Monthly Archives: November 2017

1990’s Tim and Jubie Jacques’ family

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The 1990’s arrived and found my parents in a new town. They had moved to a retirement community, just south of Red Bluff, CA and east of Corning, CA. Corning was the area where Mother had moved to as a child in mid-1930. Rancho Tehama was down a very long 10 mile drive off Interstate 5, then past a cow pasture and up into the foothills. The houses were mostly mobile homes and Mom’s property had about a half-acre of land, on a hillside.  Their home had two bedrooms and a built in hot tub. There was one bathroom.

 

One of the consequences of our parents moving was Aunt Jackie moving into her own apartment. With our parents gone, her apartment was very close to our duplex and thus she came to our house all the time. We all traveled to Mom’s a lot.

In fact, when I was very pregnant with Taylor, about 8 months, we’d driven to Rancho Tehama for the weekend and traveled with Aunt Jackie. She was driving my car back, Paul was in the front seat and I was laying in the back seat (I wasn’t feeling great). We had our windshield busted out by a bird. It was very scary. We pulled over on the median and then I drove home the rest of the way, busted windshield and all.

 

Max Theodore Dodson was born on September 22, 1991 and the following year, Taylor Carson Bennett was born on September 14, 1992. We went to Rancho Tehama a lot when they were little. It was a three hour drive from Stockton. We traveled constantly.

We’d arrive on Friday night at 10 p.m., as we left when Paul got home from work at 7 p.m.  Mother would be in bed already and Daddy would be up watching t.v. but really he was waiting for us to arrive. Momma would come out to say a quick hi then straight back to bed. We’d get up on Saturday and they’d make a huge breakfast about 11. By the afternoon, I’d be playing Scrabble with my parents. The house smelled of cigars, as Daddy smoked his cigar while playing at the table.

For dinner, they’d make steaks marinated in olive oil and garlic. The smell of the barbeque always made your mouth water. There were twice baked potatoes and garlic bread. They were such great cooks.

 

By Sunday, we’d run to Red Bluff to grocery shop. I loved that little town. It was very quaint.  That was really when Walmart became a big box store and we’d shop at the one in Red Bluff because it was the only place in town to get what you needed. On the Fourth of July, we’d go to town for the fireworks display. The whole town showed up and the fireworks were shot over a pond. There was only one movie theater and we’d go there during the summer.

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Mom and dad had a huge satellite dish, in order to get all of the television channels that they wanted to watch.

Daddy planted vegetables and fruit, along with tulips. My dad planted flowers at every home they lived in.

My parents started traveling. The year Tara was five and Eddie three, my parents had taken them to Disneyland. I got to go on that trip as the teenager so that I could take them on the rides. This time, in the early 1990’s, my parents had purchased a van and took all five of their grandchildren to Disneyland. Tara was 15, Jim was 14, Eddie was 13, and Anthony and Nick were both 10. They had such a great trip. Of course, Nick and Tara fought the entire trip. It happens.

 

The 1990’s is the decade my parents took a trip back east. Mother had been wanting to travel so they got in their van and drove from California to New York to view the autumn colors. They stopped at my cousin Dickie’s house in New York. My parents got the biggest kick out of that visit. Dickie took them to where he worked in the Senate, and they were very impressed. They thought Lorraine and the kids were great. But mostly, my dad was so damn proud of Dickie and he knew his brother Epie would have been so damn proud of him too.

 

They also took an Alaskan Cruise. They absolutely loved Ketchikan, Alaska.  They were very impressed with all of the ice and of course, made wonderful cruise friends. That’s how my parents were, they could make friends anywhere, with anyone.

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They also took a trip to Alabama along with my Aunt Kay and my cousin Cynthia Paulson. They visited with all of my Grandpa Hardin’s relatives and my mother was happy to meet so many cousins. Most of them were redheads and Mother fit right in.

 

They also took a cruise with Aunt Fran and Uncle Don. They were the best of friends and just had such a fantastic trip together. Of course, when Mother traveled, (prior to everyone carrying a cell phone) I would go for days without hearing from her and it would drive me crazy. It drives me crazy now, not being able to call Momma. In Dad’s video, you can hear Uncle Don say, “Jubie, phone’s for you. Cookie’s calling you again”. Hahaha. That video made me laugh. As much as it makes me cry, it makes me laugh too. Yes, I’d called Uncle Don like seven times while Mom and Aunt Fran were shopping. I might have been a bit impatient.  And Uncle Don loved me.

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Aunt Fran and Mom

Every time my parents would go on a trip, I’d go stay at their place for a weekend while they were gone. It was never as fun when they were gone.

