Interview with Greti Monroe, 2014 October 25

Material Information

Interview with Greti Monroe, 2014 October 25
Monroe, Greti ( Interviewee )
Pilder, Andy ( Interviewer )
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
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Physical Description:
Oral history interview


Subjects / Keywords:
Tidewater Main Street Development Project
Spatial Coverage:
United States of America -- Virginia -- Mathews


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UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
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UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
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Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International license:
Resource Identifier:
TMP 072 Greti Monroe 10-25-2014 ( SPOHP )


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The Foundation for The Gator Nation An Equal Opportunity Institution Samuel Proctor Oral History Program College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Program Director : Dr. Paul Ortiz Office Manager : Tamarra Jenkins 241 Pugh Hall Digital Humanities Coordinator : Deborah Hendrix PO Box 115215 Gainesville, FL 32611 352 392 7168 35 2 846 1983 Fax The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program (SPOHP) was founded by Dr. Samuel Proctor at the University of Florida in 1967. Its original projects were collections centered around Florida history with the purpose of preserving eyewitness acc ounts of economic, social, political, religious and intellectual life in Florida and the South. In the 45 years since its inception, SPOHP has collected over 5,000 interviews in its archives. Transcribed interviews are available through SPOHP for use by research scholars, students, journalists, and other interested groups. Material is frequently used for theses, dissertations, articles, books, documentaries, museum displays, and a variety of other public uses. As standard oral history practice dictates, S POHP recommends that researchers refer to both the transcript and audio of an interview when conducting their work. A selection of interviews are available online here through the UF Digital Collections and the UF Smathers Library system. Suggested corrections to transcripts will be reviewed and processed on a case by case basis. Oral history int erview t ranscripts available on the UF Digital Collections may be in draft or final format. SPOHP transcribers create interview transcripts by listen ing to the ori ginal oral history interview recording and typing a verbatim d ocument of it. The transcript i s written with careful attention to reflect original grammar and word choice of each interviewee; s ubjective or editorial changes are not made to their speech. The draft trans cript can also later undergo a final edit to ensure accuracy in spelling and form at I nterviewees can also provide their own spelli ng corrections SPOHP transcribers refer to the Merriam program specific transcribing style guide, accessible For more information abo ut SPOHP, visit or call the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program office at 352 392 7168. May 2015


TMP 072 Interviewee: Greti Monro Interviewer: Andy Pilder Date: October 25 2014 P: Okay, where were you born? M: Well, I was born when my hometown was under Italy at the time. It has changed many times. A nd yeah, I was born in the Austrian Alps in Slovenic or where I was actually, it was in Germany to start with, and then it was given to Italy, and Italy gave it to Yugoslavia. P: What was the name of the town? M: Well, it has three names. P: Okay. M: Because of different people lived there. Okay, P: And w hat year were you born? M: 1928. P: When was your birthday? M: 13 November 1928. P: Coming up. What was your name at birth? M: What was my name? Kra vonia My maiden name? Kra vonia. P: And your full name. M: Yeah, okay, same: Greti Kra vonia. P: Do you have a middle name? M: Okay. That was very horrible. I will give you a little history. I met my hus band when he was stationed in my hometown, so it was Plezzo then because it was Italy. He was American, of course, an d we got married and came to U.S.A. 1947. And been here off and on, moved thirty seven times in the service. Three wars, okay, three wars. T hirty years in the service, my husband died in [19]70. P: Can you tell me a little bit about your childhood? M: not tell. I was in camps, there was a war. P: Do you have si blings? M: I was fifteen wh en I went in a very famous camp,


TMP 072 Interviewee: Greti Monro Interviewer: Andy Pilder Date: October 25 2014 P: Okay. M: war, and we went through it, and we still have a war. P: Have you ever talked to anyone about your experiences during the war ? M: Not too much. Not too much. Some of my real close friends, maybe, know and I P: Okay. M: Okay? P: Okay. Would you be willing to talk about it a little bit? M: Not w hat do you want to know? P: How about your experiences before that? How old were you when . M: When I went in the camp? P: Mm hm. M: I was fifteen. P: What about before that? M: Well, it was a war. All the schools were closed. We just lived the best way we could. Our food was very the farmers would bring us something to get a haircut it P : What was the first memory you have of something happening as far as M: Well, I guess it was the camp. P: Okay. So before that, everything seemed kind of normal? M: The second was I guess when I met my husband, coming to America. P: What about your life with your family? What did your parents do? M: Oh, this is very intrigue because there was a war and some were killed and this be eighty forget, I want a birthday card. P: And a cake. M: [Laughter] No, no, no cake. You gotta watch it and all that.


