The Pittsfield Township Historical Society Oral History
Transcript of the oral interview with Dorothy Gross Leverett
conducted by Emily Salvette on March 11, 2001 at the Pittsfield
Township Historical Society Meeting held at the Pittsfield
Recreation Center, 701 W. Ellsworth Rd, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Mrs.
Leverett read a prepared statement then took questions from the
audience. Mrs. Leverett has received a copy of this transcript,
but did not submit corrections.
Dorothy Leverett was born in Dexter, Michigan on December 18,
1920. She grew up in Dexter on the Gross family farm, on the same
property where she lives today. She graduated from Dexter High
School in 1938 and took one year of nurses training at Henry Ford
Nursing School. When World War II broke out, she went to work at
the Ypsilanti Bomber plant doing office work. She married her
husband Charles, whom she met at a Pittsfield Grange dance in
1937, in December of 1942. He served in the Medical Corps in
Europe during the war. They had four children: Judith, Charles W.
(who was killed in a farm accident in 1962), Kristine, and
Michael. Her husband Charles died of a heart attack in 1976.
In 1948, Charles went back to general farming at his family
farm located at Carpenter's Corner (Carpenter and Packard roads).
In 1957 they opened a produce stand, which evolved into
Leverett's Country Market, which became a 45-year institution in
the Township. This interview deals mostly with Mrs. Leverett's
memories of running the market.
Transcript Contents -- Outline
- Leverett Family background
- Meeting husband and his military service
- Early years at Carpenter's Corner
- The beginnings of the Market
- Death of son Charles
- Evolution of the Market
- Current situation
- Working at Bomber Plant
- Traveling to Texas during War
- Leverett Family Reunion
- Leverett House origins
- Running the Market
- More Leverett family connections
- Neighborhood Children working at the Market
- Current situation
Dorothy Leverett Interview
- Dorothy Leverett
- Emily Salvette
- Betty McMullen
- Emily Conrad
- Unidentified audience member
- Unidentified audience member
- Unidentified audience member
- Ruth ??? from the audience
- Unidentified audience member
- Unidentified audience member
- Unidentified audience member
- ... Pittsfield Township business woman,
Dorothy Leverett. Dorothy and her late husband Charles ran
Leverett Country Market at the corner of Packard and Carpenter
Road on Carpenter's corners. And that market started in 1956, and
the story that Dorothy told me was that it began when her
brother-in-law had some extra corn and asked if the kids wanted
to go down to the road and sell it. And they did, and they sold
it all in two hours. And so the market was born.
- And so that was the beginning of an institution that I
grew up with, because I went to Carpenter School, and we used to
... I went to school with Mike Leverett, and we knew that very
- Dorothy met her husband at a dance at the Pittsfield
Township Grange, and so she has a lot of connection with a lot of
good stories about Pittsfield Township, although she does live in
- But with that, I'm going to go ahead and just say that we
are interviewing Dorothy, at the Pittsfield Township Recreation
Center and the date is March 11th, 2001, and that this will be
transcribed for the All History Archives. So Dorothy, I'm going
to let you just go ahead and talk, because I know you've
presented some ... prepared some material so why don't you just
go ahead and start.
- Okay. Well, my father-in-law and
mother-in-law, Harold and Edith Leverett, moved to Carpenter
Road, 3090 Carpenter Road and I think it was in 1914, right after
their wedding. And they raised three children; my husband was the
oldest, and Harold was the next and DeLynn. The family is all
deceased except DeLynn. They did general farming there at the
farm there. And they had mules. My father-in-law never had
horses. And ... but both the boys left for service in 1943, and
they were both overseas, and my father-in-law had a heart attack
at the time � not serious, but enough that he didn't do farming.
