Evelyn Holmes St. Pierre Oral History

Dublin Core

Title

Evelyn Holmes St. Pierre Oral History

Description

Evelyn Holmes St. Pierre Oral History

Creator

Churchill County Museum Association

Publisher

Churchill County Museum Association

Date

March 12, 1996

Format

Analog Cassette Tape, .Docx File, MP3 Audio

Language

English

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Marian Hennen LaVoy

Interviewee

Evelyn Holmes St. Pierre

Location

643 Douglas Street, Fallon, NV

Transcription

Churchill County Oral History Project

an interview with

EVELYN HOLMES ST PIERRE

Fallon, Nevada

conducted by

MARIAN LaVOY

March 12, 1998

OH

St PIERRE

This interview was transcribed by Glenda Price; edited by Norma Morgan; final by Pat Boden; index by Gracie Viera; supervised by Myrl Nygren, Director of the 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

Evelyn Holmes St PIERRE's bubbling personality indicates a woman who has lived life to the fullest. She paints lovely landscapes, painstakingly dresses antique and collector dolls and travels to distant lands with typical British vigor!

Her years as the only daughter of an English couple help one to understand the lifestyle of pre World War II England. Her mother dies and her father remarries. Eventually she leaves home and heads for Leicester to work in exclusive clothing stores. One can well understand why her stylish dolls are so impeccably dressed.

With the onset of the war and the loss of her young husband of four months in the Battle of Britain, her life changes, but she continues a warm relationship with her in-laws. Her recollection of bombing raids by the Germans where entire houses disappeared with one massive explosion is chilling reading.

Two years later when she meets young Earl Edward St PIERRE, an American serviceman stationed in England, life takes on new meaning. They eventually marry and he returns to Wells, Nevada. The American Red Cross arranges for her trip via ship to the United States. Listening to her description of sleeping quarters aboard ship is information that those of us who have never gone through the ordeal find fascinating.

Dressed to the nine's, she arrives in Wells, Nevada, and is amazed to find that there is no station platform. She, in high heels, etc., has to step off the train steps on to the railroad tracks and into the arms of her new husband.

The citizens of Wells, Clover Valley, and environs nearby were fascinated by this charming English girl and all took her to their hearts and made her feel very welcome.

Her years in Nevada are fascinating reading, and it's easy to understand how a British war bride could become a beloved and respected addition in each Nevada town that she has called home.

Interview with Evelyn Holmes St PIERRE

LaVOY:  This is Marian Hennen LaVoy of the Churchill County Museum Oral History Project interviewing Evelyn Holmes St PIERRE at her home 643 Douglas Street, Fallon. The date is March 12, 1998. Good morning, Evelyn.

ST PIERRE:           Good morning.

LaVOY:  It's very nice having the opportunity to interview you, and I wonder if you would mind telling me where you were born.

ST PIERRE:           I was born in England, of course,--you can tell that by my accent (laughing) in a market town. It was a good-sized town compared to the towns here, but it was called Grantham-Lincolnshire in the eastern part of England.

LaVOY:  Was it a rail town or a farming community?

ST PIERRE:           I guess it was both. The main London to Scotland railroad runs right through there, also the main highway--it was A-1 at that time--went all the way through Grantham up into Edinburgh, Scotland. Now, of course, it's bypassed by freeway.

LaVOY:  Oh, well, that's modern travel.

ST PIERRE:           Of course, the rails go in England, the railroads still go full time.

LaVOY:  When you were born there, tell me what type of a home. Did you live in town or did you live in the country?

ST PIERRE:           No, we lived in town all the time.

LaVOY:  And what did your father do?

ST PIERRE:           My father worked at the post office all his life.

LaVOY:  And your mother?

ST PIERRE:           My mother, I don't really know, but I think she was in the, what shall we call it, gown shop, a drapery store. They had one in each town. I had a feeling she was there, but I cannot remember. My mother died when I was seven years old.

LaVOY:  Oh, I see. Did your father re-marry?

ST PIERRE:           He married twice again.

LaVOY:  So, you actually were raised by your stepmother.

ST PIERRE:           Stepmother, uh--huh.

LaVOY:  And what was her name?

ST PIERRE:           Her name was Mabel Shaw before she was married.

LaVOY:  As a little girl, did you have your own room?

ST PIERRE:           Oh, yes, always had my own room.

LaVOY:  And what were some of the chores that you had as a little girl?

ST PIERRE:           Not very many, but I think one of them was on a Saturday morning to dust the living room and vacuum or polish the floor. I think it was polished at first, then it eventually went to a carpet.

LaVOY:  Well, that's not a very good job, is it?

ST PIERRE:           So, I didn't do a lot.

LaVOY:  Did you help your mother- Of course, you were very small when your mother passed away, but did you help your stepmother with the kitchen work at all?

ST PIERRE:           No, she was a business woman, and she didn't really get into cooking, herself, too much until she was married late in life. It could be she'd be her in forties. Of course, that was terribly old to me in those days. (laughing) That was ancient! She didn't want me interfering with her cooking. I think she was afraid I might do something that would be better than her. I don't know. I always had that feeling that I was kept away from the kitchen.

LaVOY:  Did she have help in the kitchen?

ST PIERRE:           No. Well, she had her mother living there, too. She brought her elderly mother along.

LaVOY:  What were some of the games that you enjoyed as a young child?

ST PIERRE:           Oh, gosh it's so long ago. As I remember we always had a hoop. We always had a ball. We'd play ball bouncing it up on a wall and cocking your legs over the ball. I was an only child, and we did have a boy next door whom I wished I'd have seen a year ago because he died this last winter. It's certainly one of the pleasures I'm going to miss for waiting too long. I can't remember too many games. I always had a bicycle, and so I always bicycled a lot.

LaVOY:  Did you have a lot of friends?

ST PIERRE:           Oh, I had quite a few friends.

LaVOY:  And what did you do for entertaining yourself?

ST PIERRE:           I guess we just didn't entertain ourselves too much in those days. When I look back we sort of were busy all the time. My father had a large garden in the back of the house, and so there was always plenty of … It was a vegetable garden, and we always had plenty of space to run around it, but he was very particular. I wouldn't dare pick an apple and eat it, for instance, off the tree.

LaVOY:  Without his permission.

ST PIERRE:           No. We'd always pick the fallen ones, and he always preserved the good ones for winter.

LaVOY:  The British are so noted for their cottage gardens. Did he have flowers, too?

ST PIERRE:           We had flowers. We lived in a row house all the time I was growing up. It was the last house but two in the town.

LaVOY:  What were some of the flowers that he raised?

