Where are you? Ode to my missing cat.

Before you read this, open this link in a new tab: https://youtu.be/UNoouLa7uxA

We need some background music.

 

I pulled you from a wretched life.

A life with no hope. A life devoid of love and attention.

I gave you that, or at least I like to think that I tried my best.

I fed you. I watered you. I dealt with you. Day in….and day out.

You were a stickler for the bottle.

I took you to work with me daily, for nearly half a year.

We played for hours, even when I had work to do. You made me happy when work didn’t. Also…

You were a distraction, but you stole my heart.

Every day, after we came home, and we had our respective dinner…

we played.

Do you remember chasing the twigs? The leaves? I laughed at your antics. Your stamina in chasing them was greater than mine. You wore me out.

As you grew, your strength increased. You could jump and climb.

I was your mad addiction.

You would find me. Wherever I was…reclined in a chair or nearly asleep in a hammock.

At the end of it all, you would invade my space – settle down….and begin to purr.

I took you to the vet to be spayed. You didn’t understand and probably never would.

I battled your fleas. I bathed you, and you despised me for it.  I did it because I wanted a good life for you, at least a better life.

You would yowl at me in the mornings begging for breakfast.

Sometimes you got it immediately.

Others, I needed my coffee first, and I knew you were a very efficient hunter, so you waited.

I didn’t “own” you. We were friends. I respected your life, and you respected mine…kinda – I guess when you trade off the meds you didn’t want to take and the times I didn’t want you laying on me makes it even.

Perhaps I should have forced you to be inside…but your heart belonged to the outdoors.

For a few years it worked fine.

Something happened.

What?

Where are you?

I’ve searched.

I’ve looked everywhere.

You’re gone.

I’ve racked my brain and on the verge on tears I’ve searched high and low, inquiring of everyone I’ve encountered.

No one.

Nobody knows.

What happened to you?

This CAN’T be how it ends, it was NEVER supposed to END.  I didn’t think of this when I pulled you from that pile of trash.

I’m trying to wrap my mind around the possibility that my last encounter with you was met with mild annoyance…didn’t I ALREADY feed you? Here’s some obligatory ear scratches.

Please don’t be gone.

Please

please come back. I’ll be better to you, I promise. Tuna at least once a week.

More ear scratches.

More butt pats.

I need you.

I need you probably…more than you ever needed me.

 

 

 

 

 

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I snapped

A few months ago a long time client of mine called me saying she was sub-working for a local realtor, and wanted me to come in to review the network & meet her boss.

I did so.

The network was and still is a pathetic jungle of cables, plugged into ancient devices…those held in place on a wire rack with cable ties. Multicolored ethernet cables jutting from the whining dust covered switch, some running into the wall – others directly up through a broken tile in the ceiling. Not a single one of them labeled.

They were mounted in a laundry room, right beside a washer and dryer.

First off, I told him…that needs to be completely redone.  Find someone to run the cables & I’ll get you a price on a new switch. Ok, fine, he said.

2 weeks later, the office manager calls me. “Our internet doesn’t work”. I arrive at the office & sure enough it doesn’t. It seems to be a switch or router problem, I say.  The OM takes a look at the mass of cables & says, ‘Oh, there’s the problem’. She grabs half a dozen of them & bends them at a 45 degree angle to the switch. A voice from the other room yells “yay, it works!”. I roll my eyes.  I convey this info to the owner.

A day or so after that, the internet doesn’t work again. Wireless. I show up & determine the USB wireless card isn’t even recognized. “Time for a new one”, I tell them.  An hour later the OM calls me & says “I FIXED IT”. “What did you do?”, I asked? “Oh, I pulled it out and bent it until it made a clicking sound then plugged it back in”. O. M. G.

2 weeks ago they called me with a printer issue. It’s a big, refrigerator size industrial printer. It was flashing an error code. I looked the code up. SERVICE NEEDED – CALL SERVICE TECH. I relayed the information. They said ok.

