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Legacies Project Oral History: Peggy de Vries

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 9:16am

When: 2020

Peggy Jenny Winick was born in 1920 to Russian immigrant parents in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her father, George Winick, worked in the metal industry. Following the Great Depression, she worked part-time to help rebuild the family’s livelihood. In 1945 she married Gerritt W. de Vries and they moved to Ann Arbor so that he could attend the University of Michigan School of Architecture & Design. Peggy worked in photo finishing and printing at Ivory Photo. The de Vries had three children, and they retired in Lake Leelanau. She passed away in 2010.

Peggy de Vries was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2010 as part of the Legacies Project.

Transcript

  • [00:00:09.62] SPEAKER 1: Please say and spell your name.
  • [00:00:11.79] PEGGY DE VRIES: Peggy de Vries. That's P-E-G-G-Y. That's a small de, capital V, as in Victor, R-I-E-S.
  • [00:00:19.98] SPEAKER 1: OK. What is your birth date, including the year?
  • [00:00:22.40] PEGGY DE VRIES: December 23, 1920.
  • [00:00:26.67] SPEAKER 1: How would you describe your ethnic background?
  • [00:00:32.66] PEGGY DE VRIES: Both parents came from Russia. Yeah, that would be my ethnic background.
  • [00:00:41.03] SPEAKER 1: What is your religious affiliation, if any?
  • [00:00:45.60] PEGGY DE VRIES: Questionable, but Jewish.
  • [00:00:50.07] SPEAKER 1: What is the highest level of formal education you have completed?
  • [00:00:52.98] PEGGY DE VRIES: Junior college.
  • [00:00:54.62] SPEAKER 1: Did you attend any additional school or formal training beyond what you've completed?
  • [00:01:02.49] PEGGY DE VRIES: Just individual courses, but nothing for credit.
  • [00:01:06.78] SPEAKER 1: What is your marital status?
  • [00:01:08.10] PEGGY DE VRIES: I'm widowed.
  • [00:01:11.88] SPEAKER 1: How many children do you have?
  • [00:01:13.40] PEGGY DE VRIES: I have two.
  • [00:01:14.98] SPEAKER 1: How many siblings do you have?
  • [00:01:18.38] PEGGY DE VRIES: Now? None.
  • [00:01:20.89] SPEAKER 1: OK. How many--
  • [00:01:22.25] PEGGY DE VRIES: Did I have? I had two half brothers.
  • [00:01:28.05] SPEAKER 1: What would you consider your primary occupation to have been?
  • [00:01:31.37] PEGGY DE VRIES: Photographer.
  • [00:01:33.67] SPEAKER 1: At what age did you retire?
  • [00:01:37.09] PEGGY DE VRIES: [SIGHS] Hm. That's a good question. Probably my 50s.
  • [00:01:50.41] SPEAKER 1: Do you know any stories about your family name?
  • [00:01:56.39] PEGGY DE VRIES: Any stories about my family name. No, the only story that I might know is that my maiden name was Winick, W-I-N-I-C-K. And in Russian, there are no V's-- or no W's. I can't remember which it is. But I think it should have been with a V, and it came out as a W. So that was in translation at Ellis Island, I think.
  • [00:02:25.28] SPEAKER 1: Are there any naming traditions in your family?
  • [00:02:27.38] PEGGY DE VRIES: Naming traditions? A tradition is that in the Jewish tradition, you name after the dead. So if someone has died, you use that name. And as a rule, if you're religious, you don't use names of the living.
  • [00:02:46.79] SPEAKER 1: Why did your ancestors leave to come to the United States?
  • [00:02:53.39] PEGGY DE VRIES: As I understand it, to be the same thing as not getting into the draft, because they were smuggled out of Russia through Poland.
  • [00:03:04.41] SPEAKER 1: Do you know any stories about how your family first came to the United States? Do you know where they settled?
  • [00:03:13.68] PEGGY DE VRIES: Most of them settled in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but I can't give you the reason because some of them settled in New York. And how they ever got to Grand Rapids, I don't know.
  • [00:03:23.89] SPEAKER 1: How did they make a living, either in the old country or in the United States?
  • [00:03:28.36] PEGGY DE VRIES: My father was in the iron and metal business. What was the rest of that question?
  • [00:03:39.96] SPEAKER 1: Just how did they make a living once they were in the United States?
  • [00:03:43.65] PEGGY DE VRIES: I had an uncle that was a doctor. My father was in the iron and metal business. Mostly just blue collar kind of work.
  • [00:03:56.74] SPEAKER 1: Do you know what sort of things they brought with them here to the US?
  • [00:04:02.01] PEGGY DE VRIES: Photographs. Not very much as far as material things. I have a few things that were brought over from Russia.
  • [00:04:15.39] SPEAKER 1: Do you know if any family members stayed behind when others came?
  • [00:04:22.76] PEGGY DE VRIES: As far as my mother's family, none of them ever came to the United States-- distant relatives. My father's family, when all the boys came here, the parents came after all the boys were here.
  • [00:04:42.85] SPEAKER 1: To your knowledge, did they make any effort to preserve any of your traditions or customs from their country in Russia?
  • [00:04:51.42] PEGGY DE VRIES: Not too much.
  • [00:04:58.79] SPEAKER 1: What stories have come down to you about your parents and grandparents or more distant ancestors?
  • [00:05:08.27] PEGGY DE VRIES: [SIGHS]
  • [00:05:09.77] What type of stories?
  • [00:05:11.82] SPEAKER 1: Any story.
  • [00:05:14.36] SPEAKER 2: Did they tell you anything about the smuggling out?
  • [00:05:22.06] PEGGY DE VRIES: Other than it was difficult-- yeah, my mother's parents went to Israel eventually. I'm not sure how they got there. That was difficult, I'm sure. And as far as my father's parents, I don't know the true story other than the fact that they waited until the boys were here. And then the grandparents and one daughter came. That's about all I know, really.
  • [00:05:50.74] [LOUD BEEPING]
  • [00:05:53.53] SPEAKER 1: Do you know any courtship stories? How did your parents or grandparents or other relatives come to be married?
  • [00:05:58.37] PEGGY DE VRIES: Wait, what was that?
  • [00:05:59.76] SPEAKER 1: Do you know how of your parents or grandparents came to be married?
  • [00:06:05.00] PEGGY DE VRIES: My mother married my father-- it was prearranged. She was in Russia. And my father was widowed. And somebody knew somebody that knew somebody. Bring her over. [CHUCKLES]
  • [00:06:27.25] SPEAKER 1: Where did you grow up? And what are your strongest memories of that place?
  • [00:06:30.34] SPEAKER 2: Sarah, can I have a word with you real quick?
  • [00:06:31.36] SPEAKER 1: Yeah.
  • [00:06:31.77] SPEAKER 2: When you get into a new section, remember to record the lead to set the frame frame.
  • [00:06:35.74] SPEAKER 1: OK.
