May 24, 2005


(Names and other words that could not be transcribed are in italics. Unknown voices are referred to as “man” or “woman.” Comments, explanations, and additional names are in parentheses.)


John Foley: All right. This is John Foley and I’m at Marian’s place on the Pokey Road again and we’re going to try to do this recording. This is just a test. (Indistinct words) Ok, this is an interview. This is John Foley and I’m at Marian Cousins’ on the Pokey Road in Alexander, Maine and this is May 24, 2005. Ok, so, now we can get started. Do you want to tell us a little bit about your - your background, Marian? (Laughter) Anything you want to say?


Marian Cousins: I was born right here in Alexander.


John Foley: Um-hum.


Marian Cousins: Down where Don Newman has his trucking business, and I lived there almost - I was married to Orris Cousins. He was a town boy, too, but we - I - the only time I was away was - I went to Milo to school some. And, I started running around with him, I think, when I was 14, or was I 13. I can’t remember now.


John Foley: Oh, pretty early.


Marian Cousins: Oh yes. But we were just - all of our people were here in town.


John Foley: Yes.


Marian Cousins: We knew everybody in town. Now you don’t know anybody or hardly anybody. But, hey, after 87 years why things change.


John Foley: That’s right. Things don’t stand still for sure.


Marian Cousins: But, I had - Dad was the sixth child out of 10, and he - when he was 22 months old, my grandmother was - had a bad cold and all, and so her sister, Sarah Berry, and she had a brother, George, too, and they - he lived in town. Nobody moved away then like they do now. It was - - -


John Foley: There must have been work here, too. That was probably - - -


Marian Cousins: Well, you made your own, I guess with cows and butter and vegetables - and sold - there isn’t - then they changed - there wasn’t any market for that - big stores like A&P and those came in . Dad sold to them for a while but then they started having it shipped in here by the carloads that they had. But we had a couple of orchards and we raised our own - we had a pig or maybe a couple of pigs and then we had one of themfor our consumption at home and sell the other one, and have a baby beef which my mother would fry and put in jars and rinse out the pans so to have some water for the gravy and would boil that and that’s what - in the wintertime we had our own - and all kinds of vegetables. Dad raised turnips. He had 800 bushel.


John Foley: 800! Bushels! Oh my gosh!


Marian Cousins: In bins. He made big bins down cellar. And of course that - that house smelled like - awful.


John Foley: Well, that - all those turnips - was that for feed for any animals (indistinct words)


Marian Cousins: He fed some to the animals, but he gave Ruthers over in Millbridge.


John Foley: Oh, yes. Yes


Marian Cousins: They bought a lot of them. Dad sold, oh I don’t know how many hundred bushels to them, of course. But the last year, they had said they’d take them and Dad raised all those - those turnip and then they didn’t come for them.


John Foley: Oh, my gosh!


Marian Cousins: I can see him now. He was an old man of course then and the boys did the gardening and my dad cried. He said he didn’t believe that they’d lie to him like that.


John Foley: Well, that was pretty nasty. I mean the work he had to put into that.


Marian Cousins: (indistinct words)


John Foley: Well sure, you can’t keep them and all work wasted. That’s too bad.


Marian Cousins: And then we made - they made - Dad had a prostate cancer and was in Boston hospital for ten weeks and that was the summer before Orris and I got married.


John Foley: Oh.


Marian Cousins: And, I was - I was 19 and they - Paul - did you get your sugar and stuff?


John Foley: Yes, everything is fine.


Marian Cousins: So, Orris stayed down home and helped with the gardens but then he came up to be at his father’s to help with the farm there and they - Paul had a truck and they worked on the road some. That’s some of the livelihood. But, I made 100 pounds of butter.


John Foley: 100 pounds of butter, my gosh.


Marian Cousins: That - of course the boys helped with the churning but we made the butter and kept things going while Dad was in the hospital. He came home and the day he came home he wanted to walk around the place because he didn’t think he was going to make it back. So he walked out and over the hill - of course the house set right up on the hill there and then you walked down it and this flat place down in the pasture, was a dry knoll and that’s where we used to plant the garden - the early part of the garden and there was some blueberries down on the lane. Mama would walk down there and pick blueberries and she’d sell quarts of berries. It was a hard - but we didn’t realize it was a hard life.


John Foley: Yes, yes. Well, you had everything there pretty much, you know.


Marian Cousins: Dad owned that 160 acres and then we had - he had over on Tommy Long’s Road, he owned the Weymouth they called it over there and they used to cut pulp wood. My brothers were old enough so that they could peel the pulp. And, we didn’t know anything about having deer meat until Orris got ‘round there.


John Foley: Is that right? They didn’t hunt so you - - -


Marian Cousins: They didn’t hunt.


John Foley: Oh, I see. Ok.


Marian Cousins: He got the boys to hunting and, you know, my brother got killed on the Airline.


John Foley: He did? Oh. Which one was that, now?


Marian Cousins: Paul.


John Foley: Paul.


Marian Cousins: Buster was up there in the hospital having chemo therapy and Paul took Blanch, Buster’s wife, and his wife, Hazel, and went up to be there when he had the chemo. They started back home and one of the Beacon’s trucks - they had been observed, two of the trucks down in Randy’s yard which was MacArthur’s then passing a smoke back and forth and when he came out of the truck - after he had killed my brother, he came out with a can of beer in his hand.


John Foley: Oh my gosh! Holy cow!


Marian Cousins: And, he didn’t get even charged the rules of the road.


John Foley: Oh my gosh!


