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Interview with Martha Canelake Boosalis - Part 3

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A. SPELIOPOULOS: Minneapolis and I’m doing oral history on Martha Canelake Boosalis on Saturday, January the 23rd, 1988. Yeah you want -- say it in Greek? You can say any language you want to but tell us Greek.
M. BOOSALIS: My mother and dad got married in Minnesota. My mother was from -- came here from Greece, when she was a young unwed mother, came here to make a home in Minnesota as a –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: [Unintelligible - 00:00:41].
M. BOOSALIS: From Niata, Greece. She came here with a friend and she was a bridesmaid for Mrs. Helen [Devolis], you know.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Devolis?
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah Jim Devolis’s mother, my mother was her bridesmaid. And Lester, you know, the mother -- stood up for the mother when she got married here in Minneapolis. My mother stood up for Mrs. Helen Devolis, Jim Devolis’ mother, and they came from Greece together because they lived next door to each other in Greece. But she was married in Niata, recently divorced, but my mother was her bridesmaid. So they came here but [unintelligible - 00:01:35] was the -- remember [unintelligible - 00:01:37] do you remember [unintelligible - 00:01:38]? He was a Boosalis from Niata that came to Minneapolis.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: [Unintelligible - 00:01:49] again.
M. BOOSALIS: Oh I see, sorry.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Use the microphone here.
M. BOOSALIS: Okay. And so they came here and they were escorted here because they had to have somebody to escort them of course, of all the people to escort is my mother and [unintelligible - 00:02:02] and all the rest of them was [unintelligible - 00:02:05] and he was a character. But anyway, he did it fine. But they didn’t take him to Minneapolis or out there in [unintelligible - 00:02:17] they brought him to the port in –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Did they take him to the liberty you mean?
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah, to bring -- not to liberty, they brought him into a -- I can’t remember all these things. I’ve forgotten some of them; brought him to Boston.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Okay, Boston.
M. BOOSALIS: Right but he didn’t know -- he didn’t [unintelligible - 00:02:40] and my mother, well my mother was a little bit lost because I think she’s more intelligent like [unintelligible - 00:02:47] without making mistake, she forget this and forget that, and my mother stayed equal [unintelligible - 00:02:53] she kind of corrected him a little bit. My mother was the next door neighbor and was a very good friend of Helen Devolis, Jim Devolis’ mother because, they were next door neighbors. And then she kind of got engaged to get married, Mrs. Devolis.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: You’re talking about Niata now?
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah I’m talking about Niata. See, her father had come from Greece and were engaged and they were coming here to get married, she had waiting for her [unintelligible - 00:03:29] to be the escort because she was the only one that knew English and I [unintelligible - 00:03:34] very much, I think my mother [unintelligible - 00:03:36] much more, I think she knew a little bit, anyway, they managed to come and they came.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: What made her come here to the United States, your mother?
M. BOOSALIS: Because she wanted to come to America.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Oh, okay. So your mother cares [unintelligible - 00:03:47]?
M. BOOSALIS: My mother was so intelligent, she was [unintelligible - 00:03:50] and she knew a lot of things and she tried to do this and to [unintelligible - 00:03:56] she was very intelligent and so Eleni got married in Niata. Eleni, that’s Mrs. Devolis. And my mother was their bridesmaid.
SPEAKER3 : Without it, how did they happen to come this way again? Now when did they leave?
M. BOOSALIS: Well I don’t know exactly the date but they ran away from [unintelligible - 00:04:15], he had been here and then he went back to Greece and he said, “Well I’ll escort them.” He probably stayed there about two days.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Who did your mother stay with [unintelligible - 00:04:28]?
M. BOOSALIS: My mother came here, she stayed at [unintelligible - 00:04:32] and Randy and big store, the big one by –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Which one was it?
M. BOOSALIS: The big one on by –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: It wasn’t your uncle Pete?
M. BOOSALIS: No, no, no, no, no. Uncle Pete was -- he got [unintelligible - 00:04:46] he wasn’t the candy man anymore he was the big thing, and of course he was the big shot, too, you know, and did all that. And my mother at the candy store there.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: [Unintelligible - 00:04:59] okay, yeah.
M. BOOSALIS: Then she progressed. She knew much and she knew more and she could talk a little few words of English.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: So it was here in Minneapolis that she came?
M. BOOSALIS: Here in Minneapolis right on the beautiful, most beautiful restaurant. It wasn’t a restaurant it was a candy store, candy was there, candy with a fruit outside all around with the [unintelligible - 00:05:22].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Wasn’t the Olympia, it wasn’t called the Olympia was it at that time?
M. BOOSALIS: No.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Okay.
M. BOOSALIS: I did a lot of work on mine.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Beautiful. Now tell me how your mother –
M. BOOSALIS: How my mother came here?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: No. No, we got that already. But how did your mother marry your father?
M. BOOSALIS: Oh my father was up north in [unintelligible - 00:05:41] he came in from the east side there because he was working in a -- he did floral and then he worked in –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: [Unintelligible - 00:05:52].
M. BOOSALIS: Right, and then he worked at the shops in [unintelligible - 00:05:59] area fixing things, and then he came to the east and lived in – then he moved to the – what do you call the places where they had shoes, leather shoes?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Shoe maker.
M. BOOSALIS: Shoe maker, leather you know [unintelligible - 00:06:15] yeah and –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: What made him come over here the United States?
