Norma Roberts | Batesville, IN

​”I was born on February 1921, on Elm Street and that home is still standing today. Everyone was born in the house then.”


“My old grade school is a vacant lot now, on the corner of Pearl Street and Mulberry. And our high school is the current middle school. There was no pool across the street back then. We had the largest graduating class in 1939 - there were 60 students. My sister’s class on the following year had very few students. 

I guess ours was the boom after the World War!” 

​Secret to longevity

“It’s in our genes, I guess. My grandpa lived to be nearly 100 when he died in the 1930’s. I had an uncle on my mother’s side, he was 102. Also, we didn’t drink or smoke - my father didn’t, my brother didn’t and my grandpa didn’t.”

​Best memories of Batesville

“They used to have street dances. It’s near the bridge across the two factories near Walnut Street. It was Henry Fonza that had his old time band and dance orchestra. At that time, Sammy Kaye was popular on television - his tagline was ‘Swing and Sway with Sammy Kaye’ and Henry Fonza played through those street dances and they say it’s ‘Swing and Sweat with Henry Fonza.’”

​And they used to have a skating ring on Pearl Street by the church. They blocked the street from the church down to the school, or where the old school used to be. That’s when I was in grade school.

​Medicine shows used to come to town. I don’t know if they sell patent medicine or something, all I remember is that they used to set up across from the school now where the swimming pool is. They’d sell medicine that could cure anything.”

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