Interview with Mary Perrone, 1984 February 22 [audio]

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  • Her birth in Italy and moving to Squirrel Run in 1918; floor plan of the house and location of outbuildings
    Keywords: attic; boarders; Boardinghouses; Diamond Bridge; Giusvalla (Italy); Italian immigrants; Savona (Italy : Province); Squirrel Run (Del. : Village); wine barrel
    Transcript: Bennett: Mrs. Perrone, It's nice to be with you today.

    Perrone: I'm glad to meet you, too.

    Bennett: Would you please tell me your name and spell your last name for me please?

    Perrone: Mary Perrone. P-e-r-r-o-n-e.

    Bennett: Your address.

    Perrone: I'm in Squirrel Run.

    Bennett: No this one.

    Perrone: Oh this one. Lancaster Pike, P.O. Box 426, Hockessin, Delaware.

    Bennett: And your age?

    Perrone: 84.

    Bennett: And your telephone number?

    Perrone: 268-8428.

    Bennett: And what was your maiden name?

    Perrone: Mazzoni. M-a-z-z-o-n-i.

    Bennett: Your parents. Were you born in Italy?

    Perrone: Yeah. I was born in Italy.

    Bennett: Could you tell me where please?

    Perrone: In Alexandria, Cascina. Alexandria was the province.

    Bennett: And Cascina was the...

    Perrone: The town.

    Bennett: Was that Northern Italy?

    Perrone: Yes.

    Bennett: And your parents lived there also?

    Perrone: My mother yeah. My father was dead before I was born.

    Bennett: I see. Now do you have any...and you lived in which village at Hagley?

    Perrone: Squirrel Run. Diamond Bridge. [laughs]

    Bennett: Would you tell me when you moved there and how long you stayed?

    Perrone: We moved there April 25, 1918.

    Bennett: How long did you stay there?

    Perrone: Seven years.

    Bennett: Would you tell me your husband's name?

    Perrone: Edward Perrone.

    Bennett: And where was he born?

    Perrone: Giusvalla. That's province of Genoa first, and then it changed to Savona. They lived in a little town by the name of Giusvalla.

    Bennett: Did he come over with his parents?

    Perrone: No. He came over by himself. He came over before I did.

    Bennett: I see. Would you name your...do you have any brothers and sisters?

    Perrone: Not living.

    Bennett: How about your children? Would you name your children for me?

    Perrone: Yes. Emma, born in Squirrel Run. Eddie was born in Squirrel Run. Edward. Edward, Jr. Marie was born in Squirrel Run. Then I have another boy, but he was born here.

    Bennett: Can you tell me when they were born there?

    Perrone: Yeah. Let's see. Emma was born in 1919. Eddie was born in 1922, and Marie was born in 1923.

    Bennett: You were busy then.

    Perrone: Yeah, I was very busy with boarders and everything else.

    Bennett: Oh, that's interesting.

    Perrone: Would you tell me of anybody else who would be available for an interview? Like Mr. Marenco told us about you. Do you know anybody else...

    Perrone: Well mostly the people are dead. The ones that I knew that lived there.

    Daughter: Excuse me, mom, but how about Anna Curtain?

    Bennett: Anna Curtain didn't live there, Emma. Her father and mother are dead.

    Daughter: She's the one who...

    Bennett: It wasn't her, it was her son. She was going to send him down to me. He wanted to write a book about Squirrel Run. About the people in the powder mill and all that. But he never came. I told them there wasn't much I could tell them. Other than what I did and that's it. Like I said, in those days, you didn't interfere with your husband's work.

    Perrone: No. That's right.

    Bennett: They went to work and you done the chores. Took care of the kids, keep the boarders, wash and iron.

    Perrone: That's right. Do you have any pictures or letters?

    Bennett: Emma, give her that picture we have taken at Squirrel Run.

    Perrone: All right. If you have it, I'll look at it later. I just wanted to know if you have any?

    Bennett: One. It was a big crowd. It was on the 21st of September we all got together and had our picture taken.

    Perrone: A family?

    Bennett: No, wasn't a family reunion. Was mostly all the people that came from the one place my husband came from. See he came from one town, and I came from another town. We're both from north, but different towns. We didn't know one another before, but that's it.

    Perrone: You know that what we're really interested in is what the social life and family life was like.

    Bennett: What social life [laughs].

    Perrone: Well ok. That tells me something, doesn't it. It was work?

    Bennett: Yeah. Social life was work. I used to get up 5 o'clock in the morning, got my clothes washed before the kids woke up, polished my stove and then got the kids.

    Perrone: That's what I want to know.

    Bennett: Then got them ready. Give them their breakfast. That's it.

    Bennett: Let's start out with your house. You lived in Squirrel Run. Can you describe the house? Like the first floor.

    Perrone: Yeah. The first floor we had the basement. We had one room. It was the dining room and kitchen and living room.

    Bennett: All in one.

    Perrone: All in one. Then there was the bedroom upstairs. Then there was the attic. And that's it, the first house we moved in.

    Bennett: Just the one bedroom.

    Perrone: Just one bedroom and then the attic. And that's where the boarders slept.

    Bennett: In the attic?

    Perrone: In the attic, naturally. [laughs]

    Bennett: Did you have any sheds or outbuildings?

    Perrone: Yeah. Up on the hill like, where they had the toilet and all. We had the chicken shed and the toilets.

    Bennett: Was that like at the end of the garden?

    Perrone: No. That was in front of the house. You go up to steps and they was a hill and there they were.

    Bennett: Now, the...in other words, what you're telling me about your kitchen is that you lived really in that one room.

    Perrone: In one room. That's right. There was a closed in porch where we used to keep the bench with the buckets. And the basin. Whatever you needed to wash your face. The buckets and the basin.

    Bennett: That was like a second kitchen?

    Perrone: No, no, no. It was just an enclosed porch. It wasn't even glass. Just an enclosed porch. Just wood, period. and a door.

    Bennett: Your cook stove. You mentioned you polished it. Was that wood or coal?

    Perrone: Wood. We didn't use no coal in those days.

    Bennett: How did you get your wood?

    Perrone: They used to saw trees. Dead trees, you know up in the woods. It was all woods up above.

    Bennett: Did your husband bring it home?

    Perrone: Yeah. They brought it home. I didn't have to carry no wood. I have to carry water, but not the wood.

    Bennett: OK. That's another question I was going to ask you?

    Bennett: Did you have a root cellar?

    Perrone: A what?

    Bennett: A root cellar

    Perrone: Dirt. What do you mean?

    Bennett: A cellar where you kept the vegetables.

