“As I Saw It”
Within this pile of words, hope you can find aid in continuity for your genealogy and understanding of personalities/characters. Hope you develop patience for the trial ahead of you, wading through my ramblings. Hope for forgiveness on the repetition, length and feeble efforts recognizing author is armed with limited writing skills.
Note: If I had realized that I would be forwarding the grade cards sixty years later to heirs, I would have studied and excelled. The repeated first person “I” seems the only way “I” could comfortably report my travels back into the past. Found much recall, fact and emotion.
Ellen Bartelle Shullaw
First Revision: December 1995
Second Revision: January 1996
(From Whence You Came)
I was born Ellen Jane Bartelle on
One hour earlier
Herman Bartel was a co-habitant of Ben and Alma Bartel. Habits of his led to his – from generation to generation – label as “mean.
Second year finds Bartelle family in a small house in
Doctor Halbert was the attending doctor through spinal meningitis and healing of burns. He was also the family doctor from 1928 to 1935 or longer
At this time Ben sold Durante automobiles, a brand no longer is existence
Back to an apartment
around Wolfinger and O’Harra families (
IMPRESSIONS AND MEMORIES
Sixth birthday memorable with the delight ad fascination
over a roll top desk made by cherished Grandpa Richmond. Scaled to my size and can still see it coming
in the door. At that time we were living
in above mentioned apartment in
AGAIN AGE SIX…
Another big moment, vivid yet, the importance of leading my class and teacher to Grandma and Grandpa O’Harra’s to view Grandma’s extensive canary family! The unveiling of the cages lightening the room, to see the many specimens. They were in a darkened condition for the sanity of Grandpa O’Harra!
Visits to the site of the
A favorite gathering place for O’Harra and Wolfinger, Smith and Bartelle (my cousins) was the O’Harra porch, that being the biggest porch.
First experience with the Irish funerals. We touched so as not to dream about them before going to the basement for the party.
Large gatherings of family, in-laws, and friends for picnics
and holidays. Parties in Wolfinger or
Saturday night was reserved for Aunt Grace and Uncle Mart Ritzenthaler, Jennie Richmond’s sister. Fudge, sea foam pull for children, and Pinochle for men. Went on for years! Climbing in Uncle Mart’s chair was a no-no. The largest size chair! Aunt Bessie Burrow and Aunt Grace Ritzenthaler were not speaking, so the burrows were not included.
Divorce loomed for us. I moved to Grandparents Richmond to a small house in 1928. Highlights:
· The first violin player (?). Did not last long when Grandfather’s horror over, or lack of progress soon tempted him to replace the violin with a guitar. Finally we all agreed to give us and a pile of books replaced offending musical endeavors.
· Stack of books – set of Bibles, a large volume of black leather, four small blue covered books on the Life of Jesus. Carried them through every move and have misplaced them (1980s). Maybe daughter could look for them among books moved to her house.
· Mother visited. One visit with friend who had car with fans in all corners. Presented me with skeleton (real looking) to stimulate studies. Grandfather was again beside himself and the figure was exiled to the closet.
· Trips to Wolfingers and had special moments waiting for ice wagon to rush out, hoping for a sliver of ice remains after chopping said ice for delivery to homes. Also vegetable carts.
NO REFRIGERATORS, NO WASHING MACHINES
MODEL T FORDS FAVORITE CAR (No heaters)
The absence of radios forced us to look and listen to each mother, sometimes not always favorable effect on adults! Uncle Joe Wolfinger had one of the first “crystal sets” where everyone huddled, waiting to turn on the earphones. Was mostly static when you finally got the quick turn.
About this time, I learned the horrifying Laws of the Universe! Inside the side door of Wolfinger’s house was a mirror. In stern words, “Do not hold a baby in front of a mirror until they are one year old,” “No raised umbrella inside a house,” and, of course, “the “broken mirror, seven years bad luck.” “Keep cats from babies, they take the breath from them!”
Riding with my Dad singing “My Blue Heaven,” the car jerked to a stop in the middle of the road and Daddy walked around the car nine times. In most serious conversation, he informed me that a black cat had crossed our path and his actions cured the “curse”. To this day I will take an alternate, longer path to avoid a black cat!
Father had remarried and lived with Fern and Jerry in a small house where we had lived seven years before.
Aunt Bessie and Ferd Kronsberger lived down the street with son Dickie.
Around this time I attracted a surplus of weight and carried
it with me till a trip to
a 1930 b
The death of Aunt Bessie brought sadness and readjustment. Ferd, her husband, soon married Sophia and moved with son Dickie into her home.
Ben and Fern moved to a house formerly occupied by Emmett Queen and family.
Charles, Jennie and Ellen moved into the Kronsberger house.
A well and bath had been added but lacked the septic, so the outhouse. Soon septic arrived, hence a toilet installed.
Washers were appearing with rollers on top, hand turned to wring clothes into rinse water. Later the rollers would be electric driven with much discomfort to fingers with added ripping of garments.* (See note at close of section)
Radios were coming into sight. Listening to “Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy.” Joined his club (girls were accepted) and got the stamp and kit in the mail.
Joe Louis was fighting and we were all ears. Max Baer, the fighter, was one of my favorites. His son Max Baer, Jr., later played the nephew on “the Beverly Hillbillies.”
Startled to attention by custody suit brought by Mother. One day in court with much confusion, everyone seemed to lose heart to proceed. A wise old judge looked at me. He invited same into Chambers and asked my opinion. Suggested “status quo” which had seemed to work so far.
Back to Grandpa and Grandma.
Never mentioned after, or while going on. In their customary manner it never happened for them. Strained couple of months and return to normal with visible relief for all.
BACK TO DAY BY DAY…
Jobs: Daddy was on
the WPA program for a while and also repaired cars in garage (
Daddy then sold Terraplanes with Grandpa Richmond being his first sale. Also had a gas station.
Charles and Jennie Richmond still worked at Valve Bag. Charles having been in the Spanish American War and World War I, received $100.00 a month for life for injuries sustained in WWI.
Jennie and daughter Grace still having the parties at every opportunity. The group had enlarged to the point that halls would be hired.
Active at the
At thirteen, learned to drive in a Model T Ford under the patient tutorage of Grandfather Richmond. He later found Model A Fords. The last found at the home of the Apple family. Cheerfully went with him for the trade since Bill Apple was the football captain at the high school we were attending.
Started dating Bill who finally understood that Mickey and Cruey were staples in my circle of friends. Mickey Smith and Eugene Cruey were my best friends and protectors at school.
They would be barred for a day or two by Grandma when things became too hectic. One masterpiece accomplished by us was the lifting of the top of her apple pies, eating the insides, and replacing the top. The expression on her face and the waiting Grandfather was ghastly! That rated a two day suspension for them from our homestead.
Activities were ball games (school and parks), drives to sport shows (sometimes in horrible snow storms), dances (Mickey and I learned the “Beer Barrel Polka”.)
And a lot of ice skating in the winter.
My father had sold Grandpa Richmond a Terraplane (as mentioned above), terrifying him. Became frequent driver, many times punishing the oversized fenders. My Dad’s service station was targeted a couple times, to his disgust!
High School was fun days and joined many clubs (Girls Athletic Association, for one.)
Got class right which Grandma Richmond wore after I had grown tired of it.
Summer of sophomore year, I crashed Bob O’Harra’s group in
Bob was working for Mother who now was in partnership with one Harve Baer. They had cigarette machines, slots (which were legal then), and juke boxes.
