Helen Schreiber has been a member of the Village Garden Club since about 1970. She discusses immigrating to the U.S. from Germany in the 1940s with her Ukrainian parents, living in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood through high school, and returning after college to live in Shaker Heights. Schreiber describes her experience teaching flower arranging classes and her service in several positions in the garden club.
Schreiber, Helen (interviewee)
Cameron, Caitlen (interviewer)
Shaker Heights Historical Society
"Helen Schreiber interview, 25 August 2021" (2021). Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection. Interview 918008.
Caitlen Cameron [00:00:00] Alright. Today is August 25th. It is Wednesday. It's about 11 a.m. The weather today is sunny. It's supposed to rain a little bit later, unfortunately, but good for gardens.
Helen Schreiber [00:00:13] Yes.
Caitlen Cameron [00:00:13] We are in... Are we Cleveland Heights?
Helen Schreiber [00:00:18] Shaker Heights.
Caitlen Cameron [00:00:20] Shaker Heights. Okay. And so I am Caitlen Cameron again. And I am with...
Helen Schreiber [00:00:23] Helen Schreiber.
Caitlen Cameron [00:00:25] If you want to spell that please.
Helen Schreiber [00:00:27] H-E-L-E-N S-C-R-E-I-B-E-R.
Caitlen Cameron [00:00:34] Alright, Helen, I'm so excited to interview you. Helen has quite the notorious background and history. So are you ready to get started?
Helen Schreiber [00:00:42] Yes.
Caitlen Cameron [00:00:43] And do you consent to be recorded?
Helen Schreiber [00:00:45] Yes.
Caitlen Cameron [00:00:46] Alright. Let's get started. So I guess just start out with some basic questions. When and where were you born?
Helen Schreiber [00:00:53] I was born in Germany and my parents were forced labor during the war. They are Ukrainian.
Caitlen Cameron [00:01:04] Really?
Helen Schreiber [00:01:04] They were taken from the Ukraine to Germany to work.
Caitlen Cameron [00:01:10] Wow. How was that growing up?
Helen Schreiber [00:01:13] We left Germany when I was five. And we are very lucky to be in the United States.
Caitlen Cameron [00:01:22] Do you remember coming over?
Helen Schreiber [00:01:24] I do remember. We came on a very large ship and there were many sick people on the ship. It was a ten-day journey. And we landed in New Jersey. There was a church that sponsored us, and we lived on a chicken farm so my parents could earn enough money to come to Cleveland where we had friends. There was four children at the time.
Caitlen Cameron [00:01:59] Wow.
Helen Schreiber [00:01:59] Mhm.
Caitlen Cameron [00:01:59] Were they older or...
Helen Schreiber [00:02:04] How old were my parents? It was my stepfather to start with. They were in their early 40s. Mhm.
Caitlen Cameron [00:02:17] That's amazing, that's quite the journey.
Helen Schreiber [00:02:19] It is.
Caitlen Cameron [00:02:20] So how long were you in New Jersey?
Helen Schreiber [00:02:24] Just one year. Enough money to get to Cleveland.
Caitlen Cameron [00:02:28] Cleveland?
Helen Schreiber [00:02:28] Mhm.
Caitlen Cameron [00:02:28] What did your family do once you got to Cleveland?
Helen Schreiber [00:02:32] My father was a factory worker and my mother was a cleaning lady.
Caitlen Cameron [00:02:37] Really? So did you go to Cleveland schools then?
Helen Schreiber [00:02:43] Yes, we moved to Tremont, close to the steel mills, and our house was at the bottom of St. Olga and it is the highway 490 now. [laughs]
Caitlen Cameron [00:02:57] [laughs] Oh yeah, those highways took over everything!
Helen Schreiber [00:03:03] Yes. And I did go to the Tremont Elementary School and Lincoln High School.
Caitlen Cameron [00:03:09] So once you graduated, did you work right away or did you go to school?
