Interview with C. Natalie Rogerro Meriggi, 1984 November 8 [audio]

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  • Comparing the Gibbons house to Meriggi's childhood home; making household textiles out of flour bags; making pasta
    Keywords: Flour bags; Gibbons House; Lasagna; Paint; Pastas; Raviolis; Spaghetti; Squirrel Run (Del.:Village); Walls; Windows
    Transcript: Bennett: This is November 8, 1984, and I'm speaking with Mrs. Natalie Roggero Meriggi. Mrs. Meriggi's name is spelled R-o-g-g-e-r-o M-e-r-i-g-g-i. Mrs. Meriggi, I'm glad that you can be with me here today in what we call the Gibbons House and it's named for John Gibbons. He was, I think, the first foreman of the yards. And I thought it might be interesting and informative to compare this house and its furnishings with the one in Squirrel Run where you lived and where you were born. So, I'd like you to tell me, first of all, about the size of your room, as compared to this, and --

    Meriggi: Well, compared to this room, our room was about this length, I'd say, but it was more square. Wider.

    Bennett: And how about the stairway?

    Meriggi: Well, the stairway was about the way this one is made. But turned the other --But it was more on the side -- you know -- made the room more clear.

    Bennett: This way you really have quite a partition, I would say. How about the color of your walls? What were they like?

    Meriggi: I think they were a light green.

    Bennett: Were they painted very often?

    Meriggi: Painted.

    Bennett: Did they get painted very often?

    Meriggi: I can't remember that.

    Bennett: How about your windows?

    Meriggi: Well, the windows didn't have the bay window. They were just plain -- straight. Just a tiny little windowsill.

    Bennett: Nothing useful like these are? Very nice useful windowsills.

    Meriggi: No.

    Bennett: Now next to this room, what I call a shed, you are calling a cellar. Would you mind telling me the differences, please.

    Meriggi: Well, we didn't have no windows. It was all dark because the home on the side was attached and we had a home in the back that was attached. So, it was all dark. But it was about this size. Or maybe just a tiny bit longer. But that's where we did our dishes and kept our food. In storage jars, preserves, and stuff like that. Pop kept his wine in there.

    Bennett: And did he make his own wine?

    Meriggi: Oh, yeah.

    Bennett: We have a nifty description of him with his trousers rolled up stomping the grapes. There were no windows in there at all?

    Meriggi: No.

    Bennett: And how much deeper was it than your living room -- your main room? Did you step down?

    Meriggi: It was -- well, I think we had to step down maybe two inches.

    Bennett: Just almost level?

    Meriggi: With the room, yeah. It wasn't as deep as this.

    Bennett: Now you had a cupboard like you see here?

    Meriggi: Oh yeah, we had a cupboard like this but much longer and wider.

    Bennett: Did it have a drop like this?

    Meriggi: No, it went all the way up to the ceiling and it had the space inside. That's where we kept all our bowls and dishes, and everything, and mom kept all her pots and pans. It was really wider. About here. That was deep. I'd say almost 36 inches, I guess.

    Bennett: Now, the drawers, is that where you kept your utensils and that type of thing in drawers like that? Your flatware?

    Meriggi: Yeah.

    Bennett: Here they just keep whatever.

    Meriggi: That's where mom kept her half-moon knife.

    Bennett: That's that nice chopping thing. Did you keep canned goods in there, as well?

    Meriggi: Our preserves and everything were in the cellar.

    Bennett: Where did you keep your sugar and flour?

    Meriggi: In the cupboard.

    Bennett: I know you bought your flour in bags and you bought your sugar in bags. Did you transfer it to metal or a crock?

    Meriggi: Mom used to put it in a crock. And cover it.

    Bennett: And what did you do with the flour bags?

    Meriggi: The flour bags -- she would wash and bleach them and then she'd use them for anything. She made covers for ironing board. Not the cover -- we didn't have ironing boards. We would iron on the table. Her ironing board was like a thick blanket and then she would use these sugar bags on top of them.

    Bennett: How would she tighten them?

    Meriggi: I can't remember really good, but she used to tuck it underneath the table. I remember doing that, but I don't remember what she used to put.

    Bennett: Did she make aprons?

    Meriggi: She made aprons. She even made pillow cases out of them.

    Bennett: Dish towels?

    Meriggi: Dish towels, face towels. She used them for dish towels, too.

    Bennett: Did they always bleach them or would they sometimes just use them the way they were?

    Meriggi: No, they didn't use them, unless they used them roughly, but if they were using them for dish towels or anything like that, they had to be all clean.

