Mrs. Taylor: Hello.I am Jean Taylor.I am married to Charles Taylor.I am his third wife.He lost his first two wives so I am number three and he likes to tell our friends that he was not the cook.So weíve been married for thirteen years and both of us have shared in war experiences and we are happy to share them with you.

 

Triesler:Great.Where were you born?

 

Mrs. Taylor: I was born in Kent, Ohio on January 1, 1923.I was the first baby born that year so my parents got all the presents such as they were back then in the dark ages.Stayed there my whole lifetime, part of it.I went to high school there and by the time I graduated we were in the middle of the war, so there was no money for me to go to college and this really disturbed my mother a lot because she had gone to college.But it worked out fine.I worked in the daytime and went to secretarial school at night.So I became a secretary and that worked out fine.

 

Triesler:Mr. Taylor, when were you born?

 

Mr. Taylor:I was born in 1921, in Westfield, New Jersey.I lived there quite a bit of my life.I went to school there.I never went to college.But I got a job with AT&T when I graduated high school and I worked for them for about forty years.So that was a good place to work.I got good benefits when I got older and retired, so I was happy with my life there.I was involved in setting up many conventions, and so forth, with AT&T to make sure they had coverage in the media and that was my primary job, I guess.And I enjoyed it. And they kept me on for over forty years.

 

Mrs. Taylor: And you did some Apollo shots to make sure they had the right equipment.

 

Mr. Taylor: We did the Apollo shots and any political activity, but wasnít confined to just presidential conventions or anything like that.

 

Triesler:Around 1940 when the war was coming but hadnít quite gotten there yetÖwhat do you remember about your lives at that time?Did you think war would probably come to the United States?Were you hoping we would stay out of it?What was it like back then?

 

Mr. Taylor:I donít remember feeling anything about the coming of the war.

 

Mrs. Taylor:That was the year that I graduated from high school. You know, the fellows were going. My husband at that time had started college and then he was drafted. And that was how I came to be a riveter, because the fellows were all gone and I had moved back home with my parents, there in Kent, and I went to apply for a secretarial job at the Twin Coach Company in Kent, Ohio.And when I went for the interview, the lady said ďif you would work in our plant we will pay you twice as much money as you would make being a secretary.Well, the fellows were gone so I said heck I might as well go and make extra money.So I had to be in training and I wore coveralls and I had a lunch pail and I had to work shifts and the contract they had from the government was for C-46 tail assemblies and it was my job to lie in the back of that tail assembly and buck the rivets.I had a partner on the outside and she drove the rivets and Ihad to lay there on old, smelly blankets they put back there for us and I had to buck those rivets and I couldnít see her on the outside, so it was much different than pounding a typewriter, I can tell you.I really felt good about what I did and I stick up for all the women who rallied round because all the ladies I worked with were teachers.Everybody in the town, in the community, went to work there because they needed us so badly.So, sometimes I get on my grandstand about what the ladies did because I donít think they get enough credit for what they did during the war.

 

Triesler: Can you describe that job? What you did; what you had to do?Was there a tool you had to use?

 

Mrs. Taylor: Yes, there was a little metal thing that I had in my hand and I had to get on my back and see I couldnít see her on the outside and she had a thing to drive those rivets and so I had to follow her along by just tapping and bucking those rivets.

 

Triesler: Bucking?Is that like flattening on the inside?

 

Mrs. Taylor: Yes.That is what held the tail assembly together.

 

Triesler: Was lighting a problem for you working insideÖ.

 

Mrs. Taylor:Well, it was only a tail assembly so it wasnít that big and to my knowledge that is all they made.That is the only thing they had the contract for.It was a bus company and they had made buses previously.Most everybody in the town went to work there during the war.

 

Anne Marie Trimmer: Was it loud and hot?

 

Mrs. Taylor:Yes, it wasnít easy but I never thought about that.My parents didnít live real close to the plant so I walked back and forth.Of course, I didnít have a car so I had to walk.Back then, I certainly wouldnít do that today, it wasnít a very safe thing.I never gave it any thought about being dangerous when I was walking.

 

Triesler: How long did it take you to walk to work?

 

Mrs. Taylor: Oh probably half an hour, twenty minutes.

 

Triesler: Did you have to work shift work at all?

 

Mrs. Taylor:Yes, I worked days and then I worked nights.

 

Triesler: What kind of hours would they have for the shifts?

 

Mrs. Taylor: You are asking me too hard questions [she laughs].Well, I guess I worked an eight hour shift.

 

Triesler: Do you remember how frequently you had to switch?

 

Mrs. Taylor:Yes, weekly.But it was really nice.I really enjoyed the ladies that I worked with and a lot of them had gone to college and already had a profession.They were teachers.

