Florence Riedel graduated from high school and then went to work
in the accounting department of an insurance company until she
married at the age of 32. After her husband died in 1953, Riedel
took the civil service exam and went to work in the city hall
in Melrose, Massachusetts. After retiring, she relocated to Martha's
Vineyard to be near her daughter. She lived independently until
last summer when she moved into an assisted living facility.
What was the most important thing
that happened for women during this century? When I was growing up most women stayed
home and raised their children. Getting the vote started to change
all that. Now women are in the business world, the economic world.
How did it affect your life?
Well, I went out and voted the minute we had the right to. It
gave me the right to express my opinion on who I wanted to represent
me. I had the right to make a choice. Also, because women were
more involved in the workplace, I had the courage to go back
out there after my husband died. The important part of all this
is that women had the option to do whatever they wanted or needed
to do. This was a real change for those of us who grew up when
there were few options.
What advice would you give to girls
today? Get as much education as you can, so you can
take care of yourself. Go for a higher standard of behavior,
of morality-and respect one another.