He kind of let it go. And that's the way that was. Then I ... I
wrote a few things down. I don't know if you want to hear them
- I met Chuck at the Pittsfield Grange at Saturday night
dances in 1937. We both graduated from high school in 1938. I was
from Dexter High and he was from Ypsilanti High. I attended Henry
Ford Nursing School on a scholarship and Chuck went to Michigan
State. When war broke out in 1941, I went to work at the bomber
plant. We were ... I worked there for about six months, I guess,
and then I went to visit my husband who was in the service. We
were married in December of �42, while he was in his senior year,
having been allowed to finish as he was in ROTC. He graduated in
19 ... April '43. Three weeks after graduation he reported for
military duty, went to Fort Custer at Battle Creek, and then to
Camp Barclay in Abilene, Texas. He entered into the Officer's
Medical Training School. In July, I went to Texas and we had a
one-room apartment with a lovely family. Chuck had to be at camp
but usually had week-end passes. In December '43, after nine
months of training, he graduated as a Second Lieutenant in the
Medical Corps. Overseas duty followed in March of '44. He left on
April 1st. I arrived in Corsica and then on to Italy. He was lost
in the Alps while helping one of his fellow officers who had been
injured. And then he went on to France. He served in French
hospitals, then Germany for the next 21 months. I lived with my
parents near Dexter and our daughter Judith was born July 1944.
We were with them for 23 months.
- During this time, the property on the farm for the trailer
park was sold. I don't have the exact dates of it, but I mean,
that's when it was handled. Chuck returned from overseas in 1946
to his first child of 19 months. Still was in the Army Reserve,
attended meetings once a week. He obtained the rank of First
Lieutenant while overseas and actually shy of two weeks of being
a Captain. We had a short to get reacquainted with his wife and
child and now look for a job. Jim Warner, owner of Warner Dairy
on Washtenaw Ave, asked him to come to work. His major in college
was Dairy Manufacturing. He offered him $200 a month, six day a
week. He accepted. He became the plant superintendent
immediately. But after two years there would be no chance for
advancement as Jim's son-in-law had started working
- So in 1948, Chuck and his father talked it over and
decided to go back to general farming and the farm house was made
over for both families. The folks moved upstairs and our family
was downstairs. We had two children at that time. Becoming a
resident of Pittsfield Township, I registered to vote with Dan
Ellsworth, who was the clerk. Dan Ellsworth farm was the corner
of Carpenter and Ellsworth.
- We farmed the subdivision over where Carpenter School is
located. There were only five houses in that area. That was
before the school was even built. And then when the Korean War
came up, Chuck was called back. By that time we had four
children. And he didn't pass his physical due to his eyesight. My
daughter Judy had her kindergarten year at the original Carpenter
School at the far end of our farm, the big brick building. And
Chuck's mom ...
- Can you elaborate on where that was?
That was on Carpenter Road?
- Yeah. It's right ... well, it's where
the high rise building is. To the right of that a little
- Was it Ozzie?
- Yeah. Yeah. That's where it was. It
was Ozzie's. Uh-hm.
- It was. Okay.
- All right. His ... Charlie's mother
taught at Carpenter School, but I don't remember the dates on
that either. I ... In the summer of '56, my brother called and
said he had a lot of sweet corn and wondered if we might be able
to sell it by the side of the road. We said we'd try and the kids
set up a card table and in two hours the corn was all sold. So
that kind of got us thinking maybe we should raise vegetables. In
spring of 1957, we decided to put up a building. Actually it was
a two-car garage west of the house. It was facing Packard Road.
We started on a small scale � green beans, peas, sweet corn,
cukes and tomatoes we purchased from a grower. Our Judy, eleven
at that time, and CB is eight and Chris was five and Mike was too
young, he was two -- didn't do much help. But the kids, the rest
of the kids were ...
- A couple years later, Mr. Zawicki from Willis who raised
our tomato plants and melon seedlings suggested that we put up a
greenhouse and sell annuals -- flowers and vegetable plants. So a
small greenhouse was put up covered with trees, with plastic. And
in July we would go up north and tag our Christmas trees at
different growers, and then we'd go up and pick them up in the
- The spring of each year found all of our family busy
helping get the things planted before the market opened. We
always opened the first of May. Evenings were spent working. We
planted 6,000 tomato plants, 45 acres of sweet corn, squash and
all other vegetables. And pumpkins. We were open through November
1st. No off time. Many long, rewarding hours I say. Some
grumbling from the kids. (laughter)
- Second parcel of land for golf course was sold some time
during these past years. We started picking ... having people
come in and pick their own pumpkins with a ride to the pumpkin
patch. The children came from everywhere. Pumpkins became a fun
time. Chuck really enjoyed the time with the children. We booked
rides 30 minutes apart, depending on the size of the group. One
year we had our ... over 1200 children that had come to pick
pumpkins. The pumpkin patch was the field across ... on Ellsworth
Road across from the new fire station over there, originally Doc
Cady's farm. We rented all of that acreage.
