Friday, June 12, 2015

Stories of Mary Wood Before and During the WWII Era

When I arrived at the house of Mary Wood, we talked about a range of stories from her working in the Red Cross with her mother to prom hopping in New York and raising chickens in her household. Her adventurous spirit captivated me in various ways. During her 20’s, instead of doing another year of high school she traveled to New York and took several classes at Barnard instead. Also, when she was there she went prom-hopping at various schools all around the East coast. A few years later, she decided to move to Washington D.C. and work for the Red Cross for a couple years before the war. When she was talking about her experience, I appreciated her dedication to making difference even before many women did not even think about doing work outside of the household. She worked in and around Washington D.C. visiting soldiers, giving them encouragement and occasionally flirting with them. She brought hope and light to the soldiers to remind them that you are allowed to have happiness and hope.

 After a couple years working for the Red Cross she met her husband and moved to Virginia where they raised chickens in their household. She had a funny story when she was alone in her house one day and she found out a family was interested in her house to buy. She had the chickens in one of her rooms and she turned the radio up, so the family would not hear the chickens when they were touring the house. Besides her working on taking care of the chickens and her husband in school studying law both her husband and once a week volunteered their time to spot planes in a tower in their hometown at 3 a.m.  These particular events of her life told me so much about how fascinating this woman is. Having the opportunity to listen and ask questions about her life before, after and throughout the time of World War II showed me a perspective on what on what a young adult did in that time.  After listening to her stories, I would have liked to know if during all the proms that she went to, What types of dancing did they do at proms during that time? And what did young adults want to do after they graduated?

--Abby Gordon

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