Nora Lathrop Grimison and Jill Lathrop Karhumaa – 1

Interviewees:  Nora Lathrop Grimison and Jill Lathrop Karhumaa
Date of birth/age at interview:  Nora:  1931/82, Jill:  1934/79
Interviewer:  Pamela J. Blake
Interview date: June 20, 2013
Interview location:  Lathrop family home in Phillips Mill
Interview length:  1 hour, 7 minutes
Time span discussed:  1920s to 1940s

Summary:  This is a rich interview with two sisters recalling many events of their family, the neighbors, and the times before and after they were born. They ground many of the names and stories of our township and the art colony in the reality of a farming community that was steadily growing toward the visitor-dominated area New Hope area has become. The bird sounds in the back ground remind the listener that life was (should be?) about tea in the garden surrounded by the scenery of Solebury, a force of nature that bought so many artists to live and create here.

Time markers:
00:00:00 – interview begins outside in their garden, over tea; introduction
00:02:40 – lived at West End Farm house near current home; moved to the cooperage shop, site of first Holmquist School
00:03:58 – buildings around their home, cooperage, mill, main house (the big house), outside (summer) kitchen
00:06:35 – summer kitchen stories
00:09:45 – butchering pigs, butcher table now their coffee table; all working farms in area; family gardens
00:11:36 – family members who lived on the property
00:12:17 – forge (their mother Anne helped enlarge)
00:14:55 – Dr. Marshall’s mill in the 20s; Julian’s education at Worchester Academy and Harvard
00:16:14 – William’s painting school in early 1900s; built a boat to get away
00:17:02 – Granny, William’s wife, diabetic, story of his care for her
00:18:00 – grandfather attractive, liked the ladies: hearsay from parents
00:19:40 – their mother, Anne Goodell, beauty and artist, did not take to restrictions; story of their mother and her friend Alice Neal; mother’s sister Peggy good artist
00:21:40 – Henry Snell,  William’s closest friend
00:20:32 – William saw Annie from train window, said he would marry her; Granny from England, possibly Welsh, gregarious
00:25:15 – William and Annie good marriage; Granny good with people; he lonely man, paintings without people; his painting style, poetic nature, and painting techniques
00:28:09 – Charles Rosen,  artist and neighbor
00:28:15 – Holmquist book
00:29:09 – William poet painter, painter’s painter
00:30:00 – stories of mother Anne and her sister Peggy
00:32:12 – Granny Goodell strong Quaker, family used “thee” and “thou”; Goodell family stories
00:36:00 – father Julian started The Solebury School (1925); other school founders; Holmquist School
00:37:18 – radio shows of their youth
00:38:24 – mother Anne rented rooms to students of artists and theater people
00:39:20 – both schooled at Buckingham Friends initially; later Jill to Solebury Elementary; stories of school and Mrs. Cathers
00:45:00 – New Hope Library at 7 East Ferry Street (formerly Martine’s restaurant), Jean Nye and Eleanor Evans librarians; Mr. Evans set designer working with Jim Hamilton
00:48:02 – Nora school stories, too regimented; teachers
00:52:58 – bucolic childhood except World War II rations; blackouts
00:55:22 – summer trips to New England; hearing anti-submarine depth charges; friends in Maine; war’s effects on family, mother plane spotter
00:01:19 – swimming at Solebury School pond
01:01:53 – Army engineers in Lumberville, pontoon bridges
01:03:00 – dance group practicing at mill during War; Joan McCracken, Celeste Holm
01:04:15 – Jack Dunphy and wife Joan McCracken in Morgan Colt  studio, good friends; Jack later involved with Truman Capote
01:04:00 – swimming off the point in the river, feet black from coal dust

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