Oral history interview with Ann Libert

Dublin Core

Title

Oral history interview with Ann Libert

Subject

Madison (Wis.)

Rights

Copyright 2015, Westmorland Neighborhood Association. All rights reserved. For more information, contact Madison Public Library.

Creator

Libert, Ann

Contributor

Huntington, Joy

Date

2015-04-31

Description

This is an oral history interview with Westmorland neighborhood resident, Ann Libert.

Coverage

Madison, Wisconsin
Dane County, Wisconsin
Wisconsin

Language

en

Identifier

westmorland-021

Sound Item Type Metadata

Transcription

[0:00:00]

Ann Libert Interview
Current Address: 510 Clifden Drive (since 1961) Interviewer: Joy Huntington
April 31, 2015

Joy: We'll be going over the “beginning to know you” questions. Talking about living and working in Westmorland. Raising a family. And just over time, what has happened. I'm not sure about your thoughts one on that, development, the Vietnam protests and then recreation. And then the Association, okay?

So my name Joy and I'm speaking with Ann Libert on...it is March 31, 2015 at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church. And could you actually spell your last name for us please?

Ann: L-i-b-e-r-t.

Joy: Okay. And Ann, where were you born?

Ann: I was born in New Glarus, Wisconsin.

Joy: And what was your first memory of Westmorland?

Ann: I knew nothing about Westmorland. My husband and I were looking to buy a house. The house we're in now was on the market. And when we got there, he said, "Oh I used to deliver papers here." So we went in, we liked it, and he said “I'd love this house”. It was too big for me. Then it got to be really small so [Laughter]... But I said, "Okay, fine!" And I've always been happy that we bought it.

Joy: Okay. How long have you lived in Westmorland?

Ann: Since 1961.

Joy: 1961.

Ann: So you can figure that out. [Laughter] 54 years.

Joy: 54 years. And what is the address?

Ann: 510 Clifden Drive.

Joy: And what was Westmorland like when you first moved here?

Ann: When I first moved here it was... Actually, it’s kind of like it is today. It's like a small community. Everybody....you kind of know each other. The neighbors were nice.

Joy: You thought it was a great place to raise a family?

Ann: Yes. We had two children, a one year old and a baby when we came here.

Joy: And were you moving from New Glarus at that time?

Ann: No, no, no. I went to school here in Madison, and my husband was from Madison. So we rented an apartment and then we said it was time to buy a house. So this is the one we bought.

Joy: And do you know how many owners of the house there were before you?

Ann: Yes I did. The person who built it, he built it in 1946. And I don't know how long he lived here, but the next family that came in had a University connected. And he got a job at Colorado University, which is why he was moving, he had five boys. And so he was moving to Colorado. And so then we are the third family in the house.

Joy: And what struck you about the house? And the neighborhood when you first came to Westmorland?

Ann: You know, I really knew nothing about where I was coming to. I've never been in this part of town. I always was living in the center part of town. Like I said, I thought four bedrooms were way too many. But, I liked it; it was fine. I thought it was nice.

Joy: Did you do any significant remodeling or renovations to the house?

Ann: Well the garage is now a bedroom. So there are five bedrooms in the house. And then we did....We added on a dining/family room. We added that on to it so that there's five bedrooms and then a separate living space in the back. That was mainly what we did.

[0:05:02]

Joy: And do you remember when you did those renovations?

Ann: Yes. It was 1966.

Joy: You did both of those at the same time?

Ann: No. We put the...I think, when David, the youngest, when we were expecting him, then we put in the bedroom. We changed the garage into a bedroom. Because we need more bedroom space.

Joy: What about your yard? Did you make any significant changes to the yard?

Ann: No. We left all the trees and so now it has grown up to be really big. We had to cut one down, our biggest one down which broke everybody’s heart. Because the kids had a tire swing and they swung from it. Joy: And when did you cut that one down?

Ann: That was probably 15 years ago.

Joy: Was there any particular reason why you had to?

Ann: Yeah it was getting old. [Laughter] I really didn't want it on the house.

Joy: That's true. What do you tell people about Westmorland when they ask you about where you live?