Bob’s exalted position – having the keys to the juke boxes – provided us with music wherever we went. At least until Mother and Harve gained knowledge of the acts. We then used nickels!
Mother also owned the Airport Café in Mortimer, a
Don, known as Jake, became my ride back to
Junior year, Grandpa Richmond became ill. Cancer.
When he became terminal, a meeting was held and it was decided that
Mother would room me in
I graduated immediately after and moved to
* NOTE: Had a washer with wringer at time of marriage. Caught clothes and hands in a fast breaking model. Bought a new one and when the purchase was made known to mate, was the recipient of a thrown cup of coffee. Wiped my face, left the house, entered attorney’s, got divorced, and paid for and used the new washer!
I had been going to
Bob O’Harra, three years older than me, was referred to as my uncle but later it was revealed that he was truly my brother. My mother’s son. Later years we always introduced each other as brother and sister.
Bob, I, and our dates would drive the countryside to see and dance to the large bands which were popular at that time. Also dance halls. It seemed as if we were out every night. Jake was there for me and always someone of our group dropping in.
Directly after graduation, we visited
Finally went to work at a drug store on
One of the many places we frequented was Thelma and Bob Bartsch’s restaurant. They were friends of Mother and encouraged younger groups. You always made the rounds to different places during the evening.
There was the Ratskeller, Blue Room plus many others, some
acceptable and some not so much so. Had
several good girlfriends. Helen Holmes
(Holmsie). She and I have started writing after 55 years. Aileen Gohlke, with whom I later moved to
Should say that Mother bought me my first Boston Bull
Terrier. Named him Mickey. Unfortunately he was run over by a car at the
back of our house on
Our holidays were generally at our house with all family in attendance, which included at that time Teedee (Ethel), Betty, Bob, Jane, Grandma O’Harra, Mom and myself and of course, Jake.
Mother had purchased her dishes and crystal and we first
dined off them at
Teedee was no living with Betty and Grandma O’Harra on
Bob had met Nina and they soon were married. My cousin Jane and I gave them a shower. They then moved to a second floor apartment and cannot remember the street, although Nina has told me recently. Jane Smith, my cousin, was dating Karl Ludi and their marriage preceding Bob and Nina’s marriage by a couple of years. We all spent time together at the swimming pool or other activities.
Mother had decided to build a house and we sold the one on
Mother was in the midst of golfing and exposed me to the first of the many golf lessons that I have taken over the years. Should also mention that her passion was bridge and entertaining frequently. She insisted I learn in the vent they would need a substitute. Have played at different times throughout my life, not as well as I would like, but have been able to sit at the table with some talented players.
Our new ranch was the site of many pleasant memories. The first Christmas was well decorated with
the most memorable item being a large grave covering over the fireplace,
intertwined with nursery lights. Livvy,
the man Mother was going with at the time, shared that Christmas. He was a supervisor of the heavy equipment
used in building the
We have movies of Livvy flying to and over the site. We had now an assortment of many movies
recording all our moves since the beginning of our occupancy at
Having been left alone for a weekend with the company of a couple of girlfriends, we gave a rather noisy party which my cousin Jane felt it was her duty to report to the police. She had been assigned to monitor any reports of wrong doing on my part. She always did take her work too seriously.
Before Uncle Earl’s sudden success in the steel business, it
was not unusual for us to take dishes and food to
Grandpa O’Harra had passed away in
It was in the new house on North Main Street that listening to radio on Sunday morning, December 7, we first heard report of the Pearl Harbor bombing and the start of World War II. There was stunned silence mixed with fear of the unknown.
At Thelma and Bob’s I had met George Love and developed a relationship that last three years. Wrote Jake one of the two Dear John letters of my life. When George and I broke up, I started going with his friend Barney Neible until he left for the service. In fact, bob O’Harra and all the others had already left to different points for their duty.
After a sad going away party for Bob O’Harra, he left for the service. Finally ended up in the South Pacific, where he was to learn to identity of his true mother. He had been raised by Grandma O’Harra as her son.
George Love ended up in
That is when Aileen and I decided to move to
(There are so many stories that can be told that happened during all these times, but impossible to relate them all.)
Should say that with both Grandma and Grandpa Richmond and Mother spent many weekends traveling the area to see different points of interest. Hardly a weekend went by that we did not have an excursion. So enjoyed the trips and so grateful to my family for all the things they exposed me to.
Aileen and I spent about six months together and decided to find other arrangements. I found housing at Stanford Lodge run by the Crills.
Soon ran into Creighton Higgins from
Prior to going to
He proudly displayed his coat of arms with crossed swords
over his bed and in grand gestures served us crackers and cheese, spreading the
cheese with one of the swords. His dry
wit always fascinated me. Or could have
been his swashbuckling manner as described above. Further dazzled by the fact that his uncle
was one of the
Our paths were destined to cross many times over the years.
Bob Vance was a transplant from
It was in
We have great times shopping and I still wear a silver ring and pin I purchased there.
One evening we discussed the possibility of joining the services.
At Canfield Oil Company I enjoyed the people greatly and they gave a beautiful going away party when I left the company for the service. The night of the party decided to take the remaining peoples home with me to continue the partying. Marion, who had retired and after we had pushed the bed back into the wall, refused to join us. She sat in the closet behind the bed while we celebrated. Need I mention she was furious and using her considerable talents, wrote me a scorching letter which I saved and presented to her many years later. We then apologized to each other
Does sound as if partying was one of my majors during theses
years of my life. Not as bad as this
relates in telling.
The year is 1943. The
As I mentioned above Marion and I were sitting around the
table in our shared apartment playing bridge with a couple of friends. Creighton Higgins had been snatched form our
midst weeks before to do his duty. What
ever it was that influenced
Should have foreseen further events as I stood during the physical, just short of naked in a room full of doctors and future “Prides of the Women’s Corps.”
After a flurry of goodbye parties, boarded a train for
Then went into repeated shocks!
The punishing two hours of daily drilling by unrelenting Marines. In all fairness to the Marines, never in history had so many women been toted as substitutes for men in the Military! It struck FEAR into the minds of these hapless men! Their response was hostile, to say the least, and their strategy was to attempt to eliminate us on the marching field. Their actions were unwarranted as you will later read.
The courses at the school I’m sure were instructive but in the exhausted state, we could not retain.
My first KP duty came as result of smoking in absence of the smoking lamp being on.
Was ceremoniously marched into the galley where (a sight not to be exposed to tender eyes), large vats of creamed chipped beef (our breakfast staple) were being stirred by large Marine males (in T-shirts splashed with creamed chipped beef). The toast which the chipped beef mixture was to adorn either flew to the ceiling or fell to the floor. My chore turned out to be swabbing the deck. A huge mop was provided after which splashing soap generously, I pulled around till reasonable results were met.
Two hours of daily drilling (again under supervision of unrelenting Marines) was suffered through. Survival was foremost in our minds, not perfecting the march.
This was a two month crash course to prepare us for the vigorous life of a SPAR (Coast Guard.)
Now booted (properly named) to crash into the world beyond.
Arrived at Hotel on
Finally could confront the creamed chipped beef (also a breakfast staple), so my orange juice diet came to a welcome end.
Home became two rooms joined by a bath. Three girls in each room. The lounge in hotel, blasting “Doe’s Eat Oats and Mare’s Eat Oats and Little Lambs Eat Ivy”, loudly and frequently!
Work: We were ushered into the Communications Room (Wall Street Coast Guard office) to be startled by brawny hunks, clutching chairs, refusing to be replaced by SPARS (us). As far as we could determine no one left, more came! We worked in close proximity, joined at the hip.
