I left there, Mineola, somewhere, I think, January or ... 1943. I went to Florida with a friend of mine, Louise Starr. Florida, that was where Andy had gone. Louise and I arranged jobs at a Roman Catholic hospital there. We had a bad experience there. After we had arrived in Miami we went to the hospital and after we spoke with the directress, she showed us their nurses' home. It was a terrible, terrible place. There was just a old bed and a dresser in the room. There weren't any windows, and no doors in the doorways so the doors were always open. It was just a shell of a place. It was a mess. I cried. The directress told us that girls never stay there very long, they get their own apartments. But if we did that, we would have to pay for our own private apartments. We called Andy and asked if he could come and get us. We didn't stay but a hour or two until Andy came and picked us up and took us to his apartment. So Louise and I stayed in his apartment until we got jobs at Jackson Memorial Hospital and lived in the nurses' home there.
One evening Andy and I were out on a dock down near where 9th street crosses Man. (Note from RA: I checked a map and Man Street appears to have been renamed, "Ocean Drive." This area is now the heart of the high-class "Art Deco" area) I don't know what kind of boats went out from the dock or if it was for boats at all. I remember I was sitting on the edge of the dock and I had my feet hanging down into the water. Andy told me, "Be careful, there's barracudas in that water." So I got up quick. That was the evening that Andy asked me to marry him and I agreed. Actually, he asked me more than once. Three times. Once when we were on the grass in front of a hotel there in Miami Beach. But I couldn't make up my mind, not because of him, I don't know, I just couldn't. I had never thought of getting married. Jeez, I had just graduated from school and I had never gone out with boys. You couldn't go out on the mountain. I had never thought of getting married.
We got married May 26, 1943 there in Miami Beach. We were married in the home of Captain and Mrs. Gulian. A Lutheran army chaplain, Major Mattsen performed the ceremony. I moved in with him. We had a large efficiency apartment on 16 something Pennsylvania Avenue. It had a little kitchen, a sofa-bed, it was a large efficiency. Shortly thereafter we were transferred to Kansas, Andy was transferred to Chanute Field in Kansas. Andy had a car at that time that we called, "Henry." That was the car's nickname. I guess it's the same car I have a picture of. We made a long trip of it. Andy drove up through Niagara Falls on the way. In Kansas we were in Salina first and then we moved to Pratt. We lived in Alice Peden's house there in Pratt. We had a basement apartment in Alice Peden's house. I worked a little while at a Catholic hospital in Kansas, but I don't remember the name. Rollie was born in Kansas, there in Pratt. Then Andy got sent back to Florida to take a course in Orlando. I don't know when we left Pratt, the baby and I. I don't know the month and the day, but I don't think Rollie was even a year old when we left.
When Andy left Kansas left I took the train, the baby and I, to Worcester. On the train one of the Spike Joneses' band members sat with us. He played with Rollie and and he was pretending Rollie scratched him or something. When we got to Worcester we went to Andy's mother, Edith, at 22 Fraternal Avenue. Andy was studying, I think he was studying... pictures from the air, what do you call it when they take pictures from the air... and then try to identify them when they have the picture? Photo interpretation. Down there in Orlando. He was there for more than a month, about two months. And I went down there to Orlando to stay with him. Rollie stayed with Edith, there in Worcester. Then Andy got sent overseas, to Naples. Naples, Italy and I went back to Worcester. (V-mail letter from Italy) My brother John finished his tour of duty in the Pacific and had been transferred over to escorting convoys in the Atlantic. He got a five day leave in Boston and he came to visit Edith and I there in Worcester.
Then I got an apartment of my own on 47 West Street near Worcester Tech. It was a small apartment on the first floor with a living room and a kitchen and a small sun-porch bedroom, the bedroom had a lot of windows in it, it was kind of like a sun-porch. I think the baby and I were there for about a year all together. August, Andy's father, was in the hospital part of the time we were there. We walked over to see him in Annaman Hospital. He wasn't feeling well, I don't know what happened. Sometimes Edith, Andy's mother, would come over to visit. And Rollie would sometimes talk to her on the phone. There was a park nearby. I don't remember the name of the park now, but if Andy was here, he'd know what it was called. Sometimes Rollie and I would go down to that park and take some bread and feed the pigeons. Once I took Rollie someplace and he wanted, "EeeWee," and I didn't know what the heck he was talking about that he needed "EeeWee." Finally, I figured out that it was "ice cream" he wanted.
Three or four weekends I worked at a Swedish hospital upon the hill and my neighbor took care of Rollie while I was away.
And then once, and it makes me laugh that I still remember this, I found a WORC radio pin on the sidewalk - a little lapel pin with WORC written on it. WORC was one of the radio stations in Worcester.
During the war meat was rationed, lots of things were rationed. They rationed gas, you had to get coupons. I don't remember where you got the coupons. And you could only get certain things in the stores, so you had to have coupons, but I don't remember where we got the ration books, we had ration books with the coupons inside. And other things were different then. The oleo was white and there was a little click of yellow on it. It came in a plastic bag. You had to break the little colored ball and you had to squeeze it and make it yellow all through. Then you put it in a bowl. They had that so people won't sell it as butter which was rationed, too. At the time I didn't mind, you know, but it was more work. I won't do it today.