Today they called. Wireless internet wasn’t working on a computer. I show up and the OM says “Oh, I didn’t know YOU were coming by…I told the boss there probably wasn’t much need to even CALL you since you couldn’t fix any of the other things we called you for”

I said “First off – I said that clusterfuck you have in the back in 98% constant humidity needs to be upgraded and/or replaced. Second off – in what universe is it ever acceptable to BEND an electronic device until it ‘clicks’ and call that a repair? THIRD – I TOLD you that you had to call the ppl you got the printer from to fix it…and today….TODAY, the reason you can’t get internet on THIS computer is because DESPITE you actually this time going out and buying a network card for it is that you NEVER even BOTHERED to connect it to your wireless network”

I connected it to the network.

Pulled up MSN.

Pulled up Google.

Said “TA-DAAAAAAAA!!!!”

Left, texted my client & said “Don’t ever call me to go back there again”

She called me & we talked. They’re getting a bill. I got an apology. I’m still not going back.

The Party

It had been a rough day. I had several calls from clients, a couple took longer than expected and once again, I was running late for my next call. Traffic was horrendous, and the fuel light on my car shone a bright orange E. “Great, I’m going to be even later”.  I smacked the steering wheel in anger and a burst of pain reminded me of the incident earlier with the gate. For the first time in my harried day I gave the side of my palm a look. Embedded deep within was a large splinter, too deep to just pluck out. I’ll have the wife attack it later, I thought. Lately it has seemed if it wasn’t one thing it was another. 10 years ago I packed the kids and wife up and we moved to FL. I started a business here and everything was great. I’d needed a change, hell, we all did. Nothing but bad memories there. A failed marriage, a few run-ins with the law. Sometimes you just have to start over. Everything went great for years, smooth as silk. These past few days have been horrible though. I’ve felt kinda sick, but not really bad sick. I should probably go to the doctor anyway, but then he’ll tell me I’m either imagining things or it’s a side effect of getting older. Maybe it’s from the drugs I did in my 20s. Perhaps it’s a side effect of the alcohol I’d gotten too cozy with for the past several years. Who knows.

The noise of idling cars became almost rhythmic. The stinging sensation returned to my cheeks. It first began a few months back, but nothing like this. I coughed. The air temperature inside the car seemed to suddenly rise by 30 degrees. Coughing made my chest hurt. “I’m too young for a heart attack!”, I thought…then common sense reminded me that I was not. My stomach surged. Oh no, not here.

I opened the car door and violently emptied the contents of my stomach on the pavement. There, in the middle of all the yuck…was a jawbreaker. I know it came out of my mouth because I felt it hit the back of my teeth. Most of the color had been sucked off of it, but I know one when I see one. I hadn’t had a jawbreaker in…probably 40 years. I don’t eat candy…anymore…not since….

The pain in my chest began to throb. My face was on fire. I felt weak. The world shimmered…faded….then sped away.

Darkness. I was in darkness. Someone was calling my name.

“TIM!!! TIM!!! WAKE UP TIM!!!”, I heard the frantic cries of my mother. I slowly opened up my eyes and saw her face. Or what used to be her face. There were no wrinkles, no silver hair, no age spots…”What is this…..”, I croaked. “The ambulance is on it’s way”, I heard my fathers voice say. “How is he here?”, I wearily asked, remembering he’d been dead for nearly seven years. I slowly sat up. I was in my childhood home. Several kids wearing party hats and pale faces surrounded me. They looked familiar, I just couldn’t put my finger on it at the moment. “I told you not to give them kids hard candy”, my grandmother (from behind me) stated. I looked at my mom. “Am I dead?”, I murmured, remembering the emotional turmoil her death put us in, but that was nearly twenty years ago. My mom gave a nervous laugh. “No, but you scared us…and on your birthday too”. My dad entered the room just as the sirens became audible. He looked fitter than I ever remember. I reached out for him with the arms of a child. “You’re alive”, I whispered in amazement. He took my hand and I winced in pain. “Of course I’m alive, I don’t inhale jawbreakers, here…lemme see”, he said….pausing….then to my mom “He’s got a huge splinter in his hand”

My mom asked “How did you get that?”