M. BOOSALIS: He wanted to -- he was just a young boy. He was very young he lived in [unintelligible - 00:06:23] New York City and he [unintelligible - 00:06:27] walking through the little ponds, pick up flowers and things, then he went out to the [unintelligible - 00:06:34] and went into the places where they had little flowers to pick flowers.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Oh, then he would sell flowers at the [unintelligible - 00:06:45]?
M. BOOSALIS: With cards and little [unintelligible - 00:06:47] and then he go –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: [Unintelligible - 00:06:49].
M. BOOSALIS: And then he went to the place where they had the leather mill, leather shop.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: [Unintelligible - 00:06:57].
M. BOOSALIS: And he picked up leather things. But then he did that, oh god he didn’t like that and he [unintelligible - 00:07:02] with some Greeks and my dad [unintelligible - 00:07:04] how you want to go into the [unintelligible - 00:07:06] and -- what’s that Greek’s –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: [Unintelligible - 00:07:10].
M. BOOSALIS: [Unintelligible - 00:07:11] because he came from – yeah, my dad [unintelligible - 00:07:15] he went there and he learnt – he used to walk in the [unintelligible - 00:07:20] and pick up flowers in the ponds.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Wild flowers, weren’t they?
M. BOOSALIS: You know those things that they put them together and tie in little pots, he used to sell them.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Oh yeah, okay. Because I know a bunch of – yeah, poppies, yeah.
M. BOOSALIS: And then he finally decided to go do this and [unintelligible - 00:07:35] then he wanted – he [unintelligible - 00:07:38] and very important to meet the people that come [unintelligible - 00:07:42] that’s his home town, and then he decided to make candy, because that’s what they were all making in [unintelligible - 00:07:49]. And this [unintelligible - 00:07:52] left New York City and came towards Providence.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: And moved from Providence to Green Bay?
M. BOOSALIS: My dad didn’t – decided to go west because he said, “I got to do something more.” And then he was taking care of his brothers, he had his brothers, one died, you know, was so sick, the other sent back to Greece, cost him a lot of money, but they didn’t have that kind of money.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah, [unintelligible - 00:08:17] that’s right.
M. BOOSALIS: To [unintelligible - 00:08:19] each other and then that’s why the other brother got sick, too. He got TB. Well anyway, so my father was the one picking him up from – what’s, outside of Chicago?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Green Bay.
M. BOOSALIS: Not Green Bay before they got to Green Bay.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Let’s see [unintelligible - 00:08:39].
M. BOOSALIS: [Unintelligible - 00:08:39], yeah. No Chicago [unintelligible - 00:08:44].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: That’s where some of the [unintelligible - 00:08:45] lived?
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah and working there with my dad. And he said, “This is the way to make money,” my father and his brother that was sick, so he took him along [unintelligible - 00:08:53] and see things, help him, [unintelligible - 00:08:56] to TB. And I thought he was the eldest brother, he was kind, looking after all, but he got to Green Bay, he opened up a little res – a little no – candy store and he had his brother, sick brother there and kept him there next to the field and one of those people said, “Why don’t you send him to a warm place and [unintelligible - 00:09:22] get better?” Plan, American plan and [unintelligible - 00:09:27] “Yeah, I think maybe I can do that, maybe I can afford it.” And he couldn’t afford it. And finally decided to send him back to Greece to [unintelligible - 00:09:36] all the money but he never lived [unintelligible - 00:09:39] anyway. Yeah but my father decided to do something, he said, “I got to do something for my brothers. Bring them here in this country and –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: [Unintelligible - 00:09:51].
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah and [unintelligible - 00:09:53] keep that – my father was here before Uncle Tom.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah. Uncle Tom is Mrs. [unintelligible - 00:09:59] okay
[00:10:00]
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Alright, okay.
M. BOOSALIS: So my father decided to do it, say I'm going to do it and then came there with the [unintelligible - 00:10:07] so I don’t know how he saw them. And Nate or I mean Chris why don’t you go out to east probably west or east at some place and probably do better. You are just wasting your time here, this small little place here and you have been doing anything. My father says I got my brothers to take care of but what I'm I going to [unintelligible - 00:10:28] including my Uncle Tom and Uncle Gas and Uncle Nate and everybody. And wanted with you yeah our brother he had to take care of, kindly his attitude being my brother out there to the [unintelligible - 00:10:42] thought they couldn’t take -- got Uncle did…
A. SPELIOPOULOS: He actually went to Virginia first off?
M. BOOSALIS: Virginia and then he brought them down. Set up two boys there and moved to [unintelligible - 00:10:51] and then brought back.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Then he brought your dad.
M. BOOSALIS: And brought my dad, my dad and uncle Chris remained together. Yeah my dad, my dad is the oldest and the youngest.
[CROSSTALK]
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Also we are also speaking to [unintelligible - 00:11:06] who is the first cousin to Martha, how did we get your mother and father together?
M. BOOSALIS: Oh, [unintelligible - 00:11:15] told you she was heading for Minneapolis, and my mother was coming to the United States and she was the smart one and she had a lot of sisters, there were six girls in the family and she was good looking of all of them.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Oh, I suspected.
M. BOOSALIS: And the others girls, you know, they wanted to come to America but my mother said well if I can get you America go, but she didn’t, wasn’t too anxious either with it, she was a very good looking woman and she could get anybody to marry her but she was hesitant you know, you know how it is and then she went next door our next door neighbors.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: We know that [unintelligible - 00:11:53] but you go to the women in Minneapolis mum is in Minneapolis now how did your dad how did he prepare to go to Minneapolis?
