We would like to thank Lil for sharing her early experiences attending school in Prince George, amusing anecdotes about her teaching and school library career, and her kind hospitality.
Special thanks to Leona MacPherson for typing the transcript.
Thanks also to Ernie Kaesmodel of the Prince George Oral HistoryGroup for his help in producing this transcript. He has provided many instructional courses and samples of the requirements for producing an oral history.
JA: Would you like to tell us a bit about your early childhood?
Lil: Yes, well I, Lil Williams McIntosh, was born in Prince George in 1916, the youngest of ten children of Carrie and David Williams, formerly of Vancouver. D. G. Williams' real estate business in that city failed, probably because of the 1st World War. According to my only remaining sister Ruby Williams, who has traveled widely in many countries, we had a wonderful childhood in early Prince George. We were free to roam, to take walks, or hikes as we called them in all directions, burdened only with a large picnic lunch to eat at our destination. We skated on the Hudson Bay slough or South Slough as it was known; we swam near the islands at the confluence of the Nechako and Fraser Rivers. Our berry picking forays ranged far and wide from what is now the Foothills, the entrance of the University of Northern British Columbia to the Nechako Riverside, to the Nechako Riverside raspberry patches. Not for us was the present days' closely guarded city vigil of seeing your precious children safely to and from school. Speaking of school when Lil started in February 1921, she was confronted that first day by what was to her, the great bulk of the famous or infamous Miss Elizabeth Milligan. From her (to a five-year-old child's view) great height, she looked down on the quavering small child and in her deep voice intoned "Are you sure you're the last of the Williams?" "Yes Miss Milligan," quavered the small one. Shades of Dickens’ "Young Oliver Twist" asking of the intimidating Mr. Bumble at the orphanage "Could I have more food?" (Laugh) Anyway, our father, David Griffith Williams saw to it that all his ten children took Latin and completed high school and went on from there for a meal ticket. In chilly winter days of outdoor privies, it was a bonus to enter the well-heated cement basement to play with friends, not to mention the comfort of a line of washrooms. The girls reveled in sports of all kinds. Chief in my memory, are the early morning track practices under the tutelage of Mr. Len Chapman and Mr. Gordon Leversage. The other great pleasure was basketball - five years of it. There were no school auditoriums then. In summer, there was an outdoor court, in winter a chilly upstairs dance hall, The Ritz Keefer. To return the mile home from a practice or a game to a well-filled plate of supper kept hot in the oven was a real bonus.
When later in life, I went in for teacher training, I found that all
those sport activities were bonus as well as a pleasure. I can remember
teaching at Crescent Lake, twenty-five miles north of Prince George. Picture
yourself a twenty-two-year old teaching these fifteen odd students, or
the oldest of the eight grades, at least, the gentle art of high jumping.
There was a sagging thin pole (a poplar sapling held up on a series of
nails on the upright poles). I found my narrow skirt something of a handicap
in demonstrating high jumping technique as it developed a six-inch rip.
Reasonably tight skirts benefited not at all from the teacher's high jump
demonstrations. Teachers never wore slacks in class in those days.
After twelve years of grade school it was 1934 and there was no money to
spend any longer on higher education, so for one year I did housework for
all of $10.00 per month and meals, and in one place, two in fact, we ate
in the kitchen. That year was my best impetus to work for higher education.
Came 1935, and four Prince George girls attempted first year university
by correspondence They were Eleanor Banes, Ruth Arensen, Ruby & Lil
Williams. These same four young ladies, the next year (1936), attended
Vancouver Normal School. With the exception of Ruby, those three girls
ended up, after a three-year rural school apprenticeship, teaching together
at the King George V School. (1940) Mr. Tommy Carmichael, once our grade
eight teacher, was now our principal there. I taught forty pupils in grade
four - that was the total number of grade four students in Prince George,
not counting the then Central and South-Fort George schools. The room,
the number of students, and the library were the same as when I had attended
grade four myself, right down to the forty small brown hardback books of
Anna Sewell's "Black Beauty", and in the viewpoint of a later librarian,
who had mended books in her day, that is rather an incredible statement.
