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Legacies Project Oral History: Shirley (Rusty) Schumacher

Tue, 12/10/2019 - 11:03am

When: 2018

Shirley (Rusty) Schumacher was born in 1930 in Detroit. She remembers war bonds, scrap drives, and special manufacturing during World War II. She attended William and Mary College and received two master’s degrees in speech and education from the University of Michigan. Schumacher spent most of her career as a teacher at Clague Middle School. In 1985 she founded a student exchange program with Ann Arbor’s sister city, Hikone, Japan. She led a year-long stay there in 1992-93.

Shirley (Rusty) Schumacher was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2018 as part of the Legacies Project.

Transcript

  • [00:00:10.26] SPEAKER 1: You can call a break at any time. And you can decline to answer any question. You can terminate the interview at any time. We're going to start with some simple demographic questions. And try and keep your answers brief, and we can elaborate later. So please say and spell your name.
  • [00:00:25.81] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: My name is Shirley Schumacher, S-H-I-R-L-E-Y S-C-H-U-M-A-C-H-E-R.
  • [00:00:34.91] SPEAKER 1: And what is your birth date, including the year?
  • [00:00:37.62] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: March 6, 1930.
  • [00:00:40.77] SPEAKER 1: And how do you describe your ethnic background?
  • [00:00:43.32] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: I think it probably would be Caucasian.
  • [00:00:54.63] SPEAKER 1: And what is your religious affiliation, if any?
  • [00:00:58.58] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: I think I'm a secular humanist.
  • [00:01:02.41] SPEAKER 1: And what is the highest level of formal education you have completed?
  • [00:01:07.41] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: I have two and a half master's degrees.
  • [00:01:13.42] SPEAKER 1: And what is your marital status?
  • [00:01:17.55] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: My husband died about a year ago. So I was happily married for 62 years.
  • [00:01:24.66] SPEAKER 1: How many children do you have?
  • [00:01:25.98] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Four.
  • [00:01:27.14] SPEAKER 1: And how many siblings do you have?
  • [00:01:28.92] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: I have one sister. She died a long time ago.
  • [00:01:33.24] SPEAKER 1: What would you consider your primary occupation to have been?
  • [00:01:36.66] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Ann Arbor public school teacher, middle school. Yay!
  • [00:01:40.99] SPEAKER 1: At what age did you retire?
  • [00:01:43.17] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: I retired at 65.
  • [00:01:46.32] SPEAKER 1: All right. So now we're going to begin the first part of our interview with some things that you can recall about your family history. We're beginning with family naming history. And by this, we mean any story about your last name or your first name or family traditions in selecting first or middle names. So do you know any stories about your family name?
  • [00:02:09.21] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yes, I do, not the Schumacher side because that's my husband's name. But my mother's family, who were the Woods of Springfield, Illinois, were called the Snowbirds. They traveled very early from Dover, Delaware, to Springfield, Illinois.
  • [00:02:31.02] And there were, I think, 12 families who went in for the winter and boarded up their houses and tried to stay warm. And in the spring, nine families came out. And one of those was my mother's family.
  • [00:02:46.93] SPEAKER 1: What year was that?
  • [00:02:48.18] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Oh, my. That would have been maybe in the early 1800s.
  • [00:02:54.87] SPEAKER 1: Are there any naming traditions in your family?
  • [00:02:58.47] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: We named our grandson, but not our son, after my husband because he has an interesting name. It's Hazen, H-A-Z-E-N. And he thought it was a challenge his whole life. People would ask his name. And he said, Hazen Schumacher. And it was a lot to put up with. So we decided we would call our son John. So of course, when John had a son, he immediately called him Hazen.
  • [00:03:23.47] [LAUGHTER]
  • [00:03:26.16] SPEAKER 1: So why did your ancestors leave to come to the United States?
  • [00:03:30.75] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: I don't know that.
  • [00:03:32.64] SPEAKER 1: And they did migrate to the United States.
  • [00:03:35.04] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: They did.
  • [00:03:36.74] SPEAKER 1: Do you know any stories about your family when they came here?
  • [00:03:41.08] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: No.
  • [00:03:43.56] SPEAKER 1: And how did your ancestors make a living, just in general?
  • [00:03:49.80] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Well, let's see. My grandparents-- he was a lawyer. In fact, he was one of the first graduates, first of his family to graduate from Michigan Law School. And he was too young to practice. So he had to go back to Springfield and work at other things for two years until he was 21. And then he was able to practice law.
  • [00:04:12.26] SPEAKER 1: Do you know when your family migrated to the United States.
  • [00:04:16.20] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Early. Pretty early.
  • [00:04:20.89] SPEAKER 1: So do you know any effort to preserve traditions or customs from where they-- do know where they came from?
  • [00:04:30.96] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yes. In fact, I thought I was Scottish because when we went to Scotland, there were so many redheads. I thought, I have to be Scottish. But no, it's Irish. So there is some Irish, and I think probably Northern Irish.
  • [00:04:51.09] SPEAKER 1: Do you have any traditions in your family that kind of reflect on that?
  • [00:04:54.77] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: I don't think so.
  • [00:04:58.31] SPEAKER 1: All right. So what stories have come down to you about your parents and grandparents or more distant ancestors?
  • [00:05:06.56] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Well, I told you the one about my grandfather. My mother was the fourth of five children and the first in her family to drive. She drove at quite a young age-- yes, an old Ford Model T. And she loved driving her whole life and lived to be 99.
  • [00:05:31.87] I don't know. They had a farm at a certain time. One fun story was that my grandfather would rent the farm land to the circus when they came to town. So he was able to get some of the baby animals and bring them home for the five children to play with. And they had lots of fun about that.
  • [00:05:59.80] SPEAKER 1: Do you have any courtship stories about your parents or your grandparents and how they came to meet and marry?
  • [00:06:07.00] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: My mother and my father met in practically their baby carriages because their mothers knew each other. And they were being pushed around the park together. I don't know about my dad's family so much. I know my paternal grandfather was a minister part time. And he died when I was six months old. And then his wife died shortly after that. So I didn't know that side of the family. I knew my mom's parents.
  • [00:06:47.70] SPEAKER 1: And did your mom's parents-- you said your mom and dad met in their baby carriages. Did they grow up-- were they friends when they were younger?
  • [00:06:55.55] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Oh, yes. And they were doubles partners in tennis. And they had to walk 2 miles to play tennis. And they would walk 2 miles and play tennis all day and walk home again. And obviously, that was the beginning of a great romance.
  • [00:07:11.80] SPEAKER 1: All right. So today's interview is about your childhood up until you began attending school. So even if these questions jog memories of other times in your life, try and keep it limited to the earliest part of your life, so before school. So where did you grow up? And what are your strongest memories of that place?
  • [00:07:33.32] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: I grew up in the Detroit area. In fact, I know the address. 11100 McKinney was the name of our street, my first house until I was six. My best friend was Beverly Peterson. I don't know where she is now. But we were very, very close at that time.
  • [00:07:58.86] I was always very athletic. And I had to jump off the front steps. And they were rounded steps and happened to just jump a little short one time and had to have stitches in my head. So I remember that house quite well and those memories pretty well.
  • [00:08:20.07] SPEAKER 1: What kind of sport did you-- you said you were athletic. What kind of sports did you do?
  • [00:08:25.20] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Well, when I was little, I just did running outdoors and playing. We had a swing set and that kind of thing. I remember one Easter, I got two rabbits. They were dear. They were very small and lovely. But they grew. So by the end of the summer, they were like this. And they were so big they were moving their cage and eating up all the grass in the backyard. So they disappeared. I don't know what happened.
  • [00:08:58.49] But anyway, that was a-- and then I had a pet, a dog named Cracker. And Cracker didn't like living with us very well. So every opportunity he had, he would run away. And I think finally at one point, my dad got tired of trying to find Cracker and bring him back. So he went out of my life.
  • [00:09:22.49] SPEAKER 1: And what was your house like?
  • [00:09:27.30] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: It was small. I think there were maybe two bedrooms upstairs. It was two stories. And as I say, there was a brick model where above the door you'd have this peaked ceiling. And then I remember there was a little round door and then these two rounded steps that were at the front of the house.
  • [00:09:58.50] SPEAKER 1: And do you know how your family came to live there?
  • [00:10:01.68] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: My dad came because his uncle hired him to do the books for his company, who was involved with the auto industry.
  • [00:10:13.23] SPEAKER 1: How many people lived in the house with you when you were growing up?
  • [00:10:16.36] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: There were just four of us-- my mom, my dad, myself, and my five-year-younger sister.
  • [00:10:24.12] SPEAKER 1: What languages were spoken in and around your house?
  • [00:10:26.94] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Only English.
  • [00:10:29.13] SPEAKER 1: What different languages are spoken kind of in your area, so in your neighborhood?
  • [00:10:35.16] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: I don't remember anything other than English.
  • [00:10:38.88] SPEAKER 1: What was your family like when you were a child?
  • [00:10:41.22] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Super. Just adored my dad. He was the only boy in the family. As the eldest and a girl, I think I got a really good start because my dad confided. I felt like he confided in me and listened to me. So it was good. I gave way too much information to my sister, however.
