June 18, 2003
Hanson: This is an interview with Mrs. Lucille Follett at her home in Yucaipa. This is June 18, 2003 and this is Joyce Hanson for the San Bernardino Oral History Project. Good morning Mrs. Follett.
FOLLETT: Good morning.
Hanson: So you spent a lot of time in San Bernardino?
FOLLETT: Yes. I was born in San Bernardino in 1920. I was the youngest of six children and I grew up on Seventh Street west of Mount Vernon and it was a fun place to live. Times were different then. We had neighbors who were all good and friendly and we shared things. And my father was a rancher until he broke his leg in a tractor accident. Then he went to work for Santa Fe Stockyards and his brother, Henry, was the manager. And that was fun because sometimes we would get to go with him in the evenings or on weekends. Sometimes he would let us bring little baby pigs home. Those days all the animals traveled in a train in stock cars, and they would stop at the stockyards to water and feed them. And so no matter what time the train would come in, if it was midnight, they would call him and he would have to go. But it was so much fun to go down with him and watch the animals.
Hanson: You said your father was a rancher, where was his ranch?
FOLLETT: On Seventh Street, west of Mt. Vernon. He owned 7 1/2 acres that he farmed.
Hanson: So that was all ranch land out there wasn't it?
FOLLETT: Yes, that was ranch land. Well originally the property belonged to my grandfather, Thomas Tompkins. He owned 150 acres from Mount Vernon Avenue to the Lytle Creek wash. And he farmed, and then, of course, as time went by it was divided up and given to all of his children. Some of them of course moved out of town and my father helped sell their property. When Santa Fe Railroad moved in, there were more people that came to live in that area.
Hanson: When you went and you had the little pigs, did you get to keep those or did you have to give them back?
FOLLETT: No, we had to give them back. We got to keep them overnight. But he always brought us a milk bottle and my sister and I could bottle-feed them. My sister was Elizabeth; we called her Betty. She was two years older than me. My other brothers and sisters, my oldest sister, Eliene, was 24 years older than me. My sister, Lily was 21 years older, and my brother Walter was 18 years older, my brother Albert was 8 years older, and then Betty two years older than me. My mother was a mother and housewife; she never worked out of the home. They had milk cows and chickens. They sold eggs to the neighbors, and mother had a butter churn and she made butter and sold that too. My grandparents on my father's side died before I was born, so I didn't know them. And my mother's father died before I was born. But my grandmother Annie Alexander died when I was eleven. And she lived just up the street from us. Across the street from her was my Aunt Rhoda; we called her Aunt Bird. My uncle Bert lived with grandma Alexander and helped take care of her and he farmed too. He grew watermelons and we'd go out in the patch and he'd break a watermelon and we just sat there on the ground and ate watermelon. It was all over our face and clothes, I'm sure. And my uncle Will lived down the street from us with his wife family. So we had relatives and family all around that made it much more fun.
Hanson: It sounds like a very family oriented area.
FOLLETT: It was. It was. And across the street from us was Vonley Combs family, and caddy-corner on the corner of Western and Seventh was the Royal Mack family. I think he was the City Councilman at one time. And then the Weiss family and the Fasana family. And then my aunt and uncle across the street. And the De Lucias family. Right next to us was a Mexican family and they were really nice. She used to bring us Mexican dishes that she had made.
Hanson: Sounds good.
FOLLETT: It was good.
Hanson: So tell me, when you were kids what kind of games and things did you play? I mean you had a lot of cousins and things around so?
FOLLETT: Yes, we played kick the can in the street at night. We played ball, and roller-skated. My oldest sister was married to a cement contractor and so he poured cement sidewalk in front of our house and from our walk to the front door and around the house. So we really gathered there. And then we had 7-1/2 acres and so we would go out and run around the fields. Before I was born they had horses and my sisters and brothers all rode horses. I never had any when I was growing up.
Hanson: You missed out on all that fun.
FOLLETT: Yes. We just had chickens and we had a garden and all kinds of fruit trees. And when mother wanted to have chicken for dinner she'd go out with her 22 short rifle and just shoot it right in the head. She was good.
Hanson: She must have been a good shot.
FOLLETT: She was.
