Dorothy Pinder Interview

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  • Phoebe Juel
    Phoebe: lt is May 1993 and I'm doing an interview with Mrs. Dorothy Pinder who works here at the Grinnell Herald Register. I guess I begin by asking you to tell me where you were born and when you were born and some of your earliest memories of childhood.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: O.K. uh. actually I was born in Des Moines where my father was in the printing and Newspaper business, and uh when I was 20 months old some extent in that area anyway, then we moved to Storm Lake.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: In Iowa up in the northwest part of the state where we lived for twenty years, and where I grew up and graduated from high school so most of my memories uh are in are of another community than Grinnell.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Similar to Grinnell in many ways, it was about the same size, it was a college town.so uh there were similarities. My father was a graduate of Grinnell college and he had worked at the Herald Register when he was a student here and stayed in the newspaper business all those years and when he left Storm Lake he came back and bought the Grinnell Herald Register.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Uh but my memories of growing up were in a small community, like Grinnell but on the shores of a lake ,and uh, I had a very, very happy childhood there. Much of it took place on the lake with swimming and boating and ice skating and various activities like that.
  • Dorothy Pinder & Phoebe Juel
    Dorothy: And uh Iwas born in 1922, so um, you're inquiring about the thirties and forties, I was 11 at the time of the beginning of the depression which is something that your generation is often interested in, our memories, those memories of the depression.Phoebe: Yes ma'am
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: And uh , I don't have a lot of specific memories except that I can recall banks failing and um...because my family owned it's own small business and my father was regularly employed we did not suffer the unemployment that some of my friends parents did, I can remember that they were very lean times.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Because if you're in business and other people don't have money then your business is not going to prosper particularly.And one of the things that I remember was a black coat that my mother, winter coat that my mother, wore for years and years and years because there wasn't enough money to change having coats.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Of course that was a small matter compared to things that many other people went through.Of course at that time also it was not only, in this part of the country, not only the economic depression that was going on, but there were huge dust storms that were blowing away the topsoil in the farming communities...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: so many farmers, farming families, lost their farms, just as several families did in the farm crisis in the eighties that was very reminiscent to me of those times, the hardships that the farmers suffered.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: One of my friends fathers, a school friend of mine , who had been a farmer and lost his farm, the family moved to town and um.. lived in a very, you know, small place, but um because he was out of work he became what was called a man o' block...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: which was , in which ten families in a area of the community each agreed to hire him for half a day.so he had five days employment, forty hours a week employment, we hired him to do the yard work and things like that, of course wages were very low at that time.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: That man's older daughter, older that, that classmate of mine later um, helped my mother in our home.um, and uh, she was not a live in person, she came in by the day.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: uh and my mother felt that she was helping this young woman and her family also, but she was employed at 3 dollars a week which is an incredible sum compared to what household help gets now. I think the going rate for household help in Grinnell at this time is seven and one half dollars an hour which is above what many offices and factories pay.
  • Phoebe Juel & Dorothy Pinder
    Phoebe: YesDorothy: Uh but uh, that girl was happy to have that employment and uh both she and her sister by dint of a lot of strength of will and one thing and another went on to college...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: and the one girl, my class mate married a man who became superentedent of schools so uh, it's not that people can't do things if they have hard ships they can do things if they have the will to do them , so we were always very proud to know that family that uh.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Showed so much grit, enterprise or whatever else you want to call it. And uh, uh one of my memories of that time which doesn't have to do with economic times but my younger sister contracted scarlet fever uh and uh , she was uh, that was considered one of the most dread diseases there was at that time.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: We were all quarantined in our home my father had to live outside our house outside the home , he lived in a hotel downtown in order to go to his business, but we were all quarantined for three weeks. I think scarlet fever is not considered to be a very serious disease anymore...
