School Teaching, Sailing and Single

A New Adventure in San Diego -As I stated in my Montana book, my former roommate at the Y, Colleen, and I traveled for a month from Port Angeles, Washington, where she had taught one year, to San Diego  looking for a place to teach school.   We  accepted teaching jobs for the year 1956-57 from the San Diego Unified School District.   I had taught one year at Billings, Montana where I had hoped to marry my high school sweetheart Harry.  We broke up in May and I traveled by bus to Port Angeles and met Colleen at the beginning of the summer.  My childhood friend George drove the Plymouth (Dad's I had used at college) and extra clothes back to Glendive.

When Colleen and I met again in San Diego in August (I came by train from Glendive and she came by car from Utah) we drove all over San Diego looking for a place to live.  We couldn't afford to live in La Jolla so we looked near Balboa Park.

Colleen and I found a really delightful bungalow near Balboa Park to rent.  It had a patio and a big orange tree with the sweetest oranges.  We could eat as many as we wanted.  We were delighted that 4th Ward was filled with other young school teachers on their first assignment plus many sailors who were serving their time after they had been exempted from the draft to serve missions.  There was also a large group of locals so it was a very interesting ward for singles.

One of our first ventures was to go to Tijuana to get one of those tool etched leather purses for each of us.  Notice how dressed up we are--heels and everything!  That was the 50's.  My parents came to visit us and we took them to Tijuana with us, also.

At the same time my childhood friend Berta Mae was in New York and looking for singing roles.  She changed her name to Carla Huston.   Our lives had really taken a different direction.  Myrna was married, Kay and Al were married, Raine and Norm were married and I had lost touch with all of them.

San Diego Stake only had six wards and 4th Ward was the Stake Center.  The conferences and all the stake dances and activities were here.  There was a large hallway along the side of the cultural hall where the dances were held.  The older people in the ward liked to come to the dances and watch us.  We felt very loved and accepted in this family ward.   There were many families with lots of little children so most of us teachers  were called to teach in the Sunday School.

My first church calling was the Nursery and the librarian had special toys and dolls and doll beds which she had ready each week along with everything needed for flannel board stories and lessons.  She was an amazing help.  I was so impressed by these fathers who would promptly pick up their children and were so sweet with them.

Because there were so many marriageable singles in the stake, there were many outdoor and indoor activities for us.   We were continually surrounded by datable guys and it was exciting.  Our young adult leader was a young single lawyer.  Out of all those single women he chose a divorcee with a child from another area.  She was very special though.  He later became a Judge.  He made all our activities fun and taught us so much about who we should be.

On Sundays we would have a huge potluck at the Church so the Navy boys would have a place to go until the evening meeting. Some days we would just stay at the Church and sometimes we would go to Balboa Park and spread blankets on the grass.

I really enjoyed our Sunday School teacher as she really understood young people and was interested in our welfare. There was such a large group of us she would teach the class in the Cultural Hall.

School Teaching a Challenge-My school situation was not so rosy.  I was teaching at Oceanview Elementary in South San Diego.  The turnover of students and size of the class was way beyond my capability.  The class was about 1/3 white, 1/3 black and 1/3 Mexican.  At least one of them could not speak English.  At one point I had 40 students in my class.  I did not have control of those second graders from day one.  It was very discouraging.

One little boy threatened me after school with a blunt instrument.  On another angry student I used the psychology of having him draw out what he was angry about and he drew all the children with big feet.  He evidently was being teased about his big feet. One little Mexican boy used to run to be first in line and would tap me on my tummy and tell me I was eating too many enchiladas.  The Mexicans were the sweetest, I must admit.

Norma felt we needed a diversion from our real life.  She was teaching at Oceanview Elementary also. She decided to direct a three act play.

I had no intention of being in it but she put me in the role of the mother and it actually did turn out to be a great diffuser of our frustration.  We all became very close.  And I actually found out I could act!!  Danny, a local San Diegan, was my son.

It was fun.  Danny and I even stole a kiss behind the curtains.  He was the one who brought me a treat and cheered me up when I was recouping from the removal of two wisdom teeth.  He later married my dear friend Lani and years later when he was driving a truck in La Jolla and I was walking with my children he called out the window to me.  My daughters were impressed.  Now (2014)  they live down the street from my granddaughter Meagan and her husband Matt.  Small World.  I actually visited them and enjoyed seeing what they had done to their house, admiring Danny's restored car, and having Danny act like it was a real thrill to have Janet visit them. Delightful friends!

