Carl Kraemer

Narrator: Carl Kraemer
Date of Interview: August 7, 1986
Place of Interview: Narrator’s home, located at 5714 Carol, Morton Grove
Interviewer: Priscilla Godeman
Recorded For: Morton Grove Historical Society
Transcribed For: Morton Grove Public Library
Tape Running Time: 40 minutes

Introduction

Kraemer

Carl Kraemer was born in 1910 in Chicago where his father had a butcher shop. His parents came to Morton Grove in 1922, and Carl has lived here for 64 years. He remembers learning to speak German from his parents, the roadhouses in town and Poehlmann’s Greenhouses.

Carl also talks about his family’s poultry business they had on their nine-and-a-half acre farm located near Dempster and where the Edens Expressway is today. He recalls the first Morton Grove Days at the park where the library is now located and points out that Morton Grove was a close community when he was growing up.

Transcript

CK: Carl Kraemer
Q: Question asked by interviewer, Priscilla Godeman

TAPE ONE, SIDE A

Q: Do you want to tell me about your name, Mr. Kraemer?

CK: My name is really Carl Kraemer — my baptismal name. My name was changed because we had two Carl Kraemers in the same room in school, so the sisters made the one Carl and the other one Charles, and I was named Charles.

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your grandparents? Were they born here or did they come here from another country?

CK: My mother’s parents, they came from Germany. Mother’s father was born in Merdesdof, Germany. That’s near Trier. My grandmother, she came from Kiev, Germany. That’s near Trier, too. They both came over here, and when they came over here, it took them 30, 35 days on the boat to come here. When she came over, they run out of water, and for three days they didn’t have nothing to drink. All they had was salt fish to eat.

Q: Oh, my goodness.

CK: She says she’d never go back to Germany on the boat again.

Q: What year was that, do you know?

CK: Oh, that must have been in . . . (pauses) . . . let me see, about 1890-something.

Q: Did they go through Ellis Island?

CK: They did, yes.

Q; We’ve heard so much about that with the Statue of Liberty this year.

CK: Yes, but my dad didn’t go through Ellis Island. He came in through Canada. Then he come down here to Milwaukee. A cousin of his in Chicago asked him to come and work for him because he had a butcher shop. My dad always wanted to be a butcher, so he come to Chicago. Then he was with him about three years, he started his own butcher shop.

Q: When did they come to Morton Grove?

CK: Morton Grove he came in 1922. He bought the place before we moved out in 1922.

Q: So you were here a long time.

CK: Sixty-four years. I was born in Chicago. I can tell you the date, the address, if you want.

Q: No, you don’t have to do that. (laughs) Did you have brothers and sisters?

CK: Yes. I had two sisters and a brother. My brother died, though, just about seven weeks after he was born.

Q: Well, when your father came to Morton Grove, what kind of business did he run?

CK: Butcher shop. He had the butcher shop on Ashland Avenue in Chicago. He drove every day from here all the way to Chicago and back again.

Q: Oh, he had his business in Chicago but lived in Morton Grove.

CK: Yes. He had that for about eight years like that, then he got heart trouble and he had to quit.

Q: Well, then did some of his children take over the butcher shop?

CK: No, he sold it. He had a partner and he sold it to him. He was an honest fellow, so . . .

Q: Well, good. So many people in those days were. You know, the population wasn’t like it is today.

CK: Well, my dad took him in as a delivery boy and after a while he learned the business.

Q: Well, did you go to school here in Morton Grove?

CK: I went to school in Chicago, and drove every morning. I got up at, had to catch this ten minutes to seven bus on Theobald and Lincoln Avenue and go all the way to Chicago to St. Alphonse’s parish. My dad was German, and we had to learn German. See, at that time, that was just around the world war time when I went to school. They had German in the morning, English in the afternoon. I can write and speak German, and I was born here.

Q: Great. And most of us can’t even speak English. (laughter)

CK: Well, my English ain’t too good either.

Q: All right, where did you live in Morton Grove?

CK: We lived on Dempster Street, and the address — the mail box address — was Box 246. Our telephone number was 1-3-0-R.

Q: Was there electricity all over Morton Grove?

CK: Electricity was here, but no gas. We had electric stoves then or kerosene stoves.

Q: We were talking about your brothers and sisters. You said you had, what was it?

CK: Two sisters and a brother. Brother died when he was young. My sisters — one was Margaret, and she was married to George Baumhardt at Baumhardt’s Garage over here on Theobald and Dempster. The other one is Eleanor Gavel, and her husband used to be the chief of police here in Morton Grove.