Helen Schreiber [00:03:16] I started working when I was 16 at the local supermarket to help with the family finances. And on my 18th birthday I met my husband.
Caitlen Cameron [00:03:32] Really? So how did you meet him?
Helen Schreiber [00:03:35] I was celebrating my 18th birthday with friends at a bar that had a dance hall... [laughs]
Caitlen Cameron [00:03:44] Oh my gosh.
Helen Schreiber [00:03:46] And my husband was there with his friends. He was a college student at that time at Kent State, and he asked me to dance and he took me home that night.
Caitlen Cameron [00:03:59] Wow. Was he a good dancer?
Helen Schreiber [00:04:02] He was. I was not. [laughs]
Caitlen Cameron [00:04:06] [laughs] That's good because it's usually the opposite!
Helen Schreiber [00:04:13] It's true. [laughs]
Caitlen Cameron [00:04:13] Huh. [clock chimes in background] That's great. So once you met him did you continue to work?
Helen Schreiber [00:04:19] I continued to work and I did the books for the supermarket. And at 21 I got married and my husband was in his first year of medical school and I supported him. And by the time he graduated, we had no bills.
Caitlen Cameron [00:04:41] Really?
Helen Schreiber [00:04:41] Mhm.
Caitlen Cameron [00:04:42] Wow. How did you... How did you do that? That's amazing.
Helen Schreiber [00:04:47] I'm not sure actually. [laughs] We did save all our money from our wedding, and I worked when we moved to Columbus. He was at Ohio State. Somehow we got through it.
Caitlen Cameron [00:05:04] Yeah. Did you did you guys have like a small wedding or was it?
Helen Schreiber [00:05:07] We had a very ethnic wedding. There was an accordion playing. It was in a church hall.
Caitlen Cameron [00:05:14] Wow.
Helen Schreiber [00:05:14] I was Luthe... I was Catholic, my husband was Lutheran. And my parents were a little upset about that. [laughs] But I think they got over it.
Caitlen Cameron [00:05:25] Yeah.
Helen Schreiber [00:05:27] And I stopped working when we had our first child during medical school.
Caitlen Cameron [00:05:35] Wow. That's amazing. So, when you had the first... How old were you when you had your first kid?
Helen Schreiber [00:05:43] Twenty-three.
Caitlen Cameron [00:05:44] Twenty-three?
Helen Schreiber [00:05:44] Mhm.
Caitlen Cameron [00:05:44] Okay. And then, so did you... So you stopped working forever or did you go back to work after?
Helen Schreiber [00:05:53] I did not go back to work. Yeah. I did work for my husband. I did his books for him...
Caitlen Cameron [00:05:59] Yeah, but that's a lot of work.
Helen Schreiber [00:06:00] For a while. Yes.
Caitlen Cameron [00:06:04] So you did that, and how many kids do you have?
Helen Schreiber [00:06:08] Four children.
Caitlen Cameron [00:06:08] Four?
Helen Schreiber [00:06:10] Three girls, one boy.
Caitlen Cameron [00:06:11] Oh my gosh. Well, that's a lot of girls.
Helen Schreiber [00:06:13] Yes.
Caitlen Cameron [00:06:16] Okay.
Helen Schreiber [00:06:16] And they range in age from there's a fourteen-year difference between the oldest and the youngest.
Caitlen Cameron [00:06:25] Wow. So what I kind of want to know is so you were in Columbus...
Helen Schreiber [00:06:27] Mhm.
Caitlen Cameron [00:06:28] And your husband was working...
Helen Schreiber [00:06:31] He was in school [crosstalk] the whole time. Yes.
Caitlen Cameron [00:06:34] Okay, so when did, I guess, when did he start working?
Helen Schreiber [00:06:38] Well, we arrived in Cleveland. He was going to be a surgeon, and Case Western Reserve, University Hospitals, he did his residency there for five years of every other night on call.
Caitlen Cameron [00:06:54] Oh my gosh.