M. BOOSALIS: Oh he used to come just celebrate the –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Oh the Greek Independence?
[CROSSTALK]
M. BOOSALIS: No they used to all celebrate the –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Easter? Not Easter but [unintelligible - 00:12:17].
M. BOOSALIS: They had a big celebration in the summer.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: In the summer of [unintelligible - 00:12:21].
M. BOOSALIS: A picnic.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: A picnic?
M. BOOSALIS: And everybody from out of town had to come to the good picnic.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: And they would have a couple of – and then –
M. BOOSALIS: They had a big picnic right at the lake be gone and they would have picnics doings and things and everybody would come out and they didn’t like the picnic and they would have people would being food and they meet each other and a lot of them [unintelligible - 00:12:43] and then wouldn’t on the way, [unintelligible - 00:12:47] I don’t know what they said but I'm just saying that and that’s how my dad they would all go out the picnic. And they meet out there and they have bands and so –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: All the transportation out there might because they had – Minnesota [unintelligible - 00:13:03].
M. BOOSALIS: And it sounds bigger than other things they just took the – just took the bus I don’t know the bus or something.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: So there were a few cars you find a few cars on [unintelligible - 00:13:13]
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah, like uncle Pete did.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: On the island, yeah.
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah, like Uncle Pete had one. Yeah, Uncle Pete always had big a big one.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: So mom and dad got married they landed up in [unintelligible - 00:13:23] was there a prikka?
M. BOOSALIS: No I did get prikka maybe some did yes when I went to Greece they got the prikka but a lot of them they had to have prikka but a lot of them didn’t have they were too poor some of them at that time you know for some of them.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Then your mother could have a prikka.
M. BOOSALIS: No, she worked in the candy store there, a beautiful place there and she had dudes from America this was [unintelligible - 00:13:52] and people like to speak with her.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: But that must have happened.
M. BOOSALIS: No, that happened but he had all these very wealthy [unintelligible - 00:14:00] and Americans and my mother looks at [unintelligible - 00:14:02] with a blonde hair and blue eyes, and you know they thought she was American. Blonde hair.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Oh my goodness.
M. BOOSALIS: [Unintelligible - 00:14:08].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah and she was – this American guy said we are your cousin or somebody, did you say that that girl would marry me, she could have got an American [unintelligible - 00:14:21] this is.
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah I know it hasn’t been, it was [unintelligible - 00:14:27]. But she had, oh she had a –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Tell them about mother, you know, the hardships that they had to do in that things were tough there, you know.
M. BOOSALIS: When my mother went to Hibbing, my mother was scared to death she said she never slept with [unintelligible - 00:14:44] means wild or weak or anybody, I can't [unintelligible - 00:14:51].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: And she described Hibbing, too.
M. BOOSALIS: Hibbing, my mother -- got the train
[00:15:00] in Hibbing and stopped at Hibbing and all of a sudden and they were bang! Bang! And screaming and boom! Boom! And they were the Indians coming they stopped here anyway and my mother, she didn’t know that [unintelligible - 00:15:13] and my father was so kind, he was so polite you have no idea which you have no associate you know you talk real nice Greek, too, and my mother [unintelligible - 00:15:33] doing. I mean it’s a kind of [unintelligible - 00:15:35] and my father was so kind to my mother he didn’t want her to worry, not to worry and they haven’t reached having children yet. And so and she went there and she didn’t know what to say or what to do but she tried her best and all those men being at her.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: All the – I mean other [unintelligible - 00:15:57] came.
M. BOOSALIS: And not the [unintelligible - 00:15:58] only but all these Greek people that worked there lived in my mother's flat you know it's not -- upstairs it's so [unintelligible - 00:16:07] all the stuff. All these Greeks lived up there and she had rumors there and they all lived up there. When my mother washed the clothes and everything and they just loved my mother and the young boy that would come there on the train, they didn’t know where to go, they didn’t know where the place was, they couldn’t even read Greek even Greek or anything. So, they always went up to my mother flat and my mother used to invite them and they used to stay up there and they used to cook for them and they call it [unintelligible - 00:16:37].
[CROSSTALK]
M. BOOSALIS: With young boys like some of them were tall, 14, 16 to do -- and they do just.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Mother would it would be worse on the section?
M. BOOSALIS: In a section.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: A rail road section?
M. BOOSALIS: Rail road section
A. SPELIOPOULOS: How about out of town where they?
M. BOOSALIS: They were quite [unintelligible - 00:16:54] they go out in their train to go and do the things out there and the trees in their lawns.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: So they could lay tracks or –?
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah, tracks or –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: That’s why they call it a section.
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah, section and they need more section of this, section I mean cut the lawns and doing and all that
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Do you remember what the pay was?
M. BOOSALIS: $10.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: $10 what a month a week?
M. BOOSALIS: I think a week.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: No more like a month?
M. BOOSALIS: More like a month.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah, okay at that time, Martha what were you ever talking about? When mum and dad got married 1900? No because [unintelligible - 00:17:35] in 1900 my mother and she was born in 1900 what kind of [unintelligible - 00:17:39] get in there?