Teletype was my job with volunteer relief on switchboard. Not having been invaded as yet by dreaded SPAR species, the men of the Boston CG (by teletype) brightened my days with flirtatious lines that I thought had been severed forever when I became encased in uniform and service to country.
Switchboard consisted most of the opportunity for more space and fascinating perks – illegally listening in on calls, (President Roosevelt and his Amour), among others.
With the widened vision of the room, would sprint to the hall when such as Victor Mature (currently adored movie star) would appear. Didn’t matter that by the time we got there, only the back was visible. Will describe in detail later.
Should relate that we were brought our periodically to march for special occasions. A sense of relief enveloped all when we made it to and from the bard. Our training, as you will remember, was induced while we were in a semi-conscious state by the “mean ones” previously described. Could be why I still sob uncontrollably at parades.
Back on the Home Front, we were showered with delicacies from the shopping bag of roommate fast becoming everyone’s favorite. Ecstatic change, with fewer trips to the mess hall.
Enter the FBI…
It was not disclosed why when a stern faced officer appeared to summon occupants of our rooms, population of six, to march single file stopped only to urge two others to join ranks. We proceeded to a small room. One sofa, two lounge chairs, and a couple of questionable seats.
After a few hours of one after another being called from the room, returning, then another, we determined one of us had a problem!
As I looked down at the pile of sixteen limbs slowly turning numb (mine somewhere in the depths), it was suddenly my turn. Being barraged with repeated questions about my activities and friends, still could find no clues as to why we were there.
Closeted, we were. Sprung only for trips to the mess hall, again, single file. We would be the only ones in the room.
Back in seclusion, now two days, we discussed WHICH of us would confess to WHOM (still not knowing the men) for WHATEVER. The reason for this party was still a mystery. THEN the rest of us could return to civilization.
At last, a break! We could leave. As the numb legs were lifted from the pile, we each took the ones attached to our bodies and staggered from the room. Only when our “favorite roommate” was led, eyes downcast, out of sight, did we know the answer. We had a kleptomaniac in our midst! There were little of the lifted items left to return to the disgruntled merchants.
Reporting back to the ever over populated place of duty, Communications, I wore my cloak of mystery. Told nothing.
Shortly thereafter instructions for Morse Code were offered. A transfer to the Barge Office, wherever that was, to the person mastering it.
In only day, I was declared the winner by the one in the know and ordered to my Leader (at communications Office). He sent me back, a procedure of back and forth, which went on for several days before the two had a summit. After that meeting…I was on my way to the Barge Office.
During my ride on the subway to future adventures (Barge Office), I opened my work schedule. Same as the Wall Street Communications Office
Having been working “watches”, , 4 to 12, 12 to 8, 48 hours off. This schedule proved to be difficult for our infamous mess hall to provide adequate meals for the shifts.
Following discharge of convicted offender, former “favorite
classmate”, it was decided the Communications group be given “subsistence” and
be freed to hunt housing in
Later two of the roomies had whirlwind courtships, married, and we were two short on the rent.
Ten another experience of shared dwelling was eye-opening of which I will not go into. Hastily retreated to the Hotel and the erratic food. The Powers in Command decided shortly after that subsistence was not working and called all the groups back. Some of our troops were riding the high rails, leaving a trail of questionable labels for all.
All these things were going on during my move and first days of my new chores.
Arrived at the Barge Office. The door was unlocked and I was admitted to a room of (thought it was five men, but can only remember four). I was the only woman.
Welcomed with enthusiasm. Good, since we were locked in from the moment we arrived for day of duty until the end of “watch”.
The only outside contact was Father Duffy, our benefactor of food. My choice – cream cheese and jelly – and in the need of change, would have peanut butter and jelly.
John, a good-looking, tall, blond specimen of manhood
James, (we were formal with him), was a native of
Red, a sweet, kind one.
All of us under the watch of a rather bored Wayne Shullaw, a name I do remember.
Our duties still the teletype mostly involved with sending ships in and out of the Harbor. The radio was used entirely to alert Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia of the fires so he could hop into his personal fireboat and speed to the site.
A great amount of time was spent at the poker table. Became a good player and better at loaning money to saddened losers.
About this time was given leave and again boarded the train
for the long trip back to
As we were half way through
Home to a “hero’s” welcome. Pictures taken with every relative. Most of my friends were gone. “Holmsie” had enlisted in the Air Force and if I remember correctly, she was learning to fly.
World War II brought rationing in food, cigarettes and any imaginable thing. No new cars, all factories had been converted to war time. Of course we in the service had all, shopping at the PX.
Men in service, women joining service, “Rosie”, was riveting!
My Mother Alma Wagner took off for
People were dedicated to sacrifice and accepted such with good spirit.
Leave ending, headed back to
My Barge Office was now home and the men were my family. You got to feeling that way and that the condition would be forever – the war never ending.
Had met an Air Force officer, so off hours brightened. He got his orders and flew off into the yonder. One of my friends from home finally materialized and brought added joyful moments.
Strayed into all the noted nightclubs, theatres, and saw all
Then things settled and I began developing a relationship with the aforementioned Shullaw.
After many months, his mother came for a visit. I think actually, came for an inspection. Dressed smartly in my new white uniform, went forward with expectations. My evening was dampened when it was pointed out with hilarity, that subway seats left strange patterns on the skirt of my prized white suit.
Signals were going off in all directions but didn’t get the message!
Somehow found myself participating in a wedding at Rutgers
Presbyterian Church with myself as one of the lead characters. My Mother came from
The wedding was small, the preference of the bridegroom. Only attended by maid of honor, best man, other roommate of bride, and Mother of the Bride at her persistence, and bride’s insistence.
The Mother of the Bride entertained at Brunch at a famous seafood restaurant. Scallops, among the favorite choices.
It took years to overcome the strain shown by the Queen-Bartel and O’Harra clans due to their omission at ceremony and expected party. Being compulsive wedding and funeral attendees, they did not recognize distance as an excuse. They were accustomed to the principals coming to them. The same condition repeated itself nineteen years later with equally frustrating results.
The next morning, Bride, Bridegroom and Mother of the Bride
piled into Mother’s car for the trip to
Back from a relative-spackled honeymoon and Back to Duty. Again eligible for “subsistence”, the couple rented an apartment, three steep floors toward heaven. What it lacked in size was made up for in “unique” features. Cupids carved around the ceiling of living room plus brief steps through so-called kitchen into the adjoining “head” (toilet and bath.)
You entered this charm from a tall iron-fenced yard. Definitely was a conversion from either a brothel or, a more pleasant thought, from someone’s former townhouse.
Events during this and immediate future were mind boggling:
Chinese waiter of our favorite restaurant approached table with tears in his eyes to inform us of the death of President Roosevelt. Numbness set in, especially for service groups. He was our Father!
Having lived through the first days of Truman was impressed with his “guts”. That he would have charged up the hill with his troops, if necessary, was obvious.
The Horror we all felt over the Atomic Bomb has not been equaled since.
On a lighter note, during a newspaper strike, Mayor La Guardia would keep us current by reading headlines and more importantly, the comics, over the air on radio. All with his famous lisp and theatrics!
Later when walking down Broadway, shoeless, would watch amazed at “boxing” on the scarce TV sets in shop windows. The idea was new.
Saw many shows, hockey and as mentioned above, left with shoes in hand due to constant swelling feet.
