Mae F. H. Glynn
Interviewed by Deborah M. George
20 November 2013
Oral History Program
Weber State University
Mae F. H. Glynn
Deborah M. George
20 November 2013
Copyright © 2014 by Weber State University, Stewart Library
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It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:
Glynn, Mae F. H., an oral history by Deborah
M. George, 20 November 2013, WSU
Stewart Library Oral History Program,
Special Collections, Stewart Library, Weber
State University, Ogden, UT.
Mae Glynn, photo taken at her
home on November 20, 2013
The Anytimers Social and Civic Club
1st Annual Formal
September 25, 1964 at the Ben Lomond Motor Hotel
The Anytimers Social and Civic Club
2nd Annual Formal
September 24, 1965 at the Ben Lomond Motor Hotel
Abstract: The following is an oral history interview with Mae Glynn conducted on
November 20, 2013 by Deborah George.
DG: I’m Debbie George. I’ll be interviewing Mae Glynn to tell us a little bit about her
history and how she came to be in Ogden. My first question for you is tell me
your name and birth date.
MG: My name is Mae Glynn. I was born August 12, 1927 in a little town called
Chandler, Oklahoma. We moved from Chandler to Crescent, Oklahoma and
that’s where I grew up and went to school. I had a lot of schoolmates; I had a lot
of fun. We all played and had a good time together and then after I grew up I
moved to California. I was very young when I got married and my husband was a
welder for the shipyards in California during the war.
MG: He was a welder in California and when the war ended we came back to
Oklahoma. I didn’t want to come back because I was trying to stay away from the
farm. I grew up on a farm and we were very poor. So we came back to Oklahoma
and he wanted to farm. At first he bought a team of horses with the money he
had saved up and he tried it by himself. Rented some land, that turned out fairly
MG: We went with the share croppers and we tried that and we didn’t like the way it
was going so that’s why we decided to come to Utah. At that time my father had
moved here and he worked at Hill Air Force Base. We were on our way to
Yacamo, Washington and we stopped in Utah to visit my dad, but during that
time the railroad was booming. My husband went to work for the railroad. That’s
how I got to Ogden, Utah and I’ve been here ever since.
DG: So tell me what are some of the important lessons you’ve learned in life?
MG: The important lessons I’ve learned in life is growing up being an adult, raising a
family and how to get along with people, how to get along with your neighbors to
be a good neighbor. Love one another and I’ve learned to stay in the church
because I feel like religion has a lot to do with my life and I feel like I’ve
accomplished a lot in life by raising five children. I have five children that grew up
here in Ogden, went to school here in Ogden. Each one of them has graduated
from high school and went to college. Ogden is good place to raise children. I
feel like it was a great place to raise children.
So during the time when my kids were in school I went to work here in
Utah right after my husband went to work for the railroad. I worked at a little store
called Diane Hughes at that time they would only let black people get a job in
shipping and receiving. I could press clothes and unpack the boxes, you’d sort
out the clothes and hang them on the racks and take them out to be sold. The
ones that we didn’t sell sometimes I’d have to pack them up and ship them to
another store. I would undress the mannequins in the windows and do the
windows. I did that for 10 years at Diane Hughes. That was the name of the store
that was downtown in Ogden. Then I went to work for Grayson’s and I worked
there for three years doing the same thing. I went to Anita’s shop and worked
there for three years doing the same thing.
Then I ventured out, I went to Marquardt and I worked there as a machine
operator and I made airplane parts. I did that for 3 ½ years and so during this
time I was trying to get a job at Community Action. At that time we had a program
called Community Action and they was allowing the blacks to go to work and just
about everybody could get a job there, but me. So I kept trying and I went to the
employment office, the guy says well I’ll tell you what I think you’re going to like
this job better because this will be a desk job and so he says you want to put in
for it? I said sure so I put in for this job. I thought oh boy what am I getting into
now? I filled out this application and then I got this call from the state capitol in
Salt Lake City stating that I had to come in and take this test. I didn’t know what
the test was about, I was nervous and frightened and I said oh well who cares I’ll
just do the best I can. I went there and looked for a place to park and I parked. I
found this place and I strutted in and they handed me these papers and I said oh
my gosh what am I going to do with these? I looked them over and I took this
test. Then when I took the test I said oh well. I didn’t know how I did on the test
but I turned the paper in. So after the test I went back to Marquardt and
continued to work. I didn’t let on like I put in for another job, I’m going to have a
job before I quit my job. I scored real high on this test, I got a 99 on the test and I
don’t know how I did it. I was the number one on this job to get hired. I turned it
down the first year because it wasn’t going to pay me the money that I was
making at Marquardt.