  • [00:06:36.11] SPEAKER 3: [INAUDIBLE]
  • [00:06:36.71] SPEAKER 2: OK.
  • [00:06:37.29] SPEAKER 4: The bell is going to ring again. Should we just wait for it to ring so [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:06:42.45] SPEAKER 2: We'll probably get a question or two in, I think, before. And if the bell interrupts, we'll back up.
  • [00:06:47.48] SPEAKER 4: OK.
  • [00:06:49.23] SPEAKER 2: And we're about halfway through.
  • [00:06:51.20] SPEAKER 3: Yeah.
  • [00:06:51.67] SPEAKER 1: Yeah. OK. Today's interview is about your childhood up until you began attending school. Even if these questions jog memories about other times in your life, please only respond with memories from this earliest part. Where did you grow up? And what are your strongest memories of that place?
  • [00:07:10.96] PEGGY DE VRIES: Grand Rapids, Michigan. Conservative. [CHUCKLES]
  • [00:07:15.02]
  • [00:07:16.81] SPEAKER 1: How did your family come to live there?
  • [00:07:20.38] PEGGY DE VRIES: I'm not too sure how they came to live there, except that somebody had to know somebody. Because when they landed in New York, there was some reason. There were either friends or family that lived in Grand Rapids.
  • [00:07:36.99] SPEAKER 1: What was your house like?
  • [00:07:38.83] PEGGY DE VRIES: What was my house like? It was before the Depression. We had a very large home, very large car. We were quite well-off.
  • [00:07:55.02] SPEAKER 1: How many people lived in your house?
  • [00:07:58.49] PEGGY DE VRIES: I had two older brothers and my parents.
  • [00:08:03.50] SPEAKER 1: What was their relationship with you?
  • [00:08:06.64] PEGGY DE VRIES: What was--
  • [00:08:07.15] SPEAKER 1: What was the relationship you had with the people living in your home?
  • [00:08:12.28] PEGGY DE VRIES: My mother-- a stepmother-- and two half-brothers.
  • [00:08:19.44] SPEAKER 1: What languages were spoken in or around your house?
  • [00:08:21.81] PEGGY DE VRIES: English.
  • [00:08:26.24] SPEAKER 1: What was your family like when you were a child?
  • [00:08:33.16] PEGGY DE VRIES: I used to think it was unique because we were kind of disjointed. They were half-brothers, the stepmother. And I got and we all got along so well that I thought that was unique.
  • [00:08:48.46] SPEAKER 1: What sort of work did your father and mother do?
  • [00:08:51.04] PEGGY DE VRIES: My mother did not work. My father was in the iron and metal business.
  • [00:08:58.58] SPEAKER 1: Can you remember what your earliest memory is?
  • [00:09:04.85] PEGGY DE VRIES: Did you want to know what it was?
  • [00:09:05.97] SPEAKER 1: Yeah.
  • [00:09:08.10] PEGGY DE VRIES: One of my earliest memories was-- I could have been maybe, oh, five or six. And someone screamed really loud. [CHUCKLES]
  • [00:09:20.45]
  • [00:09:21.37] And I found out that my stepmother screamed in her sleep. It really stuck with me.
  • [00:09:29.58] SPEAKER 1: What was a typical day for you like in your preschool years?
  • [00:09:35.91] PEGGY DE VRIES: Oh, in preschool?
  • [00:09:37.08] SPEAKER 1: Yeah.
  • [00:09:38.70] PEGGY DE VRIES: I really don't know, other than just playing in the neighborhood, I lived on a very short street that was a block long. And we had a park at the end of it. So there was a lot of children to play with. So we did a lot of outdoor playing.
  • [00:09:56.87] SPEAKER 1: Did you have a favorite toy or game?
  • [00:10:02.35] PEGGY DE VRIES: I'm sure I had dolls. We had a baby grand piano. And my favorite spot was to play underneath it.
  • [00:10:10.35] SPEAKER 1: Did you read any books or any other sorts of entertainment?
  • [00:10:15.11] PEGGY DE VRIES: I did a lot of reading. I read everything.
  • [00:10:20.02] SPEAKER 1: Were there any special days or events that you remember from this time?
  • [00:10:29.47] PEGGY DE VRIES: Well, the holidays. Birthdays and the holidays. My birthday is just before Christmas. So it was always kind of a big deal. And because we were not Christian, we didn't have a tree. But my mother always fixed a big cotton snowball in the middle of the table with streamers. And there were gifts that you pulled out.
  • [00:10:50.81] [BEEP]
  • [00:10:51.31]
  • [00:10:52.81] [LOUD BEEPING]
  • [00:10:56.31] SPEAKER 2: And we had one about five minutes earlier?
  • [00:10:58.60] SPEAKER 3: Like seven.
  • [00:10:59.48] SPEAKER 2: OK.
  • [00:11:01.25] SPEAKER 1: Today, we'll discuss your time as a young person, from about the time that school attendance typically begins in the US, up until you began your professional career or work life. OK. Did you a preschool?
  • [00:11:13.65] PEGGY DE VRIES: No.
  • [00:11:15.15] SPEAKER 1: Did you go to kindergarten?
  • [00:11:17.65] PEGGY DE VRIES: Yes, I skipped half. [LAUGHS]
  • [00:11:22.63] SPEAKER 1: Did you go to elementary school?
  • [00:11:24.37] PEGGY DE VRIES: Yes, I did.
  • [00:11:25.91] SPEAKER 1: In Grand Rapids?
  • [00:11:26.89] PEGGY DE VRIES: In Grand Rapids, uh-huh.
  • [00:11:29.13] SPEAKER 1: Do you remember anything about your elementary school time?
  • [00:11:35.24] PEGGY DE VRIES: Not particularly. I enjoyed it, elementary school, I remember, and wanted to go to school. I remember, I guess, one incident. If it rained, I had to carry an umbrella and wear a raincoat, which I thought was really dumb. Why did you do both? So after I got away from home, I'd hide the umbrella under the bushes and pick it up on my way home.
  • [00:12:02.47] SPEAKER 1: Where did you go to high school?
  • [00:12:04.51] PEGGY DE VRIES: Grand Rapids Union High School.
  • [00:12:06.36] SPEAKER 1: And what do you remember about your experiences there?
  • [00:12:11.05] PEGGY DE VRIES: Oh, I had a delightful time in high school. It was a great high school.
  • [00:12:18.61] SPEAKER 1: If you did not go to any other-- wait, you did.
  • [00:12:23.20] PEGGY DE VRIES: Yeah, it's OK.
  • [00:12:26.86] SPEAKER 1: What do you remember about your career training beyond high school?
  • [00:12:31.87] PEGGY DE VRIES: About my what?
  • [00:12:32.71] SPEAKER 1: About your career training in photography after high school.
  • [00:12:39.44] PEGGY DE VRIES: I always wanted to go to photography school, but couldn't afford it. So I started working for photography studios. I did photo finishing and printing. And I did everything to learn photography.
  • [00:12:56.30] SPEAKER 1: During school, did you play any sports or engage in any extracurricular activities?