To explain the barefoot phase, I found that I was not alone. Had company. And would eventually deliver a blessing for the world.
Previously had made the appointment; made the trip to the
Decided only “private care” for us. Walked down
Appeared in waiting room and soon was ushered into the inner office. Enter: Dr. Lehfeldt who seemed fascinated and probed for all facts on my part in the Armed Services and past. That he was an Austrian specialist further intrigued me. I asked what he charged. He asked what I could afford, which turned out to be what he charged. So a deal as made.
Made the regular trips to the plush offices, not intimidated by the bejeweled, befurred other patients.
Stayed in the service for six months wearing my uniform, having only gained 12 pounds.
The escape from the Armed Services proved to be more taxing than the entry ordeal. Exams, exams, exams, all on different floors and in different buildings.
Finally, received a conditional discharge confirming the fact that I could be called back, if needed.
Now free to follow LaGuardia’s “Little Orphan Annie”, plus
others. Did lots of reading and eating
of apples. Also alone since mate had
been transferred to
The Atom Bomb had been dropped! The world seemed to be in a state of shock.
Since we had no TV and the radio did not give reports (as is done today), the newspapers were the source of all news. And it was the custom for what they called “Extras” to come out as fast as they could print them and shout their arrival from every corner.
On the day in question, there were at least three Extras and I had to keep up on what was going on, struggling up and down the three flights of stairs with labored speed to retrieve the Extras on the street.
Soon there was a problem. Called the doctor who was out, but was informed to hasten to alternative housing, which was the hospital.
Quickly was my last thought as I proceeded down the stairs
for the long trip. In
Arrived. Sat in waiting room until someone noticed – then whisked away to my assigned room.
Won’t describe the next hour.
EXTRA!!! Now our household had grown to three. A girl child had arrived. Second in importance, it was Victory in Japan Day.
Finally everyone was called.
We came home with a sick baby. Dr. Lehfeldt and his friend Dr. Aarons were
constant visitors to the apartment and used
The apartment was all to wall people and in about three weeks, improvement was obvious. So one by one, everyone left.
A month later, a transfer to
The new family was bundled and boarded a train to Vandalia where Mother and Baby were to stay with Grandmother.
We were in government housing provided at Army Air Force Base where my mother was involved with meteorology. Her two roommates found alternative housing to make room. The baby had been named Dianne Bartelle Shullaw, but never knew it since “Tink” was the only call she heard. The double “n” was the addition of my mother’s when she completed the birth certificate.
She was filling out, having gained weight fast, and had the attention of all around. Uncle Earl was sent as Ambassador by distant family to check out needs.
Ships, trains plus all sorts of transportation were delivering service men and women back to shores and home.
The trip back from disaster for “Tink” was not without
complications. Dr. Lehfeldt recommended
a doctor in
My War Stories have come to an end. The last chapter leaves me drained of emotion, even now.
Ellen Bartelle Shullaw
Not wanting to create a dismal happening within the previously written account of “War Stories”, I did not include some of the events.
Mickey Smith, as you have read, was my best friend growing up
During the first months carrying Tink, I had a notification
that Mickey had been injured and was in the
His first words were to tell me he was lucky! At least he had his life. Then related the tale of how it
happened. His watch was over in
He visited us in
During my last years of high school, he and Eugene Cruey and
I agreed to meet every ten years. The
trip he made to
The town of
The approach into
Our first stop was the drug store run by a curious but informative man who advised us that he was a newcomer in town. He had only been there twenty years. A preview of things to come.
We next arrived at our future home. We had purchased the newspaper and building
from a widow, Mrs. Sherwood, who with her husband had run the paper for years
and years. The building was nestled at the bottom of a small hill and almost
obscured from the street. Plus covered
with vines, surrounded with many bushes and trees. The living quarters were two rooms with
kitchen alcove. It was to be furnished
and was with a wall bed (all fold away as Marion and I had in
We woke up to the arrival of our lino-type operation, inherited from Mrs. Sherwood. He was an Indian with an addiction to liquor. We did not know at the time that he would be missing periodically. There was no break, a paper had to be out the following Thursday. We had a weekly that was no different than the ones written about at that time. The big roller press was included to break down many a Wednesday prior to the Thursday run of the paper.
We immediately met the banker, Mr. Mayhew. He appointed himself as our advisor, present
and future. Nice man and as was common
at that time, lived in the largest house in town. Most of our advertisers were from the largest
and nearest city,
How I don’t remember, but we met our only close friends during our stay, Bill and Louise. They had no children and adored Tink.
Soon I became a writer, substitute reporter and did make-up of headlines and later, columns.
Most of our income came from the wedding announcements, handbills, tickets and miscellaneous items. The equipment used at that time is now obsolete, taken over by computers and offset machines. So glad for that experience, however.
Our home life was complicated by a furnace which would blow up, once covering Tink with soot. Her bed was under one of the bare pipes that ran through the building. It was there that she fell and pulled her bottom teeth practically straight out. Before we could get to her she fell against the window sill and pushed them back in. They were marked but the dentist could do nothing about it. Another close call with her was when she fell against the pot of hot metal on the lino-type.
She had stored all of her possessions in my Cousin Jane’s
garage, wrapped and packed in a huge coffin box. About this time, Jane suggested they bring
the box to
We were making trips back to
Finally Mrs. Sherwood rented her hilltop house to us and we
finally started living a normal life.
The search for a new operator was hectic since there were no new trainees. It was already becoming a dying art. The position, however, was eventually filled.
Clarence Motz, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, had
made a stop to see us and offered to purchase half ownership in the paper. We accepted and he became our partner. The tensions eased temporarily, but it became
apparent to all that the interest had waned. Motz then accepted our offer to
sell out and we made preparations to leave
Tink was now two years old and very active. Christmas was a memorable occasion. Mother arrived, she had left
Again going forward with great expectations. Renting a second floor apartment with noticeably sloping floors did not dampen our spirits. Happily went about painting the walls and enjoying the leisure. Painted Tink’s room medium rose and outlined nursery figures in white. Sure no one thought it as a work of art except Tink and me.
Again, Bob and Nina came to visit and we made many trips to
the Shullaws in
Am sure the phrase “Cracker box” was coined to refer to the housing we purchased on our GI loan and the $500 generous advancement from Mr. Naughton. We thought it looked like heaven. Four small rooms but all new. Mom’s belongings, including the china and glassware are still with us. The contents of the large container had been repackaged into many small boxes which we never unpacked from place to place.
Immediately met a family down the block with two children a little older than Tink. Picnics in yard and all normal things!
Having time to reflect, wondered what had happened to Marion
and Creighton. The last I had heard or
seen was when on one of my leaves to
had married and were living in
They now had two children both younger than Tink, Claudia and Spike (Creighton Jr.).
Their neighbors residing in the same type houses were Jack
Brickhouse, renowned Chicago Cub TV announcer of many years, and Vince Lloyd,
radio announcer for the Cubs. They were
both doing sports for a
After a couple of years,
One. Mr. Parker was to run for Congress and had a weekly he needed an editor for. No good.
The next trip brought results. George Strayer, president of the soy Bean
Association, needed an editor for his weekly paper in
Back into the work world.
Found a job at Ceco Steel Company between
Can’t remember the time frame, but on a visit home, Wayne
and I decided to try again and we made preparations for Tink and me to move to
Back to a two room temporary apartment until permanent housing became available. Packed boxes of Mother’s still with us.
Tink was now about four and a half years old.
