Years ago, I sat down and asked my grandma a whole bunch of questions, and recorded the answers. I'm finally getting around to sharing it with you. If you are anything like me, you've heard a lot of stories, but they got so complicated I wasn't sure I understood them right. This is my attempt to understand the life of my wonderful grandmother. Enjoy!
You'd never told Grandpa that you'd had asthma as a child?
I don't know really. I hadn't had any. I guess he'd probably known. I had a few attacks in California and then when I moved up here to Hever I didn'f have any--a little off and on I guess.
How did they treat it when you were little?
When I was little, as I remember I was in an oxygen tent quite often and then when I really had a bad, bad, bad attack I'd get a shot.
Did you have to stay in the hospital?
Yeah, I'd have to stay in the hospital although I don't remember too much other than that I know my mother didn't have money so she'd have to go to clinics. I remember hearing--my great Aunt Rose--who I was very close with for some reason or another. That's who Jayne was named after--Aunt Rose but she was my great aunt and her daughter Fern I was real close with--(and I heard them talking)...about everything. I remember they told me once--Mother, she was my mother's cousin so she would have been my 2nd cousin, but they were close, and I remember her saying once that she took my to the hospital with asthma, or the clinic or whatever--they were so full or something so we say and I could hardly breathe and they put me on a table and left me in the hallway. I don't know whether they were full up or just exactly what it was, but I remember her telling me that mother was out--anyway, when she found me, and I was laying there on the table with asthma and I couldn't breathe that she put up a big stink--boy, she just flew into a rage that they were doing that just because she didn't have any money and so forth and so on. Boy, she really--cause I guess Fern was with her or something. She said, "Boy, she sure got the nurses and doctors going" and I got put in a room. But she said "Oh she was so mad when she found out" that I was in the hallway lying on a table. Boy, Fern would say, there was doctors and nurses running around everyplace to shut that woman up and get that child taken care of.
So, my youngest memory is of riding around on my bicycle with my three Mexican friends and staying over at their house. In face that had a --Jean and Rose and I can't remember the other one's name--they had a cousin--his name was Dale--but he was older and he was so good-looking. I remember thinking, oh he is so good-looking, but anyway, I didn't name Dale--your dad--after him. I liked the name Dale, but it reminded me of him, and oh, he was so good-looking.
What modes of transportation did your family use?
Oh, we always had to take the street car. We didn't own a car when I was real young. Buy going different places, you'd get on the street car and go, and that was the main thing. When I was in high school, Mother got a red convertible Nash--really fancy--and I had just met your grandpa, Boyd and we took the car--she had just got it--we took the car and we were going to the beach and some guy in front of us put on his brakes and your grandpa slammed into him and mashed the front end of the car. He didn't even want to come back to my house. I don't remember what happened after that.
Your mother didn't let you ever use it again?
No, we drove clear to Heber in it in the middle of winter in a red convertible Nash and everyone wondered what had happened to your grandpa. They thought we were millionaires. A red convertible in February.
What was grandpa doing in California?
He was in the navy. I married a Navy man. Everybody was--all during my high school, that was World War II so everybody enlisted in the service. I mean everybody. Our whole high school football team went and joined the service. The whole team. My whole high school was during the war. We couldn't go to football games. We didn't have any activities because you had blackouts at night. At night time we put black curtains over the windows. You couldn't travel. Gas was rationed.
You met him during high school?
Yeah, I met him in about February I guess of my last year in high school. Do you want to hear all about it?
Like I say, it was during the war. All the boys except the ones that were 4F and couldn't get in--I mean everybody was in the service, so I used to go rollerskating with my girlfriends on Friday nights. Saturday nights we went dancing at the Paladium. Gene Cooper, Frank Sinatra, Benny Goodman, all the bands played, so on Saturday nights we usually went dancing and Sunday we went to the beach. We would meet all the young servicemen. They were all young boysa just our age you know, they were 17, 18, some were iven 16 probably because they all joined.
Anyway, I met a guy rollerskating--I can't think of his name right now--and he introduced me--or he brought a friend for my girlfriend--and then the one I had gone with got shipped out--you know they only lasted for a little while--and then the one that my girlfriend was going with--he brought a friend for me and his name was Marvin--I didn't like him very well, but anyway I went out with him. He was from Oklahoma. He was an Okie from Oklahoma and I went out with him a few times and meanwhile I was going with other guys--I don't know, you just met them. But anyway, I went with Marvin, and prettya soon, Marvin got shipped out and then one day, knocking on my door was Marvin's brother and your grandpa. And so then I started going with Boyd, your grandfather. That's how I met him.
And my girlfriend started going with Marbvin's brother. She didn't marry hum, but anyway, then I started going with your grandpa, Boyd, and we went together, I don't know--a couple months. Then he got shipped out. So anyway, it was pretty serious, I guess. Everybody was serious, but I was still going with others, in fact, I met another guy, I can't even remember his name, Ibut I remember cause I'm only 5'3" and this other sailor--I prefer sailors. I went out with Marines, never went out with an army man. I went out with different marines and sailors and I like sailors best of all. But I was a good girl. Anyway, so your grandpa got shipped out and I had met this sailor. Where did I meet him? I don't remember if it was at the beach or a dance, but anyway, I met this sailor and he was 6'4" oh he was tall and good-looking. They are all stationed in San Diego and anyway, your grandpa had shipped out and I met this big, tall, good-looking sailor and so he said the very next weekend he didn't have a very long pass, so would I come down to San Diego and meet him. I said, "yeah. Where will me meet?" And he said, "Let's meet at the Plaza" They had a big plaza and I said, "OK, I'll meet you next Saturday." Well between that weekend and the next weekend, your grandpa called and they had sent him back to San Diego because the ship--the U.S.S. Klondike had to come back for some kind of repair....
To be continued.