Marian Cousins: So that’s been a hard thing. But, he came around the corner and he never straightened it up. He came right straight across and hit Paul and killed him and put Blanch and - Hazel had a broken leg and a broken arm, and she was in the hospital. She died from the accident quite a few years afterwards but they said that the bruises caused cancer. She had five different cancers.


John Foley: Oh my gosh!


Marian Cousins: Blanch was in the hospital from June 18th until October the second. Of course Buster had chemo and he got out and came home and I had him here for a while and then we set up so Blanch could come in October. We set him up in the room where she could be too so that they could be together some, but I’m telling you, it was a nightmare.


John Foley: Yes. Yes. Now, what relation was Buster to you? Was he - - -


Marian Cousins: His mother was Vivian, Dad’s oldest daughter.


John Foley: Ok, so that was your step sister, Vivian.


Marian Cousins: Yes.


John Foley: Yes. Ok.


Marian Cousins: Not step, half.


John Foley: Half, yes.


Marian Cousins: And, she - she and her husband Jack Holmes from Grand Lake Stream was married just a year when he died. The day they were married she weighed 98 and he weighed 198.


John Foley: Oh my gosh. What a couple.


Marian Cousins: And he - they had just built the woodland mill and she was three months pregnant when he died and like I said they’d been married just a year and he picked up typhoid fever from the water over there.


John Foley: Oh my gosh.


Marian Cousins: And so, Buster - when Buster came - they brought him home and there was no money. He didn’t have no insurance or anything so she had to go to work. So Mother brought Buster up, Mother and Dad. And, she - the only time she could - she had with him was she’d do some housework when he was just a little fellow out playing in the sand and all - in Woodland for the ladies and she had him with her for a while but then she had to go where ever she could have work and she worked at Pownal State School as a house mother and my gosh, when he was seven years old, she died.


John Foley: Oh my gosh. Oh dear.


Marian Cousins: They sent home her trunks and things that she had there and every paper that that kid had done in school Mama had sent her and his progress and written letters and told her - Mama would have him write “I love you, Mama.” Mama V. He called her Mama V. (Indistinct words) was Mama.


John Foley: Well, she must have been fairly young, too when she - - -


Marian Cousins: She was 20 - was she 20 - it would be in that book. I can’t remember.


John Foley: He was so little. Yes, she should be 20 something.


Marian Cousins: She had a tumor or something back of her eye that burst. The kind - a friend that she had there then felt that they treated her wrong - that they put hot packs on when they should have had cold or something and it burst. So they brought her up to the Calais Hospital. They called Dad in one morning. He had been in the day before and taken her a letter and she didn’t pay any attention to it and so when he came out - Dr. Cobb was there then with Dr. Myer and he said if they didn’t get something to stop her vomiting, there wasn’t - and they said the same thing about Buster when he was in there with a ruptured appendix, that he wasn’t going to make it. But, then she didn’t make it. They called Dad in the next day and they were putting her arms up for artificial respiration - up and down. And Dad said she just wasn’t with it. So, he said “How long has that been going on?” and they said 12 hours or something - - -


John Foley: Oh my gosh!


Marian Cousins: He said “Leave her alone.”


John Foley: Yes. Yes. There’s a certain point when you just can’t do anything.


Marian Cousins: Just leave her alone. So she died. But, Buster never wanted for a mother and father because he knew - he had Mama and Dad. They were always his mother and father. Then he had cancer. All of them are gone but me.


John Foley: Yes. My gosh. Now - now Buster was a - - -


Marian Cousins: Vivian’s - - -


John Foley: Son. (Indistinct word) son.


Marian Cousins: - - - son, but he was brought up as our brother.


John Foley: As a brother, yes.


Marian Cousins: But we - they used to call him the “little Roy boy” in the hospital and different places but Mama said no, Dad wanted to change his name when his mother died. But, Mama said no. That’s the only thing that Mrs. Holmes has left of her son so he still kept the name Holmes.


John Foley: He kept the name.


Marian Cousins: And, that’s his daughter there and grandchildren


John Foley: Yes, now, Kim Hill - what’s - - -


Marian Cousins: Kim Hill is Buster’s grandchild.


John Foley: Ok. Yes. Yes.


Marian Cousins: Beverly’s daughter.


John Foley: Beverly. Ok. So, Beverly was his daughter.


Marian Cousins: Daughter.


John Foley: Ok, all right.


Marian Cousins: Beverly and Jimmy and David.


John Foley: Ok. Well, I think it was pretty interesting yesterday talking about the musical Dwelleys.


Marian Cousins: Yes. Well, they were musical, too. Uncle Bub - Barbara said she remembered them saying Bub and the violin. And, there was nobody with lessons, it was all - - -


Barbara: (indistinct words) dances.


Marian Cousins: Yes, they sure did.


John Foley: And, they just picked it up. They just learned to play - picked up - - -


Marian Cousins: Grammy said - she did - I wished she’d told my mother what to do because I’m not musical. None of Mama’s family is, but Mama could sing - Mama and Dad would - they weren’t well and - well Dad had a hospital bed and we put a small - you know the regular twin bed in along side of it - - -


John Foley: Twin bed, yes.


Marian Cousins: And they’d go - Mama’d go in bed at night just about as soon as the dishes or something was done and - ‘cause Dad was in bed. And, they’d hold hands across the - - -


John Foley: Oh, gee!

Marian Cousins: - - - and sing hymns - - -


John Foley: Oh yes!


Marian Cousins: - - - and sing songs. Oh, they sang nicely together. It was good. But, they - Grammy said that with every one of hers she played on her belly all the time she was carrying ‘em.


John Foley: Oh really! So she got - they got the rhythm that way.


Marian Cousins: They got the rhythm - and they were just ready to go.