Helen Schreiber [00:06:54] Mhm.
Caitlen Cameron [00:06:57] That, the level of work to be a surgeon is insane. So...
Helen Schreiber [00:07:01] Yes, our oldest daughter is a neurosurgeon and her training was seven years...
Caitlen Cameron [00:07:07] Wow.
Helen Schreiber [00:07:08] After medical school...
Caitlen Cameron [00:07:09] Amazing.
Helen Schreiber [00:07:13] And she's married to a neurosurgeon. [laughs]
Caitlen Cameron [00:07:16] So once you moved to Cleveland, did you move to this house, or where you arrive?
Helen Schreiber [00:07:22] No, we, actually, we did arrive in Shaker Heights. We rented two separate houses. And it was fun living in a two-family house with small children.
Caitlen Cameron [00:07:37] Yeah.
Helen Schreiber [00:07:37] And we encountered some lovely, helpful people. And then we bought our first house in Shaker. I think I was 29 at the time.
Caitlen Cameron [00:07:52] Twenty-nine?
Helen Schreiber [00:07:53] Yes. And we stayed there for ten years. We moved to the Shaker Boulevard house, we were there for twenty-five years. And I have been at the present house for ten years.
Caitlen Cameron [00:08:07] Really? Gosh.
Helen Schreiber [00:08:10] And I've had a garden in all three houses. [laughs]
Caitlen Cameron [00:08:13] Really? Okay. [Helen laughs] That was my next question. I wanted to know what started. When... I mean did you garden as a kid?
Helen Schreiber [00:08:19] My mother always gardened. I did belong to a 4-H club during the summer, and they would come and inspect the hollyhocks or whatever I had planted or the vegetables. And then it kind of disappeared for a while. But I always loved flowers.
Caitlen Cameron [00:08:40] Flowers? Okay. So your gardens in Cleveland were all flower gardens mostly?
Helen Schreiber [00:08:46] Mostly flower gardens. We've had a couple of vegetable gardens, but I figured out by the time the vegetables are ready, I could have bought them at the market. [laughs]
Caitlen Cameron [00:09:01] [laughs] I am going through the same exact thing, and they take months to grow for one good one.
Helen Schreiber [00:09:07] I did go into the back of my garden this week, and I discovered from my compost pile I had squash growing and potatoes.
Caitlen Cameron [00:09:18] Really?
Helen Schreiber [00:09:19] Which shocked me.
Caitlen Cameron [00:09:21] Yeah.
Helen Schreiber [00:09:21] Yes.
Caitlen Cameron [00:09:23] Wow. Well, that'll be good for the fall then.
Helen Schreiber [00:09:25] Yes.
Caitlen Cameron [00:09:25] Huh. So you've had these gardens in Cleveland and Shaker Heights...
Helen Schreiber [00:09:32] Mhm.
Caitlen Cameron [00:09:32] I guess when did you get started with the Garden Club?
Helen Schreiber [00:09:39] Over 40 years ago, probably 42, 43 years. And Erika Reale sponsored me. I was a little intimidated at first. I think I was one of the few people that nursed a baby on a bus for the club. We were going on a trip to Kingswood Gardens and I wanted to go even though I had a nursing baby. It has been a nurturing experience.
Caitlen Cameron [00:10:13] How would you say it's like that?
Helen Schreiber [00:10:14] I think our first flower show, I was talked into doing an arrangement and it was at the Botanical Garden Center and I won a blue ribbon and I thought it was a huge mistake...
Caitlen Cameron [00:10:33] Really?
Helen Schreiber [00:10:34] That I could never live up to it again. But I was encouraged.
Caitlen Cameron [00:10:40] Really?
Helen Schreiber [00:10:40] Yes.
Caitlen Cameron [00:10:41] Do you remember what the, what it looked like?
Helen Schreiber [00:10:45] It was in a... I wanted it to look like a Rembrandt flower arrangement with tulips and daffodils and roses, some things out of season, berries, lovely foliage. And there was a... I didn't follow the rules.
