Phil & Phyllis Crane
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“Every time something happened, dad would add a section onto the house, so when my grandfather passed away, she (my grandmother) wanted to move in with mother and dad… so he made the back a little apartment for his mother to live in… My aunt and uncle,my mother’s sister and her husband, they lived in Richmond, Virginia. When he had a heart attack and they wanted to come to this area, they asked mother whether they could move into the house, and daddy said, ‘Sure.’ He remodeled the house again so that two families could live here.” – Phil Crane
“This was a picture of Phil’s daddy. We think it was about 1925. And it was in front of the house and you see the cobblestone street. With Betsy Ross’ help and some research, we were able to put the house back to the way it was in 1925. When we re-modeled, we found some of his old toys underneath the back porch.”- Phyllis Crane
Phil Cranes’ family has lived in Oakwood for six generation, since the 1800s, when his grandfather built their home at 605 Polk Street. Phil and Phillis Crane live at 605 Polk Street. Their daughter and son-in-law and five grandchildren live at 529 Euclid Street.
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF WAKE
INTERVIEW OF: )
PHIL & PHYLLIS CRANE )
The following is the transcript of the interview of Phil and Phyllis Crane. The interview was conducted in 2010 for the Society for the Preservation of Historic Oakwood at 605 Polk Street in Raleigh, North Carolina, by Liz Lindsey. The interview was transcribed by Cynthia Moore Callahan.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: My name is Liz Lindsey, and I'll be the interviewer today. And I'm at 605 Polk Street in Raleigh, North Carolina, in the Oakwood neighborhood.
And can you say "my name is" and then say your name?
MR. PHIL CRANE: Okay. My name is Phil Crane, and I live at 605 Polk Street.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: And I'm his wife, Phyllis Crane, and I live here also at 605 Polk Street.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: Thank you. Did I take your sheet away from you?
MR. PHIL CRANE: I think I laid it down.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: Okay. Okay. Well, anybody chime in. And the first thing I'll ask is can you all describe the neighborhood when you first moved in?
MR. PHIL CRANE: At which time? Since I grew up in the house, I've always lived here. We were gone for ten years. I was gone ten years for college. And then we got married and moved back in '74.
So when I was growing up here, it was a very community-oriented neighborhood. Everybody knew each other. The kids all played together.
(3:00) Most of the time we played in the cemetery. It was quiet, it was peaceful. You could play war games, cowboy games, whatever you wanted to, hide behind tombstones. And nobody ever said anything to us as long as we didn't damage anything. And so that was--that was the play area. Everybody thinks that's strange to play in the cemetery, but it was a great place.
So there were--when I grew up there were not a lot of kids just around Polk Street area. There were two girls lived across the street, Janet and Ruth Esther Brown. And we became like brother and sister with each other. Went to the same church, went to the same school, went to Murphy School, went to Hugh Morson Junior High, and then to Broughton High School.
So next door to me were the Joneses over there. Ronnie Jones lived there. And he and I pretty much grew up together and kept up with each other for a good while. Might I stop for anything else?
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Well, I think it's interesting his family, his grandparents on both sides, the Parishes, P-a-r-i-s-h, with one "R," lived up on Jones Street, 527 Jones Street. And the Taylors lived right around the corner. And from what we have discovered of history, both families went to Tabernacle Baptist Church, which is at the corner--was at the corner of Person and Hargett Street. And probably they had--the Parishes and the Taylors had children, Iowa Solomon Parish and Minnie Taylor, who lived around the corner from each other and went to the same church and married each other. And that was his--then they had his mother. And so she lived here in this house for many years shortly after she was born. Minnie Taylor moved into this house with your mother and her sister and a little brother who passed away. And so the house has been in the family and the family has been in Oakwood for three generations.
We've actually had six generations living in Oakwood, because his grandparents, his parents, Phil and his brother Marshall. We have two children who grew up here in Oakwood. And then our daughter lives here with her children. So it's six generations, which I think is really neat to have that many generations here in Oakwood and go back to the 1800s.
And what else? This is the second house we've lived in in Oakwood. We lived over on Euclid Street. And his grandfather was a builder and built a lot of these houses here in Oakwood, the smaller houses, not the big houses.
MR. PHIL CRANE: On Elm Street. Grandpa on the Crane side moved down from--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: They were Yankees.
MR. PHIL CRANE: They were Yankees. They
(6:00) lived in Brooklyn. And I guess the building wasn't too good up there, so they--for whatever reason--never have found out exactly why they moved to Raleigh. But they moved here. He built 525 Euclid Street for his mother. And she came with them when they moved down. So that was her house.
And then he built a couple of more houses on--it used to be Peace Street Extension, which is now Euclid. And then he built a couple of houses on Elm Street. So in collaboration--I've forgotten Mr. Capps's first name.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: J.D. Capps.
MR. PHIL CRANE: J.D. Capps, Russell Capps's father, they lived on the corner of Euclid and Elm. And he built a couple of houses around there. And then he and my grandpa went in together and built a couple more houses there.
And we've had the houses Grandpa built were in the family, and they were rented out. After his mother died, they rented that and rented the other houses that he built. So they had--and they stayed in the family until finally the brothers--when the grandparents passed away and the children sold them off.
My dad died when I was a senior in high school.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: '63.
MR. PHIL CRANE: '63. And he--everything was willed to my brother and I, which we willed back to my mother so she could rent it and live off of that. So we have kept those houses within the family.
This house on Polk Street that my mother grew up in and lived, it was willed to my brother when she died. And we bought this house, because we didn't want it--we wanted it to stay in the family. He lived in Florida and knew he wasn't going to come back here. So we decided to buy it from him and then wanted to put it back in as close as we could find out what the original state of the house was.
When Dad and Mom decided to live in this house, they bought a share. My mother and her sister both owned shares in the house. And then Mother and Dad bought the sister's share out. So they lived here from about the early '30s on through.
But Dad, every time something happened, he would add a section onto the house. So when they decided to add a section on so they could rent to an N.C. State student or to a student in the
(9:00) area, make a little extra money with the house. And they did that up until the early '50s.
And then my granddad passed away. They lived on Wake Forest Road. They owned a couple of houses on Wake Forest Road, and they ended up selling those. And so she wanted to move in with Mother and Dad. So he took the little apartment area, reconverted it, and made it into an apartment for his mother to live in.