Ann: This town is a great place to live. We have, you know, everybody is friendly here; with your schools, churches, shopping areas. For me it's a 15-minute walk down to a lake. [Laughter] You can spend the day sitting by the lake. You know that's not hard to take. There's not a lot of places you live that you can do that. And it's just....It was just always a good place. The kids are near school, we never had to get in cars to drive to school; they have buses now to go to school. [Laughter] That's right! They came up here to eighth grade (Queen of Peace) then they went down to West High. So if they wanted to spend their money, or the money we gave them, they can ride the bus and go down the West. If they wanted to save the money, they just walked through the cemeteries and they're at West. So that was up to them. [Laughter]

Joy: What do you do for a living?

Ann: I work here in Maintenance Liturgy at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church.

Joy: How did you start working here?

Ann: Because I had kids at home yet; they were in grade school. And a job came up for 20 hours; I can go home at lunch. If kids were sick I can stay home. I have that kind of flexibility. So that worked out good for me. Joy: That sounds nice.

Ann: Yeah. It was.

Joy: Was this the only place that you were employed while living in Westmorland?

Ann: While living in Westmorland, yes.

Joy: And what did you do before?

Ann: I was a registered nurse who worked in the Delivery Room. But then I had seven kids in eight years, and that was that.

Joy: That was that. [Laughter] Yes. And did you just walk like your kids walked over to school? Did you walk here from your house?

Ann: I walk all the time.

Joy: What did you consider the best work of your life; which would you say?

Ann: I really like working in a Delivery Room. But then this job had turned up; some place where I have a lot of friends; knew a lot of people. You know, it's not only a paycheck, it's also socially, you know, people and stuff; so there are good aspects about both.

Joy: And how long were you actually a delivery room nurse?

Ann: About two years.

Joy: Two years? Did you always want to be a nurse?

Ann: Yes.

Joy: And where any other members of your family nurses?

Ann: No, not at that time. But now there's a ton. We're all teachers and nurses.

Joy: Teachers and nurses?

Ann: Uhum.

Joy: Did you volunteer anywhere? 'Til your time working here?

Ann: Yeah, I volunteered in school a lot.

Joy: What kind of volunteer work did you do at the school?

Ann: Well, like teacher's aide type of things. Help the teachers. Help in the lunch room. Help wherever you are needed.

[0:10:07]

Joy: Did you do that during the whole entire time your children were in school?

Ann: No. Because I was too busy taking care of kids at home. [Laughter] You can't drive seven kids, they had to walk with you.

Joy: Did you see your neighbors socially at all?

Ann: Yes. Our neighborhood, we would go back and forth socially. Not a lot, but we did, you know, easy to talk over the fence, sit and visit, whatever.

Joy: Did you do any other activities with them at all? Besides the talking and visiting with each other?

Ann: No, not really.

Joy: Did you have time for any hobbies.

Ann: Oh, no, not really. [Laughter]

Joy: Who do you think are the people who had an impact on Westmorland and on Madison?

Ann: You mean that lived in Westmorland?

Joy: Yeah. Who either lived in Westmorland, or lived outside, and then still had an impact on how Westmorland operated; the activities that happened there?

Ann: It's a hard question for me to answer. Because we were in this community, everybody kind of pitched in and helped, I never organized stuff or do stuff outside of the community, I don't know. Governor Doyle used to live here.

Joy: Okay. Did your children have any chores growing up?

Ann: Oh yeah, they had chores. Pick up the house, pick up their room, help with the dishes, mown the lawn, shovel the walks.

Joy: Did they get any allowance for any of the chores that they did?

Ann: No, not really. But if they needed the money, we, you know, helped them ... So it wasn't a regimented allowance.

Joy: Did any of your children get jobs out here?

Ann: Oh yeah. The boys, they were paper boys. They did a lot of lawn mowing. Kids did a lot of lawn mowing. Girls always worked here, there and everywhere. Some have worked over at Bergmann’s (Pharmacy), some have worked at restaurants around town. Everybody did. They had to work.

Joy: Were they involved in any athletic clubs?

Ann: Yes, yes. The boys all played hockey. Five boys played hockey, five boys played Little League (baseball). Let's see, some girls swam. Some girls, three girls, were very active in a Girl Scout troop that was run at the high school; they did a lot of backpacking. Like Glacier, Rocky Mountain, Appalachian Trail. Let's see, and then we had a daughter that played tons of soccer and basketball. She got a soccer scholarship to Creighton University. We were heavily into sports, and they played City League baseball.

Joy: They kept you busy?

Ann: Yeah.

Joy: Did any of them play musical instruments?

