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Interview with Martha Canelake Boosalis - Part 2


World Region



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A. SPELIOPOULOS: [Unintelligible - 00:00:05] about and you know they talk about – there are others which is my grandmother. And first corrections are I’m going to make are the main [unintelligible - 00:00:19] that been -- did the [unintelligible - 00:00:24] grandfather’s typically insisted me like a [unintelligible - 00:00:30] and get some [unintelligible - 00:00:33] and then the first [unintelligible - 00:00:35] name of the husband, as a lady we lived with my mother to 10 years at the [unintelligible - 00:00:44] and that was correction [unintelligible - 00:00:52] capital back then changed the [unintelligible - 00:00:53] for 10 years.
M. BOOSALIS: What was her name [unintelligible - 00:00:56]?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Oh, not that [unintelligible - 00:00:56] we still got grandmother [unintelligible - 00:01:00] grandmother [unintelligible - 00:01:05].
M. BOOSALIS: [Unintelligible - 00:01:06] okay, did she have any children?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: She never had children.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Never had children and then I’m going to correct the [unintelligible - 00:01:13] at the sisters, that were married and their names said I didn’t know them all, now the oldest sisters was.
M. BOOSALIS: This is your sister [Unintelligible - 00:01:23].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: I [unintelligible - 00:01:24] sisters that had [unintelligible - 00:01:26] this is my great grandfather [unintelligible - 00:01:30].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: But does not [unintelligible - 00:01:28] for the well [unintelligible - 00:01:29].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: With his sister.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: The oldest sister [unintelligible - 00:01:35] when she got married to George and – with – what is that now, I got to check [unintelligible - 00:01:48] like all of them so lightly. I had to [unintelligible - 00:01:55] and somebody else in [unintelligible - 00:01:58] and so [unintelligible - 00:02:00] called for a judge, we [unintelligible - 00:02:02], and that has no [unintelligible - 00:02:10], and then we have my other sister and then [unintelligible - 00:02:17] that were other sister and she was in the light too but [unintelligible - 00:02:23] was kind of guilty.
M. BOOSALIS: And so what was [unintelligible - 00:02:26]?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: [Unintelligible - 00:02:27] was a what I like to call [unintelligible - 00:02:34], and then across we were like [unintelligible - 00:02:38] and then there was the other [unintelligible - 00:02:41] and then the other – the younger sisters [unintelligible - 00:02:51] so there were four sisters [unintelligible - 00:02:55] and then [unintelligible - 00:02:55] sisters and husbands [unintelligible - 00:03:08] and I’ve done [unintelligible - 00:03:13] that I thought [unintelligible - 00:03:19].
M. BOOSALIS: Okay, and that person was just to view something?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yes, now [unintelligible - 00:03:23] was sisters.
M. BOOSALIS: Sisters?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah, and [unintelligible - 00:03:30] their father, there grand fathers two sisters.
M. BOOSALIS: Okay, so that would be 14 and?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Six, my grandfather [unintelligible - 00:03:41].
M. BOOSALIS: You only have -- you go the [unintelligible - 00:03:43] were they [unintelligible - 00:03:42] with other sisters.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: How we were, my dad had a [unintelligible - 00:03:49] too, [unintelligible - 00:03:51] having to show them.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: [Unintelligible - 00:03:53] do.
M. BOOSALIS: Okay but these are [unintelligible - 00:03:54] sisters?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: They were married then.
M. BOOSALIS: Oh they are married and –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Relax now that’s how they made their difference [unintelligible - 00:04:00] that was just to let them know and the [unintelligible - 00:04:04] the oldest one [unintelligible - 00:04:06] I do not stand in but this was named [unintelligible - 00:04:08].
M. BOOSALIS: And that was [unintelligible - 00:04:09].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: And [unintelligible - 00:04:12] I do.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: And going to ask me [unintelligible - 00:04:13] that I [unintelligible - 00:04:14] and she [unintelligible - 00:04:17] and she has one son called George and he lives in [unintelligible - 00:04:20] win no lie.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: And then the second sister was [Glostina].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: And her husband’s name was [unintelligible - 00:04:33] I don’t know his first name, my mother died like that [unintelligible - 00:04:37] last name was [unintelligible - 00:04:38]. And then they had a sister called Eleni and her last name was [unintelligible - 00:04:46].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: And then the last sister is still living, her name is [unintelligible - 00:04:53] and the last one was [unintelligible - 00:04:56], all the sisters
[00:05:00] took part, too.