Hanson: Chickens don't have big heads.
FOLLETT: No they don't. But she couldn't shoot it anywhere else because she didn't want to spoil the meat.
My grandparents, Thomas and Artemisia Tompkins, had a large bell hanging in one of the trees on the ranch on 7th Street. When it was time for the ranch hands to come in to eat, Grandma would ring the bell. The story I was told was that a preacher at one of the nearby churches heard the bell, and thought it sounded much better than the church bell. So he asked Grandma Tompkins if she would trade bells with the church. They were both large bells. So my grandmother did trade bells. I have no idea which church it was. One of my brothers, Walter, was given possession of the bell after our grandmother died. After his death, it was given to me. It is now hanging in my daughter Cathy's back yard at her home in Yucaipa.
I went to Mount Vernon School, and we walked to school no problem at all. My favorite teacher at Mount Vernon School was Mrs. Whitlow.
Hanson: Why was she your favorite?
FOLLETT: Oh I don't know. She just was very good. She was strict; she made us learn. And one of my cousins, I can't think of her first name, her last name was Cadd, was a janitor there. So I always felt family was all around me. And, let's see, my grandfather on my father's side was born in England and his wife was born in England. They went from England to New York and then they came around the coast in the ship Berkeley and landed in San Francisco. And my Grandfather Ambrose Alexander was born in Rhode Island. And my grandmother, Annie Cadd Alexander, was born in England. When she was five, they moved to Australia. Then from Australia, when she was 15, they came to California in the ship San Lucas. They landed in San Pedro.
And when the Mormons had the call back to Utah, they all went. But they were disenchanted. The story goes that one of my grandmothers, when they were told the men had to take a second wife, that she got out her butcher knife and said, "We're going home." I don't know if that's true, but that was the story. So anyway, that ended that for them. Then when they made the movie "Skippy...."
Hanson: I haven't heard of that one.
FOLLETT: You don't know that, it's an old, old one. They made part of the movie on Sixth Street in back of us. They wanted to have the boys ride down the hill on a cart. So they rented our field and rode down our hill. So we got to watch them make the movie. Jackie Cooper was the star.
Hanson: When was that?
FOLLETT: That was, oh, it must have been about 1930, something like that. And then when my father died in 1932, I had just had my 12th birthday and my mother had never worked a day in her life, so my brother Albert became our main support. And my sister Lily and Walter helped us a lot.
Hanson: It must have been very hard with the depression.
FOLLETT: That was the depression, Yes. It was hard for Albert to find a job. He got involved in the W.P.A., and that helped.
Hanson: What kind of work was he doing for the W.P.A.?
FOLLETT: Oh, they built mountain roads and dams up there.
Hanson: Did they do a lot of work up around Arrowhead and Big Bear?
FOLLETT: Uh huh. And before my father died, he helped build the well. They called it Little Bear Lake Dam. He hauled lumber down the mountains from the sawmills. One of the things we used to do when we'd go to the stockyards with my dad was my sister and I would walk on top of the boxcars. That was fun. And then he'd take us to the Harvey House and we had pie alamode before we went home.
Hanson: That must have been fun.
FOLLETT: After my grandfather, Ambrose Alexander died, my grandmother married Wyatt Earp's dad, Nicholas Earp.
Hanson: Oh she did?
FOLLETT: Yes, it's in the records. They were married in the Pioneer Log Cabin; that's in the records in the California Room. And when he died she got $12 a month of his pension for the Mexican/American War, I believe.
Oh dear. Let's see, do I have anything. There must be something else. My dad would take us when we went on vacation up to the mountains; we stayed in a cabin up there and we had a lot of fun.
Hanson: Now was that around Arrowhead, or just?
FOLLETT: More like around Crestline and that area. Yes, so what else was I going to tell you? Well I went to Sturges Junior High. My favorite teacher there was Mrs. Barber, a Spanish teacher. She was really nice; she was tough too.
Hanson: I think teachers were tougher back then.
FOLLETT: Yes, they were. Thank goodness.
Hanson: I remember tough teachers in school.
FOLLETT: And then, I went to San Bernardino High School. My favorite teachers there were Mr. Cooper and Mr. Stridborg; they were bookkeeping teachers. And I used to walk home from school, and that's a long ways.