ST PIERRE:           Oh, everything. He had the most marvelous chrysanthemums. The front garden was always filled with whatever was in season. It might be snapdragons or wallflowers. Just a solid mass.

LaVOY:  Delphiniums were great for England, too.

ST PIERRE:           We never had many delphiniums. He was more really on his vegetables, but he did specialize in chrysanthemums at one time. Also, in the early years, he had a greenhouse and grew the finest tomatoes you would ever taste. I've never tasted any like them.

LaVOY:  That sounds great to me. When you started school, where did you start school?

ST PIERRE:           Oh, we always started in the town schools. The average person started in what was run by the council. Then at the age eleven, you could go to the high school, and that was a five-year course. I suppose it's as high and the equivalent of here, but you couldn't go after that age because you had to put in five years. It was a five-year course. I turned twelve by the time I started.

LaVOY:  So, actually, you were seventeen when you graduated.

ST PIERRE:           I was seventeen when I left. I didn't graduate. I flunked at the last minute.

LaVOY:  You did!

ST PIERRE:           I went back to it again, but I just couldn't take it

LaVOY:  What was the name of the school that you attended?

ST PIERRE:           Kesteven-Grantham Girls' School.

LaVOY:  What were some of the courses that you took that you particularly liked?

ST PIERRE:           I wasn't a great lover of school. I liked the geography. I liked the biology and the chemistry and all the things which you had to do things for.   

LaVOY:  Did you have any plays that you were in in school?

ST PIERRE:           I don't think so. We didn't have fun things in school in my day at all. It was all work. No fun things at all.

LaVOY:  Did you have report cards like we have? How did they keep track of your progress?

ST PIERRE:           Yes, we had report cards. The same that you do here.

LaVOY:  What was your father's reaction when you, as you say, flunked.

ST PIERRE:           Well, we could always take it again. It didn't really matter. I wasn't going to university. You only went to university in my day if you wanted to specialize in something. Really specialize like Margaret Thatcher did. She went into politics, and everyone knows how far she went, but I didn't have that ability at all.

LaVOY:  Did you tell me that she attended the same school you did?

ST PIERRE:           The same school, but twelve years later.

LaVOY:  That's very interesting. Did she grow up in the same area that you did?

ST PIERRE:           No, she was north of town, and I was south of town.

LaVOY:  And her father ran a grocery store?

ST PIERRE:           Um-hum. I only knew Margaret Thatcher as a little golden-haired girl. When I had relatives come to visit, they were always in that part of town, and as children we used to go and buy our sweets and goodies from the store.

LaVOY:  From the store that Margaret Thatcher's father owned?

ST PIERRE:           Uh-huh. That's the only connection I had with her family.

LaVOY:  When you saw her did you have any idea at all that someday she would become prime minister?

ST PIERRE:           Oh, I didn't know her then. She was only a little tot of about three years old as I remember her.

LaVOY:  But, seeing her, no thought like this ever went through your mind?

ST PIERRE:           No. We went never went through any thoughts like that.

LaVOY:  When you graduated from school, what did you do?

ST PIERRE:           I went to Leicester to take an apprenticeship in a drapery store for gowns. I wanted to go in for clothing.

LaVOY:  What was involved in this course?

ST PIERRE:           We had to go through the store, where clothes were sold. Not in the drapery of section of it. We went to all of the female departments in turn. A three-year course. No pay.

LaVOY:  And you learned to sew?

ST PIERRE:           No, not to sew. Just to sell.

LaVOY:  To sell!

ST PIERRE:           We had to know how to fit the clothes to make them fit because most people had them altered to fit them in those days.

LaVOY:  Who did the alterations?

ST PIERRE:           They had a special department for that.

LaVOY:  What town was that in?

ST PIERRE:           This was in Leicester. Leicestershire.

LaVOY:  You said that was three years?

ST PIERRE:           Um-hum.

LaVOY:  When did you take up your art work?

ST PIERRE:           Not until I was over in this country. Although, I did have one, and my daughter has it now, that I did while I was at Leicester. Some daffodils in poster paint, but that's the only thing I can remember.

LaVOY:  That you did at that time.

ST PIERRE:           Just for doodling.

LaVOY:  What year did you finish this training for selling?

ST PIERRE:           It was 1930 when I went, so it must have been 1933.

LaVOY:  The war years were in the distance.

ST PIERRE:           I think it was March, 1934, because I stayed on another few months before I moved to Nottingham.

LaVOY:  When you moved to Nottingham, what did you do there?

ST PIERRE:           I was in the same trade in the gown department.

LaVOY:  What was the name of the store that you…

ST PIERRE:           It was John Lewis at that time. The same John Lewis that's still on Oxford Street, London, and have branches in some of the major cities outside.

LaVOY:  And Nottingham was one of the branches?

ST PIERRE:           Nottingham was one of the branches, yes.

LaVOY:  Do you recall anything that would be amusing or something that you remembered during your years of working there?

ST PIERRE: Not particularly, I don't think. We did have a tap dancing class, and I remember we had the local annual dance. We girls did a tap dance at the interval for the show, and three of the boys did their little one, too. It went over with quite a bang, so we thoroughly enjoyed that. But it's the only time I've ever done anything like that. (laughing) But, that was fun.

LaVOY: It sounds like a great deal of fun. Did you have any gentlemen friends that you were seeing?

ST PIERRE:           Yes, I was very much in love with my cousin. His name was Harold Plumtree, and he removed to a neighboring town so we used to sort of visit each other on the day off. That was about all.

LaVOY:  What did you do? Where did you go?

ST PIERRE:           Just to the movies. That's about all we could do in those days. I was living with some elderly friends of my father's who, well--it's rather difficult--but my father wouldn't let me go to Nottingham unless I was chaperoned. Let's put it that way. But, I was twenty-one years old! So he insisted that I go and stay with these people. I think they finally got tired of me and asked me to leave, so I took a room on my own then. (laughing)

LaVOY:  (laughing) I doubt that they asked you to leave. (laughing)

ST PIERRE:           Well, they were pretty old-fashioned, and I was quite a . . . I was not sort of too gentle a person, I don't think. I could say genteel, maybe, but that's the wrong word. I liked to be on the move all the time.

LaVOY:  And were independent. How long did you work there in Nottingham?

ST PIERRE:           I think it must have been about two years.

LaVOY:  And from there where did you go?

ST PIERRE:           I went up to South London.

LaVOY:  And what did you do in South London?

ST PIERRE:           The same. I was in the coat department there.

LaVOY:  In the same store?

ST PIERRE:           No, another store.

LaVOY:  Which one?

ST PIERRE:           It was called Jones and Higgins, but it's gone now. It's terribly disappointing to go back and see what it's turned into because it was a beautiful large store at that time, but quite old-fashioned.