Caitlen Cameron [00:11:09] Really?
Helen Schreiber [00:11:09] Yes. [laughs]
Caitlen Cameron [00:11:09] Ooh. A rule breaker!
Helen Schreiber [00:11:12] Yes, it's because I didn't know the rules.
Caitlen Cameron [00:11:17] Yeah. Well, that's amazing.
Helen Schreiber [00:11:19] Mhm.
Caitlen Cameron [00:11:19] So did you... so that was your first your very first one, right?
Helen Schreiber [00:11:25] Mhm.
Caitlen Cameron [00:11:26] Gosh. So how did your next ones go?
Helen Schreiber [00:11:30] I have an assortment of ribbons from white to blue, and I do enjoy flower arranging, and I think it was the knowledge that I had acquired from being in the club. I do small weddings.
Caitlen Cameron [00:11:49] Mhm.
Helen Schreiber [00:11:50] I have a large wedding next year to do.
Caitlen Cameron [00:11:53] Really?
Helen Schreiber [00:11:53] I only do them for people I like. I've done two in England already...
Caitlen Cameron [00:11:58] Oh my gosh. Wow.
Helen Schreiber [00:12:00] Only because I have a fr[iend]... a landscape designer who lives in England who does design my gardens and she's probably my best friend.
Caitlen Cameron [00:12:14] Really? How did you meet her?
Helen Schreiber [00:12:15] She used to live in Shaker Heights and she designed my Shaker Boulevard garden, and I introduced her to quite a few people and she comes twice a year. She stays for two weeks every time. And it's been a wonderful experience.
Caitlen Cameron [00:12:39] Yeah. It sounds like a great friend.
Helen Schreiber [00:12:39] Mhm.
Caitlen Cameron [00:12:39] So you have these arrangements, right? So how did you learn, like after your first time where you just experimented, I guess how did you develop your talent?
Helen Schreiber [00:12:55] I think part of it was reading about it, reading the rule book, which I'm not very good at, and just watching other people, learning from other people. And the Garden Club would periodically have programs and flower arranging. And I'm doing one this November.
Caitlen Cameron [00:13:18] I know. [Helen laughs] Everybody talks about you and how remarkable you are with flower arranging.
Helen Schreiber [00:13:24] Oh. Hit and miss. [crosstalk] Hit and miss.
Caitlen Cameron [00:13:25] Whatever, modesty!
Helen Schreiber [00:13:27] No, no, you, you... You worry about it.
Caitlen Cameron [00:13:34] Mhm.
Helen Schreiber [00:13:34] And I like I don't like arrangements to look like they come from the florist shop.
Caitlen Cameron [00:13:40] Yeah.
Helen Schreiber [00:13:40] I like them to look like you walked into your garden, you picked whatever you could find—or your neighbor's garden—and make something out of it.
Caitlen Cameron [00:13:54] Okay.
Helen Schreiber [00:13:54] It's more of a relaxed look than a structured look.
Caitlen Cameron [00:13:59] Yeah. Yeah, because florist ones are very, like they try to be equal and...
Helen Schreiber [00:14:05] Designed.
Caitlen Cameron [00:14:06] Designed.
Helen Schreiber [00:14:06] Yes. Yes. Mhm. I like the the loose look.
Caitlen Cameron [00:14:09] The loose look. Hmm.
Helen Schreiber [00:14:09] Yes. [laughs]
Caitlen Cameron [00:14:11] Do you have a favorite flower to include?
Helen Schreiber [00:14:16] Oh, I would... Well, favorite flower is not what I include usually.
Caitlen Cameron [00:14:22] Okay.
Helen Schreiber [00:14:23] It is probably lily of the valley...
Caitlen Cameron [00:14:25] Okay.
Helen Schreiber [00:14:26] Because when my husband was in college, he picked a huge bouquet on my birthday and had one of his classmates deliver it to me on my...
