Josephine Peraldo Plummer Oral History

Dublin Core

Title

Josephine Peraldo Plummer Oral History

Description

Josephine Peraldo Plummer Oral History

Creator

Churchill County Museum Association

Publisher

Churchill County Museum Association

Date

November 2, 1994

Format

Analog Cassette Tape, .docx file, Mp3 Audio

Language

English

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Marian Hennen LaVoy

Interviewee

Josephine Peraldo Plummer

Location

1211 Auction Road, Fallon, NV

Transcription

CHURCHILL COUNTY MUSEUM & ARCHIVES

ORAL HISTORY PROJECT

an interview with

Josephine Peraldo Plummer

November 2, 1994

This interview was conducted by Marian LaVoy; transcribed by Glenda Price; edited by Norine Arciniega; final by Pat Roden; index by Gracie Viera; supervised by Myrl Nygren, Director of Oral History Project, Churchill County Museum.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this interview are those of the interviewer and interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Churchill County Museum or any of its employees.

PREFACE

Josephine Peraldo Plummer's home is small and spotless--like herself. A beautiful smile punctuates every statement. The love and feeling of loss for her deceased husband, Myrlin, is evident in every comment.

Josephine's parents were Italian immigrants who separately faced the hardship of crossing the continent--not knowing the language or customs of this country. Their rising above discrimination and their working to buy one hundred sixty acres of land is inspirational.

The oldest of five children put Josephine in the business of doing "outside" work with her other siblings. She reveled in it and her interview gives the reader a picture of a young girl plowing, seeding and harvesting in Lahontan Valley as it was being turned from sand dunes to lush fields of alfalfa and grain. School was a "bother" that had to be taken advantage of, but Josephine was a true outdoors woman and counted hunting and fishing as her two educational and recreational favorites. Love of the outdoors was the forte of the man that she so dearly loved and the description of their wedding dinner and reception illustrates that fact.

The young couple lived frugally and made ends meet through his mechanical prowess. The "Highway Garage" was built on their property and he worked diligently on machinery brought to him by "locals". He and she went on hunting expeditions to supply venison, fish, etc. for food during the Depression years. They built a home near the garage and worked one section at a time as finances allowed. They made trips to the hills to gather large stones for the building. . . each stone was meticulously fitted into place and the mortar was painted black to outline each. This small house still stands bravely among the modern buildings that surround it. In 1935 they gave permission the United States government to install a water and sewer line across their property for the use of Camp Carson River, BR-35. . . the CCC camp that was in Fallon. The agreement was signed by Captain Morris M. Orr, USA Infantry Reserve and W.H. Wallace, the project manager.

Josephine lives alone but is surrounded by memories and pictures of other years when her family was together. She looks forward to visits by her surviving daughter and grandchildren who live in California, but her sisters-in-law and brother drop by quite often and are welcomed with that beautiful smile that seldom leaves her face.

Interview with Josephine Peraldo Plummer

LaVOY:  This is Marian Hennen LaVoy of the Churchill County Museum Oral History Project interviewing Josephine Peraldo Plummer at her home 1211 Auction Road, Fallon. The date is November 2, 1994. Good morning, Josephine.

PLUMMER: Good morning.

LaVOY:  How are you this morning?

PLUMMER: I'm just fine.

LaVOY:  Great! Now I'd like to start this interview by asking you when and where you were born.

PLUMMER: I was born in Paradise Valley [Nevada] February 19 in 1913.

LaVOY:  And what were your parents' names?

PLUMMER: My mother's name was Emma Frisiero Peraldo.

LaVOY:  And your father?

PLUMMER: Emilio Peraldo.

LaVOY:  Now, can you tell me, we'll start with your father, where was your father born?

PLUMMER: Um, [tape cuts] He was born in Andorno, Italy.

LaVOY:  And how did he happen to come to the United States?

PLUMMER: Well, he had a brother that came here first, and he bought a ranch in Paradise Valley, and he told him that there was a ranch near his ranch that he thought possibly he might be able to make a deal and come to Paradise.

LaVOY:  So, was he ranching or farming in Italy?

PLUMMER: No, he was a stone mason. They had a stone quarry in Italy, and that's what he did, but his brother was farming here, and he told him, and then he got started that way through his brothers.

LaVOY:  And he married your mother in Italy?

PLUMMER: Yes.

LaVOY:  And she was living as the wife of your father who was the stonecutter?

PLUMMER: Right, wasn't too long before he came to America that they were married, so they were only married five or six months, I think, before she followed him to America.

LaVOY:  He came first.   

PLUMMER: He came first. Yes.

LaVOY: And got settled.

PLUMMER: And got settled, and then he called for her and asked her to come.

LaVOY:

Did she say anything about her trip over?

PLUMMER: The only thing she said was that she loved the food there. Her husband was sick all the time he was on that boat, and when she came over she enjoyed the food and didn't miss one meal. She said she really loved the food on that ship.

LaVOY: Then both of them came into Ellis Island?

PLUMMER: Yes.

LaVOY:  Oh, have you had their names recorded on the monument there in Ellis Island?

PLUMMER: I don't know about that.

LaVOY: That'd be very nice for you to do that. They're asking people whose parents came from foreign countries to Ellis Island to, I think they make a small donation and they have their names put on the wall there.

PLUMMER: See, my mother's brother came to America, too, from Italy, and he settled in New York, and I still have a cousin there in New York, and I wonder if she couldn't do something about that. She's right there.

LaVOY: Well, that'd be very nice.

PLUMMER: Yes, she was there a couple of years ago to see it.

LaVOY: When your parents arrived in New York, separately, of course, did your father ever say anything about how he got out here to Nevada?

PLUMMER: I think, you know, he didn't speak English, and he had quite a hard time making people understand, and I really don't remember, but he did have a couple of incidences that he was talking about when he came here about the hard time he had by not being able to speak the language.

LaVOY:  Well, tell me about them.

PLUMMER: Well, one was a man speaking with another in his language, and he didn't know that he happened to be Italian, and he said, "Well, we ought to rob this guy," and, of course, he understood, you know. He always told that story about how it was lucky that he happened to be the right nationality to understand what that man was threatening to do, to rob him there. They was doing a lot of that at that time when the ships come in.

LaVOY:  Well, how did he keep from being robbed?

PLUMMER: I don't know that part of it. He just told about that incident there that he felt fortunate that he wasn't robbed. Of course, I don't think he had very much money, either, but I think people were just waiting for those people to get off those boats and things like that. Those ships.

LaVOY:  Do you know whether he came by train to Nevada?

PLUMMER: I think he did. Now, that's as much as I know. See, his brother has passed away, too, that was--I wouldn't be able to tell, and I'm sure his daughters don't know about that.. It had to be by train.

LaVOY:  I'm wondering if it would be your uncle met him some place in Nevada.

PLUMMER: Oh, yes. In Winnemucca, that's where they met 'cause the train would go by Winnemucca. It still does, I think. I don't know if it stops there now, but I know it did at that time.