- Well, August 22nd, 1962 was the day our son was killed
under the tractor. He and Bill Brooks were going to go get sweet
corn and that's been 39 years ago. All property south of Packard
and Ellsworth, actually to I94 we farmed. And the farm on
Ellsworth Road known as Doc Cady Farm, which is now all private
homes we used for farmland. We rented a farm on Morgan Road and a
farm on Liberty Road and that's all now in a big subdivision. <
- The Christmas of 1962, we had purchased our Christmas
trees and the Boy Scouts sold them. We had everybody in the
subdivision and all our friends had been so generous, we set up a
memorial fund. And the Scouts came and sold the trees, and all
the profit went into the fund. And I think we did that for four
years. And many boys and girls in the Carpenter District were
allowed to apply for help to start their college. I think it was
$300 they would give them. It was handled by the Ann Arbor Trust.
It has been closed out. Some went to the Saline Church Home and
they decided the remainder should go to our son Mike's college
upon the death of his father.
- The Leverett farm was sold to Sam Frankl for a shopping
center. That was in 1963, and that was when they put our house up
on beams and got it ready and we cleared the orchard out. And I
remember that was a time that President Kennedy was shot and I
ran all the way down to the orchard to tell Chuck and the other
guys that were working. And we also put up a barn to hold all our
machinery, reopened our market with Robert Lilly doing the
carpenter work. Later flowers she had attached to the market
which served its use for the sale of flowers and Christmas trees.
The market was opened May 1st to November 1st and then we opened
December 1st usually till about the 18th.
- In 1975, Judy and Christine, now out on their own, no
longer helped at the market. Christine was married and she had an
adopted son, our grandson from Korea. Mike was in college at
Western Michigan. Chuck was doing more soy beans, grain farming,
possibly thinking of ending the market business. With all the
kids gone it was kind of hard. Some worked after school too. Some
of those Lilly kids worked over there too.
- And then November 1976, my husband had a heart attack in
the morning, and was rushed to the hospital. By 6:30 that night
he was ... had a massive heart attack on the operating table and
- Mike was still in college. He came home weekends and we
worked till late at night, combining and ... One night the
combine on Morgan Road got mired in wet area, and thanks to
Richard Sakstrup, who came to our rescue and pulled it out.
- We decided the farm work had to come to a close. The
market we could handle. Did do the sweet corn for another year,
as Mike was home in the summer. Then a great friend said he would
raise our sweet corn and we could pick it up each morning freshly
picked. We had really built our business on our sweet corn
because it was always fresh, being picked all day long. Weekends
we had sold 300 dozen per day. We never went back to that amount
though. All our corn was picked by hand, carried on a bushel
- Mike did transfer to Eastern which made it easier, except
it added one year of college to him. We have continued going to
Detroit market three to five days a week for produce and plants
and flowers. This means leaving for Detroit by two a.m. and then
come home and work from nine to seven, seven days a week. Long
hours, but still rewarding.
- We had an auction and sold all our farm equipment after we
decided not to do any more farming. In 1979, I sold the farmhouse
there. And Mike and I bought a condo on Earhart Road and I lived
there 19 years. And then in 1986, we heard the house was going to
be sold for a car wash, and we knew it adjoined the rest of us,
so we bought ... I bought it back.
- So we rented the market out for one year. He didn't
succeed and he left without paying, so that was ... the building
stands empty as far as I'm concerned. Then my daughter Chris did
it for a year, and she didn't make out too well, so she said it
was too many hours for no little ... for nickels and dimes. It's
been empty for several years. In two ... last ... in 2000, this
couple opened it through July and October but they're not
planning on doing it.
