Barbara Wherley Interview, 6 October 2012

Barbara Wherley grew up in Cleveland Heights and in this interview she describes that experience. She discusses what it was like going to Nela Park with her father, an employee of General Electric. She also describes her growth through the schools of Cleveland Heights, and how those experiences shaped her future thinking. She recalls how her church, Noble Road Presbyterian, was very involved in the civil rights movement. Additionally, she describes the attendance and the Sunday Schooling that went on at Noble Road Presbyterian. She finishes the interview by talking about how her life as a child greatly differs to her children's lives. She closes by wondering why that difference exists.

Participants: Wherley, Barbara (interviewee) / Souther, Mark (interviewer)
Collection: Cleveland Heights
Institutional Repository: Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection

Interview Transcript

Mark Souther [00:00:01] Today is October 6, 2012. My name is Mark Souther and I am in Cleveland Heights doing an oral history with, this is Barbara Wherley. Thank you very much for being here today. I guess we will use the first second or two here as a bit of a soundcheck since I forgot to do that. So maybe you could just describe what the weather is like today for just a moment.

Barbara Wherley [00:00:27] Today is a beautiful fall day, partly cloudy, partly sunny. The leaves are just beginning to change.

Mark Souther [00:00:35] Okay. Thank you, that's perfect. Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed for the project. As you know, we're recording memories of Cleveland Heights residents for the Cleveland Heights portion of the Cleveland Historical mobile app. And one of the things we'd like to do is develop stories in the Noble-Monticello area of Cleveland Heights. I understand that you grew up in this area. Can you tell me where you were born and what street you lived on?

Barbara Wherley [00:01:05] Well, I was born in Michigan, but I lived from two years old on at 3925 Delmore Road, which is on the eastern side of Noble and the southern side of Monticello.

Mark Souther [00:01:21] So you were within walking distance then to all the shops and businesses along?

Barbara Wherley [00:01:29] Correct. Correct. And, and young people. Then you people would send their six-year-old to go buy meat in those days. So I did. You know, you went down to the corner store and you crossed Noble in Monticello, which was busy then, and bought your mom meat if she needed it.

Mark Souther [00:01:49] What was your first memory, if you can remember maybe the first time that you were sent out to either do that or to go to any of the other businesses by yourself?

Barbara Wherley [00:01:57] I can clearly remember the first time I went because I was sure I didn't have enough money and I was kind of in a little panic that what would I do when I got there if I didn't have enough money, but I did have enough money. And my mother informed me later that they would, you just put it on your tab. In those days, you just say you were a Davis and you put it on your tab and they would have handed me the meat without any money.

Mark Souther [00:02:22] What was the business?

Barbara Wherley [00:02:24] It's called Knific's It was the local grocer. I don't know if there was one in every part of Cleveland Heights, but there are many little shopping areas all over Cleveland Heights and University Heights. And I happen to know that on Noble down by Monticello-Noble. There was Knific's and up toward Noble Elementary, there was delis. So maybe they were all over you that.

Mark Souther [00:02:48] How do you spell that?

Barbara Wherley [00:02:48] Oh my gosh.

Mark Souther [00:02:50] Do you remember?

Barbara Wherley [00:02:50] It was K N, I think it was K N I F I C S, boy, now you're. I don't. I'm not sure, but I think so.

Mark Souther [00:03:01] I don't think I have ever come across this business's name.

Barbara Wherley [00:03:01] I think so. Oh, everybody, everybody knew it and knows that it lasted a long time. It lasted. Somebody bought it from the Knific family and kept it open at least until 1980. It was opened quite a while.

Mark Souther [00:03:19] This was south of I'm sorry, north of Monticello.

Barbara Wherley [00:03:23] Correct, and eventually became Noble Foods, people knew it in the '70s and '80s as Noble Foods.

Mark Souther [00:03:31] What other businesses do you remember when you were growing up that were right around that same area?

Barbara Wherley [00:03:37] Well, there was a hardware store as you approached Roanoke on the same side of Noble, and there was Rukasin Drug, which everybody knew. Everybody bought their drugs there. Everybody bought their candy there. Everybody bought their soda fountain stuff there. That everybody, that was that was where everybody congregated. The fellow who owned it, Mr. Rukasin, is what we called him. It was kind of like going to shop with your uncle or your grandfather. That's sort of what it felt like.

Mark Souther [00:04:13] Did you, do you recall ever going up to the I'm not sure what the name of the little broker, little stream that runs back behind? I think it's Randolph Road down in the woods. Do you have any memories of playing in there and what that was called?

Barbara Wherley [00:04:27] Oh, my gosh. What was it called? We called it the creek, but what was its official name? I, I don't, I don't know. We called it the creek and we played there all the time. But I can tell you it was not it was frowned upon by the school. You got in a lot of trouble if you played in there and the school found out not having nothing to do with school days, you would just we're not supposed to play down there.

Mark Souther [00:04:50] Did you ever know why?

Barbara Wherley [00:04:54] As an adult? I think it probably had to do with storm sewers and and filling up with water very quickly when there was a storm. That's my guess. No, I was never told why I was not.

Mark Souther [00:05:04] Did you go often?

Barbara Wherley [00:05:04] Often. And we also went we went to that one. And I don't know if it's the same creek that runs through Denison Park. I don't think it is, but we went to that one, too, and there was a culvert there and you could go into the culvert. But, in back then, Denison was just a field. Denison Park was a field. So.

Mark Souther [00:05:29] I understand at one point it was a city dump, but it had been, then it was turned into a park?

Barbara Wherley [00:05:34] Yeah, I don't know it as a city dump. I, no. I probably my first memories of there were, let's say, 1960 and it was not a dump or if it was, it was on the outskirts where I wasn't going.

Mark Souther [00:05:49] Now that I think about it, that was earlier and I think Denison Park started sometime in the '50s. I can't remember.

Barbara Wherley [00:05:54] Yeah. I'm going to guess because I'm pretty sure I mean, it was certainly not the park it is now wasn't manicured. It wasn't, had tennis courts. It didn't, definitely didn't have a pool. We had to that's where we went to catch bugs and everybody would have to do a insect report. When you hit 10th grade and went to high school, you had to bring an insect report, an insect collection. And so that's where you went to collect your insects. Everybody went to Denison Park to collect. There weren't that many fields around. There was a field at the corner of my street. There was a field at the corner of Delmore and Monticello, even though there was one of those little three store small, another several stores right there. That, one was a pizza place that we all went to. The field was there until they built the insurance company, which is also no longer there. Things change quickly.

