Interview with Liane Galvin in her home in North Bend, Oregon 7/26/07.Interviewer: Kathleen Ryan
KRWe are recording. I may glance down here every once in awhile to check the levels.
KRSo I'd like to start out with my easy question, or my easiest question. Whichis if you could please say your first and last name, and your maiden name.
LGOK. Liane Rose was my maiden name. My married name is Liane Rose Galvin.
KROK. Let's spell Liane for the transcript.
KRSo it's a little bit different spelling.
LGYes. It's a French word.
KRAnd Rose just like the flower.
KRAnd Galvin is?
LGMy husband's name.
KRAnd it's spelled?
KROK. And before we get into your service in the WAVES, I wanted to kind of stepback a little bit and talk about how you grew up. So where did you grow up?
LGI was born and raised in Los Angeles. And went to the Los Angeles CitySchools, for what, 15 years, because they also owned the junior college at the 00:01:00time. So I just carried on and then went to UCLA.
KRWow. So you're very unusual there.
KRBecause I'm a native of Los Angeles and I was kind of unusual in my era.
LGRight. Well, my husband was born in Anaheim, so we were an unusual couple.
KROh my goodness. What was LA like then?
LGWonderful. It was a fantastic place to grow up. You could walk anytime of theday or night. It wasn't a matter of crime. Well, I'm sure that there was some, but it was safe to walk. It was safe when I was in high school I took the streetcar and I went down to Los Angeles. I had little money to spend, but I moseyed through the stores. You know, it was a safe place for kids in those days.
KRWhat area of Los Angeles did you live in?
KRAnd what did your folks do? What did your parents do?00:02:00
LGMy father, who had left by the time I was two, was a vice president of a bankin downtown LA. Don't ask me the name of the back. I don't know. My sisters might know, but I don't. My mother had never worked until he left then she became a seamstress, which is about the only thing she knew how to do. I am the youngest of three, so she had the three of us to support.
KRDid you dad not help out at all?
KROh my goodness. So how did you make do?
LGWell, the story is so unbelievable, I almost hesitate to tell people. Therewere two men who discovered oil in Southern California. Edward Doheny and Charles Canfield. Mr. Canfield had three daughters and a son of his own and the son was the black sheep of the family. Mr. Canfield's daughters were his pride and joy, so he adopted two more daughters. There was a philanthropic group that 00:03:00was establishing first a school for boys. This was mostly like Boys Town, kids without a home. But he was so pleased with his daughters that he decided that he would establish a school for girls of what he called exceptional ability that would not have the money because they were from broken homes, to say, go to college if that's where their ability took them. Or if they were musical, or whatever their talent was. My sisters and I went there. We were the original five people who stepped over the threshold of the place. I don't know how my mother found out about it, but it was a godsend.
KRSo you said you also went to the LA city schools -- was this part of the LAcity schools?
LGNo, this was a private school.
KRWhat was it called?
LGCanfield. After Mr. Canfield, obviously. And the woman who was the head of the00:04:00school was Mrs. John H. Francis. There was a high school named after him in San Fernando Valley. He was the superintendent of L.A. City Schools and the former principal and she a former high school english teacher. She had no daughters but two grown sons. But she was marvelous. She knew everybody in that city. The Hollywood Bowl never put on a concert that we weren't invited. We went to every play, to every parade. We went to camp every summer. Now my mother didn't have to pay for any of these things. All she had to pay for was our clothing and our, well, school supplies like notebook paper, that kind of thing. And toilet articles, toothbrush, toothpaste. This was like a godsend out of the blue. We ended up finally, the most girls we had was 31. But most lived -- I went there 00:05:00when I was six and I left when I went in the Navy when I was 20.
KRAnd you lived on the facilities.
LGMmm-hmm. We lived there and we went out to public school every day.
KRAnd so your mother was able to live there with you?
LGNo, she lived elsewhere, wherever she could find a job.
KRSo it was a place, it wasn't necessarily schooling you, but it was a placewhere you could stay while you were going to school?
LGRight. We all took piano. We all took at least one other instrument. EverySaturday was orchestra and then a chorus also. We all had to sing. We all had to take sewing. We all had to take typing. What else did we take? Modern ballet. Not my fort to put it mildly. What else? We took so many things that the average girl would never, unless she came from a very wealthy home, could not have afforded to do those kinds of things. Would I have loved to be able to do 00:06:00those for my own children later on.
LGIf we managed to maintain the average to be allowed into the University ofCalifornia, as it turned out to be the UCLA branch, then college education was on them totally. Even my streetcar fare to get to UCLA, my lunch while I was there, my books, my paper, my pens, my pencils. Anything that it took. Except my clothing and my toilet articles. It was like something out of the blue. And this place lasted until 19 -- I'm trying to think -- '53. The original Mrs. Francis had died and they hired somebody else in her place. Mrs. Francis was very frugal. We lived only on the interest from this endowment that Mr. Canfield had made. But this new lady was not of that mindset. For instance, none of us were 00:07:00going to be wealthy. We all came from broken homes and so on. So we always shopped at the Broadway or May Company or Bullocks. No, she had them at Bullocks Wilshire, places, which was places.
KRLike I. Magnin's.
LGRight. Which was foolish. Because this was not how they were going to live.And so they went into the actual endowment.
KRJust, if you can explain it a little bit more, because I grew up in LosAngeles and I remember those stores, but someone who wasn't from LA might not know the hierarchy or department stores there.
LGRight. Well, we went to the more average priced department stores, whereasBullocks Wilshire and I. Magnin catered to the, definitely to the wealthy. This was not what these girls should have been doing. They should have been learning how to economize because they were going to be on their own. But finally, the board of directors, and all the board of directors were volunteers. There was Mr. Van Norman, who was head of the Department of Water and Power, these were 00:08:00influential people in Los Angeles. They voted to close down the school and put that money in scholarships. They selected, why they selected various colleges, I don't know. Several colleges where they would put the money. They would not be full scholarships but maybe girls who could not say afford board and room would tap into this. Her only qualification had to be that she kept her grades up and she was from Los Angeles County.