LaVOY:  And did you meet any interesting people at that time?

ST PIERRE:           One girlfriend that I still have and write to in England, although I haven't seen her the last two or three trips I've made.

LaVOY:  And what did you do for entertainment while you were in London?

ST PIERRE:           My boyfriend was there, too.

LaVOY:  And what was his name?

ST PIERRE:           That was the same man, Harold Plumtree. We used to meet about every other evening, but there was nothing we could do because he traveled too far outside of London to get to his home, so all we could do was to go to the movies or visit in the hostel where I lived.

LaVOY:  What were some of the movies that you particularly remember?

ST PIERRE:           Oh, I just couldn't remember.

LaVOY:  Any particular movie star of that era?

ST PIERRE:           No, just the same of all them that we know now.

LaVOY:  Well, Janet Leigh was such a popular one.

ST PIERRE:           She was quite popular, yes, and Joan Crawford. All of these old-time movies that we see now on the movies [television?]. And we had marvelous movie houses, of course.

LaVOY:  Very ornate?

ST PIERRE:           Very good movies houses and beautiful organs in the intervals. And candy and cigarettes coming down the aisles. (laughing)

LaVOY:  What do you mean coming down the aisles?

ST PIERRE:           Well, like they came with the trays, candy and cigarettes to sell to the patrons in the audience.

LaVOY:  Oh, while the movie was on?

ST PIERRE:           Yes, you could get them more or less any time.

LaVOY:  Well, that I hadn't heard of.

ST PIERRE:           A little light on the tray.

LaVOY:  And if you wanted a box of Milk Duds or something like that, what did you do?

ST PIERRE:           Hershey's, Cadbury's candy bar or Rountree's candy bar. Those were always my favorite.

LaVOY:  When did you become aware that your country was going to war?

ST PIERRE:           Well, we didn't really believe it, I don't think. I was only a young girl. Well, I thought I was young. We were very young for our age. In my twenties I was still very young.

LaVOY:  Immature?

ST PIERRE:           Yes, not perhaps so immature, but more naive.

LaVOY:  I can understand that. Who was your prime minister at this time?

ST PIERRE:           It was--oh, I can't remember his name. He was a tall, thin fellow.

LaVOY:  [Neville] Chamberlain, by any chance?

ST PIERRE:           No, no, no. Oh, it might have been Chamberlain.

LaVOY:  Because we're getting rather close to . .

ST PIERRE:           And then there was Anthony Eden, yeah. They had a little scare in 1938.

LaVOY:  What was that?

ST PIERRE:           They had this little political scare in 1938 when they were sort of shuffling around in Europe, and then, of course, the War started in September, 1939.

LaVOY:  What was your first reaction to the War starting? You were living in London, and I'm sure the newspapers had big headlines of what was going on.

ST PIERRE:           I just can't remember too much of that. I guess we sort of had been growing up toward it, but I do remember going to my father. His favorite expression was, "It's a beggar!" He didn't say, "bugger." He never cussed (laughing) in all his life. Everything was a beggar. That was his favorite expression. He said to me, "You know, I hate to see this. This war is going to last six years, I'm sure of it." And it did, all but a month.

LaVOY:  Wonder what gave him his insight on that?

ST PIERRE:           I don't know. He was in the first World War. He was out in Jerusalem, all in that area in the first World War, but I do remember him saying it. I wasn't at home at the time, I was on holiday with Jane Smith, my girlfriend. She lived in a house which was about halfway in between Grantham and the coast, and her people came and collected us absolutely that very same day. The next day we started digging a big hole in the ground to make an air raid shelter. That was in the country in Lincolnshire. I remember that vividly. Everyone started to make these big holes in their gardens. It was a large area, fairly big house, digging this hole so that they could make an air raid shelter. I don't think they ever did, but that's what they did at that time.

LaVOY:  You don't think they ever used it?

ST PIERRE:           I don't think so. I can't remember it.

LaVOY:  Well, then, you were back in London. I imagine your father was worried about you being there with the War starting.

ST PIERRE:           Oh, I don't know. I don't think so.

LaVOY:  Well, tell me, when the bombs started falling on London, what year was that? 1940, 1941?

ST PIERRE:           Uh-huh, I guess it would be. I married in 1940. Nothing had happened then.

LaVOY:  This gentleman you married in 1940, where had you met him?

ST PIERRE:           I met him in London.

LaVOY:  Eric Debnam Baker?

ST PIERRE:           My girlfriend and I met them. We were out and met these two boys, and we went around with them for awhile.

LaVOY:  Where were you married?

ST PIERRE:           I was married in Grantham, my home town.

LaVOY:  At your father's home?

ST PIERRE:           My father’s home, Yes.

LaVOY:  Where did you honeymoon?

ST PIERRE:           We honeymooned at Torquay in the south of England.

LaVOY:  Where did you live?

ST PIERRE:           We had a little apartment for a little while, but then he was transferred to the south coast to take part in the fighting German fighters, to patrol the English Channel, really.

LaVOY:  What was his rank?

ST PIERRE:           He was a sergeant. He was in the Reserve, you see. He was in the bank for his living. He worked for the bank like his father. His father was quite an executive in a bank in London and he followed in his father's footsteps.

LaVOY:  Which bank was that?

ST PIERRE:           I think it was the Midland Bank.

LaVOY:  When he would leave, I imagine you were frightfully worried for his safety.

ST PIERRE:           We were, but we gave up the apartment after a few weeks, and I went to live with his people. He was their only child.

LaVOY:  And where did his family live?

ST PIERRE:           In north London. A place called Enfield.

LaVOY:  How long did you live with them prior to his death?

ST PIERRE:           We must have moved in there about May, and he was killed in August. Then I stayed on for another two years before I took my own apartment.

LaVOY:  You lived with the family?

ST PIERRE:           Um-hum.

LaVOY:  Where was he buried, or did they recover his body?

ST PIERRE:           They didn't recover anything. He was in the sea there off the Isle of Wight.

LaVOY:  Well, that's so sad. How nice it was that the family kept you with them.

ST PIERRE:           Oh, yes, actually she was the only one that I regretted leaving England for.

LaVOY:  She was almost like the mother that you . .

ST PIERRE:           She was the only person I called Mother after losing my own mother. I don't know what I called my own mother. I can't remember.

LaVOY:  What was this lady's full name?

ST PIERRE:           Edith Baker.

LaVOY:  Had you kept in touch with her prior to her death?

ST PIERRE:           Oh, yes. We went back when I took the children to England in 1951, we went and stayed with her. Then I took the children back again in 1965, and we visited her.

LaVOY:  That was so nice.