  • Phoebe Juel & Dorothy Pinder
    Phoebe: No, most people now are vaccinated.Dorothy: Right, but at that time it was felt that it would lead to, to uh any numbers of dire results. It was the only time I really can remember seeing my mother cry, she called my aunt who was a nurse in Omaha to come and help us because she was afraid that my sister was going to die.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: And she recovered very well actually, but we were not permitted in her room with her at all, and she had to stay in there with her blind, curtains drawn, the window shades drawn uh because they were afraid blindness was supposedly one of the side effects of scarlet fever at that time.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: And uh,uh, as I was growing up like many other children my age we were able to take music lessons, piano lessons, I played the violin my sisters each played instruments and those were a very large part of our lives to be able to participate in music groups and take private lessons...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: and we all also went to Sioux City to Morningside College and took lessons there, they were considered to be,.. actually I had a very good violin teacher, my sister played the cello, and um some of her friends went to Sioux City to study with the teacher there, but uh, that had an influence on us too.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: At that time Sioux City was the biggest city in our neighborhood, er in out part of the state and if we needed to do shopping that we couldn't do in Storm Lake that's where we went, and we all went to Girl Scout Camp in Sioux City too..
  • Phoebe Juel & Dorothy Pinder
    Phoebe: Did you drive or did you take the trainb or?Dorothy: Well we drove my family had a car..and we.. should I be having you as me questions or should I just ramble..
  • Phoebe Juel & Dorothy Pinder
    Phoebe: Oh no, this is wonderful,1'11 occasionally interject with some questions but..Dorothy: Well no we drove, in fact, I don't know whether this is of interest or not, at one time I was the youngest car owner in Buena Vista County, because when I was born my grand parents gave my parents a Model..T or Model A Ford I can't remember which...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: But it was registered in my name so I was the youngest car owner in Buena Vista County so my family had a car from the time I was quite young.the car that we had after that was a Plymouth, it was a kind of a roadster, it was much larger car...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: I have a picture of our family with this Model T it wasn't a very big car but I got around very well, and um this Plymouth that we had after that I remember one time we were out for a drive in that and it stalled right on the railroad tracks.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Which was of great concern to us of course but we managed to get it off the tracks before the train came, but that was sort of a frightening episode but uh to answer you question about how we got to the city we did drive.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: And uh we went to the Girl Scout camp by the week or so at a time and later when I was in college Iwas a councillor at that Girl Scout camp and still later my oldest daughter was assistant Woodberry County Attorney, in Sioux City and we drove out to see this camp ground and it has all disappeared.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Which is too bad it was a beautiful camp ground just lovely, and uh it was out in a park outside of Sioux City called Stone Park but uh I wasn't able to really see that camp where I had spent so many happy hours.
  • Phoebe Juel
    Phoebe: Uh well, what did people in their teens and twenties do for well, I guess amusement in the essentially during the thirties, because often I know people my age tend to take for granted things like video cassette recorders and television and the easy availability of going 50 miles away to do something or see something, so uh, what did people of say, my age or a little bit younger do during the nineteen thirties and forties ..?
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Well,uh our school activities took up a lot of our time and I know they do now to I don't mean to say the don't, but I think our lives were a little more centered around our school instead of outside entertainment.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Uh we did a lot of bicycling and that lake that we lived on we would hike around the lake , but hiking was a big thing and bicycling and uh, well of course people had radios. I remember listening to things like Amos and Andy, and some others...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: but we didn't spend a lot of time, we weren't dependent on the radio for entertainment, it was just something that was there that we did occasionally, and my parents always listened to the news on it, I remember, but uh..
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Oh I don't know we just spent time with our friends, we played games no lawns , I don't see young people playing games on their lawns any more, just funny old games like kick the can, and things like that. I don't think that young people have the opportunity to do those things because they have so many diversions uh and uh.