Mark Souther [00:06:55] Yeah. So Denison Park, if I understand correctly, they added the pool in the late 1960s?

Barbara Wherley [00:07:03] Now I'm going to guess it was later than that because I never swam there as a child. We all had to go to Cumberland and I got out of high school in '71. So maybe late '60s because I probably wasn't going to the pool so much, although, I went, no my friends, we were. So I'm going to say '70s. Yeah, I think it must have been the '70.

Mark Souther [00:07:23] Okay, and getting back to the Noble area although that is really close to it. What about Nela Park? Do you have any memories of Nela Park?

Barbara Wherley [00:07:33] Well, I'm a GE baby, so I have huge memories of Nela Park. My father worked for GE and anybody in Cleveland who worked for GE, your family could go there. I went to Nela Park three days a week my whole life when it was open, which was summertime. We all took swimming lessons there at three days a week minimum. We took swimming lessons two days. We always went on Sunday. And then we went other times too. We spent a lot of time in Nela Park, but it wasn't public. You couldn't just go to Nela Park and play. You had to have your parents had to have a card to go there. But I just happened to have gone there all the time because I was a GE child.

Mark Souther [00:08:19] What did your father do?

Barbara Wherley [00:08:20] My father was an accountant, not at Nela Park, at the top of Highland Road hill. When you're almost into Richmond Heights, I believe there was a small General Electric lighting facility there where they manufactured like they manufactured bulbs and he worked there as their accountant.

Mark Souther [00:08:46] I see. So they had plenty of recreational facilities, though at Nela Park?

Barbara Wherley [00:08:49] Yeah, they had playgrounds, tennis courts, two pools, a baby. No, three pools a real baby pool, a middy pool, and a big pool.

Mark Souther [00:09:00] Do you have, know how many people working there at its peak possibly. Did you ever hear a figure of maybe how that compares with now?

Barbara Wherley [00:09:06] I don't. I don't. I'm sorry, but I can tell you, as it compares with now, it was full then. Every building was full and now many of the buildings are shuttered. My brother-in-law worked there until he retired. And it's, it's nothing like it was in size. Our numbers, I mean, the size is still there because all the buildings are still there, but they're empty.

Mark Souther [00:09:27] I understand too and I, in fact in the. I've lived in Cleveland Heights about 10 years. We always go see the Nela Park Christmas lights and they seem to have dwindled somewhat in the 10 years that I've been here. I wonder if you could speak to what they were like when you were growing up and how what extent you've seen them change?

Barbara Wherley [00:09:50] They were fantastic when I was growing up. Everybody was allowed in then. It was [you] were in your car. You drove in the main gate, which is not the current main gate. And every every other building at least, and there are many, many buildings inside of there was lit. Beautifully, tons and tons of lights and everybody followed a serpentine, you know, they told you exactly what roads to take within the facility and it was bumper to bumper cars all the time in December. It was just beautiful, just beautiful. So then the progress was to not letting you come in. But there were tons of lights on Noble Road. Then they brought it down to setting up those figures and outlining them, you know, like a skunk outlined in lights and not so many lights on the buildings. And yes, it's, I try not to talk about how the past was better because I don't think it was. But in this case it was.

Mark Souther [00:10:56] Yeah. Do you know, when they quit letting people in and why?

Barbara Wherley [00:11:00] It was a security issue. I know why. I don't remember when, but I'm I'm going to take a stab at early '70s. It was a long time ago. We were stopped being allowed to go in.

Mark Souther [00:11:14] Was it just the general security concerns or was there some incident or fear of some particular type of incident?

Barbara Wherley [00:11:20] There. I'm. I believe they were worried about the security of their secrets as opposed to. There was no incident. There was no. Nothing, nothing like that, but there was, at that time, corporate security was becoming more of a discussion, an issue that was discussed, and I believe that that was why.

Mark Souther [00:11:47] I see.

Barbara Wherley [00:11:48] And it probably, you know, it probably took a lot of money to do that. And that was probably a factor too.

Mark Souther [00:11:57] It seems in general, GE is a shell of its former self in Cleveland.

Barbara Wherley [00:12:02] Right, right.

Mark Souther [00:12:05] At present. Moving to a different topic. Do you remember ever having any understanding of the importance of the farmhouses up around Noble Road the few that were up there? Were you ever made aware of those growing up or were they just not really noticed?

Barbara Wherley [00:12:26] I would say they were not really noticed, although we all talked about them. I mean, not in a not in a studied way or a those are important historical markers. We just all knew there was one on Bluestone. There was an old house with turrets on my Noble Road. We all knew them. We all knew they were cool old houses. But no, there was no sense of discussing their historical value nor protecting them. Nothing like that. I don't remember. My family didn't do that.

Mark Souther [00:12:59] Were you? I'm guessing this may be the right time period. I've read that in the nineteen, I guess it was the early 1960s that I'm speaking of, I can't remember, that there was talk of having a second Cleveland Heights High School that would be in the northern part and not that far east, but in the northern part of town somewhere, perhaps around the Forest Hill area, Forest Hill's area. Do you?

Barbara Wherley [00:13:27] I do recall the discussions, but I don't recall a single thing about it.

Mark Souther [00:13:32] Okay.

Barbara Wherley [00:13:32] And I and I got to tell you, I never believed it would happen at that time. I never thought it was serious enough, although there were so many kids. I mean, when I went to Heights High School, it was just three grades. And there were, there were a thousand more than a thousand kids in my class. And we had up and down stairwells so that you didn't crash into each other. I mean, it was a concern at how overflowed it was, but I don't remember it ever being serious. It was just a thought in in my memory.

Mark Souther [00:14:08] Before we at some point, I'm going to shift to the your memories of the church itself, but I also I guess because we are on the topic of schools, I wanted to ask you about the different Heights schools that you attended, starting with I think you said Oxford, was where you attended, right?

Barbara Wherley [00:14:24] Correct. We lived the farthest from the school of almost anybody because we were south of Monticello and we had, we had to cross a very busy street. But, you did, you know, the first day your mother took you and then your mother never took you again. So when you were in kindergarten, you walked to school. You might walk alone. You might, your siblings might deign to walk with you. The little girl across the street might happen out her door at the same time you did. But if she didn't, you walked alone. It was quite a walk. Oxford school felt very large to me when I was little, had a lot of grounds around it, had gardens. We were allowed to garden in the, it which is now still gardens, but we were allowed to garden in the summers if you were a student at Oxford. It was school, I don't know. It was school, felt very disciplined, felt like a disciplined place. I didn't I don't remember Oxford being a terribly fun place. I remember it as a place to go to school. You know, you went and you sat in your classroom and you did what the teacher told you. I don't really know.