TMP 072 Interviewee: Greti Monro Interviewer: Andy Pilder Date: October 25 2014 P: Oh, sure. Yeah. M: Okay, what I do here is make the Santa Clauses and I come down here and Ben Richard the woodwork here. [Inaudible 5:38] P: I heard about that. M: He sells a lot of it, and his is prime, prime. A lot of this is other people showing P: How did you get into making Santa Clauses? M: [Laughter] Well, we met this couple, and we had just gotten to Mathews. We met this coupl e and they were retired when we were retired, and too, they were navy and we were army. [Laughter] I met the wife, she liked to sew, I liked to sew, and P: Why Santa Clauses? M: you know? We thought about it and said, how eighty years old. P: Were you always a sewer? M: make them one, and then they will give me the rest of the quilt for me to use. P: And then you use the quilts to make the Santa Clauses. M: how they came about. They were for warmth. P: How long have you been doing that for? M: Well, at least twenty five years. Yeah P: How did you end up here in Mathews? M: Well, like I said, we moved a lot in the service. Then my husband, after he retired thirty years he got another job and that was it. His health gave a little bit, so we were looking for a place to live. We ended up here in Mathews, on the Ea st River. P:


TMP 072 Interviewee: Greti Monro Interviewer: Andy Pilder Date: October 25 2014 M: Yeah, absolutely. P: Oh, you came here okay. M: very lucky to come to America. I always will be P: Can we ta lk a little bit more about your life before you came to the States? M: Not really. P: Okay. M: P: Okay. M: What else do you want? P: How about what it was like when you met your husband? M: It was nice. P: [Laughter] How did you meet exactly? M: At a dance. P: At a dance? M: At a dance. P: When the war ended, where did you go? M: Well, dances were right afte r the war, so it w as easy going with the military then. dance. [Laughter] There are a couple things like that, but anyhow. Yeah, I knew him nine months before we got married. P: Wha t was his name? M : His name was Keith, K E I T H LaVerne Monroe. One marriage. P: Where exactly did you meet? M: At the dance! P: M: Oh, what he was? P: Mm hm.


TMP 072 Interviewee: Greti Monro Interviewer: Andy Pilder Date: October 25 2014 M: He was a first lieutenant at the time that I met him. P: Where were you at the time? M: This was Plezzo, okay? My hometown. Oh, sorry. P: M: After we were married, several times, but . my mother died of cancer. M y father died during the war. I took my two children, just small, back to my little town. P: Where were your children born? M: My children? They were both born in the U.S traveled around. The same doctor in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. P: Home of the Little League World Series. M: Yeah. Uh going to school. P: Boys? Girls? M: Boys. P: Two boys? M: Yes. P: What years were they born? M: When were they born? P: Mm hm. M: The first one was born in 1950 while my husband was serving in Korea. He said, okay, so I had the baby on my own when I was staying with his parents. He was in Korea for t wo years. He came back to see this son that was two years old. P: M: No. P: And that was in Pennsylvania? M: This was in Pennsylvania, Williamsport. P: How far apart is your other son?


TMP 072 Interviewee: Greti Monro Interviewer: Andy Pilder Date: October 25 2014 M: Eight years. P: Eight years later. How old were you when you had your second son? M: Well, it just happened, I guess. P: Okay. M: P: In college? M: more in four now. P: These are your grandchildren? M: Mm P: So you have two sons and two grandsons? M: Yeah, both. Two of each. T P: Yeah. M: Yeah. P: Where do your children live nowadays? M: P: Oh, okay. M: P: Right. What did you ever do for school? M: Where did I go to school? My hometown. It only went to the eighth grade. P: Okay. M: But, actually you know, after the fifth grade, they closed the schools. War and everything. P: What did you do when school ended? M: Oh, you know, the regular stuff. A B Cs.


TMP 072 Interviewee: Greti Monro Interviewer: Andy Pilder Date: October 25 2014 P: No, when school ended. So if school ended in fifth grade, what did yo u do instead of going to school? M: What I was doing? I was home with my parents, maybe at the barbershop, cleaning this and that. Cooking for them, wooden stove. P: How did you learn how to cook? M: I learned. They told me how it is. P: Did you learn fr om your mother? M: Wood, wood, wood stove. Yep. My brother, he would cut the wood out in the woods, and chop it up a little bit for me. I cooked with that. We ate a lot of potatoes. P: So your brother was responsible M: I got [inaudible 14:50] had a grandfather that only had one leg. First World War. P: Oh, okay. M: He made a lot of what they call polenta, just Italian for mush. There was a Three kids there, and I keep in touch with them. He died with cancer, and so did P: Yeah? M: Yea h. Not too exciting, but . P: When you came to the States, what did you do? Did you have a job right away? M: Oh, no, dear. I just got married. Well, actually, we ca me on a big boat with everybody, all, everybody on there. I was sick for eleven days. S easick! Landed in New York. P: You got married in Europe before you traveled? M: Yes, we were married. P: What was your wedding like? M: Protestant church there was there. The see the church with the children, but they had taken it down completely. Somebody stuck their head out of the next door house, because I spoke Italian, too. You speak three languages there.


