Jeanette Fry (2)

In 1954, Jeanette moved to Carroll County and started going to New Windsor Elementary in 1st grade.


JIM MAYOLA: Good afternoon. It is Tuesday, September 21, 2010. My name is Jim Mayola, and we’re at the Community Media Center. And it is my pleasure to be interviewing Jeanette Frye again. She has more stories to tell. How are this afternoon, Jeanette?

JEANETTE FRYE: I’m good. I really don’t have more stories to tell. I just want to kind of– I felt like, at the end of the interview, I kind of babbled about advice that I would give somebody. And I kind of wish I’d have had more time to think about that, because I think that’s a pretty important thing, especially for young people who really are looking for direction.

So I want to do that. And I also realized that one of the things we didn’t talk about were the hippies. Now, which do you prefer that I do first?

JIM MAYOLA: Well, what– let’s start with the oldest things first and work our way forward. Now, when we spoke the last time, you told me you had some stories about your mother.


JIM MAYOLA: Do you have any of those stories that you can remember?

JEANETTE FRYE: Well, I don’t know what I told you before.

JIM MAYOLA: Well, that’s OK. Just tell me something new.

JEANETTE FRYE: Well, I guess I could talk a little bit about when she went to live in Baltimore, which was– she was 17, so I guess that was about 1941. And she had several different jobs in places down there. She didn’t make a lot of money, but for that time I guess it was a lot of money. She worked at a place– I think it was called Coppers. And they made– did they make bombs I think? I think it was a bomb factory of some sort.

JIM MAYOLA: During World War II.

JEANETTE FRYE: Right. I’m not real certain about that. But she had a couple of other jobs, too. And that’s where she met my father. My father had been in World War II. He had been in the service– I should back up and give you a little bit of history of my father’s family. Because he and his brothers were sent to the CCC camps to work.


JEANETTE FRYE: And I understand they have a historical site. And I want to go and get some information about that, because, you know, I didn’t think to ask Daddy a lot about that when he was living. I mean, he would point– if we would go through Cumberland, he would show us different places where he helped to plant trees and dig ditches and things like that.

The interesting thing was, after Daddy died, I was looking up something online. And I discovered that he had actually gotten his social security card in Ohio.


JEANETTE FRYE: So I don’t know how far the CCC camps went. I know that he and his brothers went. And I was reading a little bit online about the boys that went there. I don’t know if they took all young boys that were able to go, or just those who needed to be there.

JIM MAYOLA: Talk a little bit about the CCC and explain what that was.

JEANETTE FRYE: OK. Well, it– what’s it called?

JIM MAYOLA: The Conservation Corps.

JEANETTE FRYE: That’s right– the Conservation Corps. And they basically– if I understand what Daddy was telling me– they built some parks and things. They did government work.


JEANETTE FRYE: And they received some money for it. But they sent almost all of it to the parent. The boys got to keep a little of it. But one of the things they said was a lot of these boys– this was during the Depression. And a lot of these boys came there literally starving to death.


JEANETTE FRYE: And so it was important that they feed them. And they were fed well, I guess. I mean, Daddy never– Daddy never complained about the food.

JIM MAYOLA: So fed and clothed, and they had work to do.

JEANETTE FRYE: They had work to do. And the money was taken and sent to the families, except for a small portion. They didn’t get a lot of money, and I just kind of forget how much they were given. They didn’t get to keep much. But for the time, you know, it was OK. And my father loved it. But my father always loved to work. If he couldn’t work, he wasn’t happy. So he loved being at the CCC camps.

I don’t know what the other boys did. But then, I think when he left the CCC camp, which– you know, I’m thinking he might have been around 15 when he went there. Because then he signed up to go in the military.


JEANETTE FRYE: Now, his mother had died when he was about 15 or 16, I think right before he went to the CCC camp, and left about 10 living children behind.


JEANETTE FRYE: And including a baby. And the godmother came and got the baby. And then the father was taking care of the rest of these. Well, my father wasn’t happy, because he’d brought a lady home to live with them that had five kids of her own. So you add that together, and I think Daddy was pretty unhappy.

JIM MAYOLA: Pretty tough.

JEANETTE FRYE: And he enlisted. But he was too young to enlist, and so the Army recruiter, I guess, brought him back home and told his father he had to sign for him. Well, his father didn’t want to sign for him at first. But then, my father said, if you don’t sign for me, I will run away from home. So you might as well sign.


JEANETTE FRYE: So he did. So he went in the military right after the CCC camps.

JIM MAYOLA: So when was your father born?



JEANETTE FRYE: Excuse me. And he loved the military. Up until he had to go to war, I guess. He wasn’t– now, my father drove a truck, and he was in the truck corps. So he didn’t actually go out and fight, but he saw things up close, and he ended up with shrapnel in his back that was taken out when I was a child.


JEANETTE FRYE: So anyway, when he came back from World War II, my mother happened to be living in Baltimore at the same time, and Daddy was driving the Baltimore transit bus. I think I mentioned that in the last one. Well, my mother was living with her cousin. And her cousin came home one day and she said, I just found the best looking bus driver in the world, and he is a nice guy, and you’ve got to go meet him. You’ve got to ride this bus to get there. And so she did, and the rest is kind of history.

JIM MAYOLA: Wow, how interesting.

JEANETTE FRYE: And father was very good looking, especially when he put his uniform on. Because at that time– and I don’t know if they still do, but at that time– it was a shirt, tie, and hat.


JEANETTE FRYE: Polished shoes.

JIM MAYOLA: Very pressed.

JEANETTE FRYE: And at the barn– they called it the barn, where they kept all the buses. They had shoeshine chairs set up all through there. And you had to get your shoes shined before you could go on the bus. You had to look good.



JIM MAYOLA: Now how about your mom? When was your mom born?

JEANETTE FRYE: My mom was born in 1924, and she grew up on a farm. I think I told you in the last one she worked really hard. She had to cook for all those men and do the farm work.