  • [00:13:01.28] PEGGY DE VRIES: We had a girls sport club, that we just did after-school sports. When it was basketball, we played basketball. Volleyball, we played volleyball, and so on.
  • [00:13:11.88] SPEAKER 1: What about your school experience is different from school as you know it today?
  • [00:13:17.60] PEGGY DE VRIES: [SIGHS] That's a good question. Hm. Well, schools are bigger. More flexible, I think, although our school was pretty flexible. I'm not sure. I don't know how to answer that. I don't know enough about the schools today, I guess.
  • [00:13:45.49] SPEAKER 1: OK. During your youth, what was the popular music at that time?
  • [00:13:53.08] PEGGY DE VRIES: Hm. Well, first it would be-- I guess swing was in. Piano music was popular, as far as it was popular for people to sing along with piano and that type of thing. I don't know how to answer that particularly.
  • [00:14:21.39] SPEAKER 1: Did the music have any dances that you remember being associated with it?
  • [00:14:29.77] PEGGY DE VRIES: I'm sure there were and I don't remember. But there was mostly ballroom dancing. They didn't do bunny hop or that kind of thing then.
  • [00:14:41.92] SPEAKER 1: What were the popular clothing or hairstyles at the time?
  • [00:14:45.99] PEGGY DE VRIES: Hair was probably shoulder length. I mean, mainly. What else?
  • [00:14:56.20] SPEAKER 1: What sort of clothing?
  • [00:14:59.91] PEGGY DE VRIES: That was the bobby socks, saddle shoes. Saddle shoes are black and white or brown and white. At one time, there was ski boots, and everybody wore boots to school. That's about it.
  • [00:15:15.85] SPEAKER 1: OK. Were there any other fads or styles that you remember from that era?
  • [00:15:21.46] PEGGY DE VRIES: I guess ski boots, probably a big fad. And if you could afford them, you were lucky. Hm, that's about all I remember.
  • [00:15:36.25] SPEAKER 1: OK. Were there any slang terms, phrases, or words used that aren't commonly in use today?
  • [00:15:42.76] PEGGY DE VRIES: I had a teacher that said "boy, howdy" all the time. [CHUCKLES]
  • [00:15:46.94]
  • [00:15:52.63] I can't think of any.
  • [00:15:54.78] SPEAKER 1: What was a typical day like for you in this time period?
  • [00:16:00.57] PEGGY DE VRIES: Well, during high school, I worked. So a typical day was kind of rough, because I would go to school and then I'd go home and try and get my homework done. And then I ushered at a theater. And I had to walk to the theater and walk home. So by the time I got home, I'd fall asleep trying to do homework. It was really kind of rough.
  • [00:16:22.58] SPEAKER 1: What did you do for fun?
  • [00:16:25.40] PEGGY DE VRIES: I didn't have a lot of time, but hang out with the girls.
  • [00:16:28.30] SPEAKER 1: Yeah. Were there any special days or family events that you remember from this time period?
  • [00:16:37.94] PEGGY DE VRIES: Birthdays were always big. Holidays were celebrated with family. My stepmother had kind of a large family. And we really connected with them. So we would have quite a few people-- either go to their houses. Entertainment was the family. We played cards. The kids didn't so much, but they'd do other things. But the family would be playing cards. During the Depression, anything that didn't cost much. [CHUCKLES]
  • [00:17:10.51] SPEAKER 1: Yeah. Did your family have any special sayings or expressions during this time?
  • [00:17:21.45] PEGGY DE VRIES: Mm. [CHUCKLES] Nothing much. My stepmother's name was Grace. And we used to call her "Greasy Gracie." [CHUCKLES]
  • [00:17:29.55] SPEAKER 1: Any changes in your family life during your school years?
  • [00:17:35.87] PEGGY DE VRIES: Not particularly, no.
  • [00:17:42.77] SPEAKER 1: How were holidays traditionally celebrated in your family?
  • [00:17:49.44] PEGGY DE VRIES: Well, it was kind of double. As I got older, I hung out with Jewish kids. And I would celebrate the high holidays in the fall. But we also celebrated everything else. [CHUCKLES] So I had the double dose. The best of two worlds.
  • [00:18:06.85] SPEAKER 1: Yeah. What special food traditions does your family have?
  • [00:18:15.74] PEGGY DE VRIES: Probably nothing. Very American cooking. But I can remember going home to a pot roast, which I thought was wonderful at the time.
  • [00:18:25.01] SPEAKER 1: Have any of these recipes been preserved and passed down in your family?
  • [00:18:35.42] PEGGY DE VRIES: I think my mother had a stuffing recipe that I think I still used. My daughter uses it.
  • [00:18:43.42] SPEAKER 1: 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?
  • [00:18:52.93] PEGGY DE VRIES: Oh, dear. I have to think about that. Historical events? [SIGHS]
  • [00:18:59.41] I should have had that one ahead of time. Depression. Let's see. I can't think of anything particularly.
  • [00:19:16.33] SPEAKER 2: Did you have to curtail any spending? Or did it have an impact on the family income during the Depression?
  • [00:19:21.00] PEGGY DE VRIES: Oh, absolutely. We lost our home and had to move. We moved to less expensive, less expensive, less expensive. And then as things got better, we reversed the pattern.
  • [00:19:34.46] But, yes. My father had to declare bankruptcy. And so anything that was in his name, we lost. Our car was in my mother's name and our furniture was in my mother's name. So we kept our furniture. And as I say, we have a baby grand piano. To find a house to rent that you could put a baby grand piano in was not easy. [CHUCKLES]
  • [00:19:59.54]
  • [00:20:00.35] That's about it.
  • [00:20:04.81] SPEAKER 1: After you finished high school, where did you move?
  • [00:20:07.00] PEGGY DE VRIES: Where did I live? Grand Rapids, Michigan.
  • [00:20:12.58] SPEAKER 1: How did you come to live there.
  • [00:20:14.59] PEGGY DE VRIES: I was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
  • [00:20:17.47] SPEAKER 1: Did you remain there, or did you move around through your working adult life? And what was the reason for these moves?
  • [00:20:23.12] PEGGY DE VRIES: I moved around a little. My parents both died. And I had older brothers, and they were married. So I lived in Grand Rapids for a while, then moved to Kalamazoo with an older brother.
  • [00:20:46.87] SPEAKER 1: I'd like you to tell me a little bit about your married life. First, tell me about your spouse. When and where did you meet?
  • [00:20:55.41] PEGGY DE VRIES: We went and met in high school, but we did not go together. We re-met after Word War II.
  • [00:21:03.08] SPEAKER 1: What was it like when you were dating?
  • [00:21:11.38] PEGGY DE VRIES: Well, it was right after World War II. Or was it the end of the war in Europe. The war wasn't over in Japan yet. So housing was hard to find. Things were rationed. Transportation was difficult. But it was a joyous time.
  • [00:21:40.04] SPEAKER 1: Tell me about your engagement and wedding.