I dated a John, he was one of the returned missionaries doing Navy time during this period, but have no idea what happened to him.  Here we are at the Palomar Observatory.   He always tried to be a father figure to us though he wasn't that much older.

The other couple we were with that day were both locals and ended up getting married, the Teemsmas, a very special couple.  This sweater and skirt (that I made) was grey wool and one of my favorite outfits.  We wore full gathered slips under our skirts to make them stand out.  We also wore those wide belts around our waists and I had several of them.

Besides John I dated a Bob, a very nice guy from Idaho and I dated Clinton.  He was a business man and seriously looking for a mate.  Neither one of them would set my heart a flutter.  It was more fun to just be with the group and have lots of people to talk to and dance with.  Clinton later married one of the girls in the ward and in the 90s would become President of the San Diego Temple.

I remember a hay ride with a dance after and going as a group to the road show and then Danny showing us his amazing back yard.     He had done wonderful landscaping on the hillside and even built a replica of a Japanese structure.  There was always plenty to do.

Lots of Activities-Saturdays, of course, were spent at the beach, mostly Ocean Beach.  We loved it until it became too cool and then we would take trips to the Zoo, Julian, Cuyamaca or Borrego Springs.

Saturdays were always a time for a group activity and there were always plenty of friends to gather up a group.  We always had lots of people at our house.  I was a part of all that.  That is, until...

A New Romance-Chuck, one of the Navy officers at Church, was invited by me to visit my second grade class and give a demonstration.  He was a helicopter pilot.  He brought his friend Bill.  Bill walked in the room and gave me that big smile and I was smitten.   Later he told me it was "love at first sight" for him.

Our first date, however, was a dismal failure.  I had been all day on a Church activity and was too rushed in my dressing and hair fixing and also extremely tired from a late activity the night before.  I was not confident in myself and therefore not sparkly or even conversational and we just did not click.  I didn't think he would ever ask me out again.  I could tell he was ticked that I was too tired for his date.

However, at the next stake dance I was looking more alive in a darling red dress I had made.  I was happy and busy in the kitchen with refreshments when Bill walked in and asked me to dance.  Even though he was a Christian Scientist Chuck had brought him to join with us.  He didn't drink or smoke so he fit right in.  This time there was a strong connection and we had a nice time getting acquainted.  Later, Chuck would regret introducing us.

I Learned to Sail-From then on we were steady dating.  He was a real sailor and had his sailboat with him at his home in Imperial Beach.  He was buying a home and rented out rooms to other officers.

Saturdays became a day filled with sailing and I soon became one of his crew though I knew nothing about it.  Then the sailing crept into Sundays, too, because he would be entered in a two day race and I would need to hurry from Sunday School to get to the race in time.   Sometimes it was too late to get back for Sacrament Meeting. 

I was not really good at this sailing thing but although he was intensely working to win he was calm and easy to be with and a good teacher.  The other crew member and I would need to hike out and sit on our thighs and my stomach became hard as a rock.  I loved that.  I also liked the days we just sailed the two of us alone.  He owned a Thistle, a 17 foot sloop.

My life totally changed.  As an officer Bill could take me to dinner and dancing at the Officer's Clubs.  I dressed in dressy dresses and heels.  He wore his uniform.

He was from Long Island and loved the ocean so  there were days and evenings at the beach.  It was a very romantic time in my life. How many times did we listen to the music from "My Fair Lady" or share ice cream I have no idea. He ate it right out of the carton.   I remember he sang "I've Got a Crush on You" to me, very romantic.  I sang "Along Came Bill" though probably not to him.  He had a white convertible Cadillac and we usually rode with the top down.

I remember long walks.  I just enjoyed being with him so much no matter what we were doing. He was quite a remarkable person.  He was exceptionally smart, had a great sense of humor, extremely moral with a high set of values, very well-liked by everyone,  very good looking and just a lot of fun.  I think Carole described him as a cross between Kirk Douglas and Tab Hunter.  I was happy to be with him, though he once expressed he was afraid of making me unhappy by not believing in the same things I did.