LaVOY:  And his brother met. him at Winnemucca and took him by wagon, probably, out to Paradise Valley.

PLUMMER: Yes. Uh-huh.

LaVOY:  What did your father feel about the property when he first saw it?

PLUMMER: Well, it was quite a change from Italy, you know. This is a desert, and where they lived it was very green and beautiful, but he had made up his mind to do that, so there wasn't much he could do but only stay.

LaVOY:  What type of ranching did he do?

PLUMMER: They raised cattle and had wild hay there in Paradise. They raised cattle and sold them in the fall like they do here sometimes.

LaVOY: They harvested the wild hay and put it up for the winter in stacks.

PLUMMER: Yes. For the cattle, and they fed the cattle. In the fall they'd sell them.

LaVOY: Now, when your mother arrived in New York, did she have any incidences that were of interest?

PLUMMER: Well, you see, not being able to speak English, the only thing she remembered was that good food on that ship, and the rest of it, her husband was already here My dad was already here, so it wasn't as hard for her to get here. She had everything on how to get there.

LaVOY: But she still had to come by herself across the country.

PLUMMER: Yes, that was very, very hard on her. It must have been terrible for her because Harriet [Peraldo] when she came from Belgium--my sister-in-law, you know--she was telling about what a time she had, and I just thought about my mother, you know, being alone and not having anybody, only her husband hundreds of miles away. It must have been terrible, but it's been so long that I've forgotten what she told me about it.

LaVOY: Something I wondered about. I know many of the Italian families that came to Elko, Nevada said that they brought salami and bread and cheese with them on the train because they couldn't read the menus. Did she ever say anything about that?

PLUMMER: Yes. I think she had food with her. Yes, that sort of thing, salami and cheese. That was her main meal, and bread.

LaVOY: Did your father, then, meet her in Winnemucca?

PLUMMER: Yes, he met her in Winnemucca.

LaVOY: What was her first impression of the ranch area?

PLUMMER: Oh, it wasn't very good, and then she had to move in with her sister-in-law, and, of course, she knew her, but you know how things turn out with those things. She had quite a hard time there, and then she became pregnant right away, and then they finally bought this ranch, and she moved over. It was adjoining my uncle's ranch, and then it was a little better after they moved.

LaVOY:  How long were they here before they [tape damaged, area cut out. Original transcript continues “bought the ranch?”]

PLUMMER: I think they had to borrow money from my nephew in business in Winnemucca.

LaVOY:  What business?

PLUMMER: I think he was in the car business. That's the part I don't understand. I know he had to borrow money because he- [area of damage too bad to hear, has been removed]

LaVOY:  Now with your mother being pregnant, did she move to the ranch that he bought as soon as she became pregnant?

PLUMMER: Shortly after that she did.

LaVOY:  How much money did they have to pay for the ranch, do you know?

PLUMMER: I don't know a thing about the price of the ranch. I was only eight years old, and I knew they borrowed some money from some people here in Fallon they knew. My uncle knew.

LaVOY:  They borrowed money for the ranch in Paradise Valley?

PLUMMER: He borrowed that from here from these people. [H.C.] Gerdemann was their name. I remember that.

LaVOY:  That was to buy the ranch here?

PLUMMER: Here.

LaVOY:  I'm talking about the ranch in Paradise Valley. He borrowed the money from?

PLUMMER: It must have been through his brother that he was able to get the money unless he sold something in Italy now. I don't know, but it was against the law to bring money away from that country, so I don't think he could do that. He had to borrow money here through his brother I'm sure.

LaVOY:  Now, how long did he stay on the ranch?

PLUMMER: Oh, it must have been seven or eight years because as soon as he sold it, he made arrangements to buy this ranch here from Charlie Mills.

LaVOY: Do you remember life on the ranch in Paradise?

PLUMMER: Yes. My cousin lived at the adjoining ranch, and we had a little one-horse buggy that we would come into school, and I never will forget this instance. These kids used to scare a horse, and one day it ran away with us and run into town because the school was near a town, near Paradise Valley, and, luckily, it didn't turn over, but those boys thought that was the funniest thing they ever heard. My cousin--I talk to her once in a while, and she still reminds me of that.

LaVOY: How many of you children were born in Paradise?

PLUMMER: All of us, but Silvio. He was born here at this ranch.

LaVOY: And you were approximately eight years old when you moved from Paradise Valley to Fallon.

PLUMMER: Right. [tape cuts, when it comes back, white noise plays for just under 2 minutes, followed by another about minute and a half of silence, which has now been removed transcript continues as follows:

LaVOY: Now, upon moving to Fallon suppose you tell me about your new home.

PLUMMER:  It was a nice home and we had lights from a Delco battery unit. It. was in the cellar. The house was small.

LaVOY: What chores did you have to do in the house?

PLUMMER: I was always working outside as there was so much outside work to do. Then we used to hire about twenty men to help us with the haying at that time. You know, there was no machinery. Just those horse-drawn machinery and my job was, well, I mowed and raked or whatever was available. Us girls worked just like men when we got old enough. I was the oldest, so as we got older, we all worked.

LaVOY: What was your Favorite job out in the field?

PLUMMER: I'm an outdoor girl, so I didn't mind any of the work outdoors. The only thing I didn't like was milking the cows, but I didn't mind the outdoors. The haying part and things like that I didn't mind.

LaVOY: When would haying start?

PLUMMER: It started about the same time that it does now. It depends on the weather. If it was warm enough. Like it is now when the alfalfa and things. It's just the same as it was then.

LaVOY: Well, this point in time you were getting your water from the Lahontan Dam, were you not?

PLUMMER: Right. Right. Yes.

LaVOY: You feel] that was a tremendous asset to the ranching in this area?

PLUMMER: Oh, my goodness, yes. There in Paradise we just had those few streams, and they had a lot of water problems there. In fact, people would be there with guns to see that nobody would steal your water. It was very, very bad there for water. Had a very hard time. That was one of the reasons we wanted to move out of there.

LaVOY: Who did you sell your ranch to in Paradise Valley?

PLUMMER: I think there was a man by the name of Swartz was his name that we sold it to him. There were several Swartzes there, but they had money there.

LaVOY: Did your father make enough profit on that ranch to buy the one here?

PLUMMER: Well, I think he did to make a down payment, and then he made payments on this ranch by borrowing from these Gerdemanns that we knew. They met them, I think, in Paradise some place. Some relatives or something because they were able to borrow money from them when we came here.

LaVOY: How many acres did you buy from Mr. Mills?

PLUMMER: A hundred and sixty acres. Was the size of the ranch.

LaVOY: Now, besides the alfalfa that your father planted, what else did you have in the line of crops?

PLUMMER: Part of the time we'd raise wheat. A few acres of wheat, and then, in order to make a few more dollars, we leased some land to some people in town here that raised potatoes.

