Jean H. Gallup Interview:
Today’s date is January 20, 2016. This is file #13, cycle 2. I am interviewing Mrs. Jean Gallup. She is going to talk about many things including OWLs Kitchen, working at Hotchkiss, the Lakeville Journal and being an alternate on the Planning and Zoning Board. This is Jean McMillen. We’ll start with the genealogical information.
JM:What is your name?
JM:Your maiden name?
JG:June 7, 1929
JM:Your parents’ names?
JG:Mary and Luke
JM:Do you have siblings?
JG:Yes, a brother John and a sister Mary
JM:Your educational background after high school?
JG:Tufts College with a BA in English
JM:You said that you came to the area because your husband who is a pediatrician, Dr. John William Gallup got a job at the Sharon clinic in 1962?
JM:We are going to talk about OWLs Kitchen first. What is the national organization of OWLs Kitchen? What does it stand for?
JG:It is not a kitchen organization: it stands for Older Women League. It was thought to disseminate information on issues relating to older women. It worked within the political system.
JM:Would you say that it started out as a political organization?
JG:It is an advocacy group: OWLs Kitchen is the only chapter of that organization that has a food pantry. (Now it is called the Northwest Food Pantry Ed.)
JM:Is it the only one in the country or in New England?
JG:The only one in the country that has a food pantry.
JM:Do you know when the food pantry part of it started?
JG:I wish I did but I don’t.
JM:I had from my notes from Sue Morrill that it started in about May of 1990. Would that sound about right?
JG: That is much later than when it started. I think it started in the 1970’s as a guess.
JM:Why was it started?
JG:It was started to supplement diet of people who had low income, but to bring them healthy food.
JM:That is a wonderful goal. Who were some of the people that were on the board when you were there?
JG:Jean Russo (Cornwall), Mary Alice White, Marion Smith of Millerton, Anne chamberlain (Cornwall)
JM:This was regional, wasn’t it? It was not just a local endeavor.
JG:There was an effort always to have someone from near-by towns. There was Rosemary Fudali and I expect I shall recall other names after you leave.
JM:Now your focus with working with OWLs Kitchen was not the food part, but you said you were interested in health issues and the financial part of it as well as the newsletter.
JG:Right, broader issues relating to older women
JM:can you tell me something about the financial aspect; was it investments, cash flow? What was it that you did?
JG:I analyzed the cost of food that we were providing and looking for alternate sources.
JM:At that time was there a big push for local suppliers?
JG:What do you mean?
JM:Well now everything is local or organic food…
JG:The focus was on organic or good natural food.3.
JM:How about the newsletter? That I found fascinating. When did it start?
JG:I don’t know I think it started before I came on the board. Betty Wilber (Sharon) who was on the board was active in that. She also was the person who wrote a booklet on single payer health insurance. This booklet was also ultimately distributed to a number of chapters (OWLS) around the country and to other organizations at our cost.
JM:That was a very useful thing.
JG:It was very clearly written and easy to understand.
JM:Why was the newsletter started to begin with, to give out information?
JG:To raise awareness on issues of interest to older women.
JM:About how long did it last?
JG:The newsletter? It was still going I believe when I left, but I don’t know. Maybe not. It was often an 8 page letter.
JM:Oh that is big. The one that I have with me was 4 pages and was done in 2004. How long did you work with the newsletter?
JG:I can’t tell you. My time of the board those dates are elusive.
JM:Oh that’s fine. You were on the board for about 10 to 15 years?
JG:15 which I chaired in later years and co-chaired with Jean (Russo) for the last 2 or 3 years.
JM:the only connection that I have had is Margie Vail who goes to Gordon Ridgeway’s farm in Cornwall and collects food for the food bank. I had no idea that it was more than just food. I was really delighted to have you say that you were interested in the financial part of it, the health issues and the newsletter because this is very important. I am so glad it is still going.
JG:There is a real need. Have you ever visited it?
JM:No, I haven’t.
JG:I have often thought that if they would throw sort of an open house at a time when the clients are not there it would be very interesting to the community, but it hasn’t happened yet.
JM:It may. It should be because there are so many hidden assets in this town that people do not know about unless they are directly connected. This is one of the benefits for my anyway of doing Family Services, and the SVNA and the OWLS Kitchen because I don’t know about these things because I haven’t needed the services yet. I try to heighten awareness in my own way. That is good because I can talk to other people about these things. It is absolutely fascinating.
Is there anything else with OWLS Kitchen that you would like to add before we go on?4.
JG:I don’t think so.
JM:The Open House is a wonderful point. The Lakeville Journal, how did you get involved with that?
JG:Well our three children who were all clustered in one age group were just starting secondary school. We had been saving for college forever but then they went to private schools and we always felt that we wanted to cover their education. We =needed a little more money.
JM:I remember John, and there was…
JG:Sarah and Kristin.
JM:Who was the editor of the Journal at that time?
JG:Bob Estabrook (See tape #76 A&B, Bob Estabrook)
JM:You went there about 1970?
JM:what was your job?
JG:I did Classified ads and Real Estate.
JM:When you say classified ads and real estate, did you actually go out and gather the ads>
JG: Oh no I was a conduit into the press room.
JM:Was there a week schedule or a day that you made phone calls>
JG:I did not make phone calls.
JG:I collected the advertising information from outside sources and organized it. It was not a high powered job.