The greatest adventure was the race from Laguna Beach to Catalina island with guide boats nearby.  On the way back it was raining and dark and the other crew member and I had to bail water as well as hike way out to keep the boat level and Bill took the mainsail down and directed us safely to shore with just the jib.  It was pretty scary.  I wasn't sure how I felt about sailing after that, but as long as I was with Bill I was happy to sail.

My Church friends were worried though and expressed their concern.  Sometimes the sailing got in the way of Church and that was not good.  I was not part of the group so much either.  In the meantime, Colleen and I had moved closer to the ward building with four other girls.

A funny thing happened in the spring.  It was the night of the time change and Bill told me we had an extra hour because we were to move our clocks back.  I don't know whether he was serious or teasing but I believed him and in the morning all of us were two hours late for Church!!  This was not good as all of us were Sunday School teachers or assistants.   This house being so close to the Church became the hangout for all the Navy guys in the ward and that soon became a little tiresome.  On the weekends we were literally stepping over guys in our living room who were there watching the TV between Sunday School and Sacrament meeting or on a break on Saturday.

Our former BYU roommate Marta had gotten a job at Convair and wanted to live with us so we moved to a place in Hillcrest and unbeknownst to us we would now be going to First Ward instead of 4th Ward. We did not like that so well.  I had a visit from a couple of Church leaders concerning the time spent with a non-Mormon.  Did I know what I was doing?  Why was I missing so much Church?

A strange experience happened in this house.  It had a long stairs going down the back to an alley.  It was built on two levels.  One night Bill brought me home before the rest of the roommates were back.  I remember him checking all the rooms to make sure it was safe before he left.  I had just started to drift off to sleep when I heard a clunk, clunk, clunk but I was so tired I convinced myself it was just my wild imagination and I went back to sleep.  The next thing I knew Marta was waking me up and telling me there was a drunk man passed out at our kitchen table.  Obviously we were not good about locking our doors!

Kindergarten instead of Second Grade-The following year I put in for a transfer from second grade to Kindergarten and to another school. I would thoroughly enjoy my next three years of teaching.

I had one class in the morning and another in the afternoon. We did not have any teaching assistants. We had block time every morning in which we built harbors, fire stations, airports and had vehicles and things to go with the blocks. It was great for the imagination but very noisy. There were no printed words in the classroom.

A New Car and My Roommates Marry-I bought my first car, a white Dodge with red leather interior.  I think it was the red interior that got me. Marta bought the red Chevy, a much better choice.  Even though we were making fairly good money teaching I would always run out of money near the end of the month and have to borrow ten dollars or so from someone.  Anyway I was enjoying my car, enjoying my teaching and having a wonderful time sailing, dancing, and dining with Bill.  Life was good.  However, many from our group were pairing off and marrying and our little 'family' was soon to do the same.

Oh, I had also taken a modeling course from John Robert Powers and enjoyed that so much.  They wanted me to dye my hair red and I eventually did!

We had a shower for Colleen and Mel.  My friend Norma is on the left in the group picture.   Colleen and I  had been together for a good many years and now she was marrying that pilot!  We lost track of each other after they moved  but I had really enjoyed our friendship during and since college.

The last I heard about her is that she was into clogging!  Recently I learned that Mel had been killed in a commercial plane crash when he was a passenger, not the pilot, so sad.

Then Marta married Quentin and I was the only one of our college roommates still single.  I did keep track of Marta and they named their first daughter after me.  She and Quentin had both been such great friends to me.  I hated to see our little group break up.  Years later when I attended Marta's funeral I was amazed at how many friends and associates she had in Thousand Oaks.  She was a very loving and beloved person.

My college roommates Joanne, Marta, and  Colleen all ended up in San Diego with me.  And Gerry lived in San Diego.  All were married before me even though I was the oldest one!

So why was I still single?  Religion was a problem again!  Bill and I could not communicate about our beliefs at all.  I could not understand his beliefs and he always made me laugh at anything I was telling him.  Why, with all those nice LDS boys around me, was I so in love with a non-Mormon again?  I do not know, but he was a great guy, that is all I knew.

Bill was sent to the Philippines for six months and what an exciting time to meet the ship when he came back.  I had made a lovely outfit and we both looked very good and were so in love and happy to be together again.  It was very romantic. 

In 2008 Bill sent me a beautiful email which I will keep to myself but mainly he credited his coming home from the war unscathed and safe because he was my guy being true to me, his gal.  His roommate and boss both contracted serious diseases from their R and R adventures, one of which died. He wanted me to know I had a part in saving his life.  He was and is a good man but we never could resolve our difference in religious beliefs.  We still check in with each other once in awhile though. 