LaVOY: You remember their name?

PLUMMER: Yeah. Guazzini was one of them. He's related to these Guazzinis here. It was the father to this Guazzini that has the ranch out there.

LaVOY:  Oh!

PLUMMER: And there was two or three others in with him. I don't remember their names now, but he was the main one.

LaVOY: And they raised potatoes?

PLUMMER: Yeah. They raised potatoes on our land. We leased them the land.

LaVOY: Now, approximately what year would that have been?

PLUMMER: I think it was about 1925 or 1926. I think they leased it more than one year.

LaVOY: Did your father, you said he raised a great deal of alfalfa and a lot of hay here. For what reason? Did he sell it?

PLUMMER: Yes, he used to sell some to I.H. Kent Company. He was our buyer.

LaVOY: Now, what else? Did he have cattle? What kind of cattle did he have?

PLUMMER: Holsteins. Milk cows.

LaVOY: He had a dairy then?

PLUMMER: Yes, he had a dairy. We didn't have big dairies like we do now. We had a few pigs that we fed the milk to and sold the cream. We had an old cream separator that we worked by hand and got a little cream which didn't pay very much, you know. Just anything to pick up a few dollars.

LaVOY: Who did you sell the cream to?

PLUMMER: Where this tire company here is. [Pete Lilly's Firestone, 327 North Maine] There used to be a creamery right there.

LaVOY: This creamery that you sold the cream to was owned by whom?

PLUMMER: Mr. [Frank] Scholz. I think he ran the creamery.

LaVOY:  Oh, the Scholz family had the creamery. [Milk Producer's Association]

PLUMMER: Well, he ran it. I don't know who had the creamery.

LaVOY:  Did you sell milk to them, too?

PLUMMER: No, not milk. Just cream. We separated the milk with that old separator we had there, and then we'd sell it in ten-gallon cans.

LaVOY: Who were some of your milk customers? Do you remember any names at all?

PLUMMER: We didn't sell milk. We just sold the cream.

LaVOY: Just the cream?

PLUMMER: Um-hum. Just the cream, and then they made butter and stuff like that at that creamery there.

LaVOY: What did you do with the excess milk?

PLUMMER: We had pigs. We fed the skim milk to the pigs.

LaVOY: Now, you must have been a very busy lady working in the fields, and I know you had to clean the separator.

PLUMMER: Oh, my goodness, yes.

LaVOY: That took a lot of effort to keep that very clean. Did your parents have a vegetable garden?

PLUMMER: Yes, we always had a nice big garden, and we raised our own beef. My favorite was veal. 'Course now I can't afford it, but it was really good. We had our meat and our vegetables and things like that, and my mother canned.

LaVOY: Now, was that one of your jobs to help her can the vegetables?

PLUMMER: We didn't do very much in the house 'cause we really had a lot of work outside. We didn't do very much in the house. The youngest girls helped in the house. My youngest sister helped a little in the house, but most of the time we worked outdoors because that was a job. You know, time we milked cows. We'd get up at three o'clock in the morning 'cause we had to be ready for school at seven, and those buses at that time didn't have any heaters. We'd almost freeze to death.

LaVOY: Who were some of your school bus drivers?

PLUMMER: Kirn Bradley was one. My first one was…

LaVOY: Well, tell me a little bit about when you first started school here in Fallon. Do you remember who your first teacher was, and what grade it was?

PLUMMER: I think Miss Richards was my first . . . That's the part I don't remember too much. I remember I didn't care for school. It was so different from there. There was so many children here, and where we were in Paradise it wasn't very many kids.

LaVOY: You probably had a one-room schoolhouse in Paradise Valley.

PLUMMER: Yeah, we did. We did, and here it was so different.

LaVOY: What school did you go to here first?

PLUMMER: The Cottage School, but then it was a different building before the Cottage School was built. Then we went over to the West End. It was a two-story. Then we went to the Oats Park, and then from there we went to high school.

LaVOY: Who were some of your friends that you met here in school?

PLUMMER: You know, we didn't have much, the only thing I played was basketball. We had too much work. We just couldn't get involved in that sort of thing.

LaVOY: Now, something I'm wondering about. I imagine that you spoke Italian in the home.

PLUMMER: Yes.

LaVOY: Was it difficult for you to come to school and have to speak nothing but English?

PLUMMER: No, I never did have that problem.

LaVOY: Many of the friends of mine that came from Italy had that problem, and I wondered if you…

PLUMMER: Well, I didn't come from Italy.

LaVOY: No.

PLUMMER: But, my folks, even though they talked Italian most of the time, it didn't bother us kids. We didn't have that problem. I never remember having that problem.

LaVOY:  That's wonderful. Now, who were some of your teachers when you moved from the first school and moved up into the fifth, sixth, and seventh grades?

PLUMMER: The fifth grade, I think, was Miss Taft. There was two Miss Tofts, and they were the ones. I think I wrote em down here… And Mrs. [Lucy] Burton was the one that was my teacher here at the West End and Miss Taft at Oats Park, and Miss [Laura] Mills and Miss Smiley and Miss Richards was one of the first grades. I have those written down.

LaVOY: Oh, well that's very good. And you say you were not able to get too involved with school activities because you had such a work load at home.

PLUMMER: Right.

LaVOY: When you started high school, was your work load at home a little less by that time?

PLUMMER: No, it wasn't. We still had to work a lot.

LaVOY: What do you remember about high school that you think would be particularly interesting?

PLUMMER: I always liked my teachers, and I can't remember any of my teachers. I got good grades because I liked it.

LaVOY: What was your favorite subject?

PLUMMER: I liked typing and shorthand, and I loved anything to do with geography, places to go and things like that. That was my favorite there.

LaVOY: At that point in time was Mr. McCracken the principal?

PLUMMER: Right. Yes.

LaVOY: What were your opinions of Mr. McCracken?

PLUMMER: Well, he was very strict, but I think he was really good. We would have problems sometimes with our algebra, and he would just start to explain from the bottom up, and we'd understand what he was telling. He'd keep at us until we understood exactly what we didn't know. He was a wonderful teacher, not only a principal, wonderful teacher. I liked him. He was strict. Very, very strict.

LaVOY: I've heard that from most people that I've interviewed that everyone respected him.

PLUMMER: Oh, you bet. I think he was wonderful, really.

LaVOY:  Now, the social activities in high school, by this time were you able to attend any of the dances?

PLUMMER: I belonged to the Alpha Lambda.

LaVOY:  What is that?

PLUMMER: If you get good grades you belong to that sorority, and I was in that for as long as I was in school.

LaVOY:  What were some of the activities of the Alpha Lambda?

PLUMMER: Well, we had meetings at night and discussed different subjects.

LaVOY:  What type of subjects?

PLUMMER: Well, I just can't remember, and I used to attend all of them because it was in the evening, and I could go at night. I learned to drive a car, and I could drive in and go to these things at night, but I just don't remember what we talked about.

