The Michigan Daily-Saturday, June 9, 1979-Page ]
Area woman tells of social work, activism
By ADRIENNE LYONS
She has worked with everyone, from
children with emotional problems to a
U.S. president. She received a B.A.,
then a Master's degree, at a time when
most women stayed home to raise
families. After receiving her degrees,
she began lobbying the government on
issues relating to world peace.
Marjory Poole, 77, the only child of a
Flint merchant, was, in her own words,
a "professional tramp." In her lifetime
she was a visiting teacher (which today
is called a school case worker), a social
worker, and a Congressional lobbyist.
TODAY POOLE resides in a one-
room efficiency at Hillside Terrace
Retirement Center on Jackson Road, a
victim of "walking blindness." She ob-
viously has done whatever possible to
break up the antiseptic atmosphere of
the room she calls "home." Remnants
of her possessions abound, such as an
antique rocking chair which was
presented to her parents on their wed-
ding day in 1894. An almost-antique set
of china and numerous books grace the
insides of curio cabinets.
Yet in a curious mixture of the old
and new, Poole owns a "Talking Book"
machine from Michigan State Univer-
sity (MSU), and a record player on
which she can hear recordings of each
issue of Newsweek and National
Her Canadian-born husband, the late
Rev. Frederick Poole, was the state
executive secretary for the Methodist
Board of Education for 20 years. They
met in 1939, while Poole was studying
for her Master's degree in social work.
POOLE BECAME a lobbyist after
her marriage in 1941, the same year she
received her Master's degree from the
University's School of Social Work,
which at that time was in Detroit.
She began to work for the National
Committee for Employed Women. One
day, she said, several committee of-
ficials asked her to lobby in Washington
against the draft. "A lot of people were
against developing the army by means
of the draft. There was great conflict,"
she said, her hands fluttering nervously
in the air.
Her white cane is never far from her
grasp, although she does not use it in
her apartment; since she is as familiar
with the room as she is with her
POOLE SAID SHE asked her
colleagues for petitions she could show
members of Congress. "I think that will
talk," she told the other women, and it
did. "You know, when I got up to the
hotel, my mailbox was just stuffed with
letters. I had 1,000 signatures," she sdid
proudly. "This had been done in 10 days
without organization. One
Congressman said, 'This is the most
significant thing I've heard.' It shows
the feeling at that time was very much
against drafting our boys."
Poole explained that helping children
was her lifelong ambition. "I wanted to
go into social work," she said. "I had a
feeling that every kid ought to have
somebody they could talk to besides
their family or besides their teacher.
Somebody that would help them out
with their troubles and could be trusted,
but wouldn't beright in the know."
Although she started her college
career with an English Literature
major, Poole switched to sociology
when she was a senior.
"IN THOSE DAYS hardly anyone
knew what the training should be. But I
only had my last year at the University,
so everything was crowded into that
year that could be," she said.
After graduation in 1938, Poole went
to work for the Flint school system. "At
that time they taught guidance in the
eighth grade to help kids get ready for
their electives for high school. We in-
troduced vocations to kids and then on
the basis of that and personal coun-
seling, they made their elections."
Poole admired the Flint school
system. Her field was "new, quite a
pioneering field, not many high schools
had elected to do that sort of thing," she
said. "They knew when I was hired that
I wanted to be a visiting teacher, but
they didn't have a position for it. This
was the nearest to it."
TWO YEARS LATER, she finally
became visiting teacher when the local
school board created the position. "I
was excited and thrilled," she recalled.
"What I didn't know, was what I didn't
know, how much I didn't know," she
When the Depression hit, she was
sent to work at a Flint high school. "I
got baptized pretty well, in terms of
what the kids' problems were." Poole
worked with many children headed for
court, she said.
"I remember one day a kid came to
my desk. He had been sent there
because he was skipping school. I said,
'I'm disappointed to see you here. How
are things at home?' and he said, 'Wor-
se than ever.' You're heart just aches
when you know the situation and there's
so littleyou can do," Poole said.
THAT EPISODE convinced Poole she
didn't have enough education to be a
social worker. She decided to study for
her Masters degree in 1934. It took
Poole said there was a great deal of
discrimination toward women in the
Flint school system. "Women were
paid $200 or $300 less than men in com-
parable positions. That made us angry,
so we organized a Classroom Teachers
Organization, which later became the
union," Poole said.
