The Evanston Community Kitchen

A food memoir about women in the kitchen and history in the making

1926: Juney goes to the Big Apple to Work for Alice Foote MacDougall — Takes a Big Bite

6 Comments

My grandmother left Evanston, Illinois in 1926 for the Big Apple.  She left her job as the assistant manager of the Community Kitchen to go to New York City.  Juney (my grandmother) was single. Why not? She was an independent woman and had secured a great job working as Alice Foote MacDougall‘s manager.

I am sure Granny Dell was not very happy about her youngest daughter going to New York by herself. But Juney did.

Granny Dell must have appreciated it a little. I wish I could ask her. “Granny Dell, how did you feel when Juney left Evanston for the Big Apple?”

For more historic images of New York City, see this article in The Atlantic.

Perhaps Granny Dell would answer something like this, “Well, I went to Spokane in 1880 all by myself from Ohio. I didn’t know anyone in Spokane and I had secured a great job as a teacher, so I understood. Deep down I understood. Freedom is a beautiful thing.”

My grandmother wrote down quotes on little scraps of paper and cut out newspaper cartoons and clippings that were inspiring. I have some of them.

One of my favorites that Juney wrote down is: “Wear your learning like your watch, in a private pocket; and do not pull it out, and strike it, merely to show that you have one.” -
Lord Chesterfield

This certainly was true for Juney. She never bragged about her experiences or career. I sure wish she would have when I was a child. But she sure did brag about her grandchildren and her daughter.  Mary Liz, Juney’s niece did not even know that Juney had been to Europe twice. My mom told me last year about her two trips to Europe. Juney went to Cuba in the 30′s too.

My grandmother, Elizabeth Odell Welch -- "Juney"

My grandmother, Elizabeth Odell Welch — “Juney”

Juney was so elegant.  I can’t begin to tell you how beautiful she was.  Well, actually I can and I will — in the book, which I have to get back to writing.

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Author: Megan Oteri

I am an arts educator, writer, poet, photographer, and mama. United Arts Council Artist in the Schools and Writer-in-Residence -- I am available to conduct workshops and residencies: Memoir, Writing, Poetry, Spoken Word, Poetry Slams. Contact me for more information. Also available for freelance writing and photography. I am also working on a historic food memoir: http://evanstoncommmunitykitchen.wordpress.com

6 thoughts on “1926: Juney goes to the Big Apple to Work for Alice Foote MacDougall — Takes a Big Bite

  1. When we were kids, Aunt Juney’s glasses were regarded as “old fashioned”. Looking at her photo now, I regard them as very cool. She and my dad always got along very well and I can remember their slipping away from Thanksgiving festivities to watch football on tv. Nana and I visited her once at the State St. Marshall Fields store (may it rest in peace) where Juney sold food products. I think she sold health food, which was misunderstood at the time. She was more than a salesperson. I think she was a kind of food consultant to Fields and may have done food demonstrations as well.

  2. In this photo Aunt Juney looks almost identical to her sister Harriet (my “Nana”).

    • Both Harriet and Juney were very beautiful and elegant older women. I will have to send you a copy of a photo I found recently of your father, my mother, and Aunt Harriet. Granny Dell must have had great legs, as both her daughters has beautiful legs. Happy Grandparents’ Day Harriet. I hope you enjoy your day thinking of your nana. Harriet was a remarkable woman.

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