John Foley: Already tapping their feet probably.


Marian Cousins: But someone had - Oliver, I think - Uncle Bub’s son, Oliver, had - Aunt Olive played the piano, and Aunt Bess, Uncle Bub’s wife, she played the piano sometimes. And, Uncle Billy N. who is Llewellyn’s grandfather, he and Doris Etchly’s father - he had bones - dried bones or spoons and boy, he could beat the music out of those.


John Foley: Oh, really?


Marian Cousins: Yes, and - - -


John Foley: Viola Dwelley, was she - - -


Marian Cousins: - - - somebody had the drums - - -


John Foley: Viola Dwelley, was she - - -


Marian Cousins: She was Everett’s wife.


John Foley: Ok, because my wife met her one time, blueberry raking and she said she used to play the violin too or something.


Marian Cousins: I guess she probably could. Rowena - - -


John Foley: Viola Dwelley


Marian Cousins: Paul was married to Rowena, her sister.


John Foley: Ok.


Marian Cousins: And, she decided she didn’t want to be with him and the children any more so when Vivian and Lloyd were 8 and 9, she took off and Paul brought them children home over to the house and we stayed there and I helped Mama with the kids until they were ready for high school and then of course we went away, too. Now that Bussey doesn’t want anything to do with me.


John Foley: Really?


Marian Cousins: Really. I used to sew for her and I made her this real pretty jumper out of corduroy and I lined it with satin and all. Do you think she’d put that on? No sir.


John Foley: No?


Marian Cousins: She’d rather have something from the store out there - - -


John Foley: Oh my gosh


Marian Cousins: - - - Grants or somewhere that was a lot less expensive until one day she was up against it. She didn’t have something to put on so she wore that and the kids were all complimenting here and wanted to know where she got it and they wanted one like it.


John Foley: Oh my gosh!


Marian Cousins: I could have sewed if I wanted to. I made her slacks and all, but nothing that was home made. And, somebody said to her one day, she said “you look so much like your Aunt Mamie.” “Who the hell wants to look like her?”


John Foley: Oh, oh. That’s ok. We can scratch that out.


Marian Cousins: She didn’t want to look like me. But, you see the mother had left them and all and us taking - I suppose she resented it.


John Foley: Well, the families were kind of extended families where they took in relatives at different times. It wasn’t just the father and mother and a few kids. It was a little more complicated than that.


Marian Cousins: Paul - Paul couldn’t correct them. He couldn’t touch them


John Foley: Oh, really?


Marian Cousins: He - that maple tree that I told you we had the worst time - we were trying to shape it so that it would be nice and we would catch that little devil swinging on the branches and I said to Paul one day, “Paul, look what that kid is doing.” And, he wasn’t - he didn’t use the best of language and he said, “Well, slap his butt.” and swore. “You’re closer to him than I am.” He couldn’t touch him.


John Foley: Oh, gee!


Marian Cousins: So, of course Bussey resented me.


John Foley: Well, that’s right. Anybody that’s bringing the discipline - that’s trying to straighten them out a little bit, they get a little mad.


Marian Cousins: We used to take them to town on Saturday night and Orris would give them some money to go spend. He’d say, “Now I want you to come back.” They’d find - “You go find something you want and I’ll give you what it costs.” And, he said, “Then, when you come back you know what you’re supposed to do.” And, they’d go get what they wanted and bring the change back to him. We’d take them to the movies and all.


John Foley: Now, that dance hall they had down here, was that right on the lake? Was there a dance hall the Dwelleys had on the lake?


Marian Cousins: That’s what I wrote down .there for you. The dance hall was where Tommy Smith’s - - -


John Foley: Green house.


Marian Cousins: - - - green house is.


John Foley: Ok.


Marian Cousins: And, the house was above that. Big house. And, that’s where Uncle Bub raised his family. But, he - Aunt Bess, I don’t know whether she was a McDunough or not, but they had I don’t know how many boys, Oliver, and Leo and John, and Gilbert - four or five boys and he had one daughter and they lost her, and then the next daughter - the only other daughter they had was retarded. She never spoke. She’d just sit on the floor and rock and she was my age and he - Uncle Bub was a good carpenter and Dad had him come up to the house and put on a new roof and Mama put me upstairs to be in the afternoon for my nap and Uncle Bub would be hammering on the roof.


John Foley: Oh my gosh!


Marian Cousins: I still had my nap.


John Foley: You slept right through it, huh?


Marian Cousins: When I’d get up and I’d get a hold of his hammer, I’d say “Papa’s hammer.” “No, that’s Uncle Bub’s hammer.” They told me this. I don’t remember it. But, he - Dad said tears would roll down his face when he’d see me. So, I - I was ready for an argument. That was Papa’s.


John Foley: That’s right. You’d seen a hammer before and you figured it probably had to be Papa’s.

Marian Cousins: But they - they did, they had those - one night there was a scuffle started they said in the hall. Somebody took a swing at somebody and Aunt Olive fainted right off of the piano stool.


John Foley: Oh my! Holy cow!


Marian Cousins: Uncle En’s family was musical, too. Doris could sing and tap dance, and - - -


Barbara: She was on the (indistinct words)


Marian Cousins: I could dance. I enjoyed that. But, I couldn’t sing. And they - Harold - can’t remember what he played but he played something. Banjo, they had a banjo in that orchestra. Must have been six or seven pieces.


John Foley: And a piano, probably.


Marian Cousins: And the piano and the drums and the horn and then the bones and the fiddle.


Barbara: They must have had a guitar or something.


Marian Cousins: Frank - can’t remember what Frank played, but he played, I know. They could pick up any instrument that was there and play it.