- We're doing wholesale only now. My son Mike is the
manager. He still buys in Detroit. He does all the buying. He has
the long hours, and this will be our 40th year purchasing trees
from Duddle's Tree Farms. They sent me a note with our Christmas
card this year. And this is our 45th year in business. We're
going to continue on the wholesale business and Christmas trees
in December. Seems to be slowing down myself. Turned 80 last
December but still work three mornings a week to help pack the
produce and I hope I can continue. Thank you.
- Now we come to a part where, if you
don't mind ... I'm ... I had just a couple of questions that I
want to ask you, and then we'll open it up to the audience and
... and maybe share memories that you have, or that you have some
questions for Mrs. Leverett. I just need to make sure that we get
your maiden name on the tape. You're ... you were born Dorothy
- And you now live in Gross Road in
- I assume that that's a family.
- That's right.
- You live on your mother's farm, you
were telling ...?
- Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Family farm.
- And when did your mother pass
- She passed away in '86.
- And I just wanted to ... did you ev ...
I wanted to elaborate a little bit on your work in the bomber
plant. Can you tell me ... us a little bit about that experience
was like? Going to ... was it like you would go with other women
from the neighborhood, or ...?
- No, no, no. I drove myself. I was ...
and worked in an office. It was in the slitting
department, and actually they gave me one of the men's job
because they ... I could figure, and they didn't have any men
that could figure they said.
- So I took over the job of ... which
they would ... the thickness of the plane and the width of all
these little strips had to be done and the length I had to have
all that done on paper. And I worked out of a little office ...
men's ... The boss was Mr. Miller � just a real nice guy. He
passed away very young and I didn't get notice of it till quite a
long time after he came from Brighton. But that's what I did, and
one night I evidently made a mistake, and this old gentlemen who
was the slitting machine, he was a real keen guy, old gray-haired
guy, but just a sweet thing. He knew I'd made a mistake, and he
call me. He said, `You made a mistake. I shut all the slitting
orders down. We're not going to slit ... do any of that tonight.'
And I thought, `Oh, what did I do?' Well, the next morning, Mr.
Miller ... We just had a cage in the big bomber plant. And he met
me, and he says, `You made a mistake,' and I said ... I couldn't
believe it. It was several of them. But I didn't get anything out
of it. Then I left there. I mean, then I asked to leave because I
wanted to go live with my husband ...
- ... in the service, and he said, `You
can't. You're in the Army.' And I said, `Well, I'm going.'
(laughter) And ... they took up a collection. I remember they
gave me 150 dollars, that whole group, and so that was
- And that was a lot of money.
- Yeah. Back then it was. But there were
a lot of workers there, too, in that department. I was in
- Oh my. Oh. And ... and were you ... how
did you get then to Texas? Did you have to take a train?
- Did you take a military train?
- Ah, yes. I came home from the bomber
plant one day and I said to my mom � I'd stopped at Ann Arbor to
got my ticket � and I said, `I'm leaving tomorrow morning.' She
says, `Where are you going?' And I said, `I'm leaving for
Abilene,' and she said, `You can't go alone.' She got in the car,
she went down to the depot in Ann Arbor, got herself a ticket.
She found out what I had. I mean, here I am ...
- A married woman.
- ... married woman, you know. She ...
she got her ticket and we went to Texas. We rode ... and when we
got in St. Louis, we had to change trains and we were on an old
... well, it had lanterns for lights. I mean, it was ... well,
all the good trains they'd given to the army, you see, and ...
for moving them. And I didn't have a seat, because my mother
bought that seat. And I sat on my suitcase in ... in ... 1600
miles, in the (laughter) aisle-way. And the next morning, I've
got ... we got to the hotel, and Chuck had come ... had come in,
and she knew that he was there, and he said, `I got an apartment
for us,' and the next morning ... Well, it wasn't an apartment.