  • [00:21:44.09] PEGGY DE VRIES: We had met in high school. And then re-met after my husband was leaving service. And we re-met in March and were married in July, '45.
  • [00:22:02.31] SPEAKER 1: What were your children like?
  • [00:22:08.04] PEGGY DE VRIES: I had two boys and a girl. Boys were the oldest, and the girl was quite a bit later. And they were all great kids. My oldest son died. And he had two boys. And my younger son is married and does not have any children. My daughter is married and has two daughters.
  • [00:22:36.44] SPEAKER 1: What was life like when they were young and living in the house?
  • [00:22:40.29] PEGGY DE VRIES: Repeat that please.
  • [00:22:41.13] SPEAKER 1: What was life like when they were young and living in the house?
  • [00:22:45.79] PEGGY DE VRIES: Hectic. [LAUGHS]
  • [00:22:48.42] It was interesting because of the difference in the age between the youngest boy and my daughter. So you had all ages of friends coming in. So it made it very interesting.
  • [00:23:10.58] SPEAKER 1: Tell me about your working years.
  • [00:23:16.28] PEGGY DE VRIES: I was interested in photography, but couldn't afford to go away to photography school. It was not taught in the colleges like it is now. So I started out in photo finishing and worked up doing photo finishing, then taking pictures in the studios.
  • [00:23:33.24] SPEAKER 1: What was a typical day like during the working years of your adult life?
  • [00:23:42.87] PEGGY DE VRIES: Probably going to work. And I didn't have a car. But the times when, once I got home, it was probably stay home or wait for someone to be going with someone else. We walked a lot more than we do now. And in the evenings, probably a lot safer walking than it is now.
  • [00:24:04.54] SPEAKER 1: What did your family enjoy doing together when your kids were all still home?
  • [00:24:16.59] PEGGY DE VRIES: Not into too many games, I guess. In the summers, we liked to go on picnics. We liked to go on walks, perhaps. Movies. Hang out.
  • [00:24:40.28] SPEAKER 1: What were your personal favorite things to do for fun?
  • [00:24:47.13] PEGGY DE VRIES: At what time?
  • [00:24:49.08] SPEAKER 1: I guess any time.
  • [00:24:56.11] PEGGY DE VRIES: That's an interesting question. I suppose, hanging out with your family, and perhaps do games and things like that. We weren't big on games at the time. But it's enjoyable.
  • [00:25:11.71] SPEAKER 1: Are there any specific days, events, or family traditions you practiced that differed from your childhood traditions?
  • [00:25:25.66] PEGGY DE VRIES: Well, perhaps. I was brought up in a household where we didn't really celebrate Christmas. And after I got married, we did a lot more celebrating with my husband and children than I had ever done before.
  • [00:25:43.07] SPEAKER 1: Please describe the popular music of your adult years.
  • [00:25:51.54] PEGGY DE VRIES: Glenn Miller. I was always a big Streisand fan. That's about it.
  • [00:26:05.83] SPEAKER 1: Did the music have any particular dances associated with it?
  • [00:26:10.63] PEGGY DE VRIES: Yeah. Well, dancing was very popular in those days-- couple dancing.
  • [00:26:18.50] SPEAKER 1: What were popular clothing and hair styles of this time?
  • [00:26:21.46] PEGGY DE VRIES: Well, when I was in high school, it was saddle shoes, they were called. They were black and white or brown and white. Then I went through boots-- eras of boots. And give me that question again.
  • [00:26:37.77] SPEAKER 1: Popular clothing or hairstyles of your adult years.
  • [00:26:41.76] PEGGY DE VRIES: Went through pageboys, short hair, long hair-- I mean, just typical kind of stuff.
  • [00:26:47.97] SPEAKER 1: Can you describe any other fads or styles from this era?
  • [00:26:51.87] PEGGY DE VRIES: Hm, I don't know. Oh, there were periods-- there be a lot of plaids. Coats were plaid. And you don't see that so much anymore. There was a lot of difference in length over the years. They'd be short. And they'd get long, and then longer. And then they'd get short. Usually, it seemed to depend upon-- during the war, they got short. And looking back, I always think material was a problem. So they got shorter and shorter.
  • [00:27:28.15] SPEAKER 1: Were there any slang terms, phrases, or words used in that area that are commonly used today?
  • [00:27:34.20] PEGGY DE VRIES: I had a teacher who used to say "boy, howdy" all the time. I don't know exactly where he got that. But it was "boy, howdy." I remember my mother being upset when I was young because they said "OK." That was new then. And she said, you're supposed to say "yes" not "OK." Now it's very common, and no one thinks anything of it.
  • [00:28:10.56] SPEAKER 1: When thinking back on your working adult life, what important social or historical events were taking place at that time? And how did they personally affect you and your family?
  • [00:28:24.23] PEGGY DE VRIES: Well, it was during World War II. So it would be a lot of effects. The transportation was more difficult. Gas was rationed. Food was rationed. Sugar was rationed. So there were a lot of things that were perhaps inconvenient, but not all that difficult.
  • [00:28:48.50] SPEAKER 1: OK. Thank you.
  • [00:28:50.34] SPEAKER 3: [INAUDIBLE]
  • [00:28:51.73] Can we ask a couple of follow-ups we thought of?
  • [00:28:54.22] SPEAKER 1: Yes.
  • [00:28:56.17] SPEAKER 3: There are three things we're going to be asking. One was, she talked a little bit about photography. Can we just hear the arch of that a little bit? You started talking about being [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:29:08.95] PEGGY DE VRIES: Right.
  • [00:29:09.22]
  • [00:29:10.01] SPEAKER 3: And the second thing would be, you talked about re-meeting your husband after World War II.
  • [00:29:15.42] PEGGY DE VRIES: Right.
  • [00:29:15.92] SPEAKER 3: How did you guys re-meet? And the third thing would be, I know from talking to you why you came here, Ann Arbor.
  • [00:29:25.76] PEGGY DE VRIES: OK.
  • [00:29:26.25] SPEAKER 3: So if you could talk about [INAUDIBLE]
  • [00:29:28.71] SPEAKER 1: Can I use your pen?
  • [00:29:30.68] PEGGY DE VRIES: OK.
  • [00:29:31.21] SPEAKER 3: We'll prompt you.
  • [00:29:32.12] PEGGY DE VRIES: What was the first one?
  • [00:29:35.27] SPEAKER 2: You identify yourself, when we did the identifying interview, as a photographer-- a retired photographer.
  • [00:29:41.27] PEGGY DE VRIES: OK.
  • [00:29:41.63] SPEAKER 2: Yeah, but all we heard in this section about working life is that you started in photo finishing. So how were you able to become more independent--
  • [00:29:49.46] PEGGY DE VRIES: Ah.
  • [00:29:49.94] SPEAKER 2: [INAUDIBLE]
  • [00:29:50.42] PEGGY DE VRIES: I started in photo finishing.