Hanson: About how far was it?
FOLLETT: Oh gosh, we lived two blocks west of Mount Vernon, so it was quite a ways. But we felt very safe. In fact, when my sister graduated, she started working at the telephone company. I'd get out of the high school and walk down to the City library and wait for her. Maybe we'd go to a movie and walk home at midnight. Two girls, you cant' do that now.
And that was great fun. There was the Temple Theater and the California, of course. And then the one on "E" Street, what was that Pacific? No. Oh I remember. It was the Ritz on 4th Street.
Hanson: There was a Fox Theater.
FOLLETT: There was one really funny Mexican man that when I got off the bus from work, was always standing on the corner. The only thing he would say to me everyday was, "Hello Blondie." I thought that was so funny. Let's see, and after I graduated from High School I went to work for the Agricultural Adjustment Administration.
Hanson: I saw that.
FOLLETT: That was an agency of the federal government.
Hanson: That was part of the New Deal.
FOLLETT: Yes, well if the farmers would grow weeds in the orchards and plow them under, we would pay them. And we would tell the farmers how many acres of grain they could grow. But it was really weird, because it was an agency of the federal government; but there were no federal benefits. Nothing, no health care, no anything.
Hanson: Is that because they considered it a temporary agency?
FOLLETT: Yes, I think so. But I worked there oh, five or six years; all during '38 to '44. And it was nice; I made a lot of friends.
Hanson: Did you do bookkeeping work there?
FOLLETT: Yes, not really bookkeeping, but record keeping of the farmers and what they grew and how much money they'd be entitled to.
Hanson: I was just wondering because you said you did bookkeeping in high school so I thought there was a connection there.
FOLLETT: I met some very good friends there, and lost track of all my high school friends.
Hanson: Let me ask you, when World War II began, how did San Bernardino change, or did it change?
FOLLETT: Well I think the Norton Air Base changed it a lot.
Hanson: In what way?
FOLLETT: Just more buzzing around and activities and more jobs. They had a USO and they used to have dances and just a lot more activity.
Hanson: The USO that they had, where did the dances take place?
FOLLETT: I knew you were going to ask me that, I was trying to think of it. I think they took place at the YWCA. I'm sure, I think.
Hanson: I assume they were well attended; a lot of people went?
FOLLETT: Oh, a lot of people went, yes. Where I worked at the Agricultural Office we had a whole bunch of young girls work there and we would all go. And it was fun, just go and dance and have a good time.
Hanson: How often?
FOLLETT: Every week.
Hanson: Would big bands come in or?
FOLLETT: No, not really. Mostly just a small group or records. But it was fun. And my brother was in the infantry, The Timber Wolves in WWII and he was sent over to Germany. So we all felt sad for him to go away and when a holiday would come like Thanksgiving or Christmas mother always wanted to invite some of the soldiers so we would go through the USO and we'd have four or five over for dinner, which was nice.
Hanson: Especially since they're away from home and family.
FOLLETT: Yes, and that's where my sister Elizabeth met her husband.
In fact all of my friends that worked at the Agricultural Office dated some of the GI's and married some of them. But that was an interesting time. Then when my brother came home, he went to work at a garage. Floyd Wright had a garage in San Bernardino and he went to work for him. And then he went to work for the City of San Bernardino. He was a mechanic in the City garage and worked on police cars. It's really kind of strange because he worked for the City and retired. My brother Walter started out with the water department for the City and then he went to the Electrical Department and he retired. And my sister Lily worked, I can't remember which office she started in, but she worked for the Police Department and she retired after 30 years. So I don't know why I didn't work for the City. I worked for the County.
Hanson: Well, still government.
FOLLETT: But the County was good. I was secretary to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors. I think I worked there about five years.
Hanson: What did you do in that job?