It was a room in a lady's house. And, ah ... because he couldn't
live off camp. And we ... my mother saw that we had that room,
and she got the next train out and went back home. (laughter) She
was happy. She saw that we were ... I was going to be taken care
- So we had that place and then I ... I flew home, because
my brother was killed in March, and I came home. And my mother
was teaching at Stone ... mother-in-law was teaching at Stone
School, and both of the boys were in Texas. One was in Fort Hood
... Fort Hood, and Chuck was in Camp Barclay which was probably a
couple hundred miles apart. So she said, `Well, I'll ride back
with you. I packed my car for my apartment stuff -- bedding and
everything -- and we drove back. I drove all 1600 miles.
- So that was quite an event. Well
- Well, you did what you had to. Nowadays
- Yeah. Yeah. I wouldn't do it today
- How many flat tires did you do
- Pardon me?
- How many flat tires?
- None. None.
- No flat tires.
- Let me ...
- You were on gas rationing also, weren't
you? Was the gas ration ...?
- No, that was ... that was ... Well,
when we had our honeymoon, we had gas ration. All the farmer ...
all our farmer relatives gave us one coupon so we had enough gas
because we went to Chicago. But, no, we ... yes, they did. I had
rationing. I think my mother-in-law took their ration ... no,
I've got those books too. I forgot about that.
- I ... can I ask the audience, when you
ask questions, you're going to really need to speak up because
the microphone is on her lapel. And so ...
- You mean, you're ... you're quoting
- Oh, yeah. We've got ... this is all
part of the job process. (laughter) So if you ... if you
have a question, if you could stand up and ... and really project
this way, and it ... this microphone will pick it up, but it ...
it won't be a problem. But I just want to make everyone
- Can you delete something?
- Yes. What kind of car did you drive to
- I had a '39 Ford Coupe. Uh-hm.
- I'm Emily Conrad and my mother-in-law
is Lucille Leverett.
- My father was Frederick Leverett. I
believe you came to our ... I'm taping this, I'm videotaping this
_______. I believe you came to a Leverett family reunion at my
house in 1990. And I was wondering, because I can never remember,
what relation ... you're our relation, but I'm not sure whether
you're a first or second cousin or what you are to us.
- I think they were second cousins, but
I wasn't at the ... at any ... uh-uh.
- ____________ Dorothy Leverett was ...
- Were your _____?
- Well, if there is, because somebody
just called me from Chicago.
- This is kind of a coincidence. And I
said, `No, it's not me.' So maybe there is another Dorothy.
- Are you familiar with Frederick
Leverett who lived over on Jackson?
- Yes. On the ... in the brick
- Right. Now, he was a relation of ...
of your husband, wasn't he?
- Uh-hm. He'd probably be a third or
fourth cousin though.
- I can ... I can never remember. I knew
there was some ...
- See ...
- There was some kind of a sure tell
relationship and whatever that means and ...
- So _______
- But I wasn't at the reunion, because I
haven't gone to any of them. Ah, what was that girl's name? Can't
- From Chicago, or ____?
- Well, she just called and asked for
Dorothy Leverett, and I said `speaking,' and she said, `Oh, I'm
so glad to hear from you,' and I said, `I don't ... I think
you're ... I don't know who you are.' I said, `What was your
name?' Well, she told me something, didn't make any sense and I
said, `Gee, I think you have the wrong number.' I said, `Where
are you calling from?' She said, `Chicago.' And I said, `No,' I
said, `I'm not the right one. Let me look in the phone book.' So
I looked in the phone book and there weren't any other Dorothy's,
so I didn't know. So she thanked me and that was it, but
- When you had shown us the abstract that
you brought, there were sisters on your ... your husband's
- Yeah, yeah.
- Are they still in the area too?
- No, they're all deceased.
- And is there any other family that you
keep in contact with from ...?
- Well, I have my sister-in-law who's in
- That's the only one left of the
Leverett family on ours ...
- Is that DeLynn?
- DeLynn Wurzel.
- Uh-huh. Um, and there's a couple
cousins. Two of them have lost their husbands now too. And then
there's one in ... Otis, Willard Otis from Ypsi. Do you know that
one? The Otises?
- Otises ... Otises are really familiar
- Uh-huh. Willard and Bea. Willard has,
um, I don't know, Alzheimer's and he shuffles, I mean, he's
pathetic. But that's the only one that's left on the boys, on the
- Is there ... the house, ah, the
Leverett House that was moved ...
