grade school. It
turned out she was Valedictorian of her class and Home coming Queen,
nothing like myself. I dropped out of school in the 12th grade
and got married at 19.
Going back to when
I was very young I recall how my two oldest brothers used to get in
so much trouble with the law. Harry and Jim and their friends
would break into the corner grocery store and steal the petty cash
and candy. They were only about 10 or 12 years old then.
One day I was in our bedroom and we had a heat register on the
floor. I was standing over it to keep warm while I got
dressed. I looked down in the register and saw a cigar box.
I took the box out and it was full of pennies. I thought I'd
found a fortune! Just then my brother Jack came in the room
and I showed him what I'd found. He told me to put it back as
it belonged to my brother Jim. He also told me not to tell
anyone about it. A couple of days later the police came to the
house looking Harry and Jim. They had broken into
3 or 4 stores. They arrested them, and my poor mother just sat
there crying. It broke my heart to see her cry. I wanted
to comfort her and thought if I just put my arms around her she'd
feel better. As I look back, they really weren't bad kids but
they were full of the devil.
Our dad worked for
the railroad and was gone for a couple of days at a time. When
he was gone the boys would drive our poor mother crazy. Harry
and Jim would get into fights and have regular fist fights!
They would knock over the lamps and chairs and anything else that
the way when they fought. Poor Mom would stand there and say
"Now you two stop that right now!", but of course they paid no
attention at all. But, it was altogether different when my dad
was home. Everyone was good as could be. We were all
very afraid of him, although he never got after the girls too much,
but he really would give it to Harry and Jim. Jim seemed to
get more beatings than Harry. I think Harry learned how to
stay out of his way, but poor Jim got a beating almost everyday.
I recall one in particular. I don't remember what Jim had done
but sometimes it didn't take much to make my dad mad. My dad
kicked Jim down a flight of stairs and then kept kicking him.
It was terrible! I felt so sorry for Jim. Finally my
mother came in between them. I know she was afraid he'd kill
him as he had a really bad temper. As I look back, I wonder if it
was just too much for him having such a large family to feed and
clothe us all. Sometimes he could be so nice, like at
Christmas. He was always nice to us, we never got a lot for
Christmas but we would get presents. On Christmas morning we'd
all come down to see what Santa left us and we'd head for our
stockings first because we always got an orange, an apple, mixed
nuts and Christmas candy in our stockings. Fruit and candy was
something we saw very little of. I recall one year I
worked for my own Christmas present. In the evening paper they
ran an ad---if you could get 2 people to subscribe to the paper you
would get a "Flossy Flirt Doll". I went out and got the
subscriptions and sent for the doll. My dad said I should wait
and let Santa bring the doll and Santa would put a real pretty dress
on the doll, so I agreed. When I got the doll for Christmas I
was so happy, not realizing I earned the doll on my own. That
was the only thing I received but I was happy with it.
One day my dad took
me with him to a friends house and they played poker. He let me sit
on his lap and he must have been winning because he gave me a nickel
and a couple of pennies. I remember thinking my dad wasn't so
bad after all.
Some friends of my
folks ask me to come to their house spend the night. They
didn't have children and they were so nice to me. The mom took
me to the store and bought me an ice cream cone and as we walked out
of the store the ice cream fell out off the cone. I was broken
hearted as we didn't get treats like that. He took me back in
and got me another so I thought he was really a rich man! I
got along fine until they said it was time to go to bed. Then
the tears came. I was lonesome for home and my mother. I cried
for quite a while and pleaded to go home but I finally fell asleep,
but I was never asked back so I guess they had enough of me. I
just wasn't used to being away from home and I think I was only about 4
When I turned five
I was so thrilled at the thought of finally going to school I got up
and dressed for school the first day way before daylight. I
loved school and my favorite game was "Gray Duck".
When I was about 3
yrs old I knew a lot of the nursery rhymes and my sister Jessie took
me to school with her to recite for her class. I remember
standing up in front of the kids and looking around at the kids, but
I wouldn't say a word. Jessie's teacher finally told her to
bring me to the kindergarten room where my brother Jack was. When
Jessie got me out in the hall she jerked my arm, scolded me and said
"Now my teacher thinks I'm lying, that you really don't know them"!
But, I didn't care, I enjoyed playing in the kindergarten class.
When I was in about
3rd grade our teacher instructed all the girls to stay after class.
She gave us a penmanship test. The next day when we came to
class I was told to go the principals office. The principal
said to me, "Aren't you ashamed of yourself"? Of course I
asked why. She told me that someone had written on the walls in
the girls bathroom and my handwriting matched it so they had decided
I had done it. Well I hadn't done it but she wouldn't believe
me and I started crying. She said crying won't help.