    Bennett: Let's get back to the ironing board. The ironing board was also the board your mother used to make pasta, right?

    Meriggi: No. She didn't use that. She used the table. See, she had a long square wooden table. I couldn't tell you the size of it. I'd say maybe it was twice that.

    Bennett: Was it the table you ate your dinner on?

    Meriggi: Yeah.

    Bennett: So, it was your dinner table that she used to iron?

    Meriggi: Yeah. The pasta board was something like this and I'd say maybe it was about this wide and this long.

    Bennett: Well, if your rolling pin was 36 inches, the table had to be at least 36 inches. I have seen the rolling pin and I've seen one that her uncle made for another lady that I interviewed and it's not like I think of as a rolling pin. They were 36 inches long.

    Meriggi: Now the one I showed you that I've got is long. Now this is the size that my mother's rolling pin was.

    Bennett: The thickness of that?

    Meriggi: The thickness of this and that long.

    Bennett: The one that I saw the circumference was narrower.

    Meriggi: Like the original my mother had.

    Bennett: See when they rolled, they rolled a lot of dough.

    Meriggi: She would make a sheet of dough about as wide as this table.

    Voice: And that was your spaghetti?

    Meriggi: She made spaghetti, raviolis, all different kinds of pasta out of it. You know, how they make lasagna. Well she'd cut that kind of dough, too.

    Bennett: The dough was the same, it was the shape. The shape was the difference?

    Meriggi: Yeah.

    Bennett: Now, my question to you is -- that long rolling pin-- where did your mother store it?

    Meriggi: Well, we had the door there in the cellar and she hung it up on the door. And then she had a board in the cellar that had hooks on it and there she had her board hanging up. See, everything had a hook on it and they'd tie it on strong rope or string and hang them up.

    Bennett: Did the rolling pin have a cover?

    Meriggi: Yes, she made a cover for it. A cover made out of the flour bags.

    Bennett: Kept it clean and made it easier to hang.

    Meriggi: Oh, yeah, then it wouldn't get dirty.

    Bennett: Did other things hang on the door with that?

    Meriggi: No. She usually didn't have too much things. She didn't like things hanging up unless she really had to. Most of the things were in the cupboard.

    Bennett: Well, when I look at this room, there would not be that much space for cupboards. I think you were fortunate in that way.

    Meriggi: Oh, yeah, they really had a nice cupboard. And her stove was different, too. It had -- her oven was bigger. Her stove was bigger. The way I remember. And then here it had -- how would you say it – it had a top --

    Voice: A warming oven.

    Meriggi: A warming oven.

    Voice: My grandmother's stove had an oven that she kept. She baked the bread here and then she kept the bread here.

    Bennett: Did you have a reservoir for hot water?

    Meriggi: No.

    Bennett: So, you always had your kettle on the stove for hot water?

    Meriggi: Always. She had a copper kettle.

    Bennett: Did you have irons like you see here today or --

    Meriggi: My mother's iron -- her irons were thicker -- higher. The handle came off. One iron would get cold, put it on the stove, take the handle off and get the warm iron. Ironing all them starched clothes. Everything was starched. She used to starch her table linens, our dresses, petticoats. Everything.

    Bennett: How often did your mother iron?

    Meriggi: Well, her big day was Monday -- her big wash was on Monday. And then she would maybe iron all day Tuesday.

    Bennett: Did she iron and bake bread the same day, or bake something?

    Meriggi: No, she usually baked her bread on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

    Bennett: Did you have a coat rack or pegs where you hung your coats or did you have a closet in this room, and let's say your hats?

    Meriggi: I remember we used to hang our coats up, but to tell you the truth, I can't remember where it was. She had a couch, she had this great big table in her kitchen, she had the stove. We had I don't know how many chairs, and then she had a rocker.
  • Mother's sewing, needlework, knitting, and lace making; linens and textiles
    Keywords: Knitting; Lace making; Linens; Linoleum; Needlework; Sewing machines; Tablecloths; Textiles
    Transcript: Bennett: I know she did a lot of needlework and handwork. Did she have a sewing machine?

    Meriggi: Oh, yeah. She had a sewing machine.

    Bennett: Was that down here or was it up in the bedroom?

    Meriggi: No, down in the kitchen.

    Bennett: When she sewed, would that be like a certain day or would she sew when she had free time?

    Meriggi: She would arrange it. She'd wash and anything that had to be mended she'd put on the side and then she would do it either in the evening or when she had time.