  • [00:29:52.17] SPEAKER 2: Do you want to answer your--
  • [00:29:52.77] PEGGY DE VRIES: Oh, OK. I started in photo finishing. And it was just trained seal kind of work, but not as automatic as things are now. Because they'd have people that worked on printing machines. And there'd be three printers going into a developing tank. And one girl would sit there. And when the pictures got developed, she would throw them in acids to finish them off. And the process after that was automatic.
  • [00:30:26.27] I did that for a while. And then they wanted someone to make enlargements. And so I was did all the enlargements for a while on the huge, old-fashioned enlarger. They are a wonderful enlarger, but they're big to operate. What else? What else was that question?
  • [00:30:50.44] SPEAKER 1: There was a question, you talked about your husband [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:30:53.81] SPEAKER 3: [INAUDIBLE]
  • [00:30:54.15] PEGGY DE VRIES: Oh, right.
  • [00:30:55.94] SPEAKER 3: Could you finish about going into photography? Because you talk about photo finishing, and then photography itself?
  • [00:31:03.61] PEGGY DE VRIES: Well, I was interested. And so after I got married, couldn't even afford to take pictures because I didn't have the money to do the photo finishing. But once we got in better position, I started doing photography again. And it's always been my favorite hobby, or wanted to be professional. But I didn't ever get as far as I wanted. But I still take pictures and enjoy doing it very much. Transferred to digital, so I'm up. [CHUCKLES]
  • [00:31:40.48]
  • [00:31:43.41] SPEAKER 1: You mentioned you and your husband re-meeting.
  • [00:31:47.79] PEGGY DE VRIES: I lived in Kalamazoo. And we met the bus station in Grand Rapids. I was on my way to Kalamazoo. And he was on his way back to Fort Custer. And I told him I was living in Kalamazoo. And he said, hi. And we talked about some things we'd done in high school and who we knew and so on. I he called me a week later. And we went out. And that's it.
  • [00:32:19.29] SPEAKER 3: How did they come to be in Ann Arbor?
  • [00:32:21.19] SPEAKER 1: Yeah, how did you come to be in Ann Arbor?
  • [00:32:27.07] PEGGY DE VRIES: My husband didn't have a job. And we weren't sure what we wanted to do. And I'd heard about the GI bill. So he went to school on the GI bill.
  • [00:32:38.61] SPEAKER 3: Tell us about that.
  • [00:32:40.50] PEGGY DE VRIES: It was interesting. There were 200 married students on campus at that time. We went to school on the GI Bill that paid, I think, $110 a month. And when you had a child, $10 more. And he went to the School of Architecture and Design. It was a five-year course. So we lived on $110 for five years.
  • [00:33:09.65] Fortunately, there was a freeze on the rental. They couldn't raise your rent at that time unless you moved out and they re-rented the place, because there was a ceiling on the rent. So we managed all right till five years, till he graduated. [CHUCKLES]
  • [00:33:26.36]
  • [00:33:27.29] SPEAKER 1: All right. I think that's it.
  • [00:33:29.16] SPEAKER 2: Is that the end of that?
  • [00:33:30.32] SPEAKER 1: Yeah.
  • [00:33:30.74] SPEAKER 2: Uh-huh? Great. And how are we doing on time?
  • [00:33:36.47] [INTERPOSING VOICES]
  • [00:33:38.91] SPEAKER 1: Yeah. Class ends in about five minutes, I think.
  • [00:33:42.83] SPEAKER 2: OK.
  • [00:33:44.82] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE]
  • [00:33:45.70] SPEAKER 2: And what time did we start [INAUDIBLE]?
  • [00:33:47.56] SPEAKER 1: We started about 35-- or, not 35, but 40.
  • [00:33:52.42] SPEAKER 2: OK. Well, we have five minutes, which is really like a quarter of our time. So I think what we should do is read the lead to the next section.
  • [00:34:00.08] SPEAKER 1: OK.
  • [00:34:00.50] SPEAKER 2: And even if you get one or two questions in, you can mark it.
  • [00:34:03.48] SPEAKER 1: Great.
  • [00:34:03.73] SPEAKER 2: OK. And remember, before you move on, if you feel there's any other questions about this kind of working adult life, you guys can collaborate on how else [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:34:15.72] SPEAKER 1: OK.
  • [00:34:16.01] SPEAKER 2: So you have questions, then, about that section before moving on [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:34:19.88] SPEAKER 1: Great.
  • [00:34:20.34] SPEAKER 3: Feel free to elaborate, too.
  • [00:34:22.44] PEGGY DE VRIES: OK.
  • [00:34:22.71] SPEAKER 1: Yeah. I had some questions.
  • [00:34:25.12] PEGGY DE VRIES: I worked for Ivory Photo in Ann Arbor. And after I was married, he didn't have anybody to make enlargements. So I would quite often go in at night and make all the enlargements for him and then just a little extra money and help him out.
  • [00:34:46.29] SPEAKER 1: What kind of pictures did you take? Did you take pictures of the guests?
  • [00:34:54.08] PEGGY DE VRIES: Well, I did mostly photo finishing at that time. But I suppose most of my pictures are sceneries.
  • [00:35:06.41] SPEAKER 2: You could flip the page and go ahead and start in on the next section.
  • [00:35:12.69] SPEAKER 1: This set of questions covers a relatively long period of your life, from the time you entered the labor force or started a family up to present time.
  • [00:35:19.90] PEGGY DE VRIES: OK.
  • [00:35:23.55] SPEAKER 1: What was your primary field of employment?
  • [00:35:26.76] PEGGY DE VRIES: Photography.
  • [00:35:28.83] SPEAKER 1: How did you first get started with this particular tradition/skill or job?
  • [00:35:36.23] PEGGY DE VRIES: I was given a camera. When I was in high school, my uncle gave me a camera. And it got me started.
  • [00:35:45.22] SPEAKER 1: Describe the steps of the process involved in your job from start to finish. Sorry.
  • [00:35:54.59] PEGGY DE VRIES: I really don't know how to answer that. From start to finish-- well, you can be in any phase of photography and you can start in the basics of finishing. And then you can go up to taking pictures and doing portraits, doing the news-type photography or anything like that.
  • [00:36:23.99] SPEAKER 1: What raw materials were used?
  • [00:36:26.99] PEGGY DE VRIES: In photography? Film. The finishing materials would be raw materials-- developer and the hypo, we called it, that stopped the developing, and then the liquids that would fix the pictures [INAUDIBLE]. And the washing of them.
  • [00:36:51.73] [LOUD BEEPING]
  • [00:36:55.59] SPEAKER 1: Where did you get your materials/supplies from?
  • [00:36:59.89] PEGGY DE VRIES: Yeah, photographic supply places.
  • [00:37:04.98] SPEAKER 1: Have they changed over time?
  • [00:37:07.24] PEGGY DE VRIES: Absolutely.
  • [00:37:09.81] SPEAKER 1: What was a typical day like during the working years of your adult?