  • Phoebe Juel & Dorothy Pinder
    Phoebe: I think that Nintendo hurt front lawn playing quite a lot.Dorothy: I'm sure it has and I don't know enough about Nintendo to discuss it but I do hear other people mention it.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Uh but i don't know, we helped in our homes and we learned to, to things that I'm not sure young people learn to do now a days, of course people don't need to iron very much any more though I find that my daughters wish they knew how to iron, because wash and wear fabrics need to be ironed.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: So I have tried to teach them how to iron, but we helped, and aside from the fact that our mother had household help in the form of this young woman that I mentioned earlier, we were expected to learn to dust an iron and help with the washing and things like that.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: I was just expected of women that they know how to do those things, or young women because they would need those skills as they grew older, which I think is still true and some times I think that younger women are missing out on learning some of those kind of basic things that carry out through times that you need to do those things yourself, even thought there are a lot of labor saving devices I know.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: But uh we played with our friends, and I also belonged to a very active Girl Scout troop clear through high school, till I graduated from high school that troop was active and we did, had wonderful leaders and well did a lot of really great things, things I still look back on and hark to and depend on, um such as nature walks and going to state parks and having naturalists, we had a wonderful lesson one time on snakes.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: We went to a small state park, not very far from Storm Lake and uh.. I still, I'm not afraid of snakes, my husband is scared to death of snakes *laugh* but I'm not afraid of snakes.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: At all because I had, this park naturalist did a wonderful job of explaining different kinds of snakes to us, we touched them, he handled them and we handled them and that seems very tame I'm sure but I was really, really great.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: And then this uh, scout troop also had a puppet show that we did, and actually in a way that was an outgrowth of the depression because we had an artist from Sioux City that came to help us with this uh puppet show, and she was employed by, she was a W.P.A. artist. And that probably doesn't mean anything to you..
  • Phoebe Juel & Dorothy Pinder
    Phoebe: The Works Progress..Dorothy: The Works Progress Administration, during the height of the depression uh one of the self help programs was the Works Progress Administration,
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: and in Iowa there was a lot of art that was developed as a result of that. This woman came form Sioux City and showed us how to make the puppets, I still have one of them they're wonderful, I don't mean puppets I mean marionettes.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: These were string, strung marionettes and were had a stage and we did Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and we had all of those characters some of them were doubles even and we had a stage.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: All these marionettes were costumed and we learned how to operate them from a bridge above the stage and uh and the puppets were all painted very realisticly and I wrote the script for it I remember, from the story, and we traveled to several communities neighboring communities to present that show, that marionette show, I'm using the word puppet incorrectly.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: And uh that was a really great thing for all of us, I still have my, though i did not operate one of the marionettes because I was the writer for it, when we divided up the assets of the show I was given the poor Snow White, not the one that later was very grandly dressed in that story.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: and uh so we had lots of what I felt were very good activities, good role models and adults that helped us learn to do things. and Uh, uh I can't think of any other specific things, am I giving you the kind of information ..
  • Phoebe Juel & Dorothy Pinder
    Phoebe: This is wonderful ..Dorothy: now is there anything else along that line... In the forties, you said the thirties and forties...
  • Phoebe Juel
    Phoebe: Yeah, uh, how did the coming of the war start of affect you, I know that things started to become rather tense in '39 and more so in '40 and '41. Do you recall that impacting on your life? Or do you remember it coming..?
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Well I, I uh remember the news, about the events leading up to the Second World War, the events in Europe, and uh then uh I went to a small college in Missouri for my first year of college *intelligible* in Nevada, Missouri...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: and then I transferred to the state university at Ames for my last three years of school and uh, I had been to a concert Sunday afternoon, December 7, I was at a Christmas concert a Christmas musical at on of the churches near the Iowa State University campus...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: as we left that concert, the word had come that Pearl Harbor had been bombed, and of course everybody left very silently, and when I got back to my dorm I called my parents and I remember I discussed it very briefly with them, I couldn't get through the lines were so busy when I first called.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: It was a very traumatic time of course. And then most of the young men who were in school when I was lest to go to the war of course, and the women, well i was a journalism major and I was working on the school newspaper and most of the roles on the student newspaper were then filled by women, who uh...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: not very many women I knew went to the war there was a big, in Des Moines, there was a big W.A.C., women's army corps, headquarters at Fort Des Moines, so we were aware of the fact that women were involved.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: In fact I was just reading a story in the paper recently by a woman who had been in the service during the Second World War, you probably didn't see that you've been so busy,
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: but she was commenting on the fact that they were the forerunners of the fact that now women are going to be accepted into combat and all, but uh i don't recall any of my friends actually going to the war,
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: but uh a friend of mine who worked at the student newspaper became the sports editor and she later became the sports editor at a big newspaper, which is kind of unusual but because of the experience that she had.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Though actually in the real world, as we called it outside of college, women who filled mens roles often had to give them up and the men came back and took the jobs back, so a lot of women were put out of work when the war was over.