Barbara: Do you know Jimmy McCurdy?


John Foley: No, I don’t know him but I’ve heard the name.


Barbara: Well, he plays anything.


John Foley: Oh really, yes. Now would they have just like a Saturday night - would they have a dance and would they have music then or how often did they do this kind of thing?


Marian Cousins: They had it during the week, I know. They had it on the weekends, too, because the girls used to come home from - when they first had it, of course Dad’s girls were young and he wouldn’t let them go without he went and so he’d go with them. Then they’d come home. There was a time when those girls were working in the bag mill and they went to six dances a week.


John Foley: Six dances a week! That kept them busy, huh?


Marian Cousins: After they’d get out of work they’d go.


Barbara: They used to have dances down to the New Villa.

Marian Cousins: Yes.


Barbara: They used to have them at the Town Hall on Saturday night, I think, anyway.


Marian Cousins: And, they always had some in Woodland, at the IOOF and those things, too.


Barbara: That’s where Dot met Harvard - was down to the New Villa.


Marian Cousins: They had the one down here, too.


Barbara: Yes. Saturday nights, I think down in (indistinct name) in the hall.


John Foley: Well, there was something in Crawford, too, wasn’t there - some kind of place there?


Marian Cousins: Yes, the New Villa.


John Foley: Ok.


(Both women talking at the same time - can’t be transcribed.)


Marian Cousins: What was the name of that over there?


Barbara: They called it the Town Hall. I don’t know.


Marian Cousins: No, it was down on the lake.


John Foley: Oh, there was one on the lake, too. I guess I’ve heard of that.


Barbara: They used to have dances right where it is now, too, didn’t they?


Marian Cousins: Yes. I don’t think I was ever there to a dance, though.


Barbara: I never was either.


Marian Cousins: But, down on the lake shore - what - it’ll come to maybe - before Orris and I were married we went down there (indistinct name) Lolynne Varnum was home and we took her with us and Alan Shrow didn’t have a date so Orris and Alan were always chumming together so they brought Alan along and Lolynne of course was tall. She was old - I think she was quite a bit older than Alan, but anyway, Alan said “I tried to hug her but,” he said, “I needed a cushion or two to get up to her where I could reach around her.” Coven Haven, that was the name.


John Foley: Copen Haven?


Marian Cousins: Coven Hagen.


John Foley: Coven Hagen.


Marian Cousins: And it was built out over the water and the moon would be beautiful on the water there.


John Foley: Now, that was right at - where the Crawford landing is now - right down at the end of the - it was on Crawford Lake.


Marian Cousins: Yes, i t was on Crawford Lake down at - and it was - - -


Barbara: Down where Morris lives? Down in there?


Marian Cousins: Yes. And it was - I think it was Pete Yeoman did the playing - his orchestra.


Barbara: He used to play uptown there, too.


Marian Cousins: Yes, he did. But, you see there was quite a lot going on - - -


John Foley: Oh, I guess there were things happening. Sure.


Marian Cousins: Yes. All the time.


Barbara: More than there is now.


John Foley: Probably, yes. I would think people sit and watch their TV and that’s it. They don’t - there’s nothing - you know, there’s nothing in the community. That’s what I think is kind of sad. The community seemed to be quite much - quite active in the old days


Marian Cousins: Before when - as I was saying to Barbara this morning, we - everybody was like a family.


John Foley: Yes, yes.


Marian Cousins: You’d go to like a supper or something and everybody pitched in and helped with it.


Barbara: (Indistinct words) When Grampy sawed wood everybody come to help him and he’d go help them.


John Foley: That’s what Pike Seavey was saying, that they’d move from one house to the next, a whole crew of them - - -

(Two people talking at the same time - can’t be transcribed.)

Barbara: Then Grammy’d get dinner for them all.


Marian Cousins: That’s what they did with the haying, too.


Barbara: Yes. They don’t do that any more.


Marian Cousins: No.


Barbara: Unless you get paid for it.


John Foley: That’s right. Everybody wants some money or they won’t do anything.


Marian Cousins: Too bad, too.


John Foley: Yes, it is, because I think - - -


Marian Cousins: Because I paid $90.00 to have my bushes trimmed here last fall but - I don’t know whether they’re going to come back or not. They’re kind of rusty looking out there.


John Foley: Well, it depends on how much they cut them back and what it is - you know some plants if you cut them in the fall, it hurts them more than it helps them.


Marian Cousins: He cut them, but he’s the landscaper here in town.


John Foley: Well then, he should know what he’s doing, I guess. You hope, huh.


Marian Cousins: Next year if I’m around - if I’m not some of the rest of them will do it, but the kids will do it. Vivian did it - not Vivian but Krista did it one year.


John Foley: Oh, she did?


Marian Cousins: Boy, she put them back to there they had a hard time.


John Foley: She overdid it a little bit?


Marian Cousins: Oh, she - - -


John Foley: Well, she always goes full steam.


Marian Cousins: She didn’t do too bad a - oh my goodness. But, she is one good dental hygenist.


John Foley: I don’t doubt it.


Marian Cousins: Yes, she is. But, she’s still that fractious. But she has two or three jobs going. She and Kimberly have gone into the real estate business on one house anyway. They - Kim told her boss - she said last week, “I can’t keep up this pace.”


John Foley: Oh really?


Marian Cousins: They told her when she took this last move that they’d give her less businesses that she had to oversee. They were going to cut her down to eight, I think it was but she’s got double that.


John Foley: Oh, my gosh!