KRSo the school went away and scholarship became the legacy.
LGRight. But it was a gorgeous school. It had been, the man who, Mr. Marino hadowned it. He was a big movie star in those days and he married Mr. Canfield's daughter. And when her children were grown, she said, "Let's take this house and turn it into the school my father envisioned. We can build another house." And 00:09:00that's what they did. So we were in a beautiful place. Marble floors in the hallway. You just couldn't believe it. Crystal chandeliers in the dining room and in the living room.
KRThis was in Silverlake?
LGYes. Way on top of a hill.
KRHow -- so I'm going to kind of jump to an assumption here, and tell me if I'mright or wrong. For your mother, education was important?
LGOh, very. My mother was determined we were going o go to college. She had noidea how she was going to manage it. But she had already figured out that if you want to get somewhere in this world, you have to go to college. The three of us, out of choice, wanted to be teachers. From the day I hit kindergarten I knew I wanted to be an elementary school teacher. My two sisters too. Although one ended up in the middle school, as they called it later. The other one ended up in junior college teaching. But we all started at the elementary level. 00:10:00
KRAnd you knew you wanted to teach.
LGOh, loved it.
KRWhy when you were a little kid, why was that what you were gearing towards.Why teaching and not something else?
LGI don't know unless, and I don't remember this that well, having sisters fourand six years older than I, I have a feeling we maybe played school a lot. And that may be where I got the idea. I know all of us knew how to read before we went to school and that kind of thing. I finally, when Canfield changed hands and we had that new superintendent, I liked to bake. I always baked when we had company. For dinner, I'd bake a fancy cake. This Miss Beamis, the new owner -- not owner, but superintendent -- held the pursestrings, so to speak, on the college. And she said to me, "You're only becoming a teacher because that's what your sisters did." I said, "No, I'm doing it because that's what I want to do." 00:11:00But she didn't believe me. She said, "I really think you should be an home economics major, since you like to cook." That's somebody's reasoning, but not mine. So when I went to UCLA, I had to take the courses that would lead to a, you know, home economics major. After about a year of that, that's when the Navy was formed. I thought, "Aha! That's my out." So after I turned 20 I joined the Navy.
KRHow did you hear about the Navy?
LGI don't remember how I heard about it. I honestly don't remember. I neverconsidered joining any other branch.
LGWell, for one thing, I remember everybody kidding about joining the Army andwearing khaki underwear. And I knew they'd never have my bra size in (laughs) in khaki underwear! I had a hard enough time buying them in a department store. 00:12:00
KRWhy was that?
LGBecause I needed a 32 double D.
KRYes, that's --
LGYes! You know, that made life difficult. Actually, before the war, bras didnot come in cup sizes. You said, "I need a 32" and they would bring you five or six different types of 32s. And you'd try on whatever one you thought might fit you. There's no -- so you're just looking for something that's big. But that one thing I said, "They'd never make a khaki bra in 32 double d!" (laughs). So I joined the Navy on St. Patrick's Day of 1943.
KRSo you were a fairly early recruit.
LGYes. I was in the fifth regiment of WAVES.
KRWas Hunter College around at this time?
LGYes, yes. They had had some women joined earlier and they went, now the00:13:00officers some of them went in December. I don't believe the enlisted went until January. I went, actually into boot camp in April. So like four months after they opened.
KRSo how did that compare with what you had, you spent most of your childhood atthis -- it wasn't really a boarding school, but it was like a boarding school --
LGRight. Well, I think I had it easier than the other girls. I was used toliving with a lot of other people. And not sharing, not having my own bedroom and any of that. So I think the adjustment to the Navy was much easier for me than it was for many girls who came from their own homes.
KRDid your sisters do anything military-wise?
LGNo. My oldest sister had, her husband had gone down and tried to enlist afterPearl Harbor, but he was a farmer. They said, "Go home. Farm. We don't need you." 00:14:00
KRWhere did he have his farm?
LGImperial Valley. Actually, it turned out they drafted him two years later.Meanwhile, they had decided that since he wasn't going, they would have a baby. So she was home with the baby. The other sister became a control tower operator. She was at Tuscon, Douglas Munton Air Base and then at the San Francisco Airport and then ended up at LAX.
KRWas she in the military?
KRWow. I've heard about women who did this through like the WAVES in air trafficcontrol, but I didn't realize civilian people could do it.
LGOh, yes, If it was a -- if it wasn't a military station, then it was civilianswho worked there. And the minimum requirement for getting into the class was a college degree.
KRAnd since she had that --
LGShe already had it. She had already taught school for several years.
KRAnd this wasn't an option for you.
LGI hadn't gone all the way through -- and I had already joined the Navy before00:15:00she did that.
KRAnd you had three years of college? Because two years at the J.C. --
LGRight, and then a year at UCLA.
KRSo, it wasn't a tough transition for you?
LGI don't think it was as difficult for me as it was for most people. Thehardest thing was all the walking. I walked a lot because we lived way off of Sunset Boulevard, up a hill, and we walked up and down that hill practically every day. Because to get a streetcar to go to UCLA, I had to walk up and down that hill everyday.
KRAnd UCLA is a big campus, too.
LGYes. Of course, it wasn't as big then, but it was big. You had to figure atleast an hour and a half from the time you got on the streetcar at Micheltorena Street and Sunset Boulevard. And then you changed to a bus at Hollywood and Vine. And that bus took you right to the campus.
KRSo the WAVES walking was even more?00:16:00
LGThe marching was very hard. I don't know what they finally said was the matterwith my heel, but they finally said, "You don't have to march any more. You can just walk slowly alongside of us." Something was the matter with my heel. Never has bothered me since. But it sure did then. I didn't so much complain, but they complained because I wasn't keeping up.
KRSo you had some sort of a heel pain because of the marching?
