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Interview #466: Clarenbach, Kathryn F. (September, 2009)

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First Interview Session (September 15, 1987): Tapes 1-2

Listen to First Interview Session (September 15, 1987): Tapes 1-2

00:09

KC peruses a family photo album. She talks about her mother, who was born in Sparta, Wisconsin. The family lived for a time in Kendall, Wisconsin, where her mother, a schoolteacher, settled with her father, a preacher. Her father was stationed in Little Rock, Arkansas during World War I.

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03:39

KC's mother was not college-educated. She taught in a one-room schoolhouse in Summit, Wisconsin. Her parents moved in 1920 to Sparta, where KC was born. Her mother volunteered as a “Gray Lady” in hospitals during World War II.

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07:05

Her father has a B.A. and M.A. from the UW and a law degree from Georgetown, as well as an honorary doctorate from Little Rock College. Both of her parents valued education very much and encouraged their children to take advantage of as much schooling as possible. Her parents financed their children's education through the M.A.; all of them went on for an advanced degree. It was expected they would attend college. KC always wanted to attend the UW. As a child, she visited Madison frequently.

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12:15

KC's parents instilled a sense of history in their children. She shares memories from family trips to the East and West Coasts and Chicago.

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20:47

She discusses her father's occupations. He was a Methodist country preacher. He was also a country lawyer, doing mostly pro bono work, and a state humane officer. He would sometimes combine calls with family fishing/camping trips. His job as a parole and probation officer was his main source of income; he had his office at home.

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28:40

KC's father was a political person. He had served in the state legislature and unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Congress in the mid-20s.

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29:40

KC's mother was a housewife. She did the expense accounts for her husband's state parole and probation job and kept track of reports that were due. She did not function as the typical minister's wife. She participated in some capacity in all of her husband's activities. She had many outside interests and was very community-oriented. She was elected to the school board in the early 20s.

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35:45

KC's parents were both very calm people. She explains how her mother created a team system for chores at home.

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38:31

Enjoying and caring about other family members is a trait from KC's upbringing that has carried over into her own family life. There were no assigned duties in the Clarenbach home; each family member just did what he could when a job needed to be done. Concern for others in the community is another family trait. The Clarenbach family is a good example of equality in the household.

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45:43

KC's mother tried to engage in as many of her own activities as she could, and encouraged KC to do the same. She shares advice her mother gave her. Her parents used to take trips and engage in activities separately.

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49:30

From time to time KC's father received voluntary payment for the ministerial services he rendered. She received part of the “take” when she provided musical accompaniment. All of the family members were musical except her mother.

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52:08

KC did not discuss politics with her mother but did with her father. Whenever a woman did anything of special note, her father used to call it to her attention. KC grew up with many female role models. Every year, her mother invited teachers to dinner to get to know them personally.

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58:00

KC explains why she and her brothers went to Sunday school at the Congregational instead of the Methodist Church. It was more of a social science course than anything else. She also attended a Sunday evening youth group, sang in the choir, and ushered.

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1:01:43

End of tape.

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