Interview of Clair Tritt by Linda Benzon for the Elizabeth V. and George F. Gardner Digital Library.
Born at home in a house called Greystone. Lived there until 8 years old. The youngest and only girl. Brother took her to the Franklin Building on his bicycle on her first day of school. On the West end of Walnut Street where the YMCA is located in 2015. Had a large stone barn that was used as a garage when she lived there. Her father was also born in the house. Her grandmother was told she could not have children and ended up having ten. Had ponies. People would often say they spent their youth at Greystone. No girlfriends. Did have a Sunday school friend on Lowther Street who she visited once to pick flowers. Father lost house in the depression. Cassie was "tickled to pieces" when they moved to West Pomfret Street. Kids all around.
Great-grandmother built four brick houses in a row on West Pomfret. Cost her four thousand dollars. Still standing. Continued to go to the Franklin School. Taken by her father or mother to the Franklin school after the first day. Was First Lutheran growing up for 70 years. Now attends the Second Presbyterian Church due to enjoying the Presbyterian service in Naples, Florida so much. Wonderful childhood. Did not have a lot of money after the depression. Mother drove her down to Moreland Park to see the deer. Luther Whitcomb doctor was a longtime docent at the Historical Society who would reminisce with George Fowler. Cassie's grandmother (Shearer) grew up in Pine Grove.
Her father was the engineer on the railroad. He was killed and her great-grandmother Small moved to Carlisle and opened a small restaurant on West Pomfret. Building later owned by Hartzler's Electrical Store. Sold a lot of oysters. Bill Hartzler told Line that when they were rebuilding the house the backyard was nothing but oyster shells. Grandmother was one of Cassie's favorite people in the world. Moved in with her after losing Greystone. Shared a room with her youngest brother Don. Nothing but good memories of that period. If they had ten cents Lockwoods had a little store on the corner of South Pitt and South Street and they would walk down and get an ice cream cone. Virginia Mulgrew was a Registered Nurse at Carlisle Hospital.
She came down with tuberculosis and had to go to Mount Alto. Line's brother Robert was in the Army. They gave Virginia the wrong blood. Pat Mulgrew had a bakery on the other corner from Lockwoods. Mulgrew's Bakery. Pat lived on the 100 block of Pomfret Street while Cassie lived on the 200 block. Houses with narrow porches. Some had railings and some did not. Knew everyone. Brother brought one pony along and kept it in the garage. Cassie was so thrilled to be downtown that she swept the whole sidewalk from her house to College Street. Did not have any friends in Greystone. Gay Fry lived on the corner of Pomfret and West. Went to first grade along with the next eleven years together along with Jimmy Scott and Bob Fry.
When it was taffy apple time they would go to the Methodist Church and buy taffy apple if they had ten cents. Went to her first movie with her father at the Orpheum (currently the Historical Society parking lot) and saw Betty Boop in the early 1930s. Met Marge Dutrey in seventh grade and became close friends. Pat was two years older. Dawn Landis had a party and Barney Gouden was a guest. Cassie had not seen Barney in a long time and went over and said hello to him. He replied that she used to be the prettiest girl in town.
Pierson Miller also spent a lot of time playing on the other side of the street. He was a lot older than Cassie. Called him P. K. He went to First Lutheran so she knew him from Church. Was a realtor where the History on High shop is now located. The chocolate shop was next to Miller's office. Cassie's aunt Mary Todd and another women owned the chocolate shop together and they went everyday they had ten cents. It was a little narrow building. The first booths were usually the elite ladies in Carlisle and a lot of college kids went there including the girl who became her sister-in-law. Next to that was the pool room. Line's husband spent 50 minutes at the pool hall and ten minutes at the restaurant off the square. Originally half of Line and Line. Jim Line left and Henry Stewart got him a job filling the last part of the tax collector job. The tax collector was possibly in jail. Then he ran a couple of times and he was so popular that the last couple of times the Democrats did not oppose him. The same grandmother that had ten children, Jenny Ripie Shearer was born in jail. They were from Shippensburg and her father was the sheriff.
The sheriffs resided in jail up to the point when Line was in High School. They would visit a friend whose father was a sheriff who resided in the county jail and they would peep through the door. She had a sister. After graduating from High School, Line went to Commercial College in Harrisburg and then eventually to the Carlisle Commercial College. On the corner of Pitt and West High Street across from the Hamilton Restaurant. Thompson's Business School. Close to home for Line. Her husband was in the chocolate shop one day and mentioned they were looking for a secretary for a store they were opening. A friend of Cassie's was a waitress said she could give them a name. Jim or Henry went up to Cassie's house and one of Cassie's elder brothers had been in Jim's high school class. Would Cassie be interested in being the secretary? She said sure. She made twenty-two fifty a week. The first week she went to J. C. Penny and lost her pay.
Almost paid her again but they did not. Cassie had been dating another young man and everyone expected them to marry. But they argued so much they decided to take a week break. So Jim Line asked her to dinner. Her mother had made potato salad which was one of her favorites. Wished she could cancel the date. But she could not and he proposed that night. Surprised but said yes. Sat in front of her mother's house for hours that night. Went up to Laurel. Her mother was not surprised because she talked about him all the time. This would have been August and they were married the second of September. Married in 1947 and they were married for fifty-three years when Jim passed away. Had one son.
Lived with mother-in-law for five years on West Hanover. She was wonderful to live with. Always took Cassie's side. She would fix meals. When her son came along they decided to look for their own house. Bought a house on Moreland Avenue for 20,500 in 1953. Stopped working after she became a mother.
But did go back full time with Marge Barrett later Marge Dutrey babysitting. Aunt Mary Todd was Jim Line's father sister. The convertible was the Line's first car. Lived in Upper Holly after they lived Line's mother. A relation had houses out there and there were three cottages across the road. Hard to find housing right after the war. Had to get the bus from Gettysburg into town every morning. And then catch the bus to go back. Jim ordered a red convertible automatic when every car was black. Caught a lot of eyes. Line's grandfather and Glenn "Pop" Warner were close friends. Invited to drive Jim Thorpe and Carl Thorpe in a parade for the premiere of the Jim Thorpe movie. Probably because of the car. Picked up Thorpe
at an alley behind St. John’s Episcopal Church. People lined the streets. Dropped him off at the theatre. Line's grandfather and Pop Warner had a hunting dog together. Kept him at Greystone while Warner was at Carlisle. Line's father went to Conway Hall and they scrimmaged against Carlisle. Line's father was born in 1898 and her mother in 1900.
Her father likely attended Conway Hall with former Carlisle Indian School students. Lived up above the tax office on Pomfret Street. Sitting in the bay window and decided to write a memoir. Line also had her aunt's memoirs. Aunt married to a military man and they lived among the Indians out West.