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Women Tell Rosie The Riveter Stories
by Maricia Mlynek
     

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Rosie the Riveter Project ventured into Calhoun County last Friday, through the efforts of “Thanks! Plain and Simple, Inc.”

Interviews were arranged with local women Marilyn Beecher, Ola Jarvis Stalfort and Jean Kelly Miller, who talked about their experiences during World War II. Willodean Harris Brady was interviewed via telephone.


Ola Jarvis Stalfort shows a "Rosie the Riveter" souvenir towel.

Originally, Thanks! Plain and Simple planned to create a documentary about West Virginia’s Rosies. Due to the large number of calls and possible stories, the organization is taking on the task of gathering funding to create a West Virginia Rosie Collection. The goal is to complete the collection by this time next year.


Marilyn Beecher is interviewed by John Haulotte.

Executive director and founder Anne Montague said that she has written a proposal for a year’s work because there are many Rosie stories that women want to share.


Anne Montague (left) gets a "Rosie" story from Jean Miller.

“Three weeks ago, we had not planned for a year’s work, because we thought we would find 15 at the most, but our response is five times what we anticipated. This project is unifying the state.”

At the present time, Rosie the Riveters have responded from 19 counties.

“West Virginia has a first rate collection of Rosie the Riveter stories and memorabilia,” said veteran John Haulotte. “We need to preserve that collection.”

For information or to set up an interview, call 744-4743 or visit www.thanksplainandsimple.org.

“We need the help and pride of West Virginians to succeed,” said Montague.

It seems that Calhoun County has a part to play in this project, and there may be others, locally, who can share their stories.

 

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