THE EARLY YEARS

by Millie Wyant


I tend to forget that life has not always been as it is now. There is a comfortableness about aging. The struggles, the searching for dreams, and the reaching for the best for your life have either been attained and you have the rewards or the dreams just don't seem important anymore. However, when I stop and think of all the improvements that have come along in my lifetime I have another kind of comfortableness, a creature comfort. When I was a teenager I thought the world was as modern as it could get. What else could possibly be invented? We had the automobile, airplanes, electricity, radio and even phonograph records. Televisions, computers, jet planes, calculators, microwaves and many things we take for granted now were just science fiction. back then. I'm going to try to think back to what life was like in my early years before these things came along.


I was the oldest of six children and only a little over seven years old when the fifth one was born. It was an extremely happy childhood with young happy parents and someone always to play with. We didn't have much polish and were a little poor but it didn't bother us at all. Mother had a big garden and we had chickens and a cow so we had plenty to eat and were always healthy. There are lots of stories about my childhood such as the time my dad bought a cow with no tail, probably at a reduced rate, and tied rags to the stump of her tail so she could swish the flies off her. These stories can be told another time. I want to start this one a little later in my life.

I didn't know him yet, but while my future husband was off fighting a war, I was graduating from high school. Everything was for the war effort. Factories were making tanks, ships and planes. Our class didn't have a yearbook because of the paper shortage. Since I still lived at home and rode public transportation everywhere I went, I didn't have to worry about gas rationing or other rationing, but there were lots of shortages. It was a scary time. Nazi subs had been seen off the coast in the east and some Japanese balloon bombs had landed in Oregon. I had a couple of bad dreams about being conquered by the "Japs".

When I got a job after high school I had to dress up. Since you couldn't buy "silk" or "rayon" hose anymore, we wore leg make-up out of a bottle and it could be pretty messy until it dried. Some girls even made seams down the back of their "hose" with an eyebrow pencil. I could never get that to come out right so my "hose" were always seamless. Nylons had just been invented but were quickly discontinued because nylon was needed for parachutes during the war. A garter belt worn around your hips held your hose up. The pantyhose of today are much more comfortable.

My job as a secretary was a little different back then, too. I used "shorthand" when my boss dictated his letters. There were no copy machines so every letter I typed had to be done with carbon paper between two or three papers. If you made a mistake, first you "whited" it out on the top sheet. Then you had to erase each mistake on the carbon copy and type in the correct letter. When several copies were needed, I made them by "cutting a stencil. A stencil was a soft jelled type paper that you typed directly on. It was then fitted on a duplicating machine that made copies. It was hard to correct mistakes on the stencil, too. Therefore, you soon learned to be a better typist.

Finally the war was over. Factories were producing things for the individual again. It took awhile to meet the demand so there were waiting lists to buy things. I had my name on a waiting list for "nylons" and on a list for a record player. Finally my record player came in. I was thrilled. It cost a lot of money even though it only played one record at a time and they were the big 78 rpm records. However, it soon was old fashioned. In only a few months, an improved record player came out that held several records with an automatic changer that played the whole stack ... and it was cheaper. Sound familiar?

But the best part of the war being over was that there were boys around again! That's when I met my sweetie on a blind date one April night. One of my school friends and one of Ralph's friends were dating and they introduced us. At first we were always with our friends, mostly going to midget races, movies and to the "Big Band" appearances that came to town. One night Ralph and I, our friends, and another couple went to the midget races together. From there, we went to a midnight movie at the drive-in theater. We were all in one car. Cars were bigger back then with bench seats in front and back. After the movie was over we decided to go to Cincinnati for breakfast and to Coney Island (the forerunner of King's Island) to spend the day. That was the day we fell in love. How could I keep from falling in love with a guy who showed me such a good time!

On the rear view mirror of Ralph's 1936 Ford was a small round clock that you wound by pulling an attached cord. Because I was fascinated with that little clock, Ralph would let it run down so that I could wind it when we dated. When he sold his car, he kept the clock. It is one of my prize possessions even now, partly because I still think it's neat but mostly because of the memory.

Millie and Ralph

We got engaged. Our courtship was fun and we laughed a lot, such as the time I struck the match to light his cigarette and as he leaned over I yelled "stop". He slammed the brakes on right in the middle of the block with no one around. Another time, at an especially noisy place in the movie I asked him pretty loudly "Do you love me?". The only thing wrong was, at that precise moment the music stopped and everyone in the theater heard me.

