Ted and Marilyn Moody Interview

Dublin Core

Description

1 cassette (60 minute stock)

Abstract

Ted and Marilyn Moody recall their lives in Danbury between 1920 and 2003.

Date

2003-09-09

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

unknown

Interviewee

Moody, Ted
Moody, Marilyn

Location

Duration

46 minutes

Time Summary

0-10 mins:
Ted born in Danbury in 1929. Father owned a trucking company which serviced the hatting industry. hats and materials used to make them were transported to and from NYC. Father died fairly young, siblings took over the business. Marilyn born in 1931, an identical twin. Father owned a barbershop and was a part-time florist. Few buses; most kids walked. The kids who walked went home for lunch. Went to highschool in what is now White Hall, WCSU. No school uniform, but jeans and t-shirts were not worn. Kids nowadays dress inappropriately, not suitable for school.

10-20 mins:
Married in the fifties. After first child, they got a TV. Marilyn's family had produce and animals at home, so when rationing came about because of the war, they were able to live comfortably. They both miss the fair; it was an important part of Danbury life. Saturday night was always busy. Their mothers and grandmothers knew one another. They dated in highschool. The movie theaters were popular recreational destinations. Several bowling alleys in town.

20-30 mins:
Church and sunday school and night group were the most significant family and social gatherings. Grocery shopping was very different; a family affair. they have 2 kids, and 5 grandchildren. Hats were extremely important. Some stores had signs "if you don't wear a hat, don't come inside" Highly unionized, pay was good. Hatting was tied to the city, but the industry fluctuated greatly. 10-15 taverns on white street, always full of hatters. When Kennedy didn't wear a hat, they went out of fashion, they were also expensive.

30-40 mins:
Marilyn was a nurse. Trained for 3 years. WWII, all cars were used for the war effort. Many machines and businesses had to be dedicated to the war. It was difficult to acquire machinery. Men from Canada came to work in Danbury during this time. Marilyn's father made a lot of money during the war. Many paper drives and scrap drives. recycling of aluminium and tin was encouraged. Many Danbury citizens worked in factories in bridgeport at this time; but due to gas rations, they had to carpool. Hatting shops were closing one by one. Back shops and front shops (back shops made the body and sent them to be finished out of state, and front shops made complete hats to be sold in-store). All women wore hats to church.

40-50 mins:
Population of Danbury has changed more than anything. Brazilian and Portuguese immigrants. Many come to NYC, and Danbury is a safe-haven close by. It used to be the same for Puerto Ricans and Irish. Many people supposedly went to Grand Central, and just got any ticket they could afford to a place where they could find work. River water would change color due to dyes used by the hatters.

Citation

Moody, Ted and Marilyn Moody. “Ted and Marilyn Moody Interview.” Danbury Remembers: Oral Histories OH001. WCSU Archives, 1 Aug. 2019. Accessed on the Web: 21 Sep. 2019.

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