I took a deep breath.

“Tim & the Issues”

This is the fabricated ‘backstory’ of our Halloween costumes we’re wearing this weekend.

In the summer of 1985, Tim & two other dudes (The Issues) hit the long hard road in search of their spot in the Rock & Roll hall of fame. “The Issues” departed the band shortly after that due to dog related reasons and also Jeff is a punk that can’t deal with a few hives and never bothered to say anything at all about it before. “Tim has Issues” was born that day because of lack of paint and time involved, and also because Jeff was better at painting but when he left he took all the wee-….Nevermind, it was ugly.

Tim hit the scene fast and hard. His popularity boomed and quite frequently he was seen playing for crowds of up to twenty people. His hit single ‘Axe the Roach’ was once booked two weeks in advance.

Unfortunately, Tim never hit it big per se, in the music industry. His specialty (and personality) were very much an acquired taste and he grew to basically base his success on venues in which he wasn’t prematurely asked to leave.

Tim met many people in his travels on the road. The most popular face in his crowds was that of ‘Sy’, which was short for ‘Psycho’, which tells you all you need to know about her. She was at every show. She’s got Tim’s autograph from every show…and multiple times at Walmart, once at the bank, a dozen or so at the laundromat…you get the drift. She’s a little bit ‘stalky’. She loved him to the ends of the earth and would follow him to hell and back if that’s where his journeys took him.

Tim’s big break came in 1989, in which three people asked for autographs and one inquired as to where they might obtain some of his music. In later decades, in an 3am podcast interview, Sy admitted she bribed those people with several bottles of homemade wine for these favors.

Sy was Tim’s greatest asset, during his hard times…including the one that ended his career. To be fair, she warned him that raccoon did not want to play. She was by his side non stop in intensive care, through rehabilitation, and eventually rehab.  Once Tim had accepted he couldn’t play anymore…the window of opportunity for ukulele thrash metal had already closed. It was over nearly as quickly as it had begun, but in Tim’s heart – he was a legend…and legends never die.

In 2005 he pawned the ukulele and a pair of shoes for the money to buy Sy, his now common-law wife a wedding band.  A few years later he sold his van and they parked a motor home on a patch of land in the back end of only god knows where. Rumor has it there are chickens, ducks, geese…whatever, a bunch of animals. No one really knows what Tim is up to these days…but we have it on good word: He’s coming to town tomorrow.

The Prairie II

Mother Nature raged overhead, unleashing torrents of pent up rain upon the parched landscape. Wave after wave it came, pounding the prairie dog mounds, sending everything alive scurrying for shelter. The ground greedily drank from the deluge until it could hold no more. Rivulets flowed between the mounds of grasses, carrying seeds to distant locations, washing away the dust that had gradually and laboriously coated everything. The next few weeks would provide an amazing bounty for the prairie dogs as countless seeds would burst forth with life offering an almost endless buffet of tender sprouts for them to nibble on at their leisure…all with a watchful eye for the feathered terrors above.