M. BOOSALIS: I don’t know I wasn’t –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: No can you remember the date?
M. BOOSALIS: No it was early.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: 1910?
M. BOOSALIS: No before.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Because your oldest brother would have been how old? Yeah, so there is see there is Martha and [unintelligible - 00:17:57] had two boys that died first and then she had Alex and Martha and Leo.
M. BOOSALIS: Okay, what did the two boys die from?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: One died from appendix [unintelligible - 00:18:11] was very old, how old was he about three?
M. BOOSALIS: Who?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: You had the brother that died from appendix and one died from pneumonia one was about seven, eight and there one was about three or four and then you were born?
M. BOOSALIS: I was born later. I was a girl and I wasn’t too good that’s right yeah, no there wasn’t. My father was like he kind of favored me but my mother couldn’t you know, three guys I don’t know what happened but I didn’t see – I don’t know what really [unintelligible - 00:18:43].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: I also think she lost the two boys and that was tough going on
M. BOOSALIS: And I was considered you know –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: And the when she got Alex things would go different.
M. BOOSALIS: Oh, God's gift to her.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah, and that’s when Leo died in the service of world war number two and he is a pilot. Okay, and I get back to your father and next door it’s a great home [unintelligible - 00:19:05].
M. BOOSALIS: And big man and build -- they are hungry and all that we are going to our next door neighbor.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: He started a [unintelligible - 00:19:18].
M. BOOSALIS: And all that and he could borrow our chairs because he didn’t have any chairs, you know, so we wanted extra chairs when they had meeting I think you know what all chairs they stood all those people that used to come in to make the green house.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: [Unintelligible - 00:19:35]
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah I can tell you the story and he said how are you, and the chair and we sit there and we – if we sit on the floor they didn’t have a chair, so we sit on the floor.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah, Greyhound a lot of people do not realize it’s the Greyhound, a lot of people did start [unintelligible - 00:19:55].
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah, and they gave my mother Mrs. – and my mother said you take
[00:20:00] the chair, my mother says [unintelligible - 00:20:02] we just had a little, you know.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Now you must also remember that this is in [unintelligible - 00:20:11] where they opened pit mines, so [unintelligible - 00:20:16] they moved the whole city more South.
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah.
[CROSSTALK]
A. SPELIOPOULOS: So that was called [unintelligible - 00:20:34] wasn’t that’s the first one? No, no that was not because that was near [unintelligible - 00:20:38] is where your sister lived, so –
M. BOOSALIS: Okay.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Further up that way. In the South, and then [unintelligible - 00:20:43] on the other side of the Howard Street [unintelligible - 00:20:48] but the big open pit mines they are just beautiful.
[CROSSTALK]
M. BOOSALIS: Oh yes, I used to -- my brother Alex [unintelligible - 00:20:56] and he almost got killed.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Is that right?
M. BOOSALIS: He went down and he slipped down on the mine and he went all the way down the pit, and the pits are great big pits.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: The pits are miles and miles and miles deep.
M. BOOSALIS: And he was lucky he didn’t get killed there, but he nearly did.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: So really there are [unintelligible - 00:21:17] did live in Hibbing and it was very, very difficult for them. It was tough. When did they [unintelligible - 00:21:27].
M. BOOSALIS: I would say –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Was the language a problem?
M. BOOSALIS: Oh my God [unintelligible - 00:21:34].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah, [unintelligible - 00:21:36] she got her you know she got her citizenship, that was hysterical how she got that.
M. BOOSALIS: How did she get that?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: You remember how your mother got your papers, the papers?
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: [Unintelligible - 00:21:47].
M. BOOSALIS: I don’t [unintelligible - 00:21:50].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah, I know. She had to learn who the presidents were, remember that?
M. BOOSALIS: Yes I know who the president of the United States was, you know what I mean?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Who was the president at that time, do you remember?
M. BOOSALIS: I don’t know, I don’t remember.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: But anyway, she finally did get her citizenship [unintelligible - 00:22:07] and then Martha started having a very severe heart condition, she did pass away and [unintelligible - 00:22:14] I was 10 years old in about 1937. I would say, dear, dear man, he just very well recognized in the town. He used to be the banker for a lot of those big people too, remember my boss when they lived down the section they didn’t know any place to keep their money so Uncle Chris was trusted with their money.
[CROSSTALK]
M. BOOSALIS: He used to write the checks [unintelligible - 00:22:35].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: And everybody else had money home you know because that’s what they are there for.
M. BOOSALIS: And they’d all send the money home and they come to the depot you know.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah, the depot would be the [unintelligible - 00:22:44].
M. BOOSALIS: Give them the money and he kept it at home and they all stayed at my mother’s house, my mother let them sleep at the house.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah, because she did have a lot of work because she used to do a lot of laundry which is alright, it was a way of income for her.
M. BOOSALIS: [Unintelligible - 00:23:00] cooks then they used to come [unintelligible - 00:23:03].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah, so then at the time Martha were they also allowed to know about the [unintelligible - 00:23:12] and stuff like that [unintelligible - 00:23:14] I don’t remember those because I was too young [unintelligible - 00:23:17]
M. BOOSALIS: I used to go, they had those funny movies of women. I remember that, but my mother didn’t want me to go because I was old enough, not old, old but I mean I was young enough to know [unintelligible - 00:23:32] yeah and they bring them in from Minneapolis.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: The movies?
M. BOOSALIS: Not the movies and the dancers, all the cool –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Was it more like a [unintelligible - 00:23:42].
M. BOOSALIS: Greek women from Minneapolis and Chicago, especially Minneapolis.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Is that right?
