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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Alcaraz

Gene Haller from Garden Place Waterloo

Gene Haller - Gene’s Parents

“My mother came from St. Louis. Her Step Father worked in Dupo so she was living in Dupo and rode the streetcar to St. Louis. My dad lived in Columbia and he rode the street car to East St. Louis but by the time the streetcar got to Dupo, there was no seats! So he got up and let her sit down and that developed the relationship and they started dating and they got married. Uh they lived in Dupo and sometime before I was born they moved to Columbia.”

Gene Haller - Gene’s Parents Pt. 2

“My dad was born in a Hanover (Illinois) and the house that he was born in is still there and he and his family moved to Columbia when he was six. So he started first grade in Columbia and at that time he could not speak a word of English. So he had to be taught English right off the bat. My mother, well her father owned a store in North St. Louis. He died when she was seven so her mother had a rough time. She worked as a domestic and lived with relatives in several places in St. Louis and uh she went to school and graduated from the high school over there in St. Louis. I can’t tell you which one. And then her mother remarried. That gentleman worked in Dupo. That’s how they got out to Dupo.”

Gene Haller - Gene the Bachelor

“I left in 1951 when I was drafted into the Army for two years. Then I came back and my mother thought I would never get married. Uh I was always dating but I was having too much fun! I wasn’t wanting to get married! These friends of mine that were in service with me, I introduced them to different girls. I worked in a bank in St. Louis so there was a lot of girls around there that I worked with. Uh and I dated one of them but anyhow these guys didn’t have dates so they said, you got all these women you work with fix us up! So I did. And the first one is Dorothy who is now a resident here uh she married. And then her girlfriend Catherine also was fixed up on a date and she got married. Well these girls and their husbands decided I was having too much fun being single so they said we gotta get you a date, I said alright with me. So this girl that Dorothy worked with at Union Electric she said well she’s down in Texas right now on vacation. When she gets back we’re gonna have a, I’m gonna fix you up on a blind date. I said okay with me!”

Gene Haller - Gene the Bachelor Pt. 2

So she did and uh I met this woman and uh right away I was attracted to her I can’t tell you exactly why but uh I thought she was pretty neat. We started dating and uh we started getting serious. And uh for the first Christmas I bought her an engagement ring and we were married the following year in June.”

Transcription and Audio Edit by Ileana Chavez.

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