JM:But it was necessary. That is what pays for the paper, the classified ads.
JG:It paid my salary.
JM:Did you work with all the realtors in the area? Was this regional or just Salisbury?
JG:Oh any of the ones who advertised in the Journal were from the area.
JM:But at that time we didn’t have the Sotheby’s and the International business.
JG:We had Al Borden who was a big one.
JM:How long did you stay there?
JG:I don’t know probably four years.5.
JM:Enough time to augment the income so the kids could go to school.
JG:The opportunity at Hotchkiss came up. I was assistant to the Dean of Students.
JM:Who was the Dean of Students that you worked with?
JG:There were a number but initially I worked for Elinor Reed, Truman Barker, and Sam Coughlin who was a woman; her name was Marilyn but was called Sam.
JM:As assistant to the Dean of Students what was your function?
JG:I was sort of a go-between the students coming in, the computerization of records was just starting. I was trained so I was doing data entry, and consolidation of information.
JM:That must have been your forte, organization and consolidation.
JG:Why do you say that?
JM:Well because with the newsletter and the Journal you were getting information and organizing it.
JG:I like to collect information.
JM:and you like to organize it.
JM:How did the opportunity come up for you to work at Hotchkiss?
JG:Through the classified ads
JM:How long were you there?
JG:Bill, how long was I there? 9 or 10 years?
JM:You had said about 1982 to 1990.
JM:Did you enjoy the work?
JG:I did. I always liked schools so it was nice to be in a school setting. It was a very interesting class of people.
JM:Oh yes I found that with the contacts that I have had with Hotchkiss over the years. They have been very helpful, kind and good to me. At that time in 1982 it had already become co-educational.
JG:Yes that happened in the 1970’s. There are some students that I am familiar with from that period.
JM:Any connection with TLC except being a student?6.
JG:No not the board, just the classes.
JM:The classes are fun though.
JG:I think they are amazing.
JM:Alright we are going on to civic activities. Salisbury Central School what did you do there?
JG:I was on the school board.
JM:About how many years?
JG:I think 7.
JM:Who was head of the school board at that time?
JG:Charlotte Reid (See tape #89 A&B Charlotte Reid)
JM:Would that be late 1960’s or early 1970’s because when I came to Salisbury Central in 1967 she was head of the school board then.
JG:Do you know when she stepped down?
JM:No I don’t but I can find out.
JG:I also left at that time.
JM:Why did you want to be on the school board? Had you worked your way up through PTO and that sort of thing?
JG:I was head briefly. I was interested because we had children in the school.
JM:when you were not head of the school boards, but being on the board, did you have a specific area of expertise that you had to report on for the whole board?
JG:I was secretary at one point; I don’t think there were classifications then. Well there was buildings and grounds and so on.
JM:Secretary is a hard job.
JG:It is an interesting job because you do have a certain degree of choice of how you present the minutes.
JM:Yes and one little word can make a difference. I have been secretary and you have to be accurate. The way you present it is important. Also being able to read your notes afterwards!
JG:Increasingly that is a problem for sure.
JM:You were on the Democratic Town Committee. Do you remember when you joined it?
JM:Why were you on it?
JG:I was asked to be.
JM:When I came into town in 1967 and went to register to vote, I wanted to be an Independent.
JG:As I do.
JM:Lila Nash said, “No you have to be a Republican.” So I am a registered Republican, but that is not the way I vote necessarily. At that time the town was heavily Republican.
JG:I know but for the town clerk to tell you that you had to be.
JM:What did I know?
JG:It was illegal.
JM:Well now it is, but she ruled the roost.
JG:She was always sure.
JM:You were also on the board of Family Services. (See file #97 Patrice McGrath)
JM:Did that have a connection with OWLs Kitchen?
JM:How long were you on that?
JG:I think about 4 years.
JM:It is a wonderful organization.
JM:I am impressed with all of the things that they do.
JG:The Family Services and OWLS Kitchen worked in tandem I would say.
JM:Yes there is a connection. They Family Services know who needs the food to guide them to OWLS Kitchen.
JG:I think that was more of the role of the family Services than it was in the reverse.
JM:You were also on the Planning and Zoning.
JG:As an alternate
JM:You were for 3 years on that 1992-1995?
JG:Yes I must have been.
JM:What do they do at Planning and Zoning? (See file #4, cycle 2 Martin Whalen)
JG:They would certainly have a discussion of the bylaws and enforce the changes. Generally they just had a hearing on the applications.
JM:At that time was there a big discussion about putting up signs for businesses or did that come later?
JG:It may have come up but it certainly was not a big issue.
JM:Then it was not a major issue; it was mostly applications for building houses within the parameters of the
JG:Of the bylaws.
JM:That must have been interesting.
JG:It was. Len Stuart was extremely helpful in explaining the background of the issues. I think for me it was about the issues.
JM:About how many were on the board at that time?
JG:I think 7, but I am not sure or maybe 5.
JM:Were you the only alternate?
JG:No I don’t think so.
JM:There was more than one alternate.
JG:Bill Morrill was the chairman.
JM:Before we close the interview is there anythingthat you would like to add about what we have already talked about or something else that tickles your fancy?
JG:I think not. I certainly thank you for what you are doing to provide this information for the town.
JM:I am having a lot of fun doing it. Thank you so much for your time and your information.