As soon as our children finished the school year in the Groveport, Ohio school district, we made a decision to move to California for the second time. My parents had never had an opportunity to really know the children, nor did the children know their grandparents. Another reason we decided on the move was that Paul's health was such that it wasn't easy for him to get a good paying job and we had been told that he could probably find work in California. I was pretty sure that I would be able to get a job, with my secretarial and office experience.
This was a difficult decision for us all, as we had to leave friends, our church family and the familiar rural surroundings that we loved. Even though it was hard for our children, they didn't complain and I think looked forward with optimism to the move.
We had a public auction of many of our personal possessions. We also sold our five acres and our house. Some of the things that were sold were wedding presents and it was difficult to let them go. However, we knew from a financial standpoint it would be better to replace them after we arrived in California than try to take them with us.
One lamb was listed on our sale bill. It was Linda's 4-H project, Lambie Pie. At the Franklin County fair when she learned Lambie Pie was to be slaughtered, she brought the lamb back home. Linda owned a small blanket that had lambs in the pattern and underneath each lamb it said Lambie Pie. She named her lamb after the blanket which my mother had made for her.
After the auction we bought a new car. In June of 1960, after the children were out of school, Paul and I drove our new "little red Rambler" to California after we had put the children on a plane for California.
Tim was put in charge of the three girls when we put them on the plane. Tim was almost fourteen years old at the time. Linda was twelve, E. J., eleven and Carol, eight. My sister, Betty, lived in Claremont, CA and had agreed to meet the children after they arrived at the airport and keep them until Paul and I arrived.
The morning we left Brice for our trip to California, our neighbors, Jean and Jack Beatty, invited us to breakfast as they knew all of our possessions had been shipped. After we left the Beatty's and got underway for our trip, I cried for at least a half hour. Paul and I both knew that this might be the last time we would ever see these dear friends again. We had made many other friends but it just happened that Beatty's were our neighbors and on the way.
We planned to stop en route in Texas to visit my Aunt Carrie Zadek and other relatives. We also stopped in Midland, Texas to visit Margie and Claude Handly. They had two children, Marlane and Bobby. Margie is the friend with whom I had shared an apartment in Dallas in the early 1940's before she was married to Claude.
My oldest sister, Emily, took a liking to Linda and by the time we arrived in California had purchased her a complete new wardrobe of clothes.
Soon after we moved to California that summer of 1960, Paul went to work for Sealco, a manufacturer of air brakes. This company was owned and operated by my Uncle Homer. He worked on one of the machines, but was always trying to better himself.
He liked drafting and thought that someday they would give him a job in their drafting department. He took a drafting class at a nearby Junior College. He had taken drafting in high school, but wanted to improve his skills. He made good grades, but he never did get a chance at a position in Sealco's drafting department.
That summer, we spent finding a house to rent and later purchased a house at 4183 Orchard St., Montclair, California.
I was fortunate to obtain a position as a secretary to four counselors at Boys Republic. This school was located at Chino, California and was not that far from where we lived in Montclair. It was a school for delinquent boys who were placed there by the Juvenile Department of the Los Angeles Police Department. We also had boys from as far north as Marin County, near Oakland. This was a very interesting and rewarding position. These boys were not hardened criminals -- yet, but were put there to try to rehabilitate them and get their lives back on the right track. Most of them were from homes with little supervision. The offenses ranged from sniffing glue through a sock to petty theft. They went to school on the grounds and their stay there averaged 1-1/2 to 3 years, depending upon the offense committed and other factors. Some of them graduated from high school at Boys Republic. Every year there was a Termination Ceremony for the boys who had completed their stay there.
During their stay, they were taught a trade. There was a dairy on which some worked, a print shop which published a newsletter and contracted for other printing jobs and other trades to teach them and keep them busy. There were four large buildings in which they lived and each had a housemother who lived there with them. There were no walls, fences or any other encumbrances to keep them there and some did run away. However, the percentages were very low, because they had a better life than the one from which they had come. One young man worked on the farm, mil.king cows and taking care of the barns, etc. He served his time was was sent home, after a termination ceremony. His Mother was on drugs, wasn't married and the home situation was very bad. So after having run away, he came back early one morning when Mr. Randles, the dairy supervisor, was at the dairy barn and asked if he could come back. However, this could not be accomplished. One wonders what might have happened to this boy and others like him.
One of the main sources of income for Boys Republic was the sale of Della Robia Christmas Wreaths. Pod picking started in January of the year the wreaths would be assembled and sold at the end of each year. These pod picking excurisions traveled far into the northern part of the State of California. Eucaliptus pods plus many other kinds, as well as lemons, apples and oranges were gathered for the wreaths. After Thanksgiving each year, school would close and an assembly line would be started. Local women were hired to help with these wreaths which were shipped all over the world. A temporary post office was set up on the grounds, a branch of the Chino Post 0ffice for shipping. One was always sent to the White House as a part of their official decorations each year. As far as I know, this sale of Christmas Wreaths still takes place each year at Boys Republic.
During my four years there, I was always invited to the Termination Exercises and we had such guests as Liberace, Steve McQueen and personnel from the Lawrence Welk Show. Steve McQueen had once been a student at Boys Republic in his younger, wilder days.
One of the Christmases we spent in California. Paul gave me a gag gift. It was an old fashioned wooden framed metal wash board. He composed a poem to go with it as follows:
I did put the washboard to use and in time got my automatic washer.
The junior high school, high school and elementary school were all close enough for the children to walk. Carol did ride her bicycle to school some of the time. Carol was enrolled in the third grade and E. J. in the 6th at Lehigh Elementary School and Linda in the 8th at Vernon Junior High School. Tim was a freshman at Montclair High School.
Tim played a sousaphone in the band, because he didn't own an instrument and the school furnished the sousaphone. Linda and E. J. both owned flutes and played in the bands at their school. Carol later played flute in the band. All three girls also played piccolo. Someone once asked me if our children got their muscal talent from me. NOT! I always loved music and sang, but never learned how to read music and about the only thing I could play was the radio or record player.
However, Paul could play the piano by ear, had a very good tenor voice and had taken violin lessons when he was a child, so he could read music.
In 1961 we were able to purchase a used trumpet for Tim, so he switched from sousaphone to trumpet and has stayed with the trumpet ever since.
Paul and I joined the Music Booster's Club and were active as chaperones on band trips. We enjoyed doing this and met some other parents who had the same interest we did in the band.
The second year we were in California, the band was supposed to have gotten new uniforms. However, they were late being delivered, and before the uniforms arrived, the band took first place at the San Bernadino County Fair at Victorville and the headlines in our paper read, "'Shirtsleeve' Band Wins First Place." They marched in black shorts and white shirts. Victorville is in the desert and it was hot, hot, hot. Needless to say, we were proud of the kids.
From the first year that we moved to California, the entire family had decided that we didn't want to live in California forever. We did say we would give it several years, in order that we could make new friends. Perhaps we would like it better
as time passed. This didn't happen. We did make many friends, but still had the desire to go back to Ohio as soon as Tim graduated from High School. We started a savings account from the first year we moved there for our return trip to Ohio.