    Perrone: No, no, no, no, no. We used to keep the wine, because they made wine. A barrel of wine a year. That's the cellar. It was dark. It didn't have no windows. It didn't have nothing. It was just pitch dark in there. Just a room underground. That's it. And the kitchen was built on top.

    Bennett: And you kept the wine down there?

    Perrone: Yeah.

    Bennett: Could you have kept vegetables?

    Perrone: I don't know. I suppose. In those days, they didn't keep vegetables.

    Bennett: OK. You didn't have a summer kitchen, then?

    Perrone: No.
  • The boarders working for Hotel du Pont; closet and bedding; typical meals prepared; occasional evening dances held at a neighbor's house; raising chickens and rabbits
    Keywords: accordion; baby food; boarders; coal oil lamps; Cooking (Pasta); dancing; Italian Americans--Social life and customs; lunch pails; quilts; rabbit polenta; Working class--Social life and customs
    Transcript: Bennett: You said you had a boarder. Did you have more than one boarder?

    Perrone: I had three boarders. And three babies [laughs].

    Bennett: You were busy. Three boarders at the same time.

    Perrone: And they used to work for the DuPont. The Hotel du Pont, those boarders.

    Bennett: Oh, they didn't work in the yards?

    Perrone: No, no. They worked at the Hotel du Pont. One was a cook. The others must have been like waiters. Whatever they did I didn't bother asking. As long as they paid their board. That's all I was interested in.

    Bennett: Did you get them because they were from your town or your husband's town? How did you come to...

    Perrone: Well they wanted to live up there and they wanted a place to go. Some of them came up from Wilmington.

    Bennett: When you talked about your bedroom, did you have a closet? How did you store your clothes?

    Perrone: Yeah. There was a closet.

    Bennett: Did you have a bureau or chest?

    Perrone: We had the whole set in the bedroom. That's what we bought when we got married.

    Bennett: How about bedding? Did you have sheets and blankets like we do today?

    Perrone: Sheets and blankets. Same as we have now.

    Bennett: That hasn't changed?

    Perrone: No, no. Sheets and blankets. Pillowcases. They had big heavy quilts in those days, you know.

    Bennett: The feather quilts?

    Perrone: No, no. Cotton.

    Bennett: Weighed you down?

    Perrone: You better believe it.

    Bennett: What time would you say you went to bed? When it got dark? What did you do in the evening before bed?

    Perrone: Well, there was always something to do. A woman's house with three kids and three boarders. We washed, we ironed, we sewed. Sometimes you'd sit down and relax for an hour. A couple times a week they used to get an accordion and go in somebody's house and dance. That was the recreation.

    Bennett: Let's start with the evening...the morning...

    Perrone: The morning I always got up.

    Bennett: Would you tell me what you did. Like you say you always got up at 5 o'clock?

    Perrone: Every morning. I got up before the children. You know, woke up and came down. I would make the coffee, naturally. Make breakfast for the men. Then I would put up my water and do my wash.

    Bennett: What would you serve them for breakfast?

    Perrone: Eggs. Not bacon. Eggs and bread. Coffee. No toast. We didn't have toaster. Well, they have no electricity anyway. We have coal oil lamps. We have coal oil stove for the summertime with big tall chimney that by the time the fire came out, you know, up the top to heat the water, it was over an hour. That's why I have to get up early.

    Bennett: And you always did the cooking?

    Perrone: Always.

    Bennett: Did you bake as well?

    Perrone: No. Not much baking. No. That I gotta admit.

    Bennett: Did you pack a lunch for the men in their lunch pail?

    Perrone: Oh yes. Always packed their lunch.

    Bennett: Could you tell me what you'd give them for lunch?

    Perrone: Oh, ham or salami or stuff like that.

    Bennett: Sandwiches.

    Perrone: Yeah, sandwiches. Then we'd give them a piece of cake and a fruit. A piece of fruit. At least I did, because my husband wasn't one of the strongest men in the world, and I always made sure he got a good lunch. When he came home he had soup or whatever...pasta, you know. One day we had one thing, the next day we had something else. Always homemade stuff. Not like today that you go out and bring home hamburger. In those days you had to cook if you wanted to eat. Soup. Lots of soup. Spaghettis. We used to make mush once in a while. Polenta.

    Bennett: Yeah. I know about that.

    Perrone: You know about that.

    Bennett: Yeah. I like it, too.

    Perrone: Do you. We love it. We don't make it that often, but once a year or twice a year we make it. The kids love it. "Mom when you going to make polenta rabbit?" [laughter]

    Bennett: I've heard that children took the lunch pails down to the men at the gates. Did your children...

    Perrone: No. Mine were all too small anyway. When we moved, I said we lived there seven years... [Tape is switched] Sometime I used to beat up an egg for them, you know. Things like that. Course when they were small they had baby food. We cooked their baby food. We didn't buy it in a jar, we made our own mashed potatoes and buttermilk. You know. Stuff like that.

    Bennett: Did the men, the boarders, and you all eat together as a family?

    Perrone: Yes. All together at the same table.

    Bennett: Did you say grace?

    Perrone: No.

    Bennett: They were hungry and ready?

    Perrone: That's right [laughs].

    Bennett: How about for a special occasion. A birthday or something like that. Would you have a special dinner?

    Perrone: Well yeah. Always try to make something special, like on a Sunday. On a Sunday, you always try to make something different. Then we'd have ice cream. Like I said, my kids was too small to do anything.

    Bennett: How about for your husband?

    Perrone: No. We never bothered with our birthdays. We never knew we had a birthday in those days.

    Bennett: Too busy?

    Perrone: In those days they didn't bother much. Now, for every little thing we have a big party. In those days, party. Well we used to go, like I say, couple times a week, maybe once, twice, sometime. Get an accordion and go out and dance a couple hours, then we go home and go to bed. The men had a glass of wine and that was it. Nothing, like on a table here you got to have peanuts, you got to have potato chips, you got to have pretzels. You got to have crackers and cheese. In those days they didn't use that stuff. I didn't. I didn't know it was around.

    Bennett: You probably didn't have it. I think you're right.

    Perrone: We didn't. And I didn't know anybody up there that had it. Because we were all in each other's houses.

    Bennett: When you went dancing a couple nights a week, was it usually on a Saturday night?

    Perrone: Saturday night or maybe a Thursday. It didn't make no difference what day it was. Whenever they took a notion and the man felt like playing the accordion, then we get together and dance.

    Bennett: Was it somebody that lived in Squirrel Run?

    Perrone: Yeah.

    Bennett: Do you remember his name?

    Perrone: Fortuno. But I don't remember his last name. He went to Italy, though, and he's been dead for years.

    Bennett: Like, would you go to the same house always?

    Perrone: Yeah. Mostly.

    Bennett: Was it to his house that you went? He was the one that played the accordion.