FOLLETT: Well, the Clerk of the Board sat in on the Board meetings and took notes and he dictated them to me. I typed them on great big sheets of paper, and that was fun. Of course, I waited on people and answered the telephone. That was a good place to work. I worked there until I met Bob. He was in the California Air National Guard. He belonged to the 196th when it first started at San Bernardino at Norton. So that was when the Korean War started and he was activated. You know when he was activated? We eloped to Reno and the day we came home, the next morning we picked up the morning paper and it said 196th activated. He was transferred then from Norton out to Victorville. He was there for a year. Then he was transferred to Wyoming, so I had to quit my job. I wanted to go with him because he was going to be there a year. So then, after he got out of there, he went to work at Norton for a while and then the guard reformed and he joined that again. So he retired from the Air National Guard. We've been married 52 years. I was lucky; he's a good guy.
Hanson: Yes, that's a long time.
FOLLETT: It is. So we have three kids-Catherine, David, and Glen. We have five grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and one great-great. He's only about three months old.
Hanson: Oh you must be so happy.
FOLLETT: He was premature. He weighed 3 pounds 14 ounces when he was born. Now he's up to 4 pounds 1 ounce, so he 's doing better.
So let's see, what else was I going to tell you? Oh dear. It used to be fun when we were growing up to to go up to my uncle Bert's and go out in the fields and ride on the back of the tractor with him. And oh, this is part of history too. When I was going to Mount Vernon School there was a family by the name of Pinkert that had caddy-corner from Mount Vernon School a grocery store; a little one family store and a gas station. And they were the nicest people. At lunchtime a lot of kids would go over to the store and buy potato chips or big dill pickles or something. And Mr. Pinkert was very friendly. He had a son, Ernie Pinkert that played football for USC. So he always liked to talk about that. And he would always come out and talk to me. Sometimes he would say, "Would you like a cup of hot tea?" And he'd make me a cup of hot tea. That doesn't happen anymore.
Hanson: No, it certainly doesn't.
FOLLETT: And that was really nice. But, when I was growing up there were nice stores on Mount Vernon. Zanone's had a market across from Mount Vernon School and there was a Zanone's market between Sixth and Seventh where we used to shop. And I think Mitlas was there then too. Have you been there?
Hanson: No I haven't been there.
FOLLETT: It's the best Spanish/Mexican cafe.
Hanson: I'll have to try that.
FOLLETT: My kids are crazy about Mexican food so we go to all of them.
Hanson: So what else was up there? Obviously everything was very family oriented and family owned.
FOLLETT: Oh definitely, yes.
Hanson: When did that start to change?
FOLLETT: Well I don't know. I think it started to change right after the war. There was a Japanese family that had a barber shop there too, and they were really nice. The girl was one of my classmate's. I don't really know that it really has changed that...theater on the corner of Seventh and Mount Vernon was going strong when we were growing up. They were all Mexican movies, so we didn't go. And then they had a dancehall above the theater and sometimes in the evenings we could hear the music.
Hanson: Did you ever go out to Urbita Springs?
FOLLETT: Oh goodness yes, yes.
Hanson: Dancing? I've heard about all the dancing.
FOLLETT: Well I wasn't dancing then, but my brothers and sisters did. I would watch. We used to have dances at the Pioneer Log Cabin too.
Hanson: Oh I didn't know that.
FOLLETT: And I would go and we had chairs. I would just sit there and watch. They'd square dance.
Hanson: No one's every told me that.
FOLLETT: That was fun to watch. And my family was socially active that way. And, let's see, what am I leaving out.
Hanson: Let's look at some of these.
FOLLETT: Oh okay.
Hanson: Let me just flip the tape over because we're almost out here. [End of side 1]
FOLLETT: [Beginning of side 2] Okay, this is the house right across from our house. And this is my uncle Bert and his brother Will. He was a farmer.
Hanson: Yes, look at all the open land up there.
Hanson: It sure has changed.
FOLLETT: Oh my.
Hanson: I just drove through there yesterday.
FOLLETT: Well Blanche [Tompkins] keeps telling me that my Grandparents Tompkins house is still there, but we drove up there and I couldn't recognize it from my memory.
Hanson: Yes, that happens, but the whole area up there is so different now.
FOLLETT: Oh Yes, they tore our house down.
Hanson: Oh. They tear a lot of things down in California.
FOLLETT: Yes they do don't they? Of course it was pretty old. I was born in it.
Hanson: I don't think that's all that old. I'm from New England; we don't think those things are that old.