George Strayer found us a house that was quite nice, which we purchased and settled in. Tink was to start kindergarten. Proved to be interesting as she participated in an experimental group. There was one teacher with a masters’ degree and three student teachers under her in the morning and three different student teachers in the afternoon. They were from Iowa State College. Was a great experience for her. Then she had me reading from Time magazine filling her in on the news of the Korean War, plus other world events. Do you think that is why she developed an interest in politics?
We were far from home and did not receive our regular
visitors. Tink and I made one historic
It was during a Christmas in
George Strayer was married to a transplanted glamour girl
much younger than himself who had no one to identify with in the town. Before we got there, she had formed a
The state was “dry” so there were few places one could go
that had any atmosphere. The hotel in
During our stay we had the largest snow storm I had even seen. We tunneled out an area that Tink could walk through upright.
Also at times we had to rely on
Coming home one evening we noticed the front door open and items pilled across the yard. We had been robbed of our radio and other electrical items. A very eerie feeling for days afterwards.
Again, a need for chance and
We decided we should go back to
Lansing Journal owned by “Pop” Wulfing was our
destination. Our first home here was an
amazingly small cottage, two rooms.
After a few months we rented a house from the Hoekstras on
Tink started first grade at Coolidge Elementary prior to the
completion of the new
Next door was the Ruthrauff family. Dwight, Millie and their handsome sons Bob, Dwight Ray, and Denny. We remained friends until their death years later.
The town was controlled by the Hollanders and the first rule made known to us was there was to be no mowing of grass on Sundays. All stores were closed and later when I became associated with Real Estate, the offices were closed. The arrival of a block of outsiders eventually infiltrated, putting an end to many of their restrictions, but this did not happen for years.
A cherished friendship developed with the Rasmussens. Mick had a great sense of humor and we enjoyed the evenings we spent with them. Marc, their son, brightened our school car pool with his antics.
At that time I became active with the Girl Scouts, starting with a Brownie troop. Later became troop organizer, which turned out to include the horror of taking over troops where no leader was available. Did our turn at the PTA.
We were always having someone there. Dad and Mother Shullaw, Burt and Mary came,
Nina and bob,
On one visit, Mother decided it was time to unpack her boxes and she took what she wanted and gave us the dishes and crystal. We used it to entertain the above visitors. Creighton would complain that it was time to go home when I started to use the every day dishes! And mother gave us the Lazy Susan that had belonged to Doc Wagner’s family. It was then 100 years old. She was still making our Christmas.
The Hoekstra house was furnished and we even had one of the first television sets.
Was taken by surprise when
Around this time Dad Shullaw died and
It is fuzzy as to why our car was repossessed. Mr. Hoekstra then wanted to move a relative
into the house we were renting. So with
great difficulty, we moved to a place off
Tink attended the first half of fourth grade at nearby Indiana Avenue Elementary, since torn down.
Loose a bit here, but we finally dug ourselves out and
purchased a house in
At the time of closing the house in
Tink enrolled at Hoover Elementary in
Still continued my work with the Girl Scouts and Tink was
accumulating many badges for her work with the organization. Was impressive. We still had a close association with the
Rasmussens. Ruth was now Village clerk
Even though I tried to get to
Jerry Bartel and his first wife Dorothy along with my cousin Peggy arrived and were the start of a getting-acquainted period with my brothers and sisters. We had visited Daddy, Fern and the boys – Jerry, Jimmy and Bobby – plus Barbara (one year older than Tink) and Ricky (one year younger). Now they were growing up and it was a joy to see them. Will develop a great relationship later in life to write about.
We were still visiting back and forth to
In all our travels, Tink was our greatest joy. She was born in
At this time we met the Stoikowitzs, Joe, Arline and Linda. Soon after we moved in Arline came looking for Linda who had stopped in to see Tink. They were in the same grade a school. This was the beginning of a rewarding friendship that was to last for forty years.
Tensions were building on the home front. As Tink would say, “the chemistry was just bad” between her Dad and myself. After a couple of separations, we were divorced. As for me, the marriage had traveled too far with the meter running and the fare was becoming too high for all.
At the time I worked first at Central Construction, then Jack Ogren Insurance Company. Realizing that I would have to make more monies, searched for a new line of work that would give Tink and me funds to be able to stay in the house.
Took the Real Estate test and passed. Quit my job and applied for a salesman
position at Pacesetter, a builder in
Tink, now attending
She and Linda joined my Mother on a trip to
About this time Tink and Alice Studt became fast friends and
have retained that relationship through
Our Christmas still included her Grandma Wagner and Dad, who would always refuse the invitation and show up anyway. Mother’s and Wayne’s relationship was never close, to say the least.
Joe, Arline and Linda would sometimes have dinner at our house the day after Christmas. They would normally spend the holiday with relatives and as a result would not have leftovers. They came and shared ours. We have replaced the card table and were enjoying a new dinette set. Tink does not remember, but we were using the dinnerware and crystal of her Grandma Wagner which had traveled so far with us.
Our families were lucky recipients of paintings for
Christmas. One such painting was that of
an old man in a ail boat on rough waters.
At least two still in existence.
One now on the wall of Tink’s
Looking back – First tree in
My Mother soon left
We had joined the Presbyterian Church and the minister was a young man who, after noticing that I was reading Norman Vincent Peale, said that was just the tip of the iceberg. He suggested I continue with an introduction into its mystical area. That followed with the reading of the philosophers and joining groups of similar interests, such as the Rosicrucians. A study I still peruse off and on to this day. During my contacts in Scouting, met Adele Olsen, also into the same studies, and others later. She also was involved with ceramics which both Tink and I enjoyed. There are still relics around that we made during this period.
Should mention Tink’s piano lessons. We found a secondhand piano. After our
“antiquing” efforts, it stood proudly in Tink’s bedroom. She took lessons from Alice Simpson in
When we first moved to
The Sportsman’s Club, which we had joined several years earlier, proved to be a diversion and place to entertain our relatives and guests. Later joined the Lakewood Club, a short time in existence, and remember entertaining Jim Kajewski and his wife there with Tink, thanking them for his kindness to her.
REAL ESTATE CAREER BLOSSOMS
Was enjoying my first days in Real Estate, now in new
construction of houses in Olympia Fields.
The $100 salary was for writing press releases and participating in the
entertaining of suppliers at the
Also had the opportunity to work with Don Kay and Dwayne Linden, another resident architect, starting homes from plans to finish. Prior had sold from models with just construction changes on that particular model. Met and worked with the same architects off and one after we had all left Pacesetter.
Still with Pacesetter, move to their row housing in
Hazelcrest. Their plans were so superior
that we had two visits from several congressmen out of
It was while I was with Pacesetter in Hazelcrest that Bob
Vance, my old friend and bridge partner from
The hours were a worry since it left Tink alone so much. Didn’t know if it was worth it. Arline was a blessing for I knew she was there if anything went wrong and more importantly, Tink knew she could go to them. Still makes me sad when I think of the time we missed together. Don’t know if I could have done differently and still maintained the house.
Our little situation was not easy and remember Tink running away from home only to be brought back by the police. Didn’t quite know how to handle. Seemed to have wished that she had taken me too! It was as if there was nothing but racing to and fro.
In fact, we did run to the Wagon Wheel, a weekend resort
Had left Olympia Fields after selling out and moved to
Hazelcrest as stated above. Now
Hazelcrest was nearing completion, so ventured into the brokerage market at
Thornridge Realty in
Unfortunately we lost Blinks during that period. He had choked on a piece of ham. I was closer when Tink called and was able to
be home in a few minutes, but it was Arline who wrapped him in a blanket to
carry him, as we headed for the vet knowing that it was too late. A terrible void for both of us. He was never far from Tink since the time we
got him in
In brokerage, I could schedule appointments and had more control over hours. However, still had to show property at purchaser’s convenience, so many evenings would be involved no matter how you tried.