  • [00:37:13.96] PEGGY DE VRIES: Oh, probably go to work, come home, have dinner with all or part of my family. And hanging out with friends. Go to movies was always a big-- walk.
  • [00:37:48.77] SPEAKER 1: What specific training or skills were required for your job?
  • [00:37:55.78] PEGGY DE VRIES: Well, I couldn't afford a photography school. There were photography schools. But they were generally in Chicago or New York. So I started out with just doing the basics and learning by doing.
  • [00:38:12.03] SPEAKER 3: These last questions, too.
  • [00:38:14.40] SPEAKER 1: What technology changes occurred during your working years?
  • [00:38:17.33] PEGGY DE VRIES: I didn't hear that.
  • [00:38:18.62] SPEAKER 1: What technology changed during your working years?
  • [00:38:32.84] PEGGY DE VRIES: Not a lot of change in the beginning. And most of the change came after my working years when they stopped using film and went to digital. That would be the biggest change I could think of.
  • [00:38:44.88] SPEAKER 1: Great, thank you.
  • [00:38:45.85] PEGGY DE VRIES: Mm-hmm.
  • [00:38:50.21] Amazing technology, such as-- in any field?
  • [00:38:55.00] SPEAKER 5: Yeah, any field, or your working field.
  • [00:38:57.41] PEGGY DE VRIES: Well, I've been a photographer most of the time. So it's changed from film and everything by hand to automatic and digital. And it's been an amazing change.
  • [00:39:08.18] SPEAKER 5: When you worked with cameras, as time went on, did you ever work with digital cameras?
  • [00:39:19.11] PEGGY DE VRIES: Well, I have a digital camera. I have one the first digitals that came out. The one that came out first was Canon. And my son called me and said there were only so many and they would be gone by January 1. And if I wanted one, I better call and get them. So I got one of the first ones that came out.
  • [00:39:35.89] SPEAKER 5: That's cool. What was the biggest difference in your primary field of employment from the time you started until now?
  • [00:39:46.51] PEGGY DE VRIES: I almost always worked in photography, either photo finishing or taking pictures or some field photography.
  • [00:39:56.98] SPEAKER 5: How do you judge excellence within your field? And what makes someone respected in that field?
  • [00:40:03.28] PEGGY DE VRIES: Well, if it's photography, you just see their product.
  • [00:40:05.82] SPEAKER 5: Yeah.
  • [00:40:08.77] PEGGY DE VRIES: And judging excellence, it'd either be excellence in my eyes or excellence in the opinion of the public or judges of some sort.
  • [00:40:21.53] SPEAKER 5: What do you value most about what you do for a living?
  • [00:40:25.44] PEGGY DE VRIES: Well, or did?
  • [00:40:27.88] SPEAKER 5: Yeah, did. Yeah.
  • [00:40:29.76] PEGGY DE VRIES: Well, I enjoyed what I did. And I think that's important.
  • [00:40:33.74] SPEAKER 5: What kind of pictures did you take?
  • [00:40:38.45] PEGGY DE VRIES: Generally scenery. I like flowers, also.
  • [00:40:47.24] SPEAKER 5: OK, tell me about any moves you made during your working years and retirement prior to your decision to move to your current residence.
  • [00:40:56.14] PEGGY DE VRIES: I lived in the little finger peninsula of Michigan for 20 years. Beautiful country. And everybody said, there won't be anything to do up there. And there was a lot to do. And they said, don't have anything to do in the winter. And the winters are more beautiful than the summers because you don't have-- we call them "fudgies." We don't have fudgies in the winter. Or if they did, we call them "fudgsicles."
  • [00:41:21.32] SPEAKER 5: What did you do up north?
  • [00:41:24.10] PEGGY DE VRIES: Retired up there.
  • [00:41:27.73] SPEAKER 5: How did you come to live in your current residence?
  • [00:41:31.24] PEGGY DE VRIES: Well, I moved to Ann Arbor when I got married. My husband went to school on the GI Bill. And stayed in Ann Arbor. And then when he retired, we moved up to Lake Leelanau. And I stayed up there 20 years. After he died, I returned because my children all lived in Ann Arbor.
  • [00:41:52.42] SPEAKER 5: How do you feel about your current living situation?
  • [00:41:55.31] PEGGY DE VRIES: Just fine. It's great, as a matter of fact.
  • [00:42:00.95] SPEAKER 5: This set of questions covers your retirement years to present time. How did your family life change from when you and your spouse retired and all of your children left home?
  • [00:42:12.67] PEGGY DE VRIES: Well, when my husband retired and we moved up north, it changed completely, because it altered our lifestyle very much-- much more relaxed, outdoors. He liked to fish. And we skied. And it's just a whole different lifestyle.
  • [00:42:32.85] SPEAKER 5: Yeah. How has your life changed since your spouse passed away?
  • [00:42:40.77] PEGGY DE VRIES: It's changed a lot. And it's one reason I moved back to Ann Arbor. Because I stayed up there two years after my husband died and had a lot of friends and enjoyed it very much. But I came back here because my children were here. And my grandchildren were growing, and I wanted to be around them more.
  • [00:42:55.74] SPEAKER 5: Mm-hmm. What is a typical day in your life currently?
  • [00:43:01.36] PEGGY DE VRIES: Busy.
  • [00:43:01.73] SPEAKER 5: [CHUCKLES]
  • [00:43:02.62]
  • [00:43:04.86] PEGGY DE VRIES: I do many things at the senior center in Ann Arbor, for one thing. We have a reading group. We have a Tai Chi group. We have an exercise group. I go to the Spine Clinic at the University of Michigan. They have all the bells and whistles, all the machines that you do exercise on. And I go there twice a week.
  • [00:43:33.03] SPEAKER 5: What does your family enjoy doing together?
  • [00:43:38.85] PEGGY DE VRIES: We do most anything. We've done things like apple-picking on the fall. We like just outings together and enjoying dinners together.
  • [00:43:53.54] SPEAKER 5: What are your personal favorite things to do for fun?
  • [00:43:56.87] PEGGY DE VRIES: Photography is one of my favorite things to do. Read, be with friends, shop.
  • [00:44:05.07] [BOTH CHUCKLE]
  • [00:44:05.99]
  • [00:44:08.29] SPEAKER 5: Are there any special days, events, or family traditions you especially enjoy at this time of your life?
  • [00:44:16.17] PEGGY DE VRIES: Hm, I don't think anything that's too unusual. Just typical birthdays. We always celebrate birthdays, the holidays. I can't think of anything special. Repeat that question.
  • [00:44:32.75] SPEAKER 5: Are there any special days, events, or family traditions that you especially enjoy at this time of your life?
  • [00:44:37.97] PEGGY DE VRIES: No, I can't remember anything in particular, other than the usual ones.
  • [00:44:44.79] SPEAKER 5: When thinking of your life after retirement, or kids left home up to present, what important social or historical events were taking place? And how did they personally affect you and your family?
  • [00:44:57.82] [LOUD BEEPING]
  • [00:45:01.13] PEGGY DE VRIES: Is that the end?