FOLLETT: That's true. You're from New England?
Hanson: Yes, Connecticut. So for us, this is all new stuff out here.
FOLLETT: After Bob retired from the Air Guard he went to work for McDonnell-Douglas and one of the places he was sent, he was Quality Control Inspector, was Massachusetts. So the first time I got to see any of that country, it's beautiful.
Hanson: It is beautiful. It's very beautiful in the fall with all the leaves turning.
FOLLETT: Oh yes. But we had a hard time finding a house. And we had stayed in a motel for a whole month. Our daughter, with our grandchildren and our sons were in California, so we looked at each other and said, "Why are we so far away from our family?" So he quit his job.
Hanson: And you came back.
FOLLETT: We came back. Yes, we're lucky, two of our children live in Yucaipa and all of our grandchildren except one.
Hanson: So you're still in a family kind of neighborhood thing.
FOLLETT: And the son that doesn't live here, lives in Alaska. That's a long way off.
Hanson: Yes it is.
FOLLETT: He's retired from the Forrest Service. He started right after he got out of high school when we were living in Kansas and he came back here. We went all over with McDonnell-Douglas: Kansas, Iowa, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts. It was an experience because until I met Bob I hadn't even been out of the state of California. We're a California pioneer family.
Hanson: Yes, I know.
FOLLETT: Oh this is my sister. This is when she retired from the City. Hall of Justice they called it.
And here's Third Street in 1904. Now San Bernardino doesn't have any stores. You know I used to shop down there; there was a Stept's Clothing Store and a Roskins Clothing store. When I worked for the Agricultural Adjustment Agency (AAA), the office was right across the street from the California Hotel. Now that's gone. Dale Gentry was the owner. I don't know if you heard of him.
FOLLETT: Well he's an old pioneer too. He owned the California Hotel and he owned property up at Big Bear in that area. He was a cattle rancher, too.
Hanson: Yes, this is very different.
FOLLETT: I've got pictures of my co-workers and I sitting on cannons in Pioneer Park.
Hanson: Do you remember when the Big Red Cars that went around town, the P.E. cars?
FOLLETT: Oh yes, I rode one once. My sister took me on it. And my brother, Walter, worked for Pacific Electric; that was his first job. I've got a bunch of pictures I have to show you. On the back of that picture, I don't know where it is, it just says Walter Tompkins and family and friends. I don't know what year that is.
Hanson: That's very old; it's got to be late 1800's, 1890's, from the dresses I would say.
FOLLETT: Oh I'm sure; I would say so too. When my brother Walter went to work for the Water Department his boss was Bard Livingston, and this is that picture that you saw.
Hanson: Okay, yes, that's in the California Room.
FOLLETT: He said, this says the man on the right is your father. Picture taken in 1911 when top of Perris Hill was leveled for the reservoir.
Hanson: This is of Perris Hill?
FOLLETT: Perris Hill, do you know where that is?
Hanson: Yes, I know where Perris Hill is. I love these pictures.
FOLLETT: This picture is there too. I hoped when that went to the California Room that somebody would be able to identify others; anyway that's my dad. It looks like they're in downtown.
Hanson: Yes, it does.
FOLLETT: I wonder what they're doing.
Hanson: I don't know, they're just kind of lined up. They're just kind of posed there.
FOLLETT: This is the same as that one. I don't know why I have two of those. Okay now my brother, I said Walter worked for the Pacific Electric and one of his wife, Pauline's relatives work there too. Pauline just died recently and she had all these pictures and I don't know who most of them are; but this is Pacific Electric.
Hanson: There's a black man and a Mexican here working with them, that's interesting.
FOLLETT: Yes, they're all interesting, but.
Hanson: Yes, identifying them is...
FOLLETT: Yes, is something else. I didn't know if the California Room would want any of them.
Hanson: Oh I'm sure they would. San Bernardino Traction Company.
FOLLETT: I'm going to save some for the relatives, but I only know one of them.
Hanson: These are wonderful pictures. These are just priceless.
FOLLETT: Yes, I can't imagine what year they are.
Hanson: My guess would be around 1910 or so.
FOLLETT: I would think so.