Marian Cousins: One day she has to - even if she doesn’t have to fly in or drive in, she drives from New Hampshire to New Jersey and she might be there for three days But, she still has to do two or three different businesses in New Jersey. And then they might call - but she said she doesn’t even have her weekend to herself. She’s on a - - -


John Foley: That’s crazy


Marian Cousins: - - - on a telephone and they’ll - some of them - one trip she - - -




Marian Cousins: - - - and this one guy thought he - I guess he was pretty important and he - he just lauded it to her. He said “Well, when are you going to get with it and answer some of the emails you get and all.” And, she said, “I do answer my emails but” she said “I can’t keep on a one way conversation all the time because” she said “you never responded.”




John Foley: - - - trips away. You got married to Horace - you said you were 19?


Marian Cousins: Orris.


John Foley: Orris. Orris, when you were 19.


Marian Cousins: Horace was his nephew.


John Foley: Yes, and - and did you move away right after you were married?


Marian Cousins: No, we moved - we lived down with his father and mother, right down here for one year and then we bought this piece of land off the - MacArthur next door. And, we put a house frame up here but we never did get it finished. We had - that was in ‘41 - ‘40, ‘41. We were married in ‘37. And, we went to Portland.


John Foley: Yes, the war was just starting so there were jobs, yes.

Marian Cousins: So, Orris went down there to work in the - they turned him down at the (indistinct word) when he was examined.


John Foley: Oh, really?


Marian Cousins: Yes. And, they never did tell him why. They said to him, “Are you married.” He said yes. They said, “Are you happy and love your wife?” And he said yes. And, they said, “Then go home and enjoy her.” When they - they were Dyer Crosby, Dale and all of them were going through the line at the same time and they put rejected on Orris’ papers and told him to go right straight through and he stopped in line to talk to the boys and - or he didn’t understand what they said or something. Anyway, they started drawing blood and they took one look at him and said “Let me see those papers.” They said, “You aren’t supposed to be in this line.” And, that’s when they said go home. So he figured well, we’d go down to the shipyard and so we did. And, I worked at the Crow Publishing Company and he - then we moved to Old Orchard so that I could - was - I was working one shift and he was working the other and it was - we were meeting and that was it.


John Foley: That was pretty hard, huh.


Marian Cousins: We moved to Old Orchard and I didn’t work any more, but then we - the boys were in the service - Arvin and Buster. And, so, we came back home and Orris had to go to the Leahy Clinic and he had worked in a garage and they think that’s what did it. And, he siphoned gasoline to get it started and then of course it was in his mouth just long enough to pull it up through there, but it must have done the damage. Anyway - - -


John Foley: Was it his lungs that - - -


Marian Cousins: No. Well, it was his teeth then. They said he had the infection enough coming from one wisdom tooth to kill one person.


John Foley: Oh my gosh! Holy cow!


Marian Cousins: So, it took him two years to get his teeth out. They could only take one at a time. One time they took two, but it did him in. So he got those done, but then he had a spot in his lung when we went to Connecticut. And, then they took out half of his lung.


John Foley: Oh my gosh!


Marian Cousins: When we come back home, we - well, his nephew, Sherman Flood, wanted the house here - Genevieve wanted it first and they moved it off of here so we just started and put this one on.


John Foley: Um hum. Ok.


Marian Cousins: That was in ‘77. But, we had 56 years.

John Foley: Yes? Good. That’s a (indistinct word) You celebrated your 50th wedding anniversary, I guess.


Marian Cousins: Yes and then we had 56 years and then - but we went together for five years so that gave us a pretty good -


John Foley: Well, that’s 60 almost.


Marian Cousins: Yes. Somebody asked him one time, “Did you ever think of a divorce?” He said, “Divorce, no. Murder, yes.”


John Foley: Well, that crosses everybody’s mind. It’s up for it, you know. You have these bad days, you know. Things don’t go the way you want.


Marian Cousins: But, you know, when we were down to Connecticut, we went to work - my cousin was working there, Franklin, and so he took us over to the employment office and so Orris filled out the papers and they took him down on one of those little “goo-goos,” we called them - battery cars.


John Foley: Oh, ok. Yes, yes.


Marian Cousins: Took him down to look over what he’d be doing. And, Mrs. May looked at me and she said “Mrs. Cousins, would you like to fill out an application?” I said, “I thought you weren’t hiring women.” She said, “Oh, we’ve got a few jobs around.” And, “if you’d like to fill one out.” And, she said, “What would you be interested in?” I said, “Well, office work.” She said, “Well, there’s nothing in that area right now, but you’d be considered for one when one - the opportunity opened up.” So, when Orris came back, I was sitting there. I’d been down to see the job I was going on and was hired and my physical was set up right along with his - the same day. We went to work the same day.


John Foley: Oh my gosh! That worked out all right, hum? Probably had the same shifts, too, I don’t know.


Marian Cousins: Yes, yes. They asked what shift we would be interested in and we said second. They couldn’t believe their ears. They said nobody wanted the second, but we did.


John Foley: What was that? Like from four to midnight or something like that?


Marian Cousins: From 3:30 until midnight. And, then we’d come home and have a lunch and gab. Go to bed and get up when we wanted to.


John Foley: Yes, you could sleep late in the morning. No rush there.


Marian Cousins: And then we’d get up and go downtown and have some breakfast or I - or we’d have some breakfast at home or we’d wait until it was - at noon time and have something and then order - an order whatever we thought we wanted and take it home and split it and that would be our lunch at work.


John Foley: That was a good arrangement.


Marian Cousins: Yes, worked out fine.


John Foley: So, how long did you do that?


Marian Cousins: 20 years.


John Foley: 20 years. Oh, yes.


