CHAPTER THREE
Life in San Frencisco & Lawton, OK
     The basement apartment had a storage room under the house, where I used to put all the used stuff Mary Hunt kept finding for me at garage sales. Years later I was sorry I gave away the cast iron frying pans she had bought for me.
     We kept forgetting to empty the water from the melted ice in the ice box (It had to be carried way across from one side of room to the laundry sink at the other end). I had to use the pink cart Perce had made for us.
     When we finally left there for our apt in SF, I cried to say good bye. I always hated to leave places we had lived.
     In SF we lived on the third floor of an apt on Sacramento street, near the Jewish temple. Years later I went back there in the limo and the apt house was still there. We used to walk for blocks at night. When I was pregnant, it was good exercise. We walked past stores and that's when I first saw the Cardinal Richelieu pictures that I later bought a copy of. Cathy had it for awhile. We walked to a restaurant sometimes, or a movie when we could afford it.
     It was this apt where John told me about the man on the second floor who sat in a rocking chair on the back porch and told John he just wondered if he was happy or not. John and I thought, how silly. We were too busy all the time to know if we were happy or not. Now at 76, I dwell on it too much and I have become that "silly man."
     We had twin beds there at first. Then I heard about hide-a-beds so wanted to borrow $300 from Mr. Hunt to buy one. When we looked at the used one, I realized it was just a pull out couch, not hide-a-bed like I wanted. Mr. Hunt refused to let me buy a new one......and I vowed never to ask him for $$ again. I didn't. We paid a little down and bought the new one. Green and made up with bedding inside and such. Nice one. We used the $300 for a down payment for a new real hide-a-bed that made up with bedding inside. We used that for years until we left SF.
      I worked at Libby McNeil and Libby at 60 California St. I remember the day I first went for my interview there. I was so frightened and the nice man on the sreetcar I had taken on Market street. . told me not to worry, I'd get it, I did. . I was a receptionist. I took the cable from one end of California St. to almost the other end.
     When I first knew I was pregnant, I told everybody. Not long after that, they called me in and said they'd have to let me go. I cried and said "How will we eat? I have to keep working until John finishes college." They gave in and let me stay, but they gave me all kinds of bad jobs of heavy lifting etc. They didn't want a receptionist who looked pregnant. I was just as determined and the other people there were nice to me, so I stuck it out until we left SF and moved me back to Turlock to have the baby. (Cathy), I think I worked until my eight or ninth month.
     When John graduated from USF and I was about 8 mo. pregnant with Cathy, he went into the Army -from ROTC as a 2nd Lt. They had paid his college and that was the deal.
     I went to Turlock to stay with my folks until 6 weeks after Cathy was born. Dr. Ellefson was my doctor (in fact he was my doctor for Peggy and even for Stephen all those many years later.)
     Cathy was born August 20, 1949. Nancy Mansfield, John's cousin - Auntie Emily's daughter, came to be with me. She told me afterwards that she was scared to death because the baby was so blue at first. They gave me lots and lots of ether. The day after the baby was born, a nurse came in to see me - "We gave you enough ether to put a horse out. I'm just surprised to see you today."
     I recall how very hard it was to get out of the low hide-a-bed that I had in yhe bedroom at Pedros Rd. I slept in the back bedroom - the one that you had to go thru the bathroom to get into. That was a crazy old farm house. Two bedrooms. Danny had one, Betty and I had had bunk beds in the back bedroom when we first moved there. My mother had her bed in a porch deal room. You stepped down to get into it, but it was all enclosed etc. Big living room-dining room - kitchen - back hallway to laundry tubs and back door.
     When the baby was six weeks old, I flew to Lawton, OK. to be with John.
     On the airplane I remember I was wearing a black wool shirt with a pretty top that matched, but had other colors on it. Must have been cold in Turlock and SF when I left. We flew direct from SF to the biggest city near Lawton in OK. On the descent, it seemed bumpy and I felt a little sick, so I couldn't put the babies snow suit on that I wanted to do before we landed, until after we came to a full stop on the ground. In the limousine to the hotel from the airport, the business men with me were saying how many people had been sick on the flight. Baby and I were in the front seat, (of tourist of course), so I hadn't seen anything like that. Thought it was strange that I would get airsick, even a little. I guess I had flown before this, now I don't remember. (76 yrs) I know I did not nurse the baby on the plane. I guess John must have met me in the main city and driven me to Lawton. I know my nursing bra was wet.
     The room- apt - he had rented for us was on the 2nd floor of a house. It had one big room with a bed and dresser, plus a small kitchen. We shared the bathroom downstairs. I couldn't figure where the baby would sleep. John said in a dresser drawer. I was horrified, as all I could picture was Kato, a cartoon character, that slept in a dresser drawer that was half in dresser, half out. Actually, he took a drawer all the way out and we put blankets in it and it made a perfectly good basinette until we found a baby carriage second hand - I believe it cost $15. It was an old blue wicker one that was heavy. At first John would push it for me. Then some one reported him and he was told that, "Officers (he was 2nd Lt) didn't degrade themselves by doing that and that he mustn't do that anymore." When we left Lawton the next Decrmber, I remember how as I was that we couldn't take the carriage with us, even though I had hated getting it up and down the stairs all that time.
     We drove back in with a Lt._______car/ It was a small car, a Plymouth coupe I think. Room for three in the front seat, one tiny space for one other guy traveling with us plus all our luggage in the back seat. At first, John and I and the baby sat in front with the driver. I can't even remember his name now, but I became very friendly with him on the trip. The men took turns driving so we could go straight through without stopping in motels overnight. When we were near the Grand Canyon, the nearest city, the weather turned bad and it snowed. John had never driven in the snow and plowed into a car in front of us, afraid to putthe brakes on too fast. Then the others didn't let him drive anymore, so he had to sit in the back seat with the baby and I was in the middle of two men in front. Other guy than driver was heavy set. Pushed driver and me closer together. By the time we reached Turlock I remember I kissed driver goodbye . We had become that close. I guess I was a big flirt. even then.. Think his name was Pete.???
 

 
 
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