ST PIERRE:           I always kept in touch with her. She was a lovely person.

LaVOY:  Tell me, when you moved into your own apartment, that must have been about in 1942, maybe?

ST PIERRE:           Might have been. 1942 or 1943.

LaVOY:  Right in that time. Were there a lot of American soldiers that had come into London at that time?

ST PIERRE:           I suppose so, but I never met them. I never went in for that kind of a life. I was busy.

LaVOY:  Were you working at the store again?

ST PIERRE:           No, but I was working. At first I went into a rolling mills as a chauffeur. Uniformed chauffeurs to drive important people about for war work. Then I left that and went and worked at the Home Guard which is the equivalent of your National Guard. So I was there for three years until I married again.

LaVOY:  Where did you meet your husband?

ST PIERRE:           I met him on holiday down on the west coast of England.

LaVOY:  How did you happen to be attracted to him, or he to you?

ST PIERRE:           I don't know. We sort of bumped into them and had nothing much to do with them except just a fun evening because they were on military duty all week of patrolling the little town. And then he asked if he could come to London when he had a couple of days off. So he came up and visited me, and then my girlfriend and I used to go back and visit them at their various stations, before he went to France.

LaVOY:  Now, you said he was patrolling the town. Was he a military policeman?

ST PIERRE:           Uh-huh. He was acting as a--he wasn't a policeman, he was in the engineers, but they were on duty acting as such.

LaVOY:  Oh, I see. What was his name and rank?

ST PIERRE:           He was a sergeant. Earl Edward St PIERRE.

LaVOY:  And where was he from?

ST PIERRE:           He was from Lake Andes, South Dakota. Well, that was where he was born, but he was in Nevada. [Tape cuts out]

LaVOY:  Where was he in Nevada?

ST PIERRE:           In Wells, Nevada.

LaVOY:  Had he moved there as a small child?

ST PIERRE:           No, no. He had gone to work there for some people, and he'd been working when he decided to enlist in the War.

LaVOY:  He was in the Army?

ST PIERRE:           He was in the Army, yes. He always kept in touch with these people because he was a great admirer of both of them. Especially for Mrs. Weeks.

LaVOY:  Earl Weeks?

ST PIERRE:           No, that was the people that he stayed with, Weeks. Do you remember them?

LaVOY:  Yes. I remember the family. That's why I mentioned Earl. I thought that perhaps was the first name.

ST PIERRE:           No, Seneca Weeks.

LaVOY:  And he had enlisted in Nevada and went to various camps and then was sent to England. Where were you married?

ST PIERRE:           We married in London in the Tottenham Register Office.

LaVOY:  And then you honeymooned where?

ST PIERRE:           No, we didn't honeymoon. He was in France when the War was about to be finished over in Europe Since our name was in to be married--you had to make an application in order to be married, and it had to be in for three months before they would give you permission. Well, of course, he moved to France. We knew he was moving to France, so I told him, "Well, we'll leave it to fate." If he came back to England, we'd see if we still wanted to be married, and if he didn't come back to England, we'd have to see if he'd be gone, maybe, to the Pacific. As far as we knew, that was the next stop, so we didn't know what to do. In April [1945] around the time that President Roosevelt died. It was the same week they had sent all the married men home first to have a week with their wives. After they were through there, they sent all the engaged men over, and so we were married when he came over for the week from France, and then he went back to France.

LaVOY:  Oh, then when he went to France, then you continued on with life.

ST PIERRE:           We were waiting. Then in June he was sent back to England ready to embark for the States and presumably the Pacific.

LaVOY:  And you stayed in England?

ST PIERRE:           And I stayed in England until my name came up with Red Cross to be shipped over here.

LaVOY:  Well, tell me how you happened to come over here. You said the Red Cross. Were they responsible for having the War brides coming to the United States?

ST PIERRE:           They did it all. It all went through their offices. They did everything to get us over here. There were thousands and thousands. I don't how they did it. It must have been a terrible job.

LaVOY:  To me it's very interesting that it was handled that way. What did you come over on?

ST PIERRE:           I came on a ship called the Amsterdam [Ed- Original transcript calls it “Argentina”. At the same time the Queen Mary was sailing, the Washington was sailing. We were all in camp together. The Queen Mary took five days. The Washington took a week, and we took ten days. That was the difference. We were at sea on Washington's birthday. So it's fifty-two years almost to the week that I landed in Nevada.

LaVOY:  My goodness. Tell me about your accommodations aboard the ship. First of all, what port did you leave from?

ST PIERRE:           Southhampton.

LaVOY:  Was your father there to see you off?

ST PIERRE:           No. They were not allowed to.

LaVOY:  Oh, that's sad.

ST PIERRE:           No, they were not allowed to come to the camp. He saw me off in London, and I had a dog then. I left my dog with him in London for him to ship over to me.

LaVOY:  What was your dog's name?

ST PIERRE:           Joseph. Always called him Joe, though. He was five years old.

LaVOY:  He eventually got to…

ST PIERRE:           Within three weeks he came over. We met him off the train in Wells, and he wanted nothing to do with me at all. He looked at me as much as to say, "You left me behind." And he made the biggest fuss of my husband who had met him, of course, because we'd had a couple of weeks together before he had sailed for the States. But that was strange. He was just absolutely disgusted with me. (laughing) He lived until he was seventeen, so it was well worth bringing him over.

LaVOY:  Tell me about your accommodations aboard the Amsterdam.

ST PIERRE:           Well, the ship was still fitted out for the troops where they had twelve bunks in a cabin, but when we were shipped over, we were allowed to have two bunks so that there were six of us in the cabin. One bunk we could have for our luggage, and the other we could have to sleep on.

LaVOY:  Do you remember the names of any of the women that came with you?

ST PIERRE:           No.

LaVOY:  Do you have any idea, roughly, where they were going in the United States?

ST PIERRE:           No, not really. I did have one contact afterwards that went down to LA [Los Angeles] somewhere, but it was very brief.

LaVOY:  Then you arrived in New York City?

ST PIERRE:           New York City.

LaVOY:  Was your husband there to meet you?

ST PIERRE:           No, he didn't meet me until I got to Wells.

LaVOY:  How did you get from New York to Wells?

ST PIERRE:           By train.

LaVOY:  Of course, being a railroad gentleman’s daughter you were very familiar with train schedules and things like that, so you had no problem getting from New York to Wells?

ST PIERRE:           Oh, the Red Cross did everything for us. They scheduled everything right through changing at Chicago. There I met the husband of a girl that I had living with me for a little while. She had not left England yet, but her husband was in Chicago, and he came to meet me and visit with me for an hour or two while we were at the station in Chicago. And then we continued on.