Mark Souther [00:15:41] Do you remember any of the, you know, WPA art in there?

Barbara Wherley [00:15:47] Yes, I do. In fact, there was one. In fact, it was either outside of both of the kindergarten rooms. It was definitely either in my kindergarten room or right outside of my kindergarten room. In fact, I can almost picture it still now that you're bringing it up. And I haven't thought about it in a billion years. And you're making me, I can, I can remember. It was pastel colors, not light pastel. I call it dark pastel colors, but I don't remember the picture. I don't remember. I want to say, I want to say it's Mother Goose. But you know what? I do not, I don't know.

Mark Souther [00:16:23] I'll refresh your memory.

Barbara Wherley [00:16:23] Is it still there?

Mark Souther [00:16:24] Yes, there are two of them. One is Cinderella and.

Barbara Wherley [00:16:28] Oh, yeah.

Mark Souther [00:16:30] One is Pied Piper.

Barbara Wherley [00:16:30] Yes, I see. I do. I do remember clearly. Yes. Now that, I mean, I didn't, but now I absolutely do remember those. And did I think they were special? No, I didn't. They were just part of the school. Yeah.

Mark Souther [00:16:43] Were the ceramics, the figurines visible to you as a kid or?

Barbara Wherley [00:16:50] What? I don't know what ceramics you're talking about.

Mark Souther [00:16:52] There were also some WPA-made ceramics that were. They were figures of, I'm trying to remember now also fairy tale figures. I can't remember which ones.

Barbara Wherley [00:17:05] I'm sorry.

Mark Souther [00:17:06] Wizard of Oz for example.

Barbara Wherley [00:17:07] I do not remember. I do not remember those.

Mark Souther [00:17:09] It's possible that they had those maybe in an office.

Barbara Wherley [00:17:12] Yeah.

Mark Souther [00:17:13] Or in, even in storage.

Barbara Wherley [00:17:14] Yeah, I don't. I do not. I do not.

Mark Souther [00:17:17] That's an outside by the way federal art project.

Barbara Wherley [00:17:20] Oh wow. So you can see from our area what was in that. Well what they paid for what they.

Mark Souther [00:17:26] One of the things I don't talk too much on here, but I'll just quickly tell you that on October 20th when we do the bicycle tour of the neighborhood, we're starting and ending at Oxford.

Barbara Wherley [00:17:37] Oh.

Mark Souther [00:17:37] And when we end at Oxford, we'll go inside and look at the, all the ceramics and the murals. And so.

Barbara Wherley [00:17:44] October 20th. Okay.

Mark Souther [00:17:45] Yeah. So, keep that in mind, maybe. And I guess then from there you went to?

Barbara Wherley [00:17:55] Monticello.

Mark Souther [00:17:57] Okay. Can you tell me a little bit about of maybe the building experiences you had there, anything that comes to mind?

Barbara Wherley [00:18:04] Well, Monticello, I have clear memories of one particular teacher, Mrs. Ruby, who had the corner room, front corner west. She was the ninth-grade English teacher. She was tough, but she was terrific. I have great memories of her. We, at lunchtime, we got to see movies. It was terrific. You went for half your lunch, ate your lunch, and then you went into the auditorium and you watched movies The Day the Earth Stood Still, I can and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. It was. That was terrific. That was fun. We had Home EC, which and the boys had shop, which is a dead thing in the middle schools now, but in junior high school, the girls learned to sew and the girls learned to cook. And it was only the girls who learned to sew and cook. And the boys took shop.

Mark Souther [00:19:10] Were you in any other, any school organizations? Do you recall?

Barbara Wherley [00:19:15] I played on the basketball team, the girls basketball team, and we played Wiley and we played Roxboro and Roosevelt and I was one of the referees for girls basketball intramural. Oh, that's another thing I remember the intramurals was, they were terrific. They were strong. Everybody did intramurals. Those, those were a lot of fun. The games you played against each other, they that was a lot of fun. It was very well organized. I mean, I'm sure every kid didn't, but huge numbers of kids participated in that.

Mark Souther [00:19:51] Was that just within the one school?

Barbara Wherley [00:19:53] Just within your school. It was only if you got onto the girls' basketball team in ninth grade, and remember, ninth grade was high school credit, but you were not in the high school. You did get to play other, other schools within the city, but not outside of the city.

Mark Souther [00:20:12] I see. Yeah, so, intramural of course does mean.

Barbara Wherley [00:20:15] Intra was within the school. Right, right. Right.

Mark Souther [00:20:18] Right within the schools. Colleges do that too. But I was wondering if maybe they ever admitted anyone not in.

Barbara Wherley [00:20:20] No, no, not then.

Mark Souther [00:20:22] On a non-competitive basis maybe or not.

Barbara Wherley [00:20:25] And we didn't have field hockey. I understand that the Roxboro area kids had field hockey, but we did not we, I'd never heard of field hockey until I got to the high school.

Mark Souther [00:20:37] What were the mascots for the different schools you attended? Because I think maybe they were different than they are.

Barbara Wherley [00:20:42] We didn't have one at Oxford. I know it's the owl. Well, it was the owl. Now everybody has the tiger. Monticello was the cardinal. We are the cardinals, the mighty, mighty cardinals. That's what one of the chants we did all the time and they called we called ourselves Monty. That was the school nickname.

Mark Souther [00:21:03] Oh, that's something I never knew. So you were there in the sort of late nineteen, mid to late nineteen. I guess late 1960s?

Barbara Wherley [00:21:12] I was in Monticello, yeah. I ended at Monticello in '68. Yes.

Mark Souther [00:21:22] Can you give me your sense of racial integration in the schools as you came through? When it happened and, you know, to what extent it happened or anything?