JEANETTE FRYE: And she was kind of– her half-sister invited her first to come to Baltimore and live with her. And she was kind of happy to go there. She needed to be away from the farm and, you know, have some things on her own. And she enjoyed it. But then she was closer to her cousin, because her half-sister was much older. And so she finally moved in with her cousin. That’s where she was living when she met my father. But they got married I think the same day that President Roosevelt was buried.


JEANETTE FRYE: Mom always said that they wanted to go out to a nice dinner after they got married but everything was closed, because– and I think she said it was for his funeral, not for the day he died.

JIM MAYOLA: Right. Sure.

JEANETTE FRYE: I think it was the funeral.

JIM MAYOLA: Sure. Yeah.

JEANETTE FRYE: So they ended up going into a little bar. And I think they had a hot beef sandwich or something. She said that was their wedding dinner. But then they moved out here to the county shortly thereafter. Now, when my mother was living in the city, she rode the bus up to– not the bus, the train– up to New Windsor about once a week.

JIM MAYOLA: Did she?



JEANETTE FRYE: And she loved the train rides. She talked about that all the time and often rode with the same people and so forth.

JIM MAYOLA: That was a time when that was a very reliable transportation, and we did use that a lot around the country.

JEANETTE FRYE: Well, her mother never drove, so somebody else had to always come to New Windsor to pick her up. But, you know, it wasn’t that far. Now her brother was in the Army at the same time she was in Baltimore, of course, because he was drafted. And he went to the Philippines. That’s my 90-year-old uncle. He’s the only one left in the family now.


JEANETTE FRYE: Of course, he picked up malaria there, which he suffered with for the rest of his life, mostly. Although lately, I don’t think it bothers him. But I know for a long time he had flares of that.

JIM MAYOLA: Sure. Yeah. It stays with you forever


JIM MAYOLA: So did your mom and dad ever tell you, or give you any experiences that they shared with you, regarding the war? What was it like during the war? Your mom was in Baltimore.

JEANETTE FRYE: Yeah. Well, they talked about the rationing, how they could have a certain amount of things. They had the ration tickets. I don’t think Mom had a car at the time, so she wasn’t affected by the gas rationing. But that was rationed. And the butter– I think they quit making nylons. Because she talked about the stockings they made that she hated. They were cotton, I think, or something. She didn’t like those. But you couldn’t get anything else.

Yeah, living in the city, I guess she was a little more affected than she would have been if she had stayed out in the country. Because she said the Depression didn’t affect them at all.

JIM MAYOLA: No kidding.

JEANETTE FRYE: Yeah, because they were self-sufficient. And her expression was, we were poor before the Depression, and poor after the Depression. So it didn’t mean anything to me.

JIM MAYOLA: No change. Yeah. It was all the same.

JEANETTE FRYE: No change. Yeah. When she got married, she quit working. What else to tell you? My father’s childhood was not happy at all. Well, you know, he lost his mother about the same time my mother lost her father. So they both kind of grew up with only one parent. Actually, Daddy might have been a little bit older when his mother died.

But they–

JIM MAYOLA: Now did they– your dad was out of the military, though, when the war broke out, right?

JEANETTE FRYE: No. He was in the military when the war broke out.

JIM MAYOLA: He was in the military when the war broke out.

JEANETTE FRYE: He spent a lot of time at Fort Sill.

JIM MAYOLA: OK. And then your mom met him after that, then.

JEANETTE FRYE: After the war. Well–

JIM MAYOLA: And he was a bus driver.

JEANETTE FRYE: Yeah. He got out a little bit early and was home ahead of the others. He got out, I guess, in 1944, ’45. Early. They got married in ’46. So I’m assuming he got out in ’45. I guess it wasn’t early.

JIM MAYOLA: Yeah. No, that was about the end of the war.


JIM MAYOLA: So then they started to raise a family. They lived in Baltimore?

JEANETTE FRYE: They stayed in Baltimore for a little while. They lived on Utah Street, Mom said. Well, I think for a little bit they might have stayed with my cousin. But then they got their own room. That was fashionable back then. You know, we don’t think about that today, but people rented rooms. And that’s what they did. They rented a– basically, they rented a bedroom. And they had to go out for their meals. But a lot of people did that at the time.


JEANETTE FRYE: That’s something that’s

JIM MAYOLA: Many boarding houses.

JEANETTE FRYE: Yeah. Well, they lived in one on Utah Street. But she said it got to the point where crowds would gather on the street at night times, and apparently– at night time. And apparently they had a first floor room.


JEANETTE FRYE: And she said they were banging up against a window.

JIM MAYOLA: Oh, goodness.

JEANETTE FRYE: And Daddy worked nights with the bus. And so she was scared. So that’s when they started moving out. And they– they ended up in Reisterstown for a little bit and then eventually came up to New Windsor.

JIM MAYOLA: I understand Reisterstown was the end of the streetcar line. So that might have been what– as far as the–

JEANETTE FRYE: It was the end of the bus line, too.

JIM MAYOLA: Bus line, too. Yeah.

JEANETTE FRYE: Yeah, because sometimes– when I was little, we only had one car. And if Mom needed the car, we would take Daddy to work. And what we would is take him to where his run was going to begin, or his run was going to end. We didn’t go down to the barn unless Daddy had some business there.


JEANETTE FRYE: And Glendon is where we would meet him a lot of times, to either take him or pick him up. We sat all over Baltimore City waiting for my father to get finished his line, you know? I can’t– I know some of those places. I can see the one place, there was Walgreen’s drugstore across from where we waited.

One place was down somewhere around Belvedere, because I know we weren’t too far from where they kept the buses.


JEANETTE FRYE: And, you know, I can kind of see it in my mind, but I can’t tell you the name of the place. There was a bakery there that we used to get to that was, like, Muhly’s Bakery, I think. I don’t know if that’s still there, but– but we would wait all over Baltimore City until Daddy was finished.

JIM MAYOLA: And they– so they raised their family, living in Reisterstown, starting in Reisterstown and then–

JEANETTE FRYE: Well, starting in Baltimore and moving out to Reisterstown. We even moved– while we were waiting to get the place in New Windsor, we lived in an apartment in Owings Mills, where– they’ve torn that down, of course, and built– well, originally, they built a Tasty Freeze, I think it was, or a Twin Kiss.


