From My Mother's Notes

 Phyllis Fricker's Memory Book


My Mother - Phyllis Eleanor Brock

Cadillac and Grand Rapids, Michigan
The Brock Shirt Factory must have gone bankrupt, because the next thing I knew - we were moving up to Northern Michigan to a town called Cadillac. My Father became manager of the Kingly Shirt Company. This was a very large plant. I can remember seeing layers of material 5 or 6 inches high being cut into shirt pieces by a huge cutting machine. My Father joined the Rotary Club while in Cadillac. At first we lived in a rooming house with a Mr. & Mrs. Lamareaux. We used to go across the street to a boarding house for our meals.

Then we bought a house on Garfield Street. I loved it there. I had a beautiful big bedroom and my Father bought me a brand new bedroom suite, some pieces of which I still have. A bed, a chest of drawers and a dressing table with a full length mirror. I thought I was queen of the castle.

Daddy had a lovely garden here. One thing he grew which I loved were artichokes - not the green kind - but tall yellow flowers with tubers which we dug out of the ground. They were sweet and chewy and delicious. Also - we had an ice cream bucket in which we made "Maple Mousse". This was an ice cream made with maple syrup and real cream. You filled the bucket with chipped ice and turned the handle round and round until you had a concoction fit for the Gods.

Our next move was to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where Dad worked for the Globe Knitting Plant. For a time he was head machinist and then eventually became an efficiency expert. He used to time the girls during their sewing and worked out various ways to improve their operations. The girls liked this because they were on "piece work" - so much money for so many garments sewed. The plant also approved - because of the increase in their production. The plant made dresses of lovely knit materials. I remember Mother making several dresses for me from yardage that Dad brought home. She was an excellent seamstress.

Then came the big Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the beginning of the Depression years. The Globe folded and Daddy and Mother moved back to Canada. Although living in the U.S.A. all those years they had never taken out American Citizenship papers.

Percy Kenneth Brock | Valparaiso, Indiana | Cadillac, Grand Rapids & the Stock Market Crash | 
Mabel Evelyn House
 | Family jokes | Mabel passes | Mary Faulkner | Farm Life | 
The well-equiped kitchen
 | An old-fashioned wash day | Goose feather beds | "I 'ope he don't bust!" | 
In the good old Summertime
 | A daring escape | Black Diphtheria | Frank Faulkner | 
Aunt Clara & Uncle Bill
 | Aunt Hilda |