We set the wedding date for July 16, 1947, a year and three months after we met. First, we had to find a place to live and that wasn't easy in those days. The depression and then the war had pretty much put a halt to any construction for several years. Lots of other couples were looking for a place to live, also. Rental housing consisted of a few old established expensive apartment buildings or quick make-overs in people's homes. After checking want ads and making many calls for several days, I finally found a vacancy. It was a small one-room studio in the upstairs of the landlord's house. There were three apartments up there that shared a bath. At least it had an outside entrance. It wasn't the greatest but it was all we could find.

Our wedding day came. We were married on a Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in Calvary Church. The church was full and as we left the whole church was standing out on the sidewalk wishing us well and watching us leave. We felt almost famous. Little did we know that Ralph's best friend, Lowell Chandler, had secretly hooked a smoke bomb to a spark plug in the car and this little stunt had been whispered through the crowd. Needless to say, when Ralph started the car and the bomb went off, we were shocked but everyone else laughed and cheered. It was fun.

We settled into our little apartment for a couple of years. We both had jobs. Ralph was working in Greenfield and I was a secretary downtown. After a few months one of the bigger apartments became vacant and we moved into it, but we still shared the bathroom. Once, when we had company, I kept wondering why Ralph didn't come out of the bathroom so I knocked on the door to see if he was o.k. It turns out he had darted in there in just his shorts to take a bath. After getting him some clothes, he came back in the apartment with a red face.

I learned to cook, mostly hamburger. Meat wasn't pre- packaged and since I didn't know anything about it, I sometimes made mistakes such as the flank steak that was so tough we had to throw it out. Ralph had worked in a meat market so if he was with me, I knew what to buy. Frozen dinners weren't on the market yet, so I couldn't fall back on that. Margarine was replacing butter but the government wouldn't allow it to be colored like butter. It looked like lard when you bought it but there was a little yellow capsule that came with it and when you mixed it real well with the margarine it looked just like butter. Cake mixes were new. Most older men were convinced the "made from scratch" were much better but we thought they were delicious.

In our one-room apartment we had an icebox. Every three or four days we had to go to the icehouse to buy a 50lb block of ice. Sometimes we forgot to empty the pan that caught the melting ice under the icebox and it would run over, making quite a mess. We were very happy that when we moved to the two-room apartment down the hall, we had a refrigerator.

People didn't have televisions yet so we had to entertain ourselves by playing games or reading or talking. One of the games we were playing one night was to try and kick each other out of bed, which proved to be successful part of the time. You can imagine how that sounded downstairs. Soon there was a knock at the door and our landlady was standing there ready to rescue whoever was being beat up. When she saw us laughing, she knew everything was o.k and just told us to be a little quieter.

To celebrate our first year anniversary, we decided to go to the Smoky Mountains and Washington D. C. We didn't plan ahead very well. The rod bearings in the car were loose but Ralph thought the car would make the trip all right if we didn't drive too fast and we could wait until we got home to get the car fixed. So off we went for a week's vacation driving forty miles an hour. The interstates had not been built yet and, compared to today, there wasn't much traffic so the forty miles an hour wasn't too bad. On the way home we drove on the new Pennsylvania Turnpike for a few miles, thought it boring, and got off as soon as we could.

I can't remember why we did it, but we sold our nice 1941 Plymouth. It was considered a late model car since no cars had been made between 1941 and 1947. We lived close to town and thought we didn't need a car because busses and streetcars ran every ten or fifteen minutes. Before long, though, it seemed too much trouble to ride a bus to Greenfield and to my folk's house so we bought a 1934 Ford Coupe. However, we didn't drive it anymore than necessary because at a stoplight when you shifted gears to go, sometimes it went backwards and sometimes it went forwards. You never knew what it was going to do.

Almost two years after we were married, we had a baby. That's what I kept saying over and over in my dazed by anesthesia condition after he was born. "You mean we really got a baby!!?" I loved children and would have been the unhappiest person in the world if I couldn't have a child. He was born on June 11, 1949 and we named him Ralph Stephen and called him "Stevie". We thought he was the prettiest and smartest baby that had ever been born.

Back in those days you were treated like an invalid after having a baby. I wasn't supposed to get out of bed for ten days, had to use the bedpan for the three days I was in the hospital, and went by ambulance to my mother's house for four weeks because I wasn't supposed to climb stairs to our apartment or do hardly anything else. I was glad to be at Mother's because I didn't know much about babies and she showed me how to bathe and take care of Stevie.

