Thursday, January 29, 2009

Moving Out #4

Many things happened to me when I went to work in 1953, I was 20 years old that November, I liked my birth month because every seven years my birthday falls on Thanksgiving. My life was heading for a change when I took the job, I could feel the power shift my way, I no longer had to stay here, I could explore the world, it was at my finger tips, boy, lets not get too cocky. I did pay my aunt rent of $12.50 a week, I stayed for almost a year, she treated me a little better and I for a change was no longer afraid of her. I knew I was going to move out, this is not easy to do, I had no life experiences and that is a big world out side the home. In 1954 June wanted to get an apartment and ask if I wanted to share expensive, of course I was all for it, I didn't have to face the world alone and I was gaining more courage and self esteem.

My aunt and uncle ranted and raved, accused us of wanting to shack up with men, what men, we were never allowed to date or have boyfriends. So we moved to our first apartment, I regretted leaving my younger sister, Stella, but we did not have enough money for ourselves to live on, oh that sounds so selfish and one way. To this day many decades have gone by and I still think of this, and it hurts deeply. For the first time in our lives we are separated and it had to be hard on Stella, she was only 16. Stella remained with my aunt until she was 20 years old.

June was dating now, his name was Stan, the apartment was not working out, June wanted to save money for the wedding, so she moved back with my aunt. Not only did she leave me with the apartment, which I could not afford on my own, we had bought a car together and she wanted out of that also, so I went to live with Uncle Bud, my moms brother. Uncle Bud's wife, Aunt Izzy was a wonderful, cheery person, that could brighten your day, they had one son, he was 16 years old and dating, his name was Bill. I only had one fight with Bill, he was talking on the phone to his girlfriend and I was ironing in the dinning room, well, he did not want the light on. So it started, he turned the light off and I turnedit on, this went on for about five minutes, when all of a sudden he started to yell and shout, then he slammed out the door and drove off. Aunt Izzy did not know what was going on, she told me he will cool off, and come home, he did come back and we hugged and said sorry to each other, I was like a sister he never had and we loved each other. Bill's dad had gotten him a job with the City and he held it until he retired.

June was getting married and somehow my mom wrote June and said she could not come for the wedding. As soon as I found out moms address I wrote to her and told her to pack her bags, as soon as my vacation at work came up I was coming and bringing her out here. Uncle Bud told me I would have to find a place, he did not want my mom living with them. So I had to start looking, my vacation was in two weeks, not long to look, but I got lucky and found one within a week. I was getting excited, I had not seen my mom since 1946 and it was now 1955, almost ten years, I was only in the sixth grade when she left us, now I was a grown lady and working for the last two years.

I loaded my 1949 Ford for the trip back home, I fueled up and headed out, my Uncle Bud mapped out my route. He had went from Michigan to back home many times when he was first married. I was doing alright until I got to the Ohio-Indiana border, instead of heading east I went west for many miles, I don't know what made me realize I was going the wrong way, it is about 1300 miles to East Liverpool, Ohio. I arrived late afternoon and could not find mom, when I did she was drunk, so I stayed with cousin Eddie. Next day I went to her apartment, which she shared with another lady, mom was in bed, I ran over and jumped on her, we hugged, she did not know who I was at first. She could not believe how big I was, and I could not believe how small and fragile she looked, so thin and much older looking. She disapeared the next day and I went back to Eddies, crying my eyes out. I thought I had come all this way for nothing, but I was determined to find her. I had no luck, but she called Eddie's home, seems she got mixed up with the wrong man and he was not bringing her home, he told her to find her own way. She hitchhiked back to East Liverpool and decided to call me and see if I still wanted her to come home with me, of course I did. I had laid eyes on her and I was not going to loose her again, the thoughts came back of her first leaving us and ten years of tears, not knowing if she was alive or not.

We stayed a couple day's with my dads sister and it was nice to see my mom sobering up and starting to look herself. My cousin ordered pizza, I did not know what it was, I had never heard of it, it tasted really good. The next morning we packed up and started out, I fueled up and only stopped to fill up one more time, I guess I was afraid to stop, and my mom always brought this up, the trip she never got her cup of coffee. I felt bad about this, she probably needed the caffine because she was feeling withdrawl from drinking. It took all day to get home, mom wanted to go to Uncle Buds first, they had not seen each other for about 20 years and she wanted coffee. My mom and Uncle Bud were the baby's of their family, but in later years they did not get along, so my uncle moved to Michigan for good. Uncle Bud was sure glad to see mom and wanted her to stay a few days, I decided to go settle in my new apartment and then come back for her.