    Bennett: Did she do a lot of darning of socks?

    Meriggi: Oh, yeah. She always did. Always darned socks. When buttons broke off of clothes or something ripped -- she mended everything.

    Bennett: You said that she also cut out doll clothes for you to make for your doll.

    Meriggi: Oh, yeah, out of old material. That's how I learned to sew.

    Bennett: Did you ever hem towels or something from the flour bags for your mother? Anything like that?

    Meriggi: No. We played more, but of course, when we got older you know, she used to buy us embroidery, and start crocheting and things like that.

    Bennett: Did she teach you to crochet?

    Meriggi: Yeah.

    Bennett: And knitting?

    Meriggi: Well, she didn't teach me too much of knitting. I wish she did. She made sweaters, hats, anything. I didn't take after her.

    Bennett: The Italian lace is like crochet. But I think the Italian lace was a deeper lace.

    Meriggi: Yeah. Pillow cases, bedspreads, slips, petticoats. She used to make our slips and put lace on them.

    Bennett: And she would just keep crocheting in her spare time so that when you needed it, you had some. Usually we make something and go around and finish it off where she was doing it and getting ready for a project.

    Meriggi: It's just like the nightgown I showed you. Italian people believed that when they had girls, they furnished them all their linens.

    Voice: A dowry.

    Meriggi: A dowry.

    Bennett: Now, tablecloths. Did she do them as well, crochet on those or would she embroider those?

    Bennett: No. They were more, well her real fancy tablecloth would be more like cutwork. And she used to have sheets, which I have some, too, with the cutwork. And linen.

    Bennett: Now, your table that you used for dinner, or for your meals without company, was it the oilcloth kind like this?

    Meriggi: Well, we'd have oilcloth, but then she would use a cloth tablecloth. On top of the oilcloth.

    Bennett: And that was also starched?

    Meriggi: Oh, yes. And for holiday and all, then she'd use her linen tablecloth.

    Bennett: Where would she store the linens?

    Meriggi: In her bedroom bureau.

    Bennett: How about the floor of the house? What did you have as a floor? Was it a wood floor?

    Meriggi: A wood floor all over the house. All through the house it was wood floor.

    Bennett: Did you have a covering on that?

    Meriggi: Mom had a covering on the kitchen floor -- linoleum.

    Bennett: Did that get polished?

    Meriggi: When you washed it them days, you didn't need polish. You didn't wax them. When it wore out, you could tell. But as long as you scrubbed it, it was all right.

    Bennett: Did you have the same thing in the shed or was the shed just the wood?

    Meriggi: Just the wood. Didn't have anything there.
  • Rugs and carpeting; chores; wall decorations; Palm Sunday church services; drying herbs; doing the laundry
    Keywords: Basil; Bay leaf; Brooms; Carpets; Chores; Drying herbs; Laundry; Palm Sunday celebrations; Parsley; Pictures; Rosemary; Rugs; Sage; Thyme
    Transcript: Bennett: How about any rugs or carpeting?

    Meriggi: Like where we washed the dishes, she had a rug to stand on.

    Bennett: Would you describe washing the dishes, please?

    Meriggi: We had three dishpans. One we washed, one we rinsed, and the other we put them in the drain and then we would dry them.

    Bennett: And that was where?

    Meriggi: In the cellar on a bench.

    Bennett: And what did you do in the summertime?

    Meriggi: In the summertime, we washed our dishes inside. We didn't wash them outside.

    Bennett: Wasn't the clothes washer, was that on a bench, too?

    Meriggi: Yeah, that was on a bench, too.

    Bennett: A different bench?

    Meriggi: No. She'd just take the dishpans off and put the tubs on when she washed.

    Bennett: But in the summertime?

    Meriggi: In the summertime we washed out on the porch and we had the bench out on the porch.

    Bennett: Did you use the porch for anything else?

    Meriggi: We sat on it.

    Bennett: But there was no other thing out there?

    Meriggi: No, because when you came out of the house, you came on the porch and then you went down about three or four steps and there was just a gate and you were out on the road.

    Bennett: How about brooms?

    Meriggi: Oh, yeah, we had brooms.

    Bennett: Where would you keep those?

    Meriggi: In the shed.

    Bennett: Would they be hung up?

    Meriggi: Well, sometimes, but most of the time she just kept them in the corner.

    Bennett: Did you have mops?

    Meriggi: No, she didn't use mops. Always your knees.

    Bennett: How about decorations? Did your mother have decorations on the walls like we have pictures?