    Perrone: No, no. He was a boarder in somebody's house. We just went to one of the neighbors. Whoever felt like having somebody in the house, we went. It was mostly the same house. The same gang. I didn't want them in my house because I had too small...[laughs]

    Bennett: Sure. And you had three children.

    Perrone: That's right.

    Bennett: Sunday dinner...you mentioned Sunday dinner. Was it different and special? Did you have more food?

    Perrone: Well we have meat to begin with on a Sunday. And we have pasta with gravy. Something like that. A salad.

    Bennett: What kind of meat.

    Perrone: Always beef or veal. Pork sometimes. But then we had our own chickens. We raised chickens and rabbits.

    Bennett: Tell me about them. Tell me about the chickens and rabbits.

    Perrone: Well you had to feed them and water them. The same with the rabbits. The rabbit couldn't go out and get their own food. You had to cut the grass and bring it in to them.

    Bennett: Then you ate the rabbit?

    Perrone: Oh yeah. We used to eat rabbit when they got to a certain size. Two or three pound.
  • Garbage collection; learning to cook from Mrs. Ferraro; daily work routine including laundry, cooking, and water collection
    Keywords: Breastfeeding; cloth diapers; fatback; Frank Ferraro; garbage wagon; John Camorano; rent; soup preparation; water pump; Water-supper
    Transcript: Bennett: What happened to the rabbit fur?

    Perrone: We used to throw it out.

    Bennett: When you said that, I could picture some people wearing rabbit fur.

    Perrone: Rabbit fur. Yeah, no. In those days they didn't do anything like that. Everybody that had rabbit, they just skinned them and pulled the skin out and that's it. Get the innards and threw it out. Buried it, you know. Or gave it to the men when they came around with the garbage. A man used to come out for the garbage.

    Bennett: Oh, Mrs. Perrone. They will be so happy to hear this. Because they've been trying to figure out what happened to the garbage.

    Perrone: Horse and wagon. The man used to come around once a week and he used to pick up all the garbage and put it...he had a special place to go up and put it with the horse and wagon.

    Bennett: You had a special place that everybody put their garbage?

    Perrone: The man picked it up and brought it to a certain place. Like they have here now. The garbage man comes and collect the garbage, and they bring it to hills and then bury it. I don't know what they did...if they bury it or not. But anyway, I know they used to do that.

    Bennett: That is something they been trying to find. What might have happened...

    Perrone: Frank Ferraro used to ride the wagon. Another time it was John Camorano who used to drive that wagon.

    Bennett: Was he related to the ladies that sewed?

    Perrone: No. Those ladies that sewed, they were French ladies.

    Bennett: Ferraro? I just assumed they were Italian.

    Perrone: They pronounced it different. Ferrare. I never even met the women. I knew where they lived, but I never met them. They were dressmakers. I know, because they died not too many years ago. They were close to a hundred years old when they die. They were two sisters, I think. But see, I had the kids and I didn't have much chance to go. To begin with, I didn't want to bother to go from house to house. I had a couple good friends. In fact, one woman, this Mr. Ferraro's wife, she was like a mother to me. When I got married, I didn't even know how to boil water. And anything I wanted to cook, I used to go across from here to over there and ask her what to do. [Interruption as another person walks in]

    Bennett: Mrs. Ferraro...ah...

    Perrone: She taught me how to make soup. I didn't even know how to make soup! You put the water in the pot [laughs], then you put it on the stove. Then, you clean your vegetables. You put them in. You put a piece of...in those days they didn't even put meat in the soup. Not too much. They used to use fatback in the soup. Onions and garlic and parsley, and all that goes with it. Tomatoes. You let it simmer for two or three hours. Then you put the macaroni, whatever you want to put in. That was it.

    Bennett: So she really taught you to cook. Did she show you or did she write down the recipes...

    Perrone: No. She just show me and I run home and do it. I was pretty good for that. And when I was young, when I hear anybody talk about cooking food, I was all ears. Then I go home and remember and try it out. We always made out all right.

    Bennett: That's cause you wanted to.

    Perrone: That's right. I was anxious to please my people. To make what was the right thing for them. When I was young, I was learning pretty good. I was a fast learner. Not that I want to brag about myself, but I did. All I had to do was hear it once.

    Bennett: That's wonderful.

    Perrone: Not no more now though [laughs].

    Bennett: I think you're remarkable.

    Perrone: Thank you. Now I'm forgetting things. Sometimes I forget what I had for breakfast.

    Bennett: I doubt that...it's boring. It's not important. You remember what is important.

    Perrone: Tell me about when you'd work in the morning. Would you wash every day?

    Bennett: Oh naturally! With three babies! I had two in diapers.

    Bennett: Were they cloth?

    Perrone: They were cloth diapers. We used to make our own. We used to buy the material by the yard and hem them. Make our own diapers. It was cheaper, you know. And they last a lot longer.

    Bennett: Yes. These things that they flush away today...

    Perrone: Yeah, I know. And they're expensive, too. You got to pay seven dollars for a package. Well we were getting seven dollars a week to live on! That's right. That's all he was getting, my husband. Sixteen dollars every two weeks. And we had to pay rent and buy everything.

    Bennett: How much was your rent?

    Perrone: I don't know? It was only eight dollars a month I think. But still in all.

    Bennett: That's a lot.

    Perrone: For sixteen dollars every two weeks, that was a lot.

    Bennett: How much did you get for a boarder?

    Perrone: A dollar a day.

    Bennett: That was room and board?

    Perrone: That was three meals. Breakfast, dinner and supper. Wash and iron and mend. They had to be sewed too, you know. Their stockings most of the time I had to make them over with the needle and thread. They didn't throw them out and buy new ones. Mary had a...as long as I could mend them I had to mend them. That was it. A dollar a day. That wasn't very much was it. Three meals a day, wash and iron. Make their beds, cleaned their room.

    Bennett: It's a different world, isn't it.

    Perrone: You better believe it.

    Bennett: Did they have cots up there or...

    Perrone: No. They had regular beds. Some would sleep two in one bed and one in a single bed. You know.

    Bennett: Was there heat up there?

    Perrone: Heat? What with? [laughter]

    Perrone: We had wooden stove for cooking and all. And we had the coal oil stove for the summertime. That's it. We used to carry water from here to that man's mushroom house. Way down below there.

    Bennett: That would be a couple hundred feet?

    Perrone: More than a couple hundred feet!

    Bennett: Yeah, I guess it is. About how far would you say?

    Perrone: Well, a hundred yards. At least.

    Bennett: Did you carry?

