1) When and where were you born?
2) Do/did you have any siblings?
I had two brothers, John and George. John was five years older than me and George was three years older. John died a couple years ago, but George is still alive and well and living up in West Lincoln making maple syrup.
My father worked up in the woods clearing land and he also helped out on a farm. My mother mostly stayed at home and cooked and cleaned, like most women did in those days. She would often get together with the ladies from town to bake and sew while sharing the latest gossip.
4) What were your daily chores?
I remember getting up around 5:00 every morning to go outside and get wood for the fire. There was always plenty of work for us kids to do. The boys always did the hard labor, for example, the wood. The girls mostly stayed inside, helping their mother with whatever chores she needed to have done. We only had three boys in our family, so what I remember about what girls did is based on what our friend Carol Ann Rose told us. Carol was two years older than me but she was really good friends with all three of us.
5) What was a typical day like?
Well, like I said, every morning we would get up at 5:00, especially when it wasn?t a school day. No school meant that there was more work that needed to be done and we needed to get an early start on it. One thing that our parents taught us was to spend time with God every morning and that was the most important thing. After our morning quiet time we would have a warm breakfast, although some were much bigger than others. We didn?t have a lot of money growing up. I remember spending a large amount of the day in school, then coming home and doing chores until dinnertime. Dinnertime was followed by time we spend reading or listening to the radio together, most of the reading was from the Good Book (the Bible). The latest I ever remember staying up during my childhood was 9:00 because we always knew how early we had to get up the next day.
6) What was the most exciting childhood event? Most boring?
I think that the most exciting event in my childhood was in 1932 when our parents brought us to the World?s Fair in Tunbridge. I remember having a terrible a terrible stomachache from eating so much of that delicious food. As far as boredom goes, there was absolutely no time for it. We spent every moment not in school working. Boredom was not tolerated by our parents.
7) What did you do with your leisure time?
Easter and Christmas were the most important holidays in our family. The mornings of those days were spent in church and reading the Bible. Family would often come to visit for Christmas. I remember many a white Christmas spent outside with our cousins from New York throwing snowballs at each other.
9) Did you have any childhood diseases?
10) Did your parents keep in touch with their home country?
My parents were born and raised here. A Purinton hasn?t been born outside of Vermont in five generations.
11) Do you remember anything else about growing up?
Only school-related stuff, but I understand that?s the reason you?re here anyway.
12) What about dating practices?
Our parents were very strict when it came to dating. There was also very little time for it.
PUBLIC SCHOOL EXPERIENCE
2) What were the economic conditions at the time?
3) What was the school like?
Well, it was a one-room schoolhouse with a mudroom as you walked in. When you walked into the classroom, you saw a big blackboard that stretched across the front of the room, then there was a furnace directly in the center of the room with four rows of desks around it. Since it was a small town, we had an outhouse, which was darn cold in the winter.
4) What were the fun activities at school?
5) What was the curriculum like? What subjects?
What we studied seems to be pretty similar to what is taught in schools now. The big difference from then and now is that back when I was a kid, the Bible was first and foremost. Then came the ?three R?s?.
6) How long was your school year?
We were in school for about ten months out of the year. We started at the beginning of September and got out at the end of June for the summer. It was nice to have the two hottest months of the year off from school because it gave us a chance go down to the Bartlett?s Falls swimming hole and jump off the rocks.
7) When did you enter high school? What was it like?
Let?s see, I started going to Bristol High School the year I turned fifteen. Boy, was that quite a change. It was so big compared to that tiny little schoolhouse in Lincoln that I attended grammar school in. There were so many rooms, all having the latest equipment for teaching. It was very overwhelming at first. What was different about Bristol High School was that all of the little towns around Bristol that didn?t have high schools like Lincoln, Starksboro, and Monkton sent their kids to Bristol High School. I liked that a lot because I made a lot friends from other towns that I would not have met otherwise. There are many of them that I still talk to to this day.
8) Were there problems with drugs? What about divorces?
People using drugs back then was unheard of. We had morals back then. The Bible taught us that your body is a temple and you must no taint it. The same went for divorce. People took the vow ? ?til death do us part? very seriously. Of course people still did get divorced, but not as much as they do now.
9) Were there discipline problems? Dealt with how?
You know school is, most of the kids are pretty good, but there are always some that are a little too rambunctious for there own good. Teachers preferred corporal punishment to solve behavior problems in the classroom. Most of the teachers used a ruler on the back of the hand. I remember a few days that I went home with red knuckles, then got spanked at home for misbehaving in school. Many teachers made you sit in the corner after the second time you misbehaved.
Studying the Bible, no two ways about it. Studying the Bible in class helped me develop morals. I think I grew up to be a well-rounded individual for that reason, and that?s why so many kids are troublemakers these days. They aren?t brought up with any morals.
11) Who was your favorite teacher? What was their approach?
My favorite teacher was Mrs. Judith Robinson. She was a very devout Christian woman. She took pride in her job. She was a very dynamic teacher. She was concerned for every one of her student?s well being, in and out of the classroom. We all adored her and admired her.
12) Was cheating a problem? What about teen pregnancy?
I keep saying it again and again. Kids back then had values, they knew right from wrong, the Bible taught us right and wrong, as well as our parents. That?s another problem these days, parents just don?t care about their kids. They take no responsibility.
13) Was there prayer in school?
Darn right we said prayers in school. We started every single day with prayer time, but the government has gone and taken that away too. And they worry about the kids in our nations growing up with a poor upbringing and they wonder why.
14) What did you do after school? Sundays? Holidays?
I think I talked about after school earlier. Our parents took the Sabbath very seriously and so did we. We saw the Sabbath as a day to rest, go to church, and also go home and spend time with Him. Holidays in the spring and summer were spent working, fishing, and swimming. On winter holidays we would go up to the old Lincoln ski tow to go sledding and skiing.
Parents back in those days thought school was good to an extent. Work and God were much more important. Parents realized that their children needed basic knowledge. They did however see college as completely unnecessary. There was just no use for it in rural Lincoln.
16) What was the socio-economic status of the students?
Most students were relatively poor that went to school, but there were a few ?well-to-do? kids in the schools. The reason that kids did not go to school was no so much that they couldn?t afford it, but because it was more necessary for them to work and support their family.
17) Was there cooperation between parents and teachers?
Absolutely not, parents then had virtually nothing to do with their child?s education. If there were a school function maybe the parents would attend. But other than that it was up to the teacher and the student.
18) Any differences between old/new schools, teachers, etc?
Schools are not as safe as they were. Students just don?t care anymore. The parents try to make it look like they care. The communities are more developed, even little towns like Lincoln.