Deep in the burrow, the new mother huddled with her young. They still nursed, so her absence from them was always short-lived. Her worries weren’t with the storm itself. Evolution had taught her kind the proper way to build tunnels, accounting for possible flooding and even a functioning ventilation system. The mother was still young, but had been very lucky. Life on the prairie so far had not subjected her to all of the potential dangers there were, but deep in her consciousness there were a series of triggers. These triggers activated an automatic response system from her, as they did with all of her species. They caused a response, which would have been puzzling to her if she had been capable of understanding such, of which she had no choice but to follow, quite often without even realizing what was going on. She was accustomed to the typical reaction of black shadows passing overhead. Whenever this had occurred to her in the past, many times she was safely in the confines of a local tunnel before she ever realized what had transpired. Of course, in the tunnel now, this was of no concern…but something was off. Her nose twitched in the blackness. The prairie dogs sense of smell was so finely tuned it could pick out a single blackberry  from a 100 yard distance, but what wafted along the draft in the tunnel was no blackberry. She had never encountered, nor even smelled a rattlesnake in her entire life, yet the molecules of scent emanating from the approaching one were flashing terror in her mammalian brain. Mental flashes of vertical pupils, venomous fangs, extreme pain and crushing coils popped into the field of vision just behind her eyes. The acrid smell of poisonous scales began to get stronger. Instinct had not yet made the decision of what to do. Her muscles tensed as the thunder rolled above. From somewhere behind her, the timid one uttered a frightened squeak.

The Prairie

If you’ve made it as far as this reading, this is just an experiment I’m doing in creative, descriptive writing. I’ve no experience at all in writing anything of any kind, so this is just me…kinda feeling myself out. Your input would be appreciated.

The summer sun blazed fiercely upon the prairie. The springtime rains had brought forth abundant growth, much to the delight of the creatures that depended on it for sustenance. The recent population boom of prairie dogs had helped pull the local eagle population from the brink of extinction. Constantly they circled overhead, keenly eyeing the landscape, always on the lookout for someone not paying attention. Half of the season had already passed and now the sun was in full force, unleashing it’s fury to ensure that only the most tolerant would survive. The weak and inferior will be burnt to chaff, swept away by the forceful winds that frequented these rolling hills. Carelessly, the tall grass swayed back and forth as if to the sounds of the meadowlarks punctuating the silence with their cheerful calls. Tufts of billowy clouds wafted a mile overhead, lazily dissipating into nothingness, the particles of moisture off on another journey, destined to the formation of another cloud, one day eventually fated to fall as rain.  Off in the distance above the verdant meadow, in a charcoal column of cumulonimbus, daggers of purple lightening danced, belching a barely audible rumble to the prairie that cool, wet relief from the searing heat might be nigh. The wind began to pick up speed, the gray monolithic cloud slowly grew in size until it encompassed the entire horizon.

Two meters below the surface, in a seemingly endless array of tunnels curled a female prairie dog around her four pups. This was her first litter, and her instincts were strong. “Feed me, watch for danger, care for pups” were her ultimate concerns. She lifted her head,momentarily startled as a bolt of lightening struck nearby, the resounding boom of thunder loosening particles of dirt from the ceilings of burrows her and her kind called home. Spooked by the noise of the turbulence above, one of the pups squeaked. She immediately turned to it, and with a flashing of her bright pink tongue calmed it’s uneasiness with motherly kisses. This particular pup was different from the others, she could tell. It was a bit more timid than the rest of the group, and if her prairie dog mind were able to see further than that, it would notice that this baby was completely white.

CLIENT: Living through the Great Depression

LIVING THROUGH THE GREAT DEPRESSION

 

 

Being born in the mid-1930’s; I grew up hearing adults talk about the Dionne Quintuplets being born on the same day that my cousin Dick Donald was born and I came two weeks later.  Every house had a calendar of the five little girls and a picture of FDR on the wall. Grandma was still worried about the people that died crossing the ocean on a ship. She told stories and songs about a race horse named “Man of War.” Although my grandfather only went to the third grade in school.  By the third grade, students could read and write. The had to know how to make change when dealing with cash. They also could add, subtract, multiply and divide in arithmetic. Grandpa Kitchell told us kids O. Henry stories that he had read in school.

When our mom fretted about someone trying to kidnap us kids like they did the Lindbergh baby, my dad quickly dispelled the idea with the fact that they didn’t have enough money to make anyone want us. I had no idea what ‘kidnapping’ was but got the idea that our Dad figured that nether one of us kids was a worth-while commodity.