M. BOOSALIS: Okay, go on and [unintelligible - 00:05:03] with?
M. BOOSALIS: [Unintelligible - 00:05:05].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: [Unintelligible - 00:05:05], my grandmother and grandfather were [unintelligible - 00:05:11] that those were sisters [unintelligible - 00:05:15], yeah.
M. BOOSALIS: Okay, so those were sisters?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: A name [unintelligible - 00:05:20] and I’m [unintelligible - 00:05:21] that man was my [unintelligible - 00:05:23].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: All right, now that’s corrected there, now I don’t know how you want me to get – go on that.
M. BOOSALIS: But I think because of our error last week which I think – they’ll have to cover [unintelligible - 00:05:36] and how she grew up in the village
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Should the [unintelligible - 00:05:38] about [unintelligible - 00:05:43] I feel [unintelligible - 00:05:47] and then after marriage may mother died and –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Of course they [unintelligible - 00:05:51] and then the sisters [unintelligible - 00:05:56] you want their names?
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah, [unintelligible - 00:05:57].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: [Unintelligible - 00:05:58] not [unintelligible - 00:06:01] are fine, are fine [unintelligible - 00:06:04] are they like the [unintelligible - 00:06:06], was [unintelligible - 00:06:10], my mother [unintelligible - 00:06:12] around the [unintelligible - 00:06:14] and then Katerina, and then there are two, Eleni and [unintelligible - 00:06:21] and Eleni died and [unintelligible - 00:06:24] and then [unintelligible - 00:06:28] five living sisters and the sixth and then the brother, Theodore [unintelligible - 00:06:35] in the chamber of commerce, and that’s my grandmother [unintelligible - 00:06:40]. And then my grandmother had one sister only, and her name was [unintelligible - 00:06:44], after [unintelligible - 00:06:46] was [unintelligible - 00:06:48] grandmother. And now our –my mother was [unintelligible - 00:06:57] to come to the United States [unintelligible - 00:07:00] the efforts o our sisters to come to the United States [unintelligible - 00:07:03], my aunt had [unintelligible - 00:07:05] but they will be at the [unintelligible - 00:07:06] as if they are [unintelligible - 00:07:08] but you need [unintelligible - 00:07:09], right and [unintelligible - 00:07:12] In 1904, Uncle Peter Boosalis went to Greece, I think in Niata, where the [unintelligible - 00:07:24] there but they can’t [unintelligible - 00:07:29] and down to [unintelligible - 00:07:31] you know about the [unintelligible - 00:07:33] give it a home.
M. BOOSALIS: Was there [unintelligible - 00:07:36] child with a better life?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: I think we are going back there [unintelligible - 00:07:39] of course [unintelligible - 00:07:40] and so they are allowed to take [unintelligible - 00:07:44] among the girls because I’m the youngest one because [unintelligible - 00:07:47] older and my aunt in the meantime had been taken over by a Greek family from another town that has [unintelligible - 00:07:56] on the [unintelligible - 00:07:57], but they have [unintelligible - 00:07:59] poor family inside there. [Unintelligible - 00:08:05] been buried [unintelligible - 00:08:06]?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: At that time I was having a [unintelligible - 00:08:07].
M. BOOSALIS: It’s kind of like [unintelligible - 00:08:09] thing wasn’t it?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: I don’t think anything like that but it’s [unintelligible - 00:08:12] these people were considered well-off and they wanted a child [unintelligible - 00:08:15] but it [unintelligible - 00:08:17] they asked my grandmother if they could take a little girl, and then I found [unintelligible - 00:08:23] and said [unintelligible - 00:08:26] there, so when they came, Uncle Peter Boosalis and Aunt Rose [unintelligible - 00:08:31] and on the side of it take the [unintelligible - 00:08:35] so I [unintelligible - 00:08:37] started [unintelligible - 00:08:39] and my grandmother thought it over and thought it over, and maybe they were a good Samaritan, so that [unintelligible - 00:08:43] or anything but –
M. BOOSALIS: How old do you think she was [unintelligible - 00:08:48]?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: I don’t know, maybe a year or two, or something like that because she was about [unintelligible - 00:08:53] she came to the United States when she was between and 10, so it was definitely – but stepping out [unintelligible - 00:08:59] how should I do that [unintelligible - 00:09:02]. But [unintelligible - 00:09:04] I don’t know how and my mother doesn’t remember, it wasn’t in the records.