New Beginning #3

Living in town was so much different than country living, houses too close together, it felt like no breathing room. I could not get over looking out our bedroom window, right into our neighbors living room, and once they saw us looking they kept the blinds pulled on that side of the house. We found out everyone was really nice and at least us kids got along with all of them. Our house was a little bigger than we were use to, we even had a basement, to do the laundry and hang up the wash in bad weather.

I babysit for a neighbor with six children, we became good friends. All the neighbor kids came out at night to play kick the can or hide and seek, even the older kids. Well lets face it back then there was not a whole lot to do, some of us had TV's, but kids liked to be outside then. At least three times a week, the neighborhood got together to play baseball out back in the vacant lot, both kid's and parent's alike played, boy did we have some good times, even though there was a lot of bickering on who was out. Well, Aunt Margaret put a stop to me babysitting Mary's kids, her excuse was, and she told Mary this also, was she did not want us influenced in the Catholic religion, hurt feelings were felt all around, Mary never talked religion to us anyway.

The last three years, from 1950-1953, was a big change for me, I was growing taller and I had a new babysitting job. On the board at school was a notice that someone was looking for a sitter, I answered the notice and got the job. Her name was Marge Nedeau, she worked part time as a court stenographer and needed a sitter for some afternoon's and evenings. It just so happened that I had enough credits to go to school only in the mornings. I sat for her for three years and a lot in the summer. My Aunt was not happy that I was gone a lot, but I was buying all my books, supplies and some clothes. When I graduated, Marge wanted me to sit the kid's while they went on a week vacation, to Wasgington DC. The kid's were great, after all they knew me three years and I played with them, read, colored and took them on wagon rides. The placement place I put my name in called me to come in, I had to go and get Marge's best friend to sit with the kids. Marge was due to come home the next day and it was a good thing, I was scheduled for an interview.

I was so nervous when I arrived at Universal Camshaft Company for the interview. Mr. Cox was very nice and he hired me right on the spot. I had to record the shop jobs in a ledger, it was from each person in the shop, what job done, how much, time it took and any trouble they had on the job, any school kid could of done this job, this was my very first job in an office. I worked for about a year on this job and the switchboard operator was leaving, I told Mr. Cox I was going to talk to Ken Graves, he ran that part of the office, it was on the first floor. One of the reason I wanted to take a different job was I had to go out into the shop, when I could not read the cards and the workers would whistle and shout out, my face was red from the time I entered the shop and went back to my office. My wage was $37.50 a week to start.

I did get the new job and boy, did the job have a lot of responsibilities, I thought it was only switchboard. Well, I had switchboard, receptionist, filing, typing bill of ladens for shipping department, type letters for our two salesmen and secretary to purchasing agent. I did not receive a raise for a year, it went up to $42.50 and I was there eight years and my salary only went up to $62.50 when I quit, to raise my son, Douglas.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

City Living #2

Before we moved from Berg Road to Mona Avenue in Muskegon Heights, Michigan, my uncle had decided to ad two rooms on the back of the house, one a kitchen and the other a laundry room. This meant we could cook and eat in the same room and in the laundry room we could hang clothes when the weather was bad. It was not easy living without running water, no bathroom, only outside. The water we used came from a small pump at the end of the sink, this same house now has all modern conveniences, is remodeled inside and the outside is painted. I might ad that the water was so clear and tasted good that came from our well, today it has city water. Mount Garfield (Berg Road) today dead ends into the expressway, something we never visioned in our days, I loved to ride my bike for a few miles on the road, but today you would come to the fence that runs along the expressway (US 31).

We moved in town the summer of 1950, I had just finished the 9th grade, at first we did not want to move away from our friends and neighbors. We were new in town, we had all summer to get acquainted with the neighbors, Aunt Margaret never visited only one neighbor. My sisters and myself liked our new place in no time and soon was getting acquainted and playing with the kids. Our bedroom was bigger and boy did we take a good bath the first thing after getting settled. I have to tell you it beat trying to fit in a washtub, with your feet hanging out.

