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Description

In this interview, Catherine Tift Porter recalls her experiences on the home front in Atlanta during World War II. She recalls her childhood and schooling. She describes the times just prior to and the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor. She was at the movies watching "Sergeant York" on the day of the attack. She describes hearing President Roosevelt's speech. She describes living conditions during the war; she knitted socks, visited wounded soldiers and went to tea dances. She describes her brother's attendance at Annapolis and his war service in Korea. She recalls the feelings of society at President Roosevelt's death. She describes the preparations her husband was involved in as part of the Joint Assault Signal Company (JASCO) preparing to invade Japan, and the way she felt about the atomic bomb. She recalls attending the Chicago World's Fair in 1933. She discusses the growth of Atlanta in her lifetime. She describes seeing the Enola Gay on display in Washington, D.C.. She reports on the effect of the war on industry; her father owned a mill that produced canvas and rope. She recalls being prompted to apply for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). She discusses the change in women's employment since the war.
Catherine Porter was a civilian living in Atlanta during World War II.
JOEL BRUCKNER: This is May 5th, 2004. We’re at the Atlanta History Center in Atlanta Georgia. My name is Joel Bruckner [PHONETIC] and I’m with Catherine Porter. And Catherine Porter is participating as an interviewee in the Veteran’s History Project, and Ms. Porter we really appreciating you coming today, would you give me your name, the spelling, and tell me when and where you born? CATHERINE PORTER: My name is Catherine T. Porter, C-A-T-H-E-R-I-N-E P-O-R-T-E-R. And I was born in Atlanta. I lived here all my life. JOEL BRUCKNER: And when were you born in Atlanta, what is your birthday? CATHERINE PORTER: I was born July 15, 1922. JOEL BRUCKNER: You have a birthday coming up pretty soon? Where do you live now? CATHERINE PORTER: I live very close to the History Center. JOEL BRUCKNER: Ms. Porter would you tell us a little bit about your upbringing in Atlanta and your family, and what it was like growing up in Atlanta during that period of time? CATHERINE PORTER: Well we lived on Fourteen Street, which now has Colony Square and Four Seasons, and everything else. But it was all residential then. And I was there until I was about seven and then we moved to the country which was Ansley Park. And most of my life was in that Ansley Park. And I went to Spring Street School and then went to Washington Center which was just a girl’s, only about two hundred students there, girl’s high school. I graduated and went to Sweet Briar College in Virginia between Lynchburg and Charlottesville. JOEL BRUCKNER: Did you graduate form Sweet Briar? CATHERINE PORTER: Graduated there in ’44. JOEL BRUCKNER: So you were in college when World War II started? CATHERINE PORTER: Yes. I was nineteen. JOEL BRUCKNER: Tell us a little bit about life before the war started, before Pearl Harbor was bombed? What was the attitude of people and their fears or war concerns? CATHERINE PORTER: I can remember Sweet Briar’s out in the country kind of. So, we studied hard during the week, but on the weekends the girls liked to go places. And so we would go to all the colleges and we were going to Annapolis a lot. And they had a place there for the girls to stay, Caldwell Hall. On Sunday afternoons the whole academy would march, they would have these parades every Sunday afternoon in the big stadium for spectators to sit in. And I remember watching these boys parade up and down the field and I thought you know they’re all going to be killed. And we knew something was going to happen because you see Hitler had already gone into Poland ’39, I mean the war really had started abroad. And so if you had any sense at all, you knew ultimately the United States would be drawn into it somehow. We didn’t know about Japan. JOEL BRUCKNER: What was the attitude of young adults at the time, your friends’ attitude about potential war? CATHERINE PORTER: As I said I was there when I watched these fine looking young men all in, you know, straight aisles going up and down the field in these uniforms. And all of them going to VMI also, which is in Virginia, and having the same sort of feeling that these young men would some day would be important. JOEL BRUCKNER: Where were you when Pearl Harbor was bombed? CATHERINE PORTER: As I said on the weekends we took off and that weekend I had gone to Lynchburg which is