[CROSSTALK]
M. BOOSALIS: Big, big –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: And how many [unintelligible - 00:23:54] did they have because they had a lot of them.
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah, I didn’t go, but my mom allowed me to go.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: [Unintelligible - 00:23:58].
M. BOOSALIS: And they had so many -- I don’t know.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: [Unintelligible - 00:24:01].
M. BOOSALIS: Yes, I wouldn’t go because my [unintelligible - 00:24:05] I wouldn’t enjoy it either because they were there dancing, they bring them in from Chicago because they didn’t have any in [unintelligible - 00:24:13]
A. SPELIOPOULOS: If I am correct, I think Martha said at one time that they had about two or three of them [unintelligible - 00:24:20].
M. BOOSALIS: Absolutely.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah, okay.
M. BOOSALIS: And they had dancers and they had –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah, and the gambling.
M. BOOSALIS: And then Mr. – you know who used to be a terrific [unintelligible - 00:24:31] was in – you know who lived in [unintelligible - 00:24:38]
A. SPELIOPOULOS: I don’t know [unintelligible - 00:24:41].
M. BOOSALIS: No, no his name was – he was a nice looking Greek man.
[CROSSTALK]
M. BOOSALIS: I don’t remember the name, he was –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Except that if you talk to Christine she might have.
M. BOOSALIS: I might have [unintelligible - 00:24:58] because I was.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: We are talking about it just five years ago.
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Alright Martha, another thing, too, now we are talking about the [unintelligible - 00:25:04] now.
M. BOOSALIS: [Unintelligible - 00:25:06] the big hotels.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: They were?
M. BOOSALIS: They were so many beautiful hotels there. That was like the men that came in there to spend money.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Now you are talking about North Hibbing.
M. BOOSALIS: North Hibbing, yeah.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Okay, so was not – because you know, the way I remember Hibbing right now we didn’t have that – we don’t have that many hotels.
M. BOOSALIS: Yes.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: So [unintelligible - 00:25:27] okay.
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Alright, one other thing too about your mother and dad, your dad died?
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: So they built – how did they get their building [unintelligible - 00:25:39] Street?
M. BOOSALIS: Everybody bought a building there.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Okay they bought a building right? And then it was built.
M. BOOSALIS: And it was specific in what they wanted and how much they wanted to spend and the company would build it for them.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: So you are talking about the mining company that did for them? So that’s how they changed it.
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Okay, the mining companies build them.
M. BOOSALIS: The mining company was [unintelligible - 00:25:58].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Built the town.
M. BOOSALIS: Built the town beautifully, yeah. The town was really beautiful when it was new. And that’s because of [unintelligible - 00:26:08].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: And actually they built it for Mr. [unintelligible - 00:26:11] and then they would just give it to him?
[CROSSTALK]
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah, but you didn’t have to give them any patterns or anything; you will say we want this and we want that maybe.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: And they did it?
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: So that’s how your dad got his building then?
M. BOOSALIS: Not one building, he had more than one building; he had a couple of two or three buildings.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah, but he bought them later, but the first one that they moved to because you see they had a restaurant [unintelligible - 00:26:34].
M. BOOSALIS: And they had other buildings, too, they had a little one there on -- further down by the – it was a school.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: I guess it’s a library?
M. BOOSALIS: Further down they had [unintelligible - 00:26:50].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Now when you think about it, you can just say [unintelligible - 00:26:58] you’ll come back to us.
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Okay.
M. BOOSALIS: [Unintelligible - 00:27:01] all kinds of buildings and had all these Greeks coming in [unintelligible - 00:27:04] all the [unintelligible - 00:27:07].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: How many at one time would you say were [unintelligible - 00:27:10] they had come from Greece and settled there because of relatives and stuff.
M. BOOSALIS: I would say about 300.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: They were 300.
M. BOOSALIS: Three, 400.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Did you have a church up there that day?
M. BOOSALIS: Yes, we had a little church.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: In [unintelligible - 00:27:24].
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah, I remember where they –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Well that I don’t remember. Are you talking about the one that [unintelligible - 00:27:27]?
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah, that one.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: [Unintelligible - 00:27:29]
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Okay.
M. BOOSALIS: We didn’t have our own private ones.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: No because –
[CROSSTALK]
M. BOOSALIS: The Greek school, remember where the dancing school used to be they made that into a school.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: That’s right, a Greek school, you had a Greek school. I was too young for that but I saw a Greek school and you were top in your class.
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah, they made me do all the -- I had to do everything because I knew Greek from Greek school, I went to Greek school here in Minneapolis and I studied here quite a few years in Greek school. I was a student [unintelligible - 00:28:02].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Did you stay for the whole year you went to American school at the same time, too, or did you just come for the summer times?
M. BOOSALIS: No I came here and I stayed and went to [unintelligible - 00:28:12] school.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: To a real Greek school?
M. BOOSALIS: [Unintelligible - 00:28:15] Martha lived.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Then your mother’s sister now, what years would that be that you came. You are very fortunate that your mother allowed you to come. I think she wanted to get rid of you.
M. BOOSALIS: I think she did.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: [Unintelligible - 00:28:28]
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah I mean I was too much – and I had to do all the dishes, I had to do this, I had to [unintelligible - 00:28:36] wasn’t any better, she made me do worse.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: This is your mothers sister right?