    Perrone: Yeah. Carry two buckets. One in each hand. And then when we washed, at night we'd go with the tub down. By the pump. We put the tub there, get it filled and my husband would come help me. He catch one side, I catch the other. We'd bring the tub up. Then we put it on a bench outside. In the winter time we had to go break the ice to rinse the clothes. We washed them inside with the hot water and the washboard. Then we used to boil them on the stove in the boiler. We used to shave half a cake of soap in the boiler and put the clothes in there and boil them. That way they were sterilized, and they were clean. Then we'd pick them out of the boiler, put them in the rinsing water and rinse them. So we had two tubs of ice water outside.

    Bennett: Then every night you walked down and got the water, then walked back.

    Perrone: That's right. And for the water in the buckets, we used to go three or four times a day depending on what we were doing. If you had vegetables to wash, you had to wash them three or four times. And you know it takes a bucket of water at least if you don't wash too many at one time.

    Bennett: Did you go as often in the winter?

    Perrone: Oh yeah. You need the same amount of water. The kids need the clothes washed and clean. And the cooking was always the same cooking. The same routine. Day in and day out. You cooked breakfast, you cooked dinner, and you cooked supper. Except, like I said, dinner I never cooked when he was working. My children and I didn't eat what we ate anyway. They ate more baby food. I used to breast feed them when they were small. Me, all the time a sandwich was plenty. That's all I wanted. A sandwich and a cup of coffee. That's it. We didn't go muss and fuss like they do today.
  • Catalina's grocery store in Squirrel Run; ice delivery and getting an ice box from the DuPont Co. kitchen; shopping on King Street; canning vegetables and making wine
    Keywords: bread delivery; butcher; butter; Canning and preserving; chickens; Delivery of goods; fermenting wine; galvanized mason jars; ice boxs; ice cream; ice delivery; Italian bread; King Street market; lard; mason jars; Shopping; wine making
    Transcript: Bennett: Did you have snacks. You didn't from what you said about...

    Perrone: We didn't have snacks around.

    Bennett: Candy?

    Perrone: What were candy!

    Bennett: See. [laughs]

    Perrone: Oh, once in a great while. Like in the summertime when the men were playing bocce. Maybe we'd walk up St. Joseph. That was a mile, mile and a half, to get an ice cream cone. Take the kids when one of them could walk. The other I carried. That was about it. Of course, they sold ice cream down at the store. The store was only about in back of our house.

    Bennett: Which store was it?

    Perrone: A grocery store.

    Bennett: The name I mean.

    Perrone: It was just...Catalina had it. Catalinas. They used to run the store. And they had all kinds of grocery and lunch meat. You know. All the Italian lunch meat that you buy today.

    Bennett: Did you go every day to the store?

    Perrone: I made it a point not to go every day. It cost too much money to go every day.

    Bennett: That's true.

    Perrone: Instead of buying a quarter pound I'd buy maybe a pound. Cause a quarter pound you pay so much more you know. When you get it by the pound it's cheaper. You put it in the icebox. The ice man used to come twice a week. Bring the ice up and...

    Bennett: I was going to ask you about him, if you had an ice box.

    Perrone: Yeah. In fact my husband got a great big one from the yard. They used to have a kitchen up in the yard, you know, in the powder mill.

    Bennett: Do you know where?

    Perrone: Uhhh. I know they used to go there and eat their lunch. When they closed it - I guess there wasn't enough profit so they were selling out what they had, and he bought the ice box. It was all marble inside.

    Bennett: Mmm.

    Perrone: I wish I had kept it. Today it would be worth something. But today you know when you get something modern you do away...well where was I going to put it anyway. It was a great big heavy thing and needed four men to carry and put it in the attic. And who was going to carry it up three flights of steps.

    Bennett: True.

    Perrone: But that held a hundred pound of ice.

    Bennett: I was going to ask if you remember the sizes. OK you got a hundred pounds twice a week. Do you remember how much that cost?

    Perrone: Oh, I think for twenty pound was only ten cents. It must have been around twenty cents, twenty five cents. That was still a lot of money. But, you had to have it in the summertime.

    Bennett: Did you have one of those cards you put in the window?

    Perrone: No. He just knew to come. He knew we get it. Even here the first year that I was here, we had ice box here. The man was coming with the ice.

    Bennett: Tell me about when you went shopping. You'd buy meat and vegetables?

    Perrone: Well, the butcher used to come up once a week on a Saturday. Every week he'd come up to Squirrel Run. Diamond Bridge, that's what they called it. Squirrel Run. He used to come up every week and everyone would go down and buy the meat from him.

    Bennett: And that would last you...

    Perrone: A week. That's right.

    Bennett: So the bread you bought at the store?

    Perrone: That's right. The bread. The man used to come, too. We bought it at the store if we wanted to, but the man used to come up from Wilmington with the Italian bread. At the store they just sold the [rye?] bread.

    Bennett: Did you go into town ever for food?

    Perrone: We used to go to town, but not that I had to go for food, cause like I said, the grocery store carried practically everything. Then, the butcher come around and that was it. And vegetables, in the summertime we raised our own. In the wintertime we had to buy it if we wanted it. Sure I used to go once in a while. Then there was the King Street market and they had things that the store didn't carry, then we used to buy...

    Bennett: Did you go once in a while?

    Perrone: Once a week. Maybe once every couple weeks. Then I had a sister that lived in Wilmington. She used to live on 12th and West. That's where I got married from. I used to go visit her and my mother, and at the same time I'd go to the market and see what they had and buy it.

    Bennett: Make a day of it.

    Perrone: Make a day of it. That's right. The carfare was 5 cent .. lO cents. [laughs]

    Bennett: A bargain. Did you can?

    Perrone: Yeah, we used to can tomatoes and beans.

    Bennett: From the garden.

    Perrone: From the garden. Oh yes. We wouldn't go and buy it to can it. Uh-uh. We canned our own.

    Bennett: What kind of jars did you use?

    Perrone: The quart jars. The mason jars. They used to have those galvanized lids then. Now they're two piece: the cap and the ring to put around them.

    Bennett: With the rubber.

    Perrone: Yeah. Used to have the rubber. The galvanized lids have to have a rubber.

    Bennett: You did beans and you did tomatoes?

    Perrone: That's about...carrots sometimes. You know with beans, mix them up. Peas.

    Bennett: Did you do relishes?

    Perrone: Not too much. I do more now than I do then.

    Bennett: I think our tastes change. How about butter?

    Perrone: Oh, butter we used to buy it. Here I had enough to feed an army of butter. Because we use to have milk cows. But at Squirrel Run we used to buy the butter. We used to buy the oil. We used to buy everything that you needed. In those days they use a lot of lard. They rendered the fat of the pig and made lard. I couldn't very well take that. But little by little, you get used to that, too. Lot of people use a lot of lard yet. People that make good pie crust, they say that's the lard that makes it.