LaVOY:  What kind of a car were you driving?

PLUMMER: We had an old Chevy four door. It was a 19…

LaVOY:  When did your father get his first car?

PLUMMER: He got it when he left Winnemucca. That old Dodge. It was a 1921 Dodge touring car.

LaVOY:  And he used that then until he wore it out?

PLUMMER: Wore it out. Right. You couldn't afford a car every year.

LaVOY:  And then you learned to drive the Chevrolet.

PLUMMER: Right, because when we started high school we couldn't ride in the bus with the high school kids. I had to learn to drive and go in myself.

LaVOY:  Now, this ranch that you lived on is on what road now?

PLUMMER: They call it Peraldo Road.

LaVOY:  Peraldo Road, and it's out in the Harmon District? Stillwater?

PLUMMER: Mario Gene lives there at that old ranch. [Old River District]

LaVOY: And that home that your nephew lives in now, is that the home that you grew up in?

PLUMMER: Right. I grew up until I was eight in Paradise, and then we moved here.

LaVOY: Well, now, when did you happen to meet your husband-to-be [Myrlin Plummer]?

PLUMMER: He was a hunter, and we had lots of hunting down in that area. Down at the Indian Lakes, and one night there was a group of us, by the name of Piazzo, he had this old car and all of us'd get together, and we were riding in this flat, and we broke down, and my husband-to-be and this friend of his was going down to go hunting down there, and he noticed me and I noticed him, and I thought he wanted to go with my sister, and I said to her, "That's a good looking guy. Why don't you see if you can't get in touch with him?" She agreed to do it, so that was the end of that deal, but that's how I met him. That was the first time I met him.

LaVOY: What was he hunting for?

PLUMMER: Ducks and geese down there. I don't know if there's any water now, but it used to be all flooded down to the north of where we lived and lots of lakes in there and that's what he'd hunt. Ducks and geese. This friend of his lived down in that area.

LaVOY: What was his friend's name?

PLUMMER: Ralph Coble. I remember that.

LaVOY: And you felt that your sister was the one that he was interested in?

PLUMMER: Right.

LaVOY: Did she date him then for awhile?

PLUMMER: No, she dated this Kirn Bradley. Kirn Bradley and Ralph Coble and my husband were all hunters together, and they hunted down in that area. In fact, my sister was going with Kirn Bradley for a while, and then when we talked, finally got together with my husband-to-be, and he said, "No, I wasn't after Del. I was after you," he said. We used to talk about that before he died here about that incident. We always remembered that.

LaVOY:  Well, now did you know him in high school?

PLUMMER: No, I didn't 'cause he was seven or eight years older than I was. He was already through school when I met him.

LaVOY: What were some of the things that you did on your dates?

PLUMMER: Well, we'd go to shows, and I don't know.

LaVOY: Did you go to any of the dances?

PLUMMER: No, he didn't like to dance, and I didn't either. I wasn't a social girl. I didn't care for dancing, and he didn't either. I loved the outdoors, and he did too. He was a hunter and fisherman, and we was just a perfect match because I loved that, too. In fact, I couldn't go fishing or hunting, but I didn't realize I loved it so much. My brother, Mario, was the one that loved fishing and hunting, and he used to walk down to the Lakes and just walk down there five or six miles to hunt by himself, fish. So my brother, Mario, and I were the outdoor people, and so my husband was an outdoorsman.

LaVOY: Approximately what year did you meet your husband?

PLUMMER: 1929, I think. I think that's time right there in that picture. That's him with those sagehen. I think it's labeled there.

LaVOY: Now this picture that you're speaking of shows your husband-to-be with his fried, Ralph Coble, with approximately thirty sagehens.

PLUMMER: Right.

LaVOY: That was taken in Willow Creek Canyon in Austin. [End of tape 1 side A] Now, your husband would hunt in Fallon and in Austin and areas around?

PLUMMER: Yes, sagehen and all those deals were in the mountains.

LaVOY: Well, when you and he decided to get married, when was that?

PLUMMER: That was in 1931.

LaVOY:  In 1931?

PLUMMER: Well, we decided about in 1930, and then we were married in 1931.

LaVOY:  Who were you married by? [long pause] I know that you got your certificate from the Churchill County Court House and everything, but I just wondered where were you married. Were You married here in Fallon?

PLUMMER: I was married in Fallon, yes.

LaVOY:  And where?

PLUMMER: At my brother-in law's house. That was Roy Plummer's house and his wife. We were married at his house.

LaVOY: And how many people were in attendance?

PLUMMER: We didn't have very many people. I think there was about a dozen people was all, and we had a catfish dinner for our wedding dinner which was just . . . we went down and caught our catfish down here in Stillwater, and this wonderful friend of ours cooked them up and had a beautiful setting and we had catfish. About twelve or fourteen of us.

LaVOY: Now, were your parents in attendance?

PLUMMER: No, they weren't. They didn't come.

LaVOY: They didn't approve of your husband. Is that it?

PLUMMER: Yes, but my husband didn't care for the elaborate weddings, and that was the reason we didn't have that sort of thing.

LaVOY: Oh, I see. Who was your attendant?

PLUMMER: Roy Plummer and his wife. That's my brother-in-law and his wife.

LaVOY:  What was her name?

PLUMMER: Frances Moody. She used to be a Moody.

LaVOY:  So, your wedding party consisted of you and your husband and his brother and his brother's wife.

PLUMMER: Right, and Robbins. This friend of Myrlin's. Don Robbins and his wife, and I think there was another couple there. I can't remember who all was there, but there was about twelve or fourteen of us.

LaVOY: And what did you wear?

PLUMMER: Oh, I just had a plain dress, and my husband just had a plain suit.

LaVOY:  You had a very simple wedding.

PLUMMER: Very simple.

LaVOY:  And a very happy life afterwards.

PLUMMER: Right.

LaVOY: Now, where did you first live?

PLUMMER: We lived at Rawhide [Nevada]. That was our first place.

LaVOY:  And why were you at Rawhide?

PLUMMER: Because he was mining at that time. They had had a garage here, but then they decided that they wanted to mine.

LaVOY:  Now, you said "they" had a garage. Who is "they"?

PLUMMER: My father-in-law and my husband were in together in this garage here down on Center Street.

LaVOY:  And what was the name of the garage?

PLUMMER: Gosh, I can't remember… [tape cuts]

LaVOY:  Well, that's all right if you can't remember the name of the garage. How long did he work there?

PLUMMER: Well, see, he had worked in the garage before we were married, and then shortly after we were married, we went out to Rawhide and mined there for awhile, and then he went to Idaho and looked at another mine which didn't pan out.

LaVOY:  Well, then, where did you live here in Fallon right after you were married?

PLUMMER: Shortly after we were married, two or three years after we were married, we bought this acre here on [1280] West Williams.

LaVOY:  Where your current home is?

PLUMMER: Yes, right.