Barbara Wherley [00:21:30] I can tell you pretty clearly, I don't, you know. I don't know why I have that, but I do because I did not come from a family that spoke about it a lot in at Oxford. There were no black children. I don't know that there were in Cleveland Heights at that time. And I remember there were like two or three Jewish kids. I mean, that's there it was dramatically different because in other parts of Cleveland Heights, it was hugely Jewish. We got to Monticello and we were those of us from Oxford were well aware that the kids from Millikin were all Jewish. Now they weren't. But that's what it felt. That's what, you know, your a kid and that you feel like they're all Jewish. And that was very interesting to us. It was kind of like a point of interest that now we're getting to meet some Jewish kids, you know, and then when the black kids came, I feel like it was eighth grade. I don't think it was seventh grade. I believe it was eighth grade. And, I think in my class there was a boy. And then in ninth grade, there may have been two boys in my class. But then when we went to high school, they must have been in other parts of Cleveland Heights because then we had a handful in our grade, a handful of black kids. And by the time I left Heights, I would still call it only a handful, but it was probably much more than that. Let me think. In my homeroom and we had homerooms then everybody, you went to your homeroom every year, every day for all three years. I think I had two black kids in my homeroom. So that means there were quite a few. It was a big school, you know, so.

Mark Souther [00:23:17] Still a small minority.

Barbara Wherley [00:23:20] Very small minority.

Mark Souther [00:23:22] Later.

Barbara Wherley [00:23:22] No, the Jews were much the bigger minority. And and when they were a minority, when we had Jewish holidays, we did not get Jewish holidays off. So we all had to go to school. And oh, my gosh, you realize how Jewish your schools were when you were there on Jewish holidays because there were only a handful of kids in each class.

Mark Souther [00:23:46] It's surprising, really, that they.

Barbara Wherley [00:23:48] That they didn't give them off. I know. It's unbelievable. It just shows you, though, how WASPish the government was or the school government was, because now we still get them off and, you know, we're back to it's swung the other way. It's it's now a much smaller minority of Jewish kids in the school. But we still get the holidays off because so many of the teachers, I think, are Jewish still. But then they were too you know, and

Mark Souther [00:24:17] The reason I asked about the two high schools is that one of the things that went along with that, at least under the surface, allegedly was a concern about the school being heavily Jewish. And some wanted to split away and create one in the northern part of Cleveland Heights that had been essentially non-Jewish population and I don't know if that's true or not.

Barbara Wherley [00:24:41] I have to tell you, my parents shielded me from that, if that was the case, because I have no knowledge of that. But I can tell you, it was very [it]. See I had I didn't have prejudice at home in that regard, but it was still a big deal to me to meet Jewish kids. It was like, wow, you know, and here I am in the city that's hugely Jewish and I don't know any of them because I'm an Oxford and a Monty or an Oxford. And there wasn't until Monticello. And then it was only one of the three schools that fed Monticello for four Millikin Noble, Oxford. Yeah, just the three.

Mark Souther [00:25:22] I'm curious because I grew up in a town of about at the time, about twenty thousand, and it's grown to about forty thousand since. It's grown a lot while in Cleveland Heights it's gone the other way in population. But but a sizable community in which everyone went to the same high school like here, but in which at one point in time there were multiple elementary schools feeding into a middle school and then so on. And over the years they closed more and more schools where you just everyone came through together. By the time I came through, as opposed to my parents. So I'm interested what the dynamic, what the feel was of living in Cleveland Heights and going through the school system, because this seems like a in some ways a tight-knit community with a lot of sort of common purpose. And yet it was so big that it had, you know, like you said, you didn't know people who went to other parts of the city. How did you feel in your neighborhood? Did you identify more? To what extent do you identify with Cleveland Heights as opposed to your neighborhood?

Barbara Wherley [00:26:26] I would say I identified much more with my neighborhood than I did with Cleveland Heights. Absolutely. No question. I and, and in my case, I identified with Monticello. No, Oxford, Noble, Monticello I identified with. When I got to the high school and we were invited to parties of kids who lived over here. It was like my parents even I don't know if I can get you there. I don't know if I can find my way. You know, we're talking three miles, but but that's absolutely the way I felt when I was growing up. My identity was not Cleveland Heights. It was Northern Cleveland Heights. That's interesting that you should bring it up, though, because I never really thought about it. I never gave it any thought. But that's the truth. That is absolutely the truth. Now, my church probably had a lot to do with that because it was over there, too. If my church had been Fairmount Presbyterian, because it's not so odd to go to a church a couple of miles from your home, I probably would not have had that sense. But since my church was in my neighborhood and all my shopping was in my neighborhood and when Severance Center was built, it was kind of in my neighborhood. I definitely did not feel this side of Cleveland Heights at all. It didn't exist, kind of. The high school was over here, but we even walk to the high school three miles, we would walk, we had busses then, but we would walk. My friends and I walked. So we, I don't know. It's different.

Mark Souther [00:28:01] How did you come to live then on this side of Cleveland Heights later on, out of curiosity?

Barbara Wherley [00:28:06] I can tell you exactly. My husband wanted a bay window. He wanted a living room big enough to turn his stereo up and get a good sound. And I wanted a yard. And that's why we moved to this side of town. And there were concerns. I would, they were. We had enough money to buy a nicer house than our parents had and. There were concerns when we were buying a house, there were more concerns, I think, than there are now with race isn't the right word, but it is, have to, it has to do with, it had to do with changing housing. It was changing too fast in where we grew up as opposed to over here. It was changing in a nice, not nicer fashion, in a slower fashion. People were moving in. People were moving out. It wasn't a rush to move out if a black person moved on that street. Whereas I had the sense that when I moved here in that part of Cleveland Heights, there was this urgency to get out, which I hated, but I could have helped counteract by moving there, but I did not. I'll admit it. I did not.

Mark Souther [00:29:24] It's really interesting because, you know, it is closer to East Cleveland.

Barbara Wherley [00:29:28] It's very close to East Cleveland. In fact, you know, Nela Park is in East Cleveland and I spent. Friends that lived on Randolph, you went to the shops that were down Stonebreaker's Drug. It probably literally was in Cleveland Heights because that little section of Cleveland Heights goes to the East Cleveland schools. Are you familiar with that? It probably literally was in Cleveland Heights, but we would go down there all the time that would you know, if you lived on Randolph, you were already down there. And that's that was your neighborhood.

Mark Souther [00:29:58] I'm curious about one other place that I forgot to mention until now. It's sort of peripheral too. It's also in East Cleveland, but Warner and Swasey Observatory. Any memories of this?

Barbara Wherley [00:30:09] Yeah. Yeah, but not we didn't go very often, but we went. We went. I can't tell you. I can't tell you if it was open all the time. I don't remember that. When my father would say let's go, we would go. I don't have a sense of it having classes. I don't have a sense of how often it was open. But we did go.

Mark Souther [00:30:32] Do you remember being there?