When I got home I told my mother about it but she said to just
forget about it. I felt so bad because I was innocent and no
one believed me. Being unjustly accused of something, well you
never forget it.
Jessie came home
from school one day and told my dad she couldn't go back to school
until she had a new pair of shoes. Well my dad went storming
into her classroom and jumped all over the teacher, but the teacher
hadn't said a word. Jessie made it up. She thought it
would be a good way to get new shoes. When she got home all
she got was a good spanking!
When I was in the
6th grade the school nurse called me to her office and had me try on
a couple of coats, they were her daughters and were too small for
her. She offered them to me as they did fit me but I said "Oh I
don't need them". I told her to give them to someone who
really needed them. I said I had a lot of good coats at home.
When I came home for lunch she had called my mother about them.
Mom was so mad at me because I really needed them, but I was too
proud to accept them.
Growing up with 5
brothers I learned to play baseball and hockey and I got so I was as
good as the boys. When I was around 10 years old I would go
ice skating at Minnehaha Creek. I didn't have my own skates so
I would use my brother Jim's skates. Of course they were way
too big for me so I left my shoes on and then put the skates on.
I took a lot of spills but I finally learned to skate with them.
I finally got a pair of my own and I entered a skating contest.
I took 1st place and was told to come back the next Saturday for the
finals. The grand prize was a bike, which I really wanted to
win! I came back on Saturday but there wasn't anyone there.
I never did know if they purposely told me the wrong day or if I
made a mistake, but there went my dream of a bike of my own.
I went to Bryant
Jr. High school and they had a swimming pool which was nice as not
many of the other Jr. High's had pools. I won 3 blue ribbons
in the swimming meets. I had to give my brother Jim the credit
for my swimming ability because he showed me how to dive and taught
me how to swim. He spent hours teaching me. I was quite
a tom-boy then. You would never guess it now.
I got a job when I
was 14 years old working for a woman called Mrs. Eddy. She and
her husband had no family but they entertained a lot. They
lived across the street from the Rose Gardens on Dupont Avenue and
40th. We lived on 39th and Blaisdell so I could walk there
after school. She had a bike that I could ride to work but by
this time I thought I was too grown up to ride a bike so I would
walk. I earned $2.00 a week and I vacuumed, dusted, washed
floors, dishes, cleaned cupboards and served meals every day. She
would make the evening meal and then go join her husband in the
living room. Then I would ring the dinner bell and they'd go
into dinner and I'd serve it. When they had guests for dinner
I had to put on a uniform and serve the meals. I recall the
upstairs in their house. They had 3 bedrooms. There was
"his room", "her room" and "their room". That always struck me
funny. When they entertained a large crowd they hired a
caterer and I would help serve too. Mrs. Eddy was a good cook
and she made a lot of fancy hor'deurves, some of which I still make
myself. I had to do their ironing too and when I started I
didn't know how to fold things right. She showed me how to
fold the tablecloths so that the corners matched perfectly and the
same with Mr. Eddy's handkerchiefs, the corners had to match too or
I did them over. When she did dishes she rinsed them in hot water.
I went home and told my mother she wasn't doing dishes right, as we
never rinsed them, just dried them. I learned a lot of things
from Mrs. Eddy, such as how to set the table right. I think
Mom got fed up with me sometimes because I was always correcting the
way she did things. I earned my money, but she did teach me
things I've never forgotten.
I saw a spring coat
in a store window that I wanted so badly and I was telling Mrs. Eddy
about it. She offered to advance me the money so I could get
it right away, but I had to work for nothing until it was paid off.
I was so thrilled! It was the first new coat I'd ever had.
It was a princess style with a white peter pan collar and white
cuffs. I have a picture of myself somewhere in the coat.
I felt so elegant! I made most of my clothes with the money I
earned. Material was anywhere from 10 cents to 50 cents a yard
then. I finally got tired of working after about 2 years and
gave her my notice, but she didn't want me to quit until she could
find someone to replace me. She didn't seem to be trying too
hard to find anyone so I finally said I had to stay home and help my
mother. After a few months I got tired of not having any
money so I got another job, this time it was for a Jewish family and
they had one boy about 9 years old. He was a spoiled brat!