Ann: Yes they did. Clarinet, flute, [Laughter] that was about it; two or three girls played the flute. One of them played the clarinet.

Joy: They kept you busy.

Ann: Yes, yes. We were always on the run.

Joy: Did you take family vacations at all?

Ann: Yeah occasionally. Larry's sister lived up in Pennsylvania so that was probably the one that we did the most. We would drive out to see her for a few days, come back and...

Joy: It must have been a nice, long drive?

[0:14:59]

Ann: Yeah. At that time it was like 13 hours. Now it's a lot faster. There was a two-lane road down to Chicago. So now it's four-lane and it goes faster.

So, and then you know, every once and awhile we do something else, but we didn't take a lot (of family trips). We grow up in the country. [Laughter]

Joy: Road trips are quite entertaining; that time together.

Ann: Yes, it was.

Joy: Especially when you're in tight quarters with you know...

Ann: A whole bunch of them, yeah.

Joy: Yes. Did you have any pets for the kids?

Ann: Oh let's see. We had gerbils, hamsters, crickets, rabbits. That's about it.

Joy: Did you feel safe having your kids grow up here in the area?

Ann: Yes. I guess that was one of the things that I really liked They could go... They pretty much stayed within the boundaries of Westmorland, but pretty much they had a lot of friends here. There were a lot of kids at that time. And they could pretty much go as they wanted. They didn't have to be taken to.... We didn't have “play dates” and that kind of stuff. It was out of the house, and over to whoever's house, and play there and come back and forth.

Joy: So how did you meet your husband?

Ann: On a blind date. Doing a favor for a friend.

Joy: That sounds interesting.

Ann: Yeah. [Laughter]

Joy: So what are the names of your children?

Ann: Carol, Karen, Nancy, Tony, Steve, Amy, Tim, John, Mary, David. Joy: Fantastic.

Ann: So you only have five (in your family)?

Joy: Yes, only five. And during the whole time you lived in Westmorland, did you and your family attend Our Lady Queen of Peace?

Ann: Yes.

Joy: And how did you decide to attend there?

Ann: Because it was a church just down the street from us. We could walk there. We walked to church.

Joy: What about the shopping, where did you do your shopping?

Ann: Well, I for a long time there was a grocery store over there and a pharmacy (at Midvale Plaza). The library was a life saver. We don't have air conditioning so when the summer time, when it got hot, we would go there. Hang out there for a couple of hours.

Joy: So the kids enjoyed the Sequoya Library?

Ann: Oh yeah, we all did. We still do. All of us spend a lot of time at Sequoya. The kids that live in Middleton come back to go to Sequoya. Steve and I go to Sequoya all the time, yeah.

Joy: What do you love besides the air-conditioning? Why do you love the library so much?

Ann: Because we read a lot. Everybody in the family reads a lot.

Joy: That's a great thing to pass on.

Ann: Yeah. I can't think of one in the family who is not an avid reader.

Joy: Who would you consider were some of the great characters that lived in Westmorland over the time that you've been here?

Ann: Probably my own kids! [Laughter] Louise (Schadauer) was one. I always enjoy Louise. But there are so many friends. I just really enjoy them all. We've been good friends.

Joy: Living here and having a close knit community, as you said, I can see how that can happen.

Ann: It can happen; because I came from a small town, My father didn't understand how I could live in a big city. He said you don't know anybody, and I said I know as many people in my area as you do in your small community. Because you get to know each other.

Joy: Was it is easy to meet people here when you moved here?

Ann: Well, once you have kids in school, you start meeting people and, like I said, there were a lot of families in Westmorland who send their children to school here (at Queen of Peace).

[0:20:07]

Ann: And I'm still good friends with a lot of them even if they moved out of the area. I play bridge with these people. Once or twice a month, you know, go out to lunch with them. We're all good friends yet. Which is kind of nice to have 50 year friendships.

Joy: Yeah, that is very nice. We're just going to move on to Westmorland over the time period that you've been here. Did world events ever affect your feeling of safety here in Westmorland?

Ann: No.

Joy: Like the Vietnam Protests, or even the Sterling Hall bombing?

Ann: No. We heard that. I just figured we lived in Madison; that was just part of living here. And I've never felt unsafe in this area. I mean, I will go to the library after dark. Or go over there, it doesn't bother me. I would go to friend's houses after dark, it doesn't bother me. And we'll just, you know, walk; whether it's dark or not. Never occurs to me. I come up here in the dark in the morning. Never occurs to me that it might not be safe.