We also made more than a few trips to New Mexico. The first, when Taylor was just 6 months old. Here she is at the Grand Canyon on our way home.

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The next New Mexico trip was in 1996, when Taylor was four. Tim, Jackie and Paul and I along with Taylor, Cammie, Jim and Nick met up with Mom and Dad. They’d driven with Eddie. It was a great trip.

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Aunt Lucy, Mom, Taylor, Dad
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Cam, Nick, Jim in New Mexico

For as much as they loved living in Rancho Tehama, Momma kept her doctors in Stockton. Consequently, she would come back to Stockton every time she had a doctor visit, so in between our trips up there, they’d come back and stay a day or two at a time.

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Laurie, Taylor, Max and Dad
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Dad, Mom and Baby Dana Madsen

When I was pregnant with Taylor, Momma and Daddy came and stayed for about a week, driving us to the hospital. I went into the hospital and my Mom and Dad took your dad out to dinner. I was perturbed, to say the least. I thought it very unfair that I was laboring away and my parents decided he needed to go eat. Haha, makes me laugh to think of it now. With the pain my mother had, I knew it was very difficult for her to sit at the hospital hour after hour with me. Part way through the night, she had to leave for a few hours but Maxine stayed with me. See, Momma was very happy that Maxine was strong and resilient and able to sit for the long hours my mother couldn’t.
After an emergency C-section, my Mom and my Mother in law were outside of the nursery window, waiting for Taylor to be brought out, along with your aunts, and they both started screaming and jumping up and down when Paul came out with that baby. Paul couldn’t figure out how they knew it was a girl but that pink knit hat had given it away. Gosh, they were so happy. Taylor was the first Bennett granddaughter (followed by Lauren, then Hailey) and the second for my mom and dad. They took us home from the hospital, too. Mother let my dog, Buddy, smell that new baby, then told him that she was ours. Buddy was a very good dog and the only time he misbehaved was licking Cheerios off Taylor’s fingers.

In 1995, we had a 40th birthday party for Tim. That was a very fun day.

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Mom and Dad had a good run living in Rancho Tehama.

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Taylor and Max
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1996 New Years Eve. I let Taylor stay up. Mom and Dad had already gone to bed but got back up for the New Year.

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Mother battled health problems for the entire decade.

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Two more great events occurred in the 1990’s.  Aunt Jackie and Uncle Roger got married on September 27,1997.

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Jackie and Roger

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Jim and Stefanie got married on December 28, 1997 in Monterey, CA and then had a church wedding on November 28, 1998. Taylor was the flower girl in each of these weddings.

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Eddie was supposed to be in Jim’s wedding but Eddie had enlisted in the U.S. Army and thus missed the service. Anthony filled in for his brother.

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These were the last big events my parents were to participate in.

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Me, Tara, Jackie, Laurie, Cammie, Momma and Taylor

The last grandchild to be born while my mother was alive was William Jacques Bennett. I had toyed with the idea of naming him William Charles, after my grandfather but then I thought about it and really liked the idea of naming him our family name.

Brand New Jacques being bathed by Aunt Cammie and Grandma Jubie in the sink
Taylor, Ed, Anth, Nick, Max and Jim

The one event that crystallized our family life in the 1990’s was the year we all celebrated Christmas at my mom’s house. I don’t think Jacques was born yet, but every member of our family was present. Usually there would be someone missing from a holiday, but that Christmas, each and every one of us was present.  All nineteen of us, under one roof. And yes, one bathroom. That was a hell of a holiday. My mother was so damn happy. We sang songs, ate Christmas dinner, opened gifts, it was every holiday movie rolled into one, much to my mother’s delight. There were people sleeping in every room. Mother had the kids make Christmas lists for her and then she purchased every single item on the list. She said she needed to spoil them while she could.

 

In the last three years of the 1990’s, Mother’s health really deteriorated. She had a new tumor and we found that the cancer was active again and had spread to her brain. She was 69 years old and was coming up on a big birthday. By the new decade, she would be turning 70 years old. I had another  great brainstorm…we should throw Momma a big bash for her birthday. It was going to be a surprise party and I had her invitations designed. Unfortunately, the party was never meant to be.

 

The turn of the new century was kind of weird. Everyone thought that the whole Y2K thing was real, that at midnight, all of our computers would explode, that the internet would self-destruct and that time would stand still. It didn’t. Paul and I went to dinner on New Years Eve with Momma and Daddy at Stockton Joe’s. Then we picked up the kids and took them back home. But in a way, time did stop for us. Momma had brain surgery, trying to eradicate the cancer. It didn’t work. She and Dad had been forced to sell their home in Rancho Tehama and move back to Stockton. We spent our last Christmas together, as a family, in a small rental home here in Stockton on East Benjamin Holt Drive.