LGYes. But this isn't -- maybe, boot camp is six weeks. This was maybe the fifthweek. So I had been marching all that time with no problem. And suddenly this cropped up. But then we took tests every day. I don't mean tests. We took classes. We did take tests. Aptitude tests, IQ tests. That kind of thing. General knowledge, I guess. Then you put down your preferences for where you 00:17:00wanted to be trained. My first preference was the aerology, the meteorology and I got it.
KRAnd you had been, obviously you had tested well for all of that.
LGApparently, or they wouldn't have assigned you if you hadn't tested well. Ihad one friend who was in nurse's training in Santa Barbara and she was anxious to be a corpsman. They sent her to aviation mechanics school in Oklahoma. She was very disappointed. I've never saw her again, so I don't how she adjusted.
KRWow. I know another woman who went specifically into the Navy so she could goto -- she just assumed that that was what she was going to be able to do and she was.
LGThat's what this gal said. But she apparently had mechanical aptitude. It wasvery interesting. We had a great group of ladies who went across country from LA to boot camp together.
KRWhat was that trip like?
LGWe had a good time. You know, we had no responsibility other than to turn up00:18:00to eat. Because we weren't in uniform or anything. You wore whatever it is you wanted to wear. No, we thoroughly enjoyed it. We became pretty good friends. It took us four days, I think. You had to change trains in Chicago.
KRDid you stay in contact with any of the other women?
LGI did for a long time then I lost contact with them?
KROf the women who were on the train with you?
LGThat were on the train.
KRWow. Because a lot of people said they became really fast friends, but whenthey got to boot camp even, they disbursed. Because you got all divided into different groups.
LGWell, we ended up, like some of them were, we were in apartment houses inHunter and some of them were my roommates there. But we went in all different directions according to what training school. And some of them didn't get to any training school.
KRThey just went straight --
LGThey went straight to an assignment. Now, I met one lady about five years ago00:19:00and she was in. She became a driver at one of the bases. All she did was drive the top brass around. So I felt lucky to have had such an interesting job.
KRWhat sounded interesting about this to you? Because you said you were hopingto get it, and you did.
KRWhat sounded intriguing about it?
LGI don't know. I just -- I don't know. It just sounded intriguing to me. Ithought it would be really interesting. The weather's never the same two days in a row, so it would never be the same. It would never be a drag of a job. Some of the girls were secretaries and were glad to be secretaries. But that would not have been my style.
KRYou, doing the yoeman work didn't --
LGI wouldn't have minded being a pharmacist's aide, a pharmacist's mate, or --what am I trying to -- why can't I think of the name of it? You know, the ones 00:20:00that worked in the hospitals and so on. That would have been alright with me, but that was down on my list from the meteorology school. That wasn't number one. I wanted some training. Something I could do with afterwards, if I would need to.
KRSo you went to New Jersey?
LGLakehurst, New Jersey
KRIs Lakehurst where the blimp exploded?
LGYes. I left my appendix at that Naval air station.
LGI had a couple of appendicitis attacks and they decided it better come out.That's why all my friends graduated a month before I did and went to Washington. They were all gals who lived on the east coast. So if they had Washington, they could go home on weekends. That's why I selected Washington. And most of my friends from California who were in New Jersey with me elected for bases in 00:21:00California. I thought, "Oh, gee. I didn't really join the Navy to go right back home. I want to see some of the rest of the country." Washington was my number one choice.
KRAnd you got that.
LGAnd I got it.
KRWell, tell me, before we go to Washington, tell me a little bit about yourtraining. What sort of training did you get at the ? 2127
LGWe had an intensive course in meteorology and forecasting and entering weathermaps. You had to memorize all of these weather codes. You know, when you see a weather map it's got the pressure and the temperature and the rainfall. And what kind of clouds there are and how much rain has fallen in the last six hours and all -- and this all has to fit under a dime when you entered it. You entered it dipping a pen in India ink and entering this on a map.
KRWhy did it have to fit under a dime?
LGBecause that's the size of a weather map.00:22:00
KRSo it would blow up? When it blew up --
LGThey never blew it up any bigger than the one you worked on.
KRBut -- when I think a dime I'm thinking -
LGWell, there may have been 20 entries in California.
KROK. That makes sense.
LGEverything came over the teletype in code. So you had to know all the codes toenter the weather map. Which ones meant the clouds, which one meant the temperature and so on.
KRYou also mentioned something about weather balloons?
LGYes. That's what we did. I didn't happen to do it in Washington, but that'swhat the girls did who were at Naval air stations. And what we had to do when we were in training.
KRSo what did you have to do with weather balloons?
LGWe sent them up and they gave you the temperature and the weather up atvarious altitudes. They had some kind of device on it that gave you information back to the ground, telling you what the temperature was, how far up you were and weather it was raining and what kind of clouds and the air pressure and so on. 00:23:00
KRIt sounds like it would be really interesting.
LGIt was. It was fascinating. And I, like I said, I always felt lucky that I gotsomething so interesting.
KRAnd you said your group was the first group that had, you were with the firstgroup of women Marines as well.
LGYes. The first group of women Marines were in boot camp with us. Also theSPARs were in boot camp with us, which are the Coast Guard ladies.
KRSo you had a group, an interesting --
LGA pretty big group.
KRDid they, did the Marines also go to the training center with you?
LGYes. But the Coast Guard did not. I don't know where they went afterwards. Butcertain Marines who had selected aerology also went to New Jeresey with us. Summer in New Jersey is not where you want to be. Horrible, humid, hot. And mosquitos! Just horrible. And I'm one of those people to who, who attracts 00:24:00mosquitos. So I was just a walking mosquito bite for four months.
KROh my goodness.
LGBut it was a beautiful place on a lake You couldn't have asked for nicer.Actually, we were several miles from the actual Naval air station. But it was -- our mail all went through Lakehurst. But it was very interesting. I loved it. And it stood me in good stead. When I got out of the Navy, the first job I took, I was hired by Cal Tech to enter weather maps.