Hanson: 1910 or before World War I obviously, from the way they're dressed.
Hanson: This might be a little earlier, but not much. Those are great.
FOLLETT: Now this is Mount Vernon School.
FOLLETT: I don't know what year; I don't think it says does it?
FOLLETT: That's my sister Lily.
Hanson: Oh okay. Sixth grade, 1911 and 1912.
FOLLETT: This is another picture of her class and that one doesn't say what year.
Hanson: No, well that's grade five. This is sixth, this is fifth, this had to be the year before, 1910-1911.
FOLLETT: This is another one.
Hanson: Oh, look at all the kids. Now these schools, now I assume that all these, this is all different grades or these are just...
FOLLETT: I have no idea.
Hanson: These just say one grade; I'm wondering if this is all grades.
FOLLETT: That one just says Lily's class.
Hanson: A lot of children in that class.
Hanson: We have black children in class.
FOLLETT: Uh huh.
Hanson: These are great pictures.
FOLLETT: And I'm wondering, you know does the police department have any records or they would like pictures or anything.
Hanson: I don't know.
FOLLETT: Because there's Lily at her desk with one of her associates.
Hanson: They look alike.
FOLLETT: Uh huh. Yes, her husband died. They lived in Devore and she moved to Yucaipa and we helped take care of her until she was, how old was she when she died? Thirteen years ago. Here she is with the police officers.
Hanson: Yes I wonder if they would like these.
FOLLETT: I would think they would.
Hanson: They might like a copy of them.
FOLLETT: Yes. Here's her retirement party. There's her husband and that's Mayor Ray Gregory. I would think they would like to have these.
Hanson: Yes, I would think they would for their records.
FOLLETT: That's Lily again. I would think they would. And like this book too, it's 1956, which isn't too far away, but it has...
Hanson: Well that's far away.
FOLLETT: Yes, I guess it is.
Hanson: It doesn't seem like it to us, but...
FOLLETT: Yes you're right. She went through the book and every time one died she wrote dead.
Hanson: Oh. Oh wow, this is great stuff.
FOLLETT: I would think maybe if they don't have copies at the police department. I don't know; who would I contact? I really don't know.
Hanson: We have a councilman and the mayor in here; this is good. 139 police officers, boy that doesn't seem like a lot does it?
FOLLETT: Wouldn't be enough this day and age.
Hanson: Oh no, not the way San Bernardino has grown.
FOLLETT: Did you feel safe driving down 7th Street?
Hanson: Yes, I drive all over San Bernardino so it doesn't bother me.
FOLLETT: I'll bet you do too.
FOLLETT: Well we drove down there not too long ago. Oh let's finish looking at these. That's grandmother Tompkins, that's Artemisia and I think that's Lily, my sister. That's the same picture, that's the same one. Now this is a history picture. Remember when they first, no you don't remember.
Hanson: No, I wasn't here. I just got here five years ago, but that's okay.
FOLLETT: A long time ago they installed parking meters, and this was the first day that they started using them and she and the girl that worked there too got to put the first coins in.
Hanson: Oh, that's great! That is a historical picture, look at that.
FOLLETT: Yes, it really is.
Hanson: That's wonderful.
FOLLETT: She was such a pretty lady. Of course 21 years older than me, I remember growing up, on Fridays or Saturdays she'd have dates. She belonged to the Native Daughters of the Golden West, and they had dances all the time and she'd put on this beautiful red long evening gown. And, oh, I thought, "Oh, she looks so pretty," you know. My sister and I would just sit there and watch her get dressed and put on her makeup. Now this is Mayor John Ralph, Jr.
Hanson: I've heard of him, but I've never seen him.
FOLLETT: I think they had a dedication of a park. I think it says on the back. I don't remember. There he is again. Here's my brother Walter. There's Lily and somewhere in here is my sister on a pony. Oh, right there. And this is dedication of Starkey Forrest, Lytle Creek in 1929. I don't know what to do with all those.
Hanson: It's interesting for me just to see the clothing and how people dressed.
FOLLETT: There's more police department. This I think, the City should really have these.
Hanson: These are wonderful.
FOLLETT: Look at all of them. They were always taking pictures.