My aunt and uncle, Mother's sister and her husband, lived in Richmond, Virginia. He had a heart attack. They wanted to come back down to this area. And she contacted Mother and wanted to know if they move into the house. So Daddy said, "Sure, that's fine." And he re-did the house again, remodeled it so that two families could live here. So he had his mother, plus sister-in-law and brother-in-law living here. So we had a pretty extended family when I was growing up.
But every time something happened, Daddy would re-do the house and change it around. So we wanted to get it back to the original as much as we could. So we found some old pictures, completely--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: I know you can't see it on the microphone, but this is a picture of his daddy. And we think it was about 1925. And it was in front of the house. And you see the cobblestone street and the curb. It did have a sidewalk, but didn't have any sidewalks coming up. But this is what we based putting the house back to its original, because he had taken and made a room out on the porch and moved a window. There were two windows here and some things like that.
So with Betsy Ross's help and some research, we were able to put the house back to what it was when this was in 1925. Yeah.
MR. PHIL CRANE: You can tell a little bit about the front of the house and the differences with the two windows on the right-hand side. And they had closed in the porch--part of the porch. Then the other part of the porch went into the apartment area. So we re-changed it to get it back to look like that.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: We like this, because we thought he was very dapper with his Panama hat and his scarf and all of that. This is one of my favorite pictures. And it's from 1925. We think that's about the year that this was taken based his age, and he was probably coming to visit Louise. And they may have courting at that time.
So yeah, there's--there's some rich history here of the family and its longevity here in Oakwood. And we've enjoyed trying to find out more about the family. We've got some pictures of Phil's grandmother Minnie Taylor Parish in front of the house. And she was a very, very stern-looking woman, very stern.
And it's fun because so many of these family members are buried here in Oakwood. The place he played at is now where most of his family
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: Can you tell me about--there's a plaque on the front of the house, like in many houses in Oakwood. Can you tell me what it says and who that is?
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: It's a Parish plaque.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah. This one was put up--the Oakwood Garden Club, which Mother was very involved in the garden club. Phyllis was very involved in the garden club for a number of years. And because of our jobs and church activities, we just haven't had the time to devote to that.
But Oakwood Garden Club, Vallie Henderson was instrumental in getting this put on here. She went back and traced the date of the house to nineteen-oh--what is it?
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: 1904.
MR. PHIL CRANE: 1904, I believe, is on there. But it was named--since my--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Grandfather, Iowa Solomon.
MR. PHIL CRANE: --grandparents had it, yeah, Iowa Solomon, they named it the I.S. Parish House because of him living here.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: And I.S. Parish is--
MR. PHIL CRANE: That is my grandfather.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Iowa Solomon Parish.
MR. PHIL CRANE: My mother's--that's my mother's dad. He wasn't very old when he died. I don't--his--he is one of the members of the family that's not buried in Oakwood. He's buried in the City Cemetery up on East Street. So I've never been able to find his grave up there. But Mother always said that's where he's at, so I'm assuming he's there. But all of her family is buried in Oakwood.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: I was going to say I don't think they had the finances to bury him in Oakwood; that's why he's in the City Cemetery. And there was a fire there years ago that destroyed all the paperwork of who was buried where. And so we've called down there. And they said there is a--they think--it's from memory--there may be a Parish, but they weren't sure where he was buried. So that's probably one of the only relatives we can't find where they are.
MR. PHIL CRANE: The Taylors were more of a farming family. They owned from St. Aug all the way to New Bern Avenue, out--what's the road that goes all the way through to New Bern right close to WakeMed? And they farmed--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Milburnie?
MR. PHIL CRANE: --the area there. Milburnie, yeah. They owned the property out that way. So as family members died off, you know, the property was sold, sold off. I think Grandma,
(15:00) Mother's mom, inherited a portion of that, but again because of finances and her husband had died--Iowa had died at that time--and so she had to settle the property in order to have enough money to rear the two girls, take care of them.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: You had--you had mentioned playing in the cemetery, and that reminded me--I don't know if you've read the writer Willie Morris from Mississippi, who talks a lot about in his childhood they would play in the Greenwood Cemetery in Yazoo City, Mississippi, is where he--he grew up as a writer.
Can you tell us what a typical day for a child during your childhood would be like and what kind of games you would go out and play? It sounds fun.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: He played with marbles a whole lot.
MR. PHIL CRANE: We did, yeah.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: We found marbles under the house. When we remodeled the house and took the back porch off, we found some of his things he had played with as a child underneath the back porch.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah, the houses around here didn't have underpinning. They had the underpinning. They just the corners and through around the house. So your best place to play during the summer was under the house, because it was cool. And some of the houses were a little bit higher. Ours wasn't too high. But the one across the street at the corner of Polk and Elm had a pretty high area around it. So a lot of kids played underneath that, you know. So we played marbles and different games and things.
In the cemetery, the kids going down there, the area where the Confederate monument is down in the lower part, that was pretty open, and you had the creek bed running through there. So you'd play ball down in there and play whatever war games or cowboys and indians, or whatever, you know, around the monument and different things.
And I think the guy who was the caretaker lived up the street here, about four houses up. And so he knew all the families and knew the kids and everything.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: What years would this be?
MR. PHIL CRANE: Oh, this would have been probably mid '50s. We would have had to be somewhere between ten, eleven, twelve years old when we did that.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: It sounds fun. I see your Lone Ranger lunchbox.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: Those things are really valuable.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: I bought that in New York City.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: I have a Roy Rogers, but it's very rusty from the '30s, so it's not as clean.
MR. PHIL CRANE: You've got a really old one then. Yeah.
(18:00) MS. LIZ LINDSEY: Yeah, but it's--it's more beat-up, so it's not in good condition.
MR. PHIL CRANE: We could probably find lunchboxes buried around behind the backyards here, because that was kind of a big thing to put something that you wanted to save--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Like a time capsule.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah, a time capsule, whatever, you know. And we would bury--there's one behind the--next to the corner house down the street here that I always thought I wanted to go back and see if I could find it and dig it back up, because it was--I think it was a Red Ryder. If I remember, it was a Red Ryder lunchbox. And I've forgotten. We put marbles in there. We put some little balls in there. And let's see. The little--what'd you call those?