KRThat's not a bad job.
LGNot a bad job. I stayed there until I got married.
KRNow before we go to there, let's go back to Washington for awhile. You decidedto go to Washington because your friends were there.
LGAnd because I thought it would be an interesting place.
KRWhat was your work like there?
LGI entered the weather maps. I then, after we got them entered, we handed themto the forecasters. They did the forecasting and then they read out the forecast 00:25:00and we put it in code. And then that went over, whatever method, to all the ships over the Atlantic. That's what we were forecasting for. For the convoys across the Atlantic. So it was -- you couldn't ask for a more interesting job.
KRAnd you lived, like a block away in that apartment complex?
LGYes. It wasn't -- it was a block away from the White House. It was -- 16th or20th -- about eight blocks, 10 blocks from where I worked. But it was within easy walking distance, weather permitting. I was not used to that humidity of the east coast. And I kept saying, "People live here all their life out of choice. What is the matter with them?"
KRYes, it's a big shift, especially if you come from the west where there's nohumidity at all.
LGBut I'm glad I had the experience. It was a wonderful experience. Between00:26:00Lakehurst and Washington, I had five days to kill. Not enough to come home to California. So I went to Philadelphia and stayed at the YWCA and saw all the sights. One day I went into the Strawbridge and Collier Department Store. There was a big sign downstairs. It said, "Service people" service men or women, I don't remember "come on up to our photo department and we'll take a picture and send it to home." So I went up and had the picture taken. Of course, they're not going to give it to you. They're going to send it to your folks. So they wanted my mother's address. I gave them 644 Orange Street, Norwalk and they said, "Connecticut?" And I said, "No, California." "California!" So they all took me out to dinner and they saw to it I was kept occupied while I was Philadelphia. It was delightful.
KROh how nice! What did your mother think of all this?00:27:00
LGMy mother thought it was wonderful. She couldn't hang that blue star in herwindow fast enough to indicate that she had somebody in the service. Oh, she thought it was wonderful. Of course, I wasn't 21, so she had to sign the papers for me to go. You could go in the Army at 18, but both the Marines and the Navy insisted on 21.
KRSo if you weren't 21 you had to get --
LGYou had to get your folks' permission.
KRYes. Some parents didn't like that, but your mom --
LGMy mom thought it was wonderful and patriotic. My mother became a -- she wentto work for Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach and she was four foot eight or so. They looked for people of her size that could do fine work. Which of course, she could, because she was a seamstress. She did wiring out in the wings inside the wings of the airplane.
KRShe was as Rosie the Riveter.
LGShe did the electrical wiring, yes. Just as a point of interest, when the war00:28:00was over and my grandmother was long gone, my mother entered a convent and became a nun. She was known as Sister Mary Adelaide. In fact, there is a picture of her up there in her habit.
KRI see. Not everyone has a mother who becomes a nun.
LGNo. And when I told my daughter that I joined the Catholic daughter'sassociation at church, she said, "Oh, Mom, who's more likely than the daughter of a nun to join the Catholic daughter's?" (laughs)
KRI've talked to some women, there's one women I'm trying to talk to who wentin, served in the WAVES and became a nun afterwards. And I've talked to a woman who was going to be a nun, left and served in the WAVES. But nobody who's had a mother who was a nun.
LGNo, no. And when my mother died and three daughters showed up for the service,they really didn't know what to do with us. They had had mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters. Never daughters. In fact, I had a letter from one of the nuns 00:29:00who was my mother's friend in the convent.
KRShe's still alive?
LGShe's still alive. She said she would be 93 on her birthday. My mother died,she was 21 years in the convent.
LGMy son had a ball. He was in the Vietnam War in the Navy. And when his shipcame home I always sent my mother an airline ticket. When she would come out, he would always take her on board and say, "I'd like you to meet my grandmother, Sister Mary Adelaide." (laughs) There were a lot of looks!
KR"What did she do? What kind of organization is she in?" (laughs)
LGRight. I just thought you'd be interested since I told you she was a Rosie the Riveter.
KRI think that's absolutely fascinating. Absolutely fascinating.
LGI have one picture over there on that table. You can see it. My mother, the00:30:00three of us, and her seven grandchildren. That's the only picture we ever got of all of us.
KRWow. Did you, when you were in the military, did you, I know I saw some of thepictures you had, doing things around Washington -- did you stay in Washington the entire time you were in the service?
LGWell, except when I got sent to the war bonds shows to demonstrate what andenlisted WAVE did as and aerographer. And weather maps and so on.
KRSo tell me about that. How did you get selected for that?
LGWell, interesting. I had gone on a vacation down on the bay, Chesapeake Bay.And went diving into the bay and heard something snap. I was fine. I got out, went back to Washington and everything was fine. Then over a period of a week or so, I started getting pain in my back. One day I was in such bad shape -- I had 00:31:00to be at work at five o'clock in the afternoon -- I took my shower and got dressed in my uniform and took my streetcar to work. Well, when it came to the place where I had to get off, the conductor had to help me off. I couldn't hardly walk. So I walked the two and a half blocks to where the weather bureau was. When I walked in the commander was standing there. He said, "My god, what happened to you?" I said, "I don't know." He said, "We don't need people here who can't hardly move. Why don't you go back to the WAVE quarters and rest. Report to sick bay tomorrow and see what's the matter with you." He said, "Somebody else can do the job. Don't worry about it." So I went back. It was a few months, some months later that they told him they needed an enlisted WAVE that could meet the public and, you know, show them how to read a weather map and that sort of thing. He said, "Take Rose. I tell you, if she's dead on her feet, she'll be there." So it stood me in good stead. 00:32:00
KRWhatever happened to you?
LGThe Navy diagnosed it as arthritis. I don't have arthritis in my back. I'vehad a jillion x-rays and there's nothing back there?
KRSo you have no idea of what happened?
LGMmm-mmm. Whatever it is it isn't bothering me.