When in Normal School we were warned that only one in three would teach
the next year. In the summer of 1937, travelling to apply personally at
the Prairiedale School north of Vanderhoof, I reported to Pat O'Meara,
and he said "Sorry, we already have a teacher", and I said "Oh well, this
has not been a total loss because I'm going to play tennis with Marj Holmes
and my brother on the way home, so the visit to Vanderhoof wasn't a total
loss". And then, in a day or two, my brother came home from the City Hall
where he worked and said, "Marj Holmes has been trying to get hold of you.
Somebody wants to know who that person was that played tennis with her,
because the teacher they had hired had to stay home and look after her
ill mother and Pat O'Meara had burned all the other letters. So he thought
Who's that funny-looking person that played tennis with Marj? Maybe she'll
know." So you see, my good looks and personality and intelligence went
far in getting me my first job besides, there was nobody else he knew how
to get hold of (ha ha).
The school that I was able to get was called Prairiedale and anyone looking out of my window now at the flat land would know why it was called Prairiedale. There were sixteen pupil from grades one to seven at that time (they got into eight later) and my brother looking over my register commented that they were all Anglo-Saxon names. At present my daughter teaches in a city school and she says, "We are the minority now." because in Vancouver there is such a polyglot of nationalities. But in that case he said, "They are all Anglo-Saxon names", not that it was a criticism, it was just a comment. Those "Anglo-Saxon" children were quite well behaved.
JA: You didn't have to have any ESL classes then?
Lil: No ... No ESL classes at all.
JA: What type of buildings did you have there in Prairiedale?
Lil: It was a one-room schoolhouse with a small gable roof and a small, oh I suppose you would call it a closet or a cloakroom entrance hall. I have a picture of it somewhere, and there was ample room for the sixteen pupils. Someone came early and lit the fire and got water for the day but it got a little cold. I remember backing up to the stove on real cold days to the extent of scorching my skirt. We didn't do much schooling at that time of the year, when attendance was low. (Laughs) Oh dear, anyway, I was most fortunate because at Normal School the year before they had asked us, "How many of you expect to teach next year?" - and of course we all waved our hands madly and the man said, "Well, statistics will prove that only one out of three teachers will get a job." Teachers were a glut on the market at that time so I was very fortunate to get that job.
JA: I was mentioning about early teaching days. How did you like visits from the School Inspector?
Lil: Oh, I didn't mind it - honestly I didn't except (laugh) I'm not a really prepared person. l'm rather impulsive you see, and one day I heard he was coming and I thought "Oh, dear, oh dear, do I have my register here?" and true enough, I had left it at home so I turned around and beetled back to my boarding house which was two miles from school and came panting up with the thing and sure enough he was there already. I can remember one superintendent Mr. Frederickson. I had him when I was in Crescent Lake, twenty-five miles north of Prince George and in Prince George, too. However, some of the teachers I know have nightmare about the Inspector coming, you know? I don't know whether I was thick skinned or what but I found that he was, I really did find he was a friend. Mind you, I looked around and thought, "Oh, dear, dear, I should have stacked those books a little more neatly." you know (Laughs) and so, it wasn't that I didn't have some concerns about how things looked and went while he was there. But I know he gave me some very good advice one time because (and going back to normal school) there was another question that these people asked as we sat there – eager students, and that is "how many of you expect to be an excellent teacher the first year?" and of course we all were quite sure we would be, and they said "Give yourself a few years. Don’t expect to be that competent. Your enthusiasm will probably make up for it." But anyway the other good advice he gave me was that the parents that gave me the most trouble were likely to become your friends. There were two ladies, who later became my friends. They were fine, but I wasn’t. Tommy wasn’t, you know, halfway through his arithmetic at Christmas so his mother was going to take him to the town school and I said that he end of January was halfway through the year, but anyway, if she wanted to do that, I would help her pack up the books. So we packed up the books and she went out. Her husband was sitting in the car waiting to take her away (he had one of the few cars in the district) and the poor lady... on Monday she was back with the books - they wouldn't accept her boy in the town school (laugh) because there's a line drawn. That side goes to town, this side goes to rural school but nevertheless she later became one of my very good friends and her name was Florence O'Meara.