  • Phoebe Juel & Dorothy Pinder
    Phoebe: Did you have any family members that uh, went to fight in World War II or any male friends that went.Dorothy: Well some of my high school class went and at least one of them that I know of didn't cone back.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: At the time that I was in school at Iowa State there was a Air Force R.O.T.C. unit uh there, which later came to Grinnell, I don't remember exactly how that happened but uh they were housed temporarily at Iowa State and then came here to Grinnell,
  • Dorothy Pinder & Phoebe Juel
    Dorothy: and a young man that I had know from that group that I kind of kept in touch with was later in the Battle of the Bulge, and I don't know whether that means any thing to you?Phoebe: Yes Ma'am
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: He lost his arm, he didn't loose his life but he lost his arm and it was very hard on him. and I felt good that he didn't loose his life obviously.uh there were Red Cross units that were, I was not specifically...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: I don't recall being specifically involved in this but one of the things that happened was that a lot of women did, got together under the auspices of the Red Cross and rolled bandages and did things like that.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Oh I think of one other thing that I did that had to do with the war, because there weren't a lot of men around, during one summer when I was in college, I think it was more than one summer...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: there was a canning factory in uh Storm Lake that canned corn and beans that were grown in that area, and a lot of the uh, a lot of that was needed for the armed forces and there weren't enough people to fill those roles so I uh, several of us college student would work in the summer in this canning factory doing very menial labor but it was considered part of the war effort.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: We were helping food, helping get food for the armed forces, I must say that even thought it was very menial labor and I would not want to spend my lifetime doing it I think that everybody ought to do something like that in their lifetime just to find out what it's like and appreciate the things that we do have and people who spend their lives doing things like that, I think it's good for us to find out how other people exist instead of just our own little circle of friends.
  • Phoebe Juel & Dorothy Pinder
    Phoebe: How did things like rationing affect you?Dorothy: That's what I was going to comment on also, that we all had ration books with coupons you know, every family, every member of the family had one uh...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: and so we were limited in what we could purchase with those stamps.It wasn't what you purchased but what you were allowed to purchase. I don't recall that it was such a terrific hardship most of the cook books that were printed at that time...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: I still have one or two, came out with a lot of sugar saving recipes there were whole sections of recipes where they were cooking without sugar. And uh, uh of course it wasn't only food it was gasoline we were rationed on gasoline and mostly meat and sugar and gasoline I think were the three things that I recall that were limited,
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: and I don't think anyone of us really suffered.we probably, it was just kind of a thing you know, a diversion or what ever. Everybody talked about it, but i don't think that anybody really suffered that was just part of what was going on at that time, part of the whole war effort.
  • Phoebe Juel
    Phoebe: Often you read about people saying that World War II was the "good war" that it meant an awful lot to people of that generation, because they, uh felt that they were fighting for something that was noble and worthwhile?
  • Phoebe Juel
    Phoebe: Do you recall having that sense at all? That the war was a justified war and that it was a war worth fighting and that people were proud to be trying to make the world a better place?
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: [Long pause] Oh I don't recall that sentiment, I hope I'm not blotting that out but I honestly don't recall that.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Uh well, I uh you know, war is really awful, war is really terrible, the things that happen are just are really awful, and I don't think anyone, well I suppose the are people who feel it is justified I uh think that people felt they were doing it because they had to do it...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: because of the people that were being threatened by the uh, by the uh, invaders and people who were trying to take over land and property, I think they felt that it was just something they had to do. I think they felt there wasn't any choice.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Now in this day and age we probably would have, well efforts were made to try and prevent the war, but then there was also, spoke about the period before the war that period of so-called apeasement, when people thought they could forestall Hitler.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: And found out they just couldn't. That he was going to go ahead anyway. And it was, I don't think it was a happy time for anybody, especially not when you heard about (subways, not subways) submarines sinking boatloads of people. And it was, no it was a tragic time. I don't think there was any real glory in it.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Oh you know, when all that, when the patriotism comes up people wave flags and all that, the people think there is a certain amoung of glory in it I think, but I think everybody was very worried about it.
