These are the memories of my Father and his siblings, recorded over several years. When my Uncle Dan passed away, I realized that I had better get started recording the memories of Dan’s siblings before they were also gone. I was able to have two recording sessions with my Father, Lad in California; two with Uncle Ced in New Hampshire, a three-day cruise in our boat with Aunt Biss; one session with Uncle Dave in Stratford, CT and one hand-written session (I forgot my tape recorder going up to the Island in New Hampshire, where Uncle Dick lived) with Uncle Dick. I transcribed them once exactly as they were spoken, again removing the ums, ahs, half sentences started over, etc. I then produced a final copy that was easier to read, but it still needs work getting the chronological order correct. Memories are not recorded with a date stamp. I created 75 binders for family members which include all three translations, pages and pages of photos and memorabilia and the actual recording. Now family members can actually heat their ancestors speaking. It was my first project with all the material my Father saved for me and a true Labor of Love. I hope you enjoy these memories of A Slice of Life at a different time and place.
Dave in the spring of 1940
DAVE – I graduated (from eighth grade at Center School in Trumbull) and that was fine, but then after having been noticed and having a name that meant something in Trumbull, I went to Whittier Junior High School in Black Rock in Bridgeport, and I was absolutely nothing there. I absolutely hated the teachers. I hated the school building. Most of all, I hated the Principal. I took Latin for two years. Understand that’s Latin I that I took for two years. I flunked it royally the first year and the second year I still managed to flunk it. I was going to be a lawyer and so I wasn’t going to be a lawyer. That was one year. Then all the kids from up in the hills went to Bassick High School and things were little better there. Finally, I turned eighteen, and at that time, the war was on and they were taking people, even people out of school, kids out of school, when they turned eighteen, so I left my Senior year in December. December vacation. I Never went back. I did go back to get my diploma. For some reason (I think my grandmother was dying) I was home for the graduation, and those of us who were in the service got our diplomas at graduation. I think that I would still be in the school till this day if I hadn’t gotten my diploma because I was in the Army. I was anxious to go into the service only so I could get through high school.
Ellie and I met at the player piano. Eleanor had a friend named Doris Eroncrona and they had been friends since sixth grade or something like that. One Sunday night after the Young People’s meeting, everybody came up to the house to play the player piano and sing. Doris brought along her friend Eleanor. I noticed her that night, thought she was kind of interesting, not having any idea if anything was going to come of it. This was when we were still in high school, Senior year, just before I went into the service. Doris went to the meeting and she brought her friend Eleanor Kintop and she and Elinor came up and sang around the piano. A few days later, I got a call from Doris, and she said, “Bob Jennings has asked me to go to a Halloween dance at Bassick High School and I’m not going unless we double date because I don’t want to go out alone with Bob. Would you take Eleanor?” I said, “Yeah”. Now I know this is going to sound hard to believe but at eighteen, I was still afraid of girls. So, one day we were down at Doris’s house and I remember her trying to talk me into it; “Just call her up, call her up and ask her.” I’m sure it had already been arranged but I wasn’t smart enough at the time to think about that. She must have thought that I was passable enough to be able to take her to the dance. I said, “I don’t dance. I don’t even know how to dance.” “That’s all right, blah, blah, blah.” I finally called her up and she said she would go. That was our first date, and then we started dating. That’s how I met her – all because of that good old player piano.
After Ellie and I got married and Ced was still single, the three of us spent a lot of time together. Ced would come down to Ellie’s mother’s house with us on occasion. We would go for rides. He took us on a harrowing trip one day. It was right after the Hurricane of 1955. We went up through the Valley and at that point at least, Ced tended to have a lead foot so there were some scary scenes but we all made it back together. So he used to spend some time with Ellie and me.
Grandpa, Marian, Lad, Jean, Dick and Aunt Betty around the kitchen table in 1945.
DICK – One time, Lad was driving Marian, Jean and I back to Trumbull from the movies (in Bridgeport). The car in front of us pulled over and parked. The driver threw open the door, and Lad shouldn’t have missed it but he did. Then he started looking around and patting himself … He said, “I had a cigarette …”
BISS – Dad was very determined to beat the Stock Market because it had done him in. He was out for revenge. He would sit up there in his bedroom and follow the charts. (He actually had a Ticker Tape Machine in his bedroom.) He did a lot of investing on margin. He had an estate worth over $100,000 (in 1964) when he died, only ten years after he got out of debt.
The Childhood Memories of Trumbull have come to an end. Tomorrow, I will post various pictures of the children as they were growing up in Trumbull.
On Saturday,a letter from Lad to the family mailed in Curacao about his voyage so far. I will continue to post a few more letters on Saturdays.