I earned $3.00 a week and worked after school cleaning up the boys
room, which was always a mess. He had about 200 comic books and he'd
scatter them all over his room. I'd get them all picked up and
he'd do it again. I ate my supper there but I ate in the
kitchen and they ate in the dining room. They ate on China
dishes but mine were old cracked dishes. I was to do the
dishes after supper. So, the first day I worked there I asked
where the soap was for the dishes. she got so upset with me
because Jewish people do not use soap on their dishes. They
scrubbed them good then ran hot water on them. They didn't used soap
as it had animal fat in it and it was against their religion.
I had to iron clothes everyday. I even had to iron the boys
underwear. When I first took the job it was to do dishes and
look after the little boy, but as time went on she had me doing
everything so I quit that job too. I did a lot of babysitting
for people for 50 cents a night and many times I didn't get paid at
On my 16th birthday
I had to go over to my sister Jessie's house to take care of her
baby. Jackie was only a few months old and Jessie had the flu.
She was always sick with something. About a week before
Thanksgiving she got really sick and was taken to the hospital.
The doctors only gave her a few months to live. She had a bad
heart and damaged kidneys as a result of Rheumatic Fever when she
was young. While she was in the hospital I took little Jackie
downtown and had his picture taken in the machine that they had at
the dime store. I brought her the pictures and she was so
pleased with them. She never did see him again, she died in
Jan 1939, just two months before Jackie's 2nd birthday. Jessie was
only 21 when she died. She had a short and I guess not a very
happy life. When Jessie was about 15 years old she went to a
movie with a fellow who was supposedly a friend of my brother
Harry's. After the movie they went to his house where a friend of
his joined them. There wasn't anyone else in the house and Jessie
said she had to go home. They wouldn't let her leave and one
of them held her down and the other one raped her. When she
finally got home she told my folks what happened. She was
covered with bruises and scratches as a result of trying to fight
them off. They were charged with assault and rape and were sent
to St. Cloud reformatory. Jessie was pregnant and carried this
baby full-term, but the baby was stillborn. It was a little
girl. She grieved for the baby for quite some time but being
young she finally got over it. Some years later she married a
man named Jack Palmer who was a lousy husband. She became
pregnant again and he chased with other woman and worked very
little. Little Jackie really was the only good thing that
brought her happiness. My father never liked her husband
because he knew what kind of person he was. When Jackie was 10
months old Jessie and Jack and the baby came for Christmas dinner.
My father jumped all over her husband and told him to leave.
He said Jessie and the baby could stay but her husband was not
welcome. Well, all hell broke loose, a fist fight started
between my father and Jack. Someone stepped in and stopped
them and Jessie turned on my father saying that if her husband
wasn't welcome she was leaving too. She also told my father
that she never wanted to see him again. She never came
again unless my father wasn't home. It was just a year later when
she lay dying in the hospital. I knew she wanted to make up
with my father, and he with her, but neither one would admit it so
one day after I had been to see her I told my mother that Jessie had
asked why he (my dad) hadn't come to see her. She really
hadn't said it but she did ask about him, if he was working and
small talk like that. So anyway, I decided if I said she asked
for him that he'd go see her. Well it worked because the next
day he did go to the hospital. The next time I went to see her
she said she was so glad that he had come. I never let on that
I had anything to do with it. She only lived another month.
When we were kids
Jessie and I shared a bed and on the weekends when we didn't have to
go to school my father wouldn't let us get up early. Some times we'd
be awake for hours before he'd allow us to come downstairs. We
would have long talks. Jessie would tell me about her dreams
she'd had that night. She would talk for hours about her
dream---making it up of course as she'd go along --but I believed
the whole thing. She would make up these fabulous stories.
She also told me about our Aunt Jessie's house. She said that
in Aunt Jessie's house the attic was filled with dolls, all kinds of
them. I used to wish I could go over there and see these
dolls. Of course she made it all up too, but I believe it all.
She also told me that my Uncle Bud (my mother's brother) was
electrocuted fixing an electric wire as he was an electrician.
For years I believed that was how he died. Some years later I
asked my mother about him and she said he had pneumonia.
Jessie really enjoyed telling me tall tales!
My brother Jim was
a great one to tease. I would be listening to Jack Armstrong
or Little Orphan Annie on the radio and Jim would taken one of the
tubes out of the set so I couldn't hear it. Of course if my
dad was home I would tell him what he'd done and he'd make him put
it back. One day Jim came home with some peanut butter and sat
in the kitchen with a spoon and ate the whole thing. We, the
younger kids, pleaded for some but he wouldn't give us even a taste.
A truck over-turned
that was filled with pies. They were scattered all over the
street, cherry pies, apple, blueberry etc. We thought it was
wonderful because the driver said we could have all the ones that
had spilled out in the street. We all had 3 or 4 pies but Jim
had about 8 pies and that night he got really sick! He said he
never wanted to see another pie as along as he lived. (These
were small 5 cent pies).