Q: What did you do after you left school?

CK: After I left school, I went to Lake Forest as a head gardener out there. Had a greenhouse there. That’s why I got flowers.

Q: Your flowers are beautiful outside. Well, let’s go back to your childhood. How old were you when you moved to Morton Grove?

CK: Twelve years.

Q: Well, then you remember a lot of Morton Grove as a child.

CK: Oh, yes.

Q: Did you attend St. Martha’s over here?

CK: Yes.

Q: Do you remember any of the things that went on in Morton Grove like the roadhouses?

CK: Oh, the roadhouses, yes. The Dells and Lincoln Tavern and the Lighthouse and — oh, what the heck was all the rest of them? (laughter)

Q: That was mostly on Dempster Street.

CK: Yes. The Lincoln Tavern, that was pretty busy at one time. Good gambling place. See after a while, we started a poultry business and they used to come here for their frying chickens.

Q: Was that when your dad was still living you started a poultry business?

CK: Yes, we started a poultry business, because he had to stay outside more. He couldn’t be inside. The thing that spoiled his health was the icebox — the walking in and out of the icebox. So we went in the poultry business. We had a lot of chickens running around here and people come in and they want to buy some eggs. They’d ask for, “Could we have the chicken like for Saturday? I’ll order a chicken.” Pa says, “Okay,” so we killed some chickens. When we run out of chickens, you had to go downstairs and buy them. That’s how our poultry farm started.

Q: My husband says he remembers your place. It was just about where Edens highway is now? Is that about right?

CK: Our place was next door over to . . . (pauses) . . . the other side of Major here. It was really nine-and-a-half acres. My dad first brought the five acres with the houses on it. That was just a house and five acres. Then a year later he bought the other four-and-a-half acres. We farmed a little around here — not too much. We had a lot of berries and grapes and stuff like that. This whole square block here was all grapes, gooseberries, raspberries — you name it, we had it. (laughs) Blueberries. And then after a while to draw people’s attention, we had some deers out here.

Q: I remember that on Dempster Street.

CK: After a while we got rid of most of them, but every year we used to sell some to the state. They used to come and buy the young ones. Then they took them and shipped them downstate or in some parks or so, and they’d cage them in and leave them inside the cage. But when they got young ones, they had to fence so that the young ones couldn’t get out. Then they left the young ones run and picked up the old ones and moved them somewhere else again. That’s how they started new deer herds.

Q: Oh, that is interesting.

CK: We had as high as thirteen of them at one time. One got sick, so we had to cut down. Then nature takes care of itself. If there’s too many in one place, something happens. They die off. So we had to get rid of some of them. But they were tame.

Q: What was your mother like?

CK: She was tall, blond, big Dutchman. (laughs) But she was a good businesswoman. My dad the same way. She was nice.

Q: Was she strict with you kids?

CK: Oh, yes. We either behaved or you got it on the behind.

Q: You know the thing is that years ago most everybody was like that. But do you remember the candy store in Morton Grove or did you have any routines that you did?

CK: To get candy in Morton Grove, you had to go to Dilg’s. Do you know where Dilg’s old building was?

Q: Yes.

CK: There used to be the candy store and post office in there. Next to the post office is where we got our candy. That was a nice walk down there. Another thing I’d like to say is how I really learned to speak German, because my dad always used to tell us, “We come for time to eat, we talk German at the table.” Ask for something in German or you didn’t get nothing to eat. You learned in a hurry that way. Otherwise, outside you could talk any language you want. He didn’t care. But I’m glad he did that. I went to Germany five times. I go see my relations over there, and they can talk to me and they tell people. They would say, “You was born in Germany.” I says, “No, I was born in America.” “How can you talk this German? This Phelzer German?” It’s a southern Rhine. You know, along the Rhine. That went through my dad.

Q: Well, that was good, and everybody that had to learn their mother’s tongue, it was good for them.

CK: I’m glad. In business, it did me a lot of good.

Q: Because I know my husband had to speak German at home, but then when we got married, he never spoke it. He’s gotten away from it. Oh, you were telling me about the gooseberries. Did you make your own butter, too? Or did you have a cow?

CK: Well, we had a cow for about two years, and then the cow died so we didn’t get any more. (laughs)

Q: After you finished school, what did you do? Did you work at your father’s stand here?

CK: I worked at Father’s stand, but first I went to work for . . . (pauses) . . . oh, Delora out in Lake Forest. Then early in the spring I’d work for Artner’s Greenhouse over here that’s been torn down this last spring. I used to work in there over the winter.