about ten or fifteen miles from Sweet Briar, and they had a bus we could ride into Lynchburg. And I went to the movies. And I had seen Sergeant York, which was about World War I. And I think it was Gary Cooper and I came out of the movies, wonderful movie, about World War I and these little boys were going up and down the street selling Extra’s Newspapers. This was in the afternoon and so they had time to print something because Pearl Harbor happened in the early morning apparently. And they were saying Pearl Harbor had been bombed, and I thought what in the world, am I still back in the movie, I can’t believe this. You know it was just unbelievable to come out of a World War I movie and hear that we had been bombed, and we knew that meant we were going to war. So, then we all came back and we didn’t have television you see until after World War II, so we had to hear what we heard even through the newspapers on radio. JOEL BRUCKNER: Tell us about that day, that as the day went on and you were talking with your friends and witnessing what people were saying? CATHERINE PORTER: Well because there was great commotion all up and down the street, and then we caught our bus and went on back to school. And we had gotten back to school, that was all anybody could talk about. Now I don’t remember whether we gathered and listened on the radio or how we you know, but we knew what had happened. We just, you know, we just knew. But I remember listening, I guess it was on the radio, Roosevelt was very, Franklin Roosevelt was very eloquent as we all know, and I remember he was talking about a day of infamy. And he was declaring war. So we kept up with all of it, but I guess it was by radio, it had to be by radio. JOEL BRUCKNER: So as time went on from that day? CATHERINE PORTER: We just went on just because we were out there in the boon docks, and so we went on and just stayed. And anything we knew came in the form of radio or talking to people on the telephone, our families, or the young boys we knew. JOEL BRUCKNER: Did you know quite a few boys who ended up going overseas? CATHERINE PORTER: All right one of my favorite friends was Adam Ansler. And he was a senior, and so this was December 7, ’41, and so they about the next week graduated that class, of course that was about six months early and gave them their orders. And he went to Norfolk, he was assigned to a battleship the USS Idaho, it was in Norfolk. And I remember the next weekend or so getting permission to go to Norfolk and see him before they sailed. And that was extremely interesting because you see, we, most of our ships had been destroyed out there or damaged in some way at Pearl Harbor. And so our Atlantic fleet was in tack still but he was pretty worn. So, this ship I remember it was very elegant it had paneled, we ate in the dining room now. The officers ate together you see and he was just an infantry, but even so we ate in this paneled dining room. And they had Filipino mess boys, as they call them, waiting on you. And I remember they had silver napkin rings, real silver each one of the officers with their name on it. And that impressed me. And then after dinner, we went into a room and they had a movie. So, it was sort of pre-war. It was very elegant but still. JOEL BRUCKNER: Sounds like it. CATHERINE PORTER: But that was just the same month as Pearl Harbor. We hadn’t got into all the ship building and the twenty-four, what happened during the war. JOEL BRUCKNER: Was the war on the subject of what everybody was talking about? CATHERINE PORTER: If they were peace, peace. See they had gone to war there; they’d only been in a short time. So, it was later when things heated up. JOEL BRUCKNER: Okay, now where did he go? CATHERINE PORTER: He was sent to the Pacific. JOEL BRUCKNER: Did you correspond with him at all? CATHERINE PORTER: Yes, yes. And that was not a problem. He was out there about two years and then he came back and he wanted to go into the Air Force. And so he requested, and they would do that, they would let them transfer off the ship and go for training for air. JOEL BRUCKNER: Tell us a little bit to the extent you can about his letters? You know what he said; I mean what he said, or what his experiences were when he was on there? CATHERINE PORTER: Well. JOEL BRUCKNER: Your reaction when you would see a letters from him? CATHERINE PORTER: You know it’s a shame I destroyed those letters, but so many of them, you move from house to house. He was later killed anyway so, I didn’t save them. JOEL BRUCKNER: He got killed in the war? CATHERINE PORTER: Actually he was really; he was a squadron leader in North Island, which is in San Diego the air base there. And