  • [00:45:02.48] SPEAKER 6: Now we can keep going.
  • [00:45:04.42] SPEAKER 7: We keep going.
  • [00:45:05.60] SPEAKER 6: It's just annoying. [CHUCKLES]
  • [00:45:08.85] SPEAKER 5: When thinking of your life after retirement, or kids have left home up to present, what important social or historical events were taking place? And how did they personally affect your family?
  • [00:45:18.69] PEGGY DE VRIES: Oh. That's many things. Is it since they left home?
  • [00:45:25.65] SPEAKER 5: Yeah.
  • [00:45:29.59] PEGGY DE VRIES: That's been a long time. Certain national things, such as the Kennedy shootings. You caught me off guard. I can't think of anything in particular.
  • [00:45:48.25] SPEAKER 5: When thinking back on your entire life, what important social/historical event had the greatest impact?
  • [00:46:04.78] PEGGY DE VRIES: I'm not sure if any of them had a special impact. There were many things that I had been pleased about. For incidence, the election of Obama as president, I think was a turning point in our life. I think many things like that-- seeing more racial tolerance.
  • [00:46:29.43] SPEAKER 5: What family heirlooms are keepsakes and mementos do you possess?
  • [00:46:36.00] PEGGY DE VRIES: Both my parents came from Russia. And I have some pots there were brought from Russia-- pots that were used for hearth cooking. I have pictures that are from Russia. These are all treasured things.
  • [00:46:53.80] SPEAKER 5: Thinking back over your entire life, what are you most proud of?
  • [00:47:01.15] PEGGY DE VRIES: My children, I guess.
  • [00:47:05.33] SPEAKER 5: How do they make you proud?
  • [00:47:07.35] PEGGY DE VRIES: [CHUCKLES] They like me.
  • [00:47:08.30] [LAUGHTER]
  • [00:47:10.64] They've all done very well and seem to enjoy their life. We're a pretty close family. And I enjoy that a lot.
  • [00:47:23.68] SPEAKER 5: What would you say has changed the most from the time you were my age? Oh. Oh, sorry. I worded it wrong. What would you say has changed from the time you were my age to now?
  • [00:47:36.73] PEGGY DE VRIES: Repeat that question.
  • [00:47:37.49] SPEAKER 5: What has changed from when you were like 15 to now?
  • [00:47:39.97] PEGGY DE VRIES: (CHUCKLING) Oh, what hasn't?
  • [00:47:41.80] SPEAKER 5: [CHUCKLES]
  • [00:47:42.64]
  • [00:47:43.90] PEGGY DE VRIES: Well, transportation has changed. Communication and television. I can remember we didn't have a television at one time. And we had a neighbor who would put her television so we could see it through the window. It's just been amazing.
  • [00:48:07.01] SPEAKER 5: What advice would you give to my generation?
  • [00:48:11.55] PEGGY DE VRIES: Be tolerant. Be smart.
  • [00:48:15.41] SPEAKER 5: [LAUGHS]
  • [00:48:16.80] PEGGY DE VRIES: Work hard. Do what your mother says.
  • [00:48:22.46] SPEAKER 5: Is there anything you would like to add that I haven't asked about?
  • [00:48:30.88] PEGGY DE VRIES: No, not really. When you sit and talk about your life, you've probably had many problems. But you usually remember the joyous things and not the problems as many as you might remember things that were not as happy.
  • [00:48:48.26] SPEAKER 7: Can I ask a couple questions?
  • [00:48:49.63] SPEAKER 8: Yeah, OK.
  • [00:48:51.33] SPEAKER 9: We should get you a chair.
  • [00:48:53.16] SPEAKER 7: OK. Can we get a chair?
  • [00:48:54.49] SPEAKER 9: Why don't you stop tape for a second.
  • [00:48:57.06] SPEAKER 7: All right. So in comparison to all of the other presidents, what you think about our current president, Obama?
  • [00:49:06.61] [LOUD BEEPING]
  • [00:49:07.85] SPEAKER 9: Hold on.
  • [00:49:09.83] [LOUD BEEPING]
  • [00:49:13.30] [LOUD BEEPING]
  • [00:49:17.28] That's it, right? Three?
  • [00:49:18.58] SPEAKER 7: I think, yeah. That's it.
  • [00:49:24.54] PEGGY DE VRIES: Well, I don't know how to evaluate what he's done or what he's doing. I think I like what he's supposed to be doing. I'm not sure he has done all the things that he said he would do. I hope he fulfills some of the promises he made. Don't ask me what they were.
  • [00:49:46.35] [CHUCKLING]
  • [00:49:47.20]
  • [00:49:49.68] SPEAKER 7: What do you think about the fact that our country now has a black president and all of the progress that we've made to get to this point?
  • [00:49:56.45] PEGGY DE VRIES: I think it's been a wonderful thing. I didn't think I would really ever see the day that we'd have a black president, just because so many people are prejudiced. I think our country's more tolerant than it was. Although some people may be less tolerant because the majority, I think, are more tolerant.
  • [00:50:19.76] SPEAKER 7: OK. We'd like to revisit an earlier part of your story. Tell me more about the impact of the Great Depression on your family.
  • [00:50:29.44] PEGGY DE VRIES: Well, I guess the impact was moving to homes that were less expensive, getting rid of things. My father went into bankruptcy, and we lost everything except personal things, like furniture. We lost our car. We lost our home. And then we moved from home to home to cheaper ones. Then once my dad was able to get back in business again, we reversed it slow by slow. We went to better areas and better homes and more things. But you manage.
  • [00:51:12.73] SPEAKER 7: Do you think that the Great Depression impacted how you think about money and finances today?
  • [00:51:21.28] PEGGY DE VRIES: Oh, I'm sure it must have had some impact. Probably not as much as some people because I'm not as conservative with my money as perhaps I even should be.
  • [00:51:39.46] SPEAKER 7: What was Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan like when you first moved here?
  • [00:51:43.79] PEGGY DE VRIES: When I first came here, Ann Arbor was 20,000 people and about 20,000 students. It was very small. I couldn't believe I lived in such a little town. There was no transportation. We walked every place. We had bicycles. My husband played golf, and we walked from our house, which was near St. Joe's Hospital, which was in the middle of town, to the golf course, which was a long way.
  • [00:52:15.87] It was very interesting. I think there were 200 married students. And they had never had married students before. And they had a party for us at Waterman Gym, which I don't think there is a Waterman Gym anymore.
  • [00:52:31.46] SPEAKER 7: All right. When did you get your first television? And what was it like?
  • [00:52:43.33] PEGGY DE VRIES: I don't remember. I don't remember. The '70s? We were the only ones that had the television in our immediate neighborhood. And the kids all came in to watch some children's program, about 5 o'clock or 4 o'clock. And I had all these kids around. And at 5 o'clock, I'd clear them all out.
  • [00:53:29.91] I can't remember what the program was. I can't remember what the program was that they all watched at that time of the day. But it was right before dinnertime. And I was climbing over kids. But it was fun.