Q: Do you remember Poehlmann’s?

CK: Yes, Poehlmann’s, my uncles worked there and my one cousin worked there. Poehlmann’s was nice. Nice building.

Q: And they often talk about the pickle factory.

CK: Yes, that was just a little bit when I was pretty young yet. I remember Mr. Baumhardt. He was foreman there at the Bud Long’s Pickle Factory. They moved after a while up to Mauston, Wisconsin. Form there I don’t know where they went, but they moved out of here then.

Q: Well, how about the streets when you moved to Morton Grove? Were they paved?

CK: The streets when we come from Chicago, we always had to come down Lincoln Avenue, Ferris Avenue, up to Dempster Street then come back here. Then about five years later they paved Harms Road and we used to cross over Harms Road over to Dempster. But we come out here just about two years after Dempster Street was paved, because when we first come out here, we used to sit out on the front porch and count the cars that went by. (laughter) Now if you did that, you’d go crazy. You could gear then coming down over the hill back there, you know. Yes, long time ago.

Q: Now, Poehlmann Brothers?

CK: Poehlmann’s Greenhouse. They had one on Lincoln Avenue, and one on Dempster. If we got southwest wind, my mother couldn’t hang the wash out in the winter especially, you know, because the soot from their smoke, the wash would get black. I know they had a lot of trouble about that, and after a while, they cut it down, but it still didn’t help any.

Q: Something like what we’re going through today.

CK: Yes, with Wells Fargo. But I remember that gravel pit over here. That used to be a pond there. They dug that all out, and it used to be full of fish in there. We used to catch some nice, nice walleyes out of there. That’s where Poehlmann’s got their water from. They used to pump that water from there because it was warmer for their flowers.

Q: Did you go all through school in the Catholic school in Chicago?

CK: Yes, one year of high school.

Q: So what did you like best in school?

CK: Well, in school the subjects I liked best was history, geography, and arithmetic. (laughs)

Q: How about that. They’re all good, too.

CK: Spelling — I still can’t spell. (laughter)

Q: All right, now when you were young, and you needed medical attention, what did you do? Was there a doctor near you?

CK: Well, there was a Dr. Klehm, who was in Skokie — Niles Center at the time. She was our doctor. Then in later years, we had Dr. Sequin.

Q: As a young boy, do you remember what you did for entertainment or dances, music or dating or anything?

CK: Well, my dad was pretty strict. He didn’t believe in letting us go out until we were — I was 20 years old before I could take out a girl. And the girls couldn’t go out with a fellow until they were eighteen. Not like nowadays. Five years old they start going around (laughs).

Q: I know I was eighteen before I was allowed to go. But they had picnics and things like that.

CK: Oh, yes, we went to the picnics. We had Morton Grove Days. I remember the first Morton Grove Days that was over here at the — where the library is now. They had it there. That’s when the statue was christened, you can say, or was put in. I don’t know what year that was, but I know it was a long way back, because that statue was for the soldiers that fell in the First World War.

Q: After you were allowed to take a girl out, do you remember the first girl you took out?

CK: Well . . .

Q: You don’t have to name her. (laughs)

CK: The first girl I ever really took out was my wife. And that’s the one I liked. That’s the one I stayed with. We’re going to be married 45 years. Yes. She was a fine girl, too.

Q: She was a farm girl here, too?

CK: She was a farm girl from Wisconsin. Mauston, Wisconsin.

Q: How did you meet her?

CK: Well, she was poor and she had to work here at a tavern. She was like a helper in the kitchen by her cousin.

Q: Do you remember what tavern that was?

CK: That was the Village Tavern on Niles Center Road. I used to deliver chickens down there. Well, she gave me that, you know, that look, and that was the end of the story. (laughter)

Q: It’s been happy all the way through. I can see that.

CK: Oh, yes.

Q: Well, how many children have you had?

CK: Three. Two girls and a boy.

Q: Are they still living close by?

CK: Yes. Two girls are living in Des Plaines and the boy is in Wisconsin. That’s where we’re going tomorrow.

Q: Oh, great. Can you remember the Depression years?