they’re not sure what happened to him. He went out one day and they never had an S.O.S or whatever you send out. And when they came back in, he wasn’t with them. So, you can say he was killed. JOEL BRUCKNER: Yeah. Did a lot of your friends in college, a lot of them girls have boyfriends? CATHERINE PORTER: Oh yes, oh yes and a lot of them married. They preferred, they would leave college and get married, and I think they felt that they rather be with this person they were so crazy about for a short time even if they do not come back. Even this lost their lives. And sometimes they did overseas. JOEL BRUCKNER: How did your life change as a student once the war started as far as the things you would do day to day and the blackouts? CATHERINE PORTER: Well you won’t believe this. Here we were out in the boon docks and we would have blackouts, but they would let you know ahead of time, because we couldn’t stay in there if they were having blackouts all the time. And then we would have soup days, where we would have just soup. And the money that would have gone for all that food for the students went for the war effort. It was total war; the United States was just total war efforts. As you know that from papers and books and all that, I mean you couldn’t bacon I remember but once a month, or we had meat rations and gas of course was rationed, everything, eggs, you couldn’t get but a dozen of eggs about once a month. We didn’t have much, we had plenty to eat, but it was rationed. And one thing, I remember about the ladies, couldn’t get any nylons stockings, because all the nylon was for parachutes and whatever they needed. And let’s see what else, of course. And then everybody was in the service. Every able body, young man from about seventeen to forty-five. Now as they got older, I think they could choose. But my age, a teenager and even to twenty-five at least they were told to be drafted. Nobody was out; everybody I knew went to war. It was in uniforms, and they all looked good in uniforms. And a lot of them married; well you want me to tell you about Atlanta? JOEL BRUCKNER: Yes. CATHERINE PORTER: What went on here? JOEL BRUCKNER: Yeah that would be real interesting to us. CATHERINE PORTER: All right when I graduated which was ’44 came back to Atlanta and we rolled bandages for the Red Cross, what do you call them? Knitted socks if you can believe it, we knitted socks for the soldiers. And there was this house that used to be SAE house of Georgia Tech, they converted it into a Red Cross, I mean for all of us to come and roll bandages and send stuff overseas. It was right across the street from the Biltmore Hotel, on West Peachtree. And then, so we rolled bandages, we knitted socks, we sold war bonds. There was a counter or what ever you want to call it, in the main lobby of the C&S Bank down at Five Points that was the C&S Bank Headquarters at that time. And so there was a counter where you could stay and sell war bonds, and people were buying war bonds like crazy. So we did that. Also there was a hospital out in North Atlanta, near Chamblee called Lawson General Hospital, and some of us who were young of course, they asked us to go out and visit and sit and talk with the boys that had been injured see and were there. And I remember one day going to see one, I’ll never forget this. In those days everybody smoked, there was nobody who didn’t smoke. Now I didn’t, but most people smoked. And this boy was in the bed of course, and he had on a flannel robe. And he was smoking which was allowed, but it was not inflammable. And all of a sudden I looked at this boy, and he was on fire. I mean all these flames were coming up. I was horrified and with that I threw myself on top of him and peed on him and everything. JOEL BRUCKNER: Saved his life. CATHERINE PORTER: I couldn’t believe it, but anyway he didn’t burn up and neither did I. But I remember that, and then I remember they had a life ward out there at the hospital, and they must have been boys who were disturbed or something in someway. And I remember going on the life ward one time, and I thought uh-oh what’s this going to be like. But it was fine, there was nothing; they just locked the door behind you because maybe these people would get out. Let’s see Lawson, oh and then this was, this had a real impact on the girls my age, let’s say 19 to 20 say 21 entering World War II. There was a lady named Miss Wilma Dutton and I don’t think this was sponsored by the USO, but it could have been. And she took it; she took it on herself to have these tea dances in the afternoon at the Georgian Terrace Hotel. And invited all of us, all the people she knew, I mean of that age girls. And there