LaVOY:  And then did you rent this land out while you moved to Idaho?

PLUMMER: No, he was only there a month or so.

LaVOY:  And you stayed here?

PLUMMER: And I stayed here. In fact, I went down to my mother's and stayed with her 'cause I had a little girl. Marlene was born then. She was about two or three months old, and I went down to my mother's in August and stayed there.

LaVOY: There were no buildings on this property?

PLUMMER: No, this was just bare ground. In fact, all this was bare around here. We would shoot coyotes out here.

LaVOY: Shoot coyotes where the community college is now?

PLUMMER: Oh, yes, right here where Leno's is here.

LaVOY: Where Leno's, the seafood house is? [Tony's Seafood Restaurant, 1350 West Williams]

PLUMMER: Yes, right.

LaVOY: My, goodness gracious!

PLUMMER: Oh, yes. This was just all bare land. That was all alfalfa fields around here.

LaVOY: Alfalfa fields where the stoplight is?

PLUMMER: Yeah, Mori owned all that. Mori and Mrs. . . . the house that she lived in was still here. I think Mrs. Witt lives there now

LaVOY: Mrs. Witt?

PLUMMER: Yeah, she was in the library. I think she still lives there in that one house, but that's the only house that was there, and Miss Flo [Flora] Morriss owned it at that time. She had an old hospital.

LaVOY: There was a hospital in the house?

PLUMMER: No, she had the hospital out where Hiskett has his gravel plant now. [2120 Allen Road]

LaVOY: Now, where did you have your first child? Your daughter, Marlene.

PLUMMER: She was born, see, my father-in law and Myrlin owned a house down there on South Maine Street. It's still in the Plummer family now. Right across from the high school [junior high, 650 South Maine], and that's where she was born. In that 607 South Maine. I still remember that.

LaVOY:  Oh! And how much did she weigh?

PLUMMER: She only weighed... I was sick. I didn't go to the doctor when I should have, and I had this uremic poisoning, and she only weighed four pounds, and she turned out to be the larger girl, and she was tall. My other daughter, she weighed eight pounds, and she was small like I am.

LaVOY:  Well, your daughter being born at your mother-in law's home, then how soon after that did you move back with your parents while your husband was in Idaho?

PLUMMER: Well, he was only there a month, so then we began building on this house here.

LaVOY:  Now, you're speaking about the beautiful colored rock house?

PLUMMER: Yes, right, and see, Myrlin and I with the help of another man, a friend of his, we paid him, of course, but he was a big husky guy, and we'd go out and get rocks.

LaVOY:  What was his name, do you recall?

PLUMMER: Yes. Dick Whitehead.

LaVOY:  Now, where would you go to get rocks?

PLUMMER: Right out here southeast of town about ten or twelve miles.

LaVOY:  What did you bring them back in?

PLUMMER: We had an old truck, and we'd just go out. We had this old shop here, his brother did, and after we moved here awhile, Myrlin went in with his brother and just picked up a few mechanical jobs. he was a mechanic, Myrlin, my husband, was, and we'd get a few dollars and go out and get a load of rocks and put them up. 'Course the garage wasn't built until later. The inside of the house wasn't finished when we moved in because we were rather desperate for a place to live.

LaVOY:  Now, just to get this straight. Your brother-in law and your husband had a little mechanic shop [Highway Garage]? Is that what it was?

PLUMMER: Yeah, this building right here.

LaVOY:  On the building that you're living in right now?

PLUMMER: Right there where that shop is. There's a shop over there. It's full of tools and stuff now.

LaVOY:  In a small shop that faced Auction Road?

PLUMMER: Right.

LaVOY:  And they did mechanical work on cars and machinery.

PLUMMER: They would even buy old cars and sell parts off of it. Just anything to make a living, you know. They'd work on cars, anything. At that time this was the main road, see.

LaVOY:  Auction Road was the main road?

PLUMMER: That was the main road. This wasn't here at all when we moved in.

LaVOY:  West Williams wasn't here?

PLUMMER: No, that wasn't here when we first built.

LaVOY:  Auction Road was the road that went out to Reno?

PLUMMER: To Reno, right.

LaVOY:  I didn't realize that.

PLUMMER: Yes, right. This was the main road. We didn't have this highway here.

LaVOY: That's very interesting. So, then your husband would work in the shop. Where were you living at that time when you were building this pretty little house?

PLUMMER: Well, we lived in it before we finished it even. We had a roof over us and walls, but the inside wasn't. finished. We lived in it, and before that we lived with Myrlin's folks for awhile. This was liveable, of course. It wasn't finished, but we could get by with it.

LaVOY: You lived on South Maine with them?

PLUMMER: Yes.

LaVOY:  This house is so interesting. This rock house that we're speaking of. Did you by any chance have plans for it, or did it grow like Topsy?

PLUMMER: Right. I think we just decided as we went along.

LaVOY:  How many rooms does it have in it?

PLUMMER: It's not very big. It has a bedroom and a fairly large front room and a kitchen and a bath. That's all it has. Because at that time we just didn't have enough money to build on.

LaVOY:  Well, now, when you would go out and get these rocks from the hillside, did you have to shape the rocks to fit?

PLUMMER: Yes, my husband did. He had to shape all those rocks to fit perfectly. You see how they fit in there, and that was a lot of work.

LaVOY:  It's so interesting to me that here your father left Italy as a stone maker, and then you married a man who more or less became a stone mason as a hobby.

PLUMMER: That's funny, isn't it, how things happen. You wonder how these things do happen.

LaVOY:  Now, you said you got the roof on and you got the walls up and everything, and you moved in to just literally shift until you could fit the floors in?

PLUMMER: That's right. I think we did get a floor in and then we went and built the two by fours.

LaVOY:  What type of a floor was it?

PLUMMER: I think we had a hardwood floor in there. In fact, I was in there the other day, and I was surprised that the floor was that good. You know, after that man had lived in there for seventeen years.

LaVOY:  Well, when the house was finished then, did you turn to and fix the yard all up?

PLUMMER: Uh-huh. We had a beautiful yard there. Flowers, and we had a line of lilacs in the front there. We tried to plant trees on that west side, and we never could. That ground was so bad. We even hauled in dirt and couldn't raise a tree on that west side, but we did get some on this side.

LaVOY:  Now, I noticed that those stones have paint on them. There's not a lot left, but how did you decided on the color scheme of painting the rocks?

PLUMMER: Those rocks aren't painted.

LaVOY:  Oh, they aren't?

PLUMMER: No. Those are all natural rocks. The only painting is the edge around the . . . no, those rocks are not painted.

LaVOY: The edge around?

PLUMMER: The black. We wanted to make them outstanding, you know, and we put black around the edge of each rock.

LaVOY: Where the cement held the rocks together?

PLUMMER: Yes. Right. Right.

LaVOY: Where the mortar held the rocks?

PLUMMER: That's right. That's all that was painted.