Joy: Do you have any stories about the Vietnam protests, or the Sterling Hall bombing?

Ann: No, not really. Being isolated enough out here; unless you went out, it never really factored in. It wasn't out this far. I mean I heard the Sterling Hall bombing; it woke me up, but you know we're far enough out so it didn't really bother me, and I didn't worry about the children.

Joy: Okay. Did they ask you about the bombing?

Ann: They probably did at the time. You know, but then you know what was going on too. I mean they're old enough to know what was going on. They cared about things, they knew what was going on. The younger ones...

Joy: Didn't know what was going on? [Laughter]

Ann: No, they didn't. They had their own little world that they were whirling around in. At that time, we were really busy with sports and everything else. So we were pretty much not involved politically with it. I would say that I was too busy.

Joy: Did you see a lot of hippies around Westmorland, would you say?

Ann: Yeah, probably some of my kids. [Laughter] I don't know. It depends on what you call hippies.

Joy: What would you say, because I was probably too young to understand what the hippie was when I was growing up; what would you consider a hippie during that time?

Ann: During that time? It is probably somebody who was just not living with the tight rules and the regulations that the society had, but living with.... Things were just loosening up, you know. Their dress was....You kind of loosen up. But none of them bothered me. It really didn't. I guess I don't look at it that way. I look at a person as an individual more than anything, so...I know you're recording this, but it doesn't bother me to go over to Mickey's (Dairy Bar), [Laughter] you know what I'm saying? It doesn’t bother me.

Joy: You see people.

Ann: They're just people. People like me, people like them. I might happen to be wearing a red shirt that day, they happen to wear a flowered shirt. I mean it's just people. That's how I try to look at it. Like I say, some of my kids are....I have my youngest son who is right now back packing in India.

So you figure that one out.

[0:25:02]

Joy: That is cool.

Ann: He spent four months biking along the West Coast. He went down as far as San Francisco. Brought his bike home, and bought a ticket to India. And he is back packing in India. Can you try to figure this all out?

[Laughter]

Joy: Sounds like you raised some adventurous kids.

Ann: Yeah, they are. They go back packing nowadays; go back packing in Glacier. I think that a couple of kids are going to Glacier this summer to back pack.

Joy: That's exciting to know that your children are adventurous, not afraid to go out and do the things that they want to do.

Ann: Yeah, that's right. If they decide they want to do it, they have the time, the money, they figure out how to do it and away they go.

Joy: Do you remember any major weather events like the ice storm?

Ann: That I do. Because we were out of power for five days. Which means you have no heat. I went to the ice rinks and ate hotdogs. It was warm there plus the kids were playing hockey. And it was an adventure, you know. You played games at night and went to bed early. And eventually the lights came back on. So I do remember that.

Joy: Was there anything that you had to do to keep the kids focused on having fun instead of how cold they were.

Ann: Well not really. They ranged in age by that time. So when was it, '65?

Joy: '76.

Ann: '76. Okay so probably my biggest concern was keeping the baby warm. Mary was a baby. But it wasn't that cold at that time because it was an ice storm. It wasn't like 20 below zero. Our house never got really cold; you only got cool if you didn’t have enough blankets with you. Had those on us and that was it.

Joy: That was it?

Ann: That was it. Yeah. We survived it. Like I say we're busy. Going out to the rink and watch them play hockey took up our time. It's was in March
wasn't it?

Joy: I think so.

Ann: Early March? They were probably just finishing up. So we were, I don't know... But I do remember it. I remember looking at the bushes and say, "Oh what about all that ice on the branches?" And then I can remember going outside just hearing crack, crack, crack, crack. Then our transformer blew up that feed our house. So then it was... Everybody was running
around the neighborhood.

Joy: Do you remember the neighbor's pulling together to help one another out?

Ann: My husband is an electrician so I think we eventually got a generator to bring in some heat. And I know he ran a line across the street to somebody else’s house that had kids. And, you know, a neighbor who had power brought a meal over one night so we had a hot meal that
night.

Joy: It's nice when people can--

Ann: Yeah, a lot of people had power before we did. It was because our transformer had blown up. So it took them a while to get to that. Wasn't just a matter of a wire, it was a matter of replacing the transformer. So we were among a few houses that were out of power a little longer.