  • Dorothy Pinder & Phoebe Juel
    Dorothy: Hoped that it would end.Phoebe: And I assume that on V-E day and V-J day people were very happy to see everything come to an end?Dorothy: Right.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: I was working in Chicago at that time and yes that was a jubilante time. People were very glad to have that be over. And then, of course, there was always the period of recovery from the war, like that, the economy and the return to, well, there's no such thing as normal see, I don't think.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Because there's always something going on. But people returning to their homes and families after the war and to their jobs and see that was, 30s were the whole decade of the Depression era of course and then that whole decade of the 40s was consumed by the war and the after effects of the war.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Really. So, it that was 20 years out of the life of this country which was a small length of time I know compared to the world but those were two impressionable parts of my life. You're right.
  • Phoebe Juel & Dorothy Pinder
    Phoebe: What did you do after the war was over?Dorothy: Oh, well by that time I had graduated from College. I graduated in 1944, which was the end of the war. And I was working in Chicago at that time. Well I worked there for about 5 years.
  • Dorothy Pinder & Phoebe Juel
    Dorothy: And...Phoebe: Did you work for one of the papers in Chicago?Dorothy: No, I had had a double major in home economics and journalism so I was really a home economics journalist was what it was called at that time.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: I worked in the food industry in Chicago. Most of the time I worked in the stockyards. I worked for Ian Livy which is a canning company, I was in their meat division and then I worked for Swifton company and then I worked dowtown in the loop before going back to the meat industry.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: My time there was really associated around the meat industry. It was a big industry in Chicago, not so much anymore because the packing business has been decentralised. And the stockyards were a huge institution at that time, at one time.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: They no longer even exist, but even before I worked in the stockyards, my grandfather from South-West Iowa had taken his cattle to the stockyards in Chicago to market them. He rode down in a caboose at the back of the train to the market, his cattle, to market them himself there.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: That was almost from the beginning, um let's see, Chicago was really established around the stockyards almost, so quite a change for that city not to have the stockyards, but it was an experience for me to work there.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Because of that, the importance of the industry. It's almost not there at all anymore. But, so I was there for about 5 years, but always associated with the food industry as a writer and in public relations and some test kitchens I worked, also.
  • Dorothy Pinder & Phoebe Juel
    Dorothy: Is that your tape?Phoebe: Oh no ma'am I've just got a little bit more.Dorothy: Oh I heard a click and thought it was over.
  • Phoebe Juel & Dorothy Pinder
    Phoebe: And did you come back to Grinnell then at that point?Dorothy: Yes. Then I came back- my husband and I were married in 1949 and my father had purchased this paper in 1944 and we came back here in 1949 to go into business with him.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: We didn't actually go into business with him until a few years later, but we both came here to work and then we bought into the newspaper. So we've been here for 44 years. And we now own the newspaper.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: And, actually my father started out on the newspaper business when he was 11. And that tradition has kinda carried down in our family because of our 6 children. 4 of them are associated with newspapers. So, I don't know how much longer that tradition will carry on but it has been a big thing in our family's life.
  • Dorothy Pinder & Phoebe Juel
    Dorothy: For a long time.Phoebe: Let me check this in case I need to change this soon I think [tape change]
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Well maybe you just commented on how your family was part of the printing business and that is what my family has been interested in for so many years, um maybe I'll just diverge on that a little bit.
  • Dorothy Pinder & Phoebe Juel
    Dorothy: I'll talk about that and then maybe we can talk about Grinnell. But-Phoebe: Okay.Dorothy: The fact that we don't have presses run by people anymore, printing presses, in our business has made it seem almost unlike the business I grew up in.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Because in this building where we are talking now, this was built to accomodate a printing press down in our semi-basement, there's a well that held a press at one time, a big rotary press, and we no longer print our newspaper here. It's printed at a Central printing plant in Newton...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: At an offset press, which is a silent, very quiet press that prints our little paper in half an hour whereas it used to take us 2 or 3 hours with a very cranking old press that we used to print our paper, but I miss that. It doesn't seem right not to have that press going downstairs.
