Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Backstory - Margie's Recollection of May 6, 1940

 
 Note: This email was sent to me today from my grandmother, Margie, in response to the blog post about her father's murder on May 6, 1940. The picture above was taken of my Grandmother shortly after she arrived home that night. 71 years later, she still thinks of him every day, so this was a very difficult letter for her to write. I am so grateful of her taking the time to capture her memories on paper and share it with us.
 
IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL SPRING DAY, MAY 6, 1940.  I HAD JUST FINISHED MY CLASSES AT USC AND DECIDED TO GO TO THE LIBRARY TO STUDY.  ONLY THREE WEEKS OF SCHOOL LEFT, AND OF COURSE, THERE WERE TESTS COMING UP AND A FEW TERM PAPERS DUE, SO WHERE ELSE TO
COORDINATE ALL THAT KNOWLEDGE BUT AT DOHENY LIBRARY.
 
I WAS SO HAPPY.  FINALLY JIM HASTINGS HAD ASKED ME FOR A DATE AND THAT WAS TO BE THAT EVENING.  IT TOOK A  LOT OF WORK ON OUR MUTUAL FRIENDS TO HAVE THIS COME ABOUT.  I WAS DATING CHUCK, A GOOD FRIEND OF JIM'S, SO HE WAS RATHER RELUCTANT TO ASK ME OUT..
WE HAD BEEN EYEING EACH OTHER FOR ALMOST A MONTH, SO  AT LAST!!!  MONDAY NIGHTS WERE SORORITY AND FRATERNITY MEETINGS, SO ABOUT 8PM EVERYONE "HUNG OUT" ON 28TH STREET WITH THEIR DATES.  IF THE GUYS WERE FEELING FLUSHED, WE MIGHT GO OVER ON FIGUEROA TO SIMON'S, FOR THEIR "TWIN HAMBURGERS"  THESE WERE EARLY "SLIDERS" AND WERE VERY POPULAR
 
THE LIBRARY WAS CROWDED SO I FOUND A SEAT NEAR KATIE LOFTUS, A SORORITY SISTER, AND WE SETTLED DOWN TO STUDY.  I THINK IT WAS ABOUT 3PM WHEN CHUCK CAME IN THE LIBRARY TO FIND ME.  HE SAID THAT HE HAD BEEN IN THE DEAN'S OFFICE, WHEN SHE GOT A CALL THAT I WAS TO GO HOME, AS THERE WAS AN EMERGENCY.  THAT IS ALL HE KNEW.  I THINK LOOKING BACK THAT THE DEAN KNEW THE REAL STORY BUT DIDN'T WANT ME TO KNOW NOR DID SHE TELL CHUCK WHAT IT WAS.
 
AS HE HAD A MEETING IN A FEW MINUTES, CHUCK SAID TO TAKE HIS CAR TO GO TO SOUTH PASADENA, AND HE WOULD HAVE SKINNY ELLIS DRIVE HIM OUT WHEN THE MEETING WAS OVER TO PICK UP THE CAR.  KATIE INSISTED ON GOING WITH ME, AND OF COURSE I WAS GLAD.
SO WE HEADED OUT ON THE NEW PASADENA FREEWAY.  CHUCK HAD AN ELEGANT BUICK CONVERTIBLE SO WE HAD THE TOP DOWN AND THE MUSIC LOUD.  I THINK I THOUGHT THE EMERGENCY WAS MY MOTHER.  SHE HAD NOT BEEN WELL, AND I GUESS I THOUGHT SHE MIGHT BE IN THE HOSPITAL.  I REALLY DON'T KNOW WHAT I THOUGHT, I WAS IN A BIT OF A SHOCK.
 