This house has two bedrooms, bathroom (running city water), front room, dinning room, large kitchen, basement and a garage for Uncle Floyds car, the yard was very small compared to the two acres we are use to. We live in a neighborhood where the houses are close together and it is easy to know your next door neighbors business.

I started babysitting for Mary, who had six children, she was such a nice person and we played all kind of games with them. At that time kick the can, hide and seek and baseball. Mary had a field out behind them and at least three times a week we had a neighbor ball game, all the kids and parents that wanted to play did. My aunt thought we should not associate with Mary's family any more because she might influence us to be Catholic, so we were not allowed to go there. I was very upset, we liked them very much and my aunt went and had a talk with Mary, I never knew what it was about.

I answered a babysitting notice on the board at school, she had two boys and a girl. Her name was Marge and she was a court stenographer, so I watched the kids after school and on weekends. She had me proof read her transcripts for spelling errors, I was honored. I fell in love with this family and I started sitting in 10th grade through graduation. Marge bought my dress for dress up day at school and they came to my commencement, which made me so happy. Right after I graduated she ask if they went on vacation would I sit for the week with the kids. I said yes, she told me her neighbor two houses away would help me if I needed it, which I did not. I would like to say that Marge's family fell in love with me and wanted to adopt me, well guess what, Aunt Margaret paid her a visit and even had our minister talk to Marge, I never knew what they talked about. Marge just hugged me and told me if I ever needed anything or things could change just come to them and they would help me, and any time I needed a place to stay that their house was my home.

While Marge was on vacation I received a call to come for a job interview. I went down to the neighbor lady and she came up to watch the kids while I went to see what it was about. I was hired on the spot, the company's name was Universal Camshaft Company in Muskegon Heights, I was so happy and nervous. Marge came home the next day and was so happy, she knew she would have to replace me. which made both of us sad. My life was moving into a new phase and I knew I would have to leave some of my former life behind, I guess this is called growing up, my childhood days was fast coming to an end. New doors to the future were opening and what lies ahead of them is unknown.

I will be posting more soon, I am glad you like it so far, thank you friends.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

NEW BLOG SITE: World in a Nut Shell

To get to my new blog site, just click on my picture and you will go to my profile, then scrool down and it is there. Thank you, I just wanted to write about things in the world that may be interesting.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Life on Berg Road #1

At one time this road had two names, one going east (Berg Road) and one going west ( Mount Garfield), named after President Garfield, I have never learned who Berg road was named after. Sitting at the west end of Mt. Garfield Road is a very enormous sand dune, people donated to have their name put on the steps going up to the top,which has a panarama view of Lake Michigan. When I was young and could climb the dune I counted over two hundred steps or more, it was a very tiring climb, even though we were young. I don't know why the county sold this property to a motor cycle club, so they could deface the dune, with trying to see how far their bikes could go up its face to win a trophy. It should of been declared a land mark, it is the largest sand dune for miles around. It is fenced in by the club and only they can enjoy it, everytime I pass it I feel sad to see it there all fenced off , with no one enjoyung it only from afar. The club only uses it one time a year in August, people come from all over the country to see the bike race up the dune.

Our house on Berg Road

Neither east or west was paved, it was a dusty old dirt road in those day's. Our house had never seen a coat of paint, it reminded me of a barn. My Uncle Floyd was driving for a moving company called Allied Van, the company had given him the trailer part of the truck for a storage shed and he had built a dog pen along the front of it. We had an outhouse just past that and behind the outhouse was a pig pen, belonging to our neighbor, we thought the pig was enormous. We had clothes line strung across half the back yard, in those day's people hung out, the clothes smelled so good.

The Trailer

We came to live here in 1946, at first my mom stayed for a year but there was not room for all of us and my mom was drinking too much and there was a lot of fighting. The house had two small bedroom's, a front room and the kitchen could only be used for cooking, doing dishes and there were several cupboards. Before the back bedroom was converted into our bedroom my Aunt used it for their dining room. The heating stove in the front room heated the whole house, making the other rooms chilly in cold weather, not to mention we had to go outside to the outhouse for our bathroom chores, brrr.