  • [00:11:11.05] SPEAKER 1: Did you and your sister have a good relationship?
  • [00:11:12.81] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yes, very good.
  • [00:11:14.64] SPEAKER 1: You said you were five years apart, right?
  • [00:11:16.06] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Mm-hmm.
  • [00:11:16.77] SPEAKER 1: So you were pretty close?
  • [00:11:18.72] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yes, yes. But our worlds were different. A 5-year-old's world and a 10-year-old's world are quite different.
  • [00:11:26.16] SPEAKER 1: Were you close to your mom?
  • [00:11:27.57] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yes. Just want to be like her. I've spent my whole life, 86 years, trying to be like by mom.
  • [00:11:35.40] SPEAKER 1: What sort of work did your mother do?
  • [00:11:37.86] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: She did not do any work except our home. That was her job.
  • [00:11:41.78] SPEAKER 1: And what is your earliest memory?
  • [00:11:44.92] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Earliest memory, hmm. I don't know my earliest memory. Not sure.
  • [00:11:59.73] SPEAKER 1: So what was a typical day like for you in your preschool years?
  • [00:12:04.83] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: My mother believed in sleep. So I had 12 hours of sleep a night. I went to bed at 6:00, and I got up at 6:00, then breakfast. And when I was five or so, I went to a kind of nursery school. So I go there in the morning.
  • [00:12:28.04] I think I was a little rebellious because they wanted you to take a nap. And I didn't want to take a nap. So finally, I think we worked out a quid pro quo. And I would have a book while other people were napping. But I didn't want to do that. I complained about that constantly.
  • [00:12:47.47] SPEAKER 1: What did you do for fun?
  • [00:12:49.48] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Oh, everything seemed fun. We did a lot of things, roller skating. As I say, we had the jungle gym in the backyard. I spent a lot of time hanging upside down. I learned how to walk on my hands when I was a little older. So I would go down the driveway and to the next door all around on my hands, thinking that was quite an accomplishment.
  • [00:13:15.24] SPEAKER 1: Wow, yeah. Did you have a favorite toy?
  • [00:13:20.26] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: I don't remember. All of my children had favorite toys. But I don't remember having one. When I was nine, I was the first person in our family to fly. And I flew to visit my aunt and uncle in Washington, DC. And I remember I took with me my Princess Margaret Rose doll. And I remember still hanging onto that doll as I made the trip. And I remember her very well.
  • [00:13:56.44] SPEAKER 1: Did you have a favorite game?
  • [00:13:59.08] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Oh, I liked a lot of games, ball games. There was a ball game that we increased in difficulty. You throw the ball and catch it. You throw the ball and let it bounce and catch it. You throw the ball and clap and catch it. You throw the ball up in the air and double clap. You twirl around. It got harder and harder. You did that against the garage door. And I did that a lot. And I loved tennis later when my dad taught me tennis. It was fun.
  • [00:14:30.61] SPEAKER 1: Did you have a favorite book or books?
  • [00:14:33.43] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Oh, my. Yeah, lots of books. Shirley Temple, who I wasn't named after because she wasn't famous when I was born-- but she came along and, of course, with the same name. And she was so cute and everything. So I had a lot of her what were called "big little books." And they were about this size and very low-grade paper. But they were stories of her movies. And I loved those.
  • [00:15:08.49] And we had The Wizard of Oz. And we had Mary Poppins and many, many books. When my kids came along, we found Anatole, the French rat. And he had many adventures. And I still have some of those books left over from when they were with me. And they still delight me. They were fun with the grandkids.
  • [00:15:42.20] SPEAKER 1: Where did you get those books?
  • [00:15:44.27] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: I think that my mom bought them.
  • [00:15:46.64] SPEAKER 1: Did you have a public library that you went to?
  • [00:15:49.08] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yes, we did.
  • [00:15:52.43] SPEAKER 1: Were there any other forms of entertainment you used?
  • [00:15:55.43] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Well, radio. When I was nine, I would race home from school because right after school there was a whole lineup of radio programs, ending with The Lone Ranger, which, of course, originated in Detroit. So that was very exciting.
  • [00:16:13.94] And our family are card players. So we played a lot of card games. And when I was a teenager, I started learning bridge. And I played bridge with my husband our whole lives. And that's been fun.
  • [00:16:30.81] SPEAKER 1: Were there any special days or events or family traditions you remember from that time?
  • [00:16:39.31] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Well, I don't know. We always celebrated Christmas. We always celebrated Thanksgiving. I don't think my mother loved cooking. But I think she accepted it as a responsibility. So we always had nice dinners. She knew how to roast a turkey. And she knew how to cook a standing rib roast. That was one of the family favorites.
  • [00:17:07.14] And we always hid Easter eggs. That was a big, exciting moment, which we've continued with the grandchildren. It's kind of nice. And Halloween, of course. When I was a little, you used to say not "trick or treat," but "help the poor."
  • [00:17:30.84] And many times you'd go and knock on a door and say, help the poor. And they would ask you to do something. So you'd have to say a poem or do a dance or do something to get your candy. And I remember a couple of what felt like very embarrassing times when I was reciting a poem or saying something like that and wondering why I couldn't just get away with the candy.
  • [00:18:00.39] SPEAKER 1: Did you dress up for Halloween?
  • [00:18:01.59] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Oh, yes.
  • [00:18:02.64] SPEAKER 1: Do you remember any of the costumes you had?
  • [00:18:05.19] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: My favorite was when I was a ballerina. I had a tutu and a wand, I think, and a little tiara sort of thing on my head. That was a fun year.
  • [00:18:21.48] SPEAKER 1: All right. So now we're going to move on and talk about your time as a young person from the time that school attendance typically begins in the US and then up until you began your professional career, your work. So did you go to preschool?
  • [00:18:38.64] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yes.
  • [00:18:39.69] SPEAKER 1: Where did you go to preschool?
  • [00:18:40.90] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: It was a nursery school. And it was several blocks from our house. And as I told you, I negotiated a no nap.
  • [00:18:48.84] SPEAKER 1: Do you remember anything else about preschool?
  • [00:18:51.27] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: I just loved it. Anything about learning has always been fun.
  • [00:18:57.06] SPEAKER 1: Did you go to kindergarten?
  • [00:18:58.53] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: I did.
  • [00:18:59.76] SPEAKER 1: Do you know where you went to kindergarten?
  • [00:19:01.23] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yes, I do-- [? Trombley ?] School. My teacher was Miss Olga. I will never forget her because she signed her name with an O and put eyes and a smile and mouth in it. So Miss Olga was a very good kindergarten teacher.
  • [00:19:22.18] SPEAKER 1: And do you remember anything else about kindergarten?
  • [00:19:28.25] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Just that it was fun. I enjoyed going. I like the kids. And it was a very positive experience.
  • [00:19:37.06] SPEAKER 1: Is it like kindergarten is today with recess and--
  • [00:19:41.31] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: I think so, yeah.
  • [00:19:43.95] SPEAKER 1: Did you go to elementary school?
  • [00:19:45.81] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Right there, same place-- [? Trombley ?] School.
  • [00:19:48.88] SPEAKER 1: And what do you remember about your older ages at the elementary grade?
  • [00:19:53.31] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Well, we had a teacher named Mrs. Fuller, who was tough. She was a fourth grade teacher. And she would always threaten that if you weren't nice, you would have to be in the closet. I'm sure that no one could do that these days. It would not be an appropriate response.
  • [00:20:15.09] But anyway, she also established eraser tag, where you had to put the eraser on your head and then catch another person or escape from being caught. And I remember that at a certain point, I had a hairstyle where my hair was down. But here, I had a kind of a bun. And it was really cheating because I could balance the eraser against that bun and race through the aisles and go pretty fast.
  • [00:20:49.13] SPEAKER 1: Were all of the teachers women at your school?
  • [00:20:51.99] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yes. We had an assistant principal, Mr. Wilsonbach, who was a male. But our principal was Mrs. [? Ko. ?] And I think he's the only man I remember on the staff.
  • [00:21:08.82] SPEAKER 1: That was normal for the time period to have only women teachers?
  • [00:21:11.35] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Sure. I know it was.
  • [00:21:15.16] SPEAKER 1: So did you go to high school?
  • [00:21:17.10] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yes.
  • [00:21:17.80] SPEAKER 1: And where did you go to high school?
  • [00:21:19.23] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: In Grosse Pointe High School.
  • [00:21:21.72] SPEAKER 1: And what do you remember about it?
  • [00:21:27.35] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: It was all a dream. I really loved it. In the ninth grade, my father suffered a heart attack, which changed our lives quite a bit because he was not able to go back to a normal work schedule until three years later, my senior year.
  • [00:21:47.00] At that time, I was the person who could get out of school, not go to the last hour of the day, and drive him to his work, which was in a small town, Richmond, Michigan. And the plant was out in the country. So I would go.
  • [00:22:05.42] And I would be doing my homework with the cows. I'd be sitting in the car. And the cows would be coming up munching on the grass nearby and stuff. But I felt very fortunate to-- that he was still with us. It was a very good thing.
  • [00:22:24.32] SPEAKER 1: Did you do any extracurricular activities in high school?