- ... that's there.
- Yeah. That belongs to us.
- That belongs to you. Do you have any
plans that you're thinking about doing with it?
- Oh, it's for rent. Anybody that wants
to come and rent it.
- Okay (laughter). No, his hou(se) ...
was that house built in 1914?
- No, no, no. 1845, I think.
- That house was built in 1845?
- Yeah, but it's torn out. There's not
lot of it that's ... when I sold it, then the insides were tore
out, a lot of it. It's not original.
- This ... just Betty McMullen. Where
did that house originally sit?
- Right where the gas station
- Which one?
- In the shopping area type.
- Where the CVS ...?
- Oh. Where the Speedway ...?
- Hm, Speedway. Uh-hm.
- Uh-hm. And then our ... the market was
just below that. I think Bob built the market down there too,
didn't he? Yeah, I forgot about ... You know, I tried to think of
things, but it's ... I'm losing my ...
- I know Skip had a lot of fun in the
- Yeah. Oh, Yeah. They used to run
- All that ____.
- Uh-huh. And the ...
- We used to, when we were kids, we'd
always ... used to take lunch ____ and go back into the woods and
- ... and most of the time we'd start a
- Yeah (laughter).
- Wait, we have to make sure to get this
on tape. The kids started the fire _____ (laughter) ...
- ... with ... and I think we blamed
- Sure (laughter). And that Kosky boy,
he ... remember he worked for us, and he ... I hate snakes. And
he said, `Mrs. Leverett, I brought you something.' And he had a
potato bag, and I could hear a squirming in there. And he said,
`I think it's something you want,' and I said, `If that's a
snake, just take it the farthest end of the fields,' and I said,
`You're done working. No more.' I didn't let him come back to
- Oh! (laughter)
- I just couldn't stand sneaks (laughs).
But we had people who would pick their own, you know. And one
time they came up from the field and I heard this `bunk-funk-
funk' and they had picked cucumbers and put them inside the tire
and taken the rim out and plugged that all up with cucumbers
(laughter), stealing them. They went back to pick beans.
- Oh, my ....
- They must really needed
- I said, `What was that noise?' and she
said, `I don't know.' And just then Chuck came up and I said,
`Chuck,' I said, `they've got something in the hubcaps.' And he
... he said, `What do you mean?' And I said, `Well, there's a
thud, it bumped every time they came through here.' And he said,
`I'll get a screwdriver.' He opened it, and they were all full of
cucumbers. (laughter) And ...
- Why ... The Tomato Place?
- Oh, yes. The Tomato Place. I think all
the kids loved that (laughs). At the end of the season especially
we allowed them to go out and just throw tomatoes.
- You said you went to nursing school.
What ...? _____ or ...?
- No. I just went one year. It was a
scholarship. We didn't have money to go to school. I lived on a
farm, I ... we were nickel and dimes, you know. We didn't have
any extra money. My dad couldn't ... there was no way he was
going to pay for me to go but ...
- So you didn't get an opportunity to
work at all as a ....
- Uh-hm. Uh-hm. Uh-hm. Uh-hm. I learned
a lot in that year though (laughs). No.
- What was traveling back in the 1940s?
There wasn't any motels or anything like that, so where did you
stay? Or was there some?
- Oh, yeah. There were motels. Now, wait
a minute (laughs).
- __________? (laughter) ______
- Yeah, they weren't like they are
today, I'll tell you that, but there were motels. Yeah.
- Did you have a question, Ruth?
- Yeah, I think was thinking of ...
thinking about Florence. I'm her sister Edna Hodge.
- Of course, Gertie, you know
- Yeah, I know Gertie. She married my
- ... were cousins.
- And wasn't Otis the one that did the
- The background?
- The historical ... uh-hm.
- Yeah, okay, that was the
- She tried ... she did that for many
- Yeah. Uh-hm.
- Tried to get ... for me to get a
- Uh-hm. Fact, we used to get updates on
that almost every year from them.
- From that ____?
- And James is doing it now. He lives in
New Mexico, and he's put it on the computers, ah, and, um, and I
met him. I met him at the '90 ... 1990 Leverett family union.
