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May 11th

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Elizabeth and Gifford Tuttle Interview Stories

Continuation of Elizabeth Tuttle Stories from the tapes at the Lucas County Historical Society as transcribed by Darlene Arnold at the Lucas County Genealogical Society and which appeared in their newsletter - October/December 2010.

Fred Gay's statement was:  One thing that interests me when talking to you earlier was the different advertisings.  The different ways you advertised, through the newspaper and by using your store windows.  You put a lot of time into those.  Number one, the "Tuttle Talkies".

Elizabeth:  There was a very efficient and timely man in our Hardware Association.  He always tried to make suggestions to help someone.  I don't know who it was that suggested I write them in rhyme.  So, of course when I looked around the hardware store I found something that would rhyme with something over there.  He said I wish you could get a good heading for your ad.  So I tried and it ended up "Tuttle Talkies" and I asked the newspaper if they would make us a plate and they used that for years and years and I still have stacks of the "Tuttle Talkies".  Every week we run them and people are awfully kind and thoughtful and thousands of people speak words of kindness to us.  People would say, "Hey, I like your 'Tuttle Talkies', I always read them."  We said our farewell in "Tuttle Talkies" style.  Our departure of the business - It was a time of sadness and happiness all mixed together.

We are both from farm homes.  We know that indoors and outdoors hardware is needed.  I think that if a man needs a bolt to fix that plow I could get it for him.  He was always thankful that I could go get him the right size that he wanted.  Then he could go on his way rejoicing and he could get his work done.  Now everyone had to get there work done.  I will tell you something beautiful.  I think when we put an electric range in the home it raised the standard of our home considerably.  I went to the factory to take training especially in the electric cookery.  I could tell this lady, or each lady, what she needed to know when she bought the range.  I could tell her how much water to use in cooking.  Another thing was the waterless cooker.  It was a very human thing.  It reaches into daily life, morning, noon and night.  There was almost everything they could buy at our store.  Sometimes the lowliest utensils would be so necessary in a home.  I enjoyed people telling me what they needed and how they wanted to use it.  I could then select something and get them what they needed because I had studied these myself.  I went to Chicago to the Merchandise Mart and various manufactures were there, and I could buy a half dozen of this and four dozen of that and I always enjoyed finding new things that would make life easier, more helpful and there was a pride in using a good utensil.  I loved to give demonstrations,  how to use the cookware.  How to cook without water in the waterless cookware.  I would serve it to the ladies as we had demonstrations in the back of the store and we just had a great time.  I could show them what the new items would do.  Of course being raised on a farm I knew what was needed.  I enjoyed telling the people about that.

It was hard for us to make up our minds to leave the business.  The customers were all our friends and we had been serving them all these years and serving them the best way we could.  We enjoyed it and we loved to be useful in this world.  It was not about the money it was about the friendship.  Look at all the service and happiness you can bring to all the people in your area.  That is where you get your satisfaction.

In our side yard there is a dogwood tree that grows and each year it blooms.  I was a teacher and I loved literature and I loved to give it to the children when I found a special gem and the legend of the Dogwood is a very special gem of literature.  Mrs. Shirley Yocom, a good friend of mine, was a Sophomore teacher and I talked to her and told her I would like to invite her Sophomore classes to come over when the Dogwood tree blooms and tell them the story of the dogwood tree and I would serve them cookies and punch.  She thought that would be fine.  Her classes are 40-minute classes and that gives them time to come over, if they hurry, and I would take them out to the Dogwood tree and give them the legend.

This is the legend - At one time when the earth was much younger than it is now the Dogwood tree was the very strongest tree in the forest.  It was so strong that when evil men wanted to kill God's only son, they decided to kill him on the Dogwood tree, so they nailed him on with terrible spikes through the palms of his hands and through his feet and left him there to die.  And this Son of God had a very sensitive nature and in his agony he felt that the tree was suffering with him.  So he said to the tree, "From now on you will not be a strong tree, your limbs will be small and knotty and prickly and rough and your flowers will have red spots on them and people will remember."  And so he died on the tree.

I had 500 copies of the legend made and we would take them by classes and I would take them out and tell them the story and have them come up and look at the little limbs and the flowers.  They were not as big as my arm and they are rough and knotty and wouldn't hold any weight at all.  Then I took them in and served them cookies and punch and I would pass the paper out with the legend printed on it.  They always remember me in some sweet way.  I don't want them to spend their money on me but they will do it.  This last time they sent me a 9-foot long thank you, about 36 inches wide, with all their names written on it.  There were 6 classes with 20 per class so that was about 120 pupils and all had signed their names with some little sweet note on it.  I almost broke down when I received it.  It was all roled up and tied with a bow and I said to Gifford, "What is this?"  And he said it was from the class and it was this beautiful card sweet thank you.

That was one of the loveliest things I feel I could do for people and I wish I could do more.

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