Babies weren't allowed in our apartment so we rented half of a double, bought furniture, and moved to Beville Street just off Tenth Street. We were so pleased to have a front and back door and thought we were coming up in the world. For heat, there was a coal furnace that we didn't know anything about. We were told that you can bank them or flank them or whatever to keep them burning all night but never did learn to do that so every morning we had to go to the cellar and build a fire. That winter John L. Lewis called a miners strike and the coal mines shut down. Because we had a baby, we were allowed to have a little coal until the strike was settled.

Ralph was having job problems. After the political parties changed and he was let go from the State Garage in Greenfield he got a civil service job at Fort Harrison. When Steve was nine months old, Fort Harrison closed. Ralph was out of work again. Since the veteran's bill of rights would pay for schooling and a little extra to live on he decided to go to diesel school at Utilities Engineering Institute in Chicago. We put our furniture in storage, Steve and I went to stay with my parents, and Ralph went to School.

Even though this was only a four-month school, after a few weeks we missed each other so much that he found a furnished room for all of us. Steve and I got on a train and went to Chicago. We didn't have much money so you can imagine what the room was like, then again maybe you can't. We only stayed a week. The room wasn't so bad but it was located above a tavern, with live music playing most of the night. It took a key to get in the building, a key to get on our floor, and another key to get in our room. This made us a little suspicious but a couple of things happened that made us think this was no place for us. A mother and son lived next door and we could hear him yelling at her that he was going to kill her. Then one night the police came because someone on the floor above us threw an old man down the stairs. That decided it, Steve and I went home to stay with my parents and Ralph went back to the dormitory.

Even though Ralph was able to come home every two weeks, my mother saw how much we missed each other so one weekend when he was home, she suggested I go back with him and let her keep Steve. He only had six more weeks of school and we could come home on weekends. It was a hard decision to make but I did go back with him and we found a place to live that wasn't too bad.

I got a job at Woolworth's Dime store that was located across the street from the Bijou Theater where John Dillinger had been shot several years ago. Stores were different back then. There were no check-outs in the front of the store, purchases were paid for at each counter. I worked in a small aisle surrounded by counters of lotions, creams, and other toiletries and a counter of curtains on the end. I had a cash register and people paid for their purchases to me. It was also my job to keep my counters stocked from the storeroom. It was almost like having my own store and I loved it and did so well that I got the next step up in pay instead of the beginning rate. I'm sorry to say their faith in me was unrewarded. On Steve's first birthday we went home when I was supposed to work. When I got back I was fired.

Those days in Chicago were quite an experience. We didn't have any money so we spent a lot of time at the free Lincoln Park Zoo, taking rides on the El, and frequently sat on a bench down at the corner where we lived and watched the streetcars and traffic at midnight. It was a busy intersection and it seemed the town never slept.

After getting his diploma, Ralph got a job at Indiana Railroad. We found a four-room apartment on Pennsylvania Street, borrowed money from Ray and moved in. It was great to be living like a family again. It gets even better. On May 2, 1951 we were blessed with another beautiful baby boy who we named David Wayne. Poor little guy had a bad case of chickenpox when he was not quite three months old. The doctor said this was unusual at such an early age. Steve had just got over a light case of them with only about five spots on him. It was sad to see that tiny baby with all of those spots on him but it didn't seem to bother him. Dave was such a good baby. About the only time he cried was when you took a picture of him. Maybe he didn't like the flashbulb. When Dave got a little older, he had such beautiful red curly hair, everyone seemed to want to touch his curls. He hated it but he was so cute.

We bought one of those new-fangled televisions. It was a Hallicrafter with a plug in back for color television when and if color came out. I can't imagine what the genius who thought that up had in mind. It had a small screen but not as small as the one our friends had. They had one of the earliest versions and had to put a big (made for that purpose) magnifying glass in front of the screen. There was only one channel on the air and it didn't come on until evening. Milton Berle had one of the first shows but our favorite was Arthur Godfrey. Wrestling was also on and Ralph liked that.

We lived on Pennsylvania Street for a couple of years until we finally saved enough money to buy a small house on Centennial for a total cost of $8000. Payments were $58 a month with a twenty-year loan at 41/2 per cent interest rate. This was a National Home "tract" house built because of the post-war housing demand. It had a living room, kitchen, two bedrooms, bath and heated by a space heater in a utility room. The houses all looked alike and there were many jokes about a guy who went home drunk and got in the wrong house. The small fenced yard looked large to us. It was a blessing to have it for the boys after what we were use to. Again, it was all we could afford so we were happy with it.