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: So [unintelligible - 00:28:43] okay now you have to tell them that you came down here to your mothers sister [unintelligible - 00:28:50].
M. BOOSALIS: [Claris].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Claris, who by the way is [unintelligible - 00:28:55]?
M. BOOSALIS: Mother in-law.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Mother in-law, okay. [Unintelligible - 00:28:58].
M. BOOSALIS: Probably when they got together.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Alright, so now tell me how did your mother allow you to come down here and go to college?
M. BOOSALIS: Because I was here too, you know. I used to go – stayed at the [unintelligible - 00:29:16].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Okay.
M. BOOSALIS: I slept – how many kids were we in that bedroom?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: There were the three girls, Peter and Martha in one room.
M. BOOSALIS: I was going to the university and I used to get up at – I don’t – 5:00?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: 5:00 in the morning.
M. BOOSALIS: To go to university [unintelligible - 00:29:34] used to take me to university every morning.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: He would drive you there?
M. BOOSALIS: [Unintelligible - 00:29:43] at the university. I was an outstanding student, getting there early in the morning and getting a ride to go home again. I was -- and that’s where I met Mike, too, you know. I’d go in and say hello to him.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Was he going to school or did he own the restaurant?
[00:30:00].
M. BOOSALIS: He went to school first and then he got in to the restaurant business with Uncle Peter.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: And so he was not in the varsity at the time when you were going to school?
M. BOOSALIS: No in the [unintelligible - 00:30:13] he was in [unintelligible - 00:30:14].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: And that’s where I go to school then yeah [unintelligible - 00:30:16].
M. BOOSALIS: But after it –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: I work in [unintelligible - 00:30:19] yeah. What did you take up as a major?
M. BOOSALIS: A major I took up [unintelligible - 00:30:24].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Modern History maybe.
M. BOOSALIS: Was something I hated quite a few subjects.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: I know but you also took science. Probably graduated UCLA [unintelligible - 00:30:34] a lot of sciences though because you could have gone on and you could have become a doctor if you wanted to.
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah okay lot of sciences.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah and don’t forget to mention don’t be too shy you did graduate there’s [unintelligible - 00:30:45], I thought it was [unintelligible - 00:30:50].
M. BOOSALIS: And I had all this – yes I did have it because I had all those colors [unintelligible - 00:31:01] painted [unintelligible - 00:31:03]?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Well [unintelligible - 00:31:06] a beautiful [unintelligible - 00:31:08] everything on the inside she had everything in the side of the [unintelligible - 00:31:12] that through her biology she was just [unintelligible - 00:31:15].
M. BOOSALIS: I should have been the doctor. I was outstanding and actually I got all that stuff and I had it in Hibbing and I had it at the [unintelligible - 00:31:26] house and I heard it all over and I said I want to save these and my mother [unintelligible - 00:31:30] no way, so no way nobody touches those things I said I spend a lot of time a lot of hours on that stuff.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: When after she graduated she had to go back home, your back home again [unintelligible - 00:31:43] because you want to tell her [unintelligible - 00:31:45] were back home with your schooling, what did you teach when you went back home because you couldn’t go out and work?
M. BOOSALIS: No.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: So you got a job doing what in Hibbing? You were teaching students [unintelligible - 00:32:00] the – somebody called that night class for the –
M. BOOSALIS: In students they were working at targeting their [unintelligible - 00:32:08].
[CROSS TALK]
M. BOOSALIS: And people they worked on the mines and they just loved me they gave me gifts and then they weren’t Greek necessarily but they were young students they wanted to but –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: [Unintelligible - 00:32:24] citizenship papers they might have helped them that’s what it was.
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah, I see, yeah night school.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Excellent [unintelligible - 00:32:30] Otherwise she would have just gotten her education and would have just stayed home because there was no way for you, Martha. They never would have sent you out to get a job, that’s so hard to kind of hard to find in that time anyway.
M. BOOSALIS: [Unintelligible - 00:32:44] men they wanted to go and get their citizenship paper if they wanted to come at night to [unintelligible - 00:32:52] and they didn’t make things permanent they made me those [unintelligible - 00:32:58].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: [Unintelligible - 00:33:00]?
M. BOOSALIS: You’ve had [unintelligible - 00:33:01] all that Slovenian stuff and I’d been [unintelligible - 00:33:05].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Because that’s what Martha did [unintelligible - 00:33:13], your dad [unintelligible - 00:33:16] I remember that. How did you know he died?
M. BOOSALIS: He died and then came before Mike died.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah and before your dad died your –
M. BOOSALIS: Before Mike died.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: You were engaged before your father died?
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Was that a [unintelligible - 00:33:29] or was that –?
M. BOOSALIS: Well it wasn’t exactly a fixed [unintelligible - 00:33:32] in those days no but [unintelligible - 00:33:35] had always admired Mike regardless. Well he was the only Greek that I knew that could speak halfway good English at halftime because he was just a young man you know? Young fellow.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Another – and he was –
M. BOOSALIS: Very polite and –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah, but had something going for him when most of them don’t at that age I remember that because I was very impressed and that was about 10 years [unintelligible - 00:33:55] I remember that Martha.
M. BOOSALIS: I know.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: So then she gets to the head I remember that things were tough during that time because it had to be about 1937.
M. BOOSALIS: Your things were tough.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah depression time, remember Martha? Depression.
M. BOOSALIS: So I kind of stayed in Hibbing, in Minneapolis.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Minneapolis? Yeah, I think you married Mike I remember you got married in our living room.
