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  • Martha Rasche

Another Mary


I've been helping Mary write her life story since last fall. She has done the writing; I have done the typing along with some rearranging and editing. This morning I delivered her story to her for final proofreading. Mary has had a number of jobs during her lifetime, and 1960 found her working in a local factory where women routinely were paid 25 cents an hour less than men for doing the same job. Mary, who had several children, let her boss know her husband was disabled (he had suffered a war injury) and she subsequently earned the same rate as her male co-workers. (She remembers that her female co-workers mostly were working toward vacations, new cars and other nonessentials— not to put food on their tables.) That winter she regularly took two bushel baskets of laundry along with her to work and went to the nearby Laundromat during lunchtime. The dirty clothes filled nine washers. She had just enough time to put the clean clothes into dryers for a bit so the clothing wasn't so heavy to lug home, where she hung it in the attic to finish drying.

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