JEANETTE FRYE: And now they’ve got Town Diner or something there. But there used to be a big apartment house there.


JEANETTE FRYE: Yeah, and we were upstairs. I remember, in that place, the lady downstairs had had a baby. And she was a heavy smoker. And that was another thing, people not knowing that smoking hurt you. And when she had the baby, the baby had a big red spot on its back.

JIM MAYOLA: No kidding.

JEANETTE FRYE: And she called my mother down to look at it. And she said, what do you think is wrong? And Mom said, I don’t know, but I think you need to see a doctor. Of course, when they checked the baby, the baby was born with lung cancer.

JIM MAYOLA: No kidding!

JEANETTE FRYE: And she died. It was just–

JIM MAYOLA: Oh, gosh.

JEANETTE FRYE: –a few days, a week. She didn’t live very long.

JIM MAYOLA: How awful.

JEANETTE FRYE: So, you know, people didn’t know.


JEANETTE FRYE: Nobody wanted to admit it, maybe. But they know.

JIM MAYOLA: Oh my gooodness.

JEANETTE FRYE: And that’s really interesting. Because a lot of people smoke when they’re pregnant, and that doesn’t happen. But to this lady, it happened. And I remember, I was probably five or six years old, and I was horrified.

JIM MAYOLA: I’m sure.

JEANETTE FRYE: To think a baby was going to die, and a baby had cancer already. And–

JIM MAYOLA: Lung cancer. Yeah. Wow. But you know, smoking was very popular. I know where I grew up, it was– everybody smoked. It was nothing at all. All the offices smoked. Stores, restaurants, everywhere.

JEANETTE FRYE: Schools. I remember if we had to go to the teachers’ lounge to get somebody, you’d open the door and the smoke would knock you down. But nobody ever said don’t smoke.

JIM MAYOLA: Oh, no. So tell me about the ’50s.

JEANETTE FRYE: Well, the ’50s were fun. I enjoyed the ’50s. We played where we wanted to. We had lots of relatives in Baltimore, of course, and we would go down to visit them. And at night, all of us kids would be outside playing, and we would just play into the dark as long as our parents were visiting. We’d play hopscotch and spud and “Mother, may I” and red light, and all these other things, out on the streets of Baltimore. And nobody ever shot at us.

JIM MAYOLA: Yeah. And not as much traffic.

JEANETTE FRYE: No. We played in the streets.

JIM MAYOLA: Yeah. You could actually play in the streets, and you’d hear the cars coming, and it was safe.

JEANETTE FRYE: Yeah. Well, we went to Baltimore a lot. But then there was a point, and I don’t know– I guess it was maybe late ’50s– where they started changing the streets. And, you know, you’d have one way in and one way out. And Mom always said she got confused and didn’t know where she was going once they put the one-way streets in.


JEANETTE FRYE: But it got unsafe, too, and we kind of stopped going down so often. Of course, our relatives, some of them died and moved away. And so we didn’t have as much reason to go.

The ’50s– what else? Well, I remember going to see the first Elvis Presley movie. My aunt, who never went anywhere hardly, my mother, my older cousins and I– just the girls– we all went to the– and I don’t know what drive-in it was. It was in Frederick.


JEANETTE FRYE: And we saw Love Me Tender. Wasn’t that his first movie?

JIM MAYOLA: I don’t know.

JEANETTE FRYE: I think it was.

JIM MAYOLA: It sounds like it could be.

JEANETTE FRYE: And you know, when I saw him, I didn’t think anything about him becoming famous. We just went to see a movie. Of course, I was a child. I was– let’s see. That was probably ’55 or ’56, and I wasn’t much more than seven or eight. But that was an exciting evening, because we didn’t do that often.

JIM MAYOLA: The big screen.


JIM MAYOLA: Drive-ins were very popular.

JEANETTE FRYE: Oh, yeah. We went to the drive-ins a lot. But it wasn’t usually just us girls.


JEANETTE FRYE: You know, Mom took us, but we usually went in the family. She always packed this nice lunch.


JEANETTE FRYE: And we’d go and have that– for dinner. Probably it was dinner by nighttime. What else may have happened in the ’50s? Well, by that point, we lived over in Manchester. And I remember– I’m not sure what year it was. It was probably around ’59 or ’60, when they had the big snowstorm that closed schools for about a week.

JIM MAYOLA: That was 1958.



JEANETTE FRYE: Well, every time they would plow the road open, it would blow shut again. And we just– we went sleigh riding from morning until night. When we’d get– we went through all of our gloves. We’d start putting socks on our hands. And we just– we had a ball. Enjoyed being off from school.

Now the previous year– I think it was the previous year– somewhere around 1957, we all came down with the flu.

JIM MAYOLA: Oh, goodness.

JEANETTE FRYE: And I’ve read since then that there was an epidemic around that time.

JIM MAYOLA: It’s very scary. Many people could die.

JEANETTE FRYE: But you know what? I remember being really dizzy and throwing up. And I was in bed for probably two or three days. But we all recovered without any– I know Mom took good care of us, because she always did. But I wasn’t scared I was going to die. I don’t know that Mom was afraid we were going to die.

And I remember my uncle telling the story that– they lived in this old log house. That’s the 90-year-old. And he talked about the year he got the flu, which couldn’t have been 1917, because he wasn’t born until 1920.


JEANETTE FRYE: Now I’m thinking he was about 10 years old at the time. And he said that the doctor who came to the house, because they all did, had given a medicine. Told them if they didn’t take the medicine, they were going to die. And he said he stuck all his medicine in the cracks in the logs, because he didn’t want to take it.

JIM MAYOLA: Oh, no! Wow.

JEANETTE FRYE: So I don’t know what medicine they gave him, but he didn’t take it, and he lived. And I don’t remember Mom giving us a lot of medicine when we had the flu.


JEANETTE FRYE: I know we stayed in bed. And I was real upset, because I liked going to school.