M. BOOSALIS: I’ve taken my aunt’s house and I got married in my aunt’s house.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: We just lived right next door to each other [unintelligible - 00:34:28].
M. BOOSALIS: Well that’s where I got married.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah you got married there.
M. BOOSALIS: My wedding but it was nice.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah, and then Martha got married and lived in Minneapolis and of course I was too young to – when she was gone I never doubted that she would do it Martha where you lived because I didn’t see all that, so.
M. BOOSALIS: You were interested in Peter though.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: I know I was.
M. BOOSALIS: Or you were going out with Peter that was it and we wanted to know where you were going and we had –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: No that’s what I did to stay with you. I went to school to stay with Martha too, that was the only way I got there.
M. BOOSALIS: I didn’t want people staying with her.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Where did you live
[00:35:00] after you came to Minneapolis, Martha? Because I know that you could tell the [unintelligible - 00:35:03]?
M. BOOSALIS: Oh we stayed at that beautiful apartment building university and the [unintelligible - 00:35:09], its $75.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Oh that was expensive at that time.
M. BOOSALIS: For an apartment with – and of course that was considered [unintelligible - 00:35:22].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: After that he got married he had a little money and –
M. BOOSALIS: [Unintelligible - 00:35:31] to be on the campus [unintelligible - 00:35:33].and he also helped him on the [unintelligible - 00:35:41] that much I know like we used to help him.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: What year did you get married, remember?
M. BOOSALIS: 37 or rather 38.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Probably this is the [unintelligible - 00:35:51] just put it down in my book. We’ll record that.
M. BOOSALIS: I don’t remember [unintelligible - 00:35:59] I was too busy.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: July. Is your anniversary July 22nd? Not that’s Tony’s.
M. BOOSALIS: Tony is another [unintelligible - 00:36:07].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: You’re in April or May Martha [unintelligible - 00:36:08].Your anniversary.
M. BOOSALIS: My father died, too, at the same time.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah he died but you really got married soon right after the – I met with you to wait for the [unintelligible - 00:36:18]. Yeah because they can always set the date and then [unintelligible - 00:36:22] but the only thing they altered was the fact that they did not have a huge wedding they just – they had a small wedding.
M. BOOSALIS: [Unintelligible - 00:36:27].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: In fact I didn’t even think Martha got any wedding gifts [unintelligible - 00:36:31].
M. BOOSALIS: Not one, not one. We can’t afford wedding gifts at that time so everything in it – I didn’t do it. So everything that just needed Martha has of me was strictly from what she’s herself. Now you can take a look at those pictures and you’ll see all of them that I had before anyway I just didn’t mind and I went to the university and I was president of the – one section of the university when I was going there because I was doing all those paintings.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Or were you?
M. BOOSALIS: You know like for my classes.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Oh then it will be zoology then. It was in the [unintelligible - 00:37:07].
M. BOOSALIS: Yes I know. I would have bet in the science [unintelligible - 00:37:10] that’s what I wanted to do.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah, yeah because you are very interested in medicine, too. And what did you be active at night?
M. BOOSALIS: I just [unintelligible - 00:37:18]. I became a mother I tried to raise them pretty well.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah oh you did a nice job on that. You’ve got nice kids. But as far as [unintelligible - 00:37:33] you really did not have that much school in life that he was a very good businessman.
M. BOOSALIS: Mike [unintelligible - 00:37:38] he went to university.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Oh, did he go, Martha?
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah, yes he went to university, one thing he likes school he’s another one – he wanted to go to become what’s that place? He was supposed to go via dear friend of Uncle Peter he was going to be on what you call it on the [unintelligible - 00:38:04]. He was going to go on –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: See I can [unintelligible - 00:38:12] – your train of thought I don’t know because [unintelligible - 00:38:13].
M. BOOSALIS: He worked here at the first national bank in Ohio.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Oh he was – okay he was going to go up to the bank and –
M. BOOSALIS: He did go and then he wanted to go to one of the [unintelligible - 00:38:24]. Harvard and then he wanted to go another place to [unintelligible - 00:38:30].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Are you talking about going to school?
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: But they only have [unintelligible - 00:38:36]?
M. BOOSALIS: Not business but he did to go training.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Oh, training. Now where was Mike born?
M. BOOSALIS: He was born in Niata but he came here as a little boy and he lived with my Uncle Peter so he grew up with Uncle Peter at Uncle Peter’s house on Dupont.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: And that is his father’s brother?
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah he’s father’s brother and his uncle didn’t have children and picked up Mike and adopted him.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah do you want to say few things about Uncle Pete because Uncle Pete was the first group that was here wasn’t he? In Minneapolis [unintelligible - 00:39:12]?
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah, just about.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: You should understand on this tape that the Boosalises all came from a town called Niata and he was the first Greek to come here [unintelligible - 00:39:25]. And he was very successful extremely successful.
M. BOOSALIS: And then my father-in-law came next, Mike’s brother.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Mike’s father.
M. BOOSALIS: Father, and he was a brother to Uncle Peter and they lived together and now they grew up together and became very successful businessmen.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: What did they do? They had the candy?
M. BOOSALIS: No they had food stores and candy stores and things like that they had it from a [unintelligible - 00:39:49] before my husband [unintelligible - 00:39:51] he was – his godfather was here so many times.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: That’s right because everyone back.