LaVOY:  What did you think of America as you were coming across?

ST PIERRE:           I don't have very much thought about it, I don't think. There's not a lot to see by train.

LaVOY:  Of course, the eastern part of our country is very much like England, but as you got farther west and saw all the fields and everything in Iowa and whatnot, did you have any feelings at all?

ST PIERRE:           No, I didn't. We got to Ogden [Utah], off of Salt Lake in the early morning about six o'clock. I remember that because we were told we could go off the train for three hours. My girlfriend and I got friendly with a couple of fellows. They said, "Well, come along out and we'll visit the town," which I suppose I wouldn't have done had I--well, I might have done. I was quite daring, but they took us. At six o'clock in the morning we went to a bar and were drinking beer. (laughing) Lager. It was lager that we drank. Never liked lager particularly. It was always too sort of bubbly for me. I liked the flat beers in England. But I remember that. They told us that if we'd look up the street we could see the mountains. But it was misty or blowy, and we couldn't really see the mountains at the end of the street too well. But that stayed in my mind more than anything.

LaVOY:  Well, then, you came out across the Great Salt Lake desert. What did you think of that?

ST PIERRE:           We rode across the water at that time. That was quite something to think that we were floating (laughing) on the water. But the mountains, you see, we traveled at night so we didn't see that beautiful ride that you get through the Rockies.

LaVOY:  When you arrived in Wells, your husband was there to meet you?

ST PIERRE:           Um-hum.

LaVOY:  Did he have anyone with him?

ST PIERRE:           No, he was all by himself. He looked very tall and handsome in his western clothes. I had to get off of the train and step down right onto the rails. There was no platform to meet me, and I was dressed to kill and to be stepping off this train in all these tracks, it was quite amusing.

LaVOY:  Wells isn't a very big town.

ST PIERRE:           No, it was very much smaller then.

LaVOY:  Yes, indeed.

ST PIERRE:           But, he took me to some dear old friends. They were elderly then as far as we were concerned. But he was rather fond of these older people that he had met while being in Wells. They kept a motel, and he took me straight there. She made a terrific fuss of making me tea so that I could have afternoon tea when I got there.

LaVOY:  How nice.

ST PIERRE:           That was quite fun. We were great friends with those people till they died.

LaVOY:  Their name?

ST PIERRE:           Mr. and Mrs. Joe Bailey.

LaVOY:  How nice that she wanted to welcome you.

ST PIERRE:           The Serpas of Fallon knew them very well. You know the Serpas?

LaVOY:  Yes.

ST PIERRE:           They were very good friends with the Serpas.

LaVOY:  Tell me about setting up housekeeping in Wells. You arrived and you went to the motel. How long did you live there?

ST PIERRE:           Only just for the afternoon tea. My husband took me out to the ranch house in Clover Valley to the Weeks' home. They were away in California at the time, so we had the house to ourselves.

LaVOY:  How long did you stay there?

ST PIERRE:           Oh, we were there two or three weeks before Mr. and Mrs. Weeks returned to their home. Then my husband took me and we went by train to visit all his relatives in South Dakota. We spent two or three weeks doing that, and then we came back again. Then he got a job on one of the ranches in the valley, so that's where we were that first summer, and it was so hot!

LaVOY:  Which one of the ranches, do you recall?

ST PIERRE:           They called it the U-C Land and Cattle Company, but it had belonged to Mr. Weeks. He'd sold out during the War. Sold out all his ranches except just the eighty acres with the old home that we moved into. then we started on the ranching. My husband's idea was that he wanted to get a ranch for himself, but it just didn't happen that way. They were all too expensive. The prices had gone up so high, and he knew that a ranch wouldn't keep. You couldn't afford to make the payments on a ranch. They wouldn't hold enough cattle to make the sale of the cattle bring in the payments to the ranch.

LaVOY:  So, what did he do? Did he continue working for this U-C Land and Cattle Company?

ST PIERRE:           No, we moved to another ranch on the main Interstate 80 just outside Wells, and then we moved into Ruby Valley on another ranch.

LaVOY:  Was he like foreman at the ranch? Was that his title?

ST PIERRE:           Nothing in particular. We were alone on the place in both places. My daughter was born from Mrs. Weeks' home in Clover Valley. We were not working at that time. So she was born there, and then we went to what we called the Supp Ranch outside of Wells. The people that owned the ranch worked, and then they had him go along to help. Well, we didn't stay there very long. Then we moved out to Ruby Ranch Valley to a nephew of Mrs. Weeks. And from there we-

LaVOY: What was his name, do you remember?

ST PIERRE: His name was Roger Weeks. And we stayed there…. It must have been about a year. And I came home- My husband had promised that I could go back to England after five years, so in 1951 I took the two babies and went back to England for the summer.

LaVOY:  Now, speaking of babies, your daughter, Marilyn, was born in 1947. You went from the ranch to the Elko General Hospital where she was born?

ST PIERRE:           Um-hum. Both of them were born there.

LaVOY:  And then returned her to the ranch where you were. Then when your son, Malcolm, was born, you did the same thing?

ST PIERRE:           Did the same thing.

LaVOY:  Was that the Ruby Valley Ranch?

ST PIERRE:           No, that was the Starr Valley, really, but it was on the highway.

LaVOY:  That's where he was born.

ST PIERRE:           We worked on the two ranches at that particular time.

LaVOY:  Oh, you were working on two?

ST PIERRE:           Two different ranches. First, one was for a few months, and then we went to the neighbor and worked there which is where Malcolm was born.

LaVOY:  What was that neighbor's name?

ST PIERRE:           Mmmm, I know it as well as I know yours.

LaVOY:  Well, when you think about it, that'll be just fine.

ST PIERRE:           Right after Malcolm was born we moved out into Ruby Valley. [Cazier Ranch]

LaVOY:  To the Weeks' ranch out there?

ST PIERRE:           Uh-huh. To the Roger Weeks' ranch.

LaVOY:  And how long did you stay there?

ST PIERRE:           Oh, it must have been eighteen months. In the spring of 1951, we went to England, and I took the two children. Marilyn was four on the day we arrived in Southhampton, and Malcolm was two in June.

LaVOY:  Was your father delighted to see his grandchildren?

ST PIERRE:           Oh, absolutely! Both my father and his third wife and my young sister who was thirty years younger than I--she was only seven, and then my first husband's mother and father were both there. They were all there to meet us. They looked like little flies when you looked over the side of the Queen Mary. We were on the Queen Mary. They all looked like little flies down there.

LaVOY:  And your accommodations going back over on the Queen Mary were much different than they'd been on the . . .