  • [00:22:27.92] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Lots. I did a lot. My mother loved driving, as I mentioned. And so we followed the football team. We went to all of the games. The costume in those days was really old Levi's, which were so long because they were made for farmers. And you had to just fold them up and fold them up to get them to a length that you could wear. Then you'd wear a white shirt under that. And then you'd wear a plaid shirt over it.
  • [00:22:57.77] And it didn't matter what team you were for. Everybody who went to the football games would wear that uniform kind of. And we were in what was called the Border Cities League. So my mom's job was to drive us 30 or 40 miles every Friday night to see the team play.
  • [00:23:20.54] SPEAKER 1: Did you do anything like marching band?
  • [00:23:22.91] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: No. I wasn't a band member. I was theatrical. I was in several plays. And I enjoyed that a lot.
  • [00:23:31.27] SPEAKER 1: Do you remember what play you did?
  • [00:23:32.93] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yes. The last one was called-- well, first of all, you'll love this. I had a six-line part as Ms. Delaware Watergap in Varsity Drag, it was called. It was a college-based show. And I was thrilled because I was a 10th grader. And usually 10th graders didn't get a part. And I got this six-line part. So I was very encouraged.
  • [00:24:04.35] My senior year, I had the starring role in a Eugene O'Neill play called Beyond the Horizon. And something I remember about that is that the language was iffy. And he said at one point-- the husband calls the wife "slut." Well, you know, that was shocking, first of all, just to see the word.
  • [00:24:36.24] But my director, who was a very gentle, very good man, had crossed it out on all of our scripts and written in "Jezebel." So when that line came, we all heard him say "Jezebel." But we knew what he was really saying. It was quite shocking and exciting.
  • [00:25:00.96] SPEAKER 1: What about your school experience is different from school as you know it today?
  • [00:25:10.23] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Well, having been a teacher and knowing teachers and seeing it from an old older perspective, I think that in some ways it was quite a bit easier to be a teacher. Kids were not as eager to challenge. And they probably weren't as smart.
  • [00:25:36.97] And I have a feeling that there are lots of levels of knowledge in your generation that I feel are maybe threatening to some teachers. They were not like that. And I'm sorry about that. But I think it's the truth. So I think that we ought to nurture and cherish this kind of individual accomplishment and not be threatened by it. I kind of got off on a tangent.
  • [00:26:08.23] SPEAKER 1: No, it's fine. Did you go to school or career training beyond high school?
  • [00:26:13.78] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yes.
  • [00:26:15.13] SPEAKER 1: Where did you go?
  • [00:26:15.82] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: I went to William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia. And that was storybook because right after our classes-- when I went to school, some graduated in January. And some graduated in June. So wherever your semester, whenever your time ended, we weren't all on a June rotation. So my class graduated in January.
  • [00:26:49.18] And because my father was healing after his heart attack, we scheduled a trip to go to Florida. So my mother drove the two of us girls down. My father flew down. And while we were there, he died. So we had a very strained and hard time from January through when I went to school in September.
  • [00:27:18.47] And partly, I had just figured William and Mary had turned me down. They said, we already have someone from your town. And we're limited on the number of people we can take from here and there. So I wrote back and said, put me on the waiting list.
  • [00:27:34.34] And I was all set to come to University of Michigan because my mother's family had come here. My grandfather came here and so forth. And I got this call in August saying, have September vacancy. And I was so excited. I just really was thrilled that I could go. So I did. And I had four idyllic years there. Everything was really, really good.
  • [00:28:02.54] SPEAKER 1: Did you pay for college yourself?
  • [00:28:04.31] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yes.
  • [00:28:06.24] SPEAKER 1: And how did you do that?
  • [00:28:07.58] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: No, no. I don't mean that. My family paid for college. Yes. Yeah. In fact, I didn't work at all. And in fact, if you would believe this, we packed up our dirty clothes in a black box and mailed it. So I mailed all my laundry home every week. I never thought anything about it. We all did it. Someone else did our laundry. We did our schoolwork.
  • [00:28:35.28] SPEAKER 1: Yeah. Do you remember anything else? Did you do any theater while you were at William and Mary?
  • [00:28:39.37] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yes. Yes. I did a lot of theater.
  • [00:28:42.18] SPEAKER 1: And what did you major in?
  • [00:28:44.68] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: My major was political science. And that turned out to be really great because so is my husband's. So when we met, we had that in common-- that we both had gotten our undergraduate degrees in political science.
  • [00:29:03.08] SPEAKER 1: So can you describe the popular music at the time when you were growing up?
  • [00:29:08.78] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yes. It was jazz. And my husband turned out to be a jazz historian of some fame in Ann Arbor. So that was another area where we were. I loved Frank Sinatra. He was my passion.
  • [00:29:28.87] I also loved a band called Glenn Miller. Some of you may know Glenn Miller because he served in the Army and went down maybe in the English Channel during the war. He had performed with his band. And then he was flying back and went down. So that was kind of a poignant story about him.
  • [00:29:52.43] And Tommy Dorsey and-- what we would do as high school kids-- we would go down in the morning on the earliest streetcar or bus to the Detroit theaters downtown. And we would see, first of all, a band play. And I now think about it. I think about musicians who loved to stay up until the wee hours and everything. How awful that must have been for them to have to perform for us at 10:00 in the morning, this screaming crowd of kids. But that was the music.
  • [00:30:30.54] SPEAKER 1: Did the music have any particular dances associated with it?
  • [00:30:35.14] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Sure, always. There was a British dance called the Lambeth Walk, which we never would have heard about except that our allies were the Brits. And so that gained quite a bit of fame.
  • [00:30:54.20] I'm trying to think back. My husband didn't like to dance. I love to dance. At one point, I was giving lessons to all of our friends because I could do some of the Latin dances and some of the waltz and the foxtrot and so forth. But it was before Chubby Checker and that group of dancers.
  • [00:31:27.32] SPEAKER 1: What were the popular clothing and hairstyles at this time?
  • [00:31:30.53] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Well, we had poodle skirts. You may or may not have heard about them. These were mid calf and often would have a little replica of a poodle on it. And they'd be flared so that when you danced and turned and so forth, they would go out. Saddle shoes. Ballerina slippers. What else? I can't think of anything else right now. But those were the popular thing.
  • [00:32:07.03] SPEAKER 1: Can you describe any fads or styles from this era?
  • [00:32:15.98] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: I have to think about that some more. Nothing comes up. But of course, it was during the war. And college was interesting. It was after the war. And on every college campus, you had these 18-year-olds coming into college. And then you had the GI Bill.
  • [00:32:41.44] So you had all of the returning veterans from the war coming in as well. And that created some tension because when you're dating a boy, and he's 19, he's very different than someone who's 23 and returning from the experiences overseas.
  • [00:33:08.29] SPEAKER 1: We're there any slang terms, phrases, or words that aren't in common use today?
  • [00:33:16.23] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Probably lots. I have to think about that. I don't know.
  • [00:33:28.71] SPEAKER 1: Were there any hairstyles that were particularly popular?
  • [00:33:33.31] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Sure. I'm trying to think. Well, one interesting thing that I notice nowadays--
  • [00:33:49.88] SPEAKER 2: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:33:54.34] SPEAKER 1: All right. So what was a typical day like for you while you were going to school and into college?
  • [00:34:06.39] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Well, there's a-- you mean not high school, but college.
  • [00:34:11.56] SPEAKER 1: Or high school and then the different--
  • [00:34:14.13] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Well, high school, I didn't want to eat lunch. So I always maneuvered things so I could have an apple. But I didn't want to eat lunch because I thought I was heavy. So I was trying to control my diet. Kind of a silly way to do it, but anyway.
  • [00:34:35.91] Classes started at about 8 o'clock. And I would take the bus, which we picked up at the corner. And we did a lot of standing around on corners talking, just talking just to be together. We would be together all day long. And we'd walk home from school. And we'd stand on the corner and talk.
  • [00:35:00.70] And then we'd get home. And then we'd call each other. And then we'd talk. And then we'd start doing our homework. When we find something we didn't understand, then we call each other. And we'd talk. So lots and lots and lots of time on the phone.
  • [00:35:17.50] Then let's see. During the day, we'd have, let's say, three periods, then a break, then another period, then maybe lunch in a large cafeteria, and then a couple of classes in the afternoon. But as I said, by the time I got to my senior year, I was excused from the last class so I could drive my father to his work. I also had play practice. So I would have to be on deck for that through a large part of the fall semester.
  • [00:36:01.98] Then evenings-- when your mom is at home and you've got a younger sister, your lives revolve around-- she has your food ready when you can eat it and takes you where you need to go and that kind of thing. And I got my driver's license at age 14 because in our city, it was OK if you had the parents' permission and help.
  • [00:36:29.34] And of course, my parents were very helpful and encouraging. And in fact, my mother snuck my daughters up to the school parking lot where we live now and gave them instruction on driving. While she ran the gas, they had opportunity to practice steering and so forth.
  • [00:36:56.28] SPEAKER 1: We already kind of talked about this, but what did you do for fun?
  • [00:37:00.94] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Well, I felt everything was fun. I really liked-- we had a bunch of friends. There were maybe 14 of us in the group that I ran with-- girls, 14 girls. One time we tried smoking.