    Meriggi: Oh, yeah, on the walls she had pictures of her folks and my father's folks. I think old years back in Italy they had the king, the queen, and they had that. Almost every home had their picture.

    Bennett: That was very typical. And in the United States you had the President. Same idea. So you had the king. How about religious statues?

    Meriggi: Oh, yeah, but she kept them in the bedroom.

    Bennett: And Palm Sunday there was palm that you would get at St. Joseph's?

    Meriggi: Oh, yeah. We'd go get palms at St. Joseph's but we didn't have that tradition that we-- even at church I remember as a little girl, we all had to go up to the altar and the priest would give us a palm. They don't distribute the palm like they do now. And we used to go home and then mom used to get the palm and she used to make little crosses and pin them on our coat and we'd keep them on until Easter Sunday.

    Bennett: Did you keep the rest of the palm over your bed or over the table?

    Meriggi: Yeah. Well, mostly it was in our bedroom on the mantle piece. We didn't used to get all the palms that they give today, you know, that you go to church to get. They used to give you what you call a nice strip, but we had to go up to the alter to get it.

    Bennett: That broiler basket that you gave me -- how did that work in there?

    Meriggi: You can't work it in there.

    Bennett: It's too small.

    Meriggi: You either have to work it in a fireplace or else in your heater. When you broil you have to put it right on where there's a fire.

    Bennett: Even if you took up those two, it wouldn't be?

    Meriggi: No. Mom never broiled in there.

    Bennett: Did you have plants, flowering plants?

    Meriggi: Well, she liked flowers, but we didn't have nice windowsills that she could keep. Maybe they would have a little bit of flowers outside in the summertime. But when we moved in town, she used to have a lot of flowers. We used to have flowers on the porch.

    Bennett: How about herbs?

    Meriggi: Well, they used to pick them and dry them for winter.

    Bennett: And would you describe how they would dry them?

    Meriggi: Well, like before the frost comes. They would get them, cut them and tie them and then in the daytime when the sun -- the part of the day the sun is out and real warm -- they'd put them out to dry. And then you'd bring them in at night and then you'd bring them out the next day if it was nice, until they were dry. Then some of them when they were dry, they would drop. So, she'd put them in a bag and tie the bag and hang it in her cellar. A paper bag.

    Bennett: What kind of herbs did she usually have?

    Meriggi: Oh, we had -- she would -- basil, sage, there was a couple other ones I can't remember. Mom didn't use too much oregano. She liked more -- I forget what they call it.

    Bennett: Rosemary?

    Meriggi: Rosemary and thyme. I can't think -- this is a flat thing -- parsley, and the other thing is --you put it in roasts, too, a leaf -- bay leaf.

    Bennett: Was there any heat out in the shed?

    Meriggi: No. The stove in the kitchen was close – just like that is -- maybe a little closer. And the heat, the stove would heat the whole room and heat in there, too. It wasn't real warm, but it took the chill out.

    Bennett: On a washday if it rained, where did you hang your wash?

    Meriggi: Well, in the wintertime when it snowed, mom used to wash her clothes. Then she used to separate -- colored clothes and white clothes -- in a basket. Then she'd wait until we all went to bed and then she'd put her lines up in her kitchen and that's where she'd hang them. Then before everybody got up, she got up and took them all down.

    Bennett: Did the water -- I suppose you got it the night before – your father would get the water?

    Meriggi: Oh, yeah, get the water on Sunday night.

    Bennett: And could he carry these big barrels by himself or how did they get the water?

    Meriggi: Well, see, he used to have like a big tub and they had handles. And a lot of times mom would even help him to carry it.

    Bennett: Like the tub out there that we saw?

    Meriggi: No. He'd have a light one that he carried the water, but she would wash in there.

    Bennett: And that's the same kind of tub that you had your bath in?

    Meriggi: Yeah.

    Bennett: And that's the same kind of tub that the wine got made in?

    Meriggi: Oh, no. He didn't use the tub. It got put away just for wine.
  • Furniture in childhood home; tools in childhood home; buckets for carrying water; bedroom furnishings; furniture coverings; mantle pieces and living room decorations
    Keywords: Bed linens; Bedrooms; Blankets; Bolsters; Buckets; Doilies; Furniture; Lace; Quilts; Sheets
    Transcript: Bennett: What else did you tell me that you noticed was different here than it would have been where you lived? You did not have a dry sink?

    Meriggi: No. We didn't.