Barbara Wherley [00:30:33] Yeah, yeah. Looking through the telescope. And there was always a fellow there helping you figure out what the heck you were looking at because the telescopes weren't as good as they are now. And so you really had to struggle to see what they were showing you that night. Yes.

Mark Souther [00:30:51] Were you captivated by what you saw?

Barbara Wherley [00:30:56] I was not, but then that's a lacking in me. I thought it was more like a fun nighttime outing for me. I have to admit, it wasn't captivating.

Mark Souther [00:31:10] It is possible that it had to do with light pollution.

Barbara Wherley [00:31:10] Well, it could because it wasn't that great a view. You know, I remember really having to look at Venus or really having to look at what they were trying to show me. Yeah.

Mark Souther [00:31:21] Because they moved, you know, they ended up moving the main.

Barbara Wherley [00:31:24] I heard you could buy it or it's for sale. Do you know that?

Mark Souther [00:31:27] Probably so. It's absolutely deplorable.

Barbara Wherley [00:31:30] Oh, is it? I haven't gone. My brother-in-law was just talking about it six months ago about how we should all go chip in and buy it.

Mark Souther [00:31:38] It was vandalized.

Barbara Wherley [00:31:40] Is it? Yeah.

Mark Souther [00:31:40] It's just in awful shape.

Barbara Wherley [00:31:40] No.

Mark Souther [00:31:42] It's on our tour too.

Barbara Wherley [00:31:44] Is it.

Mark Souther [00:31:45] Even though it's outside Cleveland Heights.

Barbara Wherley [00:31:45] Yeah.

Mark Souther [00:31:45] We decided to bring it in.

Barbara Wherley [00:31:45] Yeah.

Mark Souther [00:31:45] It's such a landmark

Barbara Wherley [00:31:47] Yeah.

Mark Souther [00:31:50] Well, let's shift to Noble Road Presbyterian and. Oh, actually before you do, just so I don't forget to include this. Can you tell me about any experiences at the Noble Library and well also what you called it at the time?

Barbara Wherley [00:32:08] We called it Noble Library. We called it Noble Library. I loved to go to Noble Library, but I loved libraries. I loved my school library at Oxford. I loved Noble Library. I felt like it enfolded you. It had all this old wood. The children's area was children's sized. I loved that library. I can't get, you know, as a feeling, I'll tell you, it is a feeling. And my mother, my mother loved to read, so we were there all the time when I clearly remember when they added the additions and they put the new Check-Out desks in and how it made it feel so modern and kind of altered the feel. It was less cozy, but it was still we spent a lot of time there.

Mark Souther [00:33:03] Were there any programs that you were involved in there growing up?

Barbara Wherley [00:33:07] No, there were not. I mean, there could have been programs, but I was not. The only thing I did. We always did the summer reading program, always, always. And but I didn't. My mother didn't take us for story hour. My mother read so much. She read to us. We didn't we didn't do that. I think it was going on, though, even then.

Mark Souther [00:33:27] Um, well, let's turn to the church. Did you grow up in Noble?

Barbara Wherley [00:33:33] I did.

Mark Souther [00:33:34] Okay.

Barbara Wherley [00:33:34] I grew up in that church. These are my memories. Every Sunday you went to church, you either went to the 9:30 service and then you went to Sunday school afterward or no, that's not. Well, that's false. That's a false memory. Either you went to the 9:30 service and then your parents went to 9:30 and you went to Sunday school. You did not go to church as a child at all, not even till, until the children's sermon, which is a common thing now. And then you take the kids out. You the children went to Sunday school, the parents went to church, or you were part of the eleven o'clock crowd and same thing. You went to Sunday school, your parents went to church and, and the church was huge then. Post World War II baby boomer children, the church was full of GE families because it was on Noble Road and there must have been 500 members. And every, your Sunday school was your own grade. Now, you know, they combined grades. You had the first grade Sunday school, the second grade Sunday school, and the church was bursting. They had partitions that you pulled across these larger rooms so that you can have a separate Sunday school room, many separate Sunday school rooms. Our lives revolved around the church, we went to church for every event they had. You went to junior choir. You went to youth, Youth Fellowship. You went to lots of different dinners at the church at least once a month. You dressed up to go to church. Our parking lot was across the street. It's still that way. So they hired a retired police officer to cross you for church every Sunday morning.

Mark Souther [00:35:34] Wow.

Barbara Wherley [00:35:35] Yeah.

Mark Souther [00:35:37] So, a lot of people lived in walking distance.

Barbara Wherley [00:35:40] A lot of people. In fact, my sense is that that's how it was. There were four Cleveland, there were four Presbyterian churches in Cleveland Heights when I was growing up. And so everybody could walk to a Presbyterian church practically.

Mark Souther [00:35:58] Did, what were, so then once you got to, I guess, about middle school and you would have been in the main church by that time, the church service, I mean.

Barbara Wherley [00:36:07] Right. And by that time, they already church attendance was down a little. And so by the time I was in ninth grade, they went to one service and I was still in middle school in ninth grade. And that was a big uproar going to one service. And it was a big change in that the children were expected to stay for Sunday school after service. You expect to go to service and then you went to Sunday school. That was a big change. I remember that. But it was accepted.

Mark Souther [00:36:43] Did. What was I going to ask about. That about that change. Did, was there a sense that, because my understanding is that Protestant church and all mainline Protestant churches in the United States, generally speaking, all other things being equal, which they never are, of course, were experiencing some falling away from the 1960s to the 1970s. And it was just, I think, a general trend barring things like maybe an area that's growing rapidly that would be on a different trajectory. But was there a sense that this was part of some larger phenomenon or was it attributed to anything else or was it just not talked about?

Barbara Wherley [00:37:24] In our church it was talked about and it was attributed to very specific things. Our church was a forerunner in open housing in Cleveland Heights. We came out in favor of it loudly and a lot of people didn't like that and fell away for that reason. And the Vietnam War tore a lot of people apart. It had nothing to do with religion. But when you've got people bringing their politics to church and arguing about it at church, you lose people that way. Some people will not tolerate that. And our church was I won't say it was against the Vietnam War. That wouldn't be quite true. But we had lots of speakers come in and talk about how it was a problematic war, that it wasn't easy to support it and their reasoning around that, that we were definitely trending toward being against it. We were a pretty radical church at the time, we even had the Angela Davis. There was discussion about the Presbyterian Church National didn't support Angela Davis, but came out with some words that supported her somehow. I don't remember them because I was a little young, but a lot of people left over that. So it wasn't it definitely was not a sense of people falling away from the church unless it was because the church was moving away from religion and getting into politics, which it could certainly have. That could have been a trend, too, especially for Protestant churches, because our church is still we were the first to welcome [in] the Presbyterian churches in our area, the first to openly welcome gay and lesbian people. And we lost people over that, you know. You always, you know, there's always a reason people fall away, sometimes not because of their religious beliefs

Mark Souther [00:39:31] Were there any connections between Noble and Forest Hill, in terms of planning for the open, you know, supporting the open housing movement and any other aspect of the civil rights?