After handling repossessed homes with Thornridge, recognized
the difficulty of qualifying the purchasers plus meeting and showing property
in rather dangerous locations. After
that for almost a year, returned to custom building with R.L. Hoekstra in
Finally back in
We ran it for several years, during which I again went to
BACK TO THE FAMILY
Tink had graduated from
She added another “best friend”, Kathy Trent. Now there were Tink, Alice, Kathy and, of course, Linda.
In high school, Tink came into her own in journalism endeavors. Had class with Mr. Ted DeVries, journalism teacher, worked on and edited school newspaper, plus obtained position on the town newspaper, The Lansing Journal – the same newspaper for which her father worked when we first returned to Illinois from Iowa.
Memorable was her first prom. She had grown into a beautiful young lady. Linda and she and their dates were the subject of many pictures by their adoring parents with all the neighbors looking on.
In her junior year she had the opportunity to attend
Southern Illinois University for a journalism seminar. She spent time during the summer there and
decided to enroll in the university. We
made trips to
About four years later a friend who worked t the Merchandise
Mart saw one of the paintings and told me.
We negotiated with Walter Job, color coordinator for the Merchandise
Mart, the painter from $500 to $250 and a deal was made. Suzanne Trent, mother of Kathy, accompanied
When I was working with one of the
Again here are so many stories that could be incorporated but could be another endeavor.
My mother was almost frantic in her devotion to her
granddaughter. She had provided Tin’s
clothes and Christmas presents for years.
She introduced her to many interests.
When our first grandson was born, her love engulfed him with equal
fervor. While Tink was in high school
she was in
As we left Tink’s high school days we all eagerly looked forward to graduation ceremony, until it occurred to us that we were allotted two invitations and there were three of us, Wayne, Mother, and myself who wanted to attended. Still don’t know how it was solved but suspect that Arline was able to secure the additional invitation.
Tink had applied and been accepted to Southern Illinois University. We packed our car to capacity and started out. Her Grandma had knitted sweaters for her and suspect she took all that was around from home.
Again the old feeling of great expectations.
When we arrived still remember driving up to the housing. We opened her meager checking account, viewed the town, and unpacked. Don’t remember the names of her roommates but remember meeting at least one. Tink seemed happy, but I had mixed feelings.
The ride home was lonesome and terrible feeling when I arrived at an empty house!
Made a couple trips down, one to a basketball game and sat high into the dome not being able to see much going on. Somehow did end up sitting on the bench close to the team.
Got to see much of the campus and was impressed. She finally moved into one of the school dorms. At that time working on the university newspaper, the Egyptian.
Also made a trip with several of the mothers from this area. It was beautiful country and did enjoy the chance to see it. Tink seemed happy and as usual, excelling.
Real Estate was so bad or possibly the price range we were
So now spending many hours at work. My neighbor Conrad Fredbloom left a note telling me my grass needed mowing. After watching me now it with a flashlight one night, he did take over the job when I couldn’t get it done.
Tink made a trip home at Christmas bringing Bob Anderson who I liked, which was good since he soon after became my son-in-law.
After struggling with the upkeep on the
Around this time had started a relationship with a
successful businessman that brought my personal life into focus. A glamorous trip that was to last for five
years and off and on for ten. Two of
three times a week we were to visit many of the top restaurants and nightclubs
TINK TO MARRY
Tink and Bob now informed me that they intended to marry. This brought a violent reaction from her father who was adamant that he had a solution as to how to stop the wedding. Needless to say, the wedding was planned and the date was set.
In the meantime, Harold Velde, Bob’s stepfather, stopped at
the Real Estate office and left a note that “Former Congressman Harold Velde
He had resigned his position in Congress and made the trip
with a couple of friends, Jeff and Larry.
They had been friends since they all were in the FBI together prior to
the time Harold was elected to Congress from
The wedding was on go, despite constant calls from
A friend of min, Doc Jewet and his wife Rose had a Bridal
Back to the wedding.
My memories included Tink backing into a sticky bush as she was getting
into the car on the way to church which horrified me. No harm was done and we proceeded.
Tink and Bob returned to the university. Tink started working at a newspaper in
Tink was pregnant and in the sixth month, delivered with
complications for the baby. We got the
Walked and performed in a daze. On the way home,
Harold and Dolores Velde moved into a rental in
Tink and Bob spent one summer home during which a friend of
mine was able to secure three rooms of furniture to outfit an apartment for
them. Dolores and Harold had moved to
At the time of
Bob had joined the Army and Tink was alone until she joined
PRIOR TO MOVE TO
There were many emotions spent during Tink’s last couple of years of college. I was to later learn that she had secured the help of a psychologist to deal with the loss of her baby, plus other pressures of the time.
I had purchased the house next to me on Wildwood in
At the time still had my mother’s furniture stored in my garage, along with a portion of things from the apartment of Tink and Bob’s. One room of apartment was used for storage until the AmVets removed much.
My Mother left her position with Mr. Mann in
During my days in
In our small community, the state senators and congressman, along with bank officials, would attend Real Estate affairs promoting support for reelection and in the cases of bankers, for business. They would many times provide the drinks for the group. Also after finishing for the day, people would gather for drinks.
When Harold Velde first made his appearance in
Also in the
Moving to Flossmoor to start the third office of TriVillage removed me a little from the scene. Was to discover and pursue the prestige selling that I had enjoyed in Olympia Fields at the beginning of my so-called career that was less of a struggle and more lucrative. Spent a couple years there and was my location when I purchased the painting of Tink.
Now was approached to move to Prestwick Country Club selling lots for custom building around the golf course. It was an opportunity to expand my experience in another field of selling and I jumped at the chance. Could list and show farm and commercial land again adding to my knowledge. Enjoyed all the privileges of the Club House and dining room. Again making friends that I still see today. Marie Reithel, co-salesperson and Florence Clark, manager of the dining room at the club.
In a couple of years, and waiting for another phase of the lots to open up, a friend Marie Gerrie referred me to Burnside Construction, a company which was looking for someone to handle the new condominium project they were opening in Hickory Hills. The concept was new and appealing to me.
Throughout my travels in Real Estate, I had been subject to
many meetings, seminars, conventions (
When I walked into the Great Oaks Condominiums in Hickory Hills, the two builders immediately took off for an extended vacation. They had no Declaration for the development or set up. I worked with Dick Helm, an attorney who was also on the State Condominium Board to compose the Declaration and secure engineers for the accompanying survey. We then all met at the Chicago Title and Trust to record. Difficult but proved a whole new area that I was to use for years to come. Shortly after, the head contractor left and I ran the construction crew along with the selling. We hired an excellent “super” who I later worked with on other condo complexes after the completion of Great Oaks.
SOCIAL LIFE EXPANDS
My social life was expanding and dated an attorney in
Also traveled to The Abby and
Mother was visiting from
George Arquilla owned Burnside Construction and Arquilla
Realty along with about twenty other construction related companies, so when the
As you can see Burnside Construction allowed me to list commercial and sell from the Hickory Condo office along with my condo sales. Was putting in many hours, but enjoying it.