must have been fifty of us at least that would go, we wouldn’t go to every dance but we they were fun because she’d invite all the boys out there from the naval airbase, which again was out near Lawson General Hospital, anyway North Atlanta, there was a Naval Air Base out there. And those boys were perky go light, they were just trained and getting ready to go overseas. So, they were pilots, and more marriages came from these tea dances, I mean half of my friends met their husbands at those tea dances that Miss Dutton had at the at the Georgian Terrace. JOEL BRUCKNER: That’s amazing. CATHERINE PORTER: Isn’t that something? JOEL BRUCKNER: Yes. CATHERINE PORTER: And I kept up with those friends for years. I’d go see them, they’d been, and you know they moved out of Atlanta. They all lived all over everywhere, but they left Atlanta to marry these boys. JOEL BRUCKNER: That’s pretty interesting. Did any of your family members go into the service? CATHERINE PORTER: I just have one brother who’s younger than I am, and he ended up going to Annapolis and graduated in ’49. So, see he was too young for the World War II, or just missed it. And he would go in the Korean War in ’50. JOEL BRUCKNER: Yeah, when you were in Atlanta, or were in college, did you know any Japanese or German decent families of people that were victims of the war? CATHERINE PORTER: I knew, and I’m not going to name of course who they are, two German families. And I was told that the FBI kept a watch on them. I don’t know whether the people themselves ever knew that or not. JOEL BRUCKNER: Yeah. CATHERINE PORTER: But I heard that. Now when I was in college one summer I was a counselor at a camp in West Virginia, Camp Allen Gaines, which was very near the Greenbrier Hotel. And we all heard the name of the hotel and on our day off like a Saturday afternoon, they’d give us a half a day off from camp. We went and I remember going up to the gates of the Greenbrier, and looking in the gates and there Japanese were interned in there. But it was a gorgeous place to be interned. So, I don’t know whether those Japanese were of a certain level or what because you hear so many stories about that it was not the best thing in the world for some Japanese. But those at the Greenbrier had the luxury. JOEL BRUCKNER: Where were you when you found out the war was over? CATHERINE PORTER: Well my biggest memory was when Roosevelt died, because you see all of us thought Roosevelt was wonderful. Because we came along in the depression you see, and Roosevelt came in and closed the banks and got into the CCC WPA and all these different programs, which my father fumed the map over because he probably was a Capitalist or something. And those people didn’t care for Roosevelt, but the young who were still ideally speaking, thought everybody should be more tolerant. We don’t figure out that our parents had to have some money to pay for us to go to college, you know, but we were full of idealism. So, Roosevelt, I married December 7th of ’44. Somebody said why did you do that, and I said so we could remember the anniversary. And my husband was still in the Navy, so we were sent out to San Diego. And I remember the Navy had taken over the Del Coronado Hotel. So we again were living in luxury really but we didn’t stay there about three weeks though because our money gave out. And then we went to boarding house. But while we were at the Del Coronado I remember we were at the pool one day and somebody came out and said Roosevelt had died. We were just like, we thought, what in the world is going to happen to us? We can’t survive Truman, as it ended up Truman made some very difficult just wonderful decisions. JOEL BRUCKNER: Yeah. CATHERINE PORTER: But then when the war was over, okay, my husband was taken off the ship and that was when we married, when between when he was taken off the ship and put with a group called Joy Assault, they called them JASCO, Joint Assault Signal Corps. And they were people who had been on ships, and we were getting ready to invade Japan, which none of us knew. But it was going to be just like D-day in Europe. It as going to be D-day in Japan and so they took these Navy people that had been on a ship and understood the communications and how that worked. And they were going to land with the Marines or the Army, whoever was going in on the overseas, and they would have all the radio equipment you see, and would do the communications between the ship and the shoreline. It was the same thing they did on Europe. And so my husband after a while was sent to the Philippines. And I came back home and stayed with my family. And this must have been about soon after Roosevelt died