Barbara Wherley [00:39:41] Well, you have to remember that I was a child, so I'm going to, I'm going to say there was, because there always has been. It's not close, the connection, but we definitely. They are of the Presbyterian churches in Cleveland Heights. Heights being closed now and Fairmount being far enough away and definitely more corporate. Forest Hill was more like-minded, like Noble Road. And, and we did do workshops with them. And my mother-in-law was, through the church, became I can't think of the word. I want to say a spotter. A person who went and went into a house to try and buy it, and then a black person followed her. When that was very first done, that was big at our church.

Mark Souther [00:40:33] And I think this happened in a lot of parts of the country as well, not just in the Presbyterian Church, but a number of denominations had at least certain, you know, churches that did this and had the same experience of losing people.

Barbara Wherley [00:40:51] Right.

Mark Souther [00:40:51] I didn't, but one of one of my colleagues interviewed Pastor Lentz at Forest Hill, and he wasn't here when this happened, but he spoke about the falling away during.

Barbara Wherley [00:41:02] And in fact, Ned Edwards was the pastor at Forest Hill at that time, and he was a, he was a radical, so to speak. Well, you have to remember both Forest Hill and Noble Road align with East Cleveland. And East Cleveland was one of the worst stories in the nation for white flight. And we were all very mindful of it. Even children were very mindful of it because our we all had friends who went to churches in East Cleveland. It was not at all unusual to, you know, go down the hill instead of up the hill to church. And so we were all very mindful that we did not want that to happen in Cleveland Heights and how horrible it was that what was happening right next door. And so that could be why we were at the forefront of that. I mean, I, certainly must have been one of the reasons.

Mark Souther [00:41:59] You know, self-preservation maybe on some level.

Barbara Wherley [00:42:01] Right, right, not just the right thing to do, but the self-preservation. Absolutely.

Mark Souther [00:42:07] Protecting your house value.

Barbara Wherley [00:42:07] Yeah. Protecting your house value. Right. Right.

Mark Souther [00:42:11] I remember that was a big concern at the time.

Barbara Wherley [00:42:11] Right. That's when the signs we couldn't put up. That's when the laws were passed. No signs, no for sale signs in your in the yard for a long time that lasted.

Mark Souther [00:42:23] Were there any groups other than the church itself, for example, in your neighborhood that did anything along the lines of what Ludlow Community Association did earlier back in, and they were doing this starting in the late '50s, of course. But were there any groups that were trying to make sure that the Noble-Monticello area stayed stable and didn't go? I guess the Heights Community Congress, of course, is a big push for that ultimately.

Barbara Wherley [00:42:51] But, yeah, but that wasn't in existence in the first years. I mean, I remember when that came into existence, so I had to have been a mini-adult at least. I, I'm sorry. I don't know that. There could have been, but I don't know that. I think I was young enough. [inaudible question] No, no. It was I believe it was mostly done through the churches. That's what I think.

Mark Souther [00:43:14] How, do you remember how your family felt about and this we may not put this on the app of course. I am just curious, do you remember how your family felt about, about the way the church was going at the time because clearly, they stayed.

Barbara Wherley [00:43:32] I don't. I don't remember exactly, but I can tell you that my father was a bit of a racist, not overtly, but if you caught him, he said the wrong things. So he didn't act it out. [He] lived the right life. But internally, he felt the racism. And, and I had no sense that my father was upset about the housing changes in Cleveland Heights. So he was known in my household it was not a worry. It was not discussed. But in my husband's household, right up the street, my mother-in-law was out marching, you know, making sure it didn't, you know, things went right instead of wrong. So.

Mark Souther [00:44:24] Marching in what?

Barbara Wherley [00:44:24] Well, she marching downtown for civil rights, marching wherever she could for civil rights and doing this housing, spotting work, fair housing.

Mark Souther [00:44:35] And then one of the efforts was to see that it didn't get channeled into one or one or another single area, and because of the prejudices and the refusal of all the rest of the areas in the United States.

Barbara Wherley [00:44:49] But I can tell you, I have, having grown up here, I had this impression that we were better because we did our integration so well for a long time. But we, I don't, I think we did it well. In fact, we did it so well that that's why we are so black, because so many other places kept folks out for so long that Cleveland Heights absorbed and absorbed in the right way. Folks that wanted a better home. It and it's it would have been better for all of us had everybody absorbed at the same rate and the same level. But that's life and Cleveland Heights is a terrific place still. So.

Mark Souther [00:45:36] Are there any other things we haven't covered about the church? Memories that you have? Maybe we haven't talked about youth group for example.

Barbara Wherley [00:45:44] Well, we had a pastor in the 50s, in the early 60s, who was very outspoken about all the social issues, which is probably why we were on the forefront of them. But he was also this terrific youth minister. He took the youth on camp camping trips every other year in Canada. Do you want me to start again? Yeah?

Mark Souther [00:46:15] I'll pause this but maybe.

Barbara Wherley [00:46:15] Oh, yeah. Okay.

Mark Souther [00:46:15] I'll let you start over in a second just because this could be something that we want to use and.

Barbara Wherley [00:46:24] The, our pastor was terrific with youth, he would take us on two-week-long camping trips in Canada. They were probably more like 12, 10, or 11, or 12 days camping trips in Canada into the wilds of Canada, tent camping trips. They were well known throughout Cleveland Heights. Kids would come from other churches and come, come on those trips. It was it was a major part of who we were also.

Mark Souther [00:46:59] So and was this middle school and high school?

Barbara Wherley [00:47:03] This was only high school. This was only a very, very big separation that doesn't exist today between kids. I there was a very big separation between grades. I felt that my whole life and even at church, there was a big separation between elementary, middle, senior high school. That I don't think happens today, probably because of the issue, especially in churches of not enough kids, so they get mixed in much more varied age groups than they did that back then. We were separated. And I can tell you, I felt that a kid older than me was a lot older than me, even if they were only a year. I was a little nervous about being with them. Now, I mean, that's just the way it was. That's I don't think I was unusual in that. You didn't mix.

