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Sunday, November 22, 2020

postheadericon MEMORIES OF LAURA LOU ANDERSON BASHLOR

                               


Clifford S. Anderson                          Eunice Fay Oehring

Engaged                                     Married

2020--- I am 82 years old and figure I had better get some memories down while I still can.

07 July 1938-MY BIRTH

After losing 4 previous pregnancies, Mom and Dad just kept trying.  This time Mother stayed in bed for the first 4 months of the pregnancy, the same periods she lost the other pregnancies.  During those weeks in bed Mother made a crib coverlet of bright pink candle-wicking on a white background.  She never used it because it brought back memories of all that morning sickness.   

                                                     Mom, PG with me at Horse Island

Mother’s best friend, Harriet Burger, was also pregnant and both babies were due at the same time.  The two friends since 3rd grade, vowed to be in the hospital at the same time.  Mother’s sister Jane was also pregnant, due to deliver 3 months later.  Mother went into the hospital first, on a hot summer day.  She kept asking about her friend and the whole staff of Old Grace Hospital was relieved when Harriet showed up a day later.

The custom of the day was to keep the new mother and baby in the hospital for 10 days after the birth.  Mother and Harriet, of course, shared a room as well as having the same doctor.  When the nurses brought the babies into the room to be fed, Anne and I were put in an open dresser drawer until the mothers were ready.  Mother chose to nurse naturally although the fashion of the day was for the mothers to bottle-feed their babies.  Nursing was too “peasant”, but Mom was adamant about having the best experience since it had taken so much for her to become a mother. 


July 29, 1938 --3 weeks and 2 days old
  

Dad lost his job the same day Mother went into the hospital so rather than wait out the hours of labor in the dads’ waiting room, he went out and got another job.  This one was at Dearbaugh Drugs in River Rouge.  The Dearbaugh became close family friends with their son, Bobby, being born just a couple of months before I was.  At the time I was born my parents lived in Detroit on an “upper income” apartment.

The birth certificate says:

Hospital: The Grace                  County of Wayne                          City of Detroit

Last Name: Anderson               First Name: Laura Lou

Female   Full Term                    Legitimate                                      Date of Birth: July 6, 1938

Residence:             13523 Stoepel

(Father)  Color ---White      Age at last birthday ---31    Birthplace---Michigan      Occupation…Unemployed Pharmacist

(Mother) Color--- White      Age at last birthday ---27    Birthplace---Michigan      Occupation…housewife

Number of children 1,   number now living 1

Born alive at 6:25 PM     nitrate in eyes…yes   

Signed:  Edwin H Fenton, MD attending physician – 15125 Grand River

 Dated: 7/6/1938                   Filed July 13, 1938

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  

                                            September 18-1938

                                                      


                                 

 

My baptism was at Church of the Ascension in Detroit the Diocese of Michigan on September 18, 1938.

Parents: Clifford S. Anderson

Eunice Oehring “

Sponsors: 

Mary Atwell

Harriet Borger

Raymond Schonbachler

Born: July 6, 1938

Henry Ridley, Rector

I was named after my mother’s parents, Laura and Louis Oehring.  Both had passed away, Laura of cancer in 1931 and Louis of Parkinson’s Disease in 1932 when Mother was in her early 20s.     

                                                                      

                                                          
                                                      
Dad, me, our old Plymouth car

                                                                        MY ETHNICITY

Several years ago, I submitted a sample for DNA analysis to Ancestry.com.    The results show 32% England & Northwestern Europe, 28% Sweden, 12% Scotland, 12% Wales, 7% Norway, 5% Germanic Europe, and 4% Eastern Europe & Russia.  These are refined by Ancestry.Com from time to time so I keep checking.  I know all my first cousins and their children and grandchildren, but beyond that there are many relatives Ancestry has uncovered, 3rd cousins and beyond.  My family tree is on Ancestry.com    https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/tree/84816760/family/familyview.0

1939-1948 WYANDOTTE, MICHIGAN

My parents moved from Detroit to Wyandotte in 1939 when I was not even a year old, so I do not remember Detroit at all.  In Wyandotte we lived in a “Terrace” on Third Street and Chestnut Street.…3 homes connected.  Ours was at the Southern end with its own back and front porches and a fenced in yard.  The other two units shared porches.  There were two bedrooms and a bathroom on the upper floor, a living room, kitchen, and a dining room on the main room and a private basement.                         

                                                             Dining room in Wyandotte               

        The fireplace, shelves, and Daddy in his chair – Dreaming of Christmas

There was also a private basement where Daddy had his woodworking shop.  Our home had a faux fireplace which was lovingly used at Christmas time.  Daddy would create a wonderful winter scene on the mantle, more elaborate every year.  There was a tiny side yard and over the years Daddy built an A-frame swing for me, a 3-piece picnic table, and (unheard of for the times), a swimming pool from boat plans and a wonderful dollhouse.