JA: Oh really?
Lil: Yea (laughs) and the other mother, too, took exception to something I was doing with her darlings, and really, somebody said, "She is not going to speak to you because of this matter". In those days you boarded at these people's houses. Nobody boards anymore and I think it's a good idea - boarding sounded like heaven - somebody has a hot meal ready for you and washes your bedding and clothes and stuff, but it has its drawbacks. Anyway, that lady also was annoyed about something and she didn't speak to me for awhile - I kept talking to her. I think this business of not speaking is ridiculous. In our family, we had the opposite problem. You had to get a word in edgewise when you're able (laughs). Anyway, later too, she became a good friend of mine and that's what the superintendent said to me. I said "I'm having a little trouble here, you know", and he said, "Don't let it worry you too much, often the ones you have a difference of opinion with, part way through the year turn out to be your best friends at the end", and that proved to be so at the end.
JA: What about equipment?
Lil: I consider that I was very lucky to land at Prairiedale because the parents were interested in their children's education and they raised money to buy books and were on the whole, cooperative. I ate everything from moose meat to bear meat, chicken, of course, or grouse because they always had the teacher to dinner sometime during the school year at least once. The equipment - well (laugh) try being a resource centre for twenty years (and later I was both the District Librarian and Resource Centre co-ordinator) the equipment... you couldn't begin to compare it, you know, because in the country you didn't have electricity in the first place and you had only prescribed books and a few library books. We did have a piano, I can't think of anything else in the line of equipment. We didn't have any sixteen-mm films or videos or even filmstrips or slides.
JA: Did you have what we class now as a playground?
Lil: Oh heavens, the whole country were a playground - yes. (Laughs)
JA: Did you play team games or?
Lil: We played scrub quite often and also, I remember- this was my first school so I took for granted that the excellent organization of the Vanderhoof area for Sports Day was a general thing you see. Actually, I found it to be the exception, rather than the rule, because we had a Dr. Stone and he would draw up a schedule: this child is so tall - he weighs so much, his age is such and such, and then he'd put them in this category, you see, and they were each put in their own categories. It was a very well run Sports Day. It was held some time in late May, I suppose, I can't remember. I had taken part in those kind of things myself, (laugh) in Prince George, and enjoyed them so much. My landlady came up to me while I was at the sideline cheering my students on, she said - "Miss Williams, teachers are supposed to have some dignity here". (laughs) However, they did well, the kids did, and I enjoyed that part of it. We also skied to school, cross-country skiing, which stood me in good stead because I still cross-country ski. I do remember with my great sum of about $86 per month I bought a ski outfit of skis and poles and boots and so forth. So in the winter, I would ski to school from two miles away and I wasn't too used to it and although it's called Prairiedale, there is a dip somewhere between my boarding place and the school; there were these little six-year-olds trotting along on their home- made skis with the inner-tube straps keeping their toes in there, and they went sailing down the little hill (laugh) and up the other side and what did I do? I ingloriously fell in a heap and thrashed my feet, encased in tough bindings, until I finally floundered to my feet, and of course the two little six-year olds enjoyed this immensely. (laughs) However, there were other sports. We practiced track and when I was in Prince George School in grade eight, I guess - grade seven or eight, we had two excellent teachers' coaches by the name of Len Chapman and Gordon Leversage. They would give us an early morning session, training us how to run properly. You went down