  • Phoebe Juel & Dorothy Pinder
    Phoebe: My grandfather felt the same way when they went to new presses. Just didn't quite seem the same.Dorothy: Yeah. Oh it wasn't at all, you know, and the way we put the paper together, of course is completely different now. You use a computer and just pasting up little pieces of paper instead of actually handling the lead and putting the lead in the forms...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: And then the pages to print the paper, and it just, part of the mystery and the romance of the business has disappeared I think. But some of the things here are the same, of course, in terms of gathering the news and preparing, and being accurate and getting it out on time.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Facing the wrath of God if you misspell somebody's name and things like that, which I did in the last issue, I had a correction in this issue for some names that got garbled in the computer. Or maybe it I who made the garbling, I don't know, but there's always that to deal with in the newspaper business.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: As far as the community is concerned, Grinnell has always been an outstanding community, in the sense that it, as my husband says, it represents the 3, it has 3 kinds of economy, 3 different kinds of economy are represented in this community.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: The agricultural economy, which surrounds us, small industry and then education in the form of the college. So it's a diverse community and when we came here, rather when my father came here in 1944, he felt that the community rested almost too much on it's laurels, it was not as good a business community as we had had in Storm Lake.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: And he, when he, he used to make the comment that we crossed highway 30, which is North of us here, to come to the Southern part of Iowa, from the Nothern part, or the Northwestern part of the state particularly.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: To him, just crossing the Mason-Dixon- just like crossing the Mason-Dixon line, because of people were just more content or satisfied with the way things were, they were not really concerned about business and he found that quite [indistinguishable] because Storm Lake had been quite a bubbling community and progressive community.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: And Grinnell had really kind of steeped in it's own legends, I guess, for a while. But about the time that he came here and then later when we came here, there were many people that came to the community that wanted it to begin to move a little and become a little more progressive and a better business community.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: So, my husband was very active in development of the greater Grinnell, developed a car operation which- bought land just South of Grinnell and made an industrial berth and brought enough businesses into the community to add 500 jobs to the economy.
  • Dorothy Pinder & Phoebe Juel
    Dorothy: Which helped a lot.Phoebe: Is this the area that has the window factory? I believe it is.Dorothy: Yes. Uh-huh.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Glenco windows and Golden Sun, which is a feed mill company and there is Farm Hand, which is a farm machine manifacturer and there is, oh dear, I can't think of the name of the company that produces vinyl siding windows, but anyway, there is a very nice small industry and the community did have some industry.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: There was DeLong's, which is a sportsware manufacturer and Donaldson's which is a [indistinguishable] factory, before this time. So by the time the new businesses and the older businesses began to develop, then we had quite a nice mix of industry. We wouldn't want any big industries.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: That would provide environmental problems and some water contamination that we wouldn't really encourage. And that began to help the economy and the business community. And then there were just, there was a group of young people, that are now older people, I guess you would say...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: That just began to do a bit- began to develop a chamber of commerce and develop a number of ways to improve the community and I remember one time when Dr. Leggett, who was a former president of the College, was making a, giving a speech to the Chamber of Commerce banquet...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: He said, and it was obviously him, as an outsider having come into the community, though he is now a member of the community, there was a whole generation of people who didn't do very much.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: For to, or in the community, that were just kind of stagnated, well I always kind of attributed that to the Depression, because people's minds were really taken up with just trying to survive, you know, for a while there.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: But, after that generation, then this next generation did do a lot to help the community develop. And then in recent years, we've had 4, our community development organisations there is in, of course the Chamber became more active and then the Greater Grinnell Development Corporation which had to do with bringing industry into the community...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: And then Grinnell 2000, which is really a community development organisation, and part from developing the economy it provided seed money for startup projects that included things like recycling and now they're working on an energy project, ways to save energy.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Iowa, has to spend such a large amount of money for energy. Gasoline to travel, we don't have a lot of public transportation, you know, also for heating and for industry and just to find ways to save energy so we aren't spending so much money on that and we have it for other more important things.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: And Grinnell 2000 has a number of projects going and they had started a lot of different projects. And after Grinnell 2000, the Main Street Grinnell came in and that had to do with the development of the downtown area, recognising it's historical antecedents and upkeep and maintenance of buildings in ways that were appropriate rather than adding on things that didn't really work, you know-
