This week on Senior Voices, Rosemary Kenny recalls working at Sunshine Biscuits down on Cincinnati Street, not far from UD Arena. The plant closed back in 1972, but she still keeps busy these days. Rosemary shared her story with Dayton Metro Library volunteer interviewer, Cynthia Wallace-King.
ROSEMARY KINNEY (RK): We moved here back here in 1966 from Hillsboro, Ohio, and I’ve been here in Dayton for some years.
CYNTHIA WALLACE-KING (CW): So where have you worked in the city of Dayton?
RK: I used to work at Sunshine Biscuits, oh, that was good then, making sugar frosted wafers.
CW: So it was a factory?
RK: Yes, it was a factory, and what we’d do is we’d put the bread in the thing and feed the machine, and the machine fed, and it’d go down, and it’d dip the cookies in icing, which the man would put the icing in the thing when we got ready to holler for icing, and then it’d go down and then we had to pack ‘em, and put ‘em in the plastic bag, and then we’d put them in the box and ship ‘em off. It was good, it was real nice, I ate so much cookies, I really don’t like to see any cookies, but I eat ‘em, every now and then. So that was it, so it was good until they went out of business, then like I said I babysitted.
CW: You’re a foster grandparent to a lot of kids, not just one.
RK: Right, yeah, we have fifteen. There’s fifteen in here. And there’s some kids come in, "Hi grandma, how ya doin’? Can I call you grandma” Sure, you can call me, but I’m really not your grandma, but yeah, you can still be my grandchild, ok ok. So this one little baby girl, she comes in, she says “Hey grandma, how you doin’ grandma,” yesterday, surprised the hell outta me, “Grandma here, I brought you a pumpkin.” I said “What I need a pumpkin for? Ain’t nobody in the house but me!” So I just went ahead and took it. She give me a hug and kiss and that brought tears to my eyes ‘cause it was so beautiful. But it’s fun, it’s really nice and I understand, you know, how to work with ‘em and everything, so it’s joyous, so we help them with their homework, we do activities and everything with them, and then we feed ‘em lunch, and then it’s time for them to go home.
This interview was edited by Community Voices producer Zeb Reichert. Senior Voices is a collaboration between the Dayton Metro Library, Rebuilding Together Dayton, and WYSO. This series is made possible through the generous support of the Del Mar Healthcare Fund of the Dayton Foundation. Jocelyn Robinson coordinated this series as part of Community Voices.