While in Hickory Hills, sold a condo to a Mr. Barrelli, for
his ex-wife. During my trips to the
motel he owned to get signatures, was to find he belonged to the same
association as the Al Taco, mentioned previously during my
That began six months of harrowing negotiations. I discovered Al Capone’s younger brother was part owner and the town would not renew the liquor license for a new owner, suspicious of his connections. Went through many different attorneys of theirs and even signed one contract on the hood of my car at a doughnut shop. Finally, after Mr. Arquilla pointed out that I would be found dead in a ditch, did I hire Gus Drugas, an attorney and brother of one of the doctors to whom I had sold a condo. Gus took half of my commission! When we finally arrived at Chicago Title and Trust to close in escrow, other faces appeared as owners of the bar. An elderly couple whom I had never laid eyes on. Just smiled, closed the deal and left.
Also sold flats from that office to a doctor and his sons. Drugas was to handle that closing.
Then had a woman walk in to give me the listing on a farm she had in the middle of Hickory Hills. Sold that to White Hen Pantry after meeting all contingency conditions of the contract. Got zoning after many town board meetings and buying the town a hook and ladder. Jerry Howard who was running the George Arquilla Realty Company was my encouragement on all of the above. He helped me package the White Hen deal, even putting together the investors. Only mentioning all of this because of the education along the way. The shopping center was finally built and felt a personal satisfaction in it.
Now back at the main office in Glenwood, as mentioned above. Still interested in the commercial end of the business, but had to put all on hold after we started the Glenwood condos.
TINK’S FIRST YEARS IN
Tink now in
When she and Bob first arrived they lived in a camper in the
front yard of Blackie Reasor, his wife and adopted Korean daughter. Blackie had retired from the Army in
Bob was in the Army stationed at
After the camper, they rented a little two bedroom duplex in Inlet View. Tink was to write for the Anchorage Daily News, at times on police detail. Much later a column in the TV Guide. Edited a Snowmobile magazine. Finally worked with a fund-raising association, Hope Cottages. That covered a span during the following happenings. She would have to offer the dates to the above endeavors.
Can’t even put into words the feeling of hearing that Tink
was pregnant and finally our precious Jeff arrived. Phoned one and all. My Mother, ever to be known as GG (great grandmother),
was on her way to
By the time I arrived, they had moved from the Inlet View duplex to an apartment on Minnesota Bypass in Spenard. Had a great time with him.
Remember seeing the largest of salmon and later eating it at Blackie’s home.
Their move to
We drove into the clouds going up the mountain; saw my first moose and even a caribou. During a trip to Alyeska, we stopped at a small, quaint bar with sawdust floors – really it was just as you would imagine the first frontier bars to be. Tink said as I write this that the bar is still there.
They were to meet the Sollenberger family while living at Inlet View – LeeAnn, Mark, Karl. Would form a friendship strong to this day. Jeffrey Lee and Karl Grant, about the same age, became fast friends. Mark and LeeAnn were to eventually add Lisa and the twins Marna and Krista to their family.
Bob and Tink bought a log cabin in
They were living in the Government Hill log house when
Mother drove to
Tensions were mounting with the marriage. Bob and Tink
separated and Tink moved to an apartment on Tudor and Checkmate. She had joined the staff of the National
Education Association in
During the summer of 1971, Tink came back to
There was much concern when she started home, but with her job at the NEA, she was to have some great experiences. There always seems to be that light at the end of the rainbow, as they say.
Harold and Dolores were thrilled each time Tink and Jeff
arrived and they could share attention with Jeff. He loved to be with them and they with
him. At that time they had sold their
Tink and Bob were eventually divorced and she moved into
some colonial style apartments off
In 1974, Tink bought a duplex on
Visited several times during that period. One year with Tink in the midst of an office political situation. Jerry Howard was to call a couple of times needing information on a deal I was working on. Needless to say, the mood was of excess tiredness, a fact that escaped Jeff and Herbie.
We visited the Sollenberger and went to a Summer Festival with Jeff and three boys from his circle of friends. Herbie even brought one of his friends when I opened the door for him. He and the other dog enjoyed Herbie’s dinner together.
In traveling with the NEA, she was to make several trips home and I got to see Jeff, as did the Veldes. She has done so well. Remember the red car with all the big windows? Can’t remember the name of the model (It was a yellow and brown Pacer).
Now back to Glenwood with happenings around this time. Further reports on the progress up there later.
My Mother, as mentioned previously, had moved to
She had made several trips to
Finally they managed out, stopping to empty the match and mints bowls before the cashier presented me with what appeared to be the national debt!
Mother finally joined the Flaitz family at Indian Wells
Country Club taking care of their young son.
She accompanied them during the summer months to their home in
It was after that time that I went for about four years in February to the Bob Hope Golf Classic. Due to her affiliations, I was able to enjoy all the privileges of the Bermuda Dunes, Tamarack, Aquinta, Eldorado and Indian Wells country clubs – wherever the tournament was held that year.
During one of the first trips to the Palm Desert/Palm
Springs area, Mother and I drove across the desert to
Mother enjoyed the horses since Doc Wagner, her second husband, had been a veterinarian and they had spent much time at race tracks around the country. Should add that both I and Tink were exposed to days at the track.
Jerry Howard and I had started working on the property we
had come to see after having been referred by my friend to Orlando Sr., who as
a broker had been packaging investors for many sites in
During my first visit to
Back with the South Suburban Board and Homebuilders Associations, involving meetings and social activities. Had met Helen Wagner at Homebuilders during the Hickory Hills period, also one of the first handful of salespersons to become involved in condos. We remained friends. She was the person I was talking with on the phone twenty years later when I had my heart attack. She called the paramedics.
Joe Busch, hired to help on weekends in Hickory Great Oaks, was to be co-worker at condos in Glenwood. Great choice. Still see him and his family.
On one of Mother’s visits to
The condos were now half way through the first building of 63 units. Ron Yonkers was to become manager of the George Arquilla Company.
Most of my communications were with “Bud” and Bob Arquilla when it came to construction changes and color choices. Many stressful moments while they were made aware of the differences in the building and sales of condos as opposed to rental units. After hours and hours of work, finally hired a decorator, Margaret Shaski to aid purchasers with colors of tile, paint, wallpaper, etc.
Enter Slim Schultz, a knowledgeable head “super” replacing the former inept one. Now things were smoothing out and were to continue that way for two 96 units to follow, plus seven two story buildings worked into our regular sales at the main project. Long hours but met so many people and attended many functions now being held at the club house and swimming pool. Fun period.
When the first 96 unit was half sold, decided to have the scar removed from my neck and entered the hospital. After many trips to VA hospital opted to have the operation done by a private surgeon. A couple weeks off, returned to work with bandages. A conversation piece.
Still going with the gentleman that I had met a few years
before when Lou Dandurand walked into my office. We had a great time during his several visits
with the idea of his locating there. He
was president of the American National Bank in
We had dinners near and far, also looking at different sites he was considering investing in. A very funny and intelligent man that kept the party alive at all times.
Mother had a passion for listening to the police reports on
the radio and during one of her visits was startled when one
The reporter asked the person answering the phone who he was and was told he was talking to “The Robber,” who informed him that he could not talk because the police were breaking down the door. Then you heard over the radio the sound of crashing door and police yelling! The tape was played over the radio for months.
Louis had been taken hostage when he arrived home the night before and was held at gunpoint, tied up, until morning. The man then took his car and keys to the bank and left. Louie rolled down the back steps and with the aid of a neighbor called the police. The offender was still at the bank since he had to wait for the vault timer to go off!