KRBut the fact that you were persistent and a good employee--
LGHe said, "No matter how she feels, she'll be there."
KRSo what did you do in these jobs?
KRIn the demonstrations.
LGWell, we had a big map on the wall. And I showed, they -- we didn't show theactual code, but they gave me a piece of paper with a code on it. And then I had to enter the weather stations on the map. The forecaster came and drew the isobars, the fronts and so on. We talked about how he made the maps and then I 00:33:00put it into code to send to the ships. So it was a very interesting jobs.
KRHow many times -- I know you showed me pictures from the Navy Pier --
LGNavy Pier. The other time was at, was actually in a bank building at the EastRiver Savings Bank down near Wall Street. In New York.
KRAnd you said you were the only woman?
LGThere was a WAVE officer and me and there was an, a male aerographer also.Then we had one woman over all of us, who was a step above, I guess, the officer. We all got along well. The time we were in Chicago, at the Navy Pier, the one who was in charge of all lived in Chicago. So she had us all to her home for Thanksgiving, which was nice, since none of us was anywhere near where we 00:34:00could go home. Very interesting. It was blustery and cold. It was -- Thanksgiving in Chicago. It was not ideal weather. But they put us up in a hotel on the lakefront. It was very interesting. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed getting to see a little of Chicago.
KRDid you also do some talking with the public?
LGOh yes. They wanted somebody who could talk with the public. Talk aboutwhatever the public wanted to talk about.
KRDid you find people were curious about what you were doing?
LGYes. And they wanted to know where you were from. I had one lady who came upand she said, "Are you Liane?" And I said, "Yes." She said, "I'm your sister's Donice's friend Gladys Ludlom." She brought a man up, "This is my husband." I was so surprised being so far from home and somebody knowing who I was. Because I really don't look like my sister. But my sister must have said something about me being in a war bond show. 00:35:00
KRProbably. And she probably said something, knowing that she lived there inChicago and could look out for you. What was the reaction in the office to having female aerographers?
LGWell, the captain called all the men together before the first ladies gotthere and said, "These are ladies. You are to treat them as ladies and you clean up your language and aren't to say anything that you wouldn't say to your own grandmother, for instance. You are to be respectful at all times."
KRAnd is that what happened?
LGVery much so. Got along fine.
KRDid any of men seem resentful of the fact you were there?
LGSome of them, like the chiefs, who had had maybe 25 years in the Navy. Yes,they resented it. But the young kids that were working with us, it didn't make any difference to them.
KRDid the chiefs do anything to make it difficult for you to do work?
LGNo, but they just looked down their nose at you. But, most of the officers00:36:00there were also people not much older than I was. Maybe they graduated from college so they were 25 at the most, maybe. But they, none of them, I don't even think the commanding officer was an Annapolis man. And speaking of Annapolis, I had a friend whose best friend -- a male friend -- whose best friend was at Annapolis and so I got invited down there to dances and things. I know when VJ day came, when I got home from work at eight o'clock in the morning, there was a telephone message for me. Would I like to come down to Annapolis for the day. They were having a big celebration. I spent all day long at Annapolis after working since midnight. When got back to WAVE quarters there was a call. The captain, the head of that particular shift that night, actually he was a lieutenant, he invited us to his house that night for a party. So we were all up for 24 hours that time (laughs) 00:37:00
KRDid you have to work afterwards or no?
LGNo. Well, I had to work at midnight. And then off at eight in the morning. Soit was really more than 24 hours.
KROh my goodness.
LGBut you're young. You can do anything when you're young.
KRBut you start to get punchy after awhile.
KRWhat was your reaction at VJ Day?
LGOh, we though it was marvelous. We couldn't wait to get downtown Washingtonwhere everybody was celebrating. Now, I don't remember seeing drinking. I'm sure there was plenty of it. But we were just going around high fiving people or hugging people or whatever. One fellow would grab you and you were dancing around in a circle. It was just good clean fun is what it was.
KRWere you wondering what you -- had you met your husband at this point?
LGYes, I met him before we even went into the service. We weren't romanticallyinterested. We had gone out a couple of times.
KRSo you were just friends.
LGWe were just friends. We kept up a friendship. As I said to him, "Boy were you00:38:00romantic." Every letter ended "As always, Bob." Hardly romantic.
KRSo what were your thoughts. Were you thinking about what was going to happen next?
LGI'm thinking of "Gee, I'm going to get back to California and out of thismiserable weather." That was my first thought. Then you had to wait until your term went up. You accumulated points as to your age, and on the number of months you had been in the service. And when your number came up you were eligible to come up for discharge. Then they shipped me across the country with a bunch of other people who were eligible for discharge. And we all went together and I was discharged in San Francisco.
KRDid you want to leave the Navy at this point?
LGYes. I wanted to get home. In hindsight, I'm kind of sorry I did. But I went00:39:00back to college. I didn't -- I went back to UCLA. Then when my best friend in my Navy got out, she decided she was going to Berkeley. So we decided we would go to Berkeley together. But my GI money never caught up with me at Berkeley. So I got one long semester at Berkeley. Then I had to come home. You could only live so long on nothing.
KRWhat happened with your GI Bill?
LGWell, eventually it caught up with me. But the paperwork of changing schoolsis what fouled things up.
KRYou said in hindsight you would have liked to stay.
LGAt the time, all I could think of was of going home. And I think the weatherattracted me almost as much as getting back to friends and family. Because I thought that weather in Washington was horrible. I lived with it at the time and I didn't gripe about it, but I was just amazed that people lived there by choice.
KR(laughs) You get spoiled in southern California.00:40:00
KRSo did you start back at UCLA initially?
LGYes. I first went to UCLA then I went, but before that I went to work at CalTech. I've got to get those straight. I went to work at Cal Tech first, then I went to UCLA. And then --
KRHow long were you at Cal Tech?