M. BOOSALIS: What's on the [unintelligible - 00:09:11]?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: I don’t know.
M. BOOSALIS: You don’t know that?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: No, and so they [unintelligible - 00:09:17] so [unintelligible - 00:09:21] it’s a head [unintelligible - 00:09:22] not to grow [unintelligible - 00:09:24] the garden together.
M. BOOSALIS: [Unintelligible - 00:09:24] what about [unintelligible - 00:09:24]?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: [Unintelligible - 00:09:27] and my uncle came back for her sister, another one [unintelligible - 00:09:31] because I was [unintelligible - 00:09:34] those were child I didn’t want to [unintelligible - 00:09:34] anything that any of us fear and then [unintelligible - 00:09:40] then my grandma [unintelligible - 00:09:44] had to die [unintelligible - 00:09:47] and so that I [unintelligible - 00:09:52] but my grandmother stepped in like they got [unintelligible - 00:09:57] that she is going to have [unintelligible - 00:09:58] the girls that they have
[00 10:10] [Unintelligible -00 10:05] just had to go, my mother. My mother wanted to bring her daughter back and [unintelligible -00 10:18] the Boosalises because she – my mother always felt badly [unintelligible -00 10:24] sometimes when I hear bad luck [unintelligible -00 10:27] she thought maybe if I hadn't come down [unintelligible -00 10:29] my mother did come down here quiet a few years later and she [unintelligible -00 10:43]. My mother came back and few years later.
M. BOOSALIS: How old was your sister?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: My older sister was married; my older sister had gotten married. My mother left at – in Greece, if you’re not at a marriageable age, you had to [unintelligible -00 11:05] if you wear your hair up, that was a signal that you are ready to get married [unintelligible -00 11:10]. And my mother got mad [unintelligible -00 11:15]. I think she was the most attractive there because she had the fairest skin and the blue eyes, and she looked like [unintelligible -00 11:19] because she was a blonde and the other sister was a dark, Donna even had dark hair really and dark skin. My mother was the fairest. [Unintelligible - 00 11:34] So when my mother had a chance to come to the United States she [unintelligible - 00 12:07] and they had already [unintelligible - 00 12:22]. I don’t have a birth certificate and [unintelligible - 12:36] Nick Boosalis from Minneapolis had gone to Greece, he visited a couple of times a younger man and he thought he knew everything. [Unintelligible - 00 12:59] Somebody get down to it and he came to [unintelligible - 00:13:01]. Later about my mother’s family she married, then got divorced who took the [unintelligible - 00:13:16]. And he married her and my mother [unintelligible - 00:13:27] she was younger so she still wore her hair down, [unintelligible - 00:13:32] she was a good looking woman and he was very handsome and the [unintelligible - 00:13:44] and they, my mother lived away and then [unintelligible - 00:13:55] they her husband left right away for America. Her two children had died there and he came left for America and probably nine years and then he decided to invite his wife over. And my mother was coming to America then [unintelligible - 00:14:13]. I don’t know what kind of a place it was, and when he got to [unintelligible - 00:14:44] they had to go to Italy and then to France, and when they got to Houston, especially when it came to handling money when we got to Italy, the money was all gone.
[00:15:00] My mother came to [unintelligible - 00:15:04] and I used to tease my mother that I would rather be deported than go to Ellis Island. It was a terrible running joke. So my mother [unintelligible - 00:15:24] so when she came she wrote to Chris Boosalis, [unintelligible – 00:15:39] and she got the famous the beautiful – the famous star in downtown Minneapolis. American used to talk it the blonde she was right in the corner of sixth and [unintelligible - 00:15:57] and there was a candy store, and my mother lived at their house, at Chris Boosalis’ house, and my mother learnt how to make all these chocolates. And she picked up things and my dad of course he got married again he got more money and he decided to [unintelligible - 00:17:22] in the mean time come to my dad’s place. So my dad and Uncle Nick were living together, my dad took Uncle Nick with him and they decided to – I might as well get married and find some place to [unintelligible - 00:17:39] shopping around and we came into Minneapolis and he went to the rock band [unintelligible - 00:17:55] he met another girl staying right there [unintelligible - 00:18:08].