When Andy came back from Italy they sent him to Davis-Monhehan Field near Tucson, Arizona. That's where he was discharged. When he got back to Worcester he was hired by the Sturdevant division and we moved to Boston. Andy found us the apartment there. Sturdevant division was part of Westinghouse, I don't remember now what they did there. The apartment was in New Hyde Park, a suburb of Boston. We didn't have anything but footlockers so we made the move in the car. The woman's name escapes me now, but she had her whole house divided up into one or two apartments and called it an apartment. It was in that apartment we had our first Christmas. We had a little table Christmas tree and some cards that I stood up underneath the tree. I remember that Andy brought Rollie in to see the presents he had bought.
Linwood was born in a hospital there in Boston in 1946. I don't remember the hospital's name. The last time I went by it, it was a laboratory, they closed it. How did we pick the name Linwood? Andy had a friend, he knew somebody there in Worcester named Linwood. I saw the name somewhere in one of Andy's papers. I wasn't used to the name at first, but it turned out nicely.
Once Andy and I went shopping when Linwood was a little tyke, an infant, maybe a few months old. We went into the store and left the baby outside and we told Rollie to stand by it, keep an eye on Linwood. Some ladies came by and Rollie was chasing them away, 'That's my brother!' He was standing by the carriage. He didn't want the ladies looking at the baby.
In Boston, Andy had been mostly involved in some kind of orientation or schooling, I guess. Then Westinghouse gave him a position as a Sales Engineer in Detroit, selling refrigeration equipment. When we moved there from Boston we took the train. In Detroit we moved into a hotel until Garfield was vacated, 18420 Garfield, in Redford. I think it was the Teller Hotel we stayed at that first time. Maybe it was Tyler or Tuller, something like that. Rollie ate peaches in the park nearby when I took the kids out for walks. We liked the house on Garfield. Andy did a lot of work on that house on Garfield street, fixing it up. It was while we were there on Garfield that we got our first electric refrigerator. We had an icebox in Pratt and in Worcester.
We had a gas water heater in that house on Garfield, too. It wasn't automatic, it was, you know, you lit it when you wanted hot water then after you had hot water you turned it off. Once the kids and I went to shop on 7-mile and then I remembered... I couldn't remember whether I had shut the darn thing off before we had left the house and I thought it would explode and cause a lot of damage. So we started to hitchhike back to the house, the kids stayed on the sidewalk and I went out a bit into the street and held out my thumb. We got a lift with some G.I.'s in a convertible and they took us to the end of Garfield Street and left us there. And there I was at the end of Garfield Street trying to get to the house to see about that darn tank and the kids couldn't walk fast 'cause they were so little and they didn't want to walk by themselves. So some women in one of the houses there came out and said that she would walk along with the kids while I ran ahead to check on that tank. When I got to the house I found that damn tank was off. I had turned it off and didn't remember so... That night Andy told me that there was a plug in it that would come out if you overheated it. That was my experience with the water tank.
The first time I saw TV's was in stores. When Andy and I went shopping we saw them. The Hammonds across the street on Garfield bought one. That was about 1950. They were the first ones I knew to get one. I went over there to Evelyn to see it, but I didn't watch any program. I just went there to see Frank Costello, they had been talking about him on the radio, about being corrupt, about being a mobster, but I didn't stay to watch, but they were showing him on TV. I just came to see what he looked like.
There was a time then, sometime around 1950, that they had x-ray machines in shoe stores. That was another new thing that came about that time. Not all shoe stores had them, but a lot of them did. They had them so you could see if your shoes fit right. They looked like weighing scales. All you had to do was to get up on them, I guess, and put the front of your feet, the toes of your shoes, into like kind of a big slot under the machine. Then you pressed a button and looked into a rubber viewer on the top and you could see your toes inside the shoes, see if they had plenty of room. They didn't have those x-ray machines for too long, a couple of years, I guess. They discontinued them. They found that they might not be real good for the feet.
My grandfather died in 1950. I wasn't there but they say he went down to milk the cows one day, came back, sat down by the stove and dropped dead.
It was 1951 that we moved into Annchester (17700 Annchester), later part of 1951. There was a school close by for the kids. That was one of the things I liked best about Annchester. The house was brand new. It had been built by a contractor named Dean Collum. He built a lot of the houses around there. He lived in one of them himself. The Collums were neighbors, you know. He lived down the street.
There wasn't too much there when we came. Andy had a landscape architect come in and he made a plan for the lawn and when the shrubbery arrived he followed the plan and he planted all the shrubbery around the house. We put in the grass, too. We put in sod. Andy laid the sod and I carried the sod pieces over to him. The sod came all rolled up. They had put it in a heap on the parkway, you know, and I carried the pieces. The neighbor was fire chief and we could have a wheelbarrow so that was easier. We did the whole lawn.