Marian Cousins: He was 65 before the 20 years was up. He got 19 and a half years. So, he wanted to come back home and I said “Oh, wait until I get my 20 years in.” He - his birthday was in June and then in November I had 20 years in. And then I - that was too late in the year to come home for doing anything so I said “Well, let me work until January.” My birthday was the second of January, so I - that gave me an extra 50 cents or 25 cents or something (indistinct words)


John Foley: Well, you might as well do it since the weather wasn’t too good to come home in. You know, to stay around in the wintertime here.


Marian Cousins: We did and he did - he was the handyman around the park while I was at work. Somebody had a leaky faucet or they had an emergency of some sort that they thought - women thought was an emergency so he was all over the place.


John Foley: He was busy, too. Well, people know when there’s a person that knows how to do things like that. They sometimes take a little advantage, but he probably didn’t mind doing it.


Marian Cousins: He didn’t mind. It kept him occupied.


John Foley: He liked helping people, probably.


Marian Cousins: Yes. He did.


John Foley: They were grateful, I’m sure.


Marian Cousins: They - how we met our next door neighbor - was the one that was the - she was an alcoholic finally, but she was an engineer in the shop and they owned property in New Hampshire on Winnisquam Lake and - but he got to be a real embarrassment to her. He came home drunk one night and when he - you come in and then turned this way and go round to start round the circle and he missed the turn and plowed right across his lawn - - -


John Foley: Oh, my gosh.


Marian Cousins: - - - and almost into the trailer.


John Foley: Oh dear.


Marian Cousins: So, Orris went out - it was probably 10:00 - I don’t know, it might have been - probably later than that after - when we’d gotten home. Anyway, he went out and got him out of the car and took him up to the room and took him in and put him to bed so that they wouldn’t be calling the cops and that’s how we met her.


John Foley: Oh, yes, yes.


Marian Cousins: But, of course she was embarrassed. with all that.


John Foley: Oh sure, sure.


Marian Cousins: And she didn’t neighbor with any of them around there, but one across the street, she couldn’t help but neighbor with because she would nudge her. When I broke my leg, she was on that side. We were on this side and I was over here by - up a couple of houses from her when I broke my leg and she knew there was something going on because she saw the man down a couple - down below us on our side run up to - she - when Orris backed the wagon around and he and Kippy put me in, before they got me in there, she had a pillow under my head.


John Foley: Oh, my gosh! What did you do? Fall? Was that how you broke it?


Marian Cousins: Well, I stood right up - I was - while he’d been downtown I was trying to ride a bicycle and I said to him “Orris, I can’t.” He says - he come home from downtown, he said “How did you make out?” I said, “I can’t make those - - -


John Foley: Pedals go?


Marian Cousins: “- - - the brakes on the handlebars work.” He said “Pull over there and let me see what you’re doing.” So, I went across the lawn and up here and there was a car coming up the road so I stopped and there’s a curve about like so and of course they had nice heavy lawns and I had on crepe soled shoes and he said “Cme on.” And, I said “There’s a car coming, Orris.” And, I lost my balance and instead of dropping that bicycle I held on to it and pulled my foot in coming so I lost my balance and I broke - I heard one snap but before I could get down - but, I didn’t let myself fall - I broke all three bones off.


John Foley: Oh! Holy cow!


Marian Cousins: I said to him, “I’ve broken my leg.” He said, “You couldn’t have.” He ran to me and picked my up and when he did, it looked just like this.


John Foley: Oh gee! Holy Cow!


Marian Cousins: So, he said “I guess you did.” And, Lucy, the one that had the lettuce farm right there, she said to her husband “Go quick, something’s happened to Marian.” So the other neighbors saw him running and so Orris just passed me to him and backed the wagon around. I was out five months with that.


John Foley: Oh, boy. That’s a bad break.


Marian Cousins: I’ve got the pins in there.


John Foley: Yes, I can imagine. Jeeze!


Marian Cousins: They did a good job.


John Foley: It still works good. I mean,


Marian Cousins: But that isn’t what we want. I’d like to know what - something that would be of interest them that would - that Barbara and I both know about.


John Foley: Well, try and think of what you really think is really unique about Alexander - what is really good about this place. I mean, a lot of people stay here. Some people are coming now from outside and so on, but what is good about this area or the community? There must be something - something special. You think?


Marian Cousins: Well, it is. The atmosphere here is - everybody - there’s still some of that. They - now like the churches down here. I’ve never been to the Open Bible. I always went to the one in Woodland, but they’ve sent me a plant and - - -


Barbara: The basket.


Marian Cousins: - - - an Easter basket and they let us know that we were on their prayer list and it’s just - well, it’s not like being in the city or a bigger town or something where people don’t care. They do care here. Elizabeth McVicar, I didn’t - don’t know her that well but there’s one plant in there that she and Foster and Linda Renault sent me and then Elizabeth’s had it in the paper that I was doing better and that it would be nice to see me out - and you know those are - those are the things about Alexander. It’s caring.


John Foley: I - I agree with you, because when my wife and I first came up and were building our house - we were just starting building our house. We’d just got here - been here maybe a week or two and we didn’t even have anything. We were camping out and Robert MacArthur came down in the field and he said to me “Do you want a job?” And, I said “You don’t even know me. What do you mean a job?” And he said, “Well I work for Lawrence a lot and we thought, you know, you might need a job.” He came right down and offered it to me. A number of times people have done things like that, you know - in my experience - just little things, but you know they show that people consider. They really pay attention to other people and they don’t interfere with them. They don’t want to bother them, but on the other hand, they help, you know, out in some ways like that.