    Bennett: Yeah. It's the best way to make it they say.

    Perrone: I don't care too much for that.

    Bennett: Did you ever make soap?

    Perrone: No.

    Bennett: Because I know it's the fat...

    Perrone: Yeah I know. I never made soap, no.

    Bennett: That's one thing you got out of.

    Perrone: Yeah. I got out of that.

    Bennett: How about the wine? Could you tell me about the wine? How you made it?

    Perrone: I don't know...well they buy the grapes, naturally.

    Bennett: Where did they get them? King Street?

    Perrone: Yeah, King Street or sometime they order them from somebody. Maybe somebody got a big lot, and then they divide it up. They used to buy maybe 25 boxes or basket...used to come in basket...the Concord grapes used to come in 12 or 15-20 pounds. They used to have the masher. A thing that go round. You dump your grapes in there, you put it over the barrel and you grind it...the grapes. That's all. When you were done you covered it, and every day you go and stir. It fermented, you know. Then when it was done fermenting you draw it, and put it in another barrel. And that was it for the wine.

    Bennett: You made enough for the...

    Perrone: We used to make it once a year. But the children didn't drink it. I didn't drink wine. My husband used to drink a glass at meal time and that's it. One of those little wine glasses.

    Bennett: Just the little wine glass?

    Perrone: A bottle lasted him maybe two or three days. More than that.

    Bennett: Did the borders drink it?

    Perrone: Not...

    Bennett: I was going to say, at a dollar a day did the boarders drink it.

    Perrone: No. I wouldn't put my wine on the table for the boarders to drink, that's for sure. They used to eat the eggs, which was enough.

    Bennett: How much were eggs, do you remember?

    Perrone: I don't know. I never bought many. We had our own chicken.

    Bennett: With your chickens, was that like the typical...well you did say you had veal and beef.

    Perrone: And pork...sometimes we have pork.

    Bennett: Would you say that most of the time you ate chicken?

    Perrone: Chicken and rabbits. It was cheaper than the meat, you know. The meat in those days wasn't very high, but it was still higher than the chicken and the rabbit.
  • Daily laundry and ironing; making her children's clothes; after lunch as most relaxing part of the day; men playing bocce and hunting rabbits and squirrels; her husband in the North Italy Club
    Keywords: bocce; Clotheslines; Hunting; Italian Americans--Societies, etc.; Laundry; meat consumption; North Italy Club; oil lamps; Pressing of garments; rabbits; Relaxation; sewing; shin meat; squirrels; Working class--Social life and customs
    Transcript: Bennett: How about...let's get off the food a little bit. How about ironing. Did you iron?

    Perrone: Every piece. Including the kids stockings in those days. We used to have those irons that you heat them on the stove. By the time you had them clean they were cold enough to put back on the stove again.

    Bennett: Did you iron every day or did you have certain days?

    Perrone: No, no. Every day. You washed and you ironed, you washed and you ironed. If I didn't do it in the daytime, I done it at night. Sometimes the clothes didn't dry right away. We use to dry them in and wash 'em and iron 'em in the night.

    Bennett: Where did you hang your clothes?

    Perrone: Outside. And if they weren't dry before we went to bed at night, we put a cord across the kitchen. The next morning they'd be dry.

    Bennett: Did you have a shed outside?

    Perrone: The second house we lived in, it had two rooms. The kitchen and living room. Oh, we were rich then. And there was a porch that you could hang them on the porch.

    Bennett: That was in Squirrel Run too?

    Perrone: Oh, yeah. Was three, three or four houses from the first one we went in. In fact there was a ditch in between. Oh, it wasn't all that bad. We enjoyed it. I was a silly girl, but I still enjoyed it.

    Bennett: You know, everybody says that. That we talk to.

    Perrone: We were happy. We were just like...I never went around too much and neither did my husband, because when he came home from work, he either helped with the kids a little bit or go to bed. He was tired. But when we got together we enjoyed ourselves. We didn't know anything else. That was all that was there, and we were happy with what we had. We didn't think of going looking for anything else.

    Bennett: He was too tired and so were you.

    Perrone: Well, I was younger than him. I was ten years younger.

    Bennett: Still, he put in a hard day.

    Perrone: That's right. So did I. But it's in to me working. Like here I used to get up at three o'clock in the morning. Didn't bother me.

    Bennett: That would bother me. That's too early.

    Perrone: I get up every morning now at 5:30. I'm used to it. I'm used to getting up earlier than that, but now I'm getting lazy so I stay 'til 5:30.

    Bennett: Well good for you. [laughter] Did peddlers come around?

    Perrone: No. Not many. Sometimes come around, but not many. Mostly with clothes and things like that.

    Bennett: When it came to clothes, did you make them for your children?

    Perrone: Yeah. I made my children's clothes until they went to school. Then, I used to buy them ready-made.

    Bennett: Where would you buy the fabric?

    Perrone: In Wilmington. Oh, there was some nice shops in Wilmington.

    Bennett: That's changed also. It's very different.

    Perrone: What would you say was the best part of your day? The most relaxing. Was it after lunch?

    Bennett: Oh, after lunch. Yeah, for a couple hours. The kids, some of them would take a nap. And the ones that were awake, they would play. Then at three o'clock, four o'clock, you'd start your supper.

    Bennett: Did you read?

    Perrone: I didn't have a chance to read.

    Bennett: Did you get a nap?

    Perrone: Are you kidding?

    Bennett: Well I didn't know. [laughs]

    Perrone: Naps! What are naps! I don't take a nap now.

    Bennett: I thought the quiet...

    Perrone: No.

    Bennett: You would just sit down and...

    Perrone: Sit down. Play with the kids a while, the ones that were awake needed attention, too, you know. Either they were hungry or they needed their diaper changed. When you have three...in six years I had three.

    Bennett: Yeah, you were busy.

    Daughter: You probably did a lot of sewing then, too.

    Perrone: I used to sew a lot, yeah.

    Bennett: You had what kind of light?

    Perrone: The oil lamp.

    Bennett: Isn't that hard on the eyes?

    Perrone: Sure. But we didn't mind it. We weren't used to anything else.

    Bennett: What time did you go to bed?

    Perrone: Oh, I say nine, ten o'clock usually. If I had something to do, I stayed up until it was done. Usually nine or ten.

    Bennett: Was an evening...in the summertime different from the winter because you could take a walk?

    Perrone: Well sure, it was much better in the summertime. And even if you didn't go to bed you went outside. You sat outside and get some fresh air. Some of the neighbors were around. You talk and all.

    Bennett: Your husband, when he went and played...you mentioned about bocce.