JIM MAYOLA: Sure. But you had to stay in bed, had to stay warm.

JEANETTE FRYE: I couldn’t get up that time. I was too dizzy.

JIM MAYOLA: Yeah. Lots of fluids. Lots of soup.

JEANETTE FRYE: I guess. I don’t remember what she fed us or gave us to drink. I just know I was dizzy and I wanted to be in bed. And even when I laid down, I was dizzy.

JIM MAYOLA: Wow. You were sick.

JEANETTE FRYE: And that’s probably as sick as I’ve ever been. Yeah.

JIM MAYOLA: How about the ’60s?

JEANETTE FRYE: Well, the ’60s were not as much fun. It just seemed like everything that was going to go bad started to go bad in the ’60s. Now, one of the things I wanted to bring out I guess is, whenever I go into a classroom and we talk about the ’60s, the kids say, oh, were you a hippie? And of course, my answer is no. And, you know, I have to– I guess, you know, during the ’60s, I had the impression that everybody else but me was a hippie. I didn’t– you know, because that’s all they talked about.


JEANETTE FRYE: And I think it was the case where the squeaky wheel got the most grease, because, you know, when I look back now, I realize it was a small minority that actually went out. And you know, some of the things that these hippies were after weren’t bad things.


JEANETTE FRYE: But the way they went about it was not good. I mean, and I explain to the kids that most of us were working or in the military, taking care of our families. Which, I guess the hippie thing didn’t really get a real good foothold until ’66 or ’67, somewhere along in there.

JIM MAYOLA: Right, yeah.

JEANETTE FRYE: And by 1968, I had a child. And we just kind of did what we were supposed to do.


JEANETTE FRYE: And even though some of their ideas weren’t bad, a lot of them were just spoiled kids who wanted to live their life the way they wanted to live it. And, you know, they– I see it as a time when the morals of the country really went downhill. And other people may not see that, but I think it had a devastating effect on the country.

One of the things that– it kind of tore families apart. And I know some of these kids that were– well, you know, if you look at some are our political leaders now, they were some of the people who were involved in all this stuff. You know, take Bill Clinton as a good example. He was one of the protesters going around the world protesting US policy. Then he comes back and wants to be president of the country that he was putting down? You know, I’ve got a problem with that.

But, you know, the long hair. They didn’t take baths. Their sit-ins, their love-ins, the whole thing. It was just kind of creepy. The thing I think that scared me the most– and some of these demonstrations did scare me, because they got pretty violent sometimes. And that’s all you would see on television.


JEANETTE FRYE: You know, at that time, that was our only source of news. If you didn’t see it on TV or read it in the paper, you didn’t know.


JEANETTE FRYE: And I realize now that some of what they showed us on TV wasn’t even right. They put things together and made them look the way they wanted them to. But I didn’t know that at the time.


JEANETTE FRYE: The civil rights demonstrations were a very scary time for me. I had had associations with black people, but none of them had ever been mean to me. I had never been mean to them.


JEANETTE FRYE: And I knew that they had separate schools, separate drinking fountains. And I accepted it. I didn’t– I didn’t even– I was a child, of course.


JEANETTE FRYE: And I don’t know that that probably wasn’t right. I thought that that’s the way everybody wanted it, you know? I was happy. I thought everybody else was happy. And so I didn’t really have a grasp on it until it was brought to my attention. And I thought, well yeah, it is wrong. They should be able to– and I had eaten with black people before, because I know when we lived in Reisterstown. My mother had some problems after my– yeah, my second brother was born, I think it was. Or maybe it was the third. I don’t know.

But there was a black lady who lived down the road who came and took care of her. And she make dinner for us, and we ate it. And she was in our house. We drank together. I–


JEANETTE FRYE: It didn’t– I just– it didn’t– didn’t come together for me until I realized that there were actually laws that prohibited them from doing it. And I don’t remember that we were taught about that in school very much, be honest with you. I’m not sure that they ever touched on that.

JIM MAYOLA: Probably not.

JEANETTE FRYE: No, I don’t remember that they did. Once I realized, you know, I agreed too that it was wrong. But I think the methods of going about to change it may not have been right. And, of course, knowing what it was like in the south, maybe that was their only– make it was the only method. I don’t know. But I know it scared me. Because when you turned on the TV, you saw the dogs. You saw the guns. You saw people getting beaten with clubs.

And I know that– excuse me. There was a point in the ’60s– I think it might have been 1964, I’m not positive– where they declared martial law in Baltimore. Because there were so many demonstrations and so many riots. And I think fires were set. And when they declared martial law, it scared me.


JEANETTE FRYE: Because that had never been done. I’m not sure it was ever done around here since the Civil War. I know Abe Lincoln declared it at one point. And I understand his reasons. But it kind of scared me that they declared martial law on Baltimore. And so it was kind of scary, because I didn’t know how it was going to spill over into my community, into my life. It made me a little more afraid of things. I guess it was kind of a rude awakening. I don’t know. It just– it scared me, and that’s the only thing I can say, is it scared me.

JIM MAYOLA: What grade were you in in the early ’60s? Were you in high school?

JEANETTE FRYE: No, I wasn’t in high school. Let me see. In 1960, I would’ve been about the sixth or seventh grade.

JIM MAYOLA: OK. So you experienced desegregation then. Did you have segregated schools? So you went– went through that towards high school, I guess.

JEANETTE FRYE: Well, I did, but it didn’t affect me, because there were no black people living in our community.


JEANETTE FRYE: And I wouldn’t have had a problem with it.


JEANETTE FRYE: The other thing– the desegregation. There was something else that floated through my brain when you were talking, and it floated out the other side. No, we– oh, I know what it was. It was Madeline Murray, when she took prayer out of the school. You know, when I went to school, you started your day with a prayer, the Pledge, and a scripture.

JIM MAYOLA: Pledge of Allegiance. Yeah. Sure.

JEANETTE FRYE: And I thought that was nice. And that was another troubling thing in the ’60s. The ’60s were just the time where it bothered me. Of course, by the time we got to the ’70s, my girls were getting, you know, old enough that I was worried about them.


