Interview With Catherine "Kitty" Ludlow
December 27th, 2001 | Back to Blog Listing


Catherine Ludlow during her interview.
On December 27th, 2001 I conducted a brief interview with both of my grandparents (father's side), Catherine "Kitty" Ludlow and Howard T. Ludlow, known as Momma and Poppa respectively. This is the interview with Catherine.

The total recorded interview is 7 minutes, 49 seconds long. I have transcribed the interview below and included applicable links detailing certain events and locations that my grandmother described (namely using Wikipedia, IMDB, and Dictionary.com).

SETTING UP THE INTERVIEW - CATHERINE IS TAKING HER SEAT.
Kevin: Okay, you heard all the questions that he got asked?
Catherine: Yes, I don't remember them though.
Kevin: You forgot them all?
Catherine: No I didn't forget them all.
Howard: She's cheating.
Catherine: No.
Kevin: So you don't remember any of them?
Catherine: Yes I do.


CATHERINE BEGINS THE INTERVIEW HERSELF.
Catherine: I was born in the Bronx. And I lived in the Bronx most of my grown-up life, as far as that's concerned. My father worked in a bakery and my mother was at home. And I have, or had, a sister and two brothers.
Kevin: See, you remember the questions.
Catherine: Yes I do.
Kevin: What year were you born in the Bronx?
Catherine: 1925.
Kevin: What year was he born in the Bronx?
Catherine: 1921, right?
Howard: Yea, I was born in '21.
Catherine: And I went to public school because my mother was Catholic but my father was Protestant so he couldn't let us go to any Catholic school, in fact he was a very anti-Catholic person for a long time. He changed when he got older. And um, I went to P.S. 46 in the Bronx and I graduated from there. And when I was in 8th grade they had a Hunter College, which was a college in New York, had also a high school called it Hunter College High School, but you had to take a test to get in. And so, a teacher said to me, well you did pretty well, take the test. And I passed. And I went into the highschool. And when you graduated from Hunter College High School, you automatically were eligible to go to Hunter College. And uh, so I did well and I graduated from Hunter College 'cause otherwise I wouldn't have been able to go, my parents didn't have any money really. And the tuition at that time, I'm pretty sure I'm right but I might be wrong, was like $45 a semester. So it was not bad at all. So I went there for umm, I guess it was two years or so, two and a half years, and then it was the time around the war, 1945, and I decided I would join the WACs. And I did.
Kevin: What is the WACs?
Catherine: "Woman's Army Corps". And um, I was sent to, with a group, to Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. Well I was 20 at the time, so that's why I was able to do it. My parent's didn't want me to do it, but I, I was a very disobedient child. You know how that is.
[LAUGHING]
Kevin: I've read about it.
Catherine: And so I wanted to go, and I did. And we went do to Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. And that's where we took our training. And then when we finished down there, uh we were sent to different places and I went to Thomas M. England general hospital. It was a big hotel and they turned it into a hospital during the war. So that's where I was and I worked as a medic, a technician. You know, bringing um, refreshments, making beds, and stuff like that. And umm, I was in for about almost 2 years when the war ended, less than two years, because the war then ended. So, you could stay in, but they were going to send you overseas for two more years. And uh, I didn't want to do that, so I got out and I went back to college. And then I started to work; I had a number of jobs and stuff like that. And then um. then I met, I met Howard. Oh we joined the American Legion, I was in the American Legion. And I met him, I knew him, and he came up to me one evening, uh, before the meeting started and he said, I'd like to ask you a question. So I said, ok, go ahead ask. He said, I was in a post, it was all female post, it was a Joan of Arc post, and our commander was a very cute little blonde, her name was Sophie. And that's what he came up to ask me, if I thought Sophie would go out with him. But I said to him, I know that she won't because she has a husband who is very jealous and he won't like it.
[LAUGHING]
Catherine: So he said, well, thank you very much, then he went and sat down. That was before the meeting. After the meeting was over he came over and he said to me, I really shouldn't have asked you that, and it really wasn't very nice. And he told me the situation. He had just broken up with a girl, and he had a formal coming up. He belonged to this group, that um, it was um, the Naval Cadets, that's what it was called. It's for like boys and everything to train them. Well I had just broken up with somebody too. So anyway I said, no I'd be glad to go with you.

And that's how we started to go out together. And um, so then we got married in uh, June 28th uhh, 1950, was it 1952 that we got married?

Howard: Could be.
[LAUGHING]
Catherine: And um, then the next year we had a baby, but the baby died. I was only 7 months and the baby died. So then, then we had Maureen, and then we had Howard - your father, and then we had Frank. We had three of them. And, we lived in New Jersey. We had a small house, real small, but we had never lived in a house before, we lived in an apartment. And I used to tell everybody we have a big house, and of course when people would come to see it, they would realize it wasn't a big house. But, after about half a dozen or so years we moved to a bigger house, much bigger house. And we stayed there. And then of course the kids, everybody grew up and got married and left, and then we, they said, it was the three kids that, you can't stay here up in the north, it's too cold and stuff like that. So we, Howard retired, I retired, and, so then we moved down where we are right now. And that's kind of up to date.
[LAUGHING]
Kevin: That was pretty precise.
Catherine: Ok?
Kevin: That was pretty full. Any other good stories for my interview?
Catherine: Well, I don't know. Your father was a wild and wooly one. But...
Kevin: And he had a motorcycle?
Catherine: Oh yes, he had a motorcycle. He had, he had a motorcycle, which I didn't want him to have.
Kevin: But he had one anyways?
Catherine: He had one anyway, yea.
Kevin: Sounds about right.
Catherine: But all three of them turned out really well, and they're doing really well and... Then, once he met your mother he kind of straight, straightened out.
Kevin: That's how the story goes.
Catherine: Yea. She was um, very, uh what do you call it?
Kevin: Proper.
Catherine: Proper influence, well yea she was a good influence on him. And he's really done very well.
Kevin: Well, that's good.
Catherine: And I like, all three of them, I like all of their, umm, I like Maureen's husband, and I like Howie's wife, and of course I like your father's wife too, far as that's concerned. It's been, very very happy, a very very happy life as far as that's concerned.
Kevin: That's good.
Catherine: Ok.
Kevin: Good job.
Catherine: I hope so.