ST PIERRE:           Oh, yes, we had bunks. I didn't have a bed. We had a cabin with three bunks in it.

LaVOY:  Well, that's so nice that you got a chance to go back.

ST PIERRE:           I remember Marilyn--I was asking her only two or three weeks ago when I met her down in California, I says, "Do you remember being in the cabin on the ship, the Queen Mary, when we went over? You opened a little cupboard door, and there was a chamber pot, and you brought that out, and you laughed. 'Whatever is this thing?'" She couldn't understand what it was doing there on the ship with this chamber pot in the cupboard. But, of course, even the Queen Mary didn't have bathrooms then. We went out to communal bathrooms in the hallway both for bathing and for toiletries.

LaVOY:  I didn't realize that. When you returned home, what did you and your husband do?

ST PIERRE:           My husband had moved here to Fallon in the meantime. He'd leased a place on Swingle Bench from Gedneys.

LaVOY:  And you lived there for a great length of time?

ST PIERRE:           Three and a half years, and then we moved to Hazen for two years.

LaVOY:  Where did you live in Hazen?

ST PIERRE:           It's about two miles out of Hazen. I don't know the name of the people that own it now, but at that time it was owned by Joe Ugalde, and we worked there for two years. His son wanted to get married, and he wanted his son to come back to the ranch. So that was when we threw in ranching, and he finally went into construction.

LaVOY:  Did he do construction here in Fallon?

ST PIERRE:           Anywhere around, yes. He did work for Drumm's for a little while, but it was mostly for outside people after Drumm's quit.

LaVOY:  That was quite a change from ranching to construction, but I imagine that he enjoyed it

ST PIERRE:           I don't know whether he enjoyed it. I guess it was a way of making a living. I suppose he must have enjoyed it to certain extent, otherwise he wouldn't have stayed. He ran the crushing plants.

LaVOY:  Did you live in Fallon at that time?

ST PIERRE:           Yes, we lived in Fallon.

LaVOY:  At this home?

ST PIERRE:           Yes, we were in this house, but it was out in the country.

LaVOY:  What do you mean?

ST PIERRE:           We moved it in here in 1968.

LaVOY:  Oh! Where were you in the country?

ST PIERRE:           Out on Harrigan Road. We had bought this house in a hurry because I had to have emergency surgery the time that we had to leave, and he had to hunt somewhere for us to live. So he just bought this house so that I could at least take my sheep with me. He sold all his cattle, but I didn't want to part with my sheep.

LaVOY:  What kind of sheep did you raise?

ST PIERRE:           Oh, anything. I just was very fond of them. We couldn't get good water. It was a terrible place, so we tried three different wells, and we couldn't get good water, so we just put up with it until he went to Vietnam. Then when we acquired a little money while he was in Vietnam, we came back and we bought the property here and moved the house in here.

LaVOY:  I didn't realize that your husband had gone to Vietnam.

ST PIERRE:           Um-hum. He was in Vietnam for twenty months.

LaVOY:  Was he Reserve, or…

ST PIERRE:           No, he went with his crushing plant. He went as a job.

LaVOY:  Oh! When was that?

ST PIERRE:           He came back in 1968, so it must have been June, July, 1966.

LaVOY:  Where in Vietnam?

ST PIERRE:           He was up at Chulai for a good part of the time.

LaVOY: I had no idea that…

ST PIERRE:           He landed in Saigon, and there he went to meet an old ranching neighbor of ours that worked at the Navy base. She had become a widow, and that's why she worked at the Navy base. Then this job in Saigon had come up, and she'd gone to Saigon to work. She was already there when Earl went. He called on her and had a wonderful visit, and then I think she came back home.

LaVOY:  Then he returned from Vietnam to Fallon?

ST PIERRE:           To Fallon.

LaVOY:  And what did he do then?

ST PIERRE:           He still worked on construction in various parts of the country till he retired.

LaVOY:  He retired in what year?

ST PIERRE:           Hmm… he was born in 1910… In 1974.

LaVOY:  You had this home here at that time?

ST PIERRE:           Yes, we had moved it here from the country in 1968. I'd had my eye on these three lots here, and we bought the whole works for next to nothing and moved the house in. For quite awhile we lived in both houses. We re-did the other one completely. It was ready to be torn down, but I loved to do it. If I were young now, I would do that.

LaVOY:  Interior decorating?

ST PIERRE:           No, just rebuilding.

LaVOY:  When did you start this lovely hobby of art?

ST PIERRE:           I guess I just, what shall I say, piddled with it at home for awhile and then got into it with the senior citizens and sort of just kept going on and off and playing with it. I just play with it. I don't . .

LaVOY:  In other words, it was about 1960 something that you started taking the lessons?

ST PIERRE:           Must have been.

LaVOY:  You have such a beautiful doll collection. When did you start collecting dolls?

ST PIERRE:           I started at the centennial because my good friend, Marian Ellis, and I got together, and we dressed a window and brought out old dolls. I had my old one. I had a couple of family dolls, and she put one or two of hers in, and we dressed an old window which was then Frazzini's, and it's now Mill Ends.

LaVOY:  This was 1976.

ST PIERRE:           Is that when the centennial was on? That's when it was? 1966, surely.

LaVOY:  And you more or less started your doll collecting-you started earlier with some old family dolls, and then you started really collecting after that?

ST PIERRE:           Are you sure that the centennial wasn't…?

LaVOY:  You're talking about our bi-centennial for the United States?

ST PIERRE:           No, for Nevada.

LaVOY:  Oh, Nevada.

ST PIERRE:           Uh-huh, because my husband died in 1977, and he had bought me dolls, and we'd been dolling for a long time before he died.

LaVOY:  I believe that was in 1964. The State Centennial.

ST PIERRE:           That's more like it. Um-hum. Nevada.

LaVOY:  Oh! and so you've been collecting for all those years.

ST PIERRE:           I never had the money to put into it, and I didn't want to put the money into it. I didn't have the room for it. Not like Marian had, but we worked on the dolls. We repaired dolls for people for many years.

LaVOY:  I think that's so interesting. How large is your collection?

ST PIERRE:           Not too good. Ten, three, I must have twenty-odd old bisque dolls. I've sold a lot of my compositions. I don't have too many of those left. Maybe thirty or more. Then I had a bed-doll collection. Flapper dolls, bed dolls but my daughter is taking all of those. She's got most of them now, and I still got a few more to take to her. But that's the only ones that she was interested in, and they're not really valuable. They haven't gone up in price like the majority of the dolls have, but she just wanted all of those because I had dressed them.

LaVOY:  How long did it take you to dress a doll?