Down about 4 houses
from ours 2 fellows who had been in the army lived with their
sister. My father had told us to stay away from them because
they were crazy. He said it was because of something that happened
to them when they were in the service. Well, we liked to go
over to their house because they had a phonograph and they'd play
records for us and that was fabulous! One day my brother Jack
and I, and some of the other kids in the neighborhood were there
listening to the records. One of the fellows told us he was
going to show us something. He took a bullet out of his pocket
and drilled a hole in it with a pocket knife. Then he took out
a match. When the kids saw the match they all ran off the
porch, but I was going to show how brave I was and stay there and
watch. He lit the bullet with the match and it took off like a sky
rocket. It just grazed my knee cap but the blood poured out
all over my leg. I got so frightened and ran home screaming
"I'm going to died, I've been shot!". My mother quickly washed
my knee and put a dressing on it and it stopped bleeding, but I was
still convinced I would die. It took my mother a long time to
calm me down. My father was so furious and forbid us to go
near them again, but that wasn't necessary. I wouldn't even
walk by that house again. Of course I got quite a scar on my
We moved around a
lot and one of the houses we lived in was not to far from Minnehaha
Falls. Across the street from the falls was Longfellow's house
and in the back was a zoo. It had a lot of wild animals;
lions, tigers, elephants and bears etc. Not having any money
Jack and I, and some of our friends, decided to sneak in under the
barbed wire fence. I cut my leg on the wire but I went in
anyway. I still have 3 scars from that fun day.
We used to go on
picnics to the falls and near the falls there was a place called
"The Deer Pen". The deer ran wild in it and one day while on a
picnic there I got lost from the family and wandered into the deer
pen. I was terrified! A couple (man and lady) found me
crying and took me to a police officer. The policeman was very
nice to me and bought me an ice cream cone. I knew my phone
number so he called my folks and then gave me a ride home in the police
car. I felt good with all the attention I got.
Monday was wash day
and one Monday morning Mom had gone upstairs and stripped the beds
and started down the stairs with her arms full of bedding and
tripped on the sheets. She fell down the whole flight of
stairs, hitting her head on the open door. She had a cut just
above her eye. She laid on the floor and I tried to pick her
up but of course I couldn't begin to lift her. I was only
about 5 years old. I got a wash cloth and tried to wash off
her head. She told me to find my sister Jessie. I ran as
fast as I could to her girlfriends house and hammered on the door
but no one was there. I made so much noise that the lady who
lived upstairs called down to me and wanted to know what was the
matter. When I told her what happened she came home with me
and we found my mother in the bathroom trying to stop the bleeding.
The lady made her lie down on her bed. It's very vague in my
mind as to what happened next, but soon the house was full of people
and a doctor was checking my mother. I was so worried that mom would
die. Finally, the doctor came out and said she was alright.
After that incident I would listen to the family to see if they were
going out and if no one was going to be home with my mother I would
stay home. I was worried that she might fall again and no one
would be there.
It wasn't long
after that my brother Bud was born. I recall my mother giving
him a bath first thing in the morning. She would block off the
kitchen so there wasn't any drafts and then turn on the gas stove
and get the kitchen toasty warm, lay out clean clothes for him and
then lay him on a towel on the kitchen table. After his bath
she'd powder him and put corn starch on his bottom so he
wouldn't get a rash. When she finished he looked and smelled
so good. I never got tired of watching the whole procedure.
We all spoiled him by rocking his crib when he went to bed.
Well of course he got used to being rocked to sleep and of course we
soon tired of the rocking but my mother said "You started the
rocking business so now you rock him to sleep!". Well then no
one wanted to do it, but we had to take take turns. When he
got older we had to take turns watching him when we played outside.
One day when it was Jack's turn Bud wandered away. The whole
family was out looking for him, plus half the neighborhood. After
about 2 hours he was found about a mile from home sitting in his
little red wagon. Poor Jack was afraid to go home because he
knew he'd be punished for not watching him better.
the bottom of the last page, my mother wrote "
Feb 22, 1992. I don't know when I started this. It must have
been several years ago, at least 5 or 6 years . I had forgotten that
I even when I wrote it. Well, Sandra and Claudia I hope you
will understand why I can't finish this now. When I try to
write about things now I get too sad. It hurts too much to go
back in time right now. Maybe I'll never be able to finish
this but I hope the time will come when I can. For now this
will have to do . I love you both so very much, Mom."