JEANETTE FRYE: And the ’70s weren’t a whole lot better. You know, I think they titled that the “me” generation. You know, that’s when the rock bands started to look really creepy, and they played what I thought was bad music. There are some people who disagreed with me. But, you know, the ’60s and the ’70s were kind of troubling for me.


JEANETTE FRYE: And I think it really got better in the ’80s. I felt better. Of course, Ronald Reagan became president. And I think I had more faith in him. And the other thing that happened in the ’70s was when the Iranians took the–

JIM MAYOLA: Hostages.

JEANETTE FRYE: –people hostages. And the– was it the Palestinians that killed all the Israeli athletes when they got off the plane? I mean, these were the kinds of things that were happening in the ’60s and ’70s. And I was really frightened.

JIM MAYOLA: Yeah. A lot of perverse activity.

JEANETTE FRYE: Scared. You know? It was hard to– it was hard to see into your future and say, wow, things are going to get better. Because that was a time where I just wasn’t sure what was going to happen.


JEANETTE FRYE: I did begin to feel better in the ’80s.

JIM MAYOLA: Well, let’s take a step back. Because you brought something to my mind. You also grew up during the atom bomb scares in the ’50s, and I guess you went to school in grade school where they taught you about ducking and covering–


JIM MAYOLA: –and the air raid things in the halls and stuff.

JEANETTE FRYE: That didn’t scare me near as bad. I think– I think somehow I knew that if they ever dropped the bomb, we were going to be killed anyway. That didn’t bother me. I wasn’t as– and maybe because it was closer to reality, seeing the demonstrations and the riots and the Iranian people acting the way they were. And, you know, all those things were a little closer to– a little closer to home. I could relate to them more.

The atom– the atom bomb, while it was a little unnerving, didn’t really bother me a whole lot. But I remember it, yeah.

JIM MAYOLA: Well, what do you think about– just fast forwarding to today, Jeanette. We’ve got lots of problems in the world today. What do you– what is your sense?

JEANETTE FRYE: Boy. We’ve got more serious problems today, and I think a lot of them were started by things that happened in the ’60s and ’70s.

JIM MAYOLA: Maybe so.

JEANETTE FRYE: This is the time where I try to look to what kind of world my grandchildren will have.

JIM MAYOLA: Exactly. Sure. We always want to think, you know, what are we leaving our children? What kind of legacy are we leaving them? Is the world going to be a better place than it was when we were children? And I know that you and I both grew up in the ’50s. I mean, we remember the ’50s clearly. And that was a very– I guess some people say we were naive. But it was a wonderful time. It was very Leave It To Beaver, Father Knows Best kind of a world. At least for us.

Now, you know, you talked about the civil rights thing. I suspect that for a lot of people, that was not the real image of their life, and it was pretty tough.

JEANETTE FRYE: That could be.

JIM MAYOLA: So we’re– we’ve wrestled with that as a country.


JIM MAYOLA: And we’ve come to terms with some of that internally. And I don’t know if we’ll ever come to terms with everything. I mean, there are– you know, some people say that we’ve made great strides, and some people say that we haven’t even started.


JIM MAYOLA: But I guess it’s just how you look at it. But we’ve got some challenges ahead of us.

JEANETTE FRYE: Yes, we do. Yeah. It’s– well, I guess like you said, there’ve always been problems on the earth. And I think any society, any advanced society, does have some things to overcome. And I think certainly race is one of them. And I like to think we’ve overcome race. I mean, you know, I like– I don’t like to look at people in terms of race. I like to look at people in terms of what kind of people they are. And do I like them? Do I want to be with them?


JEANETTE FRYE: Do they contribute to society? You know, things like that. I don’t want to look at them and say, oh, you’re this color, you can’t do this. Or you’re that color, you’re able to do that. You know? That’s not a part of me. I would like us to be able to live. And I think a lot of people can. I think we’ve gotten to that point. I think if politicians would stay out of it and leave us alone, we’d be a lot better. You know? I don’t– that’s my own personal opinion.

JIM MAYOLA: Well, it’s hard to say. You know, 40 years ago, or 50 years ago, we didn’t know any better.


JIM MAYOLA: As you pointed out, you didn’t know that there was– that what we did wasn’t–

JEANETTE FRYE: What everybody did.

JIM MAYOLA: What everybody did.


JIM MAYOLA: And everybody accepted it. And today, you did. You were educated, and you understand. But children today are in an integrated society.


JIM MAYOLA: And they appreciate diversity. They accept it, and they respect it. They don’t even think second–


JIM MAYOLA: They have no second thoughts about it. So are the generation today, our children and our children’s children, are going to grow up with wondering why did– what was our problem? Why did we struggle so much with all this?

JEANETTE FRYE: You’re right.

JIM MAYOLA: So at least it looks like we’ve moved in the right direction there.

JEANETTE FRYE: That’s a good thing. And if you ever watch little kids play on a playground, they don’t care what color anybody is. They’re playing. And that’s the way we need to be here.

As far as– you know, sometimes I can actually cry about what my grandchildren will face. We’ve got some really bad things going on today, and I’m old enough now that I understand how bad it is. You know, in the ’50s, we could get on our bicycles and ride who knows where, come home at lunch, go and ride who knows where. No one ever bothered us. Today, you can’t even trust your kids to be in the backyard without your being there, because people into your houses and take your children. So that’s scary.

You know, I’ve– my grandchildren. Well, I’ve got one that’s brand new. They’re going to really have to look after their kids. And some of the things that are accepted by society, that are totally wrong, are helping to deteriorate our society. We’ve lost our– you know, we’ve come a long ways as far as integrating society and making cultures more acceptable. But we’ve gone as far the other way in bringing in things to our society that cause the downfall of society.

Anybody who studied any kind of history will know what I’m talking about. Because if you look at the societies who fall, the first thing that happens is the families disintegrate. Sometimes, you have too much multiculturalism. I don’t have a problem with anybody, of any faith, color, religion, background, whatever, living in a society. But you have to mesh somehow. You can’t have a bunch of separate societies within one big society.