CK: Well, as far as the Depression years, I remember them, but we never went hungry. Didn’t have no money, but the neighbors around here at night, like the Guenthers used to be across the street. Henry Guenther and Charlie Guenther. They used to come at night when the melons were ripe, and they’d bring melons over and my dad made a lot of wine, so we’d have some wine to drink. One would help the other. In fact, I think that was one of my nicest years, nicest times, because everybody was closer together. Now, they turn their television on and nobody knows nothing — who is their neighbor or nothing. There’s people about two blocks down. I don’t know; they don’t know me. Years ago, everybody knew everybody. They would go play cards one night a week by this fellow, and next night a week by them. Theobalds, Artners, Guenthers, and nowadays, it’s just gone. People ain’t as close no more.

Q: When you go married, did you stay in Morton Grove?

CK: Yes, we were married in St. Martha’s.

Q: How about World War II?

CK: World War II I didn’t have to go to Service. I was just always a year ahead of them. See, I was 31 when I was married, and after a while we had the children, and I was taking care of the folks and running the business. At one time I was running a 60-acre farm. I was building the store, and I was working at Bell and Gossett. You tell the kids that now, that’s how we worked — sure we got something now, but we worked for it.

Q: That’s right.

CK: People don’t work that hard no more. If they can’t make it they go to relief. Let somebody else pay for it.

Q: Do you remember the rationing during World War II? Did it affect you in any way? You still had your poultry business.

CK: Yes, we still had our poultry business.

Q: So you ate a lot of chicken.

CK: We had a lot of chicken — more than we could stand sometimes. (laughs) We used to go to Indiana and pick up chickens. Merrillville, Indiana — in through there, and then come down Harlem Avenue and sell them here. Sometimes we had like a procession — like our truck was a hearse. All the people followed us, because they seen the truckload of chickens. They needed something to eat. They’d stop here. “Can we get some chickens?” “Yeah, sure, but we got to wait a little while until we give the chicken some water.” You can’t dress a chicken fresh after a ride like that. The feathers will not come out. They get pink and nobody wants a pink chicken. They want a yellow chicken.

Q: Oh, I didn’t know that.

CK: Yes. No, you got to leave them set and rest, give them some water. Then the feathers come off easy.

Q: Is that because they get frightened or something?

CK: Well, they get overheated. Then I remember one time we were coming home. Two Army guys — they says, “Mr. Kraemer?” I says, “Yeah.” “Well,” he says, “we got to take over your truck of chickens because we need that for the Army. They just took them. They paid us a price, but we paid for them and it give us a little extra, but it didn’t do our business any good. So I start talking to the fellow, and he says, “Oh,” he says, “we need frying chickens. Can you use a lot of stewing chickens?” I says, “Sure, I can use anything that’s chicken,” you know. He says, “Well, we can get some from downtown from the freezer if you can use that.” I says, “Sure.” That three-car garage there — we had that full of barrels of frozen chicken. The outside of that garage was white in the summertime from frost. But we sold them. People just glad to get them. Every time they had a big doings downtown for some Army officer, Charlie Kraemer had to get the chickens for them. (laughs)

Q: Do you remember how much chickens sold for at that time?

CK: A chicken sold for the same price they sell them now — about 35 cents. Ducks were a little higher, about 39, 40 cents. Turkeys were 45, and I remember the one year turkeys were hard to get. We were getting a dollar and a quarter a pound. We paid a dollar ten cents for them. We used to go out to Iowa to get them and bring them in. Turkeys almost died out that one time. They had that blackhead thing. They almost died out. Then they got some preventive medicine and now they don’t get that no more.

Q: Gee, I’ve learned a lot from this.

CK: Well, when you live 76 years you go through a lot. I want to hang on for a while yet.

Q: The poultry business is something that not many people are too familiar with.

CK: Well, poultry business is a business like this. If you feed the chickens, it costs you money. If you don’t feed them, you’re losing money. So you got to watch yourself pretty close. At that time, we used to make three and four cents a pound. Yes, if you made fifteen cents on a chicken, you did good.

Q: Did you buy feed?

CK: Well, at first we did, and after a while we bought the farms out in Arlington Heights and one was on . . . (pauses) . . . oh, geez. One was on Golf Road; the other one was on Higgins Road. We used to farm them two. There was 65 acres. Grow our own feed then. Otherwise you couldn’t compete. Then when the chain stores came, well, that was the end of the story. We had to get out. They used to sell the chickens, at that time I think it was 29 cents a pound. We were paying 29 cents a pound live, and they were selling it already eviscerated for 29 cents. How you going to come out? So, we just closed up.

Q: Well, what did you do after you closed the poultry business?

CK: After the poultry business, I went to work at Bell and Gossett. Then I got into research over there. I worked there for fourteen years. I retired out of that. The property on Dempster Street, I sold that. We got this. This is getting too much.