M. BOOSALIS: Two three times.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah he went back and then –
M. BOOSALIS: My father was here many times here
[00:40:00] in Minneapolis because they were brothers and then when the [unintelligible - 00:40:06] got a little something in this [unintelligible - 00:40:10] it’s kind of a little different than Uncle Peter, well Uncle Pete was a very successful businessman not only that but he did a lot for the Greek community Uncle Pete did. He got us out of a lot of scrapes [unintelligible - 00:40:28]. Minneapolis didn’t allow any Greeks or any very [unintelligible - 00:40:35] Chicago was different [unintelligible - 00:40:39] and groups that were [unintelligible - 00:40:43] Minneapolis, Minneapolis had no – Uncle Pete never allowed any junk in Minneapolis? No anybody that he would get out of right away, judges here Minneapolis. [Unintelligible - 00:41:01] and I know and they were very careful he won’t have anyone on the normal drinking and nothing about that. But the Pete [unintelligible - 00:41:15].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: They didn’t have children?
M. BOOSALIS: No. So that’s why Mike and –
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Mike was there and then Elsie, he adopted Elsie [unintelligible - 00:41:30] and –
M. BOOSALIS: And then [unintelligible - 00:41:33] the other sister. Then my mother’s other sister [unintelligible - 00:41:36].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Oh, okay.
M. BOOSALIS: The sooner I am my mother damaged this [unintelligible - 00:41:40].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah, she’s the one that lives in [unintelligible - 00:41:41] Dakota.
M. BOOSALIS: Used to live.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah, now she’s one, too, [unintelligible - 00:41:45]. But [unintelligible - 00:41:47] would you think that they would be interested in [unintelligible - 00:41:50] you know, Martha knows a lot of history but maybe you’re forgetting a little that’s why we were [unintelligible - 00:41:55]. I have to get together because – you know what? I haven’t been done [unintelligible - 00:41:58]. Let me ask you a question when your niece take for you did she take a lot of the things you would have remembered?
M. BOOSALIS: I did it, I remembered it all once she [unintelligible - 00:42:08] and what is her name?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Christine [unintelligible - 00:42:10]. I will get hold of Christine Ryan and I will have her take Martha [unintelligible - 00:42:15] tape and I will send both of the cassettes together.
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah, that sounds like it will be enough.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: How’s that sound? Because she does remember at that time.
M. BOOSALIS: I remember because [unintelligible - 00:42:24].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah, yeah, and like Christine said she wished that she had started for her to continue more but then Martha had to have such – having her injury with her hip and stuff in the leg so [unintelligible - 00:42:37]. So we’ve lost a year here and it’s a little harder for her to remember.
M. BOOSALIS: Well I can – but I have to sit there now well I tell you about and [unintelligible - 00:42:46] and all of those people that I had to talk to and explain things to God I used to be fun, and Uncle [unintelligible - 00:42:55] taking me to the university every morning he used to go this restaurant [unintelligible - 00:42:59] used to work there on Southside.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: [Unintelligible - 00:43:03] Hotel is and is called [unintelligible - 00:43:06] at that time.
M. BOOSALIS: And [unintelligible - 00:43:08] cares and he used to work there with his restaurant down there and he used to take me every morning down to the university.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Martha, how would he manage because he worked real late – worked many, many hours but he always got home at seven so would you be at school till six when he would pick you up?
M. BOOSALIS: Yes, but sometimes I’d stay then sometimes I get ride home.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Oh you would? Okay all right that’s very interesting. Another thing you used to do that a lot of the older ladies that used to – did you ever take any of them to the doctor? I know that a lot of them did not know English.
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah [unintelligible - 00:43:44] embarrassing and the things they brought out and I can’t explain them and I [unintelligible - 00:43:52], I had a tough Christmas I understand I [unintelligible - 00:43:56] but I don’t remember you telling me that she used to take a lot of it because a lot of it hung a lift right around the church area. And they wanted to go to the doctor to tell them personal things and [unintelligible - 00:44:07] tell the doctor because I’m not [unintelligible - 00:44:12] but I did, I helped them and they helped me because I used to take [unintelligible - 00:44:18] all of them and I said my first [unintelligible - 00:44:24].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Yeah, I know I remember that.
M. BOOSALIS: [Unintelligible - 00:44:27]. Well, God Almighty I’ve [unintelligible - 00:44:33] don’t even know what I’m supposed to tell them well anyway [unintelligible - 00:44:36].
A. SPELIOPOULOS: You know, one question that I would like to ask that I have not been able to ask anybody is what did you do for birth control?
M. BOOSALIS: Nothing.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Nothing?
M. BOOSALIS: No we just tried not to do anything [unintelligible - 00:44:51] doing nothing to get by.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: But there wasn’t any birth control at that time?
M. BOOSALIS: I don’t think so. I don’t know, they were but they didn’t.
[00:45:00]
A. SPELIOPOULOS: I think they might have been the condoms.
M. BOOSALIS: No, maybe they got them from their husbands. Did you ever stop to think of that? They didn’t want any more children?
A. SPELIOPOULOS: I don’t know how they would do that though.
M. BOOSALIS: Husbands get them for them.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: The condoms is what the husbands used then, Martha.
M. BOOSALIS: Yeah.
A. SPELIOPOULOS: Well okay. So but that was years ago they did have that.
M. BOOSALIS: I think they did [unintelligible - 00:45:25] but they were more – I don’t think.