We Exist Series 4: Quotes


Aretha Williams



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Interviewer: Aretha Williams

Interviewee: Mrs. June McKenzie (age 72; born 1929 in Portland Maine; fifth-generation Mainer; lived in Maine all her life)

“Oh, yes we do, and they're really big. My sister in Connecticut has, what, seven children, and my sister in the islands has three, and my other sister has one. And all our families and our grandchildren and everything, we all get together on Fourth of July and have a picnic at Sebago Lake, which started out as a big church thing. Our church did it every year, and we've just kept up the tradition.”

“Well, my neighborhood now is not too nice. There's only three houses on my side of the street. And across the street there's a big apartment house and the people tend to move frequently. But they're all friendly. They're kinda noisy in the summer time because their apartments get hot, and they sit on the sidewalk. But where I grew up, just down over the hill, which was Anderson Street, they tore our house down to build Kennedy Park area. But we had great neighbors there. And some of them have passed on, but we remained friendly, you know, all through our lifetime. We had, we had really great neighbors.”

“You know. After school they'd go and play sports at the police station or they'd be in sports at school. And they had a system. You had to be home every night for dinner.”

Publication Date



USM African American Collection


Lewiston, Maine


Leisure, African American History, Maine


African American Studies | American Popular Culture | American Studies | Cultural History | Genealogy | History | Labor History | Oral History | Other American Studies | Other History | Public History | Social History | United States History | Women's History | Women's Studies

Mrs. June McKenzie on Leisure



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