Marian Cousins: Well they - John and Marie come every day. All winter they walk up here. And, they bring in my mail and then of course Foster takes care of John’s house down there when they aren’t there and he baby-sits dogs and all for people, so I just said to him, “Foster, you going to look after PeeWee while I’m gone and he said “No problem.” Well, he’s been here going on five months.


John Foley: Oh my gosh!


Marian Cousins: And, he calls me Granny on the Beverly Hillbillies and he’s just - - -


Barbara: He said your picture was in the paper.


Marian Cousins: Huh?


Barbara: He said your picture was in the paper.


Marian Cousins: Yes. Yes, he said - what - who - who was in the paper? Was it Granny?


Barbara: He said your picture was in the paper.


Marian Cousins: Yes, but it was - - -


Barbara: I don’t know.


Marian Cousins: An awful looking old lady.


John Foley: Anyway, it was a joke, huh?


Marian Cousins: Yes. My picture was in the paper. But, he said, “Poor John,” when he left this morning because you had to come back here and suffer through me again, he said.


John Foley: I saw him last night and he was kind of getting a kick out the fact that I had to come back. I said “I enjoy talking to Marian - I really, you know - and Barbara. They tell me things about the past and I really find it interesting.”


Barbara: He gets Marian so wound up in the morning, she says, “Get out.” And he says, “I’ll be back.”


Marian Cousins: Yes, he says he makes me happy every morning. He says, “I’ll be back” and I - “Oh, Foster, just go.”


John Foley: Well, I think - see, you know, sometimes people talk about the scenery - - -


(Marian and Barbara talking at the same time - can’t be transcribed)


John Foley: - - - and the beauty of the lakes - - -


(Marian and Barbara talking at the same time - can’t be transcribed)


Marian Cousins: There’s everything here, too. There’s a lake down here and there’s - - -


Barbara: There’s Breakneck Mountain.


Marian Cousins: Yes, and they have a ski thing over there - but they had - and there’s Dwelley’s Lake, we always called it - Pleasant Lake. And, there’s Meddybemps Lake. Of course from where we were born and brought up, there was a beautiful view.


John Foley: Oh, there’s a great view over there, down over the hill.


Marian Cousins: And, Barrows Lake. There’s all kind of fish in here and there’s trout brooks and all and people like to fish together, and they just - not like Fletch and Pard - and I have no problem at all getting to town when I need to go. I’ve got to go to the doctor Thursday but Harrison Fletcher will be around and Barbara’s here, too, if I had to - Harrison, they go in - before I had the surgery I was going two or three mornings a week with them to Dunkin Donuts for coffee


John Foley: Oh yes? They’re almost always there.


Marian Cousins: Yes. Yes, they go every day out - they said they had to cut down a little bit now with the gasoline of course is so high.


John Foley: I was going to say, it’s expensive donuts to go in there every single day just to use the gas. Yes.


Marian Cousins: But anyway, they - and they brought me down trout for - that they’d been out fishing - they keep me - she’s always making something and bringing it. We share recipes. We - they - if I can’t find one, I call her or somebody I know’s got it. My niece, Krista, she’ll call me - maybe - she’s doing a lot better now with her cooking and all, but she’ll call me perhaps four or five times while she’s making something.


John Foley: Oh, really. Getting some more pointers, yes.


Marian Cousins: And, her kids, they’ll call me and say, “Aunt Mamie, tell me again how to make those pancakes.” And - it’s - and everybody wants - waits to get back here, now. There’s Buster’s camps down there. Of course Larry put the other two through bankruptcy. Clayton Blake’s got one of them and his sister - I think it’s his sister that has the other one, but they’re right there along side of Buster’s and - so those kids are looking forward to vacation when they can come up here. They bought - I think they bought - they had a sale at the canoe place and they - some of them bought a canoe and they bought kayaks for each of those grandchildren for Christmas presents. It’s just - it’s almost like a family for Orrington. Of course Norma lives down there. She’s got a house just the other side of that camp and Norma and Bernard Donahue - do you know them?


John Foley: No.


Marian Cousins: She used to work at the town office with Dede - not Dede but Shirley.


John Foley: Yes, I think - yes, I’ve seen her. I know who you mean.


Marian Cousins: They’ve got - they’ve built a place down there and of course Patsy Hill is Beverly’s - she was born and brought up along side of her and Earl is a brother to Beverly’s ex-husband.


John Foley: Oh, ok. That’s the connection. I was trying to think of - because I had those kids in school, too. Patsy’s kids. And, I was wondering - I knew there was some connection but I didn’t know. So, Beverly’s first husband - they were - - -


Marian Cousins: Was a brother to him.


John Foley: A brother to Earl.


Marian Cousins: And Bev and Patsy were brought like sisters side by side down on Buster’s place out there and Patsy’s mother lived in that little house where they live today. That’s where they raised those children. What’s the name of that street? Arm Street.


John Foley: Ok, Arm Street.


Marian Cousins: And, they always went to school together and then those twins, the boys, was Jimmy’s age. They still call Beverly their sister - one of them there, Chester will say, “Huh! Even if she is my sister, she won’t get here until the supper is almost over with.” He’s always telling that. But then of course Patsy’s kids - they all - everybody calls me Aunt Mamie. Patsy’s youngest one got married last year and she’s expecting a new baby so that’s a big deal for everybody. And, Mike and Cindy, they’re like a brother and sister - I was - we were out there on Christmas Eve - we go there most of the time on Christmas Eve and that’s where I had my first stroke.


John Foley: Oh really?