At insistence of FBI, Louie then moved to quarters at the
Olympia Fields Country Club and remained there until he left for
I was still living at the apartment on Torrence. At this time decided to purchase the condo in
Lansing Manor on Burnham in
Had not seen them as much as in the past. Since the move to condo began having the company and entertaining as before on Wildwood.
Started playing bridge again with Margaret, our decorator, Janet Johnson and Marge Miles, new owners at the Glenwood condos. Also sold and became close to the Cosgroves at that time. Was to spend many holidays with them.
Shared the sometimes harrowing personal problems of many of the condo purchasers. The Arquilla accused me of being “den mother.” Could write a volume on that alone.
As we were leaving the 63 unit, Al Taco’s ex-wife purchased the last model in that building. Al was now rising to prominence in his elite group, the Mob. Had checked with his cousin Herm Teri, my former TriVillage associate, now an attorney, as to the character of the teenage boy of the ex-wife. Herm assured me that all would be all fine.
Soon after occupancy, gas was siphoned from parked cars in front of the condo and a bike turned up missing, later to be seen with the culprit riding it. Several arrests and a little pressure, and Mrs. Ex-Taco left the building.
Then to the horror of Mr. Arquilla, Al Taco himself moved in! That followed by a series of referrals by him, resulting in his girlfriend’s elderly parents and finally the girlfriend. Seemed no way to stop the flow.
Gina, the small daughter of Betty the girlfriend, became friends with Missy, the Cosgrove’s daughter. Need I say that this further complicated things. Gina was periodically going to funerals of an uncle.
It was the collective relief of all when He moved to a house with Betty and Gina. Al called me to represent each listing and sale, further endearing me to Mr. Arquilla. Somehow managed to decline.
Al has now been convicted of the cause of the early demise of a few of the uncles. Don’t expect referrals from him during his or my lifetime.
BACK TO THE CONDOS
The condos still being a new concept were attracting much attention. It was not unusual for a hundred people to go through models in a day on weekends. Mostly between the fours of and . The Arquillas hired Andy Frain Ushers to handle the traffic.
My construction background was a blessing due to the structural changes we were now faced with. We were dealing with astute purchasers, mostly professional people who demanded wall moves and sometimes completely altered the kitchen arrangement. Everything became upgraded. Much work and conflicts with Bob Arquilla on prices and the amount of changes.
Prior to each association that was formed, Joe and I had an angry array of people with complaints for the company on different work. Bud Arquilla was an unbelievably handsome male and when he walked in to conduct the turning over the building to the Owners’ Association, all women went mute. The men changed their tone when Bob Arquilla took his turn at speaking and displayed his dry and sometimes sharp sense of humor.
This was to repeat itself time and time again during the four years we worked that project.
Only mentioned in detail some of the above instances just to point out many non-sales related experiences. There were many more.
Joe Busch and I worked together without any friction for all that time and covering for each other readily.
He also because interested in my metaphysical studies and we attended seminars together to sharpen our minds. Would later use to attempt mind control on unsuspecting prospects!
So much happened during the above period.
Tink was now traveling with her job with the National
Education Association and on one visit left Jeff with their Grandmother in
He and Tink also made a trip to
Was enjoying my new condo in
When paper is removed, can still see evidence of our spray painting of items in the hall.
Ray and Margaret Walker moved in a couple weeks later and we became fast friends and bridge partners.
Nancy Ludi with her husband Mike, new daughter Megan plus Karl, her Dad, came to visit while Mother was here. Jane Ludi, my cousin, had passed away four years earlier and Nancy, her daughter, had visited several times after while I was still on Torrence.
Ron and Cindy Ludi were here several times and stayed as they could visit several friends in the area. Bob and Nina were frequent visitors.
Joe Stoikowitz passed away in 1973. Was difficult to cope with for Arline and she was at the Condo frequently for dinner and cards, especially when Mother, Tink or Jeff visited.
(On the day of the
Mackinaw boat races in 1973, Joe Stoikowitz and Mr. Bisbee had taken two young
boys out on
Linda Stoikowitz was teaching in
Tink made a visit home with the terrifying news that tests had shown she had cancer. One of my purchasers at the Condo was a gynecologist and upon an examination found no basis for the report. All was well. She departed with a newly acquired Japanese pinball machine, Pachinko. We saw the machine during a visit to the Cosgroves in Glenwood, who had put two condos together to have 3,000 square feet, giving them room for a game-den room. We were amazed to find one for ourselves.
Met and started going with Paul Landis, a widower moving to
this area from
Gwen and Mark, his children, soon moved here and became a close part of my life, being in touch with me while Paul would take trips all over the world required by his work.
Attended theatre and functions with group from Interlake and was becoming knowledgeable in the steel business just as the prefabricating plants were closing and steel in general was feeling the competition from the Japanese market. Interlake was one of the first companies to form a partnership with a Japanese group.
The entire Landis family was fond of Jeff. Mark was instrumental in removing Jeff’s water wings and started him in serious swimming efforts.
On Jeff’s visits he would spend time with the Cosgrove girls at the pool and took trips to the amusement park not too far from us. Jeff was becoming known at Arquilla’s and at times accompanied me to closings, where he got his share of attention. Great to have him around.
Purchased first condo for investment in Glenwood. Rented it to a teacher whose husband owned
horses that were racing at the
The Glenwood condos were closing out and I returned to brokerage at the Realty office. Joe went to help with the project and signed the agreement with me taking charge. It was a joint venture with Concordia Bank and a builder.
Was not as lucrative as the previous situation we had finished but had its advantages. Having the office in a model with a working range was able to cook practically a dinner to serve that evening. The prospects did not seem to mind the aroma
Being the only one there except for hostesses hired for weekends, proved to be difficult since I had to rely on a salesman from the office to sit for a day. Were some weeks there was no day off, so when it was time to renew listing refused to stay. Had spent six months there.
Back to the main office where stayed in resale for a couple years.
Here ends My Mother’s Story. She began writing it in November 1992 during a series of written exchanges with my second husband Chuck O’Connell. The story came in installments over a several month period. She reviewed it and added to it in 1995-1996. The narrative itself ends about the year 1975, two years prior to my marriage to Chuck and some 24 years prior to her death in 1999. It tells the story as she would have it remembered.
My mom continued in Real Estate until her retirement. The heart attack she mentions occurred shortly after. Adjusting to retirement and a slower lifestyle was not easy for my mother. She continued to play cards and to attend theatre productions with friends. She renewed some of her spiritual studies. But she missed interacting with men in the business world, noting the lack of males among the retired. A true lady in every sense of the word, my mother nonetheless enjoyed male company – perhaps that’s what made her a true lady. She told me once – or maybe several times – that Al Taco “exuded animal magnetism”. Strange that she didn’t include that observation in her narrative for her descendants. I’m also sorry she didn’t include the stories of the elderly man who brought her fresh vegetables just so they could sit and talk a while. She liked men. She liked her women friends. And she tried very much to be a friend to all.
My mother took pride in being smartly dressed, well-coiffed, with fresh – but muted – makeup for all occasions. After conquering the chubbiness of her early teens, she maintained a slim figure throughout her adult life. She stood about five feet tall.
My mother loved her family as the preceding story attests. I’m sorry that she did not persevere on with the writing to include her time with her granddaughters Jennifer Ellen and Jessica Dianne, and her great granddaughter Tristan. She adored them as much as she adored her “precious Jeff.”
My mother died at the age of 77 years, one month, and eleven days after a long struggle with cancer.
I loved her. Tink