  • [00:53:45.45] SPEAKER 7: All right.
  • [00:53:47.45] SPEAKER 6: I noticed you were wearing the breast cancer pin. Are you wearing it for awareness? Or did someone you know had breast cancer?
  • [00:53:55.78] PEGGY DE VRIES: My daughter has had breast cancer.
  • [00:53:59.95] SPEAKER 6: Well, what's that been like for her?
  • [00:54:02.80] PEGGY DE VRIES: She's done very well. She's a survivor.
  • [00:54:07.18] SPEAKER 6: Yeah.
  • [00:54:08.02] PEGGY DE VRIES: She does very well.
  • [00:54:09.70] SPEAKER 6: OK. That's just what I wanted to know.
  • [00:54:11.63] PEGGY DE VRIES: Yeah.
  • [00:54:13.91] SPEAKER 7: I realize that this could be like a totally awful question. And you absolutely don't have to answer it.
  • [00:54:20.46] PEGGY DE VRIES: OK.
  • [00:54:20.59] SPEAKER 7: But I remember you mentioned earlier your son dying or one of your children.
  • [00:54:27.43] PEGGY DE VRIES: My oldest son.
  • [00:54:30.52] SPEAKER 7: What happened? Do you want to tell us about that?
  • [00:54:32.32] PEGGY DE VRIES: Oh, I really-- just not get into it.
  • [00:54:34.54] SPEAKER 7: OK. Thank you.
  • [00:54:37.99] SPEAKER 10: Throughout this academic year, we've been following the current events regarding health care insurance reform. We'd like to ask your questions now about how you have receive health care throughout your life to help us put a historical context around the current debate.
  • [00:54:53.13] None of our questions relate to your personal health history. We want to know more about the health care system. We want to know how you received health care and how it was paid for.
  • [00:55:03.24] Where were you born? We were in a hospital or at home?
  • [00:55:06.90] PEGGY DE VRIES: I was born at home.
  • [00:55:08.69] SPEAKER 10: OK. Did your parents receive health insurance benefits through their place of employment?
  • [00:55:13.43] PEGGY DE VRIES: No. When I was born?
  • [00:55:17.81] SPEAKER 10: Yeah.
  • [00:55:18.18] PEGGY DE VRIES: OK, no.
  • [00:55:20.41] SPEAKER 10: Was your first health insurance plan purchased individually or through a group, such as a trade union or employer?
  • [00:55:29.13] PEGGY DE VRIES: Probably through an employer.
  • [00:55:32.78] SPEAKER 9: OK. Would you mind to only talk about the circumstances of your birth?
  • [00:55:38.69] PEGGY DE VRIES: The circumstances of my birth?
  • [00:55:40.22] SPEAKER 9: Yeah.
  • [00:55:41.57] PEGGY DE VRIES: I can. I was born at home. I think that was planned that way because many births were at home. And my mother died when I was born. And so they didn't pay attention to me, because she hemorrhaged. And they were working with her.
  • [00:56:01.84] And I, fortunately, had an uncle that came in and said, where's the baby? And they said, in the other room. So he put me in a box and took me to the hospital. Consequently, I'm here. [CHUCKLES]
  • [00:56:12.93]
  • [00:56:15.18] SPEAKER 10: Did you ever have a time when your primary health care provider was a family doctor or [INAUDIBLE]?
  • [00:56:23.69] PEGGY DE VRIES: Repeat that.
  • [00:56:25.04] SPEAKER 10: Did you ever have a time when your primary health care provider was a family doctor?
  • [00:56:29.81] PEGGY DE VRIES: Yes.
  • [00:56:31.85] SPEAKER 10: At any time in your life, did you pay out of pocket for health care services instead of having insurance?
  • [00:56:37.35] PEGGY DE VRIES: Yes.
  • [00:56:39.21] SPEAKER 10: What changes have you noticed in the accessibility of health care from your earlier years to the present?
  • [00:56:45.86] PEGGY DE VRIES: Well, you have much more protection now, either with a job or the policies that you have privately. Before it was, you just had a bill. And they would come and collect after you left the hospital. And they'd have a collector come every week. And you'd pay off your bill by $5, $10, or whatever you could afford.
  • [00:57:09.89] SPEAKER 10: [INAUDIBLE]
  • [00:57:12.30] What changes have you noticed in the affordability of health care from your early years to the present?
  • [00:57:17.94] PEGGY DE VRIES: Well, before you paid for everything yourself. And now you can get help through your employment. Or you can make subsidiary insurance of any kind. It's much easier. And the health care is much-- not necessarily affordable, but more people can have it.
  • [00:57:39.87] SPEAKER 10: What changes have you noticed in the quality of health care from early years to the present?
  • [00:57:46.63] PEGGY DE VRIES: Well, I'm sure quality is better, just because they have more specialists and you can see more doctors. Before, it was a family doctor. And if he didn't know what your problem was, you had to find someone else.
  • [00:58:01.57] SPEAKER 10: What happened during your lifetime that contributed to better or poorer health care, how it relates to your neighborhood and the environment?
  • [00:58:09.71] PEGGY DE VRIES: Repeat it, please.
  • [00:58:10.71] SPEAKER 10: Yeah.
  • [00:58:11.21] PEGGY DE VRIES: What happened?
  • [00:58:11.67] SPEAKER 10: What has happened during your lifetime that contributed to better or poorer health relates to your neighborhood and the environment?
  • [00:58:23.97] PEGGY DE VRIES: You should give me these questions, and I'd take them home. [LAUGHS]
  • [00:58:29.87] Gee, I don't know.
  • [00:58:32.84] [LAUGHTER]
  • [00:58:42.32] SPEAKER 10: The question doesn't really make sense. I think it means like, was there anything that [INAUDIBLE] your environment affected your health [INAUDIBLE]?
  • [00:58:54.33] PEGGY DE VRIES: Well, yes. There were places that I worked that you might be working with something that was dangerous. I worked for a photography company. And they had a huge enlarger that they would run up and down on the track on the side.
  • [00:59:12.89] [LOUD BEEPING]
  • [00:59:13.87]
  • [00:59:14.35] [CHUCKLING]
  • [00:59:15.82] [LOUD BEEPING]
  • [00:59:19.72] [LOUD BEEPING]
  • [00:59:22.65] And you'd push it up and down to enlarge. And it fell and fell on my hand one time. That hurt. And it was always a case of you were working in very dark areas, and then getting used to the light and so on.
  • [00:59:41.46] SPEAKER 10: Did you ever get hurt?
  • [00:59:43.65] PEGGY DE VRIES: Only that one time with my hand when the enlarger fell down. It wasn't very serious. It just hurt. That's all.
  • [00:59:49.30] SPEAKER 10: Yeah.
  • [00:59:50.82] PEGGY DE VRIES: I've been lucky.
  • [00:59:51.39] SPEAKER 10: Yeah. OK, I think we're done with all the questions.