Marian Cousins: Yes. I said to Cindy - I was raising the dickens - Mike teases the daylights out of you, anyway and - “Cindy, what would make my face all prickly and I’m drooling.” I didn’t - it didn’t dawn on me what was wrong, and she said, “I don’t know but why don’t we go get checked out?” And I said, “No way. Do you think I’m going down to the emergency room on Christmas Eve?” So the next morning they wanted me to go and I said, “I’m not going down there on Christmas Day. I’m staying right here.” I was up to Beverly’s. So the next morning, they - Jane called and wanted me to come up to her house - Jane - Harvard’s daughter - (indistinct words) she married Billy Delmonico and so she called up and she said, “We’ve got a lot of stuff left over from - like hors d’oeuvres and those things and some turkey. Come on out and have a meal with us now, Will.” I said, “All right. It will take me a few minutes and I’ll get the car out and I’ll be out.” And, boy they didn’t want that so they got on the - they’d - she and Bev had been talking anyway so they - Bev called me right back and she said, “Kim’s on her way out to get you.” And, I said, “Well, I’m going down to Jane’s.” And, she said, “Well, she wants to go to town and she’ll take you to town and we’ll visit some with Jane.” And I - so I - they were afraid that they couldn’t trust me. So Clarissa got in on the act and she called me and she said, “Fletcher and I are going in town. Do you want to go in town with us?”


John Foley: Oh gee. You had more rides, huh?


Marian Cousins: And, I said, “Well, why don’t I. I’ll call Kimberly and tell her and I’ll ride in with you and you drop me off at Jane’s. All right?” So then that quieted them down. Well, they drove into Jane’s yard and I didn’t get into Jane’s. The car was all warmed up. They pushed me out of Fletcher’s car and into Jane’s car and I went to the hospital for a week.


John Foley: Oh my gosh!


Marian Cousins: You see, this is what Alexander is all about.


John Foley: Yes, there’s a lot of people that are concerned. Some of them are relatives and some of them aren’t. They’re interested in helping other people out.


Marian Cousins: A lot of them can be relatives because Clarissa’s Orris’ niece, but then Fletcher and his family was brought up down on the flat and they went to the same school that we went to. There’s a lot of history and closeness with all of them. And, Carl, of course, he was - he’s different than Fletcher, but he’s married to my niece.


John Foley: How is - how is Vivian related to you? I know she’s - - -


Marian Cousins: She’s Paul’s daughter.


John Foley: Ok, she’s Paul’s daughter. All right. Ok.


Marian Cousins: Vivian’s the one that we - Vivian and Bussy, when their mother left, we brought - - -


John Foley: Oh, ok.


Marian Cousins: - - - brought up over to the house with Paul.


John Foley: Oh, ok. All right, now I get it.

Marian Cousins: But those kids - their mother, she used - she had some boyfriends and they’d come back - of course they lived right across the road from Dad’s and she’d come back down on the weekend to see her mother in her boyfriend’s car and they’d throw out beer bottles on the lawn for the kids. Well, she thought she was doing them a favor by them having the five cents - - -


John Foley: Yeah, right. Well, that’s not much of a favor.


Marian Cousins: Well, it was - they knew that it was drinking - the kids did. That wasn’t good, but she didn’t think - but those kids showed her more affection when she came back over there with Everett than they did their father. But, Everett wouldn’t allow that and neither would Rowena. The night Paul got killed, Everett was in taking a shower and Vivian - Rowena was out in the other room and she let a holler out of her and she said, “Ooo, Everett,” she said, “something awful just happened.” And, that was when Paul died.


John Foley: Really? Oh, my gosh.


Marian Cousins: I think she still thought a lot of Paul. And he did of her. They went - when Vivian and Carl were married they - the four of them went down to Florida for the wedding.


John Foley: Oh, they did? Well, it’s good to get along a little bit after you separate


Marian Cousins: They - they get along all right. They had - Vivian went over there for Christmas dinner and she said, “Did you leave your father some dinner?” “No,” she said, “he can do it.” She said, “You go back home and get your father.” And Paul and Everett were good pals. Everett worked in the mill and Paul did and they got to be real good friends until one night after they went bowling they went to - that one that’s closed on North Street, there now - what was that?


John Foley: Oh. Oh, I know - I’m trying to think.


Marian Cousins: They had a stripper there, and Everett got a little - - -


Barbara: I forget what it’s called.


John Foley: I forget the name of it, too, but I know where you mean.


Marian Cousins: Well, anyway, Rowena found out about it and then she didn’t let him go with Paul. She let Paul - let him go with Paul before that any time, anywhere. She found out about - - -


Barbara: She met Everett in Bangor, didn’t she?


Marian Cousins: Yes.


Barbara: He was in the service, I think.

Marian Cousins: Yes, he was in the service. The one she thought she was going to have when she left Paul - her mother had had cancer and she was up there having treatments.


Barbara: (Indistinct words)


Marian Cousins: Yes, she was up there having treatments and Rowena was with her and she and this guy were sporting around and that was fine with Mrs. White but the other mother - that was fine with her until they come back home and Rowena picked up and come back and when she did, the day she came back that was the day the mother went down and got him signed up in the army.


John Foley: Oh, my gosh.


Marion Cousins: So, he didn’t - that didn’t work out so she found others but Everett was from out west somewhere. Kansas, was it?


Barbara: (Indistinct words)




Marian Cousins: He was homesick of course and so they hit it off, but they - - -


Barbara: (indistinct words)


Marian Cousins: He took real good care of her.


John Foley: Yes, you can get the cat on the table and get a little more background.


Barbara: Yes.


John Foley: He’s going to be quiet now.


Marian Cousins: So. I don’t think this morning we’ve touched on even some of the things - - -