When we returned home from our honeymoon C.C. was making his arrangements with the Navy for his departure to Olathe, Kansas. He had to go to find a place for us to stay. The people in Olathe were very cooperative with the military’s coming and goings to their town, by opening their homes renting out bedrooms with kitchen privileges. We were one of three renting one of those bedrooms with a family that had grown children who were married and live elsewhere.
Also I was third in line with kitchen privileges and many times we ate our supper later than we cared to. The other two renters were officers and their wives. They were not too kindly to the enlisted by not abiding to the time allotted to each of us in the kitchen. I learned how to “kill them with kindness” and just started to fix our meal and saying I was sorry to intrude but it was my time for the kitchen. They did not know how to respond to kindness so they simply ignored us at supper when we all ate together with the family.
C.C. looked for other quarters that were less stressful for him to study. He found a one bedroom with a small kitchen that had a unit with a small refrigerator under the stove and the bath down the hall. The other renters were also enlisted and friendly. We all got along without any problems to speak of, but I need to tell you of an incident.
There was one student that was late beginning school. He came to Olathe without making housing preparations. The husband could stay in enlisted quarters but not his wife. They were scrambling asking anyone if she could share the apartment and pay something to share the bed saying “Oh I would stay on my side without bothering you or husband.” I showed her out mighty fast and told her NO and not to bother visiting. Friends like that I did not need. Unfortunately there was quite a bit of infidelity going on, some wives were sent home.
I found out I was pregnant with our first child so when school was over I came home to N.J. to be closer to the naval hospital in Philadelphia where our son was born.
Philadelphia was only thirty miles away by car from dad’s house. When the time approached C.C. applied for and was granted thirty days leave to come home. He was home just a few days when I went into labor. Mr. Miller let us use his Buick Road Master to drive to Philadelphia. We had to go over the Benjamin Franklin Bridge to get into Pennsylvania and C.C stalled the car while in line to the tollgate. He tried and couldn’t get the car started. A long line of cars, were stopped behind us with the drivers honking their horns.
A policeman came over to see what the problem was and C.C. blurted out, “my wife is in labor and I have to get her to the hospital”. The police man told him to calm down and told him to put the car in neutral to start it up because he had it in gear and it would not start that way. He cleared the way for us to get in the right lane and gave us directions which way to turn once we crossed over the bridge to get to the hospital. Once we got to the hospital I do not remember a thing except waking up the next day ”. This was a natural birth and not caesarian. I was glad it was over. If women could ever remember the pain of childbirth they would not ever go through it more than once.
Switching his rate to air control man helped us stay on shore duty for at least four to five years at a time. We really liked the military life and the family togetherness it inspired.
We lived in many different places. The first place we lived was Olathe, Kansas, the second place was Quonset Point, Rhode Island, and after that we then went to Guam in the Marianna Islands, which was beautiful. I never saw so many shades of green as we approached the island by ship.
Until next time, I am, Immigrant Daughter.