M. BOOSALIS: Okay you don’t know what happened to her?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: I should have [unintelligible - 00:18:22] and then my father saw my, and Mr. Chris Boosalis, I know they didn’t let the family know [unintelligible - 00:18:48]. Don’t do that to the young lady of course my mother you because we were gentlemen so my mother said, you know, [unintelligible - 00 19:05]
M. BOOSALIS: But I remember you saying that [unintelligible - 00:19:11].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: I wouldn’t do that to anybody you know [unintelligible - 00:19:36] my mother always said that [unintelligible - 00:19:42] and my mother got married in the [unintelligible - 00:19:49] and then she [unintelligible - 00:19:53]
[00:20:00] she -- and my mother was [unintelligible - 0:20:03] she was the first one to [unintelligible - 0:20:10]. And then at that time they didn’t go to the hospital to have babies and they [unintelligible - 0:20:25] took me in and they [unintelligible - 0:20:30] she had to cook the meal for the children and for the [unintelligible - 0:20:36]. And she took me [unintelligible - 0:20:41] the father, she got in [unintelligible - 0:20:45].
M. BOOSALIS: And this is her son but she can’t [unintelligible - 0:20:53]?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah. [Unintelligible - 0:20:55].
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah and there’s a connection between the [unintelligible - 0:21:00].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: That’s what I thought. And then my mother got married and [unintelligible - 0:21:08] she came at the [unintelligible - 0:21:11]
M. BOOSALIS: So that [unintelligible - 0:21:16].
M. BOOSALIS: Anyway, you should have gone [unintelligible - 0:21:18] because that’s [unintelligible - 0:21:20].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: And my mother [unintelligible - 0:21:28] and screaming and jumping and [unintelligible - 0:21:36] and up to this day, I think my mother is the only Greek woman in the United States to ever have chivalry. And my dad [unintelligible - 0:21:52] businessman he got off the train and then [unintelligible - 0:21:56] and he had to keep them otherwise they wouldn’t stop [unintelligible - 0:22:09]. And my mother got the raw end of the deal.
M. BOOSALIS: [Unintelligible - 0:22:14] what did you feel she was [unintelligible - 0:22:17]?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: She was astounded. She said she got on a wooden lock and she said there were [unintelligible - 0:22:24] and there were in historical [unintelligible - 0:22:27]. And I [unintelligible - 0:22:31] they looked at me and they couldn’t believe it and I said yeah, if you have to find the records, you go to the Historical Society in Minnesota and you can see that that’s true. So my mother never [unintelligible - 0:22:43].
M. BOOSALIS: [Unintelligible - 0:22:49]?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah those shoes, [unintelligible - 0:22:51].
M. BOOSALIS: She never wore red shoes [unintelligible - 0:22:54]. Were you [unintelligible - 0:22:55]?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Not the red shoe, you got to be very careful with [unintelligible - 0:22:59] with somebody else with them.
M. BOOSALIS: And [unintelligible - 0:23:05]?
A. SPELIOPOULOS They already are and I said to them [unintelligible - 0:23:09] and my dad had got -- in the mean time it took some time to [unintelligible - 0:23:13] and they only opened the [unintelligible - 0:23:15].
M. BOOSALIS: [unintelligible - 0:23:17]?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: But I was [unintelligible - 0:23:19] and I don’t know how. Not today I probably lost [unintelligible - 0:23:24].
M. BOOSALIS: Oh okay.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Not that I’m okay about it but [unintelligible - 0:23:27]. I was [unintelligible - 0:23:30].
M. BOOSALIS: So they don’t have the [unintelligible - 0:23:38]?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: [Unintelligible - 0:23:39].
M. BOOSALIS: [Unintelligible - 0:23:41]?
A. SPELIOPOULOS Yeah so there’s [unintelligible - 0:23:43] and they were [unintelligible - 0:23:45] yeah.
M. BOOSALIS: And were they [unintelligible - 0:23:46]?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah. I think the flowers were in the [unintelligible - 0:23:52]. And that big one I’ve never [unintelligible - 0:24:03] kitchen in a big [unintelligible - 0:24:08].