Q: Yes, it’s a big place.

CK: It seems every year I’m (laughs) getting closer to the ground.

Q: Can you think of anything else?

CK: Do you know when Max Factor was kidnapped?

Q: No.

CK: That was in the Dells. He come up to our place. That’s where they stopped him. That’s when they picked him up. The police come by us at that time and asked, “Did you hear anything.” My dad said, “We don’t see nothing. We don’t hear nothing.” (laughter) He didn’t want to get in with the gang.

Q: Oh, that was exciting.

CK: That was right in front of our house where they stopped him. Them were days. The people in Morton Grove — we got along with the taverns. We didn’t bother them; they didn’t bother us. That’s the only way to get along with them people, you know.

Q: I understand that a lot of them used to go and listen to the music and look in the windows.

CK: Oh, yes. Yes, you could sit down there. Well, there’s one story . . .

Q: I’d like to hear it.

CK: Well, Sally Rand was over there at the Dells. There used to be an old elm tree right across the street. And Al Heppner and I, we happened to go by there and we had slingshots with staples. And she was out there and she was dancing with her, what’s the name? The balloon dance it was. And we went in there and we were shooting through the window and breaking the balloons on her. (laughter) Finally the police come, and we took off. (laughter) we had to get out of there. Yes, poor Al. He’s gone now, too. We used to have a lot of fun around here. The neighbors were all nice.

Q: Well, I can honestly say I wish I had been raised in Morton Grove.

CK: Everybody was — if you went to church on Sunday morning and so-and-so wasn’t there, the people would call you up. “What’s the matter, Charlie? You oversleep?” Or we went away or something, you know. If nobody answered the telephone, they knew they were gone. People would call up and find out what’s the matter. “You sick?” If you were sick, why, they would come over and help you.

Q: People were concerned with one another.

CK: Yes, sure. Nowadays you can die, they don’t even know you died until a couple of years later they find out that so-and-so ain’t around no more. Yes, it’s a different world.

Q: Did you belong to any organizations?

CK: Well, to Holy Name Society in Morton Grove. I’m a KC member and I belong to the Moose. I’m over 50 years in KC. I joined that when I was eighteen. And the Moose I think I’m in that for 35 years.

Q: Well, then you probably know Bill Sonne and Ed Weinberg and all those people.

CK: Oh, yes. Se we had our cow. Sonnes used to come, one son used to come down here and pick up the milk in the morning. Take that back to their house. We had the cow just to get milk from. See, we had no milkmen years ago. Until years later when we got a milkman when we got rid of the cow. (laughs) Then the bakery used to come around. I think he came around twice or three times a week. Butcher used to come to the house. Butcher Loutsch used to come to the house by us at first. Then after a while, when they quit that, you could go and pick it up yourself. My dad used to help out at Loutsch on Saturdays once in a while. And Winandy, that was the other butcher shop, used to help between the two of them. One got sick, Dad would help out there or help in the other one, you know. So it always give him something to do. Dad was a good sausage maker. Made good sausage. I know for a while they used to make sausage for the taverns years ago along Waukegan Road. He always used to ask, “Do you want tavern sausage or you want sausage for yourself?” Well, the tavern sausage you put in a little bit more salt and a little bit more pepper to get them dry, you know, so they want some more beer.

Q: How about that.

CK: Yes, all the tricks of the trade. (laughter)

Q: Well, how long has your father been gone?

CK: He died in, I think it’s 36 years now. (pauses) I still miss him.

Q: Sure you do. I can tell, the way you talk. How about your mother?

CK: Mother, she come downstairs as we were dressing chickens that one time. It was in the 10th of December. She got a stroke down there. Brought her upstairs and put her in bed. Five hours later she was dead. Ad dad, he lived for just a month after that and he died. He died of a broken heart. But they were pretty close. Just like I am with Bernice. If something like that happens to one of us, I think the other one will go like that.

Q: We’re holding up for one another.

CK: Yes. I’m still one of the old timers. People nowadays they get married and a couple of months later, divorced again. They go try somebody else, and that ain’t right.

Q: No, it’s the way they’re raised.

CK: They’ll wake up someday yet.

Q: Oh, it’s going to be going back. It has to. It can’t keep going like this. I think television has been very, very good for many, many things, but I think that the movies and televisions have ruined a lot of lives.

CK: Hurt the family life. Nowadays you go somewhere, the people turn the television on and everybody stands there and looks at that, and nobody’s listening. Nobody’s talking. Years ago we used to tease each other sometimes. You got mad at each other, but you had to at least talk to each other. (laughter)

Q: And we used to play a lot of cards.