 

The Great Depression was one subject people talked about; how they ‘got by.’ Slapping two thin pieces of bar soap together, they were able to bathe. My mom’s parents were well-to-do farmers and business people in Atlanta, Illinois.  Often, I’d hear Grandma Kitchell say “I told Pierce we shouldn’t buy that last farm.” Our grandpa had mortgaged four farms he owned free and clear to buy one last farm. His dream was no different from the goal most “Dads” at the time for each son.

 

 

 

Grandpa was unable to pay his creditors. I never heard Grandma or Grandpa complain nor did they blame each other.  I would hear them say only, “Times were hard.”

 

As a child I did notice that those people who lost everything in the depression were not quick to spend any money they made unless it was absolutely a necessity. I’d hear them say that they’d squeezed a nickel until the buffalo bawled.  Or they’d say that a person was tight fisted. Until banks could be trusted again, money was buried in barn yards or behind bricks in a cellar.

 

Grandma Kitchell (Katie) was raised by her Grandparents, She married Grandpa at fifteen years of age; so she had very  little youth to talk about. She spoke fluent German in her early years and evidently her grandmother taught her to read and write. She did tell the story about going by covered wagon to Colorado from Illinois. She was four years old at the time. And she had a young cousin that was also included in the group of frontiersmen. Being four years old she remembered only living in a ‘Soddy’ and picking up cow chips on the desert for fuel for their grandmother to burn in the fireplace. She talked most about the “Jack” Rabbits with long ears and hearing the coyotes howling mournfully during the night hours.

 

Probably the best indicators of the life Grandma had growing up was the fact that she got along well with all her neighbors. She was honest to a fault, She never bragged on herself or her accomplishments, And seldom spoke ill of anyone.

 

Grandma got up before dawn in the mornings and sang hymns while she worked. She took a short nap following lunch time then continued working until it was time to fix dinner. She was in bed by nine o’clock. On Saturdays she walked to the grocery store, cleaned her house, took her bath in a sink and washed her long thick black hair.

 

On Saturday afternoon she read her Sunday School lesson and made sure her offering was knotted securely in the corner of her thin, colorful handkerchief. A quarter for Sunday School, one for church and a dime for the flower fund. I don’t remember Grandma ever carrying a pocketbook. She did have a little change purse she carried her paper money in which she tucked securely in her apron or dress pocket for her trip to the store.  Attending Sunday school and church were the highlight of her week. “Golly-ding” and “Isn’t that a fright.” where Grandma’s only bi-words. She never used slang words and certainly didn’t swear. It’s was told that in her younger years, Grandma had a bad temper. With five ornery sons, and one self-willed daughter and a husband that was a wheeler dealer, what can one expect?

 

Along with loosing their home, retail stores and farms my Grandparents also lost their eldest son during the depression.  They lost him not to death but to the spirit of greed and revenge. Their largest farm that their eldest son and his wife farmed, was included in the bankruptcy. Grandpa had passed away years before, when a knock came on Grandma’s door late one night, twenty five years later. It was her eldest son with his hat in hand and a satchel full of cloths. He had no place to go but back to his ‘mom’ when his wife kicked him out of the house. It seems Grandma’s two eldest sons; who had been given the golden opportunities during their youth, needed the comfort and shelter of “mom” loving home the most, in their later years.

 

With no jobs of any kind available in Illinois, talk in town was; if you had a truck to haul grain, you could get jobs out west following the wheat harvest. Following the bankruptcy, Grandpa was allowed to keep his large Diamond Rio farm truck and Grandmas’ furniture and very little cash. Grandpa and Grandma set out, with their three teenage boys, my mom and dad and their six month old baby. Their truck loaded down with  a large tent, bed, baggage, a chicken Koop filled with Rhode Island Red laying hens, several scoop shovels along with some hand tools for Texas.