They came from all over the country to my house, but I couldn't
tell you who most of them were. Bunch of people there. Ah, and
Pete started doing it then and just to put an update
- So I don't know if he's been in touch
with you or not.
- Uh-uh. Chuck Otis did that
- But has since passed away. I guess
he's got his all on tapes or whatever they call them.
- But, ah ...
- I think he ____ have Warren come up,
you know, ______
- Back and forth?
- _____ together.
- And then James I think decided he
would because nobody seemed to be interested in doing it, and he
had a computer and he decided to put it on the computer.
- So I got a ... a year ago, I got
enough day ____ corrections to let him know, so I could
Christmas present ______.
- Oh. Uh-hm.
- He's retired and ...
- Oh. Well, see I don't remember him.
Because we were so busy with the market, we never got to any of
the family reunions and stuff like that. I mean, when we had ...
couple children, I guess, we went to the park out on Dexter once,
I remember, because we had the babies in the buggy, but
- Long, long time ago.
- Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
- We used to do that. We used to do
- Yeah. Because my oldest daughter
turned 56 ... she'll be 57 in July I guess.
- Isn't that something?
- Where did the Leverett family ... where
were their origins?
- Iowa. Iowa.
- Well, even before that?
Q1: Is that a French name?
- Oh, England. England. No, no.
- ___ France.
- Yeah, it's not French.
- We had a ... by the time the
Revolutionary War was in Massachusetts, a Leverett ...
- A Leverett?
- I think it was a William Leverett. We
had a Leverett, he was a president of Harvard, a relative of
- A lot of ... in fact, there's a
- And I would love to go there some day
because I ... I enjoyed ________, and I have a daughter who lives
- I never get there. But I'd love to.
But there's ... they've got quite a bit of history on the
- Oh, yeah.
- And of course we had a Leverett who
was a professor who's in Who's Who ... Who's Who in
- And he's a professor at U of
- I can't think of the
- He's in physiology. Frank
- Frank. Yes, oh, yes. Uh-huh. Uh-huh.
His wife's name was Dorothy.
- That's the other one.
- Yeah. Uh-huh. Uh-huh.
- That's Dorothy ... yeah.
- Yeah. And I have the nicest letter
from her that she wrote to me when I got married. She was such a
- She has ... she has to be passed away
by now because ...
- Oh, yes! Oh.
- But I remember seeing her. She was
white hair _____ like that ____.
- Uh-hm. (laughter) Uh-hm. In fact, out
West ... see, he was a geologist.
- And what ... there is a place that's
named after him out ... Did you know about that?
- I did not know. I ...
- But due to the geologist that was
doing, but I don't know all the particulars. But talking about
Leverett, Massachusidge (sic), I went to the ... my granddaughter
rides horseback and we were going to ... we were in Albuquerque,
New Mexico, and we were just going to the big showroom, and in
comes this truck with this Leverett, Massachusidge (sic.) on it,
and I said to Chuck. I mean, you know, the ... that's the name of
the town, you know? I couldn't think. I thought, well maybe that
was her name, but it wasn't. It was the name of the town, because
afterwards we talked and, well, they have been real fludie doots,
because they had their little poodles sitting on their shoulders
(laughter) and he was kind of fun ... interesting, but she wasn't
interested us because we were common ordinary people.
- (laughter) She was a fludie
- Yeah. Oh!
- It's right on the tape
- Oh. I hope that isn't on there
(laughs). I think you better ...
- Oh, no. Yeah, well, actually I
- Okay. Dorothy I wanted to ask you a
little bit about running a business in the 60's and 70's. Did you
have trouble finding help or was it ea ... or did you hire a lot
of helpers on the ... on the farm there?
- Well, we had all the boys and girls
from the subdivision. Ask Pattie (laughs). In fact, there were so
many of them, some days we really didn't need them all, you know,
the kids did. And I think ... I think everybody had a good time
working. I can ... Rob, her brother was one of the main ones that
picked sweet corn, and our Mike and ... I can't remember all the
kids' names, I ...
- The McAllisters.
- Yeah, the McAllister boys helped,
yeah. It's ... way long ago.