    Perrone: Yeah. Saturday afternoon or Sunday. Not any other time.

    Bennett: Where would they go?

    Perrone: Well, just up above the house like I told you. Up the hill.

    Bennett: Up that hill.

    Perrone: And then it was flat on the top there. They cleaned it out. They made a ball game - a bocce ground. They amused themselves.

    Bennett: Did he ever go hunting?

    Perrone: Yeah, he used to go hunting. Rabbits. Rabbits and squirrel when the season was open. That's mostly in the fall anyhow. Winter, you know. Around November. Then, I had a boarder that went hunting a lot.

    Bennett: He would bring it...

    Perrone: He lived there, naturally. He would bring it there. I cook it and we ate it. That was an extra treat. Because we didn't have meat every day, you know. Not for that wages, you couldn't have meat every day. Well we had meat often enough, because like I said, chicken and rabbits. And on a Saturday the butcher come around, you know, and we bought the meat. But now it's more frequent than it was. A small piece of meat you made it go a long ways.

    Bennett: When you did it, would you like, mostly in a stew?

    Perrone: Well, a stew. A roast. Boiled meat. Sometime you have boiled meat. You made a pot of vegetable soup, and you picked the meat out and cut it and eat it with relish or whatever you want to eat it. I like boiled meat.

    Daughter: Horseradish. I like it with horseradish.

    Perrone: Mmm-mmm. I don't like the horseradish. Not for me.

    Bennett: I like horseradish on shin meat.

    Perrone: That shin meat is good when it's nice and tender. You know how I even like a shin meat. In a salad with onion and oil and vinegar. It's very good.

    Bennett: I'll try it sometime.

    Perrone: You'll be surprised. You slice it or cube it. Small cubes. Do like you would with potato salad. Then you slice an onion. Put onion rings in there and oil and vinegar, salt and pepper. It's delicious.

    Bennett: It has a delicious flavor by itself, so I can see where...

    Perrone: Oh, we used to use a lot of shin meat.

    Bennett: Did your husband belong to any clubs or organizations?

    Perrone: Yeah. One in Wilmington. What was the name of it, Emma?

    Daughter: The North Italy.

    Perrone: The North Italy Club.

    Bennett: And he would go there...

    Perrone: On a Sunday.

    Bennett: After church and after dinner?

    Perrone: Yeah, after church. In the evening sometime.

    Bennett: Did you belong to any?

    Perrone: Uhuh.

    Bennett: You had your own activity. The children were too young.

    Perrone: Yeah. When we moved away from there, the youngest was 18 months old and the boy, Eddie, the oldest, was...we moved the 13th of June and he was three years old the 21st of June. She was the oldest. She was six in January and we moved in June. She was six and a half.
  • Holiday food traditions; her weekly cleaning routine
    Keywords: bathing; boarders; Christmas; coffee royal; ravioli; stove polish; Thanksgiving; turkey
    Transcript: Bennett: Do you remember any of the holidays, like Fourth of July. Did they have...

    Perrone: Not in those days.

    Bennett: You never went to anything like that?

    Perrone: No. And Christmas and Easter we'd go down to my sister to have dinner with her. And sometime they would come up to my place and that was it.

    Bennett: What would you have for Christmas? Turkey?

    Perrone: You want me to tell you the food? [laughs] We used to have raviolis, I know. Then I guess we did have turkey.

    Bennett: Do you remember anything special about how you had your Christmas dinner? It would probably be different than the Irish.

    Perrone: Oh yeah. We didn't use potatoes like the Irish. [laughs]

    Bennett: You used the pasta?

    Perrone: Yeah. We used pasta. They used to have ravioli. The turkey with gravy and stuffing. Salad. String beans, vegetable. Then you'd have cake and coffee.

    Bennett: Were there any customs the Italian people did at the holidays that were different?

    Perrone: Not that I know of.

    Bennett: Nothing that...you know how sometimes certain people have their own...

    Perrone: Well you see, there weren't too many American people. And us, we all had the same ways. The same thing, you know. I don't know anybody that had anything special for any occasion of any kind.

    Daughter: Mom, tell us the story you used to tell about when you had parties that lasted three days.

    Perrone: Oh, that was when your father got drunk that time. We didn't have parties for three days. He was drunk for three days. He never drank, and somebody wanted him to get drunk. So they bought a bottle of gin and said, "Come on let's drink it. Let's drink it." He said, "No. We ain't going home yet. We're going to finish the bottle." So they finished the bottle of gin. And he almost died. For three days.

    Bennett: Did he ever drink it again?

    Perrone: No. He wasn't a big drinker. My husband wasn't a big drinker. Oh, he'd like a glass of wine, but that's it, period. Even when we move up here, when we lived up in Kennett, he never drank. A glass of wine and that was it. And if we had company they always liked a coffee royal. You know. He never cared for much about it. But sometimes in company he would take coffee with a little whiskey in it. They called it coffee royal. Isn't that what they called it?

    Bennett: Yeah.

    Perrone: But that's it.

    Bennett: But that's not really...

    Perrone: That's not drinking. No. I said that one time he got drunk and I'll never forget it. We weren't even married then at the time.

    Bennett: And he probably never forgot it.

    Perrone: No. I think he remembered it for a long time. Because like I said, he was never a drinker. [Tape is turned off for coffee break.]

    [Transcript not completed for following portion of audio in which Perrone describes her daily routine of polishing the stove before lighting it. She also states that she scrubbed the kitchen floors daily and the upstairs floors weekly. Furniture was dusted and polished as needed. She mentions that bathing was done using a wooden tub on Saturday evenings after the children were asleep, but the boarders did not bathe in the house. She also mentions an incident when a boarder was reluctant to pay rent, who claimed that Mrs. Perrone was simply saving the money and did not need it.]
  • Local doctors and illnesses; her husband getting the flu during the 1918 epidemic
    Keywords: black measles; Diseases; Dr. Gross; Dr. Reynolds; Dr. Samuels; Influenza Epidemic (1918-1919); Kennett Square (Pa.); meningitis; Physician and patient; Physicians; red measles; Shield Brothers lumber yard
    Transcript: Perrone: ...very good friend but she never went anywheres. She used to say, "Mary, why don't you come in and visit me." I used to say, "with three kids?" She said, "Oh I don't mind them. They're always so nice and clean and shiny." She used to play with them by the window. Whenever she went to Wilmington, in town, she went in a five and ten and came home loaded with candy and toys for the kids. All the time. I was about the only family besides her daughter that she talked to.

    Bennett: Was she an older lady?