LGLess than a year. Then they decided to close the weather, the meteorologydepartment anyway, so some of the men I worked for formed a new, a business, where their business was for the studios and magazines and people who needed. For instance, if a magazine wanted a shot with puffy cumulous clouds, they'd call them up and make arrangements for, you know, in this period of time where could I get that type of weather. So I made weather maps for them too, until I 00:41:00had my first child.
KRIn the meantime, though, while all this was going on you were going to school?
KRAnd what was your idea in going back to school?
LGWell, I decided to be a geography major because I thought meteorology fell inthat department anyway and I thought that's a good background for a teacher if I don't stay in the meteorology field.
KRSo you were at UCLA for a term
LGAnd then went to Berkeley --
KRFor a term --
LGAnd then I quit, got married, broke my mother's heart and when my childrenwere in -- first and third grade I think it was, I went back to school. They had built Cal State Northridge, and I went back to school and got my teaching credential.
KRWhy did you not continue to go school after you got married?
LGBecause I got pregnant right away (laughs). It was that as much as anything else.
KRAnd was your husband working?
LGOh, yes. He had been a Naval aviator. He worked. He worked for AT&T. The same00:42:00job he had had before. It sounded so conducive to him. "If you come back and work for us we'll give you your service time as well as years of experience." Which meant, of course, that you made more money. That went without saying.
KRAnd how did you guys -- because you said before you weren't romanticallyinvolved. What happened to make him --
LG(laughs) I don't know, but when I got home my mother said to be, "Who is BobGalvin?" I said, "A fellow I know." She said, "He has called every night this week to see when you're coming home." So we started going out together and we got married about a year and a half later.
KRMaybe "As always" meant something more than you were thinking of.
LGWell, it could be! (laughs) Like I say, we kept up a very, just friendlycorrespondence when we were in the service.
KRBut when you came back home, he was looking for you.
LGHe sure was.
KRDid he, did he not want you to work?00:43:00
LGHe felt if I wanted to stay home with the kids that was fine with him. Butthen, when it looked to me -- in the first place I wanted to get my degree. But I also thought, "This will be my chance to teach." I had always wanted to teach. So I went back and got my credential. By then my children were old enough I knew both kids were going to need orthodontia. AS soon as I got my teaching credential I applied for a job in LA Unified and worked there for 20 years.
KRWhat schools did you work for?
LGI worked for Andersall Elementary School. It was in Northridge. Actually, Iwas a student teacher there and they hired me right on. It made life simple. It was about a seven minute ride from my house.
LGPeachy. And I already knew all of the teachers because I had been a studentteacher there.
KRAnd the San Fernando Valley -- that was the San Gabriel Valley, wasn't it?
LGNo, San Fernando.
KRAnd that was also very -- I mean very different then.00:44:00
KRI mean, you think about the Valley now, it's congestion and smog and --
LGMy husband actually moved from Anaheim to the Valley when he was four. Heremember the Valley as just rows of oranges and walnuts. And a few houses, you know. but we spent all 50 years there.
KRAnd what was it like to see the changes that you saw?
LGThe changes were so gradual that you didn't think much of it, until we wantedto take our kids to some stream we used to wade it, for instance. It was gone now. There was a building there, that kind of thing. It shocked him more than it shocked me. He remembered where there was nothing, no homes. But that's one place they opened up with homes the veterans could afford.
KRBecause they were building the developments.
KRSo did you buy into one of those developments?
LGYes. In fact, the first house and we lived there about two years. Then he gottransferred to Phoenix, Arizona. We had already decided -- we only had a two bedroom house. We had already decided we wanted a three bedroom house since we had a boy and a girl. So we went ahead and sold that house. Then he went on to Phoenix. He had build a guest house for his sister. So the kids and I stayed at the guest house until he found a place for us in Phoenix. Then the kids and I went to Phoenix with him for the last three months of his duty or whatever you want to call it there. Then we went back and bought the house that I sold when I bought this.
KRAnd how many children did you have altogether.
KRTwo. If you didn't like Washington, what did you think of Phoenix and the weather?
LGWell, in those days Phoenix was a little town then. We loved Phoenix.00:46:00
KRBut the heat didn't bother you.
LGNo. It was a dry heat then. It isn't anymore. But both places that we stayedwhen we live there were air conditioned.
KRSo you were just in Phoenix for a short time.
KRThen you came back?
LGAnd when I -- the kids and I came that Thanksgiving, we all came forThanksgiving at his sister's house. His mother was gone by then. Just at his sister's. His sister said, "Why don't you and the kids stay at the guest house that Bob built and let Bob go finish his work in Phoenix?" We had been looking every Sunday, buying the LA Times looking at the tracts of homes that were being developed. We decided which one we'd go to look at. He said to me, "If you like it, buy it." We did and we lived in it 52 years. Raised both kids in it. I can't believe it.
KRAnd it was another three bedroom house.
LGYes, three bedroom, two bath. One and a half bath really.00:47:00
KRWhat did you -- what did you tell -- I know you went to school and it was verymuch go to college, that was the goal. So what were your goals for your kids?
LGWell, my goal was for them to at least use their noggin and get throughcollege, make it through college. That's another reason that I taught. I thought, if I don't teach there's not going to be enough money for the both of them to go to college. As it turned out, my son joined the Navy after a year of college. He would have been drafted if he hadn't probably. He said, "I need to do some growing up and find out what I need to do with my life." So he went into the Navy and she went to college. She graduated from college.
KRWhere did she go to school?
LGShe went to -- I want to say Cal State Humboldt.
KROh, Humboldt State.00:48:00
LGYes. That's where she went.
KRAnd what did she -- what did you -- were you encouraging her to go into acareer or --
LGI really wanted to make sure that she had some kind of marketing skills and adegree. As it turns out she's the head cartographer for Coos County for the assessor's office and whatever other office needs maps.
KRSo she kind of vaguely went into the same area you did in the Navy.
KRWhat did you think when she started doing that stuff?