in April of ’45; this time would have been maybe late August or ’45. And I mean they knew the war was over of course I was still over there because they told my husband they could come on home because he wasn’t on a ship, he wasn’t attached to anything. But then we had to go down to Jacksonville for him to be there close to the house, so we stayed down there for about a month or so before we got to just go home. JOEL BRUCKNER: What was the feeling of your friends and just generally the populist that you were around when the bombs were dropped? CATHERINE PORTER: When the first one was dropped, I remember thinking how horrible because of course they, we still didn’t have TV. down, but we knew lots of people had been killed and it was awful. But you couldn’t help but think this is going to stop everything. Then of course when the second one was dropped that did stop everything. That was my feeling of relief. This is the end, it’s over, and everybody can come home. Great relief, and also I knew that my husband’s life had been saved. I remember going up to see the Nola Gay airplane in Washington, and there was a young teenager. This was many years later when they put the Nola Gay airplane on exhibition, and this young teenager in front of me. He said he wasn’t going; he didn’t want to see that, that had dropped those and killed all those people. Well I couldn’t stand it; I tapped him on the shoulder. I said look you see this man right here; I said he is alive because of that, and I said probably millions of Japanese. I said they were awful, the last man, they were not going to give up their island. We would have lost, no telling how many people, and I said that saved all of our lives. JOEL BRUCKNER: Good for you. CATHERINE PORTER: I couldn’t help but say something. JOEL BRUCKNER: Well I’m glad you did. CATHERINE PORTER: Because it saved my husband’s life. They had told my husband that [Unintelligible]. JOEL BRUCKNER: What happened on the day the Japanese surrendered in Atlanta or wherever you were? What kind of celebration was there, and what was the? CATHERINE PORTER: Of course I had seen pictures of that since, but I guess those were in the Newspaper still. Because I think it was ’46, ’47’, ’48 before we got the TV. The first TV I ever saw I was fascinated; we didn’t even have washing machines and dryers, and things like that until after World War II. Because I remembered one of my friends had a dryer and washing machine, and I went over to look at it. JOEL BRUCKNER: Did you watch her use it? CATHERINE PORTER: She was rich, she could afford one. JOEL BRUCKNER: When did you see your first TV? CATHERINE PORTER: You won’t believe this, but back when I was twelve or thirteen; my mother took me to the Chicago’s World Fair. It was back in the early ‘30’s. They had the knowledge then, and how to do it. And there was this, and they wanted me to sit in front of something and had my face protected you know, and I was so timid and I wouldn’t do it. And my mother said, one day you’ll be sorry you didn’t do it. But they knew a long time ago how to do this, they just never produced one. And so I don’t remember exactly the first time, yes I did, I think the first one I saw was in Rich’s and they were televising some models, and showing them on some live models there at Rich’s, girls modeling clothes. I think that’s the first time I ever saw one. JOEL BRUCKNER: I know this has nothing to do with World War II, but what was your view of that. The reaction to the Chicago World’s fair as a twelve year old? CATHERINE PORTER: Oh that was exciting, because I wanted to hear about Chicago when there were games you know and Al Capone and all that. I had heard of that as children, maybe movies or something I don’t know. And we had not been in the hotel for twenty minutes when my mother had not liked the room they had picked for us. So, she called to the manager and the manager comes to show us another room. It was not a big hotel, and evidentially it was out near the University of Chicago. It was not in downtown Chicago, it must have been out. And somebody came in and robbed the hotel. We hadn’t been there any time, and I said, “oh me.” Just when I had heard about Chicago and I remember looking in the paper and it wasn’t mentioned in the paper of course. JOEL BRUCKNER: What is the biggest change you’ve seen in Atlanta since from the time you were growing up and now? CATHERINE PORTER: Well of course putting the expressway through Atlanta was a big, big impact. In fact the expressway, the interstates, [Unintelligible] had connected everything. See I can remember when you went out into the country and there wasn’t any electricity at all. But here in