JEANETTE FRYE: Or you have problems.

JIM MAYOLA: Tension.

JEANETTE FRYE: Tension. And I think that’s– I think we experience a lot of that today.


JEANETTE FRYE: And that shouldn’t be happening. So while we’ve learned– well, as I said, I think sometimes if politicians would leave society alone it would be better. But now the thing with– there are certain lifestyles that they teach our kids are right and normal, and they’re not. That’s one of the lifestyles that will destroy a society.

I was just watching a thing about the demographics in the country, and the world, actually. And it says that in order to sustain a culture or society, your birth rate has to be something like 2.11. And right now, our birth rate is 1.9. Except that with the immigrant– Mexican, the Latin American immigrants– we’ve got 2.11, which is just barely enough to sustain a society or a culture.


JEANETTE FRYE: And in parts of Europe, their birth rates have fallen to 1.3, 1.2. And supposedly, when it gets below 1.6, it’s irreversible, that you’re on a course. And, you know, when I think of something like that, I think, what do my grandchildren have to do? You know? Will they be able to be married and have families? You know, I don’t know.

I think the only thing– the only thing that keeps me from crying about it is the fact that I believe in God.


JEANETTE FRYE: And I know that he created the earth, and he’s in charge, and he’s going to make everything right. And that’s the only thing that keeps me from being– and I don’t know how somebody can exist in this world, and face the things that we face, without believing in God.

JIM MAYOLA: Without faith. Yeah, sure.

JEANETTE FRYE: You know, I think of deaths in the family, especially suicides. I don’t how people get through that without believing in God. And yet, I know there are people who don’t believe in God who have to face that.

JIM MAYOLA: Yeah. Jeanette, one of the things you mentioned that you touched on a little while ago is societies deteriorate– a profound deterioration is because of the breakup of the families, the deterioration of the family unit itself. I’ve been doing these interviews for about six months now. I’ve spoken to probably 100 people. And there are themes that go through, and it’s really quite interesting.

When you were growing up, and when I was growing up, it’s often the case that there would be a single breadwinner in the household. One person would go out and make the money for the family. Normally, usually, it would be the male. But not always. Sometimes it was the female that went out. And then the other partner, the other person in the family, would be the homemaker, the person who nurtured the children, took care of the children, took care of the housekeeping duties, took care of the household. Which is, in and of itself, a big job.

I mean, keeping a house is a big, very demanding, constant, no-ending job. Ask anybody that’s tried to do it. It’s tough. Today, most families have two wage earners, and sometimes 2 and 1/2. And sometimes, teenagers that are going out to have part time jobs to make money, to try to keep the family going. Prices are more expensive. I understand that. But something else seems to be out of whack.

JEANETTE FRYE: Well, part of what’s out of whack is that everybody wants what everybody else has. Everybody wants to have everything. You know, they want the big cars. They want the big house. They want the nice clothes. Excuse me. They want the video games. I think people have their priorities out of whack. I think if people would adjust themselves to living in a small house.

I mean, when I was growing up– and this was true of a lot of people, it wasn’t just me– we had two bedrooms and six kids. And we survived it.


JEANETTE FRYE: We were a close family, and we survived it. Other people survived it. One of the things I think is particularly interesting in the ’50s is there weren’t a whole lot of rich people.


JEANETTE FRYE: Most everybody was in the same boat.


JEANETTE FRYE: You weren’t necessarily destitute. I mean, we didn’t have welfare programs and things.


JEANETTE FRYE: A lot of the churches took care of people. And they had their harvest home gatherings in the fall and things like that. But everybody didn’t have everything. You know? You made your own toys. You only got toys once a year, because they didn’t open the toy shops except at Christmas.

JIM MAYOLA: Isn’t that interesting? But true. I had forgotten that.

JEANETTE FRYE: Well, you could have jump ropes and things like that.

JIM MAYOLA: Sure, yeah.

JEANETTE FRYE: But dolls and trains and things like that, you got at Christmas.

JIM MAYOLA: Yeah. That’s true. Like Sears Roebuck would come out with a Christmas catalogue that would have all the toys in it. And when you went to Sears, they didn’t have toys in the store during the most part of the year. They only had a toy section during the holidays.

JEANETTE FRYE: That’s right.

JIM MAYOLA: Yeah. Interesting.

JEANETTE FRYE: Well, Car Store– it was Car Store Manchester then, their upstairs was devoted to toys at Christmas. That was the only time. And then, you had to go up with a grownup.


JEANETTE FRYE: You couldn’t go up alone.


JEANETTE FRYE: But you know, most everybody– and they weren’t expensive vacations. You know, I can’t tell you how many kids tell me all these fancy places they’ve been, the restaurants they eat in. That’s the other thing. A lot of people want to eat out all the time.


JEANETTE FRYE: I think if people would make their family the number one priority and just say, OK, what can we live without, I think it would be better for everybody. And I don’t think women were necessarily geared up to work outside the home, to be honest with you. I work now, and I had to work when my girls were little, because I didn’t have any other source of income. But women aren’t necessary geared up, I don’t think, for work-related stresses. And men I don’t think are geared up for family-related stresses.

JIM MAYOLA: That’s interesting.

JEANETTE FRYE: I mean, how many men have no patience with their kids? And yet, most women do. You know?

And I’m not trying to sound like I’m prejudiced toward one sex or the other, one gender or the other. But I think that we were created in a certain way. And I think if we follow those roles I think we could be a lot happier. And I know our kids would be happier, and there would be less divorce. I mean, this is an old fashioned thing. But when– I know when Black & Decker first opened up and they started hiring all these women, my mother said, all that’s going to do is break up a lot of families. Because all these women would be working on the night shift with other men.

And sure enough, it was just one after another people getting divorces. And I’m sure it wasn’t totally Black & Decker’s fault. But the women who were leaving the workplace, you know, the families disintegrated.

JIM MAYOLA: It tunred the culture around.