  • [00:37:19.41] It was a riot because this girl's family was not there. And so we were overnight at her house. And of course, nobody knew what they were doing at all. And so we tried smoking. And that was a happy day for me because it convinced me I didn't want to smoke ever.
  • [00:37:43.74] And one time we went out-- six of us-- in my car to-- well, we had this crazy idea that maybe we could find where another girl and her boyfriend were necking. So we went out to try to find them. And we were looking on the golf course. And we got stuck. So imagine our embarrassment at 10:30 at night walking out of the golf course to try to find somebody who could tow our car out. And needless to say, I didn't have car privileges for quite a while. Done us in.
  • [00:38:23.08] SPEAKER 1: Where there any special days, events, or family traditions you remember from this time?
  • [00:38:31.74] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Well, I think the holidays. No. I don't think of any right now.
  • [00:38:42.95] SPEAKER 1: Did you celebrate your birthdays?
  • [00:38:44.87] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yes, always big style.
  • [00:38:48.35] SPEAKER 1: What did you do?
  • [00:38:49.25] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Birthday cake and special treats and presents. My mother was always someone to celebrate things when any opportunity to celebrate came along. And I'm trying to carry that tradition forth, although my children are less gung-ho on celebrations. So I have to watch it a little bit.
  • [00:39:22.12] SPEAKER 1: Did you invite friends over for your birthday?
  • [00:39:24.55] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yes. On my 13th birthday, I had a dinner party. There were four girls. And we invited four boys. And we went to the movies. And I remember that my boyfriend, the boy I invited for me, had brought me a little pink carnation corsage.
  • [00:39:50.92] So I not only went to the movie, but I was wearing my corsage. I felt very proud of that. And I had a Kelly green suit, which with red hair is a good combination. So I was all spruced up.
  • [00:40:07.30] SPEAKER 1: Did your sister have red hair like you?
  • [00:40:09.37] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: She did, but not like me. Hers was naturally curly and Titian-colored. It was more strawberry blonde.
  • [00:40:18.04] SPEAKER 1: Did you get your red hair from your mom or your dad?
  • [00:40:20.26] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Neither one. In fact, there was no history of redheads in our family. So they were very suspect of the gynecologist, who was a redhead.
  • [00:40:33.32] [LAUGHTER]
  • [00:40:36.10] SPEAKER 1: Did your mom and dad have blonde hair?
  • [00:40:38.44] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: No. Dark hair, both of them.
  • [00:40:41.78] SPEAKER 1: I think that's a good place to stop.
  • [00:40:43.85] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: OK.
  • [00:40:44.67] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE]. All right. So it's the same as before. I'm Bailey. That's Lucia and [? Anjo. ?] Maggie's on camera. And trinity is our executive producer. And she'll also be the editor today because Megan's not here. And we just want to remind you that you can call for a break at any time. And you can decline to answer any question and terminate the interview at any time for any reason. So the last time, we left off on part 3.
  • [00:41:21.42] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: I think we got me to college.
  • [00:41:23.81] SPEAKER 1: Yeah. We were talking about--
  • [00:41:24.66] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: I remember telling you I went to William and Mary.
  • [00:41:27.39] SPEAKER 1: So we're going to start by talking about folkways and family life. So did your family have any special sayings or expressions from the time you were in kindergarten to college?
  • [00:41:41.67] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: My mother and father were raised in Southern Illinois in Springfield, Illinois. And I think there were a lot of things sort of farm-based or old fashioned. I wrote you one the other day when I answered your email. I said, I'll be there with bells on, which I think meant, if you were going to be on time, you put the bells on the horse. And you made it on time or something like that. So anyway, I think it comes from that.
  • [00:42:10.93] And another thing was, if you spilled something on yourself, my mother would say, it'll never be noticed on a galloping horse, which was sort of saying that if you were active and moving and all of that that you could get away with the stain or whatever it was. Let's think of any. I don't think of any others right away. But now we have lots of teasing things that we say with each other because we know each other pretty well. So we do a lot of just kidding each other about various things.
  • [00:42:57.45] SPEAKER 1: Were there any changes in your family life during your school years?
  • [00:43:01.69] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yeah. My dad died. And that was right after I graduated. And when he had a heart attack when I was 14, that changed our life. It was interesting. Where we lived, he had to be carried upstairs. I don't know why we didn't set up a bed downstairs. But anyway, and the police would come at night-- our local police-- and carry him upstairs, which was nice.
  • [00:43:28.30] SPEAKER 1: How long did you do that for?
  • [00:43:30.16] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: That was four years. And he lived till I graduated. And then we took a vacation after I graduated in February and went to Florida. And he died while we were there. That was hard.
  • [00:43:47.16] SPEAKER 1: Were there any special days, events, or family traditions you remember from this time?
  • [00:43:54.72] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Well, we celebrated Easter. We celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas. I don't think of any-- our families were long removed from the old world.
  • [00:44:14.08] His family was Irish Catholic. And my family was congregational Protestant. So the chances of our getting married at that time were pretty remote. But my friends said when we met, it was like an explosion. So we fell very hard and very fast for each other.
  • [00:44:41.29] SPEAKER 1: Which holidays did your family celebrate?
  • [00:44:44.29] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day. I always made red milk for Valentine's Day and green milk for St. Patrick's Day and Easter. And I think those are the main ones.
  • [00:45:04.15] SPEAKER 1: How are holidays traditionally celebrated in your family when you were growing up?
  • [00:45:11.42] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Well, I know we had a Christmas tree and presents. And we had the Thanksgiving turkey, I think just sort of the American way, the traditional. I don't think anything special to our family in these traditions.
  • [00:45:35.69] SPEAKER 1: So your family didn't really create any of its own traditions.
  • [00:45:38.93] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: No, except the one I told you I remembered this morning, which was when our kids were little. We noticed that a lot of the time they were concentrating more on their food than on the conversation, et cetera.
  • [00:45:50.45] So we started this game that as soon as everyone had their food, you could put your finger on your nose. And then the last person to put their finger up on their nose, we'd say "pig" because they were focusing too much on their food. But I have to confess, now that I'm 86, I get caught more than the grandchildren do. So I must be focusing on my food too much.
  • [00:46:17.96] SPEAKER 1: Were there any special food traditions that your family had?
  • [00:46:21.71] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: My mother made something called "scalloped corn," which is a-- I don't know what other people would call it-- sort of like a cream-based corn, butter-- lots of butter-- baked dish that we had every time we had turkey. She also made this wonderful Jell-O with pear haves and other things in it. The gelatin salad was always a big complement to the turkey.
  • [00:46:58.82] I make something that my mother taught me called a "wacky cake." And the reason it's called "wacky" is that you don't use a mixing bowl. You throw everything into the pan and mix it up in the pan. And that saves you one dish to wash. So anyway, that is-- I made that cake a bazillion times for everybody's birthday whenever they want it.
  • [00:47:25.16] SPEAKER 1: The food that your mom made-- was it more for special occasions? Or was it more--
  • [00:47:29.63] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Well, my mom thought cooking was pretty boring. She just wasn't a foodie. And she really didn't like-- a meal was just-- you had to feed people. So you did that.
  • [00:47:46.79] I remember that things were good. I remember there were things that I didn't like. In a way, there were just four of us. So when something was not popular, it would sort of disappear so that we weren't forced to eat food that we didn't like. So that was good.
  • [00:48:08.21] SPEAKER 1: Have the recipes been preserved and passed down in your family?
  • [00:48:12.23] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yes. She made a mean coleslaw. She made a great apple pie. But I don't think these were recipes unique to her. I think they were The Joy of Cooking or some traditional food. Maybe her mother gave her the recipe and so forth.
  • [00:48:41.66] SPEAKER 1: And are there any stories connected to the preparation of these foods?
  • [00:48:47.73] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Well, one of our favorite family dishes is called "breaded veal." And this is prepared-- I prepare it by spreading newspapers on the floor and sitting on the floor with a large cutting board and eggs, cracker crumbs, a rolling pin. And the object is to dip the veal into the egg and then put it on the crackers and then put the crackers on top and pound it.
  • [00:49:24.70] And I have to confess, I had a session with my granddaughter the last time she was here because my son said, Mom, you've just got to teach her because we want to have breaded veal forever. So we had a lot of fun. We were laughing about the whole thing. I don't know that you'd have to sit on the floor. I don't think that would have to be necessary, but that's how I do it.
  • [00:49:51.31] SPEAKER 1: So when thinking back on your school years, what important social or historical events were taking place at the time? And how did they personally affect you and your family?
  • [00:50:02.44] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Well, we were lucky. We had no boys, so nobody was taken into the service. My dad's plant made automobile parts. There was an attachment you could put on your car that was called a "locking gas cap." And that was because since it was war time and gas was not easily available that people would sometimes take gas. So he made this.
  • [00:50:32.20] The plant that he worked in was selected by the Navy to make bomb sights. And so they began in the early '40s making what's called the "Norden bombsight." And in a way, that's what killed him because he was trying to move some of these pieces of heavy packing that had the bombsights in it to get them on a truck. And that's when he strained his heart.
  • [00:51:06.95] And that's what-- and of course, we had tremendous anti-German, anti-Japanese propaganda. And we called them "Japs." And no one in the country was particularly happy about either group. And we sort of put them in the enemy category.