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Jacks?
MR. PHIL CRANE: Jacks, yeah. We put jacks in there to, you know, well, some day to dig back up, you know. And at the last time I looked back there--it's not now, because they've cleaned it out, but it was so overgrown, there wouldn't have been any way of finding it. And that's been forty years ago, I guess.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: More than forty years ago.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah, more than forty years ago.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Probably fifty-five years.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: Where would they be?
MR. PHIL CRANE: It was--at the time, there was a--just about everybody had wood houses or things in the backyard to keep all your--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Sheds.
MR. PHIL CRANE: --implements in, the sheds and everything. And it was buried back behind that. I think the one down there was a metal shed. It wasn't wood. It had been a garage or something. And so several of us thought, well, this would be a great place to bury, nobody would ever find it. Unfortunately, we couldn't find it, either.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: But you would bury them in what kind of lunchboxes of the time?
MR. PHIL CRANE: Oh, just any kind. That one I remember because I was--on that one, that was a Red Ryder lunchbox. I may have provided that one.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Bet you wish you had it now.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Oh, yeah, yeah. Rusted through and through, I'm sure.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: You never know.
MR. PHIL CRANE: You never know.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: That'd be awesome to find that.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah. If somebody had probably went through the backyards with one of these metal detector things, there's no telling what they could find that's been buried back there.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: And you said that you all have a daughter that was raised here and still lives in Oakwood. Is that--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: We have two daughters. We have two daughters. Both of them were raised here. And our youngest daughter, Sarah, and her family, she moved into--when we moved over here, they moved in--they were living in Pennsylvania. They moved into the 525 Euclid Street house, where she was born and raised. And so now she has--she's raising her children in that house, also, that her great-grandfather built.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: And what is her and her family's name?
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Sarah and Michael
(21:00) Clark, and they have--you want all five children's names? Gwen, Daisy, Gabe, Zoe, and Shiloh, all five of them. We don't know how they survive in that little house. Sort of like they did long ago, you know, you have two or three in a room and everybody shares a closet and everybody--
MR. PHIL CRANE: Now, we did re-do that house over there, too.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: We like remodeling houses.
MR. PHIL CRANE: When we moved into that and when the girls came--we had one when we moved here and then had Sarah after we had been here for a while. And we had been here probably maybe two years. We were here two years. I was working with the Raleigh Rescue Mission at the time. And had--one of the men was a builder, and we had him come over and look at the house to see if upstairs it could be re-done, you know, and put a room up there. And so he thought it could. And completely--we put steps up there, have two large rooms. One is about twelve-by-twenty and the other one's a little bit smaller than that. But it--that was our living space up there, and then used the downstairs for office area and for a TV family room and guest bedroom.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: Before I forget, I just want to make a mental note that you have these photographs. So if they do decide to make a book or an exhibit, I know Jerry Blow has volunteered to take some photographs, but also that's a beautiful photograph right there that--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: That's our very, very favorite, yeah.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: --that I don't want to forget. So that was at 605 Polk Street in 1925?
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: That's this street, yes. Yeah. And it's Marshall--his daddy, Marshall Crane, Sr. I love the cobblestone street and all.
Phil, why don't you tell them about crime--one of the questions we hear--in the '60s, when you wrote the letter, you and your brother and all?
MR. PHIL CRANE: Oh, yeah. Oh, that's the--that was the one they blew up.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: That's the original.
MR. PHIL CRANE: That's the original one.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: Beautiful. That's awesome.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah. 1928.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Oh, okay. Well, good. Okay. That targets it.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Or at least that's what Mother put on there.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Well, they were courting then.
MR. PHIL CRANE: I guess, yeah. I don't know. When the--I didn't--I never thought much about crime. I mean, as a kid, you didn't think a lot about it. A lot of people rented around the
(24:00) area. And a lot of folks I've kept up with over the years. The corner house up there was--the Williams lived. They rented that place maybe twenty or twenty-five years. And then they finally bought a house, but they rented--rented that. And Gene Williams was older than I was. He was probably maybe four years older than I was. But a small world, hadn't seen him in years. And I work at Wake Christian Academy, and ended up he was on the board out there. And so we kind of reacquainted through that.
The Munns lived at the back side of our lot back here, in the little house back there. There were eight children that lived in that little house. And we've kept up with several of them over the years.
Next door were the Burnettes.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: He owned a grocery store.
MR. PHIL CRANE: And he owned a grocery store downtown. I'm not sure exactly where his grocery store was that he owned. It was just a little corner shop that he owned. And he was a Raleigh policeman, too. But they had two sons, and the two sons--they had two sons and a daughter. The daughter lived in the little apartment that Daddy made here. She and her husband lived here. And the two sons, we kept up with them for years. Both the daughter and one of the sons has died now.
But it was kind of a really family area. And we've kept up over the years with everybody. Kind of a small world that the Laughlins lived in 610, the next one down.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Yeah, Polk Street.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Polk Street. The policeman lives there now. We're glad to have him in the neighborhood across the street. But the Laughlins lived there. Mr. Laughlin was a mechanic for one of the Oldsmobile places that was down on Hillsborough Street. But their granddaughter would come up from Alabama to visit them during the summer. And when I started working--I've worked thirty-five years out at Wake Christian Academy. And when I first went out there, she was one of the teachers out there. So from Alabama, you know, all the way up here. And next door there was an elderly lady that lived there. And her niece was also teaching out there. So we kind of kept the community, you know, and keep up with folks through--through that.
But I don't remember there being a lot of crime and things going on back then. It probably was. I just, you know, wasn't--it wasn't a big
(27:00) issue on my mind at the time.
When I went to college, though, the area was declared inner city area in the early '60s, early and mid '60s. There was a committee set up by the city, I believe, to designate areas that needed improvement. There wasn't a major area. Halifax Court was one of the areas of government living, but there was also an area up from that called Smokey Hollow. And I don't remember a lot about that. My brother worked at Pine State, and he would walk through there. And it was pretty much because they used, I guess, coal burners and wood burners, and it kept the area, you know, kind of smoked up. But there was supposed to be a lot of crime in that area.
And some said when they tore that area down, that the people moved to other areas and some of them came into Oakwood and it brought the crime area in here. I don't remember that.