ST PIERRE:           Oh, hours because I would sit and watch the TV and do it. I've just done one, as a matter of fact, for my very good friend, Joan Gedney, and gave it to her for Christmas. She said that she would like one, and I had one that wasn't dressed. I find now my fingers won't hold the little fasteners. I lose my needle. My needle will shoot out of my hand across the room, and it's terrible! [laughs]

LaVOY:  Oh, yes. You design the clothes that you put on them?

ST PIERRE:           I would just do them as the mood took me. That was all. What material I had I would just go on from there building whatever I thought. She wanted something in blue, so I had an old evening gown. I collect a lot of evening gowns because you get the best material. You can't buy that sort of material anymore. So I did this one in blue taffeta and trimmed it in silver lace that I had left over from my daughter's wedding gown. (laughing) I did Princess Diana's wedding gown for my daughter at one time, and, of course, she has that. I have a blue ribbon for it at the show here.

LaVOY:  I think that's so fascinating that from a very young person in England being interested in materials and design and things like that, you've carried this on all through your life.

ST PIERRE:           Oh, I started making clothes for myself when I was quite young. I made a dress for myself and my stepmother, I remember, when I was fourteen. But, I've always had a sewing machine, and I won't go without my sewing machine, although I don't use it very much. In fact, there's one down there that came from my stepmother from England. The hand one. The one that works by hand.

LaVOY:  Well, that's very, very interesting. Now, you've spent all these years here in the United States, and you've been back to England several times with your family and everything. Is your husband still living?

ST PIERRE:           He died in 1977.

LaVOY:  So, literally, you had thirty one or two years together. Did you ever regret having come to the United States?

ST PIERRE:           No, you couldn't possible regret when you have two children who you adore. [laughs]

LaVOY:  When you first arrived, how were you accepted by the people of Wells?

ST PIERRE:           Oh, fine. They made a great fuss over me. I had a lovely time. All the neighbors.

LaVOY:  They loved your accent.

ST PIERRE:           I don't know about my accent.

LaVOY:  Oh, they couldn't help but love it. (laughing)

ST PIERRE:           As a matter of fact, we're planning on visiting, maybe in another week or two, the two very closest friends that I met. You may know them. Do you know the Griswolds of Elko? Do you know Leona Griswold?

LaVOY:  Yes.

ST PIERRE:           And then another one from Wells was the Goodwin family. She was a Phyllis Goodwin when I arrived in this country.

LaVOY:  It's so nice that you had such a warm welcome. That made you feel as though you wanted to stay here.

ST PIERRE:           They gave a charivari for me the first Saturday. I couldn't understand what a charivari was, of course, but they had to let me know beforehand because I was in a strange house. The owner of the house was not there, and the whole of Clover Valley that could get there--it was a bit muddy and not all of them could come--gave me a charivari.

LaVOY:  You had a lot of noise outside as they arrived?

ST PIERRE:           No, it was all inside. But, I remember this Phyllis Goodwin. She was ten years younger than I, and she said, "Is there a room where I could go to have a cigarette?" I said, "A cigarette? Light up. That's fine. I smoke." "Oh, no. I wouldn't dare smoke. Some of my family are here, and I don't let them see I smoke," so we went into a guest bedroom and sat and visited while she smoked a cigarette, but that amazed me! But, that was how it happened, and we've been friends ever since. Phyllis lives up in Buhl, [Idaho], now, and we're planning on taking a trip calling on all these people. Maybe next week or pretty soon.

LaVOY:  That will be very, very nice. I'm so happy to hear that as a stranger to our country, you were so warmly welcomed.

ST PIERRE:           Oh, yes, it was a very warm welcome.

LaVOY:  Some of the war brides were not that fortunate, but you were certainly a fortunate one.

ST PIERRE:           And they were all friends. They were not relatives. Of course, the relatives did, too, when we went back there.

LaVOY:  Your husband is buried here in Fallon?

ST PIERRE:           He's in Fallon.

LaVOY:  Have you lived alone since then?

ST PIERRE:           No, no. I have a live-in companion now. I've had him for nearly sixteen years.

LaVOY:  Well, that's wonderful. And you enjoy traveling?

ST PIERRE:           We travel a lot. We went through the Panama Canal in November, and we went back east to my daughter's for Christmas. We've been south since, now we're going back to the midwest. We need another big trip, but we don't know where to go.

LaVOY:  Well, I think that you've been traveling all of your life pretty much.

ST PIERRE:           I have, but he's traveled the whole of the world, so there's hardly any fresh place for him to go to, except Turkey. I'm sort of pushing for Turkey if we go anywhere.

LaVOY:  I understand that's a wonderful place to go.

ST PIERRE:           I imagine. He likes old things, you see.

LaVOY:  My youngest son just went to Turkey two years ago.

ST PIERRE:           Oh, did he?

LaVOY:  Loved it. Absolutely loved it.

ST PIERRE:           We tried to go when we were in England a year last Christmas, but they put us off. They had tours going from London, but they said it was too cold, so we went down to Spain for a week again. We'd already been down there, but it was so cold in England that year.

LaVOY:  Well, you have really led a very, very nice life.

ST PIERRE:           The children want me to write a book from when I started, but I never got around to it. They say, "Well, talk." Well, that doesn't interest me. I don't like the idea of talking.

LaVOY:  Well, I hope that when this oral history is transcribed that it will give you the incentive to take it and add to it. Maybe you can have your book for your children.

ST PIERRE:           With someone asking you the questions, it's easy, but to try and think it up quickly enough to put it down yourself, it doesn't come out. I can write. I can write very fast. I don't type. I used to a little, but I write so fast that I could almost write as fast as a typewriter--as fast as I type anyway.

LaVOY:  Well, we're very happy that you were kind enough to let us interview you for the museum, and on behalf of the Churchill County Museum, I want to thank you for this interesting interview. [Tape cuts] I'm going to add this little addendum to Mrs. St PIERRE's tape. She began discussing her life during the bombing of London, and I'm going to let her start right now and tell you something about it

ST PIERRE:           The bombing of London didn't really start until after the War had been on for quite a few months. The first thing that my in-laws, that I was living with at the time, my husband having already been killed, they built with their neighbors a concrete block building between the two houses so that their daughter and I could sleep there at night to be safe from the bombing. Of course, that got a little bit tiresome when it got cold in the winter. After that we girls wouldn't go in anymore, so we both went up--I slept with her in her bedroom upstairs, of all things. Then one night we had the bombs come over, and a string of them dropped right across the house. There were six bombs dropped. So many before the house, then they missed our house, and then they continued on the other side of the road, so that finished we girls sleeping together upstairs. Then I came down and slept in our own house, in the cupboard underneath the stairway. I don't know where she slept. My mother and father-in-law, in the meantime, built two very narrow bunks on the safest wall of the house which backs onto the stairway again, and they slept in these bunks. That went on for quite awhile.

