Grandma Salta (1935-1936)

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Grandma Salta (1935-1936)


Recollection written by George W. Rose.

Grandma Salta 1935-1936
Typed Aug 14th 1987

My Grandmother Mary Rose Oliver - who married Frank Oliver - my father's Step Father - moved to Falmouth on Cape Cod - They had a little 4rm bungalow with 5 acres of land.
She grew straberries - and potatoes corn and duke cucumbers to live on.
My brothers and I with a few other of our city friends would go down to her house - sleep on the porch and pitch a tent - then we would pick strawberries for farmers in the area. They woudl pay us 2cents a basket. The baskets were 4" by 2 1/2" high. It owuld take about 25 berries to fill ea basket giving us 2 cents ea - They would give us a little round check on turning in ea full basket of berries - on your knees for 8 hrs at a time was hard on the back also at a time was hard on the back also we would have alot of fun - watching the girls and women trying to make more money on the run -
At night we would gather at the post office - and the older ones would have cars - they would go to the beach and have fun - some times they would take us -
We use to pick cohogs and clams before it got dark. We would bring them home to my grandmother so she could make clam chowder and other meal from the fish we would bring home. 4th of July we used to go out at night and knowk over out houses. Some time someone would be in it - and we wouldn't know it - we got chased many time by the people also the police - We played tricked on some of the real cheap farmers - who hated to pay us for a basket at 2 cents unless it was overflowing sometime we would steal his truck and go for a joy ride - 
When school opened we would have to come back home to the city E. Camb. making probably 150.00 to 200.00  dollars for the sumer after giving my poor grandmother and grandfather a few dollars - they would never ask us for any money - they were wonderful to us. My Grandma and Grandpa - Deleted their Chickens - making sure we got plenty eggs and chicken soup to eat.
and plenty milk from the cow she had also a goat. She used to talk Portuguese to her animals and birds she had - They obeyed her just like little children - We used to be amazed at the things she used to make them do. She had a dog, named Jack. She would send him to the store with Box Tops from the product she wanted. The store keeper would put them in a bag and the dog would come right back home to her like a little kid. 2 miles. Then she would reward him with something to eat. She had a black crow that she found dying one day and nursed it back to health. She trained him when she wanted my Grandfather to come in from the fields. She would send the bird to him - Fly [illegible] and fly back to her. She would feed him.
She spoke to the birds and animals like she was talking to a little kid - they would just look at her and do as she asked - The cow and the billy goat also did as she asked - She was an amazing woman w/ animals - 
When I got older and went into the U.S. Army - I was stationed for one year at Camp Edwards in Falmouth so I got to see them quite often. Before I got sent overseas I gave ten dollars a week to my Grandma - and 10.00 a week to my Grandpa. I had it sent by my 1st Sgt. Neither one knew I was giving 10.00 to ea one of them. My grandmother would cash the check w/ the milk man so he wouldn't know and he would walk to Kenyons store 1/2 mile away to buy his tobacco and cash their welfare check - at the same time cash the 10.00 he was getting from me ea month. I did this for most of the time. I was in the service 5 yrs. I didn't drink or smoke so I thought this was the best place to put my money and I felt good in my heart.
My father nor my family never knew this until my Grandmother told my father right before my Grandpa took sick and died - He also learned about my Grandmother too. My Dad was very happy that I had done this for his mother and step father - 
Sneaked a peek
Many times we watched the older strawberry pickers take the girls behind the out houses or shed to have sex, some time in the woods also.



From the collection of the Rose family, courtesy of Carol Rose Camelio.


UMass Lowell, Center for Lowell History


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Rose, George W., “Grandma Salta (1935-1936),” Portuguese American Digital Archives, accessed October 23, 2021,

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