 

The flock of chickens’ strutting rooster, refused to be caught by anyone, watched as the truck began to pull out of the barn yard. He made a flying leap into the air and flew on top of the loaded truck bed, where he perched, his pin-feathers blowing in the breeze. On and on he went down state highways and through passing towns. He was sticking with his harem. Little did he care if people were pointing their fingers and laughing at him. When the truck was unloaded ‘old red’ would fly down off the truck and stay with his hens. No sooner would the truck be reloaded and he would fly back up one his perch. A rooster does what roosters have to do. Even when times were the hardest, people found things to joke and laugh about.

 

Just when Grandpa had reached the end of his resources, with the last $20.00 bill in his billfold. A cop stopped them and ticketed them $10.00 for having a light out on the back of the truck. The group had to stay over one night to meet a court date with the small towns’ only judge. When Grandpa handed the judge his last twenty dollar bill. He told the judge this is all I have left. The judge sternly told him “See to it you get it fixed right away” as he reached in his draw for Grandpa’s change. Putting the returned bill in his billfold, the group left the courthouse. They spent another night in their tent before continuing their travels.

 

After the truck was loaded, grandpa reached in his billfold for what remained of their wealth. Without looking at it he handed it to grandma, telling her to go into the store for what groceries she needed. Grandma looked down at the money in her hand and let out a “Holiness War hoop” that could be heard across the state. In her hand she held a brand new one hundred dollar bill. She had a problem trying to convince grandpa that the judge knew exactly into what slot he was getting the change for Grandpa’s $20.00 bill. All agreed that God was watching out for them and helping them even though none of them had ever become followers of Jesus Christ. That didn’t stop Father God from knowing those that were his, at that moment.

 

As the days went by, when camp was set up in a place where there was water to drink and grass for the horses. Permission was gained from owners of a pasture to stop there.

Grandpa and one of the boys would go out looking for wheat hauling jobs, while grandma and my mom got a meal ready. Week after week they made enough money to keep the truck going and food to eat. They were quick to catch on to the fact that crews who had man experienced in running a combine,  made the most money.

 

That opportunity presented itself and my dad lied and told the rancher that he was a combine man. My dad had never been near one of the machines in his life. But he had been the 16 year old that drew up all the plans for his dad’s two row corn picker that got stolen from their house and came out on the market soon after. Daddy was the only one among them that understood the mechanical mechanism of the machine. He told the rancher that he would not operate the machine unless her personally greased it up and checked all the chains. As he worked greasing the combine he quickly caught on to how it worked. Climbed on the machine and began harvesting wheat. Then Grandpa was making some real money with his crew as they followed the harvest up through Texas, Oklahoma and on to Nebraska. Doing odd jobs, they could make it until harvest time rolled around again.

 

My mom liked to tell of finding her great grandfathers grave in a civil war cemetery in North Platte, Nebraska. They tell how Grandpa Yonkers was with the calvary back then. He did his part in the ‘underground railroad helping free the slaves who were trying to make there way north into freedom. Grandma only remembered that her grandmother had it easier following her grandpa’s death because she lived on a pension that the government paid the widows of the Civil War veterans.

 

My parents went on to farm a patch of ground in Armington, Illinois where my Brother Bob was born in 1932.

Times began to get better in Illinois. Uncle Melvin had married aunt Vinie who was a DeSutter from Manito, Il. Her folks had been able to hang on to their farms during the depression and were able to set her and Uncle Melvin up in a small house in Pekin which had a telephone. People who had both electric lights and a telephone were considered ‘upper crust.’ Being a good mechanic Uncle Melvin got on full time at the Corn Products in Pekin, Illinois. He managed to move his folks and mine to Pekin. Although my grandmother was dead set against drinking alcohol, she took a job at the distillery putting pretty Christmas labels on bottles of booze. It was their only income when Grandpa was seriously injured in a truck/train accident. The truck was the only mode of transportation that my folks had. They had just used it to move to Pekin and loaned the truck to my mom’s older brother who was determined he could beat the train through the crossing.  My Uncle Earl could have paid the folks what they lost on the insurance deductible but didn’t even say he was sorry for their loss.