But I do remember the pastor in Edenton Street Methodist Church was on that committee. And I don't remember if he was chairman or what, but they--the report that was published in the paper and everything that this was kind of a low-class area. I had a letter. My brother and I both wrote letters to the--that commission, or whatever, pointing out that all the folks we associated with and we knew all had gone to college and we did not consider this to be inner city or low area, you know, that we kind of went to bat for that. It didn't do any good, I don't think. And I've got the letter somewhere. I don't know where that's at. But we kept--I hung on to that. But I never did see Oakwood as being in that situation.
Evidently, it was viewed by the city and they were considering putting a road through.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: A freeway.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Vallie Henderson really worked very hard, and others, to make sure that didn't happen. And that was how the--I guess, the Historic Commission got started or looked into the area and decided it was--shouldn't be torn down.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: And that was a highway that they were thinking about putting--
MR. PHIL CRANE: I believe they were putting--yeah, a consideration was to run, I guess, like Capital Boulevard is now, but it would have come through Oakwood.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Split it.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah, it would have come right down through here. Some of the most beautiful--the state, when they started building their buildings coming down Blount Street and that
(30:00) area there, tore down some of the most beautiful houses. Behind Murphy School--Mother was involved in all the activities and everything in the parent teacher--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: PTA.
MR. PHIL CRANE: --PTA meeting. And one of the ladies who had--who had children there in a big house behind Murphy School would have meetings at her house. I never was invited to her house.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: But you were invited to the governor's mansion.
MR. PHIL CRANE: I did get to the governor's mansion, because a friend of mine at Murphy, his mother worked at the governor's mansion. So I would go with him sometimes down there to--to play around there.
But Mother always said that was one of the most gorgeous houses that she saw in the area, beautiful home. And a lot of the big--and they were all big ones down along Blount Street. And there's still some of the large ones that they hung onto. But she always said it was a shame that they tore those down before, you know, they could make it a historic area.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Now, Oakwood had a junior garden club which you were a part of.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Oh, yeah.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: He's got a picture.
MR. PHIL CRANE: That's the junior garden club that was in Oakwood.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Is that the one at the governor's mansion?
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah, that's at the foot of the steps at the governor's mansion. That is Ms. Hodge--Ms. Hodges. Let me see. Yeah, that's Governor Hodges' wife there. And I believe that was in the late '50s, sometime in late '50s, I believe, that that was taken. And these were mostly kids that lived in the area here. I was trying to see if I could remember. I don't remember a lot of them. I remember the Pavlosky kids. They lived on Bloodworth Street.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Did they have any clothes on there that was very popular?
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah, yeah. It's, I believe, where everybody is wearing shirt, tie, suits, or whatever. I don't know that you--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: And white gloves. Vallie Henderson organized that.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Vallie Henderson was the one that got that going. We would spend Saturdays picking up along the streets and keeping the neighborhood clean, planting. We would do plantings. We'd go visit the arboretum or go out to State for some things. She would--she kept us pretty much involved in a lot of different activities.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: What year would this be, the photograph?
MR. PHIL CRANE: Probably in the late '50s.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: You look like you were maybe ten or twelve there.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Probably, yeah.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Should be like '55 to '57, '58. You were not in high school at the time. You were--
MR. PHIL CRANE: No. No, I was probably junior high at that time, yeah. So it would have been about--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: '57.
MR. PHIL CRANE: '58, '59, somewhere in that area.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: Which one is you?
(33:00) MR. PHIL CRANE: Oh, I'm up there.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Did you pick him out?
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: And it must have been summer, because everyone--almost everyone is in white shoes. I love these white loafers.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah, yeah. I don't know if any of them still live in the area. I believe her name--let's see. There was a young lady that was real tall. I believe her name was Cartwright. I think they lived up on East Street right before Frank Street, but I don't know. I don't recognize any of the rest of them. It's been a long time.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: It's a beautiful photograph. And all the little girls have on gloves and--
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah. Oh, everybody was very proper, yeah.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Very proper. Did you have a tea at the governor's mansion?
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yes, we did. Yeah, she had a tea prepared for us.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: And that's one of the things that we enjoyed about living in Oakwood is the things he experienced as a child, like at the governor's mansion. When our children were small, we would go for walks in the evening. We'd walk around the governor's mansion. And we played games--because the prisoners had carved their initials and dates in the bricks, we played ABC and 123 to walk around and see if we could--how much of the alphabet we could get.
And I think one nice thing of living in Oakwood is when Governor Hunt and his wife, Jim and Carolyn Hunt, were in the governor's mansion, they often walked through the neighborhood. We could be out in front of our house playing with the kids, and the governor and his wife would walk by and stop and talk. I thought that was something very special. They were very special people, but I thought it was interesting. That's what made Oakwood such a friendly neighborhood, even the governor was out walking in the evenings and all. That was very nice.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Everybody's too busy now. We're too busy.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Yeah.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Don't get to spend--I know a lot of the neighbors do different things and you have big things going on, which is very nice to do that. But we stay too busy to get involved in things.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Yeah.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: Those are beautiful photographs. Do you--do you have more photographs to share and talk about?
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Oh, he's got boxes.
MR. PHIL CRANE: You don't want me to get more photographs.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: I warned him last night about this, about the pictures he'd show.
MR. PHIL CRANE: She said, yeah, don't pull all the pictures out. We did have snow at times along here. This was in '58, in December '58. Look at that snowfall in December.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: And who are the ladies?
MR. PHIL CRANE: That's my mother and her sister Betsy. And this was after--this was about two years, three years after they moved in with us. I'm sure I did this. That was my chore, that any time it snowed or whatever, I had to clean the sidewalk.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: So the house is right here, so this is next door?
MR. PHIL CRANE: This is the one next door, yeah. And that was one reason I pulled this, because it gives you a picture of all the houses down the street here.
(36:00) MS. LIZ LINDSEY: And the cemetery is--
MR. PHIL CRANE: In the early '50s, we had a huge oak tree in the yard. And I think when Hurricane Hazel came, I think that oak tree took a nosedive. A lot of stuff took a nosedive when that happened.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: And the cemetery would be back here?
MR. PHIL CRANE: Over here, straight down the hill.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: To here?