Broken Heart #2-So, we did not marry but we did plan it.  My parents were coming to Salt Lake City and we would meet them there in June of 59.  Bill was out of the Navy and had been selling lots in Apple Valley.  He was a good salesman.  And then it was all over, I can't remember any of the details of the breakup.  I think my mind erases those memories and I did not write it in my journal.  But there is a funny story about it.

When my parents heard about the breakup they came down to San Diego and were staying across the road from my house.  It was a motel on a hill and so had different levels of stairs.  I was just leaving their room dressed in heels, of course.  I think it was a Sunday.  As I glanced at the road I saw Bill in his convertible and he saw me.  I missed the step and fell down the stairs.  My parents were right behind me and we went over to my house.  We were probably going to Church and I would need to change my torn hose and clean up my knee.

A short time later I was in the kitchen when Dad came in and told me that Bill had just stopped by to see how I was after the fall.  He and Bill talked for awhile and Dad was very sweet as he told me about the conversation.  I cried.  He told me Bill was thinking of sailing around the world.

A Diversion with Benefits-I went to BYU to summer school as a diversion and I took singing for one thing.  One of my kindergarten fathers had told me his son was singing flat.  There was a strong implication it was because of me.

I also took a speech class that would forever change my life.  They taped us speaking at the beginning of the class and then again at the end and let us hear the comparison.  I was such a mouse in the beginning but in the end I sounded good.  My final grade was based on my speaking the poem 'Annabel Lee' with great meaning.  It became a favorite of mine. 

While I was there,  Norma called.  There was someone new in the ward and she was sure I would like him.  She would set it up as soon as I came home.  I said, "No thanks, I did not want a blind date and I was not interested in meeting anyone."   

Not a Blind Date But...

This is the school where I taught for the last three years of my teaching career.  It is east of the North Park area in San Diego. 

The first week I was back from summer school at the Y was quite interesting. I moved into a new place and since I would be living alone I chose a place upstairs with only one door. There was a nice young couple living next door. I felt safe.

Since I was back "in circulation" the guys came out of the woodwork to ask for dates.  I don't know what there is about not being available but it makes guys more interested.  Or else all the other cute girls were now married, I am not sure.

Sunday night at Sacrament Meeting Danny asked if I would go to the Fireside with him.  Bob asked for a date and we set it up for Wednesday, Clinton asked me to go golfing with him and we set it up for Saturday, and then there was this new guy in the ward.  Norma had wanted to set us up but he did not wait.  As soon as Sacrament Meeting was over he rushed over and introduced himself.  He asked if I would go to the Fireside with him.  I was going with Danny.  He asked for a date Wednesday.  I already had one.  He asked for a date Friday and I said yes.  But we actually spent Labor Day at Balboa Park together also.  I think this intrigued him that I was so popular (actually I wasn't, it was just kind of a one time week in my life).

A Surprising Interruption-Anyway Richard and I went to the movies Friday and when he brought me home and we were saying good night there was this person at the bottom of the stairs.  I saw that

it was Bill and said it was all right.  Bill came up and said he needed to talk to me so Richard said good night and left.  What Bill needed to talk to me about was the fact the camera he had given me was actually one he needed to keep and he gave me another one.  He was planning on leaving this week for Harvard, we said goodbye again.  I think this intrigued Richard also that I had an old boyfriend still hanging around.

A funny thing happened.  When Bill left for Harvard, he sent me a dozen roses and it was on the table under the mirror of my apartment.  When Richard came to pick me up for a date, he had a single rose that he handed to me.  Then he walked over to the mirror while I went in the other room to pick up my sweater.  I noticed he looked at the mirror at himself and never even noticed the roses.  I didn't say anything.  However, a single red rose became our form of affection from then on.

One thing I had learned in my college dating is that unless I really liked the guy I could not stand to have them even touch my arm and I definitely was not going to hold hands with them.  Thus there was never any misunderstanding about how I felt.  I managed to date, stay friends and stay away from messy situations.