LaVOY: And you painted that black?

PLUMMER: Black, uh-huh. Make it show off a little.

LaVOY: I bet that that was a house that people stopped to look at.

PLUMMER: Oh, they did. We had a lot of comments on that. Yes. In fact, people are still . . . the other day there was a man here from Roseville [California] that we know, and he was admiring that fireplace [outdoor barbecue], and he said, "I wish there was some way I could move it. I would take it. I would buy it from you, it's so nice." An outside fireplace he has there is really nice.

LaVOY: For a barbecue?

PLUMMER: Um-hum. We had several barbecues there with friends from town here.

LaVOY:  Inside the house now, you said you had a living room and one bedroom and a kitchen and a bath. What did you have in the kitchen initially?

PLUMMER: Just a stove.

LaVOY:  What type of a stove?

PLUMMER: Well, at first, we had a oil stove for the kitchen and then we did get a gas stove – butane stove, and that was it, and then we had a fireplace.

LaVOY:  Now, I imagine that you cooked many a game meal.

PLUMMER: Oh, yes. Yes, I surely did. 'Cause we'd go deer hunting, you know, and that was our meat lots of times. It was in the Depression, 1931, 1932, and we managed to go hunting and get deer and put it up.

LaVOY: How did you put it up?

PLUMMER: Well, usually it was fall, and we'd smoke some of it.

LaVOY: Well, tell me, your smoking it how you did that?

PLUMMER: Well, my husband did that most of the time. He would build a little deal.

LaVOY: Like a little deal. What did he build there?

PLUMMER: A little box sort of a thing. We didn't have these things they have now. He built everything, and then build a little fire and keep it so that just the smoke would come out through all these things and just smoke it so long. He'd taste it and see how it tasted and see if it'd smoked enough.

LaVOY: And then that would keep all winter?

PLUMMER: Yes. We even made jerky. You know, you'd slice it in slices and then soak it in salt water or whatever flavor. I used to like to use garlic and stuff like that in it. Gave it a good flavor, and then you could re-cook that like they do the beef jerky now.

LaVOY: Did you can any of the venison?

PLUMMER: I didn't can it because in the fall usually we could set it out in the garage, and it would stay cold enough then that it would keep two or three weeks or so.

LaVOY: That's very interesting. Did he smoke fish, too?

PLUMMER: Yes, we smoked fish, but we didn't get that many fish unless we went over to where Myrlin's folks finally moved over there, and we'd get the salmon, and we used to smoke salmon.

LaVOY: They finally moved to?

PLUMMER: My in-laws moved to. . . his is getting on now to where my kids have gone through school.

LaVOY:  But, they moved to California?

PLUMMER: Um-hum. They moved to California.

LaVOY:  And you get salmon there?

PLUMMER: Yeah, and you get salmon. They lived on the Klamath River.

LaVOY:  Oh! During the Depression, it was so very, very difficult for everyone, and, of course, you got your meat by going out and hunting for the meat and whatnot. Your other food, did you get it from Kents' on credit?

PLUMMER: Well, you know, my folks lived on the ranch, and they'd give us a lot of vegetables, and once in awhile they'd give us meat, too, 'cause they had a lot of animals out there, and we would get that. We'd hunt ducks and geese. In fact, my daughter would always ask the kids if they wanted honker [goose meat] sandwiches. I'd slice that honker up and make sandwiches. The kids used to kid her about that. She loved it. Slice that breast of the honkers and make sandwiches.

LaVOY:  That's very, very interesting. And then you made your own bread, did you?

PLUMMER: Yes, I used to make bread. My husband loved homemade bread.

LaVOY:  How many loaves a week did you have to bake?

PLUMMER: Oh, I'd say, I baked about twice a week 'cause my girls liked bread, too. It wasn't good for their diet, but they loved homemade bread.

LaVOY:  Well, now, we had mentioned that Marlene was born in 1931. Then your next daughter was born?

PLUMMER: 1935.

LaVOY:  August 21, 1935. What was her name?

PLUMMER: Beverly.

LaVOY:  So there was four years difference between the girls?

PLUMMER: Right.

LaVOY:  And they went to school here in Fallon, too.

PLUMMER: Right. They finished school here.

LaVOY:  Tell me, you said your husband was very interested in hunting. Did he belong to any hunting clubs that were here in Fallon, or did he just hunt on his own?

PLUMMER: He just hunted on his own. He had a few friends that he went with, and that was it.

LaVOY:  What were some of the things that you did besides hunting that you did with friends here in town? You know, as a young married couple living during the Depression?

PLUMMER: Well, we knew some people that had stores like Roy Durbin. In fact, he was a friend of ours. One of our first friends. He had a clothing store here, and we would have dinners. In fact, her folks would come from back east, and when the yard was nice, we had real nice dinners and we'd eat out in the yard and stuff like that. We had social deals like that with different friends in town. Ray Alcorn and his family. Do you know Ray Alcorn?

LaVOY:  Yes, I do.

PLUMMER: Well, we went to Mexico with him and his wife.

LaVOY:  Well, now, how was your husband's business coming along as the Depression started to end?

PLUMMER: Well, we got along better as it started to end.

LaVOY:  And did he build another garage?

PLUMMER: No. It stayed the same.

LaVOY:  The same one.

PLUMMER: He bought this from his brother, and he took it over and added on to it a little bit and stayed here until he passed away. Of course, he'd retired.

LaVOY:  Was he called to service in World War II?

PLUMMER: No, he wasn't. There was something wrong with him. They turned him down.

LaVOY:  So, you didn't have the trauma of having to raise the girls by yourself.

PLUMMER: No, I didn't have that problem.

LaVOY:  And, as years went on, were you and he able to take any trips anyplace out of the Fallon area?

PLUMMER: Oh, yeah. We liked to fish, so we'd go over into California and do fishing. We had a boat and we'd go fishing. That was the main thing we did. Fishing and hunting out.              

LaVOY:  What kind of a boat did you have?          

PLUMMER: Oh, we just had an ordinary twelve-foot fishing boat with a small motor.

LaVOY:  And did you carry it behind your car when you-?

PLUMMER: Yes, we had a pickup at that time.

LaVOY:  Now, you mention that you went to Mexico. Will you tell me about that?

PLUMMER: Well, we went to Mexico with the Ray Alcorn, the Alcorns. We were very good friends.

LaVOY: And about when was that?

PLUMMER: Well, the last time we went, I think, was 1955.

LaVOY: And where did you go?

PLUMMER: We went through Guatemala and then turned around and came back.

LaVOY: You were on the Mexico side then?

PLUMMER: Uh… [tape cuts] We went to Mexico with Ray Alcorn and his family in, I think, it was 1954 or 1955 and put up these birds.

LaVOY: Now, "put up the birds", you mean you learned how to stuff the birds?

PLUMMER: Stuff them and…

LaVOY: I know that's not the right word.

PLUMMER: No, no, it isn't.

