“Well of course I picked a lot more than he did,” she said.
Their first mattress was made out of cotton he’d picked.
Living in southern Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl was horrible, she said. Young’s son, Don, said she’s still saving money as a result of growing up during the country’s worst economic crisis.
“The Depression made such an impression on her,” he said. “She was still trying to save money at 92, off of her savings. She didn’t want to ever have to take the welfare. We’re still spending her savings.”
For two years during World War II, Young had to take care of her three boys by herself while Claude spent the tail end of the war on a U.S. Navy tanker. Claude came out on the G.I. Bill and moved into a quonset hut in the veteran’s village at Oklahoma A&M until he got his degree in refrigeration and air conditioning, she said.
Both of them got jobs at the Sears department store in Shawnee. She was a master of sales when it came to women’s fashion.
“They knew I could sell just about anything they put out there,” she said.
She remembers when she and Claude bought their first televison — it had a 6-inch screen, and she thought it was beautiful.
The couple moved to Moore in the 1960s. Claude wouldn’t let her drive all the way to Norman to sell women’s fashion at the Sears there, so she got a job at Anthony’s, a local clothing boutique.
One of the biggest impacts on her life was traveling to Israel with her pastor, she said.
Young stayed young, in part by staying active. After Claude died she helped create the Brand Senior Center in Moore. Now, about 100 people come in every day to quilt, play cards and pool or participate in other activities.