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: So that the downtown became an inviting place for people that want to shop, instead of going out of town to shop. And that's been quite successful and Grinnell has been considered a community that people like to come to or refer to as being a nice community. Many small towns in Iowa have been through difficult times because of the economy and...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Some of these programs are aimed at trying to prevent from happening here. Not so long ago we also had a small airport come in, that also serves commercial, it does not serve passenger travel, but the companies that have- local companies that have planes or companies who have units here...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: That bring people in, like General Telephone, one of the bigger businesses in Grinnell like General Telephone or Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance and DeLong's sportware and they all have planes or use planes to transport people back and forth.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: So they don't have to, so if they have to go to other parts of their businesses they don't have to spend so much time. Let's see, that reminds me, I should comment, my husband who has worked with the industrial developement, when he's describing the community...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: to people, he points out that the 5 largest employers in the community have been Grinnell General Hospital, GTE the telephone company, Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance, the College and the School District.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: But aside from that we have Delong's sportsware headquarters for that which has 10 manufacturing units throughout the country and, I don't think they have any outside the country, oh they did have one in Taiwan and one in Puerto Rico but they don't anymore. I think they reconsolidated.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: So, but those are good, nice, small clean industries so. Now you referred earlier to town-gown relations and I don't know. I guess I've always been so much a part of the community and the College that I don't consider that they've ever really been bad. 3 generations of my family have gone here and...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: 3 of my children have graduated from Grinnell, we've never had anything but the kindest relationship with the college and I don't know, I was going, there was one time I was going to say, but I can't tell you about-
  • Phoebe Juel & Dorothy Pinder
    Phoebe: How did the 1960s particularly, because I know Grinnell was considered a radical school?Dorothy: Well I was going to say that but it wasn't really, Grinnell College did not have the problems that other schools did in terms of violence.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: The most violent thing that I can recall happening was when the, somebody took over the ROTC, what was called the ROTC building which was a house at the corner of 8th and Park and that was just a demonstration, it wasn't really- it was very peaceful.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: And we had, at that time, we had a chief of police who was wonderful at sort of defusing situations, not necessarily or particularly college, but other situations in the community that could have been difficult. He seem to have a real knack for difusing them, he was retired military officer and I didn't know the army-
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: I don't mean military, I mean to say military police was what he was, this officer. And I didn't know they taught conflict resolution in the army but he must have had it at some point because he just walked up to the ROTC place and said "Ah come on guys, you know" The guy just had, oh you know, "we don't don't really need to have this going on do we? We all understand and agree with you", that sort of stuff, you know...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: And somebody threw a rock and broke a window and the students took up a collection to pay for the window [laughs] and, you know, it just, I'm not trying to play this down or anything like that but there just hasn't been, I don't think there has been an emphasis on, I don't think it has every been really bad. But I know know that there are some young people that do name calling I guess...
  • Dorothy Pinder & Phoebe Juel
    Dorothy: There is that going on, isn't there?Phoebe: Yeah. There's the occasional incident on campus.Dorothy: And there have been instances I know, when students have come down town, I didn't know about this myself, my husband told me one time that...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: There was a Grinnell native, actually he wasn't drinking, he was a very kind gentleman, individual, but when he had been drinking he would just be beligerent to whoever was around. And he got into an altercation I know, at one time, he told me, over at the Walmart...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Cause a lot of students used to go to Walmart. They don't so much anymore, but, that was a sort of a blot. But- and I think there was a takeover of the library at one time by concerned black students who were wanting to make some of their wishes know.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: But that was quite peaceful too. My son graduated from Boston University and, about the time that the things were going on, that all these things were going on and Boston was just a tinderbox. In fact, they closed most of the schools in Boston down early that year...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Because there were so many schools they were afraid that if things got started that they would just go on and on and there would be a lot of violence in town. But there just wasn't quite that sort of thing here.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: I don't know whether you know Dr. Leggett who was the President Emeritus of the College, he was the president at that time (Phoebe: no I don't). And he collected all of his speeches that he wrote at that time...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: During that time, his convocation and commencement addresses and all of them into a small paperback book called Years of Turmoil, which was a good way of expressing it, there was a lot of turmoil. But, his perspectives around that time are interesting...