M. BOOSALIS: I know you’re talking about [unintelligible - 0:24:21].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah I’m [unintelligible - 0:24:24] sections in there. And then you have to go out and [unintelligible - 0:24:38] the top. And they got you there [unintelligible - 0:24:44] and big brothers, the cousins, the [unintelligible - 0:24:47], and some money. And most of them are young men 16, 17, 18 and they’ve come to the United States to [unintelligible - 0:24:56] and they have jobs there at the [unintelligible - 0:24:58] and at the river. And its [unintelligible - 0:24:59]
[00:25:00] kitchen that they can’t pay for it and they live in Minnesota. And the fact that they [unintelligible - 0:25:07] how long it would take a train from New York to Southern Minnesota [unintelligible - 0:25:13] and they let us [unintelligible - 0:25:17] and they let us [unintelligible - 0:25:22]. From the time they left Greece and the first person that they see [unintelligible - 0:25:28] my mother.
M. BOOSALIS: Were you [unintelligible - 0:25:31]?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: No I don’t know.
M. BOOSALIS: [Unintelligible - 0:25:40]
A. SPELIOPOULOS: But I don’t know [unintelligible - 0:25:43].
M. BOOSALIS: Did any of you [unintelligible - 0:25:46]?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: No way, you know not [unintelligible - 0:25:48] their lives you know and they don’t know where to go.
M. BOOSALIS: Were you living in a [unintelligible - 0:26:01]?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: I used to live in a [unintelligible - 0:26:03] down the street and if you [unintelligible - 0:26:07]. I’ve [unintelligible - 0:26:09] take them, actually [unintelligible - 0:26:16]. I take a bath and I let [unintelligible - 0:26:21] [unintelligible - 0:26:25]. And in our apartment was like first one that she saw. So she loved this [unintelligible - 0:26:40]. And there were young kids you know 5th grade, 7th grade.
M. BOOSALIS: In that you have the first -- your brothers [unintelligible - 0:26:49] and Leo right?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: [Unintelligible - 0:26:53].
M. BOOSALIS: But were you going to [unintelligible - 0:26:54]?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: I was going to [unintelligible - 0:26:55] my father was.
M. BOOSALIS: [Unintelligible - 0:27:13] on the eve of 1918.
M. BOOSALIS: So what were they [unintelligible - 0:27:17]?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Oh yeah. We were going out [unintelligible - 0:27:24] nine months after he had never gotten married. Yeah.
M. BOOSALIS: Okay. And [unintelligible - 0:27:43]?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: I was seven.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Nothing I could [unintelligible - 0:27:45] I was just turning seven. I should have gotten the -- I should [unintelligible - 0:27:50].
M. BOOSALIS: So talk about that.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: I went on to [unintelligible - 0:28:00]. And then she -- and then [unintelligible - 0:28:10].
M. BOOSALIS: This is in [unintelligible - 0:28:19]?
A. SPELIOPOULOS The [unintelligible - 0:28:20] community, the [unintelligible - 0:28:21] that’s a benefit to our [unintelligible - 0:28:23]. And they [unintelligible - 0:28:31] and I was [unintelligible - 0:28:35] living there because some of them -- the old [unintelligible - 0:28:38] the chief’s daughter to tell the chief.
M. BOOSALIS: [Unintelligible - 0:28:41]
A. SPELIOPOULOS: She told him that [unintelligible - 0:28:48]. Yeah [unintelligible - 0:28:50] and well I didn’t [unintelligible - 0:28:54] at first when I found out what it meant but [unintelligible - 0:28:57] a lot of business planning, a [unintelligible - 0:29:06] brother, [Lee’s] brother. And Lee had a big, big -- the father [unintelligible - 0:29:11] they had a lot of big gamblers up there. They had a lot of gambling places.
M. BOOSALIS: I don’t remember but I’ve heard of it.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: They had exclusive on all the judges and all the big people who [unintelligible - 0:29:33]. I can't think of a [unintelligible - 0:29:40] like a gambler there’s nothing amazing about that. At the time they did it [unintelligible - 0:29:50] the gamblers came out [unintelligible - 0:29:53] that was big gambling thing. And you know, I don’t [unintelligible - 0:29:56] you know they [unintelligible - 0:29:59] [00:30:00] they never had [unintelligible - 0:30:02] up in here.
M. BOOSALIS: What [unintelligible - 0:30:03] was that?
A. SPELIOPOULOS And my 19 [unintelligible - 0:30:05].