I was pregnant when we moved and on September 5, 1953 Gregory Lee was born. Birthing had sure changed in the last four years since Steve was born even though I had the same Dr. J. P. Worley. I was able to get out of bed immediately and after three days in the hospital came home and took care of all three boys. There was no more pampering for me.

Greg had lots of black hair and was beautiful and perfect as the other two were. With each child, the mother instinct in me got stronger. Sometimes, as I rocked Greg, I would get all teary just thinking of the miracle of this tiny little guy and how much I loved our little ones. Greg was a happy baby. At three months, the photographer tried to get a sober picture of him but every time he looked at him, Greg smiled or laughed. He responded to everyone that way and everyone loved him.

This turned out to be a fun neighborhood, mostly young couples with young children. Most mothers didn't work outside of the home so I had adults to talk to and the kids had someone to play with. We lived here for four years.

We gave the kids the biggest bedroom and bought bunk beds for Steve and Dave. Greg had a baby crib. This worked well until one day I walked in the room just in time to catch Greg falling from the top bunk. We then took the bunk beds down, got rid of the crib, and Greg and Dave shared one of the bunks. One of them slept at the head of the bed and the other at the foot of the bed.

Anyone who has been around small children know how entertaining and cute they can be. I wish I had kept a diary. I thought I would always remember, but I don't. I do remember Steve coming in all shook up one day because a car had run over Blackie, a neighbor's dog, and let the air out of him. Little Dave thought being a paper boy looked fun so he picked up the papers that the paper boy had just delivered and was going to redeliver them. That was fun to get straightened out. People were so tolerant of kids, they just laughed about it. Greg was a "social butterfly". He got acquainted with the adults on the street and was always coming home with some treat. I began to be a little suspect of his motives for friendliness when Gayle, our next door neighbor, told me he had knocked on her door asking if she had any cookies. When she told him that all she had was some old stale bread. He said that was all right, he liked stale bread.

One of the most dreaded diseases was polio. It usually struck children in the summertime, frequently in August and if it didn't kill, legs or sometimes the whole body was paralyzed for life. When there were outbreaks I would get so scared when one of the boys got sick or limped a little, even if it was from playing too hard. Finally Dr. Jonas Salk developed a vaccine for polio in 1955.

Of course everyone wanted the vaccine immediately and called their doctor. The best the doctor could do was to put the name on a list and then call when a new batch of vaccine came in. We had changed doctors because of moving to the west side of Indianapolis and since Dr. Avery had just started his practice, we thanked our lucky stars that the boys were among the first to get the vaccine. Two days later it came out in the paper that Cutter Laboratory in California had sent some live virus vaccines that actually gave kids polio in about ten days. The boys were two, four, and six years old. Words can't describe how awful we felt until time passed and we realized their vaccinations were good ones. I still shudder when I think what could have happened and feel so sorry for the parents and kids who got the bad batch.

The boys played together well but there was some competition. When we were impressed with Steve almost learning to ride a bike no-handed at seven years old, not to be out-done, Dave came in one day saying he had learned a new trick on his bike, too. He proudly told us that he could ride his bike with his eyes closed. Oh my. Only by the grace of God did they grow up safely.

We decided we had better get the boys a dog since they were always trying to adopt other people's dogs by locking them in the back yard. At the "Home for Friendless Animals" we found Gypsy. She was a good dog and liked her new family so well that for awhile she wouldn't let anyone else come in the house. We had her for about fourteen years.

About this time, there was a new taste treat that had come on the market....pizza! Sherrie, the girl next door brought us over some slices to see if we liked it and of course we did and now can't imagine life without it.

The boys were now four, six, and eight and our house was getting too small. We finally bought a house on Kessler where we lived for the next thirty-six years. It was in the same School 90 district so Steve and Dave didn't have to change schools. This house cost $11,500 with $92 a month payment. There was some worry whether we could make the payments, but this was a time of prosperity, wages were going up, and we didn't have any trouble at all making them. We weren't rich but we weren't poor either. Ralph was making $8000 a year. We moved in on December 18, 1957.

We still lived close to Sprout and Davis where Ralph worked so he bought a motor scooter to ride to work and I was able to have the car most of the time. The boys came home for lunch since school was just seven blocks away. It was a blessing to be able to pick them up when it was raining and to get Greg started in kindergarten.