  • Dorothy Pinder & Phoebe Juel
    Dorothy: If you have time some time you might be interested in reading that book, but you're talking about these eras, I don't if your class is aware that that book exists, it's too late now again to do any reading or research material.Phoebe: I did not know that.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: I'm sure it's in the library, and we have a copy of it. He was a really neat guy and it was hard he was hear for 10 years. A lot of college presidents didn't last that long, I'll tell you because it was so much stress. He was very, you know, he offered perspective on things and that was a good...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: way to be around. [mumbles] Well, I'm trying to think of other things that you would like to know, add or that you would like to ask me about?
  • Phoebe Juel & Dorothy Pinder
    Phoebe: Essentially, where do you see the town and the college and the area going in the future? Based upon what you know and what you would like to be happening.Dorothy: Well, I need to think about that a little bit I guess. One of the kind of interesting things that's happening I think...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: [mumbled] with the rest of the so-called heartland or Midwest I guess, is that there are people that are returning to this part of the world. There was an exihibit during the time of the- during the 80s when the economy was so poor and the farming was- people were, are beginning to return to this part of the country, which is, just doesn't have the problems that some of the urban areas do...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: And I don't think- let's hope it's not white flight, you know, or whatever, people need to work at solving the problems of the urban areas but we have met a young couple that's just moved here from Denver because they'd heard about Grinnell and what a nice place it was and easy place to do things. They're moving a small publishing business here.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Bought a home here. They've visited here several times and they really like the architecture and the community, the big victorian homes on Broad street and the ambiance and being able to walk places and their children will be able to go places on their own...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: And that second family that we know of, within recent months they ahve done that and we hear more about that all the time and so I think that is going to, we're going to see more of that, a trend, more of that and I hope the Grinnell Community, it's sort of at a cross-roads right now, because some of these groups that have been incolved in...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: the development of the community are changing their character and they're sort of trying to merge or meld one thing or another and I hope they're going to be able to continue the momentum that has helped Grinnell become a very desirable community to live in.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: We've enjoyed living here and hope we've been part of some of this, you know, and I hope that that's going to go forward. We were at a meeting just this week where these groups are talking and trying to decide how they're going to proceed.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: And I think the college will always be a very important part of the community, of course everybody is very proud of the college, it's reputation and it's standards and one thing or another. And we enjoy the young people who come to College. Through the years we've gotten a good many young people.
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: That have attended college and we hope that that will continue and I think it will. And of course, everything it, change is part of everything. There are always going to be changes in the way the College does things and in the way the community does things but I hope we will all continue to be close friends because I think we benefit from each other, at least my friends at the college...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Have thought that being able to be in the community and interact with families has added to their experiences in the College and I, certainly it's been a priviledge for us to know the students at college and I can only believe that that will continue-
  • Dorothy Pinder & Phoebe Juel
    Dorothy: And expand.Phoebe: Well, I guess to close, is there anything that you'd particularly like to say to future generations or to people who might be listening to this some years don the line?
  • Dorothy Pinder & Phoebe Juel
    Dorothy: Well...Phoebe: Perhaps in regards to your own experience and in regards to the experience of the town?
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: Well, I guess the main thing that I would like to, that comes to mind that I would like to say is that if you, if you enjoy and appreciate something, such as a community like ours, that we all need to contribute to it by our efforts and energies and ideas...
  • Dorothy Pinder
    Dorothy: That we can't just sit back and be takers, we all need to be givers too and if Grinnell is going to continue to be the kind of community I fell it has been so for myself and my family that we're going to need people in the future that are just are willing to help with the things that need to be done in the community...
  • Dorothy Pinder & Phoebe Juel
    Dorothy: And to continue to make Grinnell and the community and the college the way they are.Phoebe: Well, I'd like to thank you for your time. This was quite a wonderful interview, I very much appreciate it, thank you. Thank you very much.
Dorothy Watts Pinder, the daughter of a newspaper editor, grew up in Storm Lake, Iowa, during the depression. Her father later moved to Grinnell and bought the Grinnell-Herald Register where Dorothy worked for many years.