Greta Neil Magers was born in Vacaville on June 20, 1926. The story of her birth is a family treasure: Dr. Jenney smoked a cigar while he delivered Greta, and didn’t wash his hands before he did so! This upset Greta’s mother, particularly since she had noticed that the doctor arrived with two dogs in his car. Greta thinks her mother would have thrown him out for his bad hygeine, if she’d been in any condition to do so.
During high school, Greta “worked in fruit.” This was during World War II, when even youngsters did their part to help the war effort, so she and her
classmates went to school for half a day and then to a job. She remembers food and gasoline stamps, and riding her bicycle for transportation. In the summertimes until about 1943, Greta worked at the Vaca Valley Creamery. The owner, Mr. Rudy Werner, was a strict boss who required his employees to pass a test and wear snow-white uniforms and starched caps. If things were slow at the Creamery, Greta polished glasses or did whatever else she could to keep busy. Busy employees kept their jobs!
Greta remembers the old Vacaville well enough to be able to list and describe two pages of landmarks. She loved the old J.C. Penney store, with its pneumatic tubes which shot paperwork from one department to another, and its black and yellow tiles out front. Another favorite was Edwards Candy, which boasted a soda fountain and a décor of deer heads and wooden paneling.