Hanson: Oh it must have been windy, all their ties are blowing, it must have been a windy day.
FOLLETT: Well it's San Bernardino.
Hanson: Yes, exactly, that says it all.
FOLLETT: North wind.
Hanson: The north winds. These are great pictures.
FOLLETT: Yes, I think the other's Mayor Gregory. I think the City Police Department or the California Room would want them.
Hanson: Oh I'm sure they would.
FOLLETT: Yes, if there is any that you think they want.
Hanson: Yes I would, I absolutely love these pictures. If you don't mind I can make copies of them and return the originals to you.
FOLLETT: Well whatever, I don't care. This is Lily's high school picture. So, and you know what, she was a bookkeeping major, so is she in with the rest of them, her picture? Oh no, she's way in the back with three other girls. That's really interesting too.
Hanson: Let's see, 1918.
FOLLETT: She graduated from high school two years before I was born.
Hanson: A man that I interviewed has his aunt's Tyro from 1898.
FOLLETT: Oh gosh, really?
Hanson: He made a copy of it for me.
FOLLETT: Oh my word. What was his name, do you remember?
Hanson: His name is Fine, but that's not his aunt's name, Bob Fine. But his aunt, they were Wilson was their last name I believe. His relatives came over; his grandmother and grandfather came with the Mormons in the 1850's, the Wilson family.
FOLLETT: As soon as you said Fine I thought of Ira, Ira Fine.
Hanson: No, Ira Fine I don't know. This is Bob Fine. This is just wonderful.
FOLLETT: You know in the old days families were so much closer. On Memorial Day we would always go to the cemetery and put flowers out and all the relatives would be there and we'd stand around and talk.
Hanson: Yes, it used to be holidays were family oriented; now they are shopping oriented.
FOLLETT: Yes, that's true.
Hanson: It is, there's always a sale now. Families just don't get together anymore.
FOLLETT: My grandparents, Annie Alexander and Ambrose Alexander were all buried in the pioneer cemetery and nobody ever put a marker on their graves. Yes, I was telling my husband, if we ever win the lottery we'll put the marker on. And my grandparents on my father's side are in Mountain View cemetery, and they have one of those great big tall monuments. And my mother and dad are buried there too. I've totally lost track of everyone I went to school with.
Hanson: Well it's not hard to do.
FOLLETT: I have never gone to a high school reunion.
Hanson: When did Charlotte [Vaughn] tell me they had a reunion and there weren't very many people left. It wasn't that long ago.
FOLLETT: Oh I'll bet.
Hanson: And I know she said that now they kind of have combined reunions from different years.
FOLLETT: I should go but you know, it's always been kind of an ordeal and my husband doesn't really want to go. He can't go to his because he's from Pontiac, Illinois.
Hanson: Yes, that's a little far away.
FOLLETT: We go to reunions every year, and it's his Air National Guard. We go over to March Air Force Base. But we don't get to go to too many places. We take care of, we have three grandkids living right next door.
Hanson: Oh that's great for you.
FOLLETT: Our youngest son. We love it. He moved next door when the oldest boy was a year and a half and he's now about to be 20.
FOLLETT: Well, you know we don't spoil him any or the others either. Before you go, I've got to show you the back room and all the grandkid stuff all over the place. I don't remember what this is. I should have been more prepared for you, I'm sorry.
Hanson: Oh no this is fine. I love this. Prepared isn't always best.
FOLLETT: Oh I don't know.
Hanson: No really.
FOLLETT: But as soon as you go I'll think, "Oh, why didn't I tell her this."
Hanson: Well just call me and I'll come back and you can tell me all those things.
FOLLETT: Oh, okay.
Hanson: We don't have to do everything today.
FOLLETT: I don't know if you wanted to look at these or not.
Hanson: Oh of course.
FOLLETT: That's my aunt Bird, Rhoda.
FOLLETT: And that's my sister Eliene, my sister Lily, and my brother Albert, look at his cute little hair.
Hanson: Oh look at the hair, a little pageboy cut. Oh, that's an adorable picture.
FOLLETT: And this is Thomas Tompkins, my grandfather's sisters. There's Rhoda or Aunt Bird and Daisy and Violet and Mable. Look at the hair and the clothes.