                      
               Daddy’s Christmas mantle scene            Daddy’s Workshop in Wyandotte

                  
                                My Swimming Pool                 My Dollhouse (photo from 1960)

1941-1945 WORLD WAR II

I was about 3 and a half on December 7, 1941, the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.  That is my first identifiable memory.  Mom and I were wrapping Christmas gifts to be mailed to relatives.  I probably was not much help, but I could lick the stickers that held the paper in place…no “Scotch Tape” in those days.  My mother’s friend, Thelma Mitter, came bursting in the front door (no knocking or ringing the bell) all excited about something about war, bombing, Pearl Harbor, Japanese.  My folks ran out onto our front porch as did all our neighbors.  I was left forgotten.  Eventually they came in and turned on the radio and were just GLUED to it all evening and, indeed, for the next several years. They never missed a word our revered President Roosevelt broadcast.  We formally entered the European theater of the war on December 11.

Men, married or not, volunteered to join the Army or Navy.  Even Dad tried, but he was a pharmacist, considered essential on the home front since all the Medical Doctors who were fit were drafted into service leaving Osteopaths, Veterinarians and Pharmacists to tend to us at home.  Pharmacists were important, housing the stores of drugs that might be needed in case of attack. 

Women went to work to make up for the men who had joined up and were shipped overseas.    Many had factory jobs and others, like my mom, cared for the children of the working mothers.  I joined a pre-school dance class, and all our dance music was patriotic.  Even our clothes were all red, white and blue.  We paraded around waving American flags in impromptu neighborhood parades, especially on holidays. 

Factories were manufacturing for the war so there was rationing of many items.  Families received ration books and tokens they could use for food, drugs, tires, and other things scarce for civilians.  Wyandotte had many factories like Wyandotte Chemicals, Firestones, and Wyandotte Toy, to name a few I remember.  All dropped manufacture of their regular things and were, now, making “war stuff”.  Willow Run was building war planes and workers at all those places were mostly women. The
famous “Rosie the Riveter” was a poster woman for the war effort.                                                      

With a major Naval Air Base on Grosse Ile, there were many soldiers, sailors, and airmen around. If you saw a military boy or girl, you gave him a ride to wherever he was headed.  We almost worshipped those giving so selflessly.  If someone in your family was in the service, you hung a special service flag in your window.  If someone in your family died “over there” you had a flag with a gold star on it.  “Gold Star Mothers” who had lost a son or daughter over there were revered.

There were many patriotic songs, most about missing a sweetheart who was “Over There”. The White Cliffs of Dover, Run Rabbit Run, Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Moonlight Serenade, Der Fuehrer’s Face, Lili Marlene, Till Al Our Prayers Are Answered, The Victory Polka.

I remember “Black Outs”.  An air raid siren would blast, and everyone would douse all house lights so enemy planes would not be able to spot the cities.  Wyandotte with its war industry would have been a target.  Cars were parked immediately, and only emergency vehicles with hooded lights could be on the streets.  Air Raid Wardens patrolled every block or two during a black-out to be sure there were no lights.  Many people also kept gas masks in their homes in case of gas warfare by The Enemy.  

                                                                       1943 - A SCARY TIME

I didn’t know the details until later but the drug store where my dad worked was broken into late one night.  The police came to get Dad for him to inventory what was taken. It was all high level narcotics.  The detectives thought it was a certain gang so they advised Dad to send Mom and me to a safe place while Dad and the detectives search the bars for the guys. Suddenly we were on a train to Saginaw to stay with my Uncle Lyman and Aunt Marion.  I was delighted because I had 2 cousins there…Bud and Barbara.  Eventually we came home.  I have no idea if they caught the robbers.

                                                                    

                                    Aunt Marion, Dog, me, Uncle Lyman and Cousin Barbara

1943-1950 VACATIONS

I do not remember the year or our ages, but I was probably about 5 or 6 when we went to a cottage on a little lake (just outside of Ludington, and Scottville, Michigan) Oxbow Lake.  I know Larry was with us one or two years.  I was fascinated with the outhouse.  We picked blackberries and mom made blackberry jam…lots of it despite only having pump well water for cooking and canning…and washing.  I fished with Dad and caught a nice big perch, one year.  I remember one long hot trip from home to the cottage, a tire on the old Plymouth blew out.  Tires were very scarce during the war but a garage in Ludington fitted a tractor tire enough to get us into the little lake.  Dad wired back to a friend who owned a tire place in Wyandotte and a tire was sent days later.  That is how scarce tires were during the war.

Some years after the war, we went to a cottage on a Long Lake near the center of the state.  Lots of happy memories.  My week at a church camp?  Not so much.  I was miserable and homesick.

                                         

                                      Oxbow Lake cottage                                                       LongLake Cottage

                                                            

 Birds Nest Camp