LGI thought it was wonderful. She's real talented and very bright. Of course,that's a mother speaking. But anyway -- then he, when he got out of the Navy --
KRAnd he served in the Navy during Vietnam.
LGYes. He did four years. Then he went back to college and he became a -- whatdo I want to call it? A design engineer. He designed air conditioning and 00:49:00heating systems for commercial and industrial buildings. Churches and all that.
KRAnd where did he go to school?
LGHe went to -- what do they call it? It was a part of the L.A. Unified SchoolDistrict, another two year college, but it had a special name. It wasn't just a routine college where you take english and history and all that. I'm trying to think what they called it. Trade technical school I think it was called. He graduated from there and he worked -- he just retired five years ago.
KRAnd you said there were seven grandkids?
LGYes. Not seven of mine seven of my mother's. One of my sisters had three andthe other two of us had two.
KRAnd either of your kids have kids?
LGYes. My daughter has an adopted son at Korea. Who is the chef at one of thefancy restaurants in town.
KRIs that who I saw in the --
LGOh, that's -- you know00:50:00
KROn the coffee table (wild sound)
LGThat was your message. When we moved here the movers lost the directions tothe telephone. We've never been able to set it so that, so that for instance it says Thursday at two thirty pm or whatever. It forever blinks.
KRI was looking at the picture on the coffee mug. Is that your grandson?
LGThat was when he was about 13.
KROK, so that's your grandson.
LGAnd then my son has a son and a daughter. I got one granddaughter out of itand two grandsons. So that is good. The both, his kids are both in college. The other one, he had a lot of learning problems. Probably, he was abandoned on a hospital steps when he was six months old, one of those things. And he was almost three when this woman from some agency here in Oregon went through the 00:51:00hospital looking for adoptable children. She asked, "What's the matter with that one?" Nobody knew why he was there even. And he was almost three years old had never walked, never talked, never anything. Never fed himself, anything. They did put him with a foster mother who toilet trained him, let his hair grow out. They kept him bald in the hospital. And, well, one less thing to do is comb his hair. He did graduate from high school. His dad -- they're divorced now -- his dad was talking to a man who owns one of the nicer restaurants in the area. And he said, "Oh, I have a son who is interested in being a chef." And the fellow said, "Send him over to me. I'll put him to work if he's willing." So he started out as a dishwasher. Now he's a chef. But he's been there since he's 16 and he 00:52:00just turned 30.
KRHow did you end up up here?
LGBecause her, my daughter's husband got transferred here. By the time you reachyour 80s you realized you need to be near someone who would take care of you in the event you need taking care of. Which in my case would be one of the two of the children.
KRAnd where is your son?
LGSacramento. But both he and his wife work. If I went there, I would be aloneall of the time. Besides, they wanted to buy out in the country, five miles from the nearest road. That didn't sound like my cup of tea at all. And I'm very close to my daughter anyway. So this seemed the more logical. I had her go to a real estate person. She looked for houses that were for sale. She's a jogger. She jogs all the time. She saw this house under construction. She talked to the 00:53:00contractor and said I was coming up looking at houses. He said, "If she wants to come and look, I'll show her through." So, the next day invited us to lunch and when lunch was over I had given him a down payment on the house. Went back and sold the other house. Put it on the market on Sunday and it sold Thursday the same week.
KRYou did this while the housing market was doing very well in Los Angeles.
LGYou wouldn't believe. We paid 12,000 dollars for that 1200 square foot house,and I got just a few hundred dollars short of a half a million. So, of course, I was able to buy this outright.
KRWhich is great.
KRAnd you probably have some money to put in the bank besides.
LGYes. and give the kids a sizable sum.
KRThis is a good thing.
LGAnd my furniture looks so much better up here than it ever did. That pictureyou see, behind your head, my mother-in-law painted that when she was a teenager yet. Luckily, just before I moved I found an artist who would clean it and 00:54:00reline it, because the canvas is over 100 years old. When you would hold it up to the light, you would see pin points holes. So you had to do something to save that canvas. He was able to line it and clean it. It's a scene from Othello.
KRI was wondering, I had noticed it when I came in. I was wondering what thestory was behind it. How do you think -- or did being in the service impact your life?
LGOh, I think it was probably one of the best things I ever did.
LGI met lots of people through it. I think I learned even more discipline than Iever had before. You certainly learned to get along with people intimately, practically, because you lived in such close quarters. We -- I thought we lived in close quarters at Canfield, but not like you do in the service.
KRBecause you have like four --00:55:00
LGWe had six people to an apartment.
KR That's a lot.
LGAnd there were three double bunks, typical Navy bunks, but all of the rest ofthe furniture came from the Normandy, which had tipped over in New York Harbor and they took all the gorgeous brocaded furniture and stuff and put it in our apartment. So the contrast between the bunks and the brocade chairs was something else again.
KRI would think so. Is there any other way that it impacted you, besidesteaching you discipline?
LGWell, for one thing, I got, my three years in the Navy counted -- well, notquite three, counted for two and a half years of teaching, which got a higher salary. No, I just -- there's something about it. I was always gung-ho Navy after that. I -- one of my best friends in teaching was also in the WAVES. She had moved to Orange County and she called me -- she had read in the paper down 00:56:00there there was a group of former WAVES and they were having a birthday party for their unit of WAVES. So I drove down and we both joined it. I did that for about two years and I got tired of the drive to Orange County every time for lunch. So I started a unit in the San Fernando Valley and at the peak we had 55 people. We have about 26 or so now. That's the one party I got to when I went down on the last trip. I arrived on a Thursday, they had a picnic on Saturday at one of the lady's houses. It had been scheduled for June, but they changed it to July since I was coming, which I thought was very nice. I got to see most of the gals that I wanted to see.
KRAnd you're involved with the group up here too?
LGYes, yes. And with the American Legion up here. So, you know I keep busy and Ibelong to the Catholic Daughters and a craft group at church and then once a 00:57:00month I help with the bingo which is every Friday night. That's exhausting but that's fun. I just figure I can sit and do nothing and grow older in a hurry or I can be busy and enjoy life.