The Motley Crew

My cat Beauty

I believe at first my mom was thinking of staying a little while. That is when my Uncle decided to make the allied van trailer into a living place for us to stay in. This is what he put in it, he made home made bunk beds, a heating stove, table, chairs and built some cupboards. He cut out the front and put windows in, it was cold in there in cold weather because it had no insulation, next he made an outside door on one side so we could go in and out and put a screen door for summer months. I am going to find my pictures of this invention of my Uncles. When it became winter the bedding was inadequate and my mom found two house bricks , warmed them on the stove and wrapped them in towels, put them down by our feet, it never worked for a long period because they cooled too fast. I am sure if the county inspector got wind of this living condition it would of been condemed, because when we did dishes the water just drained under the trailer. All of our outside cats became sick from drinking this foul water and died, my beautiful cat beauty, she was a calico and I loved her very much, I cried for weeks over her death, I don't handle anything close to me being taken away and I am still like this today.

My mom and us girls

My mom made a real good effort to get along with my Aunt and Uncle but there was too much friction between them. My Aunt was my mom's sister and they never ever got along anyway, my aunt would come back home to visit and my mom always kicked her out. The reason was Aunt Margaret was in love with my dad, this was one of the reasons she took us girls in, she finally had my dad's kid's.

I can remember one time my Aunt Myrtle, not really my aunt, ask my mom if I could go to the movies and see "Lassie Come Home: with her, my Aunt Margaret stepped right in and told her no, it was not fair that my other sisters could not go, I was Aunt Myrtles favorite, well I went with swelled eyes from crying and I cried more from the movie, it was a tear jerker.

I loved my Aunt Myrtle and her husband Elwood, they lived right next door, Elwood was Uncle Floyds brother. They moved out to a farm and had me come to visit many times, my sisters went once in a while. Aunt Myrtle ask my aunt if they could adopt me and Aunt Margaret said she promised my mom she would keep us girls together, tears again. I was always glad when we went out to visit them, they had a nice farm with all kinds of animals and a beautiful quiet creek running through the farm with fish in it. The creek had fallen trees over and in it, we use to sit on the fallen trees and watch the fish swim and hide under the logs, you could shut the world out for just a little while, it was like you had descovered a secret place all your own.

My mom told us she would send for us as soon as she was settled, I had a sick feeling that I would not see her again. We said goodbye and my younger sister and myself moved back into Aunt Margarets house. The dining room was made into a bedroom, could only hold two beds and a dresser, two of us slept together. Our room had the hole in the wall with a little runway for the cats to go out and do their business, this added to the room being colder in the winter.

We would write letters to mom and her to us but this is how that situation went, we did not find this out until I went back home in 1955 and brought my mom to Michigan. Okay back to the letters, we would put our letters in the mail box and sometimes Aunt Margaret let them go and other times she probably read them and then burnt them. My mother said she received some letters and she would write back and wait, no reply, this same stenario went for my mom's letters, they would be read and burnt. We made sure we did not say anything about Aunt Margaret, just told my mom we missed her and wanted her to come for us, after a while we never received a letter from mom and thought she had forgotten about us.

I don;t know why ny uncle decided to sell the house and buy one in town, boy oh boy an inside toilet and a bathtub, now we could take a good bath.. The house only had two bedrooms but we had more room. I missed the country life, the friends that I had, playing marbles and baseball in the pasture with them. I am going to stop my story here and another time I will write about my city life, and bringing my mom to Michigan. I promise pictures on this post.

Friday, January 2, 2009


I have lived a great number of years, it was a quarter of a century last November 24, 2008. When I was born it was the great depression, following the crash of 1929.

Men all over the country was having a hard time supporting their family's. There was a great deal of stealing to stay alive. My mom told me a story of Dad and Grandpa, they went out to steal some chickens one night, it was a dark night so they thought they could get away with a couple chickens. The chickens had a say about it, so they went into the hen house and nabbed two but they had scared the hens when they entered. They grabbed the hens by the legs and what a squawking and clucking started, that set the farmers dog to barking. My Grandpa ran into the woods but my Dad went into the outhouse, thinking he would not be caught, this probably would of worked but the hens would not be quiet. My Dad was caught and spent some time in jail, he never did that again. My mom told this story many times over, it was funny and a good laugh was had by all. My Dad went to work in the coal mines in West Virginia and the last part of 1930's he got a job in the steel mills in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. I think the moral to the chicken story would of been to tuck them under their arms instead of picking them up by the legs.