About 8 months after we were there, they started to build an addition to the house. Andy wanted a breezeway and a garage. The breezeway was called a breezeway because it had windows on both sides that you could open up so a breeze would blow through it when it was hot. There were screens in the windows so insects wouldn't come it. The breezeway was done in something called Surfwood. That was wood that was brushed so that all the soft wood was gone and it looked like rippled waves. First you paint it brown then you put white on it and then wipe all the white off so just some is left and looks like waves. It did look kind of dark, but it looked beautiful. Somebody told me they didn't like the Surfwood, but I looked at some pictures and it does look dark. It doesn't look as nice as when we lived there. And there in the breezeway there were lights that you could swivel around in the ceiling and focus on the wall, the yellow brick wall with the slate shelves to stand plants on... irregular slates. You focused lights on the shelves.
It wasn't long after he started working on the basement. He finished it off. He put the pine up and the wallpaper and ceiling, divided it up into a storeroom and a workshop and a closet and he had a lavatory put down there. He worked hard on that house.
In one place, you know, he made a place for the card tables, to insert three or four card tables to keep them out of the way when you weren't using them. And all those little shelves above the card table section! All those shelves with the round... what is it? you don't call them dowels... going straight through the shelves in such a nice design... the round things went through the shelves in a beautiful pattern. The edges of the shelves were stained brown. The pine wood had lots of knots in it. He loved wood, you know. He put something called Satinlac on it, but he rubbed it off over the knots, so they'd age. He would have loved to be an architect like he wanted to be.
To the right of that card table section we had that bed, day bed, or whatever you call it. The orange one, between the card table section and the wall. I mean, that was beautiful.
To the left of that card table section there was a water meter, but he covered it up in such a beautiful and ingenious way. And on top of that he put a trophy rack with the glass in the door where he could put the ribbons and medals he had won. That was a beautiful part of the basement. He worked on it a long time 'cause he worked on it a little every night when he came home from work. I used to sit and watch him work. It was so beautifully planned.
At the other end of the basement there was a place up at the top for the screen when he showed slides and on the sides were the cabinets with those big knobs on them. I don't know, four inches in diameter, big brown knobs. There were four cabinets, two on each side. You put the card table chairs in the two bottom ones, on the right and the left, the card table chairs. And we had records and games in the ones on top. There was a dried starfish hanging on one of the doors to those cabinets. Between the cabinets, down at the bottom that was for the TV.
In the workshop he had a special place, like a glass table, to lay the slides on when he was working on his pictures. The top of a table would slide out and that glass place was underneath. And there was another special place to mount his saw. I think it was a DeWalt, a table to put the saw on and made so that the sawdust would blow back into a container to keep the place clean. There were all kinds of little things like that, special things that he made.
In the storeroom there were shelves on both walls and there was a panel or board for putting newspapers on in the storeroom. You put... a shelf was specially made to pile up the newspapers on. And that's there we put the newspapers. Andy was a very neat person.
He made covers to cover the set-tubs. At about chest height there was a counter. Up above the counter was a bar-light, shining down. We never used it as a bar but half of the counter you could drop, or lift up and hinge it into... what do you call the pipe that hold up the floor above, the pillar, the support, the support pipe and then you had a bolt that you slide back and forth into the support whatyacall and you could drop the countertop down and walk in. When you had a guild meeting or something we used it. I used it for putting the cakes on, we had cakes and coffee and Nana taught me how to make Swedish coffee.
A neighbor who was a plumber helped make the lavatory, it had to be built according to city code. Andy had to vent the bathroom wall with a vent. The closets in the lavatory had nice big holes so you could put wet mops in it to air it out. The door to the closet under the stairs had weaving... what do you call that kind of work? Lattice-work, on the closet door. Andy made so many nice things in the basement, it took him a long time. Only Andy would spend a lot of time on something like that. He had a lot of patience.
Rollie and Linwood were small then and they got short haircuts just like we did when we were young - "Baldies" they called them. I thought it made them look nice and neat, especially in the summer. As soon as I saw that little sobrinka sticking out, that little fringe of hair in the front, I'd tell them, "You go get that sobrinka cut off!" And they'd march off to the barbershop to get a hair cut. In the beginning I went with them to show the barber how to cut it. Then after that if they came back from the barber with their hair too long I'd just send them back so the barber could do it right. The kids complained because they thought their hair was too short, but they looked real clean in those days.
Annchester was paved, but Curtis was a dirt road then. We had to pay to have it... three neighbors, the Brummels and... went together to pay for our part, to have the street oiled to hold the dust down, to keep the dust from flying. A truck would come and spray oil over the street.
Most of the time, but not always in those days on Annchester, we kept our Christmas tree up until Russian Christmas on the 7th, January 7th. It didn't have to be after the 7th, but we kept it up until the needles began to fall off, you know, we had one of those Christmas tree stands that you put water in.. that you watered throughout the season, and it only last a certain length of time. I used to get a spruce tree and then somebody told me that if you had gotten... I don't remember quite... some other kind of tree... well, they suggested some other kind of tree that the needles last longer. We kept the tree until the needles start coming down and then threw it out.