Autobiography of Mary E.Wilson – Another Child – 1941

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In 1941, I was pregnant again. I had waited my three years and we both wanted another baby.

Archie was doing well in the G.E. but he had a terrible boss who made his life miserable (he later killed his wife in Stratford).

We were also having difficulty with Mary Jean and after taking her to several doctors, we found out she was suffering from bronchial asthma. Our poor little girl was so ill and we were advised to take her to Arizona but we discovered a lady doctor called Dr. Edgar from New Haven Hospital. She specialized in asthma and we had to take her for weekly shots which continued until she was in her late teens. She seemed to be allergic to almost everything but her worst allergy was smoke and dust.

We realized we had to get her out of the city and into the country, but when Mary Jean was a year old, Archie wanted to take a trip to Birchcliff in Canada where he lived as a boy before he came to the states. He made plans to make the trip with his father and two brothers. I knew they would not want a woman and baby with them so I decided to go to New Hampshire with my mother to visit with the David Webb family.

Uncle David was my Grandma Ellen’s brother and their brother Matthew was the first man to swim the English Channel. Uncle David ran a dairy farm with his wife Henrietta, his daughter and two sons.

We had a lovely visit with Uncle David, he was a hard-working, contented dairy farmer. His daughter, Henrietta, was married and had a baby girl the same age as Mary Jean. While we were there, Aunt Hetty came to visit, she was the mother of Uncle David’s wife. She sure was an energetic old lady and she lived in Philadelphia and she had another daughter who lived in Cape May, New Jersey.

I had visited the Cape May family when I was single and they were very aloof and cool towards my father. Aunt Hetty was the only person I knew who could tell my father what she really thought of him and her opinion of him was not very nice. She told my mother she was a fool to stay with him and I silently agreed with her.

The following year Archie wanted to make another trip to Birchcliff with his brothers. I protested and we had our first real argument. We did not talk to each other for a week. Needless to say he did not go to Canada.

Next week we’ll be jumping forward to 1943 and find out what Lad and Marian are doing for the holidays at the end of 1943.

On Tuesday, we’ll have a special Guest Post from gpcox, author of http://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com. What do you know about the music of the 40’s and the Big Band Era? I’m sure you’ll learn something.

Judy Guion

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22 thoughts on “Autobiography of Mary E.Wilson – Another Child – 1941

  1. Asthma must have been very difficult to live with in your child, before modern medical interventions. I found a heartbreaking entry in my grandmother’s notebook about watching my uncle as a child struggling for breath.

  2. hezabinda says:

    Mathew Webb:His final stunt was to be a dangerous swim through the Whirlpool Rapids on the Niagara River below Niagara Falls, a feat many observers considered suicidal. Although Webb failed in an attempt at raising interest in funding the event,[2] on 24 July 1883 he jumped into the river from a small boat located near the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge and began his swim. Accounts of the time indicate that in all likelihood Webb successfully survived the first part of the swim, but died in the section of the river located near the entrance to the whirlpool.[3] Webb was interred in Oakwood Cemetery, Niagara Falls, New York.[4]
    Legacy

    • Mrs. P says:

      Yes, wiki has included this account as well. Having taken the Maid of the Mist while at Niagra Falls, I know exactly the force he was up against. The boats engined groaned the whole time. I also stood under the waterfalls, the force of which made it difficult to hold my position, I can’t even imagine doing this in whirlpools.

      Soon after this time, many people tried the barrel drops off the falls and it wasn’t until 2003 that anyone accomplished swimming through the whirlpools, But he started at the falls, dropped and swam to the shore…passing the Maid in the Mist on the way.

  3. hezabinda says:

    Mathew Webb:His final stunt was to be a dangerous swim through the Whirlpool Rapids on the Niagara River below Niagara Falls, a feat many observers considered suicidal. Although Webb failed in an attempt at raising interest in funding the event,[2] on 24 July 1883 he jumped into the river from a small boat located near the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge and began his swim. Accounts of the time indicate that in all likelihood Webb successfully survived the first part of the swim, but diedHis final stunt was to be a dangerous swim through the Whirlpool Rapids on the Niagara River below Niagara Falls, a feat many observers considered suicidal. Although Webb failed in an attempt at raising interest in funding the event,[2] on 24 July 1883 he jumped into the river from a small boat located near the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge and began his swim. Accounts of the time indicate that in all likelihood Webb successfully survived the first part of the swim, but died in the section of the river located near the entrance to the whirlpool.[3] Webb was interred in Oakwood Cemetery, Niagara Falls, New York.[4]
    Legacy

    • jaggh53163 says:

      Hezabinda – What a sad ending to an adventurous life. He definitely made his mark on the world. Would he have been your great-great-uncle?

      • hezabinda says:

        Not sure Judy.All I know is that he is buried on the Canadian side of the falls and that his wife and children ended up going to Australia and that started that part of the family

  4. Mrs. P says:

    Great historical data, especially that shared about Matthew. That would have been quite the feat!

    • jaggh53163 says:

      Mrs. P. – I found this in Wikipedia:
      English Channel swimming record

      In 1873 Webb was serving as captain of the steamship Emerald when he read an account of the failed attempt by J. B. Johnson to swim the English Channel. He became inspired to try himself, and left his job to begin training, first at Lambeth Baths, then in the cold waters of the Thames and the English Channel.

      On 12 August 1875 he made his first cross-Channel swimming attempt, but strong winds and poor sea conditions forced him to abandon the swim.

      On 24 August 1875 he began a second swim by diving in from the Admiralty Pier at Dover. Backed by three escort boats and smeared in porpoise oil, he set off into the ebb tide at a steady breaststroke. Despite stings from jellyfish and strong currents off Cap Gris Nez which prevented him reaching the shore for five hours, finally, after 21 hours and 45 minutes, he landed near Calais—the first successful cross-channel swim. His zig-zag course across the Channel was over 39 miles (64 km) long.
      Here’s the link:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Webb

  5. Judy–it’s ironic that you and GP Cox are collaborating on a post on 40’s music. I have an unpublished post on my computer hard drive about that very subject. Specifically about “What Was the Soundtrack of My Parent’s Lives?” What songs did they dance to? Also, I mentioned some of the popular songs–some had double meanings. People had better taste, back then, and didn’t discuss what those meanings were in mixed company. I know some of the songs my mother liked, since she played piano and sang. My potential post has been gathering dust.

  6. gpcox says:

    Seems Mary Wilson had quite the life too, eh?

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