on the one knee and you had track shoes if you could afford them - and if you couldn't, you used running shoes and sometimes they dug a little hole for that back foot so it would catapult us off' when we started. Here was I, with all this information and the kids looked at me strangely and took off their shoes, stood up straight and ran (laugh) and I don't know, I never quite persuaded them to do it any differently; they seemed to enjoy it that way - so what the heck. And they ran very well in their bare feet, too. Yes and there was no lack of room to play in because Jack Andros had donated some land. I don't know how much it would be, it wouldn't even be an acre I guess, but he donated a piece of his farm for the school and he himself used to coach basketball so he was interested in kids getting around playing. Some people say, "And when you taught, you had the strap you know, for discipline", and I'm thinking to myself in these later years: I can remember once using the strap because I caught two grade seven boys, they knew they weren't supposed to smoke, out in the woodshed having a quiet cigarette and so I strapped them you see. Years later, one of those grade seven boys has smoked all his life and he's still fairly hale and hearty. I doubt he'd quit but I gave him the strap. (laughs) The other one died- he'd quit smoking. (laugh) Anyway, I really don't think it did any good, but it was a rule you weren't supposed to smoke. Maybe they were a little sneakier about it so the little kids didn't see them after that, I don't know.
JA: There's one other question on that - what sort of social life did you yourself have? Did you get any in Vanderhoof or did you board out?
Lil: Yes, I boarded in Prairiedale. Vanderhoof was quite a long ways off actually. But the first lady with whom I boarded, came to me after awhile and she said, "You know the last teacher who was here used to spend all of her weekends in Vanderhoof, you know - with her friends there" and I felt like saying, "Do tell" (laughs) Occasionally, my brother, who taught in Fort Fraser, would pick me up and take me home for Thanksgiving weekend or something, but on the whole, I was in Prairiedale and naturally, the teacher had some responsibility for, I suppose what you might say, inaugurating some social life, particularly around Christmas. 1 can remember that I was responsible for hiring an orchestra for the school dance and I heard who the people were that usually played in the orchestra, so I said, "Where do I get a hold of him (the leader)?" "Why, right now he's up at the top of the OK Cafe", in what they call the Rams Pasture or something up there and that's where he was, so I went up there and I saw some people sitting around - it was definitely a male habitat up there (laughs) so somebody said, "You mean to say you stopped in there and..?" Well, what else could I do? I had to find the guy and dances were the main social event.
Amusements of the year? We had quite a few of those and also, everyone invited you to their homes. I had many a pleasant evening that way. It could be too much of a good thing, yes, but I would be thinking of my sister sleeping there in Mud River with the grade six student and the little six-year old running in and out and being a bit of a nuisance. The idea of boarding at a place where there were pupils of yours just didn't seem to work too well. (laugh) Probably I was pretty naive and shouldn't have let some things bother me the way I did. In my first boarding place, I parted company with those people and had to board somewhere else and I think if I had a little more wisdom, we would have made out somehow. I said, "Your children said such and such' to me and I think they should be spanked". (laugh) That's a fine thing to tell a parent - oh dear, I was pretty young and naive (laugh) and the mother said, "Well, if you want to spank them, you go right ahead", but I didn't want to do that (laugh). They were horsing around on the weekend and their parents were not there or something, so when you look back on it, there was some way to get around it without having such a confrontation - but anyway...
JA: How long did you stay in the Vanderhoof district area?