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah. Straight here. Down at the end of the street is Fallon's Florist. Fallon's Florist took up--right now you've got all the houses down there, so it's kind of hard to imagine that. But the--let's see. It'd be one, two, three, four--five houses down, and then Fallon's Florist took up the last part of the block, the entire block all the way across. And back behind the houses, they took up part of that, too. They wanted everybody to sell to them. And they requested a number of the--just about everybody along here to sell the back lots to them. And nobody would sell. They finally got the lots up the middle, all the way up to the middle to the--to Elm Street. They were able to get all that. And but they finally left, moved out.
But the thing was going down the hill. You could go down this hill on sleds. You could go down the hill on Flexies. And the problem was what to do when you got to the bottom of the hill.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: You were in the cemetery.
MR. PHIL CRANE: You were--if you overshot, you just kind of went off the end and tried to avoid tombstones and whatever. They finally put the fence all around there.
I did see a car go down through the fence, though. That was interesting. His brakes went out up here. And this room was my mom and dad's bedroom when I was growing up. And we all had the windows open, because we didn't have air. And all you heard was this car going down the hill and all this screaming and everything coming out of the car. And it finally went--you heard a crash go through the fence when it hit the fence down there. And it landed--nobody got hurt. I don't think you could hurt anybody in the big, old cars back then. But it did make quite a mess. It wasn't funny at the time, I guess, but it is kind of funny thinking about it now.
But yeah, if you were on a Flexie or something, when you got down to--if you didn't want to go through the fence, you just rolled off of it when you got down to the florist down there.
This is really back. This is about '47.
(39:00) But this is our side of the yard here between our house and the house next door. Ronnie Jones--the Joneses lived next door. And that's Ronnie Jones there. That was--at that time a big concern about polio. So kids--you didn't--weren't able to get out and get with other children a whole lot. Mother wouldn't let me out hardly at all around other children, because you were afraid of--and she went to the doctor, and he said, "Don't pay any attention to that." He said, "They need to get out and play with other kids."
So we would chew chewing gum, just pass it back and forth to each other, you know, because we'd only get one stick of chewing gum. And so that was--that always caused Mother a lot of concern. But that was--that was the big thing.
But the yards all had fences that went through the yards, except we didn't have wood fences. Everything was kind of the chicken wire fence, and it divided all the yards up on that.
When we remodeled the house, we debated on the wood steps, because every picture we could find had the wood steps here. And that's Mother and Dad on the front. And this had to be some--I don't know what the date is on this one, but it had the window here, so we know it's prior to--and the porch here.
This was--my granddad and his wife lived on Wake Forest Road. And he grew chickens and eggs. He would take the eggs and he would sell them. A multipurpose guy, building and eggs and the whole works. But every Saturday, he would bring a chicken and have the legs tied up on the chicken, and he would just drop it off up here on the porch. So if we weren't here, you know, we'd come home and here's this chicken kind of going around in a circle on the porch.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Are you sure you want that in your book?
MR. PHIL CRANE: So Mother would take it from the porch and take it into the backyard and chop its head off.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: That was Sunday lunch.
MR. PHIL CRANE: And that was going to be lunch.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: Did she have to pluck it or did you have to do it?
MR. PHIL CRANE: No, she did the whole thing. No, I didn't. I just stood there and watched. I think it gave me some kind of--I'm sure it did something to my psyche.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: You eat chicken today.
MR. PHIL CRANE: I can still visualize him running around in the yard with his head--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Chicken with a head cut off.
MR. PHIL CRANE: --head cut off, yeah. It did that. So anyway, that's them.
And that's me and Mother. And we did have the swing. We don't have a swing now.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: No.
MR. PHIL CRANE: We've talked about putting a swing out there, because I think the little hooks are still there to put a swing out there.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: What year would that be?
(42:00) MR. PHIL CRANE: Probably '46, around then, because I was born in '45.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: That's not the picture of you laying on the swing?
MR. PHIL CRANE: Oh, no.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Oh, okay.
MR. PHIL CRANE: I came across that, but--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Oh, okay. Yeah, there's a picture of him as a baby just laying on that swing. And the first thing we all said, "Aah, You left that baby unattended on the swing."
MR. PHIL CRANE: She was close enough. She had the camera. I was too slow. I didn't--I don't move real fast, anyway. I wouldn't have rolled off.
That's the tree, so I know this is pre-'54 or '55, or whatever. But that's--that was a huge tree in the front yard. And you can kind of get an idea.
The only thing we did not do when--we came across these pictures when we were remodeling the house. That my brother--we--I remember the hall being out here. The houses next door, you would come in the front door, there would be a hall or a partial hall. You'd go into the room on the right, and then there were door--then there were doors from room to room, so you would go through. So actually, that would have been a door right there. You would have the hall, so you could go down the hall, and you'd go into a room off to the right. But you could come into a room and still go straight down. And we thought that was a loss of space, so we didn't--that part we didn't add in on that. We just kept the hall.
But this was--I don't know what year this was. But the next-door neighbor and Mother planted azaleas. This had to be in the early '50s, I guess. They planted the azaleas out here. And they were huge. They grew up huge. And they planted it right on the line, because both of them--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Is that Mabel Burnette's house?
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Yeah, there's one left of those azaleas.
MR. PHIL CRANE: There's only left out here. It's still--still there. So it's been there fifty--fifty-some years, I guess.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Sixty now.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah, the one azalea. But they--they lasted. They were gorgeous every spring. But they put it right on the line so that both of them would work on them, you know, keep up with them, so it wasn't on either person's. I thought that was kind of funny that they did that. But yeah, the one out here now, the only one left.
Oh, that's my aunt. Anyway, that was the kitchen area. And that was--they moved--the kitchen moved as--again, as Daddy wanted to. It
(45:00) was at the back of the house, which was the most appropriate place, because you're coming off the porch, come into the kitchen. And Mother would do her washing in there. She had the washing machine that was the old wringer type. So it would be hooked up to the faucet in the kitchen sink and everything.
And then when they remodeled, they made the back room which was the kitchen into a bedroom and put the kitchen in the middle, so all the members of the family could have access to the kitchen without going through a bedroom. So that was that one.
