(Interview recorded on September 18, 2016 at her daughter’s home in Millstadt, IL)

Well, the Depression was more or less over. The big drop was in ’29 and I was born in ’36, so they were in the process of recovering. And then of course, the other thing that happened was the bombing at Pearl Harbor in 1941. That changed everything…

My name is Bette Jean Marlow Gourley. In June, I was 80. Can you believe it? I can’t. I was born in Lincoln, Nebraska by Caesarean section, which was very new and unproven at that time. The remarkable thing I think at that time, which was 1936: blood types were not standardized yet. And they were still doing people-to-people transfusions, and they were even using goat blood and a few other things as blood substitutes. Of course, now we know that that killed most of the people that they tried it on. But I was lucky, and Mother came through alright. And so did I. So, that was my beginning…

(Click the videos above to hear more of Bette’s life story)