Growing up, my mother had been very particular about her Christmas Tree. She always liked a Silver Tip Christmas Tree. I went out and bought one with elegant branches and that Christmas Tree smell.

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I hung all of her lovely decorations and then tinsel, strand by strand. We tried to make it the best Christmas we could. But there was a pall in the air, one that we couldn’t run from, couldn’t hide from, one that would change us forever.

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Jacques, Taylor and Grandma Jubie
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Jacques family in the 1980’s or the Party Decade

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By the dawn of the 1980’s, we’d moved to Stockton, CA. My Grandma Tonita had passed away in the 1970’s, but by the 1980’s my Grandma Flora was ill. After my Grandfather Charles’ heart attack and passing in 1960, she had remarried in 1965. She had married Neil True. My mother wasn’t fond of him, but got along with him, for my grandmother’s sake. We all called him Pappy.

By 1980, Grandma Flora was 78 years old, had suffered a stroke and was then diagnosed with breast cancer. My mother moved her off the hill where she lived in Nevada City, and moved her into a small duplex off of Quail Lakes. Pappy had health issues too. Aunt Kay took care of all the bookwork/banking for them, so my mother took care of Grandma and Pappy. My mother was very close to her mother and she did her level best to take good care of her. However, it was difficult for her to deal with Pappy. My mother would hire someone to take care of Grandma Flora and Pappy would fire them. My mom took a lot of stress from him. Eventually, my mother gave in and she cared for Grandma and Pappy herself during the day and I would get done with school and go and stay there at night, taking care of them. They were mostly asleep the entire time I was there, however I did make them dinner, help them get into bed and then sleep over.

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We finally found a nurse that was a godsend. Her name was Emily. Suffice it to say, Grandma Flora liked Emily and so Pappy wasn’t able to fire her.

My mother’s time was consumed by her parents. However, Momma also had three grandchildren with whom she spent a great deal of time.

 

When we moved to Stockton, Tara Lynn was about two years old. There was a double fireplace that went from the family room to the dining room. Tara would peek through the fireplace and say, “I see Papa through the willow”. Willow was her name for window. She was such a cute baby.

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Tara Lynn in front of the “Willow”

By 1982, Grandma Flora was very ill and not doing well. She finally passed away on May 22, 1982. My mom was devastated. I’ll never forget the sight of her laying on her bed, sobbing. As soon as my grandmother had passed, Pappy’s “family” had arrived to take over with Pappy. They immediately wanted all of the money in Grandma’s account and began packing up their things, including Grandma’s belongings. My mother was so incredibly hurt. She internalized all of the stress and pain

At one point, my sisters and I may have broken into my grandmother’s home and retrieved everything of hers that we could. We may have.

My father squired mother away for a brief trip, hoping to get her back on her feet.

Eventually, Pappy’s family took him to Washington to live out his days. However, once he, too, had died, they shipped him back to California so that he could be buried with Flora.

A short time later, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Mother felt certain that she had developed the cancer from the extreme stress she had suffered. She was probably correct. She also found out she was suffering from diabetes. She had a mastectomy then had radiation and chemotherapy. She fought back.

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Eddie, Jim (Dad in the background) in the front yard of Harper’s Ferry Ct.

I used to play Scrabble with my parents. We’d sit at the kitchen table and play for hours at a time. We had such a great time playing that damn game. My mother was difficult to beat. She’d really get a thrill if she got a great word score. She was very competitive and found it impossible to hold back and then my dad would get tired of losing and decide he didn’t want to play any more. So my mom would think about letting him win but she just couldn’t do it. We played games all the time including Dominos, Black Jack, Thirty-One, Poker, and Uno. But we’d always go back to Scrabble.

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I graduated from high school in 1983

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My parents had two more grandchildren, Anthony Laubenstein and Nicholas Stromgren.

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John, Laurie, Dad, Mom, Jackie, Cammie, baby Nick, Tim, me, Rich, Tara, Jim and Eddie

My dad had been working in the Bay Area when we moved to Stockton and he continued to do so. He’d drive down to San Jose on Monday morning, some weeks he’d stay there for the entire week and then return to Stockton on Friday night. We lived at 3218 Harper’s Ferry Court. They were very happy to be back in the town where they’d met.

