Interview With Elizabeth L. Reid

From the interview with Mrs. Elizabeth L. Reid conducted by Patience Rogge on October 11, 2007 at Mrs. Reid’s home in Port Townsend, WA for the Fort Worden Oral History Program.  Mrs. Reid was employed as a Cottage Parent at the Juvenile Diagnostic and Treatment Center from 1958 to 1962.

Here she describes her relationship with the girls in the cottage and a chance encounter years later:

“I did make friends with several of the girls, I had my favorites. I shouldn’t say that, but I did.  One day after I wasn’t working there anymore, I was in the Bon Marche department store in Seattle.  I was shopping, just looking around, all of a sudden it was quiet and suddenly came this voice, ‘Mrs. Reid! Mrs. Reid!’ I thought ‘Who in the world is that?’  Here came this girl running—it had been about ten years since I had worked—she came running towards me and stopped right in front of me.  She said, ‘You are Mrs. Reid, aren’t you?’ ‘Yes,’I said.  I could remember her first name was Mary but I couldn’t remember her last name.  We had the nicest visit.  She had married and had a little girl. The child wasn’t with her but she showed me a picture of this darling little girl.  She said, ‘You know, being at Fort Worden was the best thing that ever happened to me.’  So that pleased me. None of the girls ever ran away from me when I had them out.  I substituted in the boys’ cottages in the summertime once in a while.  The boys were more respectful to me than a lot of the girls.  Some of the girls were downright nasty.  A lot of the boys were really respectful to a woman and I enjoyed working with them.  I had a boy and a girl of my own so I kind of knew the ins and outs of little things.”

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