Caitlen Cameron [00:14:37] Really?
Helen Schreiber [00:14:38] On my 19th birthday.
Caitlen Cameron [00:14:41] Aww!
Helen Schreiber [00:14:41] And I think the sheer beauty of that wrapped in aluminum foil. [laughs]
Caitlen Cameron [00:14:48] Mhm.
Helen Schreiber [00:14:48] But the scent is incredible.
Caitlen Cameron [00:14:52] Huh.
Helen Schreiber [00:14:52] And the thought, of course.
Caitlen Cameron [00:14:53] Yeah.
Helen Schreiber [00:14:54] It was very romantic.
Caitlen Cameron [00:14:56] Yeah. What did those smell like?
Helen Schreiber [00:15:01] It's like nothing else. It's like a gardenia. It's tuba rose. It's a little hard to describe. But there... It's hard to find in perfume, I think. It's a white flower smell. [laughs].
Caitlen Cameron [00:15:18] Yeah. That's a great memory.
Helen Schreiber [00:15:21] Yes, it is.
Caitlen Cameron [00:15:23] So I guess... So from here, you did flower arranging. Do you remember any prominent speakers like arrangers that came and taught you anything?
Helen Schreiber [00:15:38] Lorna Mierke was in our garden club, is in our garden club. She is a very good teacher.
Caitlen Cameron [00:15:48] Yeah. With Ikebana, right?
Helen Schreiber [00:15:49] Yes, and I'm not Ikebana person. I'm a little, I think, that... Less is best in Ikebana. I am the opposite... [laughs]
Caitlen Cameron [00:15:59] Yeah.
Helen Schreiber [00:15:59] Unfortunately. But it teaches you good design.
Caitlen Cameron [00:16:08] Mhm.
Helen Schreiber [00:16:08] Yes. And I think Lorna was probably one of our best teachers and kind.
Caitlen Cameron [00:16:14] Yeah. We... I interviewed her a couple weeks ago and she was a wonderful, wonderful woman.
Helen Schreiber [00:16:20] She's a great woman. Yes.
Caitlen Cameron [00:16:23] So her recording is on there too, so...
Helen Schreiber [00:16:24] Good.
Caitlen Cameron [00:16:26] But she she definitely is about line and color and balance and...
Helen Schreiber [00:16:31] Yes.
Caitlen Cameron [00:16:31] It's a lot of different components that go into Ikebana that I listened to but I'm like, I need practice [Helen laughs] if I am ever going to get that good.
Helen Schreiber [00:16:43] It's removing all the busyness and the beauty of one flower.
Caitlen Cameron [00:16:49] Yeah.
Helen Schreiber [00:16:49] Yeah.
Caitlen Cameron [00:16:50] So, you've been in for forty years, right?
Helen Schreiber [00:16:55] Yes.
Caitlen Cameron [00:16:56] I guess, going back, what all... Do you have favorite memories and things that you did?
Helen Schreiber [00:17:05] Oh, we used to have... We still do, but we used to have wonderful Christmas parties and I think we hosted at least three or four at our house, on Shaker Boulevard...
Caitlen Cameron [00:17:18] Really?
Helen Schreiber [00:17:18] And it was fun having everyone in your home. People would bring hors-d'ouevres. We would have flower arrangements for the holiday. And it was nice having the husbands there.
Caitlen Cameron [00:17:39] Yeah.
Helen Schreiber [00:17:39] And I can remember our youngest daughter got to meet a Nobel Prize winner.
Caitlen Cameron [00:17:45] Really?
Helen Schreiber [00:17:49] Yes. And in the end, we bought his house. It's the house I'm in, now.
Caitlen Cameron [00:17:54] Oh, who was it?
Helen Schreiber [00:18:03] Yes. His wife was the wife is Alice Robbins.
Caitlen Cameron [00:18:06] Okay.