Atlanta, I think, the interstate and then of course all the tall buildings all that had been built and everything, there’s just so much around you. But the biggest thing would be the interstate for me that changed. JOEL BRUCKNER: Going back to World War II just before we head back. A lot of things were going on, did you realize at the time that was one of the most significant historical events in the world history really? CATHERINE PORTER: Well it certainly affected our lives, because it went on for four years, and to a young person four years is a long time. And I think in my mind I just thought it was going on forever. Young people are very adaptable, they accept whatever happens. This is just part of life. And so, I just thought, we’re just going to be in war a long time. And I don’t think you, you didn’t think beyond really. I just thought we were going to be, of course then after the war we were concerned about, we began to realize, we liked our way of life, and we didn’t want to be communistic. So, we liked our form of government, thought we had the best form of government. But as a young person, I don’t know that we looked far enough ahead of what was going to happen after the war. And certainly did not see Korea, you know I didn’t see the Korea War. JOEL BRUCKNER: Well your story is really fascinating. Is there anything else, you’d like to preserve for prosperity about your life or your upbringing in Atlanta, particularly your experiences in World War II or after World War II before we end our interview? CATHERINE PORTER: Atlanta to me is a just a gorgeous city, and I’ve traveled the world. And I think in the spring there’s no more beautiful place than Atlanta with the Dogwood and gorgeous homes. The people in Atlanta, their homes have meant a great deal to them. The people with the most money had land and beautiful homes. And the things kind of kind went [Unintelligible], as you know the south didn’t really rise again until after World War II really. There was no bread money in Atlanta. I remember hearing Bill Slang [PHONETIC] who was the head of C&S Bank, say if you needed big kind of money, and this was probably back in the ’50’s, he said you still had to go to Boston or New York. The insurance companies were from Boston for big money, he said you can’t get it, and he was head of the bank. And after World War II Texas money came in, Oklahoma money came in. People came in and invested in Real Estate. JOEL BRUCKNER: Is there anything that has happened in your life, just as far as the impact on the country that matched your experiences of going to World War II? CATHERINE PORTER: [Unintelligible]. JOEL BRUCKNER: Is anything, in your opinion, impacted your life or our country as much as World War II? You lived through it, and you saw it, and you were there, anything that impacted? CATHERINE PORTER: Not in my lifetime, no. Of course I think in several boys, unfortunately the big events in the history of this country, you know is a tragedy anyway you look at it. Which ever side you’re on, it was a tragedy to have a war. But in my life time I guess World War II certainly was, anyway the depression. Now anybody my age still remembers the depression. And it was very hard to me to spend money or waste money. Because I remember the bread lines, I remember people coming to the house for food. And they weren’t coming for whiskey or something. Now when I grew up we didn’t know a thing about drugs, drugs were just unheard of. Maybe I was just living in a cocoon or something, but everybody smoked. My group didn’t drink, but you did know about that were otherwise alcoholics. JOEL BRUCKNER: Well you’ve been with us for some of the most historical events in this country, and we really appreciate you sharing your experiences? CATHERINE PORTER: Well I’ve lived a long time. JOEL BRUCKNER: Well you’ve lived a good life and you’ve got a lot more to live. CATHERINE PORTER: And I tell you the boys they didn’t argue, they didn’t fuss, they went to war. They wanted to go to war. Some of them volunteered, they were not drafted, they wanted to be in the war. Everybody wanted to fight, everybody wanted to protect this country and our way of life. It was a sacrifice on everybody’s part. My father had of course a yarn mill, and they mad loaf and canvas that helped make tents, because tents were made out of canvas, and bags [Unintelligible] because canvas they ran seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day during the war, but that was just one industry. And they learned [Unintelligible] and different people would come out there and farm, get production you know because of the war effort. This is true in the ship building and