LaVOY: Mount them or something. (laughing)

PLUMMER: Yeah. We were there . . .

LaVOY: Excuse me, what did he do? Skin the birds?

PLUMMER: We skinned them. We had to get them and skin them, and then we'd stuff them with cotton and sew them up and fix the feathers up so they looked natural. Then they'd lay them in these boxes and they stored them in these bins at these universities, and that's what we did there. We went with Ray and Doris. That was his wife's name.

LaVOY: Now, may I ask just out of curiosity. You would shoot the bird. Then you would open it and completely skin it?

PLUMMER: Skin it, and be sure and try not to... we had these small guns so it wouldn't hurt the feathers and things too much.

LaVOY: Now, when you skinned it, did you have to dry the skin prior to putting the stuffing in, or how did you do that?

PLUMMER: No, we just seemed to put that cotton in them, and the cotton would help dry them, and sew them up and make them look as natural as you could.

LaVOY: How could you keep the head from drooping?

PLUMMER: Well, we had different sticks and stuff you put in them, you know, for that. We had the things to do things with, you know. When you work on those things, there's different things that you do that,

LaVOY:  How many birds have you yourself stuffed for Mr. Alcorn?

PLUMMER: We did it for the University of Michigan. That's what we worked for because Ray got us into that, and we were able to sell, I think, about three hundred to them.

LaVOY:  Now, three hundred of what kind of birds?

PLUMMER: They were different types. There was finches, birds we got in Mexico. That's what they were interested [in], Birds that we got in those different areas in Mexico, and he has my book so I couldn't tell you where they came from, It's all labeled and stuff. Ray took it because he was writing a book on that and he wanted my book, so I don't have that information.

LaVOY:  He has the book that had the description of every bird that you and your husband stuffed.

PLUMMER: Right.

LaVOY:  And they are now on display at the University of Michigan?

PLUMMER: Right.

LaVOY: In Lansing, Michigan, probably?

PLUMMER: Is it Lansing? I don't remember where it is.   

LaVOY: Now, that is extremely interesting. Did you ever get any write-ups or any mention about your doing this taxidermy?        

PLUMMER: Not that I know of.

LaVOY:  Now, you said you sold about three hundred birds. Approximately, what did they pay you for a bird at that time?

PLUMMER: They'd only give you so much. Whatever they felt the condition of the bird was and that's how they paid you.

LaVOY: Now, overall, just off the top of your head, how much money do you think that you made from those three hundred birds?

PLUMMER: We actually didn't make any money on it because when you figure your trip and all and was gone three months and things like it, but we really enjoyed it.

LaVOY: Well, I'm just curious just to know roughly the dollar figure.

PLUMMER: Oh, it didn't pay. I think they gave us $250.

LaVOY: That wasn't even a dollar a bird, was it?

PLUMMER: Huh-uh.

LaVOY: But, you enjoyed doing it so it didn't make any difference?

PLUMMER: No, that's right. We really enjoyed the trip, and we learned how to do different things and knowledge and stuff that we learned. We felt that was a good deal for us.

LaVOY: Well, now, when did your husband close his garage, and what was the name of his garage?

PLUMMER: Highway Garage, I think is what it was.

LaVOY: How long did he keep it going? Until when?

PLUMMER: Well, he finally retired, He went to work for Wells Cargo up in Reno.

LaVOY:  And what did he do for them?

PLUMMER: He was a mechanic on their trucks.

LaVOY:  And he commuted from Fallon to Reno?

PLUMMER: No, we moved to Reno for about five or six months. He didn't work there very long.

LaVOY:  When was this, approximately?

PLUMMER: The girls had already left then. It had to be in the fifties.

LaVOY:  And he worked for five months there?

PLUMMER: Uh-huh. Right, and then he came back and opened up the garage again.

LaVOY:  Oh, I see. And you just closed your house while you went to Reno.

PLUMMER: And I think we rented it a couple of different times and then when we'd come back, we'd tell the renters that we wanted to come back in.

LaVOY:  Now, your daughters, how early in life did they marry?

PLUMMER: Let's see, my oldest daughter married in… I have some… I just looked…

LaVOY:  Who did she marry?

PLUMMER: She married an attorney. Jack Dunaway was his name.

LaVOY:  This is Marlene?

PLUMMER: Um-hum.

LaVOY:  Was he from here?

PLUMMER: No, he was from Los Angeles. They had already moved to Los Angeles, and she met him down there. She became a court reporter.

LaVOY:  Your daughter became a court reporter? Did she learn become to become a court reporter here in Fallon?

PLUMMER: No, down there.

LaVOY:  Why did she leave Fallon to go to Los Angeles.

PLUMMER: My girls didn't care for Fallon. They wanted something better.

LaVOY: More excitement.

PLUMMER: Right. There wasn't enough excitement here, and they both left. Marlene went first, and then the youngest one followed her three or four years later, and my oldest daughter worked for the Grinell Company. That was a plumbing outfit. She was going to school to learn this court reporting, and then she met this attorney and he told her if you're going to work, why work where you get some money. He told her to study that. That's when she married Jack, but she didn't last with him very long, but then she married another attorney, so her name now is actually Shelton, Howard Shelton is the last husband she married, but he was an attorney, too. She met him through court, too.

LaVOY: Did she have any children?

PLUMMER: Yes, she had two boys, and I'm a great-grandmother, One of them has two children, and the other one has one.

LaVOY: And what were her children's names?

PLUMMER: One is Howard, Junior, and the other is Marshall.

LaVOY: Oh. Well, how nice that you are a great-grandmother.

PLUMMER: Oh, yes.

LaVOY: And what are the names of your great-grandsons?

PLUMMER: Josiah, and the last little girl she had was Rachel. They're religious now which I'm very happy about.

LaVOY: She's living in Los Angeles now?

PLUMMER: Yes, they live in Long Beach.

LaVOY: Oh, I see.

PLUMMER: That's the area that's all together there.

LaVOY: Now, your younger daughter that left three years after Marlene did, Beverly. Is she married?

PLUMMER: Oh, yes, she's married, has a boy.

LaVOY:  And what's her name?

PLUMMER: McGee.

LaVOY:  What's her husband's name?

PLUMMER: Roger. She passed away, and he remarried.

LaVOY:  Well, Roger McGee, and they were married where?

PLUMMER: They were married in Los Angeles.

LaVOY: How long were they married when she passed away?

PLUMMER: Twenty-seven years.

LaVOY: She died very young.

PLUMMER: She did. She was only forty-two, I think, forty-two, forty-three. Something like that. She had cancer.

LaVOY: Oh, that's very sad. Did she have any children?

PLUMMER: She had one boy.

LaVOY:  And what's his name?

PLUMMER: Barry. He's my favorite. He comes here and does all kinds of work for me.

LaVOY: He comes from California?

PLUMMER: Um-hum. He lives in Santa Maria now. That's north of Los Angeles. He says he's so happy he got away from Los Angeles.