Helen Schreiber [00:18:06] And he was... It just happens that he was at Case Western Reserve Medical School when my husband was a resident.
Caitlen Cameron [00:18:15] Okay.
Helen Schreiber [00:18:15] So we had a small connection.
Caitlen Cameron [00:18:18] Yeah.
Helen Schreiber [00:18:18] And when we bought the house, Alice said she was so happy that a doctor and a gardener were moving in.
Caitlen Cameron [00:18:26] Aww, yeah.
Helen Schreiber [00:18:27] It was very sweet.
Caitlen Cameron [00:18:31] Huh. So that's that's really remarkable. I mean, so when you have a Christmas party, is it stressful? Is it like, oh, I have my house perfect all this stuff or...
Helen Schreiber [00:18:40] Oh, but it's it's if you don't open up your house and use it, what is it?
Caitlen Cameron [00:18:45] Yeah.
Helen Schreiber [00:18:45] For looking at? [laughs]
Caitlen Cameron [00:18:50] Yeah. True! That's very true.
Helen Schreiber [00:18:50] I never worried about a mess.
Caitlen Cameron [00:18:51] Mhm.
Helen Schreiber [00:18:52] And it was a large house. I can't believe we lived in a house that large right now.
Caitlen Cameron [00:19:00] Really?
Helen Schreiber [00:19:01] And we learned to be happy in a small house. Much easier to take care of.
Caitlen Cameron [00:19:06] Yeah, easier to take care of.
Helen Schreiber [00:19:08] Yes.
Caitlen Cameron [00:19:10] Less messes, less stresses... [inaudible]
Helen Schreiber [00:19:12] Mhm, but we did acquire a very large yard with it, which surprised me.
Caitlen Cameron [00:19:18] Yeah, in Shaker that's lucky too.
Helen Schreiber [00:19:19] Yes.
Caitlen Cameron [00:19:19] Because I know a lot of people have little squares.
Helen Schreiber [00:19:23] And we have the Nature Center across the street. And I love seeing families and dogs walking every day.
Caitlen Cameron [00:19:31] Yeah.
Helen Schreiber [00:19:32] It's life.
Caitlen Cameron [00:19:33] So when... I'm trying to think. Do... Were you involved in any of like the history that went on with like, I know it may be before your time, but...
Helen Schreiber [00:19:46] Not the turnpike.
Caitlen Cameron [00:19:47] Yeah, no...
Helen Schreiber [00:19:48] Yeah, yeah.
Caitlen Cameron [00:19:48] Not that but like I know after that, there was still some like with the garden center being built and then people like developing that throughout time.
Helen Schreiber [00:19:59] No, no. That was all before. But we did... I'm trying to think. Well... I'm trying to think what we did. I think our main focus was the South Park cherry tree planting...
Caitlen Cameron [00:20:16] Okay.
Helen Schreiber [00:20:18] And through the years I have had almost every job but president.
Caitlen Cameron [00:20:26] Really?
Helen Schreiber [00:20:27] I... Which is something I do not want.
Caitlen Cameron [00:20:31] Why?
Helen Schreiber [00:20:31] Oh, there's plenty of capable women. [laughs] I've been treasurer. I've done programs. I've been vice president. I've had quite a few jobs.
Caitlen Cameron [00:20:50] Really?
Helen Schreiber [00:20:50] Yes.
Caitlen Cameron [00:20:50] Okay, since you've had quite a few, I'm going to ask what is each job like?
Helen Schreiber [00:20:54] What is each job like? Vice president is not very important. You do have to take over. If the president is gone.
Caitlen Cameron [00:21:03] Mhm.
Helen Schreiber [00:21:05] Programs is a little harder because you have to stay within the budget and hope people arrive, and the home is adequate for the meeting. We did have a lot more meetings in homes during that time. Somebody would make a centerpiece always, and we would have somebody pouring tea out of the silver container, teapot. I'm not sure that happens anymore.
Caitlen Cameron [00:21:39] Huh.
