Oral Histories

Ruby Ray Tangreen Zufelt

b. 1908

Ruby Zufelt

Q. What did you charge people for sewing?

A. Well, I made a dress for Maude Reed. She had some material someone had given her, calico. I made a dress for her for fifty cents and took an old hen for pay, and made soup for the kids.
Q. Is that the only time you had to take chickens for your work?

A. That’s the only time I took chickens. I sewed for Aunt Lou to pay her to take care of me when Lenore was a baby. She would come up and dress the baby, and give me a bed bath while I had to stay in bed. We stayed in bed ten days, in those days; not just get up the next day. That was quite a change. They thought that it would make the generations stronger to have the mother stay in bed until she got her strength back.

Q. All she did was get weaker?

A. Yes. I don’t know. I raised a garden that year and Lenore was born the sixth of September. She wasn’t due until the fourth of October, but she came early and I didn’t have a stitch to put on her. I had a little ol’ shirt that Mother made for me when I was a baby, ‘cause I only weighed four pounds. She couldn’t buy one that fit me. So Lenore wore that shirt and a dish towel for a diaper.

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