    Bennett: They do have a piece of rug there which is what you said there was a rug near your wash bench. Now, did you use those kind of buckets to carry the water for the dishes? Would it have been a small bucket that size?

    Meriggi: I think mom had wooden buckets. She had one bucket --it was agate that we'd keep our drinking water in and then she had -- let me see -- I think she had another kind of bucket -- I know she had three or four different kind of buckets because pop would carry the water in the buckets to wash clothes and for drinking water we always used the bucket for drinking water. She didn't use it for anything else. And she would never allow us to put the dipper in the bucket and drink from it and put it back.

    Bennett: Did the water come from a different source?

    Meriggi: No. From the same.

    Bennett: Just the bucket it was in.

    Meriggi: That was our drinking water. And she wouldn't use the water to cook out of that bucket that they carried for clothes or she scrubbed in or anything like that. She'd use that other bucket just for cooking.

    Bennett: You mentioned that you had a wood and a coal stove but you had better utensils than that to use.

    Meriggi: Our shovel was like that. But she had a regular coal bucket. You know how they're shaped.

    Bennett: And did she have the same style poker and was that all the same?

    Meriggi: Her poker was smaller. And it was thinner. That's what they used for a furnace.

    Bennett: We've gotten upstairs and I'd like you to look at the bedroom and what do you remember. Was your mother's bedroom…

    Meriggi: Much bigger than this. And, see, when we came up the steps, it had like a little hall before you went in her bedroom, and that hall went up to the attic. We had another stairs that went up to the attic.

    Bennett: And you said the stairs were not as narrow.

    Meriggi: Oh, no, they weren't as narrow as these.

    Bennett: There is an attic up these stairs here.

    Meriggi: But, the door wasn't to go up to her room and the room was much bigger than this.

    Bennett: Is this a color that you might remember?

    Meriggi: No. Her color that I remember was a paler color. Not this bright color.

    Bennett: And you did say there was some brass in the bed, the white enamel?

    Meriggi: White enamel and she had some brass in it, too, but like her rail on the bed was, the enamel was thicker.

    Bennett: Heavier looking. Did she had a bureau that matched?

    Meriggi: No. Her bureau was wood. She had a bureau and she had a wardrobe, two pieces.

    Bennett: And your father's clothes were kept in the wardrobe?

    Meriggi: Yeah. And she had night table -- nice sized – and she had the dry sink.

    Bennett: That was a separate piece of furniture -- or was it on the nightstand?

    Meriggi: Nightstand. Because her nightstand didn't have that shelf underneath, too.

    Bennett: You mentioned a chair. Did you have a chair in the bedroom?

    Meriggi: Oh, yeah, she had two chairs and it had wicker like this had -- and the back was a little different and it seemed like the chair was a little wider, too. But the same idea.

    Bennett: One like where your father could take off his shoes --that type of thing and was one by his side of the bed and one by hers?

    Meriggi: No, she kept them like both at the bottom of the bed. One on one side and one on the other.

    Bennett: Did they have pictures in the room?

    Meriggi: Well, she had -- it was more like holy pictures -- statues.

    Bennett: Was there a rug on the floor?

    Meriggi: No, she had small rugs -- throw rugs.

    Bennett: How were the rugs cleaned?

    Meriggi: Well, they used to bring them out, shake them, and she always used to put them out the window to get air. And if they got dirty, I remember if she had big rugs, we used to clean them with water and ammonia.

    Bennett: With a scrub brush?

    Meriggi: Right. Sweep the rug real good. In fact, the big rug they used to bring out and beat them. With the rug beater. And then they'd bring them in. They'd scrub the floor. Then we'd bring the rug in, put the rug down and then we used to get the water and ammonia with the rag -- cloth that didn't shed – and rubbed all the way through. That would clean the spots.

    Bennett: And it didn't hurt the rugs?

    Meriggi: Oh, no. They would, the color would come nice and clear.

    Bennett: How about the bed? This has a box spring and a mattress. What did you have?

    Meriggi: She had a metal spring. They didn't use box springs before. And she had the spring, then she had the mattress and then she had a feather mattress on top of that.

    Bennett: Did the feather mattress get hung out the window?

    Meriggi: Oh, no. That would get -- she'd have it all covered. Every so many months or something she would take the whole cover off and wash it. She would beat it, turn it and then when it was nice weather in the summertime, they'd open the window and let the air in. And we used to use feather pillows.

    Bennett: You had this fancy work like here. There's Crochet on this one. That’ s on inside out.

    Meriggi: Backwards. It's not handmade.