Helen Schreiber [00:21:39] And I think people used to get more dressed up, which is okay that they're not. And we do have a lovely variety of women, I must say.
Caitlen Cameron [00:21:52] Really?
Helen Schreiber [00:21:52] Young and old.
Caitlen Cameron [00:21:54] Yeah, I heard there's a lot of new members that are joining...
Helen Schreiber [00:21:58] Mhm.
Caitlen Cameron [00:21:58] And I heard about the esteemed male that joined.
Helen Schreiber [00:22:01] The what?
Helen Schreiber [00:22:03] Oh! We have a male?
Caitlen Cameron [00:22:05] Yeah. You didn't know?
Helen Schreiber [00:22:07] No! [laughs]
Caitlen Cameron [00:22:10] I'm so sorry to be breaking the news to you. [laughs]
Helen Schreiber [00:22:10] Oh, I love it! [laughs]
Caitlen Cameron [00:22:13] Yeah. I think I said he plays in the Cleveland Orchestra and he participated in the cleanup.
Helen Schreiber [00:22:19] Oh. At the Cherry Tree Grove.
Caitlen Cameron [00:22:23] Yeah.
Helen Schreiber [00:22:24] Very nice. Oh that's exciting.
Caitlen Cameron [00:22:26] Yeah. I am sorry to be breaking it to you [Helen laughs] but it's, it's, I know it's groundbreaking because in the past they said they never had any men in the group.
Helen Schreiber [00:22:36] Oh, he'll be the head of the party. [laughs]
Caitlen Cameron [00:22:38] Yeah, I guess how do you feel since you're just finding out?
Helen Schreiber [00:22:41] Oh I think it's great. Great. Just like women are joining men's things.
Caitlen Cameron [00:22:46] Yeah.
Helen Schreiber [00:22:47] It's the same. Yes.
Caitlen Cameron [00:22:49] I think we should...
Helen Schreiber [00:22:50] I don't know how he will feel being surrounded by women.
Caitlen Cameron [00:22:53] Mhm.
Helen Schreiber [00:22:53] We do sound like chickens sometimes when there's when everyone is speaking. [laughs]
Caitlen Cameron [00:23:00] Oh my gosh. [Helen laughs] Is it.... So I guess what's it... Is it hard to be in an all women's group, is it... I know you said it's like high school sometimes.
Helen Schreiber [00:23:09] Sometimes it's a little bit like high school. I... You know, some people like to have their voice heard more than others. They like to take up more time.
Caitlen Cameron [00:23:23] Yeah.
Helen Schreiber [00:23:23] But most women that are gardeners, flower arrangers, horticulture people, conservation, they're usually lovely women.
Caitlen Cameron [00:23:35] Mhm. Oh, yeah, everybody I've talked to has been wonderful.
Helen Schreiber [00:23:40] Yes. So, there's no worries there.
Caitlen Cameron [00:23:40] They're earthy. Does that sound weird? [laughs] Earthy? No! [laughs].
Helen Schreiber [00:23:45] We don't all wear Birkenstocks. But, you know, it's...
Caitlen Cameron [00:23:50] Yeah.
Helen Schreiber [00:23:52] We're more casual.
Caitlen Cameron [00:23:54] That's good. So you said, I remember you said that over time it's become less dressy, less rigorous, less strict. When you joined, was it very elegant and different?
Helen Schreiber [00:24:06] I think it was it was more formal in the homes. I don't know how to put that.
Caitlen Cameron [00:24:12] Yeah.
Helen Schreiber [00:24:12] Yeah.
Caitlen Cameron [00:24:13] Like, how would you, I guess, describe, like... I heard that some people said they would use the last name or their their husband's name instead of going by their names?
Helen Schreiber [00:24:24] Oh, that's over. [laughs]
Caitlen Cameron [00:24:26] Yeah. Well, I know that's now, which is good.
Helen Schreiber [00:24:28] I mean, I don't have a husband any
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