  • [00:51:37.06] Franklin Roosevelt was elected for a third term. That's the only time that that's happened. I, of course, followed baseball. So we had wonderful Tigers playing at that time. I went to see the Tigers baseball games.
  • [00:51:57.10] The kids in that time would raise money for the war by selling war stamps. And you would get a booklet. And you'd pay $25. No, you would pay $18.75. And in 10 years, you would get back $25. So it was a pretty good deal. And you could put in $0.50 or a dollar stamp at a time so that you'd fill up your book.
  • [00:52:28.48] We also had rationing, which influenced what we could eat. But I sold war bonds and war stamps. And one of the rewards they gave you for doing that was that there was a big event with a whole bunch of movie stars who traveled across the country and did-- it probably would have been like a concert now. The idea of it was that you were being rewarded for helping with the war effort.
  • [00:53:05.87] We collected tin foil and made big balls of tin foil and gave that to someone, which was supposedly used for the war effort. I'm not sure in what way, maybe to make bullets. I don't know. We had a victory garden, which was right next door a block away from our house. We raised corn and peas and some other things. But I was a terrible gardener.
  • [00:53:36.20] My life as a teenager-- I forgot to water things. I just didn't like it. And my mother was the kind that could walk by and smile at the flowers. And they would grow because she just said a very green thumb. And after she died, I decided, well, I better pick up this gauntlet and go forward. So I've done quite a bit of gardening since then. That was a lot of my life at that time.
  • [00:54:12.75] SPEAKER 1: Did your family support the war effort?
  • [00:54:16.18] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Oh, no one didn't. There was no question about supporting it. The biggest thing that happened was that a few people decided to be conscientious objectors, which mean they refused to serve in the armed forces. But that movement really grew during the Vietnam War.
  • [00:54:43.14] But in World War II, I think it was-- well, it was just-- we were fighting the good war. And that was going to end all wars and save the world. Nobody thought of not supporting the war.
  • [00:55:02.37] SPEAKER 1: Do you know what plant your dad worked at?
  • [00:55:05.76] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: It was his own in Richmond, Michigan.
  • [00:55:10.14] SPEAKER 1: All right. So the next set of questions covers a pretty long period of your life. It's from the time you completed your college education. You entered the workforce and started a family until all your children left, and you retired.
  • [00:55:29.63] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: That is a long period.
  • [00:55:30.86] SPEAKER 1: It is a long period. So we're probably talking about a stretch of time as much as four decades.
  • [00:55:37.57] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: That's right.
  • [00:55:39.55] SPEAKER 1: After you finished high school, where did you live?
  • [00:55:42.82] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: I went to college in Virginia. And I was there for four years. Then I came back home, and I went on with college. I came to the University of Michigan and worked toward a master's degree in speech, which turned out to be very fortunate because that's where my husband was also working as one of the first three people to begin the University of Michigan television station, which was in the basement of Angel Hall on campus.
  • [00:56:18.33] And I then went on after I completed that to, many years later, get a third degree in education. And that was when I was 40 and decided I wanted to be a teacher.
  • [00:56:41.11] SPEAKER 1: Was it common when you went to college for a lot of girls to go to college and get a master's at Michigan?
  • [00:56:47.74] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: No. No. Most girls went to college to look for someone to marry. Some of us went on. I found my interview when we were about to be married. And we were featured in the local paper.
  • [00:57:08.55] And they did an interview. It was called Favoritisms. And so I looked at what my ambition was. And it said, to be a good and happy housewife. And I was thinking how far away from that most of my life was. And I'm so glad it was.
  • [00:57:28.93] SPEAKER 1: So you said you moved back. After you went to Virginia, you moved back here. And have you stayed here ever since?
  • [00:57:35.32] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yeah. Yes, with the exception of one year where I taught in our sister city in Japan. So we went there for 1992 to '93 and spent a year in Japanese classrooms.
  • [00:57:53.32] SPEAKER 1: So if you're all right, I'd like to talk about your married and family life.
  • [00:57:58.66] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: OK.
  • [00:58:00.07] SPEAKER 1: So where did you meet your husband?
  • [00:58:02.74] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: We met on campus here. It was really interesting. Before I met him, I met his sister. And before I met him, I had his name in my notes twice because he was going to come and speak to classes that I was in. And one time I was on vacation. And I didn't get back. And another time I had mononucleosis. And I wasn't in the class.
  • [00:58:27.87] So I had heard this name connected with speech, radio, television, and so forth. But then I met-- through a mutual friend, I met his sister. And I really liked her a lot. I thought she was such fun and really just a great person. And then he came during the summer months to a class I was taking. And after that class, I got a phone call. And that started it all.
  • [00:58:57.94] SPEAKER 1: So what was it like when you were dating?
  • [00:59:01.27] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: It was wonderful. We had a wonderful time. But we also had this huge problem. In the 1950s, you would not think of marrying someone with a different religious background so much. At least, I guess, with our peers it was not very acceptable. And it was a very hard hurdle to overcome.
  • [00:59:30.74] We spent many, many hours discussing what if-- what if this, and what if that-- with the idea that, what were we going to do when the children told me I wouldn't go to heaven because I wasn't Catholic or when he wanted me to go to church and I didn't want to go. So we had to struggle through that. But finally, the time came when we either had to fish or cut bait. And we decided we could do it.
  • [01:00:01.81] SPEAKER 1: What kind of activities did you guys do together when you were dating?
  • [01:00:04.25] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Oh, very many. We love playing bridge together. We like to bowl. We like to play tennis. Well, eventually, it ended up that we both like to jog. So we did a lot of that. But that was not at the beginning.
  • [01:00:27.17] Everything was very exciting because television was just at its beginning stages. So much was happening there. So we spent quite a bit of time with these funny black-and-white sets watching-- mainly he would watch to see if someone made a mistake, if a camera had the boom microphone showing in it, or something like that.
  • [01:00:53.41] We watched the first Mary Martin Peter Pan black and white. And that was very thrilling, except he kept saying, oh, look, look, there's the mic. Oh, there's the wire. There's the wire. I kept saying, don't do that. Don't do that.
  • [01:01:17.82] We had mutual friends in the speech department. And that, I think, was very instrumental. And we had a professor that we both really loved. And the interesting thing about him is that he was Jewish, and his wife was Catholic. So we had sort of a model of people who had made it.
  • [01:01:40.26] They had four kids. And they were absolutely wonderful with everyone and with their children. And that friendship lasted as long as they lived. So that was really nice. And we grew close to the kids as well. Their kids babysat our kids and so forth.
  • [01:02:03.31] SPEAKER 1: Can you tell me about your engagement and your wedding?
  • [01:02:06.43] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yes. A film called Singing in the Rain had just come out. And so on Christmas Eve, he took me to see Singing in the Rain. And then we came back to my mother's house. And he had me sit on his lap.
  • [01:02:25.51] And he had a little tiny candle, a little Santa candle, which would be-- maybe it was a snowman. Anyway, with the arms up like this. He had put my ring on one of the arms. He had me close my eyes. And then when I opened my eyes, there it was. And he said, will you marry me? And I said, I hope so.
  • [01:02:46.54] [LAUGHTER]
  • [01:02:51.47] That was nice.
  • [01:02:53.62] SPEAKER 1: When did your wedding happen [INAUDIBLE]?
  • [01:02:55.65] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: OK. Well, that happened at Christmas time. And then we had really this long transition time to try to help my mother to be able to accept this whole thing. And so it was in September, the 25th of September, 1954. And it was complicated because I had to take classes in Catholicism. And then I had to say whether I would convert to Catholicism at the end. And of course, I wouldn't.
  • [01:03:33.24] And then we had to find an appropriate place to get married. I did not like the idea of, as I said then, a bunch of saints staring down at us while we were married. So we looked and looked and looked. And finally we found that in the lower level of St. Mary's Chapel on campus, there was a very plain, simple place. And we were able to secure that place.
  • [01:04:02.79] And then we had a really swinging reception. But we had it in Detroit because my mother belonged to the Detroit book club. And she wanted to do a big party for us. So that seemed like fun.
  • [01:04:17.34] So we got married at noon. That's another rule. The Catholics didn't want you to get married after noon because you weren't supposed to eat before you were married. So that meant that the reception was at 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon. And a lot of people by that time were probably pretty hungry.
  • [01:04:41.11] Also, I didn't want any children at the wedding because I didn't want anybody taking away attention on me. So I requested that if anybody wanted to bring their children, they could bring them to the reception. And it was a big wedding. And in that sense, there were, I would guess, between 150 and 200 people. It was nice.
  • [01:05:05.92] We had a catastrophe over the flowers. I belonged to a social sorority at William and Mary. And I wanted to take the colors from that group and make my bridesmaids' dresses to match those colors and so forth. And then I wanted their bouquets to match. And so we went to a very lovely florist shop where I had worked. And when the flowers arrived, they were turquoise, which was totally unacceptable.
  • [01:05:40.62] So our big, exciting thing the morning of the wedding was to go down to this wonderful florist shop and ask them if they would kindly tear apart these bouquets and make us some that would match the colors. They did it. I can't understand how that-- and there were-- I think I had eight attendants. So there was a lot of drama connected with that.