- Kind of like a young person employment
- Uh-hm. Uh-hm. Uh-hm.
- I kind of understand ...
- They worked for 75 cents an hour, a
dollar an hour back in those days. Or they'd pick the beans by
- Yes. By the pound.
- Uh-huh. Uh-hm. Oh, I can remember
- We'd be really ____ at school.
- Yeah, you're right (laughs).
- Not anybody could ____?
- No, not everybody (laughs). We had to
... there were a lot of good times. We did ... we had a lot of
fun. And being in business was great. I mean, you never ... we
weren't rich, but at least we had ... we kept our bills paid and
... which is something ... was something back in those days. And
... but we had ... the kids had a lot of fun. Well, we had
picnics, and then the boys had their baseball game, so my husband
always took off with all the team. I had to stay and close the
market, you know (laughs).
- Did you sponsor a team? A little league
- We ... no. Um, what's the one on the
corner of ... Washtenaw and Packard? That big grocery store. They
sponsored our team. Food and Drug.
- Where Washtenaw and ...
- Yeah. Must as you're going down to go
- ... on Packard. In fact ...
- ... State ... I'm sorry. Yes. Yes. In
fact, when my son died, they came in, they had a panel truck, and
they came in with so much food that you can't believe
- Just brought all kinds of thing.
Everybody was always so kind.
- Do you miss working on the ...
- ... thing.
- I do. I helped three mornings a week,
I go in. I'm usually ... get there by seven usually. But all we
do is wholesale now, and I just do the odds and ends. I mean, one
restaurant wants ten pounds of carrots and eight celery and stuff
like that. So I do that packing up. We've had help all winter,
because we are driving a semi, but this one guy just quit and so
Mike's doing all the trucking, driving too. And we have another
fellow that helps deliver. And then we service the prison, and
you've got to have somebody that's ... can deliver there. You
have to be very cautious. I rode along one time and all of a
sudden a man grabbed my arm. I'd gotten out. And he said, `You
can't go out there.' I said, `Why? I'm just coming into the
office to wait while the boy deliv ... moves back to the loading
dock.' He said, `Well,' he says, `Those guys will grab you.' He
said, `They jump over the fence when they see a woman.' So I
said, `Well, I'm not going out there, don't worry.' (laughter)
But it's ... it's a funny instance. I mean, I don't understand
... they buy, um ... apples, bananas -- odd things: onions. And
these guys must have machines and they can buy the stuff out of
it. Garlic. Garlic bulbs.
- In Jackson Prison or Milan?
- No, this is Milan.
- Milan? ____
- Yeah. Uh-hm. But they're allowed ... I
s(uppose) with the money they've made, then they can buy the
- What do you think will become of the
space? Will anybody reopen it as a ...
- As a market?
- ... market?
- Um, I have one fellow that has talked
to us just recently again, but the couple that were in it last
year, she ... she's not interested. It's too much work, she said.
And it is a lot of work. Nobody has any idea. She did a good job.
I was real pleased the way she did things. But I don't know if
this other fellow's gonna or not. It doesn't pay us to put
anybody in, because we've had two different people and we lo ...
they didn't pay and we lost out. And so I said the building can
sit empty. But this fellow has talked to Mike just recently and I
don't ... nothing else has been said, so I don't know. I got my
- It's kind of sad when you drive
- Yeah. Yeah, yeah, I know. In fact, we
need to take the Christmas tree sign down, but it takes two of
us, and the wind has been so whipping, we can't get it down and
fold it up, or roll it up, so I told him this week we had to do
- How many grandchildren do you
- Ah, let's see ... isn't that awful?
Three, four, five, six, seven? Three adopted ones, but we have
seven in all, and I have a great grandchild.
- Uh-hm. Uh-hm. She'll be two in July.
And the oldest one is about 29, of the grandchildren.
- Well, that will keep you busy.
- Uh-hm. Uh-hm. And they're all
- Plus you have the acre of yard to take
care of supposedly.
- Oh, yeah. I mow my own lawn. I've got
a big perennial bed.
- Doesn't Chris live on the same
- Yes. Um, when my mom died ... turn it
- Okay. Thank you very much.