The year 1959 was a good one. We built a garage, the first one we had since we were married. It was only a single car garage because we never dreamed we would have more than one car. We bought a 1955 Chevy station wagon and took our first vacation with the boys to see Polly and Ralph in New York, then to Niagara Falls. The station wagon made a good traveling car. Seat belts weren't around yet so when you folded the back seat down the boys had room to play or sleep back there. It was an enjoyable trip but Greg worried that we were so far from home that he would never get back in time to start first grade in school.

School was a necessity in the boys' lives. Teachers said Steve daydreamed. He liked to draw and was good at it. I once told him I wished I could draw like that and he said that anybody could, all you had to do was be observant. Maybe his daydreaming was being observant. At a school open house when I couldn't understand why Dave didn't have all stars on his spelling tests since I knew he was good at spelling, he said he was seeing how many he could get right without studying. And Greg was still the social butterfly, enjoying being with the kids more than the school work. But they all were smart and did o.k.

Steve had recurring sore throats and had his tonsils out at nine years old. Greg had a "croupy" cough and had his tonsils out at nine years old also. Dave missed out on this but one day came home from school sick. He said he had "spring fever". I don't remember what was wrong with him but he did have a temperature and it was springtime.

There were various pets. Steve got a kitten from Gayle when it was about 5 weeks old. He named it Tiger and taught it to eat from a dish. Dave and Greg had white mice. I was never fond of critters but when Dave was so pleased that his Den Mother in scouts held his mouse and petted it, I gritted my teeth and did the same thing. I wanted to be his favorite mother. There were fish, a rabbit, a chameleon, and turtles.

One day when Greg was cleaning the turtle dish, the turtle crawled off the cabinet and fell behind the refrigerator. Well, what were we going to do? Earlier, Ralph had told me that the refrigerator was much too heavy to move for cleaning, but when Greg looked at him with big sad eyes, he single-handedly moved that big refrigerator and was a hero to all of us.

Air conditioning wasn't in the average home, yet, so on a real hot night sometimes we lay outside on a blanket until the house cooled down. I don't remember ever sleeping all night out there but it was nice all of us being together talking.

The boys each got a new Schwinn bike on their tenth birthday. Steve and Dave's were single-speed bikes but, by Greg's tenth birthday, you could now get a three-speed and that is what he had. When the new ten-speed bikes came out they traded their single-speed in for those. Later yet, the little "sting-rays" were the rage and they bought a "sting-ray". By now they were bigger kids and I thought they were going backwards by having such little bikes. Some of these bikes were bought with their paper route money. Ralph took them to the bank and "co-signed" a loan for them. They were probably too young to actually have their name as the main signer but the bank went along with it to teach them to be responsible. They never missed a payment.

All three boys had paper routes. Steve and Dave delivered the Indianapolis Times and Greg delivered the Indianapolis News. When the Times ceased publications, Steve and Dave lost their jobs but it was Greg who had a terrible migraine headache because of feeling sorry for them. I can't remember the details but Dave finally got a News route. I think Greg had a morning Star route for awhile, too.

One day I read in the paper that four long-haired English guys were going to be on "The Ed Sullivan" show on television so out of curiosity we tuned in. Thus the "Beatles" came into our lives. The kids were crazy about them and emulated them by letting their hair grow. Haircuts had been no problem for us since we were able to do it ourselves by using the "burr" attachment on hair clippers, leaving only a little hair in front to comb over. This was called a "Hollywood" cut. I fussed about the "long" hair but in retrospect, at that time it was really pretty short.

There was a basketball net on the garage, a hi-jump pole in the backyard, sprint races were timed in the drive, and the yard was always full of boys. The basement was a place of activity, too. When we first moved we had a ping-pong table. Later, it was taken for a model racetrack. Many hours were spent playing with this. Bobby Mikels was here so much we started calling him our fourth son and we still have a soft spot in our hearts for him. When they were tired of the race track, we put a pool table down there and later yet a record player and couch and the boys took their dates down there.

I was cleaning the house on November 22, 1963 when my friend Gayle called and said that President Kennedy had been shot. This was almost unbelievable. Things like this just didn't happen. Television made us feel we knew him and all of us were so sad. Even though the boys were 10, 12, and 14 years old and were too busy playing to watch much television, they did stay in and watch for the three days that the nation mourned the death and funeral of President Kennedy. Lee Harvey Oswald was shot right on television. It was like the world had gone crazy.