 

I met your dad, Paul, in 1984. We’d dated for several years then became engaged. My mother took my mother in law Maxine out to lunch by themselves. I was kinda worried about it but my mother drove them to the Nut Tree in Vacaville for a lovely lunch (as my mother was inclined to do). When they returned, I asked my mother what they talked about. She was cagey, just said that everything was fine. Truthfully, I think my mother was trying to gauge how Maxine would be as a Grandparent. I think my mother recognized that she wouldn’t be on this earth as long as she wanted, wouldn’t be able to grandmother you kids as she thought you deserved. The only thing my mother told me about that lunch was that she was surprised Grandma Maxine had said your dad wasn’t her hardest child to raise, haha.

In 1986, my cousins Rose Marie and Anna Marie Lujan threw a 70th birthday party for Aunt Flora (my dad’s double first cousin).

 

My parents and really our entire family had the best time. It was a Roaring Twenties costume party and they just had a ball. My dad had a few drinks and my brother ended up driving all of us home.

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1987 was the 35th Anniversary. I knew my mother was ill, I didn’t foresee her celebrating their 50th Anniversary, so I  put together a wedding for them. My parents had run off to Las Vegas (my Aunt Jean had notoriously given them six months before they divorced) and I just felt they really deserved a large affair. I planned it as if it were a wedding. It was amazing. All of my dad’s friends from when he was a teenager showed up. Relatives and friends alike, it was a hell of a shindig. I was very proud of how their wedding turned out. It was a great party.

 

By 1989, Paul and I got married. My parents paid for most of my wedding and it was a real opportunity for them to throw a fancy wedding.

 

We got married at Morris Chapel (yep, same place mother had married that other man) and had close to 200 people attend. Having my dad walk me down the aisle meant the world to me. My mom and Maxine lit two candles on the alter then your dad and I lit one unity candle. We had a nice wedding. Paul and I went on our honeymoon on a Mexican cruise. My mom was mad because I hadn’t called her during my honeymoon.

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By the time my wedding was over, Dad decided it was time for him to retire and for them to really start traveling.

We got married in September. We’d go to my mom’s house for dinner every night after work, because I knew Momma would be making dinner and really, why should I have to make a whole dinner too? Haha.

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By November 1989, my parents sold their home on Harper’s Ferry Court and had moved three hours away to Rancho Tehama. Their home was in a small community up in the foothills just south of Red Bluff, CA. We really enjoyed spending time there. I also learned how to cook for myself.  The end of the 1980’s found my parents squirreled away in a region where there were birds to watch, deer who visited and a daughter who called her mother every day, sometimes three and four times a day.

The new decade brought about new grandchildren, a new home and the end of the Jacques family as we knew it.

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(Venita) Maxine Bailey Bennett

November 13, 1925 – February 28, 2016

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Venita Maxine was born the fourth of five children to Leonard R. Bailey and Mary A Butterworth Bailey. Her siblings were (Leonard) Vaughn, Claron, Vayles and her one sister Mary Mirian Bailey Wadsworth.

The Bailey family

Before I started writing my blog, I had read a copy of a book that had been written by Aunt Mirian. She had given it to her sister Maxine and her writing was so beautiful, I was simply entranced. She detailed their lives of growing up as a family so perfectly, I could see and hear each of the family members without ever having met them. I was hooked. So, part of the descriptions we have of Maxine come from her sister. There was such a truth to her writing that I knew that I wanted to write something like she had written. She had loved her family and shared her words out of that love. That is what I have tried to do with my blog.

Aunt Mirian was five years older than Maxine and said that Maxine had been born at home. They lived at 3507 South, 13th East in Salt Lake City. Because of their age difference, Aunt Mirian thought of Maxine as a troublesome younger sister. She resented having to share a room with her because her sister seemed like a foreigner, mostly because from the day Maxine was born, she was a saint. Maxine had a quiet, sunny personality, gentle and obliging. Maxine lived in a secure little world of her own, reading and drawing, and excelling in everything she did. Except her housework. Mirian recalled chasing Maxine up over the canal bridge and literally dragging her down to the house to finish some chore. That makes me laugh.

When Maxine was three, she was given the privilege of naming her baby brother. I cannot fathom anyone letting a three year old name a baby, but she choose Vayles. And that, my children, is why we don’t let three year olds choose names.Maxine as a little girl

Mirian thought Maxine was predominately a Butterworth, like her mother, inheriting all the good and worthy traits and none of the Bailey fire and brimstone. Maxine moved serenely through childhood, playing with her friend Bernice Cummins across the road. She was undemanding and pleasant, never one to pick a quarrel. When she was two years old, their father taught Maxine to spell all of their names and he delighted in showing her off.

