June Clark was born on June 27, 1932 in Queenstown, Maryland. Her mother had a restaurant [Marie’s] and her father was a truck driver, and her aunt worked in the Glenn L. Martin airplane factory. She, her brother and her parents ferried once a month to Baltimore to bring her brother to Hopkins Hospital. She and her brother later moved to Florida to live with their grandparents for a couple of months before returning to Maryland. June got married after high school and traveled with her husband. She and her husband currently lives in Centreville, Maryland.
In the interview, June speaks about how rationing personally affected her family, recounting how many pairs of shoes her brother went through due to his condition. She also recalls the raid drills and bond drives her school held. June discusses how the war affected Queenstown and its people through seeing numerous stars in home windows to mark the soldiers, the big return celebrations, women in the workforce and segregation in town.
The Problem with Rationed Shoes
Shoes, yes. My brother, who was crippled, and he went through shoes maybe a pair every couple months. He would use my coupons, my mom’s and dad’s coupons, and we were very fortunate there was an all-purpose hardware store in Queenstown. And he was very generous. He said, “Okay, when you get your coupons, just bring them up.” So, it was quite a help for us.
Women Working During the War
Well, just a form of life. I mean that’s all I ever knew. I did have an aunt that was involved in the war. She worked at Glenn L. Martin’s over in Baltimore. In fact, her plaque is on display out to the museum, too. When they donated blood, when you reached a gallon, you got a plaque. So her plaque is out there, as a memorial.
Segregation in Queenstown
Well, they had a separate door. They were not allowed to come into the restaurant itself. There was a separate door that they would go into. And it was very small, and they would just be able to place their orders, and it would be a carryout type of business for them. You know, we just grew up with them. I know they were, for a better word, segregated in town. But they shopped in the stores that we did and everything. But I don’t remember any problems at all. I think the movies they had like an upstairs, and they would have to go upstairs. But nothing else was segregated.
Ferrying to Baltimore
It was called Smokey Joe, and it was a big, black boat as I remember. And we used to go into the Harbor—I don’t know if any of you are familiar with Baltimore or not. But it was not like it is now; it was very run down. And then my aunt who worked at Glenn L. Martin too, we would stay with her because we were taking my brother to his hospital every month.
Electricity on the Farm
He always tells this story about electricity. We now own the farm that he lived on. His father ran electricity past the house to the barn in order to milk. And didn’t get electricity till about a year later at the house.