    Bennett: Would you have four pillows like that or is that just a luxury?

    Meriggi: Oh, mom had a bolster and then she had her pillows on top of that.

    Bennett: How about sheets, and did she have a bedspread on top or did they use something like this quilt?

    Meriggi: Oh, no, in the wintertime she would have a quilt and flannel sheets and maybe blankets, but then on top she'd have a bedspread. She always had a bedspread on top.

    Bennett: Have you ever seen any nightwear like this? This is the sleep coat, but look at the pants. They're not ripped.

    Meriggi: That's the way they were made. The embroidery is pretty.

    Bennett: Shall we walk into the parlor?

    Meriggi: Whose picture is that?

    Bennett: That's President Grant. And this picture over here --I told you that you're in the John Gibbons house. He had, this is his oldest daughter, Anna. And Anna married Jock Seitz. And that's -- I think perhaps their wedding picture. And a lot of the furniture has been donated by the Seitz family. The crib in there was made in the yards for John Gibbons when he was here as foreman. A lot of the furniture has been donated by his great granddaughter, Dr. Margaret Seitz. The organ came from the family. This furniture has. These were his canes. That's the thorn bush from Ireland. And they belonged to him. And this table.

    Bennett: Popcorn poppers haven't changed. That looks the same as it always did, I think.

    Meriggi: There's the bucket that we had.

    Bennett: And they had a brass spittoon.

    Meriggi: Mom didn't like them.

    Bennett: How does this color seem to you? darker than yours were? Would you call it

    Meriggi: No. Mom -- we didn't go for these deep colors -- more for lighter colors.

    Bennett: Now if this was your furniture -- you've spoken to me about the covers your mother would put over the chairs and the doilies that she would use which you don't see here. Would you describe what kind of doilies they would be or what kind of covers.

    Meriggi: Well, if she had these, she'd have these linen, it was linen towels and they had some were embroideried, some had fringe on them. Some had cut work. Some had lace. And she'd put them over the back of the chair.

    Bennett: And would she change them often?

    Meriggi: Oh, yeah, she would change them. Maybe sometime every two weeks if they got dirty more often and mussed. If they was just wrinkled, then she'd do it.

    Bennett: How would you say -- I realize you didn't have a parlor like this, but do you see anything here that might have been in your living or kitchen area? Or the bedroom?

    Meriggi: She had a trunk.

    Bennett: Everybody had a trunk.

    Meriggi: But her trunk was different than that You know the one they call footlockers now --

    Bennett: A foot locker?

    Meriggi: Foot locker. But hers was a great big one and a deep one.

    Bennett: Where did she keep it?

    Meriggi: In the bedroom.

    Bennett: And what did she store in it? Blankets?

    Meriggi: Yeah, she stored her blankets and some of the linens that didn't fit in her drawers.

    Bennett: Did it come with her from Italy?

    Meriggi: No. She bought it here. The bedspread used to be folded and taken off. You don't sleep with the bedspread on.

    Bennett: You would put it over a rack?

    Meriggi: Yeah. Now the rack that's in the bedroom there, that would be a towel rack. That was really to be next to the dry sink for your towels and that type thing. And the ones they had would be maybe a little bit larger -- half of that size -- for the blankets that you put the spread over it.

    Bennett: So, you really had two racks in your room --one for a blanket and one for towels.

    Meriggi: Yeah. And sometime you just used the rack for the blanket -- for both.

    Bennett: Did you have closets in your house?

    Meriggi: Yeah, they had closets. There's no closet here.

    Bennett: Was it a deep closet?

    Meriggi: No, a small closet. It was enough to hang like our coat and things like that, pop's suits.

    Bennett: Did they have pegs on the wall like you see in there? Did you have anything like that or did it get put in the closet?

    Meriggi: I just can't remember. I think there was a hook on the closet.

    Bennett: For your robe or nightie or something?

    Meriggi: Yeah, I think it was like that. So long ago.

    Bennett: Well, it's already twenty-five after three and I promised I'd have you home by four o'clock.

    Meriggi: There's the mantle piece that we had in our room. Like that.

    Bennett: Now there they have a vase on it. What would you have put on yours?

    Meriggi: Well, just like I said, we had the clock. Statue in the bedroom. I remember even in town the homes had a mantle piece. They came in handy. Some people used to put a lot of vases and things.

    Bennett: Like a knick-knack shelf. Well, I want to thank you for coming with me today. I certainly enjoyed it and now I'm going to get you home before four o'clock.