  • [01:06:12.57] But we have a wonderful picture. I'll bring it in sometime to show you. After we were married, the photographer was running around and everything. And we were in our traveling clothes. And he sort of grabbed me by the arms and looked at me. And he said, you won't ever be bored, which I thought was a really lovely thing to say at that point in our lives. So away we went off on 62 years of marriage.
  • [01:06:45.57] SPEAKER 1: Did you go on a honeymoon?
  • [01:06:46.77] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: We did. We went to the Smoky Mountains. We drove. We loved driving. He was a joke teller. And so he would ask me to think of a subject. And then he would tell a joke. And then another subject, and he would tell a joke. And we loved listening to music. So we had a lot of-- although I must say that in the South in the '50s, your choices of good music were quite limited. It was not easy.
  • [01:07:16.50] And I wanted to show him William and Mary. He had not been there. So I thought that was an important part of our honeymoon-- that he should see where I went to school and try to get a sense of why I liked it so much.
  • [01:07:29.77] SPEAKER 1: Did your husband go to Michigan through all of his education?
  • [01:07:33.19] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yes, he did.
  • [01:07:36.94] SPEAKER 1: So can you tell me about your children and what life was like when they were young?
  • [01:07:42.07] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yes. When I was young and having children, that's what people-- that's what women did. So everyone I knew and the community was filled with children.
  • [01:08:00.65] And when we first talked about children, he said, how about six? And I said, how about two? So we settled on four. And they were carefully planned. So I had John in 1956, Mary in 1958, Nancy in 1960. And by then I was a little tired. So Martha was in 1963. So those kids are now 50 to 60 years old.
  • [01:08:32.59] SPEAKER 1: So all of them are two years apart? So then they were all in the house at the same time then?
  • [01:08:39.87] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Mm-hmm.
  • [01:08:42.59] SPEAKER 1: All right. So we're going to move on to employment. So can you tell me about your working years once you [INAUDIBLE]?
  • [01:08:55.53] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Well, when my youngest child, Martha, went into kindergarten, I realized that I was going to have a little more time. So I went to a woman who is somewhat famous in the university. Her name was Jean Campbell. She ran something called the Center for the Continuing Education of Women.
  • [01:09:17.91] And I said to her, here I am. Martha's going to kindergarten. I need to find something that I can do. Is there anything I can do for you? Well, she said, yeah, you can be a guinea pig for me. Why don't you go over to the psych center and take some tests?
  • [01:09:34.77] So I did. And I didn't do that well on the tests. But it was useful to her to have that data about somebody who had spent the last seven or eight years rearing kids and then was looking for some other way to contribute. So she had nothing specific right at that time.
  • [01:09:57.18] And I went to see another woman that I admired very much. And she said, oh, you're the answer to my dreams. I'm going to be leaving with my husband, who's doing some studies in Japan. I'm going to be gone for three months. And she was the director of the junior theater in the rec and ed department for the Ann Arbor Public Schools.
  • [01:10:18.36] So I talked it over with Hazen. And we thought, I could do that. So I did. So while she was gone from September to December, I did the junior theater and had a lot of fun with that. I worked with a lot of high school kids. And when she got back, we decided this would be terrific. We could share this. I would still have my finger in. And she would have some relief. And so it would be great.
  • [01:10:48.57] Her boss just ran the other way as fast as he could. He said, no, I'm not opening that can of worms. So unlike now, when I think a lot of people flex in nice ways, and administrators are used to this kind of thing, it happens well. But for us, it did not.
  • [01:11:07.99] So I then did get some work to do with Jean Campbell's group. And I was a fundraiser for CEW. And I was one of the assistants on a book about the first woman to go to the University of Michigan, Madelon Stockwell.
  • [01:11:34.95] There was a book called A Dangerous Experiment. It was allowing a woman to come in. And that was what one of the professors said. We are embarking on this dangerous experiment. And I loved that. That was great.
  • [01:11:55.33] A lot of things were happening in the schools about sex education, about female equality. And a woman Marcia Federbush was doing a series of studies. So I got involved with her. And I did this survey of the elementary school textbooks. And that was just so funny.
  • [01:12:26.38] The big, exciting event in a woman's life, according to these textbooks-- the only time you saw her without her apron on was when she went to the car wash. So I reported that back with great glee. I said, well, I just want you to know that the big thing in our lives is a trip to the car wash, when we take our apron off and go.
  • [01:12:51.97] Betty Friedan was beginning to write-- and some of the other early feminists. And so we were caught up in this whole move. And then, of course, Kennedy got elected. And I was very fortunate in that I got to shake his hand and chat with him for a minute.
  • [01:13:18.50] Anyway, but now we have to fast forward ahead. In 19-- well, it would have probably been '68 or '9, a new superintendent came to Ann Arbor. And he had new ideas about what ought to happen in the schools. And someone asked him what he'd like to do. And he said he'd like to run an education fair and open the school year with an education fair. You want to stop?
  • [01:14:03.79] SPEAKER 1: We could take a break.
  • [01:14:04.63] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: OK. Let's.
  • [01:14:12.68] SPEAKER 1: All right. So can you tell me what your family did together when your children were still at home? So what kind of activities did you do?
  • [01:14:21.80] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: One fun thing we did was go to the sandy beach. The sandy beach is right here. And we would drive there. And we didn't have much money. So we would go and go walking in the very, very rocky water near the sandy beach. This was near Port Huron. And that would be just a wonderful day.
  • [01:14:48.53] We started when the youngest child was five to go to Camp Michigania, which is a university alumni camp, which is right up here. And we've always tried when any of our kids are celebrating anything to be there for it. So we would go-- when John graduated in Boston, we all went to Boston. And when Martha graduated in Bloomington, we all went to Bloomington. And we kind of look for excuses to be together with each other.
  • [01:15:33.27] And when they were little, we had day with Dad. This was something I thought up because it's very hard-- Hazen loved his work. And so it was great for him to spend all that time with this work. But I also thought that the kids have a chance at him. So we'd have a day with Dad. And the budget would be $10 or something like that.
  • [01:15:57.21] And the kid would design the day. And if you were too little, you drew pictures. And so a day with Dad would be that you go to the swings at [INAUDIBLE] in the morning. And then you have a picnic at our little lake that's near our house.
  • [01:16:18.83] And then you would give dad time for a nap, which I thought was adorable. They obviously recognized that. And Hazen was a magnificent 20-minute nap taker. He's one of those people who could just say, I'm going to take a nap, and lie down and take a 20-minute nap. And then he was ready to go again.
  • [01:16:38.78] As the kids got a little older, the budget had to be increased a little bit. One time he took our second daughter to a place that was called The Waterfall. I don't even know if the building exists now. It was on Stadium. And it was all closed in. And then they had an indoor waterfall. And it was Chinese food primarily.
  • [01:17:05.96] And for some reason, she started to cry. I don't know if it was the waterfall that prompted it or what. And so her time there with him, she was crying. And he was trying to make her feel good. And she still laughs about it now because she says, I don't know why I was crying. It was just something that triggered.
  • [01:17:26.44] And then our son, of course, would find a way to go to the-- in fact, he and Hazen did a fun thing. They tried to find license plates from all over the 50 states. And so they would go and make swinging trips through North Campus to see if they could pick up some that were there. And then they'd go to the hotels and look in the parking lot and that kind of thing. And that was another challenge that they made.
  • [01:17:58.46] Other things. We had a pretty basic membership in a country club which was out in an area called Loch Alpine. And all of them loved swimming. Well, they loved it in varying degrees. But they liked swimming well enough. So they were on the team. And so they spent a lot of time in the summer swimming. And then they also played in--
  • [01:18:32.18] SPEAKER 2: We're going to pause real quick, OK?
  • [01:18:40.91] SPEAKER 1: So our first question is, we want to kind of begin your story by asking you today what you consider to be your biggest accomplishment of your willingness to avoid being defined by what other people see you as.
  • [01:18:57.16] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Well, I think my biggest accomplishment is the Hikone exchange program. It's in its 29th year. And I'm pretty excited.
  • [01:19:12.10] The Community High students-- now some of the students who were on the trip are at Community High. And so this year, the commentator from Community High-- their newspaper-- just ran an article on the program. And so I was very excited to have that happen. I think that's my biggest contribution.
  • [01:19:37.00] SPEAKER 1: So our first section is focusing on your childhood. So we want to understand how your persistent drive, your motivation, developed. So we're going to start by asking you a few questions about your childhood through your high school years. So where and when did you grow up?
  • [01:19:56.35] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: I grew up in a suburb of Detroit in 1930. I was born and lived there until I went away to college in Virginia.
  • [01:20:08.83] SPEAKER 1: Could you tell us what a normal day was like when you were a kid?
  • [01:20:12.37] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Very secure. That's one of the advantages. I've just been reading a book called Hillbilly Elegy about a man who grew up in Appalachia and just had as his background a lot of insecurity, except for his family. And his family provided him with a lot of strength. And he later became a graduate of Yale Law School and a big contributor.
