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Silent Generation (1928-1945)
Date of Interview
Macalester-Groveland, Saint Paul, 1944
Oral History | Psychology
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Catherine Paulsen is a white female born on December 22nd, 1944. She lived with her father, mother, and siblings while growing up. Her father was a trucking firm accountant, and her mother was a homemaker. She was raised Catholic. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Paulsen discusses her family history and life growing up in a house built by her grandfather. She shares the history of the family members that lived in this home. Paulsen recalls watching fights on TV and walking to a buffet restaurant. Paulsen talks about family pets, including a dog and a canary. Paulsen discusses her family's religious background and practices. She talks about in her early years, the children stayed home with her father while her mother and aunt attended church. Later on, the entire family began attending church together. She speaks on how as an adult, religion remains important to her, and she continues to attend church every Sunday. Paulsen talks about her neighborhood, how her neighborhood had abundant trees and diverse types of houses, each with its own unique architecture. She talks about the shared values, sense of community, and sense of safety she felt from her neighborhood, although she does share some stories where something unusual happened, such as a drunk person sleeping on their porch and a fire in Highland Park. Paulsen reflects on leisure time, that leisure time wasn't abundant and suggests that people focused on yard work, laundry, and cooking without the conveniences of today. Leisure activities mainly involved talking, with family members spending time sitting on the porch and engaging in conversation. Paulsen shares that her parents were avid readers, passing on a love for reading to the children. Paulsen recalls her school experiences during childhood. She shares that she was initially terrified of school, finding ways to leave school early. She shares some stories of the teachers that stood out to her. For local and global issues, Paulsen discusses her limited awareness of local and global issues during her childhood. She remembers a relative who was in the military during the Korean conflict. She states there wasn’t much political discussion at home and mentioned that her interest in politics developed later in life. She also briefly mentioned the impact of the fire for local issues.
All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced without the written permission of Concordia University Library or Julie Luker, Department of Psychology, Concordia University, St. Paul.
Luker, Julie M., "Catherine Paulsen" (2023). Saint Paul and Surrounding Area. 61.