My mother’s 100th birthday will be this November (Martha Evelyn Mount, born November 28, 1916, in Morrow, Ohio and passed away on July 31, 1991). When she was 72 in 1989, she made a taped recording of family stories for both sides of the family. In her honor, and still incredulous that she sat and dictated all of this into a tape recorder by herself, I’m going to post what she wrote along with pictures whenever possible. She had a rather rambling, random method and said whatever came to her mind at that moment, punctuated by hearty laughing. I’ll post the stories in the order she told them and will only edit the posts to keep out anything that might be offensive or embarrassing to other members of the family.
8/89 – Family Stories Tape by Martha Applegate
Transcribed 5/19/01 by Lillian – notes in parenthesis by Lillian
Don’t remember too much about my brother (Ralph Mount) – he was so much older than me but I remember he always had a car and I remember when I was little he had an old car. I remember we were going over to Ft. Ancient and the durned old thing couldn’t make the hill and we had to get out and he put rocks behind the wheels and we had to walk up the hill so he could drive up the hill.
But he would take us for rides and he took us over to show us that big meteor or whatever it was that fell over there between Morrow and Lebanon – a great big rock that was as big as a building. Now, it’s way down, it’s really small now but it’s still there. He used to write stories – I think that’s where Nancy (my daughter, Nancy Breen) gets it – they were good stories, he could write real well and used to write stories and then he decided when he was about 18 or so he was going to be a magician. And he was good at that. He had me and my girlfriend – we used to put on little skits and sing songs and we’d sing Ramona, I can remember singing Ramona. The only funny part was I always dressed like the little girl and sang alto and she dressed like the boy and sang soprano – that was kind of an odd mixture. He belonged to the Juniors and he’d have us come over and he’d put on his magic act and we’d put on our little skit, but then he got married about that time and Hazel (Hazel Wilson) didn’t care for the magician part of it – she broke that up.
As long as I can remember I’ve always loved to dance. My girlfriend and her mother liked to go to dances and she’d take us and we’d get out there on that floor – I was only about 10 years old – and we’d Charleston and we would dance and I’d go home and I’d wind up that old Victrola and put on records and I taught everybody around how to dance. I taught Alice Mae (Mother’s older sister) and her girl friends, they’d come in and get me to teach them how to dance. Alice Mae never could dance and she’d get so mad because I could teach them how to dance. I guess I still love to dance to this day – I guess you never lose that.
Mom was good to us and she done very good – done as good as she could – she’d take in washings and do everything. We were very poor but we always had nice holidays – nice Christmas and Thanksgiving and we always had good things – she’d see to that. I remember one time when I was real little, the day before Thanksgiving the Ku Klux Klan came in – oh, it scared us all to death – they were all dressed in white with pointy hats and all you could see were their eyes, but they had a great big basket of, oh, everything – turkey and the whole bit – and we were scared to death but we didn’t even know them, of course, but we kind of suspected it was our next door neighbor because we’d be out of coal and Mom would say, “Just go down and see if you can scrape up some coal dust or
something to burn – just enough to get supper with” – we’d be out of coal, and we’d go down and that coal bin would be full of coal and we always kind of suspected the neighbor of putting it in there. The Ku Klux might not have done any good but they were good to us.
Mom (Helen Conover) in her garden
Next time – the final installment of Mother’s stories.