CK: Oh, yes. Pinochle. Michigan Rummy. Hearts.

Q: I’ve still got to find somebody that will play pinochle. Nobody knows anything about pinochle any more.

CK: Well, at the Seniors — we belong to the Seniors, you know, in Morton Grove. The Wednesday Club — they play pinochle there. That’s a nice club. I was treasurer of that for seven years. Finally got rid of it three years ago.

Q: How long has the Senior Citizens been active out here?

CK: About twelve or thirteen years I’d say. Mrs. Sesterhenn is the one that started the Wednesday Club. There used to be a Monday Club, but they couldn’t get along, so they split. When we started, we didn’t know there was a Monday Club, so we started with the Wednesday Club. We had our doings over at Hoffman’s Tavern over here. (The Morton House) We had it downstairs there. Well, when we got too big — you only could keep 35 people down there or something like that, so we had to get out of there. So then the park took us over. But we had it nice over there. Hoffman’s would furnish the coffee and the drinks were, say, a dollar and a quarter a drink — it cost us 70 cents or 75 cents. The Seniors, they felt pretty good when they went home once in a while. (laughs)

Q: And you know, if it doesn’t hurt them medically, then it’s kind of good. I mean I’ve heard even doctors say a drink once a day is good for you.

CK: That’s what our doctor told my dad. He said, “Mr. Kraemer, you want to live long,” he says, “take one shot a day. Brandy or bourbon or whatever you want, but that’s good for your heart. It stimulates your heart.” And he did.

Q: Do you remember the ice cream wagon?

CK: Ice cream wagon — there was none come around here. We were out of town. We never had that.

Q: Was the old part of town at Lincoln and Ferris and in that area?

CK: Well, where St. Martha’s is from there on up to Ferris Avenue and from Dempster to Lincoln. That was the old part of town. Then after a while, they started building on. There used to be over here on Lincoln Avenue, Markwardt Woods. There used to be a pasture in there and we used to put the cows in there years ago. That piece of property where the store is on the next door here, Dominick’s, that, too, belonged to Markwardt at one time. That was sold after a while or given to Mike Smith in Skokie. That tavern started, there used to be you had to go up the steps. Big white porch — remember that?

Q: Yes.

CK: Well, that was for a drinking bill the guy had next door. So he took over the piece of land, but they never got clear title to it. Well, some fellow bought that after a while for $15,000 — that piece of property. He made a mint on them. Nobody else knew about it. He was downtown with the title and he found out about it, see?

Q: Well, you know that was so wonderful about the old days, everything was so inexpensive if you could get something and hold on to it, it was wonderful. But there were a lot of people who couldn’t get the down payment to pay anything, so they were without, of course, just like today.

CK: I remember Joe Gabel. His father and mother come over here and they homesteaded the piece on Dempster and Waukegan Road — that corner was, I think, 120 acres or something like that. They couldn’t keep it, and then they sold part of it to Lochners. Lochners took the one towards Dempster Street and Gabels took the other part. Twenty-five cents an acre is all they paid for it. They couldn’t pay for it. Money was scarce then.

Q: Yes, there was just no money.

CK: You could work all day for a dollar. You had good wages, but your taxes were a down. Now taxes are out of this world. You don’t know where to go in America. Everybody’s asking for more money. It’s got to stop somewhere.

Q: Well, Mr. Kraemer, I’ve enjoyed this very much. You told me about how the prices were of things then. When you got married did you rent a house or did you have your own house?

CK: No, I lived with my folks. We got the front part of the house and they got the back part of the house. Then after a while, they raised their roof and they moved upstairs and we stayed downstairs. The business was in the basement, so we had that in the old house at that time.

Q: I’ve learned so much about the poultry business. Everyone has their own background and they all have a little something to say. A lot of it is repetition, because it was a small town and everybody did practically the same thing, but each one had a different vocation that they could remember things a little differently than somebody else, and so it’s very nice to have these.

CK: When the cornerstone was laid for St. Martha’s, that was in 1925. I was there with my grandpa. My dad was there.

Q; Well, did your grandfather live with your folks then?

CK: No, he lived in Chicago, but we used to pick him up almost every Sunday to come out here, because he was a farmer himself, you can say. He didn’t like Chicago either. But that’s like around here — it’s getting too much like Chicago. I’m looking for more open space. Maybe someday I’ll move. I don’t know. (laughs)

TAPE ONE, SIDE A ENDS

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