So the next year I was still on the register and they called me and I went to
work for the employment office. They called it a job developer, I worked on the
Welfare Intervention Program (WIN), it was something special that they had for
the welfare people. We were trying to get as many welfare people off the
program as possible. My job was to develop job opening for a specific welfare
clients by writing, telephoning, and visiting employers. I’d contact employers for
the purpose of promoting job openings and familiarize them with JTPA, Tax
Credits, JT, and Job Services. I also had to interview clients and to determine
appropriate placement activities, then instruct the clients on proper methods of
attaining and retaining employment. I would work with employers to find qualified
applicants. A lot of jobs and we what we called a WIN contract. We would set up
these contracts and if somebody would hire this person they could work for them
for three months and just pay them their salary and stuff and we would pay them
to pay the people. It was a contract and after the contract if they hired this person
then we would get credit for it and they would have a job. I got a lot of girls on at
Hill Air Force Base. I worked there for 23 years. I retired, the year I retired I was
65 years old at that time and since that time I’ve just been busy doing other
things in the community, working around in the church and helping with my
DG: What is one of the proudest moments in your life?
MG: Gee I’ve been so proud of everything in my life. I feel proud of what I’ve
accomplished in life because during the time I worked for job service I got to go
back to school. I went to school at Ben Lomond High and graduated from Ben
Lomond High. Then I could go to Weber State College and get credits while I
was working. I accomplished my education was one thing I was proud of
because after having five children and them growing up and I’m trying to work
and take care of them during the time they’re growing up. That was quite an
accomplishment I did, I think it was anyway.
DG: So how long have you lived in Ogden?
MG: Been here for 60 years
DG: So in 1954 we’re in 2013, okay. That’s a long time, long time. So how has Ogden
changed over the years?
MG: It’s changed a lot. We rented first when we first came to Utah and then when we
tried to buy a property a black person couldn’t live any further than Lincoln
Avenue. We couldn’t even go up on Grant. When they were showing us houses
they showed us a lot on Wall Avenue and I didn’t like Wall Avenue so I ended up
buying a place on Lincoln Avenue. That was as far as we were allowed to buy.
DG: The other question I have, what do you miss most about the way it used to be?
MG: I don’t miss a lot. To me it has improved so that I’m satisfied here. I wouldn’t go
back to live in Oklahoma.
DG: Who are some of the characters, from here that you remember?
MG: Now that’s one I can’t answer. I don’t remember the great characters.
DG: Do you remember any stories or legends about Ogden?
MG: No I don’t have any stories about Ogden. Ogden has been good to me and I’m
very appreciative that it being a place where we can raise children. It’s a great
place for that. I wouldn’t take anything for it. I have seven grandchildren and I
have eleven great-grandchildren and I have eleven great great grandchildren
DG: That is great. Did you have a nickname growing up?
DG: No nicknames, okay.
MG: Well I did too have a nickname growing up in California. During that time we jitter
bugged and they called me jitter bug. My neighbors that was just the neighbors
nobody else ever called me that before, but that was my nickname in California.
None of my brothers ever, they always called me Mae or sis.
DG: Who are your best friends?
MG: Who are my best friends?
DG: Uh huh. Who were or who are your best friends in Ogden, as you were in Ogden
and what were they like?
MG: My best friends are my church people now. I used to have a neighbor named
Mrs. Harrison and she was my best friend because she was special. She worked
at Hill Air Force Base. She’d say come on girl let’s go fishing. We’d go fishing on
the weekend and I really enjoyed that. I like to fish. When I was growing up I
would fish a lot as a kid. I used to hunt when I was a kid. My brother taught me
how to shoot a rifle, that was the fun part. Oh we could shoot those squirrels and
rabbits you know. Back when I grew up you could eat a squirrel and a rabbit too
and so after I grew up and I was a grown woman in my own backyard I saw this
snake. I’m afraid of snakes so I ran got the shotgun and I thought I could kill this
snake, but nobody taught me that a shotgun would knock you down. I shot this
snake and my heels went straight up in the air. I don’t know what happened to
the snake. The snake took off and I ended up laying on the ground. He could’ve
DG: But you survived it.