JEANETTE FRYE: Right. Not leaving the workplace, going into the work place.

JIM MAYOLA: Right. Interesting. So you told me that you had some– you had thought a little while about advice for a youngster coming up.

JEANETTE FRYE: Well, youngsters coming up. Is it OK if I look at my notes?


JEANETTE FRYE: OK. Well the one– the one bit of advice I would give for young couples is to stay together. Don’t even consider that divorce is an option, unless there’s abuse or something really bad. You know, if it’s just that you don’t get along on certain things, or you don’t like the TV shows he watches, or you don’t like the way he eats his soup. You know, these are dumb reasons for getting divorced. And yet, a lot of people focus on these things.

JIM MAYOLA: Relationships are hard.

JEANETTE FRYE: Yes, they are.

JIM MAYOLA: They have to be worked at constantly.

JEANETTE FRYE: Yes. Even if you lived with your mother, or your brother, or your sister, or somebody you grew up loving, sooner or later you’re going to have a disagreement with them.

JIM MAYOLA: Oh, of course.

JEANETTE FRYE: You need to get over it. Because, once you have kids, as far as I’m concerned, you lose a lot of choices that you had before you had them.

JIM MAYOLA: Absolutely.

JEANETTE FRYE: Because once you have kids, that’s what’s you’re responsible for. And I would say to young parents, for goodness sakes, when you have children, make them your first priority, ahead of everything else. Because I see the suffering that kids who come from divorced– especially unhappy divorced couples. I see what they’re like, and I see how they feel. And it’s not nice. I spent a few hours with a couple.

JIM MAYOLA: So your advice to a couple then– I’m just trying to take this to the next level– is when should they think about having children?

JEANETTE FRYE: Oh, I think they should have children when they’re young. I had my first two when I was young, and I got to play tennis with them. I got to play ball. I had lots of energy. And I had my son when I was almost 40. And, you know, I was teaching him to play tennis and ended up with tennis elbow. I couldn’t play tennis, couldn’t do anything with my right arm for two years.


JEANETTE FRYE: You can do so much more when you have your kids when you’re young. And I know– I so much more appreciated my son, because I knew how fast time went. And it went even faster with him.


JEANETTE FRYE: As a young mother or father, you’re not going to be as patient as an older one. But I think you need to have your families when you’re young. I don’t think you should put it off and say– because a lot of times, you put it off too long.


JEANETTE FRYE: But it’s good to kind of grow up with your kids. But you just need to make the commitment. Once you’ve committed to having a family, you need to see it through.


JEANETTE FRYE: The time goes so fast that– I don’t think divorce is ever good, because I know my mom and dad had fights from time to time. And they discussed the idea. Never did anything with it. But when they were both old and retired, they finally decided that was it. They had this fight one day, and I cried. And I was 50-some years old.

JIM MAYOLA: Sure. It was a breakup of the family.


JIM MAYOLA: Yeah. And you felt responsible.

JEANETTE FRYE: Well, I didn’t feel responsible, because they had been doing that for a long time.


JEANETTE FRYE: I know they loved each other, but that was the way they communicated, I guess. I don’t know. But divorce has a bad effect on old people as well as young people. And a lot of people say, well, as soon as the kids grow up, we’re divorcing. Well, that isn’t going to make it better.


JEANETTE FRYE: And my sister and I were talking about this the other day, talking about somebody who had gotten married after their spouse died or something. And the kids– I don’t think the kids accepted him or something. And I said, you know, if Mom had married somebody after Daddy died, I’d have been very unhappy. There’s just something about having your own mother and father. I think that’s the way it was meant to be. You know?

I know there are lots of women, and men, whose spouses die when they’re very young. And you can’t expect them to stay single forever. I understand that. That’s a different circumstance. I’m saying divorce is something that you shouldn’t do unless there’s no other choice.


JEANETTE FRYE: And as I said, if there’s abuse, or alcoholism, or drugs, or anything like that, that’s a reason.


JEANETTE FRYE: But just not getting along– so I guess I covered the divorce thing, huh? Learn a trade. Be good at it and be proud of it. If you have ability and desire to go to college, I think I mentioned that before, but– work hard. Have a work ethic. Don’t steal from your employer. You know, if you are supposed to put in certain amount of hours, you need to put in those hours.

JIM MAYOLA: Exactly.

JEANETTE FRYE: If you’re supposed to do a certain job, you’re supposed to do it. You know, so many people today have an envy of rich people. Well, you know, not all rich people were always rich. A lot of them worked hard to get where they are.


JEANETTE FRYE: And a lot of those people provide jobs for the people who aren’t necessarily so rich. So don’t be jealous of what somebody has. Just do what you have to do.


JEANETTE FRYE: And do learn a trade, because you’re going to be a lot more successful if you’ve got a skill that you can sell to somebody.

JIM MAYOLA: Absolutely.

JEANETTE FRYE: The other thing, I think, don’t be afraid to start your own business. A lot of people say, when I retire, I’m going to do this, that, or the other. But you know, sometimes it’s good to go– if you’ve got a good idea, you know, there are lots of stories– Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Harry Truman. All of them failed at businesses, and yet they became some of the most successful people in the world.

JIM MAYOLA: They did indeed.

JEANETTE FRYE: You know, I think we shouldn’t be afraid to start a business. Be honest with yourselves and others. Honesty is probably something we’re losing in our society today. I could go about what we’re losing in society for a long time. Celebrate our freedom. You know, we live in the freest country in the world. We’re losing freedoms, because people aren’t celebrating those freedoms. But I would say, celebrate it, enjoy it, and pass it on. Let your kids know how important freedom is.

I guess, with my father, and my uncle, and my brothers and all having had to go off to war, I came to an appreciation of freedom at a very young age. And maybe– maybe if there– some of our young people don’t appreciate freedom the way they should– I think I see a little bit of a change. I think I see some young people coming up who are being taught values, and freedom, and things like that. So hopefully, that’ll be better. But don’t be afraid to enjoy the freedom we have. People died for it.