Hanson: Oh yes, hair and clothes, 1913.
FOLLETT: This is my dad and he's holding his sister's little boy. And there is Rhoda and mother and that's his sister Violet and my sister Lily and that's the father. That's Albert my brother; they traded kids.
Hanson: Oh, just to confuse everyone.
FOLLETT: I grew up with red hair and freckles and I was always either called red or freckles by my brother Albert. There's my dad and there's Grandma Alexander. And that's my mother and that's my niece Eilene and that's my sister Betty and that's my sister Eilene and my sister Lily and my brother Albert and my brother Walter and Eilene's little boy James. And there's Grandma Alexander. She's the one that married Nicholas Earp, and my mother and my sister. There's proof that they were farmers.
Hanson: Yes, look at all those fields.
FOLLETT: The way my mother and father met was they lived right across the street from each other and grew up together. And the way Bob and I met, we lived one house in-between us.
Hanson: Oh well, talk about family. These are priceless photos.
FOLLETT: That's the safest way to be, because you know the family.
Hanson: Exactly, no guesswork there.
FOLLETT: I knew what I was doing. Now I'm not quite sure what that is. I think that's one of those P.E. pictures.
Hanson: Yes, it's a Pacific Electric car.
FOLLETT: Oh yes.
Hanson: They must be working on the wires up there.
FOLLETT: Oh yes, I kept these separate because that's my brother. I'm not sure; I think my brother is there. It's kind of faded. And here he is again. And here he is again, and here he is again. So many pictures. My sister-in-law had all of these and that's where I got them.
Hanson: Emergency tower car. That's the one they sent out I guess to fix the wires when they had a problem.
FOLLETT: Here's the police department again. It doesn't say what year on any of them, or who they are, so I have no idea.
Hanson: It looks like '50's.
FOLLETT: I have no idea, just a bunch of old people.
Hanson: A bunch of old people (laughing).
FOLLETT: City employees it says.
Hanson: Okay. A bunch of old City employees.
FOLLETT: Yes, City employees. There's Lily as secretary. And this is my grandma, Artemisia Tompkins.
Hanson: Beautiful picture.
FOLLETT: I love pictures. I just love them. We take them all the time. Well let's see, I think there was a couple here that I had marked so I could show them to you. Yes, there's my Grandma Alexandria and my mother and my dad and sister. Here she is again. Here I'm an Indian.
Hanson: Oh yes, you are.
FOLLETT: Some school thing. There's our house; we had a nice house.
Hanson: Yes, it's beautiful. A big porch.
FOLLETT: A big porch and yes, it was nice. It only had one bathroom.
Hanson: Well of course, everyone did.
FOLLETT: All those kids. That's my dad in our yard; the fruit orchard. This is one of my favorite pictures, my dad and my brother Walter and me. The sun was shining in my eyes.
Hanson: Yes, I see that.
FOLLETT: This is my Grandma Alexander again, and there she is again. That's the one I wanted to show, these here. Everybody always went out and sat on the front porch. And this is my brother and this is up in Cajon Pass on those big old rocks up there.
Hanson: Yes. The Mormon rocks up there.
FOLLETT: Yes. We used to go out in the desert a lot. Just go, the boys would go rabbit hunting and we would have a picnic. It was fun.
Hanson: Do you remember, there used to be a park up in Cajon Pass where people used to go to picnic. Did you guys go up there?
FOLLETT: I don't remember going there, but I'm sure my family did.
Hanson: That's something people talk about, going up there.
FOLLETT: We used to go through Cajon Pass and turn on what they called the Narrows. There's a pioneer monument or something there, or there used to be. Then we'd turn and go on that road and go out to the desert. It wasn't anything much out there then. But that was fun.
Hanson: A lot of people, when they had family things they either went up to the desert or they went up to the mountains. Just one end or the other you know.
FOLLETT: Yes, that's right. After my dad died, my uncle Bert and his wife, my Aunt Laura, and mother and my sister Betty and I would all go in his car out in the desert. It was an old open, I can't remember what it was, but it was a very old car. And he loved to go to all the abandoned gold mines.
[End of Interview]