The first color televisions were not very good so we didn't have much desire for one. Exploration of outer space was being done at Cape Canaveral. One day while shopping, we saw a space shot on a color television. The color of the fire, the smoke, and the blue sky was so good and made it much more real than black and white so we soon bought a Zenith color television. One of the shows I liked was "Mitch Miller's Sing Along". The words to the songs were on the screen but I couldn't get anyone to sing along with me. If it had been the "Beatles" the boys might have.

I finally did start keeping a diary about the time the boys got their cars. For a short period of time all five of us had cars in a single driveway. My car got the garage and the rest of the cars had to be parked so that the first one out in the morning had to be in back. October 19, 1967, Steve bought a Corvair; June 19, 1968, Dave bought blue Volkswagen for $400; January 15, 1971, Greg bought a red 1964 Volkswagen for $400. They bought their own cars. Steve worked at Burger Chef, Dave at Walt's Super Market, and Greg at Penny's. As you can tell, these weren't new cars. My diary tells some of the problems.

1971
January 25 Greg had bad day. Ran out of gas, got locked out of car.
Slightly hit a girl.
January 26 Dave had bad day. Blew engine.
Greg's car wouldn't start. I had to go push him.
January 27 Steve had dead battery. Greg wouldn't start.
Had to go push him.
January 29 Greg had date. Couldn't get her home before 11:00 curfew.
We had to take her home. (Police were enforcing curfew)
Dave got new engine put in at Carl's.
February 1 More zero weather. Dave pushed Ralph's car. Ralph
pushed Greg's car. I had to take Steve to work
February 2 Steve stayed home to fix his starter. Greg's car wouldn't
start. Ralph's door handle broke.
February 3 Got TV fixed. Razor broke.
February 4 Greg's car won't start or stop. Ralph fixed both tonight.
Greg drove Ralph's car to work and locked himself out.
Steve got it open for him and then he got locked out of
his car at home. Ralph's car wouldn't start at work.
I went to the store. My bread got squashed, I forgot to
get credit for my bottles and someone stole $6 worth of
merchandise or else I lost the sack. Bad Day!
February 7 Cars all running. No problems.
February 9 Greg had flat tire at school. Found missing glass behind
couch.
February 10 Basement switch broke. Record player, sewing machine,
nor lights work in basement.
February 11 I had a bad headache. Ralph fixed switch.
February 13 Hot water heater broke. Ralph fixed it.
March 22 Tired of so much laundry and messy rooms. Bought
sets of towels for each boy. Their rooms are their apartments
to take care of and they have to do their own laundry.
March 24 Greg wrecked his car this AM. Accelerator pedal got
under brakes and he ran into the back of a car.
March 25 Took Greg to school. Went back at 2:00 PM and
took him to work.
March 27 Ralph and Greg worked all day on the poor little wrecked
car. Fixed the accelerator for 25. Got it looking pretty
good, considering.
May 27 Dave left for Ft. Campbell, Ky. So Sad. I can't quit crying.
June 29 Steve moved into apartment.

These were busy years with the boys. They were each developing their own personalities and getting minds of their own and this was good. Illegal drugs were new and I was terrified that they would innocently get hooked on them and am thankful to God that they never messed with them.

When Greg got his own apartment, we had the house to ourselves for the first time in twenty-five years. I'll have to admit we enjoyed the peace and quiet but were glad Steve and Greg lived nearby and came home frequently. Ralph and I tried to be good parents but weren't at all sure what a good parent was supposed to do. We just wanted them to grow up to be healthy, happy, honest, and responsible adults.

Now, twenty-five years after the last child left home, the two of us live in a three bedroom, two bath house with an attached two car garage. How did all five of us manage in that small house? It's a whole different world now. I remember the first computers took up a whole room, had to be in a temperature controlled room, and only a college graduate could use them. Here I am typing on a desk- top personal computer in my home.

Even though Ralph and I made mistakes, our boys turned out better than we could have imagined and they have enriched our lives tremendously. We have two wonderful daughters-in-law and the smartest, most beautiful, fabulous, extraordinary, amazing, remarkable, marvelous granddaughter, named "Sara Elizabeth Wyant"!! Oh, how I love this family!!

It is now 2007 and my beloved husband died on September 12 with colon cancer. We were married 60 years and I miss him terribly.

More about Millie

More of Millie's writings:
Alexander Family Memories
When Grandpa was a Little Boy
Life on the Farm