JEANETTE FRYE: The other thing I would say– for goodness sakes, go vote. I thought it was pathetic, in this last election we had, some of the precincts had a 12% turnout. We live in a free country, where you’re able to go anywhere you want, do whatever you want. And yet, people will sit there– and this is coming from a lot of young people– and say, I don’t like any of the politicians. They’re all crooks. Well, it won’t get any better if you don’t do anything. There are people who died for us–

JIM MAYOLA: That’s right.

JEANETTE FRYE: –to vote.


JEANETTE FRYE: We need to vote.

JIM MAYOLA: Absolutely.

JEANETTE FRYE: So that’s one piece of advice that I would say you’ve got to do. I– was it Afghanistan or somewhere, where they were able to vote for the first time? And they had like an 80% or 90% turnout?

JIM MAYOLA: Of course. Yeah. Sure.

JEANETTE FRYE: And we have got a 12%? Something’s not right with that picture. I think I always said take care of your children. Play with them. Enjoy them. Teach them good things, and do things for other people. Sometimes we find our greatest value when we do things for other people. Look outside yourself.

JIM MAYOLA: Just for a moment, can you speak about patriotism?


JIM MAYOLA: Don’t cry.

JEANETTE FRYE: I will. I’m telling you.

JIM MAYOLA: Well, when we grew up, we used to say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning.

JEANETTE FRYE: Yeah. You know, that was started at one of the World’s fairs. This guy thought it would be neat to have all the school children stand up on the same day and say the pledge.

JIM MAYOLA: And we– you know, we went through lots of hard times. And we have lots of– I grew up, my dad was a product of the Korean War. And I grew up during the Vietnam War. You, your parents remember– my parents remembered the Second World War. And in all those cases, we’re fighting in other countries to help other people. And people were proud to be Americans. Very, very proud to come from the United States. I’m not sure that level level of pride still exists.

JEANETTE FRYE: Well, I’m going to delve into something that– it’s going to make you think I might be a very mean person. You know, in some of the research I’ve done– as I was growing up in the ’60s and seeing all this stuff going on and knowing how awful it was, and wondering how in the world they could afford to do what they did, it never occurred to me where the funding was coming from. In the last couple of years, since the Berlin Wall, since communism fell, lots of books are being written. And it turns out that Russia was financing a lot of our civil rights unrest.

They were funneling money over here, because they thought if we had a civil war, it would be easier for them to take us over. Well, at the same point, they were, during World War II even, I think it’s only God’s protection and a miracle that we survived World War II. Because they had more spies working in our government than we did. You know, I think in some ways Russia’s responsible for China being communist today.

Part– I read a manifesto of some points that the Communist party wrote that they wanted to do in order to be able to conquer us, so to speak. Now, I know the Russian communism as we thought we knew is supposed to be dead. I don’t know if there’s still people trying to bring it back to life or not. I know there are still communists.

Being a communist is one thing. But trying to bring a civilization under dictatorship is another thing. And that’s what communists– you know, they give you all this glorious stuff about how everybody shares equally.


JEANETTE FRYE: But that’s not true. The ones at the top are the ones who get everything. And when Stalin came in, he killed all the peasants. You know, he promised everybody land, and then he took it away. A lot of peasants starved to death. He killed others. From what I understand, he killed more people, more Jews and peasants than Hitler did. It was all overlooked by society.

And I think, you know, whether the communists or what attitude they have, they infiltrated our society. And I don’t know if you remember this. When we were in high school, the phrase was passed around, “better red than dead.” Do you remember that?

JIM MAYOLA: Yes. Sure do.

JEANETTE FRYE: Well, after I said it a few times, I thought, wait a minute. I don’t want to be communist. You know, it occurred to me that, no, I don’t– because there were people who said peace at all costs. Well, we still have people who say peace at all costs. But that’s not the way it works in the rest of the world. It would be nice if we could have peace and everybody could live together peacefully. But we know there are countries who want to destroy us, who want to own us. And we need to be proud to be Americans. And we need to stand up for what we believe in. And there’s nothing wrong with flying your flag and saying that you appreciate being an American. I’m proud to be an American. I am so thankful.

I mean, when I say my prayers, I’m glad that my ancestors came here. Because I see what’s happening in Europe and the other countries of the world, and it’s not something I want to be a part of. But I think we need to preserve what we’ve got, because there are people who want to take it away from us. There are people who want to destroy it.


JEANETTE FRYE: And if we’re not careful, especially with that demographic thing I was talking about, the Muslim community is reproducing itself at the point of 8.1 children. You know? Well, that’s six more than we’re doing.


JEANETTE FRYE: I don’t want to live under Sharia law. That’s not freedom. I want to be free. I want to live in a democracy, and I want people who represent me to espouse those views. And I want our country to be recognized as a country that was established on Christian Judaic values. There’s nothing wrong with Christian Judaic values. And I am proud to be a part of that.

JIM MAYOLA: And you want that for your children and your grandchildren.

JEANETTE FRYE: My grandchildren and my great grandchildren. I’m getting to the point where I might have a great grandchild sometime in the next couple years.


JEANETTE FRYE: Well, my oldest granddaughter will be 21 in September. She’s not dating anybody yet, but–

JIM MAYOLA: OK. Well, it can happen.

JEANETTE FRYE: It can happen. So yeah, I want it– I want it to be a place. Of course, I believe in the second coming, too. And I think before– I think before the bulk of the world lost all their freedom. Because if the United States, if our freedom goes, so goes the rest of the world. We are the beacon of light and the beacon of freedom in this world.


JEANETTE FRYE: And if we lose it, the whole world loses it. And I don’t think God will let that happen.

JIM MAYOLA: These are certainly interesting times.


JIM MAYOLA: There are a lot of signs.

JEANETTE FRYE: I agree with you.

JIM MAYOLA: Well, Jeanette, I want to thank you again.

JEANETTE FRYE: OK. Well, I hope I’m done this time.

JIM MAYOLA: Well, it was certainly a pleasure talking to you. And I do appreciate you taking the time.


JIM MAYOLA: And um, get this on our website.