Lil: I taught in Prairiedale for two years and I'd like to go on record saying I wasn't kicked out (laugh) -but somebody said that you shouldn't stay in rural schools too long. In spite of the fact that I was already engaged to my (later) husband, I moved to Crescent Lake, twenty-five miles north of Prince George, and because it was so much further out of town, the children were desperately quiet you know; it was hard to get a peep out of them and I noticed that, later, when I used to go around with history slides in my later twenty years when I worked in Vanderhoof as a district librarian; the farther out in the country you get, the quieter the kids were - however, I had a very shocking experience; it was much more traumatic for the families than it was for me - but one time I landed at school there at Crescent Lake - again I had a mile and a half walk (which didn't hurt me any- in the winter I skied), and one day I landed there and I said, "Where's Eddie?" - Somebody said, "Eddie's deaded!" Unfortunately, one cousin had been fooling around with a loaded gun (he didn't know it was loaded) and killed his cousin so for some reason or other that's what I kind of remember about that; its got nothing to do with school really; everybody was just a little nervous of the cousin after that, but the poor kid, you know, it was a complete accident. They were a very very quiet lot of children and so when I got to Prince.. Oh, Mr. Frederickson was the Superintendent out there at Crescent Lake, where I taught for one year, and I found him an excellent Superintendent. I like "Superintendent" better than 'Inspector". Anyway, he said Why don't you apply for the Prince George school - Oh I should backtrack just for a minute; we also had dances in that schoolhouse and there were some pretty good fiddle players out in the country there and they would get up on the teacher's desk (to get out of harm's way) and people would dance in what was left of the room after the desks were piled up in the corner. There was a trapper that came in for the Christmas dance and he was a wonderful dancer - very agile. Everyone backed off to watch as he demonstrated his skill... while I hung on for dear life!
JA: So how did you get the job in Prince George?
Lil: I visited the school trustees; two of them worked for CNR. I remember going to see Frank Clarke and there was a man by the name of Mr. Roberts and he was in the round house -down in the pit like you'd get under a car - he was down there repairing engines I suppose. Anyway, I hollered down the pit at him and I said, "You're a school trustee", and he said, "Yes", and I said, "Well I'd like to teach in Prince George next year. Would you support me in that?" and he looked at me -anyway, he was a good United Church person as I was, I guess, so that didn't hurt. (laugh) Anyway, I went to visit all three trustees and I did that kind of thing: that 'jump up and down and can't wait to do it"... but I was going off on a trip - a camping trip for ten days up north and we were all ready to go - so I thought, "Well, I'll go and make a fool of myself, no doubt, but then I'll be gone for ten days and I'll get over being embarrassed." (laugh) Anyway, when I got back, I found I had this school and so I taught there one year and then, that was my fourth year teaching, and as I say I married at the end of the term and my brother said, "What on earth are you doing that for? You've got a good job." (laugh) However, my grandchildren had a different view of it- one of them, particularly, the one that's deaf, looked at the pictures and saw that I had been engaged to her grandfather for 2 1/2 years and she said, "Grandma, what's the matter; you no love Grandpa? You were engaged 2 1/2 years?" She must have thought I was pretty cold blooded or something; anyway that wasn't unusual really - we waited until we could afford it - anyway there it is. In the Prince George school, I was able, to be of, make use of the fact that I had always enjoyed sports and we also enjoyed the sociability of the teachers under Tommy Carmichael, principal of KGV School, because he was a very sociable person; we had get togethers every once in awhile - and we all thought so highly of him.
JA: Did you go to Baron Byng High School in Prince George?
Lil: Yes, I went to Baron Byng High School - there were three rooms at that time and I think we had four teachers - there was a commercial room and then three ordinary rooms and so each teacher had to do quite a lot of subjects. I can remember Mrs. Martin teaching us French and candidly - well, no comment! (laugh) Anyway, I can remember her asking me to get up and say this sentence in French- so I got up and said it - my pronunciation in English isn't 100%, in French I fell very short of that, I gather, because she never asked me again. (laugh) But, it was just like every other place - excellent teachers and some not so good... a few lemons, I suppose. One of our teachers was Mrs. Kay Reid, who later married a lawyer, Hub King, in Prince George; she was just a darling and she coached us in basketball. The teachers had a basketball team, too, and we no doubt had more time to spend on practices and so forth -we had an excellent Centre for our team - so we fought them rather badly - so our teacher who played against us came up and said, "You naughty children. You should be a little more considerate" but she was laughing as she said it, so that was OK - she was a lovely person (laugh).