AT 4PM THE MUSIC STOPPED AND THE NEWS CAME ON.  THAT IS WHEN I HEARD WHAT THIS EMERGENCY WAS.  IT WAS VERY DETAILED, AND NAMES WERE GIVEN.  KATIE WANTED TO DRIVE, BUT I SAID NO.  I REALLY DON'T REMEMBER WHAT I FELT AT THAT TIME.  WHEN I GOT TO OUR HOME AND GOT OUT OF THE CAR, ABOUT 8 REPORTERS FROM ALL THE LOS ANGELES AND PASADENA PAPERS DESCENDED ON ME WITH QUESTIONS.  I THINK I SCREAMED FOR THEM TO LEAVE ME ALONE.  I REALLY CAN'T REMEMBER WHAT I DID.  I DO KNOW THAT MY MOTHER HAD BEEN SEDATED BY THE DOCTOR SO I WAS IN CHARGE.  IT WAS A HEAVY RESPONSIBILITY FOR A 20 YEAR OLD.  I COMPLETELY FELL APART WHEN THE MORTUARY OWNER CAME AND HANDED ME MY DAD'S GLASSES, WALLET AND SOME OTHER ITEMS THAT HE HAD HAD WITH HIM. 
 
CHUCK AND SKINNY CAME OUT AND TOOK ME TO THE MONTEREY INN FOR SOME FOOD.
AND THAT IS JUST ABOUT ALL I REMEMBER OF THAT WEEK AT HOME.  I MUST HAVE EATEN, AND THE NEIGHBORS WERE THERE TO SUPPORT ME.  MY BROTHER, WHO LIVED IN NEW YORK, ARRIVED SEVERAL DAYS LATER AND I WAS VERY HAPPY TO TURN OVER THE DECISIONS TO HIM.
AS FOR THE FUNERAL.  I COULDN'T TELL ANYONE WHAT IT WAS LIKE.  I KEPT MY EYES SHUT THE WHOLE TIME.  THE CHURCH WAS FILLED TO CAPACITY AS HE WAS SO WELL LIKED IN THE COMMUNITY AND THE HIGH SCHOOL
 
I DO REMEMBER GOING TO SLEEP FINALLY EACH NIGHT, BUT WHEN I WOKE UP I REALIZED IT WAS NOT A NIGHTMARE.  THAT WAS THE HARDEST.  A WEEK PASSED AND I HAD TO GET BACK TO SCHOOL.  MY BROTHER WAS STAYING ON.  I WAS SO RELIEVED TO RETURN TO THE SORORITY HOUSE.  MY FRIENDS WERE WONDERFUL, AND AS I HAD A LOT TO MAKE UP, I KEPT VERY BUSY WHICH HELPED ME.  MY PROFESSORS WERE COOPERATIVE.  I TOOK MISSED TESTS IN THEIR OFFICES, AND HAD AN EXTRA WEEK FOR MY TERM PAPERS.  COMING BACK TO A NORMAL LIFE PUT ME ON THE ROAD TO SOME KIND OF RECOVERY.
 
AS FOR THAT DATE WITH JIM -  IT NEVER HAPPENED, BUT OF COURSE SEVERAL WEEKS LATER WE GOT TOGETHER, AND YOU KNOW THE REST.  LOOKING BACK I KNOW THAT THE ROMANCE, WRITING EVERY DAY, HEALED ME SOMEWHAT AND GAVE ME THE HOPE OF  A HAPPY FUTURE.
 
SOON I WILL WRITE ABOUT MY RELATIONSHIP WITH MY DAD.  IT WAS VERY REMARKABLE AND I AM SURE ANY GOOD QUALITIES I HAVE, I CAN LOOK BACK TO HIS LOVE AND SUPPORT.
 
THANK YOU LAURA FOR CARING ABOUT ME AND  WRITING SO ALL MY FAMILY WILL KNOW WHO I AM AND WHAT A WONDERFUL LIFE I HAVE HAD.  AND WILL STILL HAVE!!!!!  REMEMBER, I AM LIVING TO 106 AND I HAVE A LOT OF ADVENTURES STILL TO COME.
 
LOVE,
MARGIE

2 Comments:

At February 16, 2011 at 12:06 AM , Blogger Jennie said...

wow. what a gift that you can hear these stories from your grandma, Laura!

 
At February 16, 2011 at 1:46 PM , Blogger Laura Faith said...

I am so, so, so lucky. I never want to take the gift of Margie for granted.

 

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