TMP 072 Interviewee: Greti Monro Interviewer: Andy Pilder Date: October 25 2014 P: What three languages? M : I asked them, you know, what happened to the Oh, she said, well you know, that was not a Catholic church, you know? I said, yes, I know. Very unusual. So P: Was religion always something important to you? M : Very important. Very important. We went to catechism. Yeah well, I delivered call the Yeah. And I liked going there because he always either a piece of fo od for me or . then I had to go to him when I was getting married, and I wanted my birth certificate. He said, well, you want to think about it, married with a Protestant. He said, you want to really think about it, hardly. I said, well, okay. But he s you have to go so and the priest said. I said, you know because she was real Catholic. I mean, six n the morning, she would go to M ass before going to work. P: Your mother? M: one God. That stayed with me. P: Your father, was he religious as well ? M: No. My mother was. My grandfather was. He would go to church with one leg. P: What about your children? M: My children always went to school from the beginning here in America. They sang in the choir and just the regular stuff. Then they got to be teenagers and what have you, and that changes everythi ng. P: How about your husband? M: My husband was very yeah. We always went to church. Yeah, well, a lot of someplace, you know. P: In the States, did you go to a Catholic church or a Protestant church? M: Protestant. P: Was that because of your husband? M: Yes.


TMP 072 Interviewee: Greti Monro Interviewer: Andy Pilder Date: October 25 2014 P: Was that something that was important to him? M: Yes. His family, way back when. So I made it my own, but I tell you, in my heart does a lot of good. People that we help, we help them. P: many times did you move around with your husband? M: Thirty seven times. P: Thirty M: Well, they always sent my husband to military schools, every one of them. He always did that. Yeah, and there on the side, we had the G.I. Bill, what they call Yeah, yeah. So he ended up being a colonel when he died, yeah. P: So he ended up going to college for that? M: Oh, yeah. He had everything, the whole thing. P: Did you have a place that you lived that was your favorite? M: be buried up in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. wante P: How long did you live in Williamsport? M: Well, two years for sure when he was in Korea. got enough there now to make a book. [Laughter] P: M: P: M: Okay. P: How long have you been in Mathews? M: Thirty five years. P: Thirty five years.


TMP 072 Interviewee: Greti Monro Interviewer: Andy Pilder Date: October 25 2014 M: Yes, yes. We bought a house here, too large now. P: Was this before or after your husband retired? M: After he retired. P: So after he retired you moved to Mathews. M: Right, right. P: Were you in Norfolk before that? M: boat, we are on the river, on the East River. I did everything, get fish and this, by myself wi P: Have you dated at all since your husband passed away? M: met. He was a bachelor, and he died. P: After your husband retired, what did you two do for fun? M: Oh, we did everything! We have many boat wise. We were on the water. We retired people around. P: Did you have any hobbies? M: This is my hobby. P: Maki ng the Santa Clauses? M: Yes. P: M: P: How much does it cost to buy the quilts? M: ing me the one, or not. It has to be what I want. And what I do is, I make them a sample ll show you about that big. P: Maybe about two feet tall, eighteen inches?


TMP 072 Interviewee: Greti Monro Interviewer: Andy Pilder Date: October 25 2014 M: No. A foot. P: A foot? Okay. M: one. P: Mm hm. Oh, who you bought the quilt from? M: I make them one for free. And the rest of the quilt is mine. P: Oh, okay. M: P: M: P: How do you find the quilts? M: Very hard to do. P: Yeah? Where do you start looking? M: Well, I tell you what. Y P: Now, from the article? M: New York and the other one overseas someplace. They saw this thing and they wanted to se e the Santa. P: Before that, did most of the quilts come from this area? M: So I said, well, a e like that, that they could save If they know the history, e anything out of it. I said, you frame it and put P: If you have parts of a quilt, can you combine them to make M: P :


TMP 072 Interviewee: Greti Monro Interviewer: Andy Pilder Date: October 25 2014 M: A lot of them are pretty torn up, so I have to take what I can do with it. Can I make a big one out of it or not? Can I make a mini one out of it, which is normally what I do. I give them one. I give them a big one. I show it enough for ten books then right? P: Thanks Greti, I appreciate it. M: [Laughter] You like that . P: Mm hm. M: P: Yeah. M: or something? P: D in history, yeah. M: P: M: P: M: Teach? Well, you can teach me. P: Thanks. M: [End of interview] Transcribed by: Jessica Taylor, April 13, 2015 Audit edited by: Kyle Bridge, April 13, 2015 Final edited by: Jessica Taylor

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