LaVOY: Well, that's wonderful. Now, regressing a bit. The girls had left, and you and your husband were back here in your pretty little house on West Williams. When did he pass away?

PLUMMER: He passed away in 1990.

LaVOY: From what?

PLUMMER: Cancer.

LaVOY:  Oh, that's sad.

PLUMMER: All of us… I have it, too, you know.

LaVOY:  Oh, no. That's very tragic. Now, is he buried here in Fallon?

PLUMMER: He is.

LaVOY:  And you've been living by yourself?

PLUMMER: Urn-hum. Going on five years.

LaVOY:  Since 1990. Now, were you living in your little stone house when he passed away?

PLUMMER: No, I lived right here. He passed away right here.

LaVOY:  Now, when did you build this house?

PLUMMER: Well, his brother built this house. The Plummers that lived here's father. Maurice Plummer was his name.

LaVOY:  And this is the home that he built at 1211 Auction Road.

PLUMMER: Right. Right.

LaVOY:  Well, when did you start renting your stone house?

PLUMMER: Well, as soon as the girls left, I didn't want to live there. I was too lonely. [End of tape 1]

LaVOY:  You said that you and your husband were so lonesome without your daughters that you didn't want to stay in the stone house anymore.

PLUMMER: Right.

LaVOY:  So, you decided to move to this home that belonged to your brother-in-law.

PLUMMER: Um-hum. But we had bought it since then.

LaVOY:  You had purchased it from Maurice. What did you do with your stone house then?

PLUMMER: We rented it to this surveyor. He lived in there for… well, in between times there were several renters that come and go, and then we finally, at the last, rented it to the surveyor that worked for the City, and he lived there until he passed away last year.

LaVOY:  Do you recall his name?

PLUMMER: Milton Lakey.

LaVOY:  Is the house empty now?

PLUMMER: Yes. I am not going to . . . it needs a lot of work, and I am planning on selling it.

LaVOY:  You haven't put it on the market, though, yet?

PLUMMER: No.

LaVOY:  It's a very good business location.

PLUMMER: Oh, I know. I've had a lot of calls, but I just don't know what I really want to do, yet.

LaVOY:  Well, now, with your last four years of being a widow, what have you done for, I won't say entertainment-that's not what I really mean, but what have you done in the last four years?

PLUMMER: I haven't been that well. You know, I had surgery on my breast, and I haven't been well since, but I just go to my sister-in law's place, and we eat out some. Go visit people. I have quite a few of friends that come and see me, and I go see them.

LaVOY:  Which sister-in-law are you speaking of?

PLUMMER: Harriet Peraldo and Olga Peraldo. They're the only ones that live here. My sisters-in-law.

LaVOY:  Now, it's very nice that Harriet--now, Harriet came from Belgium, didn't she?

PLUMMER: Yes.

LaVOY:  It's very nice that you and she are such close friends.

PLUMMER: Right. We go out to dinner lots of times together.

LaVOY:  She does such beautiful embroidery. Are you interested in anything like that?

PLUMMER: She knits a lot. No, I don't. I read a lot. I like to read. And it seems I can keep busy with this big yard. I've been raking leaves for three days.

LaVOY:  Now, are you and Mario the only two left in your family?

PLUMMER: Yes, we are.

LaVOY:  You have your children in California, and you have Mario's children here. Do you go down to see them much?

PLUMMER: Yes, we go down there and have dinners several times. The girls have little parties, and we're always invited to them.

LaVOY: By the "girls," who do you mean?

PLUMMER: My little nieces. My nephew's little girls. Lynn and Mario's [Peraldo] [three] children.

LaVOY: Were you happy to see Mario returning from the service to take over the ranch?

PLUMMER: Oh, yes. I think that was a good thing that the ranch stayed in the family.

LaVOY: And with this water situation, do you think it will continue?

PLUMMER: I have no idea. I just worry about it. Don't know what's going to happen. I'm afraid that the water's going to be a bad situation here. Myself, I'm glad I'm not farming now.

LaVOY:  You have lived in Fallon here, basically, all of your life. What changes have you seen that have taken place in Fallon that you think are good changes?

PLUMMER: Good changes? Well, it's progress, and, you know, I just don't know anybody here anymore, really. So many new people have come in. So, I'm not a person to like lots of people, so I hate to give my opinion of it. Really, it was a real nice little town. I loved Fallon, and, I don't know. I guess we can't stop progress, and that's all I can say.

LaVOY: How has the arrival of the Naval Air Station here affected the town that you can see?

PLUMMER: I don't think it's hurt it. I really don't think it's hurt it any. I know people used to think that. I can't see that it's harmed it any myself.

LaVOY: And there's a great big discussion now about putting a Federal prison here in the town. What do you feel on that?

PLUMMER: Well, I have an opinion on that. I don't want it.

LaVOY: I think many people feel that way. With you having lived here all your life, I would just like to know what your feeling is on it.

PLUMMER: I'm not in favor of it, but I'm sure that whatever is planned will be planned and will happen, but I'm not in favor of it. I've already expressed my opinion to different people about it, but I don't know. I'm just not in favor of it.

LaVOY:  What reasons are you not in favor of it?

PLUMMER: Well, I'm just afraid if a prisoner should get out, which they do, and you don't know who they'll pick on when they get out. Whose place they'll pick on. I just don't feel that we need it. I wish there were other deals that we could--I know the business people like it. I'm sure it'll help.

LaVOY:  Well, and living by yourself, I can understand.

PLUMMER: Right. It's more dangerous. Yes, you're right. I try not to let people know too much that I live by myself. The house sits back a little ways. Lots of people don't know if I live. Helps.

LaVOY:  Well, living here by yourself, I'm certain that you know how to use a gun from all of your years of hunting. I'd just like to ask. Did you and your husband have quite a collection of guns?

PLUMMER: Well, I gave away most of my guns to my grandson. I just gave them to him. We had a rifle and two brand new twenty gauge shotguns and a twelve gauge shotgun, Browning, which are good guns, and I just gave them to him as soon as Myrlin passed away. I didn't want them. I was afraid somebody might steal them. Didn't want them robbing me for a gun.

LaVOY:  Well, and how nice of you that you were able to pass them on to a grandson that you're very fond of.

PLUMMER: That's right.

LaVOY:  Well, you have lived a very, very interesting life. It's a very different life. Very, very interesting. And on behalf of the Churchill County Museum Oral History Project, I want to thank you for taking the time for this interview.

PLUMMER: Well, I certainly appreciate doing it. I really am happy to help you if I can.

LaVOY:  Well, thank you.

Original Format

Audio Cassette

Duration

1:04:32

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Citation

Churchill County Museum Association, “Josephine Peraldo Plummer Oral History,” Churchill County Museum Digital Archive: Fallon, Nevada, accessed March 7, 2021, https://ccmuseum.omeka.net/items/show/672.