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Doris Coale
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Early Years

"I probably was 2 or 3 weeks old. And I’m held by my Great Grandmother Scofield. And the other woman is my Grandmother MacLaughlin, and my Dad." - Doris

"Now that one is Grammy Piper. And I think that was one of the first outings. No it wasn’t because I was about 6 months there. 3 - 4? How old do you think? Well I was still in long dresses! And in my baby book it tells when I went into short dresses. What happened to it? [Looking at the baby book.] It says .. and babies in those days did. They had long dresses. And just like the dresses that were Frances’s and Elizabeth’s - Liz’s, that the twins were baptized in. Those were just ordinary everyday dresses. [Reading from the baby book.] "At 3 months Doris Marie was put into short dresses. The first dress given to her by her Aunt Elizabeth." So - I was under 3 months. There’s one cute kid! [laughs] - Doris


What are your earliest memories?


My earliest memory is of my, my Grandfather McLaughlin yelling at me. Well, I was three years old and I was at my grandparents house and he had a bad asthma attack. He'd been sick and I was sitting in front of the oven door. They'd open the oven of the old fashioned black stove and I was sitting there keeping warm playing with my dolls. And I was singing a lullaby to my doll and my Grandfather YELLED at me. Oh, God, I stopped singing awful fast. And my cousin Jean came out of the bedroom and she went over to my Grandfather and she says "Grampy! Don't you yell at Doris. She's just a little girl.".

Oh, Jean was my best friend. She was my cousin but she was also my best friend I ever had.


Where were you living at that time?


Ahh, 502 Main Street. 502 Main Street had belonged to my Grandfather Piper. And after my father married, she was the baby of the family [Doris's mother], he wanted her to live at home. And it was a big house so they, ... My Grandparents lived downstairs and they made an apartment upstairs for my Mother and Father and me. And we lived there, uh, oh I don't know. My Grandmother passed away in 1929 so it must have been I was five or six years old. And my dad bought the house and they moved upstairs and we moved downstairs. And that was always our headquarters. We'd live other places, but we'd always come back to 502 Main Street.

502 Main Street
Bangor, Maine

My father bought it from my Grandfather for 4,500 dollars. And was a, oh!, beautiful old Victorian house. Well I guess it was a late Victorian period And they kept it and rented it until after World War II. And then Dad went back and the man on the opposite corner, down the street, wanted to buy it and my Dad sold it for 4,500 dollars. And now its a motel.

They took the house on the corner which was an old, old, house. Beautifully kept up but it was a small Cape. And then there was a back L. And they tore that down and then there was a wood lot on the other side of our property and a big old double tenement house. I don't know what else had been there but I know that the house I was born in was gone.

When my Dad was just a kid he used to go over from Brewer. Walk over to Bangor, it was circus time, and he would get a job dragging water in for the elephants. And he'd play around there all day, and work, and then when the circus was over he'd walk down to the park and he'd look across the street and see this big old Victorian house and think "Oh, God, I wished I lived there.". And that's the one he bought. But he had to go all the way to Brewer and that was to long.