TRIP TO BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA, 1952

Over the Memorial Day weekend in 1952, Paul, Timmy (we called him that when he was younger) and myself made a trip to visit Paul's former chaplain, Tilford Junkins, and his family. Timmy was six years old. We left the three girls, who were all under school age, with neighbors, Vern and Babs Lundberg. They had three little ones of their own at that time, so six was a handful for them. I'm sure. Anyway, we owned a Nash Ambassador. Paul worked for a Nash dealer as Service Manager. The insurance adjusters sometimes brought wrecked cars in for estimates. This Ambassador had been wrecked. With the help of the body shop foreman, Paul restored it and bought it cheap. It looked like new and no one would have ever guessed that it had been declared a total loss.

We didn't have money for motels, or even meals. We packed food to eat on the way and Paul was able to get off work the Friday before the holiday. We drove all night, but just before dawn, we pulled into a gas station that hadn't been opened yet.

The seats would lay flat, so we had a flat surface upon which to sleep and slept until it was light outside and continued our trip to Birmingham.

Martha and Chappie (as we referred to him) showed us some of the sights of the city and on Saturday, they took us to Red Mountain, where there was a monument (Vulcan) made of iron, which overlooked Birmingham. I remember Timmy got a little too close to the edge and Chappie pulled him back a little for safety.

In Alabama, at that time, they didn't observe Memorial Day and the schools were open on Monday as well as all of the bhusinesses. They celebrate another day later in the year to honor their war dead.

Martha packed us sandwiches and other goodies to eat on the way back and we headed back to Ohio on Monday.

We lived on Karl Road until Linda was through kindergarten. There was no kindergarten at Brice in 1956 for E.J. Carol went into the kindergarten class in Groveport School District, the first year kindergarten was required. It was located in Brice Methodist Church. Paul and I could not tell a difference in E.J. and Carol's academic development, even though E.J. missed kindergarten.

It was 1956 when we made the move to a small acreage near Brice. After we moved to Brice, Paul went to work for an independent adjusting firm that made estimates on wrecked cars and trucks. He had learned how to do estimates in his experience as manager of the body shop at Rush Motors. He changed jobs a few times during the first years of our marriage, but it was always for a better position and more pay. In this position with the adjusting firm, he traveled a great deal all over Ohio. It was during this time that he came to the realization that there might be a problem with his health, because he had a difficult time staying awake while driving. He went to a doctor, who ordered tests, but nothing could be found wrong.

My husband had always been dead set against women working, so I didn't start into the work force until all of the children were in school. I was always grateful that I was able to be home when my children were small. But by the time we were in Brice, Paul's health was such that it was necessary for me to work. We had been married for 13 years when I took my first job away from home.

I was able to get a job in the office of a local general contractor. This entailed typing up bids for schools, firehouses, and public buildings on which contractors bid. This was very interesting work but sometimes stressful when we had deadlines to meet. One bid was on a building near the Ohio-West Virginia border that had to be taken to the state capital at Charleston, WV. Usually our draftsman delivered the bids to their destination. However, this particular day we had several bids on the same day and I was elected to fly out of Columbus, Ohio to Charleston to deliver this bid. Paul and the children drove me to Port Columbus and saw me board the plane, a small commuter plane, and waved good-bye. They were to pick me up at the end of the day when I returned.

When I arrived in Charleston I took a cab to the state capitol and told the cab driver that I had a deadline to meet. He delivered me safely and on time. In my inexperience I just paid the fare. As I ran to the bid opening, the cab driver's furious shouting followed me. Later I learned I should have tipped him - tipped him well, in fact - because he did get me there on time. By the way, we were the lowest bidders and got the job.

My work with this general contractor was very interesting and I learned some lessons that I was able to use later on in my working career.

About this time when it wasn't even popular for a woman to have her ears pierced I decided that I would like to have mine pierced so that I could wear earrings without having them fall off, or having to screw them on so tight that they gave me a headache! I was born with very small ear lobes; therefore, it was difficult for me to wear earrings. My first attempt was to ask our family doctor, who was located in Pickerington and Dr. K. W. Taylor was almost insulted when I mentioned it to him. He said he was in the business of healing people and didn't have time for piercing ears.

I had a friend, Nell Richards, who told me to come to her house and she would pierce my ears. She instructed me to buy a pair of solid gold studs. In the mid 1950's, when this took place, there were no earrings for pierced ears in the department stores, drug stores, etc. like there are today. The only place one could purchase these was in a jewelry store. I made a trip to downtown Columbus and purchased a pair of gold stud earrings for $20. That was a lot of money for me at that time. Linda and the other two girls were with me that day we went to Nell's house. She offered to pierce Linda's ears, but she ran like a scared rabbit -- no way did she want to have any part of a needle going through her ears. The other two were playing outside and weren't interested either. At any rate, we got the job done and I had no side effects from the operation.

When Carol was either in sixth grade, or junior high , or maybe high school, Ealgene Adkins Wright and I pierced Carol's ears. I think she thought at the time we were using knitting needles. We had a difficult time. We didn't know that she had hard lumps in her ear lobes, so it wasn't as easy.

It was after this when Paul was diagnosed as having narcolepsy with cataleptic seizures, we were told that narcolepsy is difficult to pin-point, because the symptoms are much like those of various other diseases. His doctor asked him if he would be willing to be admitted to Columbus State Hospital, because sometimes his condition might be caused by a mental problem. He stated that some people go to sleep to escape reality. Paul said that if it was mental, he wanted to know that also and he was sent to this hospital. Unfortunately, he had to be off work and when the company for which he worked found out that he had been in a mental facility, they fired him.

This was the beginning of many of our financial problems. However, with my working and Paul working for Goodwill Industries at $1.50 an hour, we managed to get by.

Our children were young, but I don't remember that they ever complained about not having as much as other families. They loved their Dad and were proud of him. He played on the church softball team and we all looked forward to attending the games. We didn't have money for vacations, but the summers were filled with picnics, ball games and short trips. Before the adjustment company let him go, Paul sometimes made trips to Southern Ohio to adjust a wrecked car or truck. This was before I started to work and the entire family would go. Paul enjoyed having the children go along with him to the feed mill, hardware store and other short trips. They all piled in the car with him and it gave me a chance to get things caught up at home.

Finally, in the spring of 1959, Paul's doctor was able to get an appointment for him at the Veteran's Hospital in Cincinnati. It was just a one day examination and really wasn't long enough to determine his true condition. The V.A. eventually awarded him a 30% disability. We both knew, as did his doctor, that he was more than 30% disabled.

He was unemployable for a full time job. However, the building contractor for whom I worked gave him temporary work on some of the construction jobs he had. Because he worked for the contractor, Paul was unable to draw disabilitiy benefits. This was when we decided to move to California again.