Joy: What about the tornado in 2004? Do you remember that?

Ann: Oh yeah I remember that. It was weird standing out on the deck. And things are flying through the air. And then, soon it kind of quieted down. And two of the boys took off to go find out what was going on and they came back and reported. [Laughter]

Joy: Did you know anybody that was affected with any damage to their house?

Ann: No, not really. I think there were a lot of trees down and stuff until the city crews came. You know, I don’t remember people near me who had a lot of damage or anything.

[0:30:04]

Joy: Was it your older boys that went to find out what happened?

Ann: Well, maybe number five and number ten. [Laughter] They were the ones that ran around a lot.

Joy: Do you remember any stories that any of the older Westmorland residents used to tell about the neighborhood?

Ann: Not really.

Joy: And what about civic issues? Do you remember any of those ever affecting you or your family?

Ann: [Cough] No. Offhand I really can't remember any.

Joy: So we're just going to move on and talk about the development of the neighborhood and the areas around here. Do you remember what buildings were being built and put up when you first moved here?

Ann: [Cough] Not really because the shopping center had just really been built. And Midvale School was already a school. Queen of Peace has just been built. And the school was already running. So in '61 it was pretty much built up. There were (vacant) lots down there on South Owen Drive; that’s where I can show you houses that are fairly new. And now of course the whole Sequoya (Commons) area has all been changed.

Joy: So what do you remember about the Hilldale Shopping Mall?

Ann: My husband helped wire it.

Joy: He did?

Ann: Uhuh. So it was very new; he worked a lot of long hours when that was going up. I remember that well.

Joy: Were you excited about that shopping mall being built.

Ann: It didn't bother me so much (that he was working so much), but it was nice money coming in. He worked like a double shift seven to eleven.

Joy: That's a long shift.

Ann: Yeah. And that lasted for quite a while. It was really nice (income) for a young family.

Joy: How long did that job last for him? Do you remember?

Ann: Probably a couple of years. I didn't know. He did 30 on the Square, he did that. He did Pi R Square (on University Avenue), he did several smaller ones in between. So they kind of all run together. I mean I can tell you some of the dates. It must have been....He was down there when
Ann was born. So it was about a couple of years (at the Hilldale project) and then he went to 30 on the Square and did that one.

Joy: Do you remember when the Midvale Plaza strip mall was being built?

Ann: Not the original one. That was already up and running when we came here. So that...I don't remember that at all. I remember them tearing it down and putting up a new one, but not when the original one was built.

Joy: And what do you remember about when they tore it down?

Ann: Well, there was a lot of controversy. I met a person who thought that things have to always stay the same. I thought it was getting to be tired looking, I was glad when they tore it down and redid it. And I like the way

[0:35:00]

they did it. I have friends who complain about it all the time. About the parking, this issue and that issue.

To me I had no problems. It's a vital area, it's not an empty area, it's not an empty parking lot, I view the same thing. I don't know what it is like, the architecture they used up town, but people are willing to invest their money, they're willing to keep it alive. It's a vital place to go. You can go up there and there's a lot of nice restaurants. I think the same thing about this, I think the same thing about change.

I'm not one that has to (complain)....Because it's there and all. It's too bad, it's always been so peaceful (in Westmorland). Sometimes new things are good.

Joy: Yes. Did you think public transportation was convenient and affordable?

Ann: Yes, I didn't think it was bad at all. Everybody has got to complain about this thing and that thing but you can't please all the people all the time.

Joy: It's true. [Laughter] So there is this....At one time Westmorland homeowners agreed to a covenant restricting sale of homes to black people. Were you aware of this, or affected by this “red line”?

Ann: You know I never knew that after we were here so many years. One time somebody told me that. I think that's bad. Here's another thing, I think diversity is good, and I think it's nice to live in a place with some diversity as far as race goes. It's nice to live in a place that has age diversity so that you have all different kinds of ages. I think it's nice to have a mix. When we bought this house, I did not know that. Somebody told me that years later.

Joy: Well, would that have changed your thought process of purchasing the home if you have known that beforehand?

Ann: I might have thought twice about it, yeah. But I certainly didn't know about it. I mean I lived on Mound Street for three years and Mound Street was very diversified. Racially and religiously, and I liked it.

Joy: So have you seen things.....Have you seen changes over time in the neighborhood?