Mark Souther [00:47:54] Yeah, in some ways, I experienced that myself. I wanted to make sure we've covered one other thing even though it is outside the neighborhood. Heights High. We started to talk about it a little bit but. Anything you could share about your memories of Heights High would be good too just to get maybe a different perspective on that side as well.

Barbara Wherley [00:48:15] Well, if you've talked to anybody who went to Heights High School? When I went to Heights High School, you'll hear the same story. The thing we all focus on I because I hear it when I go to reunions, it's the thing we remember most. We had separate pools for the girls and the boys. the girls' pool is now. It was the transition school. I'm not quite sure what it is now. It was covered over, but the girls and in those days girls were blue suits. Everybody wore a blue like jumper bloomers kind of suit for gym and for swim class. You all had to take a swimsuit out of the bin and put it on. And if it wasn't your size. Oh, well, and that's what you swam in for that day. And you had swimming, I think, for six weeks. I think all of our swimming sections were six weeks long. So every day you went to swimming and the boys got the big pool, the new pool, the the boys' pool and the boys had the same situation. Grab a swimsuit out of the bin. Well, if by the time you were in eighth period, the bin might be empty. So the boys had to swim nude even if there were, you know, that's just the way it was since they were separated. That's what they did. The girls, if they were out of suits, did not have to do that. But that's a big memory of being separated like that. And giggling over the stories of the swimsuits is you'll hear people of my era talk about that at all their reunions. We all you know, that's that's a big part of it. And the up and down staircases, having homeroom, it was wonderful. That's, I think, something kids miss out on now, because in homeroom, you know, you had this you were in a class of a thousand. In homeroom, you met thirty kids very well. You actually got to really know thirty kids, you know, in the clubs, you would meet them, but in your classrooms, you pretty much didn't. You had different kids in every class. Every year you had different kids in every class. If you were in the, in the, they don't call it gifted now then. But if you were in those the upper classes you did meet the same kids in, in some of your classes, but not it was such a big class. Those of us who graduated then in those years can still if we're still, if we're living in Cleveland Heights, I can give you an example. My son was going to day camp at the, at the community center. And I met he had a friend named Joey and I met Joey's parents. And we're talking and saying, you know, we grew up in Cleveland Heights. I grew up in Cleveland Heights. Did you go to Heights? Yeah, I went to Heights. What year did you graduate? '71. Oh, no, you didn't. I graduated in '71. You meet people who you've never seen before in your class of a thousand. Now you meet some more of them as an adult living in Cleveland Heights. It's an amazing thing, but I've had it happen to me at least three times meeting people from my, my next door neighbor's daughter was in my class. I have no idea who she was. I mean, I find her in the yearbook, but I have no idea who she was. It's a.

Mark Souther [00:51:34] It's like going to a fairly good-sized college.

Barbara Wherley [00:51:35] Yeah, yeah, yeah. And that's why I say you didn't mix with other age groups either. I mean, it was enough to have your own age group overwhelming you.

Mark Souther [00:51:46] What were the sports teams like when you were coming through?

Barbara Wherley [00:51:50] The tennis team, which had a lot of great Jewish tennis players who went to the country club, was terrific. They were terrific. I don't remember, you know, funny. Girls field hockey was really good, as I told you, we didn't play that in our neck of the woods, but we had a good field hockey team. Sports. The football team was important and football games were very important. That and and the high school had tigers back then. Girls who are better athletes than than the cheerleaders did flips. They were, wore tiger suits and they flipped all around while the game was on trying to and people cheered back then. They, the cheerleaders led cheers that people yelled, you know, it's just not done anymore. The cheerleaders go down there and you watch them kind of like they're a show, but you don't share with them any longer. That's a big memory of mine. The football was important, but I don't, I don't have a recollection of basketball. After we left, basketball got very good. And I attribute that to we finally got some black kids in our school and, you know, brought a better game to the game.

Mark Souther [00:53:07] What about on the marching band?

Barbara Wherley [00:53:10] I wasn't a part of it, I have a friend who was a part of it and it was a big part of his life, but I have no sense of the marching band. It was huge, but I can't tell you word one about the marching band. I'm sorry.

Mark Souther [00:53:25] I was in band.

Barbara Wherley [00:53:25] Were you? It was huge. But I you know, I only had one friend who was in it and. In those years, I don't know. I didn't hang with him as closely as I do now, we were friends in high school, but we're much closer friends as adults than we were in high school.

Mark Souther [00:53:41] I'm also curious in Heights High in the middle of an area that has lots of stuff to do. There must have been a lot of cutting classes.

Barbara Wherley [00:53:53] When I was there, we were allowed to leave. Okay, there are two big, I'll tell you two big things that were my specifically my era. We were allowed to wear jeans. We were the first group allowed to wear jeans to high school. That was a big deal. By then, they'd given up on making, like my husband at Monticello had long hair and got sent home and my sister at Monticello and my sister at Heights, six years older than me, got sent home from Heights for having too short a skirt. Those days they, the Vietnam War did away with all of that. So we were the first allowed to wear jeans, real jeans, not just slacks to high school. That was a big deal. And then we were the first allowed to leave at lunch. We were allowed to leave. And so Mawby's was across the street. We went to eat it. Mawby's we went to eat at the Chinese restaurant, the name of which escapes me. That was right across the street. We would walk to friends' homes who lived close to the high school to have lunch. So I have no, we didn't have to cut to leave the school for a little while to get a break from the school. So I don't have a sense of a lot of cutting going on.

Mark Souther [00:55:12] I'm guessing that because you went to high school in a very different neighborhood than you grew up in, but in some ways it was like a new discovery.

Barbara Wherley [00:55:19] It was. It was. Going to Mawby's was like, oh, my gosh, it was like being grown up to buy your own lunch once a week. My mother let me buy my lunch at one of the places nearby. To me that was absolutely felt like being grown up. It was such a different experience because back then we didn't, nobody ate out. You ate at home every single solitary night. You know, you might get a pizza in. That's about it. You didn't eat out, so.

Mark Souther [00:55:48] Wow, this is really fascinating.

Barbara Wherley [00:55:52] That's because I'm a chunk older than you are but, you know, it's enough. Yeah.

Mark Souther [00:55:56] Well, being a historian, I know the time period enough to where, you know, it's interesting. I think it adds a dimension for me, hearing about the changes in...