    Perrone: Yeah. She was an old lady. She must have been in her late seventies or early eighties even then. You know. She used to, like I was telling you - that lady that used to go get the [potty?], when her little boy--she used to keep the curtain down cause he used to go on the window sill. It was level with the ground, you know, on the kitchen window sill. Put his foot in there and look in. He used to have that bag hanging all day long. That dirty diaper. She said, "Mary, that makes me so sick. You just can't believe it." So, I told them, "I'm sorry. There's nothing I can do about it."

    Bennett: And that could cause disease?

    Perrone: Naturally. My husband, he had asthma. He used to lose so much time at work. The doctor said it was asthma. Then the doctor said to me, "Mrs. Perrone. That's not asthma. It's allergy he got from the dirt in this place." He said, "Sure you keep it clean, but walk outside and see what's outside." Everything was dirt, you know, loose dirt. Naturally, they got a bucket of dirty water, they just threw it out the door. They didn't even go and throw it in the...there was like a little ditch, you know, that you could throw. Then it would all go down in one place instead of spreading. What could I do! He said to me when I told him, "Doctor, we're gonna move." He said, "Thank God for that." He said "Why" I said, "We were told we got to vacant the place. They're gonna tear them down." He said, "That's the best thing that could have happened to you people." So we moved up in Kennett Square. He never lost another day of work with asthma. He thought it was asthma, and then he found out it's allergy. When my daughter Emma had whooping cough, I had to go out on the farm for two or three weeks so she could survive. The doctor used to come out every blessed day from Wilmington then in town to bring her a shot.

    Bennett: What was his name?

    Perrone: Dr. Samuels. He only had one lung that doctor. But he was the best doctor. And he used to call me "Little Mary," with a smiling face and a crying heart.

    Bennett: That's a nice description. He would come when the children were really sick?

    Perrone: Yeah, he would come. Not today. You couldn't get no doctor today. Now they're dying, but you still have to bring them to the office. But when we called him, he came always. He used to come to see my son Eddie. He had the black measle.

    Bennett: What was that?

    Perrone: They were black instead of red. Measles come out red. My daughter came down with the measle and he said, "Keep the boy away from her." I said, "Well, she was in one room, he was in the other." The next day, he come down with the black measle instead of the red measle, the regular measle. For eighteen days my husband and I, other than change our clothes, we didn't have our clothes off our back. We stayed with him day and night. He used to come up at 2 o'clock in the morning, 5 o'clock in the morning, 11 o'clock at night. He'd never find any change in that boy, and he said, "I don't know what else to do, Mrs. Perrone. I'm afraid you're gonna lose him." Thank God he pulled him through. It took him seven years to pick up, though. He had to make all new blood. Thank God he's all right. He's 61 years old. He's got 4 children. But I tell you, it wasn't easy.

    Bennett: No, it doesn't sound like it was.

    Perrone: No it wasn't.

    Bennett: When you needed the doctor, how did you get him?

    Perrone: The grocery store had a telephone.

    Bennett: And you'd call.

    Perrone: We'd call the doctor from there.

    Bennett: And would he come pretty soon?

    Perrone: Oh yes. He usually came right away. No, he was one doctor I admired. He's dead now, Lord have mercy on his soul. Cause I did love him. He was in the war in France. And when I told him we were moving up in Kennett, you know, he said, "Mrs. Perrone, do you know of any doctor up there?" I said, "No, I've never been up there." He said, "I'll recommend you one doctor; we were in the war together and he's good. It was Dr. Reynolds in Kennett Square." I told Dr. Reynolds, "Do you remember Dr. Samuels?" He said, "Yes. We were in the war together in France." I said, "yes he's the one who recommended you to me." He said, "well, that was nice of him."

    Bennett: How about in the summer. That health makes me think of what were the smells like?

    Perrone: Hmmm! Terrible.

    Bennett: You're pinching your nose. You don't want to think about that.

    Bennett: Did you have window screens for flies?

    Perrone: Are you kidding?

    Bennett: Well, I'm just asking. How about the flu of 1918. Do you remember?

    Perrone: Yes, I remember. Everybody was getting sick. They said it was the flu. My husband came down with it, and he was in bed for two or three weeks. Then, when he felt good he went up for a walk. When he came back he wanted two pork chops. I told him, "You got to be kidding." He said, "No, it's what I want." So I cooked him one instead of two. And he got a high fever and he was down in bed again. And we never thought we were gonna come out of it. Our doctor had left, discharged him because he thought he was all right. I called the doctor back and he said, "I'm sorry. I got too many others. Your husband was all right before. He's got to be all right." So there was the Corrados that lived in the same block we lived, and they had a little boy that had meningitis. And their doctor was coming. And I told her, "You think he'd come?" I wanted to ask. So I asked this doctor if he would come over. And he said, "Who's his doctor." I said, "His doctor discharged him and now he won't come because he said he's got too many other patients." He said, "OK, I'll come and see him." When he looked at him, my God, he said he had a 105 [degree] temperature. And he was in bed another month. But thank God he survived. He come out of it good.

    Bennett: Was that another doctor? Do you remember his name?

    Perrone: Oh, Dr. Gross. He lived in...oh, what is that place they have that lumber yard? Shield Brothers, they had that lumber yard.

    Daughter: Greenville.

    Perrone: Greenville or Centerville. It was one of them. He lived up there and he came down. And he took care of my husband.

    Bennett: Did many people from that area die?

    Perrone: Oh yes. Oh my God. We must have had 15 or 20 people die. In a small...within three or four blocks. The blocks weren't blocks like the city blocks. They were four houses. Then there was a big space. Then there was another four houses. And that's it. Then there was across the bridge. There was a house the same as they were on this side. But I never went on the other side of the bridge. So...

    Bennett: On the other side of the bridge there was...was that still Squirrel Run?

    Perrone: Oh yes. We could call to one another. There was just a little crick. And they put a little bridge over it. Because you couldn't walk in the water, naturally. So...

    Bennett: Do you remember anything else about the epidemic. Like food. What did they tell you to do?

    Perrone: Well, I don't remember them telling me anything. Cause when you were sick, you couldn't eat. When you have fever you couldn't eat. You make a bit of broth, that's it. No, they never tell you what to eat. It's not like now, they give you a diet: you eat this; you eat that. Don't eat that. In them days, they left it up to you.

    Bennett: Whatever you felt like eating?

    Perrone: That's right.

    Bennett: I think sometimes that's the best way.

    Perrone: In a way. Not always.

    Bennett: Not with the pork chop.