Ann: Well, on our street, not too much. I think for a while there weren't a lot of young families. But now the young families are moving in. I see the kids walking past the house, down the crosswalk to school. Midvale (School)....I think the city tries very hard to keep Midvale a very good school. I really just don't have too much to complain about. Kind of like it here.

Joy: So the Sequoya Commons is the most recent impact in development on the neighborhood. How did you feel about it when you first heard about it?

Ann: As I've said before, I was for it. I wasn't really vocal about it, to tell you the truth, because a lot of my friends thought it was....it was just the wrong way to go. I don't think so. I mean who wouldn't want to live right over a library? So I think it's good. I use all the places over there. The library, the coffee shop, the ice cream place, get refreshments, get my hair done there. I use it all.

Joy: Use it all?

Ann: You know, if you don't use it.....I am not a big mall person so I will use that place and I will use Monroe Street (businesses), local. Try to keep a lot of my purchasing local. You know I get CSA boxes, I do local.

Joy: Do you like how they've changed and updated the library?

Ann: Yeah. It's nice on cold winter days; sit there by the fire place.

Joy: I think they're (chairs) booked.

Ann: That's right.

Joy: Is there anything that you missed most about the way Westmorland used to be?

Ann: I don't have any (young) children anymore but I do miss the summer activities in Westmorland Park.

[0:40:00]

Ann: Kids could go down there, then come home for lunch and then go back down there. Spend the day down there and they would do all kinds of activities; they played games and things like that. There are a lot of city leagues where the kids, boys would play baseball over at Midvale School; you can just walk over there and watch them play baseball. If you didn't want to do Little League, your kids could still take advantage of that. My kids still use the ice rink down there. As soon as that ice is good, they're down here. And the ones that live in Middleton they come and they'll use it also.

So we use those things. My kids lived at the park in the summer time. And now I think they have....I think that the Art Cart comes a couple of times a year, and I think now you can pay....I saw at the library....where you can pay a fee and you could purchase games and activities for one day a week (at the park). But this was (run by the) city, our taxes paid for it. And kids just went down; there was always counselors and they played games and they would give them pennies for gimp (arts material). And their friends were there and it was just a nice place to be. So they would eat breakfast, do the chores, scurry up (to the park), and once you see them at lunch, then they would be right back down there.

Joy: Come back for dinner. What do you like most about the way Westmorland has changed?

Ann: Well I do like the influx of younger families, children, people who are willing to invest their time in the Westmorland Association. I thank them. I did my stint when I was younger. It's their turn now and they do a good
job of it.

Our whole family....like we often go over to Luigi's (Italian Restaurant) if we have company, or for birthdays. Anybody who's got a birthday who lives within Madison and Middleton. We don't get together for the birthdays, but we all meet over at the ice cream shop for ice cream that night. And so that's gotten to be a little family deal. So you go over there. We used it all. And we walk. And that's one of the things we like, is that we can all walk over there. We had a family who likes to be outdoors and they still use the play grounds all over. Playing ball and doing all that kind of stuff.


Joy: So you mentioned that you participated and supported the Neighborhood Association. What sort of things did you do?

Ann: My husband was very active and he did all the electrical work for the Fourth of July event. The celebrations that we used to have. So he used to set up tents and all that. He did all the electrical work for that. He put up the lights for the hockey rink. We did all that kind of stuff. Yeah, I was a block captain.

Joy: Yeah, you certainly did get involved.

Ann: Yeah, we did. It was just a good place to be.

Joy: And did your children also participate in helping with any of the Neighborhood Association events?

Ann: If Larry needed the help, he would ask them to help here and there. They helped around. I don't know how active they were in the Association but it was basically family issues. You know, family things.

Joy: So what is your favorite memory of Westmorland Park?

Ann: My favorite memory of Westmorland Park?

Joy: Uhuh.

[0:45:00]

Ann: Well it was nice to spend Fourth of July down there; where you never had to get in a car and go places. Because we had fireworks down there, and we had everything down there. That's when it was all smaller. That was way before Elver Park. So then the city started.....People from other areas of the city started coming. And then it got bigger and then insurance played into being a major thing there.

Just the use of Westmorland Park; kids using it, everybody....You can go down; you can take a picnic or lunch and go down there. If you get tired of eating at your kitchen table, just take the kids down there and have a picnic lunch; run around.