After receiving her Masters degree,
she worked first at the Detroit Or-
See LOCAL, Page 10
MARJORY POOLE recently talked to visitors in her apartment at the Hillside
Terrace Rtirment C nt 4sop th draft Nowashe ispeinil Congress
SC srrru lumuur. r ~ , acse wor er anu a me-long social activist,
lobbied Congress in the 1940s to stop the draft. Now she is petitioning Congress
to stop the current draft legislation.
Freighter fire victims
Two burn victims of Tuesday's freighter fire on
Lake Superior have been transferred to a less inten-
sive care facility at the University Hospital Burn
Center. The other two burn victims remain in
critical condition, according to hospital officials.
Jean-Claud Langlois, and Francis Chouinard were
moved Thursday to the Chelsea Medical Center.
The conditions of the other two patients, Paul
Boisevert and Raymond Boudreau; have not
changed since the accident.
Last of the Lincolns
Serial No. 99Y5763622 was born at 12:16 yester-
day, the last of its species. The two-and-a-half ton
"dinosaur" marks the extinction of a major portion
of the "great American Dream"-the full-size Lin-
coln automobile. The last Lincoln, a white two-door
Lincoln Continental Town Coupe with a brown vinyl
roof, was the last king-size personal car to be built
in the U.S. The 19-foot, 5-inch model will shrink next
year, a victim of the auto industry's trend toward
"downsizing." The $11,467 car gets 12 miles per
gallon in the city, the lowest of any American
model. The sticker, that computer print-out pasted
to the windows of new cars, concluded, ap-
propriately: "The End." ,
Maybe this turtle can't swim
Two Miami Beach, Fla. police officers tussled
quite a while Thursday with a 300-pound, 4-foot sea
turtle before they finally convinced it to take a dive.
The officers, Sgt. Richard Izzo and Patron Officer
Steve Groves, were called to investigate a strong
flipper sticking out of a car trunk. The "monster,"
as Izzo called it, way lying on its back. The Florida
Marine Patrol suggested the officers get the turtle
to the ocean, just across the street. But after a rope
was ties around the beastly neck, the animal
refused to budge. After the stubborn turtle was
dragged safely to the beach, it avoided the rolling
waves. The officers finally picked the turtle up and
tossed it out to sea. "It just had its mind made up
not to takea swim," said Izzo.
... get off to a rousing start at noon when the
Residential College Players' Harmonie Ensemble
tours Kerrytown ... the Michigan Federation of
Theosophical Societies, Inc. presents a seminar en-
titled "Mantra: A Language of Occult Science," by
Seetha Neelakantan at 2 p.m. in the Michigan
League. More information available at 879-
1654. .-. Elias Ayoub, a Palestinian-Arab and an
Israeli citizen who is faced with deportation, will
speak at 6:30 p.m. in the Kuenzel Room in the
Michigan Union ... FILMS: Ann Arbor Co-
op-Wait Until Dark, 7 p.m.; The Seven Per Cent
Solution, 9 p.m.; both in Aud. 3, MLB ... Cinema
Guild-His Girl Friday, 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. in
Old A and D Aud. ... Cinema II-The Turning
Point, 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. in Aud. A, Angell
Hall ... SUNDAY, The Washtenaw County Coun-
cil on Aging will sponsor free blood clinics from 9
a.m. until noon, at the Stony Creek Methodist Chur-
ch, 8699 Stony Creek Road in Augusta Townshi-,
and at the Michigan Heart Association at 3800
Packard Road ... the Hiking Club will meet at the
North Entrance of the Rackham Building at 1:30.
p.m.... FILMS: Cinema II-The Baker's Wife,
7:30 p.m. and 9:40 p.m. in Aud. A, Angell
Hall ... Cinema Guild-M, 8 p.m., Old A and D
Aud. ... MONDAY,. the Extension Service will
sponsor four courses in property assessment for the
International Association of Assessing Officers
School at 8 a.m. in Studios Five and Six in the
Holiday Inn-West... that should keep you busy.
On the outside ...
Looks like the needle that controls the weather
has been stuck for several days. It will be cloudy,
warm, and humid today, with a high of 84, and lows
in the high 60s.