  • [01:20:45.85] And so I think one of the nicest things was my dad thought I was the best thing since sliced bread. And my mother was very patient. And I do remember that I didn't like to get up in the morning. And my mother would come. And I had wooden Venetian blinds in my room. And she would open those blinds and sort of say, let's get up and get going, sweetheart. And I would sit [GROANING] very grumpily about that.
  • [01:21:25.21] But I had three meals a day and lots of friends and twin boys as neighbors. We did a lot of things. And I rode my bicycle, roller skated. We didn't have to wear helmets then, so that was good-- maybe good, but more free kind of.
  • [01:21:51.79] And I don't know. My dad was interesting in that he had worked as a dishwasher in a sorority when he was in college. And so when he married my mother, he said, I want to be able to identify every piece of food on my plate. In other words, he was not a casserole person. So we always had a green vegetable, a potato or rice, something like that, and a meat. And that was a big part of how the meals were structured.
  • [01:22:30.94] So I remember getting to college. And someone invited me over and made tuna fish casserole. I was beside myself. I thought, this is the most wonderful creation. Why don't I know about this? And it was very good. Anyway, I had a very secure childhood.
  • [01:22:49.69] SPEAKER 1: What were your goals for your future when you were younger?
  • [01:22:52.63] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Oh, I was going to be either one of those people who roller skates on the top of the car at the circus. You may remember they would bring out a little VW or something and put a wooden board on top. And then there'd be two men and two women who would roller skate on the top of the car. And I thought that was just going to be great-- or a movie star. Never thought about teacher as a profession.
  • [01:23:22.80] SPEAKER 1: Did you always plan on going to college?
  • [01:23:25.24] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yes. Big in my family. My mother's uncle was one of the founders of the University of Michigan engine school. And my dad went without his family's support. So he worked his way all the way through the University of Illinois.
  • [01:23:44.24] SPEAKER 1: How did your plans for the future differ from your friends' plans for the future?
  • [01:23:49.01] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Not much. I think we were all pretty copacetic. And I think it including a man. At that time, it was OK to have the possibility of marriage in your future. But we all pretty much wanted-- we envisioned ourselves, I think, going to college and then whatever happened thereafter.
  • [01:24:19.23] SPEAKER 1: Did you ever feel pressured to change yourself based on social expectations?
  • [01:24:27.60] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Well, I think we all have pressures. Remember, at the time that I was a college student, all sorts of things were happening as far as civil rights and that sort of thing. And there was a lot of pressure to rethink some of the things that you maybe had grown up knowing and thinking.
  • [01:24:59.52] SPEAKER 1: How did the way your parents raised you affect your ambitions?
  • [01:25:05.23] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: I think in every way. I think they just-- there were no boys in our family. So I was the oldest girl. And I think that was important. So I figured I wanted to do something special. I don't see how being a movie star would be that. But at the time, it made sense.
  • [01:25:33.90] I think they were very conservative, in a sense. They were Republicans and pretty straight laced. We were churchgoers. And there were ways that you would behave that you were supposed to behave. I knew when I wasn't being a good girl.
  • [01:26:04.31] SPEAKER 1: Would you be able to recount the story you told us about your father's passing?
  • [01:26:10.93] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yes. My father had a heart attack when I was 14 and was bedridden for my high school years. When he got more well by my senior year, I was able to drive him. I was released from school to drive him to where his plant was in Richmond, Michigan-- so about a hour drive.
  • [01:26:42.37] And I would get out of school. I missed the last hour of school. And I would drive him. And then I would do my homework next to the cows. This is in a remote place. And they had a plant outside of the Detroit area. And so I would do my work.
  • [01:27:00.82] Anyway, then when I graduated, which was in January-- at that time, they had half-year classes. We were going down to Florida because he was well enough. And the doctor thought it would be good for him to get out of the cold weather. So my mother and the two of us drove to Florida. But my dad flew down. And while we were there, we had a wonderful time.
  • [01:27:30.61] The first day, we went to the water. Being Michiganders, we didn't know anything about the beach. And I was bitten by a Portuguese man-of-war, which is kind of a blue blob with a long, long, long tail, which when it was blowing in just thought I was something to wrap around. So the Portuguese man-of-war wrapped itself around my foot. And my foot exploded with the venom it shot in and so forth.
  • [01:28:06.19] And so I was limited in my activities while I was there, which turned out to be a really good thing because I spent a lot more time with my family. And there were other people there that we knew. And there were kids. And there were other activities. But because of my foot, I was with my family.
  • [01:28:27.11] Anyway, we went out for dinner one night at a wonderful restaurant. It had a piano bar in the middle of the restaurant. And this guy played the piano. And the piano turned around as we were there. And we went home from there.
  • [01:28:47.93] And I'm sure that my father had eaten-- no one had done any studies on the heart or what your diet ought to be and so forth. And I'm sure he had eaten meat, ice cream, whatever. He wasn't a drinker, so I don't think he had anything to drink.
  • [01:29:04.09] But anyway, during the night, he died. And my mother sent me-- I think just to give me something to do-- to the hospital to tell them we were coming. And by the time we both got to the hospital, he was gone. So kind of a sad time.
  • [01:29:28.40] SPEAKER 1: How did your dad's passing affect your life?
  • [01:29:31.87] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Oh, it was a very big hole there, kind of like my husband dying a couple of years ago was just-- I miss him. And my dad had always been a big supporter of me. So that was sad. My mother's always been a big supporter. But it was different. So it was good.
  • [01:29:59.44] SPEAKER 1: All right. We're going to move into our next part. So your college years were spent away from home, where you were able to work towards your career and determine the path that you wanted your life to take. So you attended William and Mary.
  • [01:30:13.88] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Correct.
  • [01:30:15.01] SPEAKER 1: And how many-- and then what was your major?
  • [01:30:19.70] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Political science.
  • [01:30:21.13] SPEAKER 1: And were there a lot of other women in your classes at William and Mary?
  • [01:30:27.20] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: More men than women. Yeah, definitely more men than women.
  • [01:30:35.67] SPEAKER 1: What made you choose your major?
  • [01:30:39.27] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: My professors. I had a Chinese professor, [INAUDIBLE], who I just sort of fell in love with. I took copious notes. I just chucked the notes the other day. But anyway, he had a lot to say. And there was a lot I didn't know.
  • [01:30:58.23] So he was the different-- in effect, when I got through at William and Mary, he recommended that I go to Boston and go to the Fletcher School of Diplomacy. And he thought I had a future there. I did not do that. I came to Michigan. But that was a possibility.
  • [01:31:21.25] SPEAKER 1: How do you think being a woman coming back to Michigan impacted your career?
  • [01:31:28.99] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Well, I didn't have a career at that time. I was in graduate school. I started in political science, but I was very unhappy. I don't know. I think it was interesting to me because I started to see for the first time that you could approach college in a different way than socially. So I think that was a big eye opener for me. But at any rate, I switched out of political science and went into speech. And I was much happier.
  • [01:32:03.11] SPEAKER 1: What do you think was the biggest lesson you learned at William and Mary?
  • [01:32:07.94] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Friendship. I had a very close group of friends. And we have reunited for the reunions-- the 10th anniversary reunions-- ever since.
  • [01:32:21.34] SPEAKER 1: How has that lesson impacted your life since then?
  • [01:32:23.92] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Well, that's everything to do with your life, as you know. Your friends are solid.
  • [01:32:34.78] SPEAKER 1: Our last section is about your career. So once your children went back to school, you decided to become a teacher. And these questions will focus on your years as a teacher and then the creation of the--
  • [01:32:49.35] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: That's not quite right. Once my children went back to school, I wanted to do, quote, "something." So I went and talked to people that I admired to see if there was something I could do. And I got started on a series of activities, but nowhere near being a teacher.
  • [01:33:12.93] In fact, the way I got into teaching was a new superintendent came to town and decided he wanted to have an education fair. A mutual friend of his and ours recommended me as a person to spearhead that, and I did. And that's how I got hired by the school district. I got hired into a job that lasted one year because he was a very unpopular superintendent.
  • [01:33:49.07] So after that experience, I had met these vast array of wonderful Ann Arbor teachers. And so that's what redirected me. When I lost my job, I said, I think I'm going to try to be a teacher. So that's how I got started.
  • [01:34:08.52] SPEAKER 1: And so you started. But what do you think-- what else would you like to tell us about your teaching career?
  • [01:34:16.94] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Oh, teaching was just-- teaching was being a movie star. I really think that's-- when you have a group of people who has to listen to you every day, then you assume, I guess, a stage presence or whatever. I just liked teaching from the very beginning.
  • [01:34:39.32] My cooperating teacher, who was exactly 10 years younger than I, and I just-- we just started out being very, very copacetic and able to work out things together. And we just laughed. Everything we did-- we taught drama. One wonderful experience-- we did Alice in Wonderland. And we had rigged out a way to have the tea party be pulled in on a rope.
  • [01:35:07.89] And so everybody gathered around the tea party. And there was this and that and the other thing and the butter and so forth. And so we had never totally practiced it. But the day of the show, after the tea party, we struck the rope so that we could get that out of the way. And we watched as the lights hit the butter. And the butter is running down the tea party straight down the rope, dripping onto the floor.
