Do you like to hear about factory folks? About people who live in a different sort of world than yours? To study human nature - to try to find out why human beings act as they do - is surely a fascinating occupation; or shall we call it a diversion? You remember Mrs. L., the jolly and very capable supervisor at Plant 3. We worked together years ago as teachers in the Junior department, and also on the same committee for dining room service at our Wednesday night family dinners, etc. In our new association she honors me with confidences that I would not dare divulge, even if I wanted to. In turn, I ask her a great many questions about behaviorisms ... these people that think on a lower level; why do they do thus and so? I thought I was quite a woman of the world. But Mrs. L. says, "Florence, you're so dumb." In her settlement work she has had to make a study of human nature - and, in many cases, nature in the raw. So she has made a real study of psychology - down-to-earth psychology. Virgil says I am getting a liberal education. But, do you know, we would be a great deal more tolerant if we really understood why people behave as they do.
One of our most interesting personalities at the factory is Annette. Annette is the most glamorous of the workers in Plant 3. Rather diminutive, she has a beautiful figure, blonde, curly hair, and blue-gray eyes. Those eyes have seen too much unhappiness and disillusionment. So naturally generous and affectionate is she that my heart goes out to her in her upset world. Annette was only four when her father died, and her mother was forced to go out and earn a living. The three little children - two girls and a boy were placed in an orphanage, where the children had the best of care. But Annette hated it. Her nature craved the cuddling, the tucking in at night. Proud and sensitive, she is easily hurt. When the day came that her mother brought them all home again, she thought that would be wonderful. I think Annette was about thirteen. But her mother has some strange quirk in her nature, where she goes off on a tangent for a week or so at a time, and makes her home an earthly hell. Annette was so unhappy and so insecure that marriage seemed the only way out. She was not yet eighteen when she took this man - "for better or for worse." It proved to be much worse than that child-bride could ever dream. He is just a rotter - a slacker from the service for his country, a reprobate, and a forger. Dear pity his children - their children! Dick is seven, and a handsome boy. Diane is five, and almost as pretty as her mother. Annette's mother takes care of the children, while their young mother works all day as inspector, and works three nights a week in a beer parlor, to augment her income. She is strong, and so very plucky, but we all worry about her - the terrible strain on her vitality. She doesn't belong in a beer parlor. She carries such a fine dignity, although the strangest expressions roll out of that little mouth. She pretends to be hard-boiled. But that child - for she is still a child - is so sensitive to unfriendly folks, and to the moods of those she likes and trust. She is at her best when she is in a teasing mood, and Shelby is in his usual good humor. He takes an awful beating from her - just because she is an irresistible little minx.
Now, I must close - after many interruptions. But would you like the rest of her story? Sorry for this abrupt ending.
Florence B. Taylor
Next - 6/24/43 - Children's Day in Church. Chuck an Usher
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