MG: I survived it.
DG: So besides fishing what else did you do for fun?
MG: What else did I do for fun? We used to go to these formal dances that we used
to have. I have pictures of those. That was the most fun thing we had during that
time. This was an occasion they had about 3 different clubs, but I can’t remember
the names. When I first came to Utah the very first month I was invited to a
formal and this went on for years and years. During that time Joe McQueen had
his band and we would have live music, that was a very good thing that we had
in our lives. We had a lot of dances at the Ben Lomond Hotel.
DG: Yes Ben Lomond
MG: Yes these are the pictures here. This is the entire social civics club. These are
the ones that I have pictures of. I was a member of that, at one time I was the
president of it.
DG: So can we have scans of those as well?
MG: You can if you want too. You’ll have to do that.
DG: I think you told us how you met your husband. He was a welder.
MG: I met my husband in Crescent, Oklahoma before I went to California. I met him
in school. I was in the grade school and he was in the high school and I had real
long beautiful hair. Oh it was long, my braids was long enough that I sat on them.
These two little girls locked me in a closet were about to cut my hair off and I was
screaming and hollering and my husband which he wasn’t even a friend then. I
didn’t even know him. He and his girlfriend were walking down the hall, heard me
hollering and they came in and stopped the girls, that’s how I meant him. From
then on we were good friends.
DG: So you were talking about grade school, high school. What are some of your
favorite memories there?
MG: In high school, in grade school. In grade school I had a lot of friends that I grew
up with. Another family that had I think it was nine of them in family. It was two
girls and I played with the girl was my same age. We played all the time together.
We jumped rope, played hide and go seek. Played jacks, tic tac toe.
DG: What about high school? What’s one of your best memories from high school?
MG: My best memories in high school was at the Ben Lomond High School. We did
that at night and there wasn’t many memories but Ms. Macown went to school
with me, Bonnie Macown. When I graduated I had to make a speech because I
was working at job service. My legs were just shaking, but I made it.
DG: Okay you weren’t in the military.
DG: But your husband was. How did that impact you while he was away doing or did
he do any service or was he mainly state side?
MG: He retired from the military.
DG: So what lessons did you learn from this time in your life? Being out here in
MG: Well I learned a lot of lessons. I learned to keep to myself, not interfere with
other people’s business. Mind my own business and I’ve always had good
neighbors. Like where I live now the winter months, if they see me out there
trying to get the snow off they’ll run me back in the house. My neighbors take
good care of me. I have good friends and good neighbors in my neighborhood.
I’ve had that all over Utah, everywhere I’ve ever lived. I’ve never had a problem
with neighbor and I feel like if you can get along with all your neighbors in life
you’re doing good.
DG: Is there anything else you want to tell us that we didn’t cover?
MG: I don’t think so.
DG: You don’t think so? Well you have a lot of, you said you didn’t think you had a lot
to tell us, but you’ve told us quite a bit.
MG: When I grew up we didn’t have electricity. We didn’t have running water. We had
toilets, outdoor toilets when I was a little kid growing up. When I came to Utah
that was quite an excitement, but even before I left Oklahoma we did have the
running water and we did have the toilets inside. When I was a kid we had this
wood stove that we cooked on and it had a big water tank on the side of it and
that’s how we would heat the bath water. When momma would get ready to wash
we always would build a fire around a big black pot in the yard to wash the
clothes. We had to use a washboard, but as I grew up we found and got these
gas washing machines. You could put gas in them and it had a motor and it
would start up. It went choo choo choo choo, wash your clothes. It had a ring on
it and you run over to the tub and rinse your clothes then hang them up. Then we
finally got kerosene stoves. But we had been living pretty modern during the time
before I came here.
DG: Well alright we appreciate you taking the time to tell us a little bit because we
learned a lot.
MG: I didn’t know what I was getting into, but I did it.
DG: It’s great and we appreciate you taking the time to share some of the highlights
of your life with us now.
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