    Perrone: No. [laughs] And yet, I had to cook him that pork chop. It was a real balmy day. It was in November, you know. It was a real balmy day. Was warm out. Kinda damp. But the sun was shining and he wanted to go out and take a walk. I said, "Sure, it won't hurt you." But I think the pork chop is the one that did it. I don't know. Now, I'm no doctor. But right after he ate the pork chop, he got such a high fever we thought he was gonna croak right there.
  • Asking the foreman, Joe Haley, to move her husband out of the mills after he was injured in an explosion; the Italian families she associated with in Squirrel Run
    Keywords: boss; Explosions; foreman; Gunpowder industry; Immigrant families; Industrial accidents; injuries; Italian Americans; Joe Haley; Personnel management; powder mills
    Transcript: Bennett: How about explosions at the yard? Do you remember any of the explosions?

    Perrone: I remember a lot of them. But as long as there are none of yours involved in it, you don't...you hear them and you feel sorry for the ones that either got killed or got hurt. But one particular time my husband was in it. We heard this explosion. Well, what are you gonna do? We wait 'til they come back. See which one come back and which didn't come back. I remember I was standing on the porch. The store had a porch all around it, so I was standing on the porch waiting for my husband and the other men to come up. Everybody came home but my husband. I had one man, [Gallone?] he was along side of me and he said, "Why don't you go home?" I said, "What for? I'm waiting for my husband." He said, "If he wasn't dead he'd be here by now." [Everyone gasps.] That was a nice thing to tell me, wasn't it.?

    Yeah, Charlie [Gallone]. And until this day, he was my daughter-in-law's mother's brother. And I said, "Well, I'm still gonna wait." The reason he was late, he was in the wash house. And the window blew out and it hit him on the face. He had to go to the hospital to get stitches put in, you know. That's why he was late coming home. That was it. After that, I told him...I told Joe Haley, he was the boss, what they called the boss, I guess. What do you call them, managers, supervisors, whatever...They say boss. I said, "Mr. Haley, I want you to take my husband out of the powder mill." He said, "Well that's what he wants to do." I said, "It's not what he wants to do. It's what I'm telling you to make him do." I said, "You give him work outside. Either that or fire him." I was glad he didn't fire him, because what were we gonna do. You gotta eat. Naturally. And, well he talked him out of it. He made him get out. He said, "You know, Ed. I don't need you really. I need you more outside than I do inside." Of course outside was almost as danger, but you weren't as close to it. You always had a better chance, I think. And when he come home he said, "You know what Joe Haley did?" I said, "What did he do?" He said, "He put me outside." I said, "Oh, good. Aren't you glad?" He said, "No, I want to be inside the mill." I said, "Well if they put you outside, you stay outside. Maybe they'll put you back another time." Then, about a month later, my husband has to go back in. And he came up and told me afterwards, he said, "Mrs. Perrone, I almost did something today that I would have regretted the rest of my life." I said, "What did you do?" He said my husband asked him to put him back in the mill. He said, "I was just about ready to say yes, then I change my mind. I got Gaino to go in there instead of him." The man got killed that day. They had an explosion, the men was in there and got killed.

    Bennett: The same day?

    Perrone: Yep. The very same day that they put the man in there, he had an explosion that very same day and he got killed.

    Bennett: Did your husband ever find out?

    Perrone: I never him and Mr. Haley never told him.

    Bennett: That was your secret?

    Perrone: I told him, "Don't you ever tell him, because he'll divorce me for sure." In those days they didn't use divorce, but he probably woulda left me anyway. "No," he said, "I'm not gonna tell him." He told me, he said, "Boy am I glad I changed my mind. I was just about yes, to tell him yes, if you wanna go in, go in. Then I saw Joe, what-you-call, Gaino. I put him instead." Well Gaino, at least he didn't have no babies. It was bad enough. And he wasn't even living with his wife anyway, at the time. But I had three small babies.

    Bennett: I guess in a way they considered, a foreman considered the family situation...

    Perrone: Probably.

    Bennett: And everything else...

    Perrone: Maybe. Could be. Because he come up to me the next day and said, "Oh, Mrs. Perrone, What I almost did yesterday." I was surprised. I didn't even give it a thought, you know, that he was going to ask him. He said, "I was gonna ask your husband to go in," because every day he passed him, he wanted to go back in. He says, "And I was ready, my mouth open, to say go ahead. Then I saw Joe Gaino and I got him instead."

    Bennett: Kind of gives you the creeps.

    Perrone: I know. It's like the coal mine. You never know when they go down if they gonna come out. That's the same thing. I'll tell you, it wasn't easy. But we made it.

    Bennett: And there were some very wonderful moments?

    Perrone: Yeah. There were good moments and bad moments, too. No matter where you're at, you have those. Good and bad. You're not always happy. There's always something that...we moved down here, we had a lot of sickness, we had deaths. But thank God, I thank the good Lord for what I have today. The way I am today. I'm up out of bed every morning, that's the main thing. I mean, as far as that, it wasn't all bad. It wasn't all good. We had our fun. We had our good times. We had our sad moments, too.

    Bennett: It sounds like you worked very hard and that your husband did, but I think you enjoyed because you were a good mother and a good housekeeper and you enjoyed what you were doing.

    Perrone: Well, I enjoyed my work. I like to work. Even today I can't sit down. Sit still. Boy, it kills me. I don't like to be sitting. I sit sometime in the afternoon, watch TV a little bit. Then I gotta get up walk around. Go outside. Go someplace. I just can't stay in one place. I can't wait for the good weather to come and see what I can do outside. Cleaning. There's a lot of cleaning to do there.

    Bennett: You said to me you really didn't associate too much with the people...

    Perrone: No, not too much at all. There was just two or three family that I was really close. One was DiSalvo. They were next door to me. The other was the Corrado. They were next to it. Then there was this Mrs. Pesce...Ferraro. She was a Pesce, but she remarried was a Ferraro. And Mrs. Carey. They were about the most four family that...uh...the Catalina, the one that had the store, yes. We lived next door to the store. The store was on the lower end and we lived on the upper end.

    Bennett: Would you say that the Italians and the Irish got along?

    Perrone: Oh yeah, very much. I never heard them arguing anyway. They wasn't that many Irish, though. I think there was two or three families, that's all. Mostly the Italians, and mostly they all came from the same part of Italy. It's the same way when we move up in Kennett Square. One move and then everybody else follow. There are people that used to live next door in the place where they came from, and they just come around and all crowded together. After we moved down here, Perrone moved across. [Bart Oliver?] moved up above. Girroso moved next up here, next to the barn up above there. Pisini moved down in the lower house. They build the store and then the store went bankrupt, so they sold out. The man died, the son died and there's a plumber there now.

    Bennett: Did these people that you just mentioned, did they all work at Hagley at some time?

    Perrone: At some time or other, yeah.

    Bennett: Do you have anything else? Any stories that you might share with me?

    Perrone: I don't know. What can I tell you?

    Bennett: I'll turn it off.