CW: We were just wondering how you worked into being District Librarian and how it began and what foibles you encountered in the process.
Lil: Yes, as I mentioned before, when I first started teaching in 1937 only one out of three teachers got jobs, and then after four years I got married and of course that was going to be it at that time - and after sixteen years the children were at least part way on the way to being raised, and the economic situation on the farm wasn't quite as good as it used to be, nor my husband's health, so I thought, "We have a telephone now. I'll put my name down to be a substitute." And much to my delight, instead of doing that, our friend Cliff Weeks, who was the Secretary Treasurer of the School Board, came out and said, "I see your name on the substitute list, Lil. Do you think that instead of that, you could come in for a couple of hours two days a week to be what they call a "Pool Librarian"? I was delighted to do that. I was paid $18.00 per hour, and in my ignorance that if they paid me $8.00 per hour I would have been pleased, but anyway for the first year, I just came after school. The reason it was called Pool Librarian was because all the schools, Prairiedale, Mapes and the rest of them, were asked to pool all their library books, you see, and then they were redistributed. They requested whatever they wanted for non-fiction and we made up boxes. Oh, one hundred books to each division and changed them every two months. But some of the teachers in schools that had pretty good libraries were not pleased (laugh) because these people hadn't really... "know, the usual "human nature thing" The next school hadn't bothered to make any money for the library and we did however, there's always a few thorns in the thicket. It was in the next year they told me it should be a half-time job. To begin with, a lady by the name of Mrs. Muriel Mould took me in hand and said, "Well, I'm to teach you all I know about being District Librarian and it should take me all of two hours". (Laugh) Anyway, it took her a little more than two hours and I kept asking her questions and she said, "Look, you're on you own now. Carry on!" So nobody quite seemed to know what being a Pool Librarian meant. I can remember some non-gentleman over at the School Board office, and I came in and he said significantly, "Here comes the Pool Librarian" It was very snowy outside and I was standing there dripping wet (laugh) Anyway, nobody seemed to quite know entirely what the duties were. I went on later to accept a full time job, and I did take some library courses so I knew about the Dewey decimal numbers but unfortunately... I could do, what do you ca it - catalogue books and so forth, but I wasn't particularly a good librarian - when I went to various schools in the district which included Endako and Fort St. James, Fort Fraser, Mapes, Prairiedale, and so forth, I made a slight attempt to teach them Dewey decimals, but I recall didn't do very well along that line. There were two things I preferred to do and one was I would take some book in this hundred books that each division got, and tell them part of the story to encourage them to read more, because reading has always been (this is no surprise to Clare) a very big part of my life and to me it enhances the enjoyment of life to be able to sit down and bury yourself in a good book. Anyway, so what shall I say, thirty years later, some people almost grey-haired would say,'I remember you; you used to come to read us stories". If I ever did try to teach them Dewey decimal numbers, they certainly have forgotten that, but they did remember the stories which I enjoyed telling them and I remember thinking "And I get paid for this!" When I was hired at Vanderhoof in l958, backtracking a bit. Teachers were at a great premium. They were finding it hard to staff the school, the pendulum swings back and forth for the supply and demand for teachers, so once Bill an I and Cliff and his wife, because we were friends, were at some social gathering, and they said to Cliff, Well, Cliff, you just finished getting your slate of teachers. Who did you beat in out of the brush this year?" so he looked significantly at Lil, (laughs) Anyway, another thing that I enjoyed doing (and I'm not apologizing at all for indulging one of my hobbies) for many years is researching the local history scene. I had a firm conviction that it's more valuable for the children to know that they had a few heroes, Canadian heroes and that Daniel Boone, that they grabbed and read avidly and who else... Davy Crockett. Johnny Appleseed was in Ontario, I think part of the time, but I certainly thought that they should know a little bit about Canadian outstanding people and particularly people in this area. So