I pulled this one out. This is the other side of the street, all the houses going down the street over there. This is my mother. This is Pauline Brown and her daughter Janet and my Aunt Betsy, Mother's sister that lived with us. But they lived here for a number of years. They lived in 608 Polk Street. And Pauline and Wade Brown lived on East Street. As far as I can remember, they lived over there probably ten years rented, and then they bought the little house across the street and lived there up until the late '90s, early 2000.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Yeah, late '90s, when they had to go to Florida.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Health reasons, they moved to their daughter who lived in Florida.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: And we still keep up with different kids from the neighborhood like the Browns across the street. One's in Florida and one's in Tennessee. And so we still keep up with them. They've all come back to visit and stayed here because this was the neighborhood and we have a guest bedroom. So our house is always open to those who want to come back and visit. And that's--that's been a lot of fun, hearing them laugh and talk about things they did as kids.
MR. PHIL CRANE: This is my granddad's mother, Antoinette Crane.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: That's what the 525 Euclid Street--
MR. PHIL CRANE: 525 Euclid Street was built for her.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: --has her plaque on it.
MR. PHIL CRANE: And it has the plaque on the house for Antoinette Crane. And I've forgotten what the date was on that plaque.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: I think it's 1924.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Twenty--twenty-something, yeah.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: Where is she sitting? What house?
MR. PHIL CRANE: She's sitting at 525 Euclid Street.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: And that's the house that's named--built for her and named after her?
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah. Sure is.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: And we lived there for thirty-five years.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah. Yeah, we lived over there until we moved here. That again, the front of that house with the wood steps. Now, this is a kind of interesting thing. There are four steps, five steps here. There are only three steps now or two steps.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Two steps.
MR. PHIL CRANE: When they paved Peace Street Extension over here, it was very low. And
(48:00) they paved the street. And the front yards, you had steps going down and then you had the yard and steps going back up to the house. So the city came back in and they put dirt to fill in so it was level, street level all the way up to the house. They filled it in down the entire street. So if you'd dig down, you've got--still got steps down underneath, because they just covered the steps up.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Yeah. Peace Street used to end here on Elm Street. And then they built houses.
MR. PHIL CRANE: They called it Peace Street Extension, because you still had--off of Person Street where Peace Street ends at KK up there, you know, there was still a block down to Blount--Bloodworth, and then you had the other block over to East Street, and then it picked up again with Peace Street. So it was real confusing. People couldn't find--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Couldn't find your house.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah, people had a hard time finding, because they couldn't figure out where the Peace Street was at. It had ended, you know. So they just called it Peace Street Extension, and then they finally named it Euclid Street. I don't know exactly where the Euclid came from.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: After a mathematician. Euclid is a famous mathematician.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah, but I don't know if that's the reason.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: He never lived there.
MR. PHIL CRANE: I don't think so.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: We have a sense of humor.
MR. PHIL CRANE: That was the backyard. Daddy loved--he was the assistant manager for Efird's Department Store downtown. Efird's was bought out by Belk's. And but his diversion was being able to come home in the evening, and he worked in the backyard. And he had a garden. I believe the lot back there is fifty-by-a-hundred-and-fifty. So that was his garden back there. And he worked it just about all year. He'd get--either he was getting it ready, he was planting it, or he had harvested it, or whatever. And then Mother canned everything. So she'd give food away to everybody around, you know. It was--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: She and your sister would can and can and can. I heard stories.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah, but just about everybody did that around here. Everybody had gardens, big gardens, all the back lots around here. Everybody had gardens.
And the biggest problem we had was kids running through the back lot. And even putting fences up, sometimes the kids would climb over and break the fence down if they were playing ball, or whatever. And Daddy finally went out and bought bushes that had briers on them that were an inch and a half long. And he planted them along the entire bank back--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: I never knew that.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Nobody ever ran through the backyard again. I hated those things. I was
(51:00) so happy when I could whack those things down and get rid of them. But anyway, but that was the whole back lot back there. He always fenced--everything was fenced off and had a gate going in back there.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: That's a beautiful photograph.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Oh, that's Mother and her aunt when they were young. This is the house. I put this one because the houses, again, didn't have any--anything along the bottom except for the little latticework, which meant pipes froze up.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Yeah.
MR. PHIL CRANE: It was pretty bad on the pipes and everything. And that was Daddy. That's in front of Tabernacle Baptist Church, which was at the corner of Person and Hargett Street. It's now the--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Longview Center.
MR. PHIL CRANE: --Longview Center across from Moore Square.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: Is that where you still go to church but it's in a different place?
MR. PHIL CRANE: It is. It's out off--we moved about ten--ten years ago, eleven years ago.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Ten years ago. July of 2001 was our first service.
MR. PHIL CRANE: And moved out to Leesville Road, across from the Leesville schools out there.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Which is a very interesting irony. His family started going to that church in the late 1800s, and I work there now as their minister of education. So we've come full circle.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: So I probably shouldn't ask you all about the athletic club.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: We're good Baptists. We have church on Sunday evenings.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: No comment?
MR. PHIL CRANE: We've not been involved in the athletics of Oakwood.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: I was real excited when I heard they were forming an athletic club that, you know, we could get out and go walk and all that. Then I learned it was just a social organization. I was disappointed. But I still don't go out and walk.
MR. PHIL CRANE: We don't go out and walk through the neighborhood, anyway. Sometimes. This is a little stranger.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Which ones are you showing?
MR. PHIL CRANE: These are--this is here, because I recognize the picture there. This is here. But I don't know where the--this is Ms. Allen, Cary Allen's mother lived up the street right before Murphy School. She lived about three houses before you get to Person Street up there. This was part of the garden club. This was the early garden club, though. And they did some activity--it might have been Halloween. I don't know what they were doing it for. But she was one of the early garden club members.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: They would have really fancy garden club meetings, where we found some of the things his mother had made like poinsettias out of the felt and all of that, that they did a lot of hand crafts. That was in the winter when they couldn't do their gardening and all. But they were very serious, the garden club, about what they did. And his mother was in it for a long time. And then Vallie Henderson got me into
(54:00) it for many, many years. Yeah.
MR. PHIL CRANE: This is Maddie Woodard. She was Mother's cousin. They lived in a house on Person Street right next to Tabernacle Baptist Church, and they were--they lived there for years and years and years, long years. They--matter of fact, I think her family had several houses along Person Street that they lived in there. And then she moved to Edenton Street, on the corner of Bloodworth and Edenton. And then finally moved down here to the little house. And she didn't have--she was never married, didn't have anybody to take care of her. So she moved down to the next house to the corner down the hill here--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: And got an apartment.