  • [01:35:41.15] And we were, of course, in hysterics by this time, never having anticipated anything as dramatic as that. But we had a great, great time. And that was a really wonderful way to begin because she taught me a lot about interacting with kids.
  • [01:35:56.21] And she was a very sympathetic person to what 10- through 13-year-olds are like. So she kind of trained me in, here's what they're going through. And maybe you could be helpful. And so it was a very, very good start.
  • [01:36:21.98] And Clegg School was fantastic. I had the best boss in the world. I had him all the years that I taught. And if I had a problem, he was right there with me to help solve it. And that's, of course, half the battle of teaching-- is having good support.
  • [01:36:40.62] SPEAKER 1: What did you like most about working at Clegg Middle School?
  • [01:36:43.82] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: I like the people. There was just a sense of fun and cooperation. Our school was started by three people, which was totally new, totally different. And in observing them and how they had to work out their problems with the three of them, it set a model for us so that we were able to see that here were three people with very different approaches to administrating. And they were working out their difficulties and making it a great school. And so we could do that, too.
  • [01:37:23.75] So I really loved my time there. And I loved the kids. It was just a-- I would make a comment about the northeast sector of the school district, which is where Clegg was, and say, oh, well, this is the best sector. Of course, our kids went to Pioneer and Community. So we were on the west side. But anyway, I liked it very much.
  • [01:37:50.87] SPEAKER 1: What advice would you give to people who are looking to be a teacher? What do you think is the most important thing?
  • [01:37:56.60] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Very hard time right now. Very hard time. Well, I think I would make sure just to remember where the kids are coming from. I think that's always the best. And once you get that in your mind, then it helps you a lot with your teaching because you can change your approach or change whatever you're going to present coming at them in a way that it might be of some interest to them.
  • [01:38:41.90] Because I think partly at that age, you don't think you have control of anything. You just kind of feel, help. And I think once you can give the idea to the kids that they've got something to contribute, something to say, something to help with, it makes a big, big difference.
  • [01:39:06.84] SPEAKER 1: So where did you get the idea to start the Hikone exchange program?
  • [01:39:11.78] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Well, I came back. And I ran a great, big thing at Clegg. And I had all my students involved and all the other teachers. And I got the art teacher to show calligraphy and Bob Gallardy to dress up and be a kabuki player and show us how that went and many, many things.
  • [01:39:36.80] And then I realized, this is fine for 1980. That was when I got back. But by 1985, it's going to be something that-- who would remember it? And I certainly wouldn't remember in detail or with the same interest. And I thought we'd got to get kids going back and forth.
  • [01:39:59.34] And luckily, the Hikone people-- because we are their sister city-- had been coming every summer, of course, when we weren't there and leaving pictures that their kids had done, paintings, or something like that. So we had a little door open. But in Japan, everything happens from the top down. So we had to start with the governors.
  • [01:40:26.52] And once we got in touch with the governor-- and we had behaved very well when we went there. That's the other thing. I think all we teachers were good. They seemed agreeable to the idea. So in the time that we got the program set up, which was six years-- well, no, five years-- the governor of Japan had remained the same.
  • [01:40:54.94] And we had had four different governors. So it was a little bit different. We had to get the approval of one governor. And then we had to get the approval of the next governor and then the next and the next. And so finally, I just felt like we better hurry up and get this thing started, or else we'll have to deal with going through one more governor. And I didn't want to have to do that.
  • [01:41:20.66] So it was-- everything comes top down. So if the governor approves, then the city can look at it. If the city approves, then the board of education can look at it. If the board of education-- that kind of thing. Whereas here, it's more, if we could get the board of education approval, then they might go to the city and encourage them and this kind of thing. But it was persistence, I think, that paid off.
  • [01:41:56.65] SPEAKER 1: How did you incorporate the exchange program into your teaching?
  • [01:42:00.82] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Oh, my. Well, it was there. First of all, I got a couple of students from Japan. That was pretty lucky. And one student's parents were academics in Hiroshima. And they prepared a wonderful slide presentation for the kids on the Hiroshima Peace Museum and their perspective. It was it was a beautiful thing. It was really beautiful.
  • [01:42:37.23] And then they left it for me. So each year, I have that to use as part of my teaching. And that was a very wonderful contribution. And the young man has continued as my friend. So he's no longer a young man. It's 29 years later. But we have continued communicating and stayed close.
  • [01:43:03.85] SPEAKER 1: Do you feel like you still have a really close relationship with Japan?
  • [01:43:08.17] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Not so much, mainly I think because-- well, I do have 30 people that I send a Christmas card to in Hikone and around. And our closest friends, of course, I'm still very close with because we're emailing and communicating with each other.
  • [01:43:31.65] She just turned 52, I think it is. No, it's more than that. It's 62. She just turned 62. And I always call her on her birthday. So we had a good exchange. They were very sad about Hazen dying. But we have lots of good memories.
  • [01:43:59.75] SPEAKER 1: What value do you think the exchange program has had for children who participate in it?
  • [01:44:05.88] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Oh, I just-- it's a chance of a lifetime. You go in for two weeks, 10 days, whatever. You're in a totally different culture. And Japan is about totally as different from ours as could be. It's very, very top down and better now though, I think, because of emailing and phones. I think there's a better chance to communicate.
  • [01:44:46.09] And some of our students now that are going on the project are learning Japanese. So what a contribution that is. They can go and talk to each other. So how great? I think it's been a very, very positive thing. So I'm happy.
  • [01:45:06.81] SPEAKER 1: What do you think the underlying message of the Hikone exchange program is for you or for the community?
  • [01:45:13.16] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Well, I think any exchange program, you put yourself in somebody else's shoes for a while and try to see the world they have in their way. And that's just a good thing to contribute, I think, to be able to understand people whose opinion is totally different or whose style is just inconceivable or whose-- what you assume is totally different from someone else. It's always just a great learning experience. So that's what it does.
  • [01:45:59.21] SPEAKER 1: Where does your passion for teaching stem from?
  • [01:46:04.06] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: I told you. I'm a movie star. Well, how nice to be able to help people understand themselves and the world. What a good chance to be a part of that. And the most fun thing is when somebody gets something. Then you're really sailing on cloud nine. It's a great feeling if your kids are understanding what you're trying to get across to them.
  • [01:46:38.40] In a period at Clegg, we taught something called Living Through History. It's a program devised by a social studies teacher in Dexter. And he shared it with us. And we just lapped it up. Our whole team of teachers were just so excited about it.
  • [01:46:56.55] And what we did was to assume roles while we were teaching. I had a throne in my room. I was Queen Jean. I had money made with my picture on it. And I had various privileges. In fact, one time I irritated my students by saying that I was going to go and look in everybody's locker because I was the queen. And that's what I chose to do.
  • [01:47:30.13] So the next day, one of my students came with a sock of me with my eyes that were crosses and my head hanging down. I was hung in effigy by the student because I was going beyond my bounds as a teacher. So she got right into it along with us. And we had a great time.
  • [01:47:55.66] SPEAKER 1: Is there anything else that you would like to say that you feel like is--
  • [01:47:59.74] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: This has been a great experience. Thank you very much.
  • [01:48:03.48] SPEAKER 1: All right. Our pleasure.
  • [01:48:13.24] Where and when did you grow up?
  • [01:48:16.78] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Oh, in a suburb of Detroit, 1930 to till I went away to college.
  • [01:48:25.87] SPEAKER 1: What were some of the social norms for women growing up?
  • [01:48:30.77] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Very, very different. Women had children, stayed home, took care of the house, made the meals. My mother loved gardening. So because it was World War II, we had a victory garden. And so that was something that women could do.
  • [01:48:52.81] My mother loved to drive. And she started driving very early. And so that was, I think, maybe an exception for me-- to have a role model that was crazy about driving. And she lived in-- my parents came from Springfield, Illinois. And so that's 500 miles from Detroit.
  • [01:49:15.67] And once or twice a year, we would drive down there, which would take us many hours to get there. But my mother was happy to do that and loved getting together with her family. She had four siblings. I was trying to think of what else. It's so different because just the view of the world was very, very different at that time.
  • [01:49:52.11] SPEAKER 1: How do you look at the view of the world? Do you think it's changed for the better or just changed?
  • [01:49:58.44] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Well, I'm a political person. So I think I'm not happy now with our country. I'm quite concerned. I think generally, we've got a good country. We've got a good constitution. We've got a good sense of ourselves. And I think that change is inevitable. And we're going to have to begin to deal with change in some more positive ways.
  • [01:50:49.44] SPEAKER 1: And then did you always plan on going to college?
  • [01:50:53.63] SHIRLEY SCHUMACHER: Yes, I did. My dad went to University of Illinois and paid his way through. And my mother went to Michigan. And her stories about University of Michigan when she came are just delightful. They lived in a rooming house where the Law Quad is now with wooden sidewalks. So I just try to think of that.
  • [01:51:20.69] She had to just come for a semester because she had a younger brother. And the family couldn't afford to send both. So she had one semester. Then when she married my dad and they came to Detroit, she went to Wayne State for a couple of courses there.
  • [01:51:41.03] I don't know. I would say education just has always been really important in my mom's side of the family. So we assumed that our children would grow up and go to college. And they did.
  • [01:52:02.17] SPEAKER 1: All right. Then we're good.