We survived the Depression and life seemed to be going well until October of 1942. When my mom answered the door she knew something was wrong, my dad had been hurt at work. My dad lived three days , he had been hit on the top of the head by an object that fell off of a overhead crane. In those days they did not wear helmets if they did I would of enjoyed my dad longer, I was nine years old. My dad had a rough life growing up, his first dad divorced his mom and she remarried. There was Cherokee in my dads family, he was one half and you could see it in him. He was taking a course in radio, trying to better himself, in school he only finished fourth grade because he had to help support the family, which was the case in many families. He loved cars and workrd on ours a lot my cousin Eddie was always at our house helping dad. Many years later Eddie told us that dad was going to present to Ford Motors Co. and try to get a patient for an improvement in the car engine, but he was killed before he had a chance. Eddie did not know what it was because my dad was keeping it a secret until he presented it.

My mom gave up trying to raise us, my older sister June was already out in Michigan, we lived in East Liverpool, Ohio. Mom contacted my Aunt Margaret and ask if we could come and stay awhile, she said yes. We came to live here, for awhile my aunt treated us nice and then she started to get real mean toward us. She made us do the housework, which we did not mind but she would go behind us and find what we missed. It was called to our attention and we not only did what we missed but she made us do the whole thing over, the ironing was a disaster, we never knew how to clean and she would not show us just tell us to do it. When we were to go on picnics she would find fault with one of us and we did not go. I could take the yelling but the slapping in the face was too much, she said we looked at her the wrong way. This went on for nine years, and my mom did not come for us and signed papers for my aunt and uncle to be our legal guardians. She was worse than the stepmother in Cinderrella, at least she was saved by a handsome prince.

We did graduate from high school, I in 1953 and found a job right away at a nice office. I finally was happy and I moved out of her house to my apartment. Life was going along pretty good, I worked for a nice company and could not get use to people being nice to me. Can you believe it I made a great big sum a week of $37.50, but gas was only .17 cents a gallon, bread .20 cents and believe it pop .15 cents, hamburg ,49 cents a pound, well the wages were small at the time. I worked for this company for eight years and had to fight for every raise, in the end when I quit I was only making $62.50 a week.

I met my husband in 1958, he was divorced and his wife went home to Okalahoma to live with her folks, they had two children. We married on July 30th, 1959, we had been going together for almost a year. My husband was layed off in 1960, right after the birth of our son, Douglas. He could not find work for a few months, then he was hired by Railway Express in Muskegon, Michigan in 1963, right after the birth of our son Ronald.

Life has its ups and downs in many marriages, but my husband was a good father and good to me. My husband worked for Railway Express until it went out of business in 1968. So he went back to college and learned to be an illustrator, after graduating in 1971 he went to work for Gardner Denver in Grand Haven, Michigan. We moved here to be close to his job but this company moved out of town to New Jersey, but not to dispear he was lucky to get a job at Haworth in Holland, Michigan, no we did not move to Holland, I love Grand Haven and will live here until I pass on and meet my animals at Rainbow Bridge. My husband worked over 20 years for this company and he retired in 1996. We have seen many hard times but none like I had living with my aunt. I have been as good of mother that I could be, we all make mistakes with our children, but I tell you this when I ask my boy's to do something for me I never check to see if it is done right (I might tidy behind their back), they are really good boy's, men now. Doug is 48 years old and Ron is 45 years old.

I hope I have not bored you with this post, many do not like to bare their soul for all to see, not me I have lived many years doing good and I have a few regrets. I miss my home state in my memories but I love Michigan and after living here since 1946 I guess I could call her home, I love Lake Michigan, I love to walk her beaches and hear the sound of sea gulls and feed them popcorn or bread and also I like to metal detect her beaches. I like it when people come up and ask me what I am doing or just to talk, there are a lot of tourist on our beaches in summer. I really get a kick out of the kids, they follow me and yell with delight when the detector makes a beeping sound and want to dig, I let them and if it is money I let them keep it, only after they ask their parents.

My son Doug gave me this computer and showed me how to use it, I will never know what he knows about computers. When I discovered blogging I was hooked, I have over a hundred blog sites on my bookmarks and a few on my side bar. I consider you all my friends and love to come and see what you are up to and love the reciepts you put on your posts. The stories are awesome and I like the animal stories and all the pictures of family and nature, you all have a exceptional quality of posting the right way, thank you my friends for coming to visit me, I wish you all the best, you have been a comfort in my loss of my furry friends and supportive in Dusty and Logan, God Bless you all, Margaret.