 

When work in Pekin began to open up, my dad would get a single days work at the Corn Products. But he had to walk from their apartment house to the factory every morning and stand in line. When he didn’t come home, mom knew he had received a day’s work. They could manage to pay their rent and electricity and even buy a few groceries on a couple days work a week. A full time job meant that the depression was over for that family. People appreciated what they were given and what they had in those days.

 

Before my folks moved to Pekin, my mom was very sick with a high fever and continued to try to nurse her baby boy. He cried non-stop from hunger. There was very little to eat and no milk for a baby. My mom had heard people talking about getting on their knees by their bed and asking God to help them.  She had no idea how to pray or even if there was a God that he would hear her prayer.

 

In total desperation she got down on her knees and told God that if he was listening, she and her family needed coal for their stove and food to eat. A neighbor had known mom was sick and the family needed help. They contacted the local government office. A lady knocked on the folks’ door. Within hours of my mom’s prayer to a God she didn’t know, a truck delivered a load of coal. The lady came with boxes of food for the family and milk for the starving baby. The lady even brought mom a warm coat, slip, panties and a dress so she could go to the doctor. In the bargain, my dad received a new pair of work shoes and boots along with a new pair of coveralls. That’s what he wore to stand in line at Corn Products for a day’s work.

 

Just as God knew who his children were standing trembling on the banks of the Red Sea, a judge gave grandpa back a hundred dollar bill rather then a $10.00 bill, in change. That judge took compassion on Grandpa and his family. Just as Father God look on over that bunch of Israelites standing scared stiff on the bank of the sea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 02

 

Lucky baby

 

 

The folks had moved to Pekin, Illinois with the hope of bettering their lives. They found a cheap apartment in an large apartment house called the “Beehive” on Cynthiana Street in Pekin. The walls were thin and offered no sound barrier for the loud, laughing, family arguments and loud snoring at night.  With doors between all the apartments, it was near impossible to free ones space of the abundant crops of crawling roaches and bedbugs. It was a place to live and dad’s day job paid the rent and light bills there.

 

It was socially unacceptable and shame during those days for an unmarried woman to find she was pregnant. Young girls went to visit relatives in another state to find a job. Even close family members were not informed of such indiscretions. It just happened that a Florence Crinton home for unwed mothers was located a block from the bee-hive apartment house.

 

My dad’s mother Grandma Boehme was not one to sit on her hands when emergencies arose in the family. She herself was a expecting her first child when her family who were well off farmers arranged for Grandpa Boehme to marry her even though he was not the babies father. For a chance to get started farming on his own, he was a willing partner.

 

Grandma, decided that since Phyllis and Ed, were not able to have children and no respectable family gave away their babies to strangers, they would be the proud recipients of the

new infant. Thus the baby’s birth mother could remain close in the family and see and visit her child as desired. Everett a son lived the closest to the home. It was arranged that Anna would go to the unwed mother’s home in the closing weeks of her pregnancy. When the baby was born the home would call Everett. He would go to the home and fetch the new born. Thereafter, telephone his sister in Kankakee, Illinois to come and get her new baby.

 

The birth mother had already signed her name to a paper stating that her baby was to be given to a family member. The doctor delivering the baby at 2 o’clock in the morning was unfamiliar with the families plans for the infant, did what most doctors delivering illegitimate babies did in such case. He filled the syringe with extra pain killer to inject the birthing mother. Helping the woman in her stress and also with the hope of relieving her of her problem.

 

The baby was born having serious heart attacks. The home was aware of the legal problem they faced since this child already had parents waiting to come for it. They called my Uncle Melvin, who had the telephone, he went to the Bee-hive to get my dad who was the one scheduled to pick up the baby. The baby was dieing and neither the doctor or the home wanted to explain a dead baby. They quickly put the diapered baby in a shoe box along with a blank original birth certificate. Handed the baby over to a family member. The birth mother was told that the baby was very weak and probably would die.