Christina (Henry) Snyder

Christina (née Henry) Snyder
Born: June 1, 1923 Died:
Schoolmate of Madelyn Payne

Christina (Henry) Snyder Interview

Interview ID: 14
Recorded: October 28, 2013
Location: In her home, Wichita, Kansas
Videographer: Steve Cless
Interviewer: Kym Dickey

Interview Summary

Christine (née Henry) Snyder (June 1, 1923- ) was a year behind Madelyn in school, and being from the country south of Augusta, did not attend school in Augusta until high school, so she does not recall having personally known Madelyn, though she remembers knowing who she was when they were in high school.

Christine’s recollections include growing up in oil country south of Augusta, going to a country school, beginning nurse’s training, then working at Boeing during the war years.

Run Time: 1:02:30

Transcript/Finding Aid:

Finding Aid Notes

00.00-00. Camera, sound adjustments
00.00-2.23 Personal information: Christine was born June 1, 1923 to parents Ed and Gladys Henry from Illinois. Her father worked first in Atlanta in oil fields, then Augusta, and ran the pump station. The family lived in Miller Corner, south of Augusta, in what they called a shotgun house. She went to Browntown school through 8th grade, and had to go to El Dorado to take a test to qualify for high school.
2.24-6.40 About Browntown: Christine’s mother other drove her to high school. She graduated in 1941. She didn’t know Madelyn personally, who was a year ahead of her. Those from country schools didn’t mix much with those from city. They had to go home and do chores. Christine had one sister, Donna, 9 years younger, who was allowed to go to Augusta schools.
6.41-8.05 About Girl Reserves: Christine belonged to a Christian group, kind of like High Y, a group for boys. She entered nurses training after high school at El Dorado hospital. She lived in a home for nursing students. She went to junior college and trained at the hospital.
8.06-10:15 About husband and nurses training: Christine’s future husband was in the Navy, in Chicago for training. She had to get permission from her supervisor to get married. She married Gilbert Dean Snyder in 1943. They met at Cumberland Church, south of Augusta. When she reported back after the wedding, she was told she could not even say goodbye to her husband, she refused to comply.
10.16-15.06 Marriage and letters during the war years: They were married at First Baptist Church in Wichita. The couple lived in a garage apartment in California after he came back from overseas. He served in the South Pacific, repairing planes on several islands. She remembers the “code” he used to let his parents know where he was, involving family members’ names coinciding with the names of the islands.
15.07-17.56 After the war, family and work: After his service, they moved to Wichita, and he went back to work at Beech, where he had worked previously. She not graduate from nursing; she left training after the incident recounted above and she never went back. She worked at Boeing while Gilbert was overseas, built small parts. After the war, they lived in Wichita, where their sons were born.
17.55-22.16 About depression: She thinks of her family as lucky, for her dad had a steady job, running pump stations. They came from farm life so they always had a big garden, plenty of chickens. They had gas heat and lights in the house. They also had running water, only cold. Added room for kitchen. She remembers bathing in big round tub in the kitchen. Her dad was always inventive, made a makeshift washing machine out of an oil barrel. Her mother made most of her clothes, though they shopped some at Calvert’s.
22.17-27.40 Back to childhood home: The family used a cave (manmade) as a storm shelter. She loved to roller skate. and remembers the roller rink on 7th Street. She had perfect attendance all four years of high school, except for one day and large snowstorm.
27.41-30.27 About living on the Wallace Lease (in high school): She describes the lease where they lived, including a buffalo wallow, a depression, different grass and lots of flowers. Her dad hunted rabbits on the snow.
30.28-36.29 End of war: When news of the war’s end came, she and her husband were living in CA. Everyone left the plant, the base and celebrated. He was released in November. During war, tires, shoes, and sugar were hard to get.
36.30-44.40 Pearl Harbor: Christine was in training when she heard about Pearl Harbor. She tries to reconstruct chronology of war years with her personal life.
44.41-46.49 Children and retirement: Christine talks about her sons’ educations. Her husband retired from Beech after 45 years, in about 1986.
46.50-51.07 Recollection on the Dust Bowl: The dust didn’t seem so bad to her, but she remembers the invasion of the grasshoppers.
51.08-1.02.30 Final Thoughts: Interruption from son’s phone call. She shares her thoughts about how the world has changed, including some changes in Augusta.