whatever. Everything that was being done, it was totally war. I mean this whole country was just geared for war. JOEL BRUCKNER: In unity huh? Well is there anything else you’d like to share with us because you’ve got a lot of great experiences? CATHERINE PORTER: Well I’m sure when I get home I’ll think about it. Well I just remember in Norfolk, they had lights on the ships when they were being built, this was later on during the war. You know our production was twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week in every industry. The airplane industry, the ship, the cotton, the manufacturing, anything they could make they were making it. We need some more people like that. JOEL BRUCKNER: Well yours is a unique story and once again we really appreciate what you did for the country. CATHERINE PORTER: Well I didn’t do anything. JOEL BRUCKNER: During the war and since then. CATHERINE PORTER: Oh one thing, my class graduating at Sweet Briar in ’44, they encouraged us to enlist and become a WAV or a WAC. And about seven in our class did. My family didn’t encourage it. Well I could you tell you one little thing, I was a major in International Studies in French. And I had French all my life so I could speak French and read it and write it, and everything. I went to a little French school when I was about three or four before I went to school. And so [Unintelligible], and so my French professor said, what are your plans after college? And I didn’t have any. And he said, why don’t you, he said you would be well qualified for office of strategic services. Well I didn’t know what in the world officer of strategic services was, and so he arranged it all. He said go into Lynchburg and take a civil service exam, which I did, and evidentially passed it. And so they had that, and I later found out that the FBI had sort of looked into my background, and my life. So I went to Washington, and when I get back, there was this funny looking thing, looked like a mobile home building. Well see everything was just thrown together because you know no big building had been built. And I went in there and the [Unintelligible] was waiting on me, expecting me, you know I had an appointment with them. And she offered me a job immediately; she said we would like to have you. And I said what would I be doing? You know I thought, what is this company, Office of Strategic Services? She said, well you could translate. And I said well that’s fine. And I said how much money I would make. And she said, $135.00 a month, well actually that was good in those days, because my husband only made a $150.00 as infantry. So, that wasn’t too bad. But I knew it would be hard to find a place to live in Washington because it was just jam packed with service people all over the place or somebody working with the government. And I said, well let me see. I can go home and talk to my family, because they would have to supplement where I lived probably. That $135.00 isn’t going to take care of it. And she said well Ms. [Unintelligible] I can assure you that in six months you’ll be making more money but she said we got to start you besides you haven’t ever worked before. And I said I understand that. But anyway I came home and my family did not encourage it. And then I got a letter from them, saying if I would go overseas, they could pay me more money. Well the war was still going on, this was ’44. And that’s when my true cards came out, I thought go overseas and the excitement over there. And I had never been out of this country, or ever in my life had never been anywhere but the United States. I would have [Unintelligible], so instead I got married. JOEL BRUCKNER: I guess your family was glad that you stayed here? CATHERINE PORTER: I know. In those days women were not encouraged, when I came along there were very few jobs for women. There was teaching, nursing, sell clothes, or something like that, or being a secretary. And those were about the four things that women did. They didn’t go on to be lawyers and doctors. And in fact many in the south were not graduates. I thought I was an old maid, and I wasn’t but twenty-two years old. But all my friends had married young, service people. So, it was a different mind set now, women have graduate degrees, their doctors or lawyers, or head of companies. JOEL BRUCKNER: Yeah. CATHERINE PORTER: But it was good. And I’ve often thought about supposed I had gone with the OSS; I would have left the country. JOEL BRUCKNER: Well you’ve led a good one. CATHERINE PORTER: I had five children. JOEL BRUCKNER: Congratulations again on everything you’ve done, and thank you so much for you

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