MR. PHIL CRANE: --the apartment house. And Mother kind of took care of her during her later years.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: That's--is that in the house that's pink? My friend Liisa and Greg Colvin live in the pink house on Person Street that's close to the Krispy Kreme.
MR. PHIL CRANE: That house is torn down now.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: Oh, oh, okay.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah, yeah, toward the Krispy Kreme.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: It was the 100 block of Person Street, because Tabernacle was 118 South Person. And the Woodard property was where the parking lot is now, because the church then bought it from the Woodards. And I always called it the Woodard property.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah, they tore some beautiful houses down on Person Street up there, but anyway. But these are the--this is the garden club group. That's Mother. I don't know if Vallie Henderson was taking the pictures. Ms. Rideout--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Addie Lee.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Addie Lee Rideout, she lived on the corner of Bloodworth and--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Oakwood.
MR. PHIL CRANE: --and Oakwood, yeah. That was her house. Who else is here?
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: And she's still--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: She's living. She just turned ninety-nine. She lives at Spring Arbor, because our church visits her.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Bernice Fowler. I don't know if Bernice is still living or not.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: She's not.
MR. PHIL CRANE: She's not living? Okay. She--where did Bernice live? Down here on Oakwood?
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: I can't remember.
MR. PHIL CRANE: One of the houses down there. And Ann Brigman, I don't know--didn't know her.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: And this photograph of the garden club doing crafts, I guess that would be more in the fall or winter.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Could be. Could have been before Christmas. I'm not sure.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: Would that be in the '50s or early '60s?
MR. PHIL CRANE: Probably, yeah. Yeah. Probably it could have been early '60s, because I might have been--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: You'd have been in high school.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah, yeah. I have no idea what they're doing. But whatever it is, they were having a great time. I'm not sure whose house they were at. Or they may--no. I started to say they might have used the church's building up here, because they did use that for some of their activities at different times.
(57:00) Nanny Wynne--Nanny Wynne's in several of--isn't that Brown Wynne? Wasn't she--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Part of it.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah, the Wynne part.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: She lived up on East Street.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah, yeah. And Belle Kearney. Belle Kearney lived on Elm Street here next to the church, to the little church here on Elm Street. And Betsy, that's my aunt. And then I think that's Ms. Wynne, I believe. Yeah. Yeah, that's Nanny Wynne.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: So that's the garden club doing some kind of--
MR. PHIL CRANE: Something.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: Something fun?
MR. PHIL CRANE: Something fun, yeah. They were having a great time, whatever it was they were doing, yeah.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: In the summertime, the garden club used to have ice cream socials. I remember we'd go to Ann Barbour's backyard for a ice cream social, and everybody would bring--you know, the old-fashioned, where you would churn it and bring it. And someone would always have a homemade pound cake. Those were the good, old summer days. You'd all sit out in lawn chairs in the--in somebody's backyard with ice cream and cake. They were--they were good times.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Let's see. Ms. Allen, okay.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: So they dressed up. And it looks like a precursor to the red hat clubs.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Yeah, probably.
MR. PHIL CRANE: This could have been in Vallie's basement, because I looked at the windows up here. She has windows like that. It could have been in her basement where they were doing it, because they did a lot of the garden club meetings down in her basement. So that could have been it, yeah.
And that's Mother, Ms. Rideout, and Mary Ford. I don't know who Mary Ford was. But that must be Mary Ford back there in the background. It's a little dark.
And that's the whole group. Mary Ford. Eula Johnson lived two doors down. Now, my aunt and uncle--the Laughlins bought the house--owned the house across the street from them, which is two doors down here. And my aunt and uncle bought that house from Ms. Laughlin, and Eula Johnson was--rented the house from them. Bernice Fowler, Janie Woodard, and Effie Walker. Effie Walker lived over on the corner of--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Boundary and Watauga.
MR. PHIL CRANE: --Boundary and Watauga, yeah. She had a son named Jimmy. And he was the same age as my brother. My brother was fourteen years older than I was. But Jimmy Walker was down
(60:00) there. Up the street there were--the Wellons were next to the church. No, Ms. Forrest was next to the church.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Della Forrest.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Della Forrest was next to the church, and then the Wellons was next to Ms. Forrest. And they all had--I think out of all of them, my brother was the only one that didn't serve in the Korean War.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: That would have been in the '50s.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah, I think it was the Korean War, because--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Marshall would have been that age.
MR. PHIL CRANE: He would have been, yeah. They were all in their either late teens or early twenties at the time. Or Vietnam, it may have been. Now, I know--Phillip Wellons--Phillip Wellons, I believe, was considered missing in action in Vietnam, I believe, out of that, that group.
But they were--they were all part of the garden club. But I just thought those were interesting, you know, people from the community that were involved. Of course, there were a lot more people involved in the garden club than that.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: Addie Lee Rideout's on the list. I think Matthew Brown was wanting to interview her.
MR. PHIL CRANE: She could give a lot of good information.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: But that's neat to see photographs of her participating in the garden club and things like that.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: She was very involved. Her husband was the cook for First Baptist Church downtown, P.T. Rideout. He cooked for them for years. And then when he retired from First Baptist, he came over to Tabernacle and he was our cook, because we had big Wednesday night meals where the students would come over from Hugh Morson School and do their homework and then have supper and church activities. And most everybody in this community went to Tabernacle if you were Baptist. You either went there or First Baptist.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: And did you grow up in Oakwood or you--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: No, I married into Oakwood. We married in '79, yeah--'69.
MR. PHIL CRANE: '69.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Ooh, wrong year, ten years. '69, and became part of Oakwood. Spent our honeymoon here in Oakwood.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah, we did.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: And we're still here.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: Did you want to tell that story or no?
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Oh, no, no. We just were on our way and we just--
MR. PHIL CRANE: We were--we got married--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: At Penn State.
MR. PHIL CRANE: --at Penn State in Eisenhower Chapel. So we spent our first night in--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Harrisburg.
MR. PHIL CRANE: --outside Harrisburg. And we were on our way to Greeneville, South Carolina, and--big honeymoon plans. We just stopped back here. It was cheap and we didn't have
(1:03) any money. And there wasn't anybody here until our--my family had been in Pennsylvania. And so we thought this would be a good place, because they were still--they were supposed to be sight-seeing and things, but they didn't. They showed up.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: They came home early.