 

When Maxine was in the 7th grade, her mother had been hit by a car crossing Highland Drive on their way to a show at their church. She was taken by ambulance to the County hospital. Mirian said they had been waiting for a movie to start at the church when a neighbor came to take them to the hospital. Mirian walked into the hospital holding Vayles’ hand, scared to death what they would find. Her mother was lying on a gurney. Her hair had come undone and was hanging over the side of the bed. She had a great bloody gash on her head. Her mother’s face was white with pain and shock but she still whispered that she was alright to her children. Mirian couldn’t recall who had taken the children back to the house, but she’d spent the night next to Vayles, her youngest brother. They were all too upset to sleep. In the morning, a car came down the drive and Mirian thought her mother had died. She hadn’t. It was her Uncle John bringing her father home, but Mirian said she would never forget that awful moment when she was certain her mother had passed away.

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Maxine and Mirian

Their mother’s pelvis had been fractured and her left leg was broken in eleven places. Some of the doctors thought it should be amputated but her doctor said no. He put a huge cast on it from her thigh down to her toes with ugly looking pins through the knee and ankle.

Mirian says, “I remember dreaming one night that she had indeed died and I ran from the sleeping porch where Maxine and I slept, down the hall to her room and stood by the side of the bed straining in the night light to see if she were breathing. She (her mother) must have sensed me being there because she awakened. I was so relieved I began to cry. She held out her arms and I fell on top of the covers as close as I could manage to get to my mother in her narrow little bed and she held me tightly against her until I could stop crying.”

Maxine was forced to miss the 7th grade completely. She stayed home and cared for her mother after not being able to find a nurse. Maxine was chosen to stay home because Mirian was a senior in high school and her parents wanted her to graduate with her class. Mirian says it didn’t slow Maxine down one bit. Maxine went straight into the 8th grade and brought home straight A’s.

 

Mirian was given $1 each day and she would have to decide what to make for dinner, walk to the store and then go home and make dinner for “three hungry brothers, a sometimes impatient father, uncomplaining Mama, Maxine and myself.” She’d feed 7 people on that $1 a day. Ground beef was 2 lbs for a quarter and their cow provided milk. They churned butter from the milk and they had plenty of eggs.

Mirian said her diary, during this period of time, was filled with her own withering disapproval of Maxine’s adolescent laziness (as she judged it) and the mountains of wash and ironing she had every Saturday.

We are so lucky to have such a clear picture of Maxine’s childhood: how her life was impacted by the way they grew up on a farm, her mother’s accident, and how the consequences of that accident played into their futures.

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Maxine and her mother,Mary Bailey

The Bailey family was a fine Salt Lake Mormon family and took their religion seriously. One of the tenants of their church is to write in their diary every day. Maxine took this seriously indeed. From the time she was a young girl, Maxine kept a diary and wrote in it every day. Her diaries are very fun to read because most of the diary entries would contain where she went and what she did, but every once in a while, the real inner Maxine comes out. These little gems make each diary a wonderful read.

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Bailey kids

In the diary from November 13, 1940, her fifteenth birthday, Maxine says she left for school in a “I must appreciate my blessings mood.” She wore an orange dress and her stockings kept sliding down at the knees. She says all in all, school wasn’t much fun that day. Maxine received $2 for her birthday. At the eleventh hour, she went to a carnival at Z.C.M.I. (a department store in Salt Lake. It stands for Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Institution, the very first department store in the United States. This store was founded on October 9, 1868). Claron didn’t get a doughnut, none of them had cider but it was fun. She ended her birthday by deciding she would ask Eugene to go to the dance with her the next day at school. She didn’t do any of her homework and didn’t put up her hair. She ends her post, “good-nite”.

 

By 1943, Maxine’s birthday entry says her dinner was super. Her best friend Bernice brought her a lovely green scarf and was asked to stay for supper. Mirian and Milton gave Maxine a bracelet and necklace. Vayles gave her a huge bottle of lotion and Claron contributed $2.01 toward the gift. She says they wrapped wedding cake until 11:30 p.m.. and that the bride to be (Mirian) was rather silly. This makes me laugh and we get to see some of Maxine’s thoughts of Mirian. Mirian and Milton Wadsworth were married on November 19th, 1943.

 

 

Maxine graduated from Granite High School in 1943 and not surprisingly, went to McAllen, Texas, on her Mission for the Mormon Church. She learned to speak fluent Spanish and had a terrific experience there.

Next up…a Tuesday Bride

Bride