"That's hard to remember. But I think it must have been Eisenhower. I liked him 'cause he was military. I always liked military men. I always liked him cause he said it straight, said things the way it was."
WERE YOU EXCITED TO BE ABLE TO VOTE?
"Nah, I just voted cause they said you had to vote. And then what happened was I was Republican (my husband was Republican). I didn't know any difference between Republican or Democrat. They came and picked me up, I didn't know who they were."
WHO PICKED YOU UP?
"These people used to pick you up to go and vote. When I got there, I didn't understand anything. I voted the way that they told me. They changed my party! I told my husband and he wanted to know how they did that! He said "they're not allowed to do that!" I didn't know. They came and picked me up to vote! Even then they (politicians) were pulling that stuff."
WAS IT COMMON PRACTICE TO GET PICKED UP TO VOTE THEN?
"That's what they did years ago. They'd call and see if you had a way to go and if not, they'd pick you up. That was nice, so I said "yeah!". After that though, I didn't do that again. "
WILL YOU ONLY VOTE FOR PEOPLE IN YOUR PARTY?
"I only voted my party. I couldn't figure out who was what. At least now you learn more on tv."
DO YOU FIND THAT CAMPAIGNS NOW ARE MORE HELPFUL OR CONFUSING?
"They're more confusing. It was more simple before. I believe that, you believe this."
HAVE YOU EVER NOT VOTED?
"I always vote for the president. The local I never did till a couple of years ago. I realized and understood why you're suppose to vote locally."
WHEN YOU CAME TO THE U.S. (FROM ITALY) WHAT MADE YOU GRATEFUL TO BE IN AMERICA?
"I was grateful just to be here. No matter what. Cause when you come here and come from another country, it's completely different."
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCES?
You have more liberty and freedom. You can speak freely. When I went to get my citizenship, and the guy that was there started asking me all the questions, he asked me if I knew what communism was. I said no. I was too young to know what they really were. I knew them as the ones that wore the black shirts and you couldn't say or doing anything near them or they'd arrest you. This guy wanted to make sure I knew what a communist was. He told me he wanted me to go home to find out what communism was."
WHY WAS HE TRYING SO HARD TO MAKE YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT A COMMUNIST WAS?
"I don't know. But I went home, cause he wouldn't pass me for it- just for that. So my cousin went to the library and found out what a communist was called. It's some long word. He wrote it down for me on a piece of paper and I went back there. There was another guy there. And I gave it to him and told him that was the name of the communist party and that my cousin had to go to the library to find out. The guy just laughed (wondering why she gave it to him). I told him, the guy before you didn't pass me because I didn't know what a communist was. I told him what I knew but I didn't know more. I was young. I lived on a farm. We don't hear nothing. Then I said "maybe that guy is a a communist!"
DID HE PASS YOU?
"America is opportunity. Especially then, not like it is today. It was respect. Proud to be an American. I went to Italy a while ago and they said "we have America over here". I agree. They have everything. More than we do in some ways. They have homes that are gorgeous. Maybe we have more money flowing, but they have everything they want. They have healthcare, welfare help too. No country is like her though. Even as bad as we have it now, it's still the best."
WHEN YOU HEAR THAT SOMEONE DOESN'T VOTE, HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?
"It upsets me. Because they don't know what they're doing. What they should do, is send them to these other countries, not in luxury, not with their money. Let them go and live like the people in those countries do and then they'll see (what they have). My cousin's son is a policeman in Italy. He just bought a home and is fixing it up and said he wanted to come to America. He said he would work very hard to make fast money to bring home. I said that America isn't the way it used to be. You can't just come here and make lots of money, there's not that many jobs anymore. I asked how much he makes. He said he makes $2000 a month. I said "well, you're better off than we are. Because you don't have to pay insurance and that stuff."
WHO DO YOU THINK WAS THE BEST PRESIDENT WE EVER HAD, IN YOUR TIME?
"Eisenhower and Reagan. They did things for the country. They at least tried. They were more bold. They said it the way it is."