Joy: How do you think the park has changed over the years and how people use it?

Ann: Well, now they don't have the Fourth of July celebration that they used to have; it has evolved into something different. I think there's a good core of volunteers that do a good job of keeping the ice rink well. I guess we use it about.....We still use it, and we use it about like we used it years ago.

Joy: You talked about the sports your children played. So what other recreation was available in the neighborhood besides the sports in which your children....

Ann: We have golf right down the street. Now you have the bike path, so you can walk and you can bike and do all that kind of stuff.

Joy: Does anybody in your family like using the bike path?

Ann: I walk it. Steve and Dave bike it at all the time. We are the ones who live around here. The kids in Middleton are right next to Pheasant Branch (Trail) and they use Pheasant Branch all the time.

Joy: Does anybody in your family use the golf course?

Ann: Yep we have. Maybe not in the last couple of years, but yeah, we use that golf course.

Joy: Were they any big neighborhood issues or challenges that you can recall?

Ann: No, not really.

Joy: Do you remember any neighborhood events, parties or block parties that you attended?

Ann: Yeah. Down on our side (or the street) from the crosswalk on down, we used to, every once in a while, we would get together. And everybody would bring kind of a potluck, picnic, type thing. But we haven't done it now for several years. There's not many of us left. The old ones, you know people who lived here for quite a while, but yeah, we used to do
that.

Joy: Did you organize those?

Ann: It was probably just in the backyard. You know... “We should get together, we should have a get together; okay, yeah well, I’ll have it in my backyard or driveway. Bring a dish to pass”.

Joy: When you were the block captain, do more of these things happen then?

Ann: No, not really. I'm not a big organizer.

Joy: More spontaneous?

Ann: Yes. “Looks good today, okay, let's get out”.

Joy: Did you participate in the Christmas Decoration Contest?

Ann: No.

Joy: And what was favorite past and present event in the neighborhood and why?

Ann: Probably the Fourth of July event, the past ones. Now I don't really.....I mean, I don’t have kids around; I go to the parade once in a while. But I really don't.....I think they have a wine event. We used to have dances too. That was a long time ago.

Joy: Did you used to attend the dances?

Ann: Sure. Why not? I couldn't tell you if it was actually Westmorland or Queen of Peace that did them but they were here (at Queen of Peace).

[0:50:03]

Joy: There were here? And how often did that happen?

Ann: Maybe once or twice a year.

Joy: So most of the people from the neighborhood would go?

Ann: Yeah.

Joy: Do you have any favorite memories from the Fourth of July celebration?

Ann: No. It was just nice to be able to see people who had moved away, and friends who are still live in the neighborhood. It's just kind of a neighborhood get-together. And so it was just kind of fun. Like I say, you never had to drive. You just walk home. That was always good.

Joy: Always great. Did you, your husband, or your children participate in any service projects in Westmorland?

Ann: Well, meaning what?

Joy: Like helping to build playground or.....

Ann: Well, Larry helped built various playgrounds here at Queen of Peace. And like I say, he did all the wiring for the Fourth of July (event). Put up the lights for the rink, and that kind of stuff. And most of....If neighbors needed help with their electrical (system), just call Larry and he would come and help them.

Joy: Looking forward, what do you like about Westmorland today?

Ann: I can tell it hasn't changed a lot. That the people are nice, friendly, helpful. To me it is such a very comfortable, safe place to live.

Joy: And what are your concerns if you have any about the neighborhood?

Ann: Not really.

Joy: And what do you see for the future of Westmorland? And what would you like to see changed, or stay the same?

Ann: I don't know. I pretty much liked it the way it is. I just kind of like to see.....I like the way it is. I'm really happy that a lot of young people have moved in with a lot of young kids. Because they are who will probably stay here, raise their families, I like that. Some come back. We have a family up the street that just moved in. Her parents live over on Holly Avenue, she grew up here. Now she and her husband have come back and have a young family. So it's kind of nice.

Joy: So that's pretty much it unless there's anything that you would like to add, any stories?

Ann: No, it's just, like I say.....I like where I'm living. I feel safe; I never worry, that kind of stuff. It's a good place. Nobody is picking you apart. Nobody is picking on you at the park or on the street. Or they do this or they do that, you know it's just kind of cool, I think.

Joy: Do your own thing? Thank you for talking about Westmorland

[0:53:49] End of Audio

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