I asserted my hobby and I went to Fort Fraser. I had interviewed a man there who came in 1911, and I had his pictures which I made into slides with some school equipment. I got his story to go along with it and then I said, "You know the children; when they see these slides and hear your tape that goes with the slides, it would mean so much more to them if you were there." I'm not going to go to that school," he said, those kids would make fun of me." So I went to Daryl Curzons, who was the principal out there at the time, and I said, "You know Daryl this gentleman was persuaded to come against his better judgement, he thinks the kids would make fun of him." I was there just before the guest was introduced (I think it's a valuable thing for kids to talk to old timers in their seventies) and I heard Daryl saying to his kids, "And if you dare so much as let out a little bit of a snicker, boy, what I won't do to you afterwards!" The children were very well behaved and actually I think the old gentleman didn't mind too much. He found that he wasn't made fun of and they did ask him questions and he was happy to answer. So that was certainly not written in my job description, but I did a fair amount of it. At the same time I found out what the teachers needed in the line of non-fiction books or supplementary readers or the eternally popular filmstrips and films, particularly 16-mm films. I can remember being in Fort St. James and of course I had a list of what films they had that were overdue and so forth and I remember taking them. Somebody gave me two cans of film at the last minute and I must have put them on top of the car before I stored something else inside and I was going off with these two bumping along and somebody screamed their head off and I put my brakes on and rescued them from the top of the car. Ordinarily the maintenance men (in later years) did all the delivering. Anyway, for a year or two I was District Librarian, then I was a resource centre person for twenty years. I do remember in W.L. McLeod School, which was then the Vanderhoof Elementary, being responsible to find out what is missing and to hit the people up for it. So a lady who assisted me, and she was a very fine lady by the name of Joyce Griffin, said, know I'm over-qualified for this job, but I do enjoy it" and she ran a really good ship then. So one of us would, and I'm sure any Librarian would sympathize, one of us would make up a list of overdue books and the other one would then take the list and go and present it to the room that was at fault; that wasn't one of the favorite things to do, but the ironic thing is that one time a teacher got sick and had a baby and we then went to collect the children’s library books. I don't know.. It was up in that old school - we went to collect the books and found them in the children's desks because, due to circumstances beyond people's control, the teacher wasn't able to ask them to bring them in. We found that we collected just as many books as we ordinarily did when we were hounding the life out of the teacher. (Laugh) I don't know where the moral is there, I'm sure, but I know that dunning people for overdue books was not a favourite thing. I sometimes used to tell people the story (a rather sad story) of a case in a high school -it certainly wasn't around here - some poor girl had a crush on a high school teacher and he spurned her rather cruelly, not too tactfully, and she was so distraught that she jumped out of the third story window, and I presume was killed, and the comment was "and the librarian's looking out of the second story window saying 'You owe me three overdue books'." (Laugh) Let me not get into that category, please Lord? (Laugh) Anyway, for twenty years I had that job, and my children rather resented my not getting home very early because it was open until 5:00 p.m., to enable the teachers to come to get what books they needed. Somehow I never seemed to be able to shut the doors smack at 5:00 PM. So there was a bit of resentment at home. But, however, "plates and potatoes" were the motto and they would see my car coming over the hill half a mile away and right away the potatoes would be put on to boil and the plates on the table and that was supper getting on the way to being ready anyway. I can't think of anything else.
JA: I would like to thank you very much. It's been a very enjoyable interview and lunch was very unexpected but very much appreciated
Lil: Well I really consider that I prefer people to come and have lunch
with me and that doesn't strain anything because I have so much frozen
down in the basement. I never did get over preparing too much food, you
know, for one person but the idea of driving somewhere is an effort for
me; I'm not very fond of driving.