KRI think that's a good thing. You're not sitting around waiting.
LGYes. Not my type. I could -- we originally had grass on that side of mydriveway and I said, "Let's dig that up and make a flower garden." Because I love flowers. That's why I have a flower garden over there. I planted some of the stuff and then last year for Mother's Day my daughter bought a bunch of stuff and put it in. This year my son was also here for Mother's Day and Laurie, my daughter, had built that planter that's right out front. So the two or them planted the planter and filled in the flower bed over there. I said I'd rather have that for Mother's Day than something they could buy. And don't take me out 00:58:00to dinner. Everybody and his dog is out to dinner on Mother's Day. So we just had a nice dinner here at home.
KRAnd you know that's nice too, because it's something you can enjoy all the time.
KRIt's not like a knick knack that just gets --
LGAnd I have more knick knacks than I need right now. I love my house. I justlove it. I love the spaciousness. I love the skylights. I have them here and in the kitchen and in the master bedroom. You won't believe how big the house is, because it looks little from the outside. Well just take a -- oh, you don't want to do it with that on.
KROh, we can, if we want to, that moves and we can unplug this and that moves.
LGI just want you to see what a good sized house this is, compared to my little1200 square feet I had in the Valley.
KROh, we're fine.
LGThis goes with me.
KRYou need to carry that.
LGOK. It's a lot bigger than it appears.
KROh my goodness.00:59:00
LGYes. Here is my red, white and blue bedroom. That's all the suitcase that Ibrought back. And I was going to sick down and sew but obviously haven't gotten to that yet. And that's my computer bedroom. And then look at the size of this room. This is my room.
KRThis is wonderful.
LGAnd I have a doll collection so -- my daughter built that cabinet. And myShirley Temple dolls.
KROne of the women I spoke with today has a Shirley Temple doll collection. Ohthis is great -- and the nice deep tub.
LGOh, it's a lovely house.
KRAnd the dunes come right up next to you.
LGRight. See, we're trying to figure out -- that's what that girl was asking meabout. That whole hill is part of my property. Up to where the big tall trees are. What we're trying to do if find something to plant across the top, flowers, 01:00:00to keep the sand from coming down on the back lawn.
KRAlways fighting with the drifting sand from the dunes.
KRIs there anything else you would like to add about your experiences or your time.
LGNo, but I just have to say it was one of the best experiences and I wouldencourage any young girl to go in. I don't know about other branches but I do in the Navy.
LGOh, yes. I wish my own daughter had done it.
KRWhy is that?
LGWhy I think it's just a good learning experience.
KRHelp her to -- it helps you to change, to grow up?
LGHelps you to grow up. Of course, she didn't need, she doesn't have problemsgetting along with people, but for a lot of girls that's a big problem. Especially if you've lived in a sheltered home. But she now is a motorcycle 01:01:00rider. Not to and from work. This is strictly recreation.
KRRight. You said the WAVES impacted you. Do you think the WAVES impactedsociety in any way?
LGOh, definitely. I think women in the service began the opening of doors forwomen in all parts of society that were not available to women prior to the war.
KRWhy do you think the service helped with that?
LGBecause they could see the women could do the same work men did. Same as Rosiethe Riverter. Same idea. But women really came into their own, I think, during World War II. I think it was the beginning of women being able to do things that 01:02:00they weren't able to do before the war. If you went to college, there was nursing and teaching and not a whole lot else. I don't think I would have been as good a nurse as I was a teacher, so it's lucky I didn't want to be a nurse. But I just feel the Navy was almost like a jumping off spot to adulthood. Because I led a pretty sheltered life at Canfield. We never went out on a date in high school without a chaperone. Once you were in college you could, but not in high school. So those boys who had something other than a chaperone in mind didn't date us. (laughs)
KRProbably one of the reasons your mother felt so good about you going there.
LGShe knew I would be cared for and I'm sure she would have loved to have themeals that we had. We at well all during the Depression. And many people did not have three meals a day in those days. 01:03:00
KRIt's really amazing something did such an altruistic kind of thing.
LGAmazing. And there were so few of us that ever really got to take advantage ofit, when you consider how many people lived in Los Angeles. Just sheer luck is all I can say. Because it was a pleasure of a lifetime, the chance of a lifetime to get an education and more than just and edu -- more than just a book learning education. The music and the arts. And attending everything. We went to summer camp every year.
KRYou wonder what happened to other women.
LGWell, I keep up with the older ones. I'm the one that does the letter writingfor the older group.
KRAnd what happened to all of them?
LGWe're all spread over. One in Oregon. Most of them are in California. We'vegot on Washington. I hear from one in San Antonio, Texas and one in Memphis. Of course, my sister in the Imperial Valley. One in the San Francisco Bay area. We 01:04:00pretty much -- our ranks are getting smaller but we do keep in touch. About every three or four years -- it better be sooner soon -- we all get together and have a luncheon or whatever.
KRYour sister is still alive?
LGYes, but she's not well. She's in an assisted living facility. My middlesister died when she was 58. Had a massive brain aneurism.
KROh my goodness.
LGAnd the other sister had a brain aneurism too.
KRShe survived hers.
KRDid your one sister die before or after you mother had passed away?
LGAfter. Just five years after.
KRWow. My goodness.
LGShe was young. 58 -- that's young. It was devastating. She and I were veryclose. I've never been as close to the other sister, but this one and I were 01:05:00very close. She was divorced. We always said if anything happened to Bob, god forbid, the two of us would live together. Well, she didn't make it so I'm alone. But I'm not minding it. I keep busy. I have to keep one day a week where I say no to everything. Otherwise, I'd be doing something every day.
KRAnd this has slowed you down.
LG Definitely. Especially since I can't put any clothes on! That is slowing you down!
KRThat would be a problem. Well I really appreciate you taking the time talkingwith me.
KRAnd going over it -- I'm felling I (track ends)