 

Triesler:Were you able to have the radio on at work or anything like that?

 

Mrs. Taylor: No.And of course there was no television then.

 

Triesler:What did you wear?

 

Mrs. Taylor: Well, I didnít have to wear a mask or anything.And I guessÖI canít remember.I donít think I wore anything on my hair cause there was no danger in that.But, I remember being hot and sweaty and when you lie on your back like that to workÖbut I did it for the war.

 

Triesler:And you wore coveralls?Did you remember what color they were or did they have to be a certain color?

 

Mrs. Taylor: No, I canít remember.I donít know.I guess back in my scrapbooks I have some pictures but I canít remember.

 

Triesler: So when you finally got home after all that work, which had to be tiring on the arm muscles, I would imagine.What did you typically do after that long walk home from work?Did you have a lot of chores or work to do?

 

Mrs. Taylor:Well, I was living with my parents so I didnít have many household things to do.I donít know.The time went fast and I was busy writing V-mails because by then my husband was overseas.

 

Triesler: Do you remember when you married, what that time was that you married your first husband?

 

Mrs. Taylor:Yes, letís see, it was in í43 and he had, he went to college at Kent State.He lived in Kent.We met playing in the band, believe it or not, and he was one grade ahead of me.We started dating and he had one year of college and then he was drafted so he had to go.I was busy writing to him sending packages.He was shot in Germany.The German was a very poor shot.He shot him across the Mosel River in the leg, in the foot, so he was sent back to Avon and he was in the hospital there and eventually he came home after the war.And then I went down to Nichols General Hospital and where they just ran the Kentucky Derby, there was a hospital there and I remember it was really hard, there was no housing available and we kind of, when I got there, he had picked out a kind of apartment, a terrible place for us to live and I remember that I didnít like it because when you turn on the lights at night there were bugs that flew all around so we got out the next day and we went door to door and we found another place to live.We moved in with a family. Everybody was doing the same thing, so I never felt it was a hardship, and then he was finally out of the service so he was able to come home and went back to college at Kent. We had one child before graduation, so I had a nice life living in Kent, Ohio.

 

Anne Marie Trimmer: Did you keep working when all the men came home from the war? They always wanted the ladies to go back to the home, but the ladies felt independence. Did you keep working?

 

Mrs. Taylor: I did work. I was a secretary. During all that time that I was working at Twin Coach, then I was going to school at night when I could. I ended up getting a job at Kent State University. I was secretary to the School of Speech. I worked for five college professors, which how we paid our bills. My husband was in school, and he worked at night over good year plan. They had a plan for the veterans, so he worked two or three nights there. We managed, and then he finally graduated from college and went to work.

 

Mr. Triesler: How long did you work for the University at Kent?

 

Mrs. Taylor: Oh, probably for a couple of years. When I left, my sister took my job, so we kept it in the family. It was fun because there were five different phases that I was involved in: theater, the debate team, speech and hearing clinic. It was a nice job.

 

Mr. Triesler: When you went back home to live during the war, were you able to save money since you were already married for your family? Or did you feel then that the money should go to your parents? Do you remember paying rent? Was there an issue there?

 

Mrs. Taylor: No, but I remember I did buy a fur coat. Much to my mother in lawís grin, she thought that I should never spend that much money, but I bought myself a fur coat. It is kind of silly now, but she didnít think I should spend the money for that.We were lucky. We lived in a house my mother owned, and it made it nice. While we were living there in Kent when he went back to school after the war, we kept college boys. It was a big, old house in Kent. They all came from Cleveland, Ohio, and they were all Irish. We fixed up this house, and I remember we went to all these places like Goodwill and bought the furniture and things to put on the floor so we could have these boys. Because there were so many GIís that come back at that time, the housing was really at a premium in Kent. We fixed up the rooms and even though we lived on the other side of town in Kent, the boys didnít mind walking from our house over to the University. I think they paid something like five dollars a week or five dollars a month, and we had to catch them before the checks came because otherwise they used it for beer.

 

Anne Marie Trimmer: You mentioned sending packages to your husband overseas. What did you send him?

 

Mrs. Taylor: You know, I really honestly canít remember.

 

Anne Mare Trimmer: Was there anything particular that he liked that you probably did send him?

 

Mrs. Taylor: No, I didnít send a whole lot of packages. I donít know why. We wrote letters, and those were those little v-mail letters. I did half a bunch of them.

 

Mr. Triesler: Well, do you recall where you were when Pearl Harbor was attacked and how you heard we were at war?

 

Mrs. Taylor: Yes, I do remember, because I was at my motherís house. We had a radio but no televisionÖ

 

 

 

 

 

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