Barbara Wherley [00:56:06] Well, especially now where you live, too. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Mark Souther [00:56:11] Yeah. Excuse me. Is there anything else you'd like to add that we haven't covered to conclude? I can't think of things I want to ask now off-hand.

Barbara Wherley [00:56:21] I've thought of a few things, but you asked a couple of them. Oh, I don't know if this has anything to do with what, our Cleveland Heights per se because you're doing Cleveland Heights, but one thing I thought of that you didn't ask about was the neighborhood. When you were growing up, then, so it could be anywhere, maybe not just Cleveland Heights. All the kids on the block played together. Everybody played in these massive games. From. Well, you'd think we're a popular place. Everybody played in these massive games after, after supper all summer long and in the lighter parts of May and, and September. All the way from sixteen down to six, the sixteen year-olds ran them, but we played hide and go seek and we we played Spud. It was a game where you threw the ball and you got a letter. If you got hit, you know, by the ball that my family plays to this day at picnics, it was this massive group of children who who tolerated one another and, and played together because your parents kicked you out, you know, your parents sent you out of the house, didn't look for you for three hours, didn't check on you. Didn't, you know, when the streetlights came on, that was your rule. You went home. You might hear your mother yelling if you didn't come home, but your mother didn't worry about you at all. That's more historical than Cleveland Heights. But that struck me as something a big part of my growing up. That's different than it is now, that's for sure. I mean, I would never have let my children out my front door. I could have maybe stood inside and watched them, but I pretty much would be out there with them. You know, I let them play, but I be watching them.

Mark Souther [00:58:23] To what do you attribute that change?

Barbara Wherley [00:58:25] TV, maybe, you know, I mean, it brings to you all the scary things that happened that you didn't know were happening. I believe that things were happening all along. Children were getting snatched. And but until we were all watching TV and seeing the stories dramatized, we didn't I, I that's what I attribute it to. I can't believe there's more. I mean, maybe there is more, more going on, but I think it's because we're aware of it and we weren't aware of it before.

Mark Souther [00:58:57] Yeah. Okay, well, I think we can probably conclude here, unless there were other things that you thought of. I'm not in a hurry, but I.

Barbara Wherley [00:59:04] I don't think so.

Mark Souther [00:59:06] OK, well, this has been great. There are a number of things I can think of that are very.

Barbara Wherley [00:59:11] Things I said you might use.

Mark Souther [00:59:18] Yeah. So we'll stop it right here. Thanks very much. There you go.

Barbara Wherley [00:59:20] The, when we were growing up, there was a huge parade that began at Oxford School and ended at Denison Park and everybody took part, all the scouts, many of the, there was a neighborhood band. Rukasin had a band. He fancied himself a band director, and he would invite all the adults and any older kids who played an instrument. He had set music and they practiced a few weeks before the parade. And everybody from the Noble-Monticello, Oxford area came to that parade on Memorial Day. And it was when Memorial Day was really Memorial Day. It was not always a Monday. And it was so much fun to see every kid in the neighborhood because every child rode their bike. If they were not in the Scouts and they were not in another organization, they rode their bikes decorated in that parade. And it's a bone of contention with those folks that it was stolen by the city of Cleveland Heights and brought over to Severance for a number of years and down to Cumberland Park. And I understand why they did it. They did it because they wanted a Cleveland Heights parade, not a Oxford Noble parade. But it was for decades the Oxford Noble parade.

Mark Souther [01:01:01] Interesting.

Barbara Wherley [01:01:01] I can tell you the people who still live in that neighborhood are mad, angry about it. I have siblings who lived down there and they feel like Cleveland Heights stole a major, something that made them that neighborhood kept that neighborhood a neighborhood and, and we already say that it's struggling that neighborhood to have an identity and so that that's not, not such a good thing that the city of Cleveland Heights did. You know, everybody could have visited it down there, you know, if they wanted it down there.

Mark Souther [01:01:35] Are there any other landmarks that we haven't covered? You know, I didn't mention anything about the fire station, for example, which is very similar to the one over on Silsby or any other places that were important. We don't really have sites for them now, but that's not to say we couldn't add them, if not. You know, we're not going to add them probably in the next couple of weeks, but we could add them later, are there any other places that we haven't talked about?

Barbara Wherley [01:02:02] We talked about Rukasin's. No.

Mark Souther [01:02:11] I'm thinking especially maybe if I were to end up doing one on the Noble-Monticello business districts.

Barbara Wherley [01:02:17] Well, there was, there was everybody had. Well, this is a big memory that all of us in the Noble-Monticello area have is Mayfield movie. The Mayfield Road movie house. We all every Saturday took our 35 cents or whatever it was, and went to the movies. And we all walked there. All the kids walked. And you bought your candy either at the movie theater or you bought it at Gable's drugstore, which was on the corner, I believe. And I could be. I'm not sure that was Gable's, so I don't know if I want to say this. We all bought our candy at the at the corner of Montic... Mayfield and Noble. And, that was a big part of growing up, every everybody went that was in the wintertime, especially everybody went every Saturday.

Mark Souther [01:03:17] So that's something that would take you technically out of the neighborhood.

Barbara Wherley [01:03:19] Took me out of the neighborhood. Yeah.

Mark Souther [01:03:22] Oh, what about the mall?

Barbara Wherley [01:03:23] Severance Mall was a big deal. Oh, my gosh. When Severance was built, we felt that pride because we kept getting told it was either the first indoor mall in the country or the first indoor mall in our, you know, whole region. And it was beautiful. It was beautiful. We thought it was the most beautiful thing that ever happened to us. All the kids again. Now, this was when I was in middle school. I was getting a little older by the time they built that, we would all hang out at Severance Mall every Saturday. There was a Woolworth's and you got a soda and sat at the soda fountain and just walked up and down the mall. And of course, again, everybody walked to Severance. Everybody walked. So, that was a big deal. I remember that was a very big deal. But what I don't remember now this is going to show you how insulated I was down at Monticello-Noble is I don't remember the Severance estate. I don't remember the land. I don't remember. I didn't know anything about that until they put Severance on it. And then I learned about it and I, you could see the old stables as you walked around the loop and something I knew nothing of a mile from my house. So. [Laughs]

Cleveland Heights

Initial interviews in this series were conducted between 2011 and 2013 at the Coventry Village Reunion in support of Historic Heights App Tours, a Cuyahoga Arts & Culture-funded grant project sponsored by FutureHeights, Cleveland Heights Historical Society, and Cleveland Heights Landmark Commission. Additional interviews were collected in 2018 in coordination with the Cleveland Voices podcast.