ST PIERRE:           The bombs were not so [End of tape 1] terrifying as the gun fire. There was a set of guns only just a little way from the house down in a hollow. In fact, Churchill's daughter was at this gun sight when she was in the war effort. These guns would go right over the house and they would just about raise the roof every time they went off. They were going continually soon as it got dark right through the night every night. Eventually we got used to them. You had to. There was nothing else you could do.

The next thing that came over were the mines, and they were silent, of course, when they came. They were like huge tanks that they would float out on parachutes, and you would only know that these were mines because this pink glow would go off in the sky, and they did drop in Enfield, the town where I was living at the time. They dropped on one pair of houses, and those houses were completely wiped off. You couldn't tell there'd ever been a house or anybody living in them at all. There was absolutely nothing. The people were in them and all living in these two what we called semi-detached houses, but it was just wiped just as clean as a slate as though they'd just poured a concrete slab in order to build the houses. They were a little bit disturbing, but they didn't last very long.

ST PIERRE:           Then, of course, there were the doodlebugs. If they came over high, you could hear them. You could tell when they shut their engine off and they were going to start and come down, and you'd sort of look and see where they were going. You'd hear where they were going to know whether they were heading your way or not. But others would come in at the roof tops, and they would come in like an old two-stroke motor bike. Chug, chug, chug, chug, chug, and then if they dropped or if the engine stopped, well then it was right on top of you, but I never did get... One time my friend and I, when one was coming from up high, and I thought it was coming down, I pushed her and we dropped in an alley way between the stores when we were shopping down in the town. I never did run into much of the doodle bugs because most of them that did the most damage was in the south of London, and I was always north of London.

ST PIERRE:           Then the last thing that came over were the rockets. I remember hearing the first one go off. I was riding home on the bus, and it went off miles away in South London. We just heard the bang of it, explosion. But when they finally came over, if you heard them you were safe. If they'd of hit you, you wouldn't of known anything about it. I remember one coming off in the street next door to me, but that was all right, we'd heard it. I mean, you were perfectly safe, and you went about your business in the same way, but after five years of it, you know, you had to get used to it. There was nothing else you could do.

LaVOY:  The fires. Tell me about those.

ST PIERRE:           I didn't see many fires. I didn't see many at all.

LaVOY:  I thought that after the bombing, so many times that block after block of London was on fire.

ST PIERRE:           That would be down in town, but, see, I was about fourteen, fifteen miles north of downtown London. Just due north on the outskirts of the London suburban area.

LaVOY:  Did you ever see Churchill or listen to his…

ST PIERRE:           Oh, we always listened to his speeches. I never did see him.

LaVOY:  What did you people think of him as your leader?

ST PIERRE:           Oh, fine. They thought he was a great leader.

LaVOY:  Did you ever see any of the royal family at any of the functions that they had?

ST PIERRE:           No, I never did. I went once to the funeral of King George V because of the particular people that I was with at that time wanted to go. We went at five o'clock in the morning and stood in Hyde Park to see his funeral procession go by, and I said I would never do it again. I would never stand six hours just to see something like that. To me standing to watch is the worst agony to go through.

LaVOY:  Now, he was the present queen's father?

ST PIERRE:           No, the present queen's grandfather. Her father was George VI. This was George V. I would be in my twenties.

LaVOY:  What was the queen's name at that time? Mary?

ST PIERRE:           Queen Mary. King George V and Queen Mary. The old Queen Mary.

LaVOY:  Getting back to these bombs going over your home and everything, how was your food affected by this?

ST PIERRE:           Well, I ate out a lot. The rations were very, very, very small. Very tight, but I always had my main meal at midday. I was working, and we always had good food in the restaurants, and so I always ate out. I had to eat out anyway because I couldn't go home. I was too many miles away from where my apartment was to go back and eat lunch, and so that way we got by very well.

LaVOY:  Tell me about the rationing at that time.

ST PIERRE:           It was very, very little, and I can't remember what it was, but it would be only about four ounces of meat and a few ounces of butter and a few ounces of sugar. Those were the main things, but they were enough for me because I was living alone.

LaVOY:  The children. I imagine that a lot of them were shipped out of London.

ST PIERRE:           A lot of them went out into the countryside, yes, and then they would get tired of it and gradually go back home--when you get about halfway through an evacuation you get tired of all that sort of thing.

LaVOY:  Well, when, finally, Germany surrendered, what kind of a celebration did you have?

ST PIERRE:           Nothing as far as I can remember. I can't even remember it finishing. Well, of course, when it finally ended I was married again, so I was sort of involved with trying to sell my apartment and close up my apartment to prepare for coming over here.

LaVOY:  Well, I just wondered if there was dancing in the streets like there was here.

ST PIERRE:           I think they did have dancing in the streets, but maybe in the streets where people had lived for years and years. Even my home town, there were no houses or anything opposite the house there so there was no such thing as dancing in the street where I lived.

LaVOY:  You didn't have to be in downtown London where all this was going on.

ST PIERRE:           No, no.

LaVOY:  This has been very interesting. Can you think of any other little tidbits about your life in the War because England was at war for such a long, long time?

ST PIERRE:           My sister was born during the War. She was born after my father and his third wife had been married about nine years. She was forty-five, and I was thirty when she was born, so there's been quite a big gap in between our ages, but we've always stayed friends. In fact, the family was here a year last September in Fallon, and we go over there a lot, and we stay with them now. My daughter was over there for four years in the eighties.

LaVOY:  What was she doing there?

ST PIERRE:           Military. Her husband was in the Navy, and then, of course, Lake and I used to go over every year then and stay for several weeks. In fact, it got to be getting into two or three months before we were through. So, we did get around a lot at that time.

LaVOY:  Well, that's great.

ST PIERRE:           We used to book out there, too, from England. You can get tours very reasonable. We'd book out and go to different places to stay. We did Greece whilst we were there, and we did China whilst we were, and it broke up the monotony of staying with the relatives all the time.

LaVOY:  Well, thank you very much for adding this little addendum to your tape, and I do appreciate it.

Original Format

Audio Cassette

Duration

1:00:26, 09:25

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Files

St. Pierre, Evelyn Holmes.docx
St Pierre, Evelyn H recording 1 of 2.mp3
St Pierre, Evelyn H recording 2 of 2.mp3

Citation

Churchill County Museum Association, “Evelyn Holmes St. Pierre Oral History,” Churchill County Museum Digital Archive: Fallon, Nevada, accessed October 20, 2021, https://ccmuseum.omeka.net/items/show/692.