MR. PHIL CRANE: They came home early. Messed up our plans.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Forty-two years later I'm still waiting for that honeymoon. But we have enjoyed being in Oakwood. We have thoroughly--we're very, very happy that we did decide to buy the old home place here on Polk Street and remodel it. It took us five years to do it, from the beginning of buying the house until we finally moved in. But it was a lot of fun finding old things under the house. We found a fireplace hidden in one of the walls that Phil never remembered that in all of his growing up.
MR. PHIL CRANE: My brother never remembered that, either.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: No, none of them--
MR. PHIL CRANE: Don't know what--where that came from.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: It got boarded over very, very early. And so we found that one, and it's in our guest bedroom now. And so found live wires that just had been wrapped up and hanging in the walls, all sorts of interesting things. Found doorways. And then his brother would remember, "Oh, that was the back porch." And so we redid some of the things when we found things when we gutted the house, original floors and a lot of things like that.
Yeah, and the grandchildren love coming over and playing in the backyard and cookouts and all sorts of things.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: So your grandchildren come over and play in the same yard that you played in as a child?
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah, and that's kind of fun to have them do that.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: His mother--we have some pictures of the front of the house. Their bank slopes just a little bit at the sidewalk. And she always had phlox, was it? What was it?
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Oh, there in that picture you can see it. And when we'd come over and visit with our children--
MR. PHIL CRANE: It was phlox. It was purple and kind of red, and she even had some blue, it seemed like.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: I remember the blue were there.
MR. PHIL CRANE: There was a blue, yeah.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: But she always had that--
MR. PHIL CRANE: You didn't play on the bank.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: --you could not go on the bank. You had to go up and down the steps. If our girls--when they were small, we'd walk over here with them. If they went on that bank, Grandma would have the switch for them.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Even when the phlox died and it was gone--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Yeah, in the middle of winter, you couldn't go on that bank.
MR. PHIL CRANE: --you couldn't go on the bank. You did not walk on the bank.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: The kids would try running down the--rolling down, and Grandma would get them every time. And now it's just grass. And our daughter--
MR. PHIL CRANE: --roll down the bank out there, that's a lot of fun.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: So our daughter will walk over with her five kids, and she has the stroller, of course. And she'll--instead of going down the steps, she'll go down the bank. And every time, they always laugh and said, "If Grandma were here, we wouldn't be doing this." But the kids like rolling down the bank, too. So that's a lot of fun.
Our daughter plays--her children play in the yard she played in. They all come over here and play with Grandma and Grandpa. So we've enjoyed that, that the next generation is able to do it, two generations later.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: That's beautiful.
(1:06) Well, thank you for sharing so much.
MR. PHIL CRANE: There's an oil drum back here.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: Oh, an oil drum, okay.
MR. PHIL CRANE: We had one on our side, too. Some of the places still heated with coal. And Ms. Burnette kept that oil drum. She heated with oil out there for a long time. She had a oil heater in her front room like this, and she heated that room with that oil almost up until she had to go into a nursing home. But just about everybody else had switched out to gas or electricity or something.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: How do you--how did the house first heat and how do you heat now?
MR. PHIL CRANE: We have natural gas now. I don't know when Daddy switched over.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: They had a pot belly stove at one time.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Yeah, Daddy switched over pretty early. He was--he hated the oil drum thing, because having to fill the thing up and, you know, clean out and everything. He didn't like that at all. I guess to begin with we had coal, because we found some coal under the back edge of the house here. So at one time they must have had coal here.
The house originally stopped where that room ends there. And we--that's where we found coal back under that back. So I assume they must have had a coal bin back there, and he would go out the door and bring the coal in for the fireplaces, or whatever. But he--he switched--when he remodeled in the mid '50s, he switched everything over to gas for that.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: I think there was something about living in Oakwood, maybe it was because you did so much gardening and you were outside so much, ever what it was, but they were hearty stocked women here. Like Mabel Burnette lived to be a hundred and a half. It was very important that she was a hundred and a half when she died. And Phil's mother was ninety-nine. She was waiting to get to a hundred for her birthday to have a big celebration. We'd had one when she was ninety and ninety-five, and so she was waiting for the hundred. But she didn't quite make it; she died at ninety-nine and a half. And several of the other ladies in the neighborhood were really almost a hundred. So there's something--
MR. PHIL CRANE: Pauline Brown.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Yeah, Pauline Brown was almost at a hundred. And also everybody around here, the women were really, really--lived a long, long life. I don't know. And his mother ate sausage and eggs every morning for breakfast.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Ms. Rideout, she's got to be--
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Addie Lee's ninety-nine, yeah.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Ninety-nine. She's getting up there.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: She says she's a hundred, but the records say she's ninety-nine. So, you know, she can be whatever she wants at this point. I mean, at a hundred years, who's going to squabble over one year?
But it's been fun going back and thinking about all this, and I've enjoyed him looking at all
(1:09) of it, too.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: Can you--would--do you think if at some point we had time, your daughter and the children--they may want to--there's a school group that may want to interview children in the neighborhood. That's just a possibility. Do you think they would participate?
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Yeah, I think so. That would be very interesting to get all five of them together.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: Just to get the children that are growing up now's perspective. Okay. Well, maybe I'll get their names and number from you, if you don't mind.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Okay. You want it right now?
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: Sure.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Okay. It's Sarah and Michael Clark, C-l-a-r-k. They live at 525 Euclid, E-u-c-l-i-d, Street. The children's names, Gwen is ten, Daisy is eight, Gabe is six. Those three go to Emma Conn. And then Zoe is four and Shiloh is two. They're still at home. Zoe'll go next year.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Mama's finally getting to reclaim some life.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: Well, thank you so much. Do either of you have anything in parting to add?
MR. PHIL CRANE: I don't think so. We covered a lot of ground. I don't know of anything else.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: Gorgeous photographs.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: Thank you.
MS. LIZ LINDSEY: Thank you so much.
MR. PHIL CRANE: Sure, you're welcome. Enjoyed it.
MS. PHYLLIS CRANE: You're welcome. Thank you. We've thoroughly enjoyed it.