Easy To Love-With Richard I was holding his hand the first day and felt we had known each other forever.  He was a 'take charge' guy, which I loved, he made me feel he would take care of me and he was very sweet.  He also made me feel from the beginning that he was in love with me and even though he always liked to stare at a pretty girl I was not intimidated by that, much.  We talked and talked and talked as we shared everything about our former life.  I was also impressed with the way he treated others, his attitude toward work and his testimony of the Gospel.  There was not much to not love.

We were actually at BYU at the same time for a short period.  He was friends with the Law girls downstairs from me.  I collected cleaning from them.  But it was not time for us to meet evidently.  That was in 1954.

The next week the neighbors told me this guy keeps stopping by and rushing up the stairs to see if I was home.  It was Richard.  And that was the way it was.  Richard saw me as this girl he wanted and who might get away with some other guy and he was in full pursuit.

Actually we had so very much in common, similar backgrounds and he had had a broken romance the previous spring also.  He wanted me to meet his mother and soon we were exclusive and I did go to Las Vegas to meet his mother.  She was very suspicious of me I thought.

In a letter home, this is  what I wrote my  folks about Richard, actually I called him Dick in the first letter home but had soon changed it to Richard...probably because we called my brother Dick.

"Age 28, Graduated in Finance and Banking from the Y, Mission in Texas, 2 years in Navy, home is in Las Vegas, one Mom, Father dead, two married brothers, works for a Savings and Loan Co.  Wants to go into real estate. loves San Diego, has white Ford convertible, loves to eat, speaks well in Church and has practical attitude about things.  Sowed wild oats in his youth, I believe.  Fun, ambitious, going to start planning a house and build it for an investment.  He's dark, has thinning hair, nice dresser and young looking and acting (fun) but mature.  Now you know as much as I do." 

In the same letter, I also mentioned golfing with Clinton and that it was hard to see Bill again at first and know we'd have to part again.  "I'm sure everything is all right now though.  He's been so sweet and kind to me--makes it harder than ever.  Surely glad I got back in the ward and know where I'm going."

No Time For  A Wedding-I was teaching full time and Richard was working for Centralfed.  Neither of us had any vacation time due but we were spending all this  time together.  Richard decided we should  marry now and so the plan was made. He was the leader in our relationship at that time, for sure.  We would go straight from school on Friday, get married by the Bishop and have the weekend in LA and back again Monday morning for work.

Unfortunately he told his brother and Scott came unannounced from Las Vegas with Mom and family in tow and arranged a dinner and cake at a hotel.  It was all just too embarrassing for me but both Scott and Richard were trying to make their mother happy I think.  I am not sure when I told my parents, it is all kind of hazy in my mind.  I do have a copy of the letter Richard wrote to my Dad saying we would go to the Temple in the near future.

Richard wrote a week after we married to my parents: "Thank you for your nice letters and all your kindness.  It has been nearly a week since Jan and I were married and I am just now beginning to realize what a really wonderful wife I have.  I'm glad that you were able to pray her away from all her previous suitors...Jan and I are very happy, but we look forward to the day we are married as we should be with both our parents present.  It's not so important where you're at--as the direction you're going.  Thank you again for all your kindness and especially for Jan."  Love, Richard.


One thing that was neat is my principal coming into my room on Friday and telling me I could go home early and he would take over the class.  The other thing that was nice is the many mother's of the class giving me a wedding present!  In hindsight it would have been better for us to wait until Christmas when we would have time for a reception and all.  I never have had a well-stocked kitchen, ha.  But in another way I was relieved not to have a whole wedding and reception planned around me.  I never wanted to be the center of attention in that kind of situation unlike many young women who plan for their dream wedding all their life.  Later the PTA Board gave me a surprise shower as well as all the gals at church so I really did get many lovely presents.

A Move for Me-It was decided we would move into Richard's apartment and his roommate would find another place.  When we were cleaning my apartment before we moved out I thought it was clean, but Richard got on his hands and knees and redid the floor.  His mother had taught him well, he really knew how to scrub a floor.  And that would be how we would handle our next apartment in Pacific Beach.  We found a place we could manage and I would tend the yard and Richard would scrub the kitchen floor and take the laundry to the laundromat.  We were both happy.  He hated yard work and I loved it and he was really good at the cleaning bit.

Other things I learned about him was that he was in college the same year Marilyn started in 1950 but he was so poor he didn't enjoy college.  He enjoyed being part of the social units and had no  extra money for the clothes, dates, car, etc that was important to him.  So he joined the Navy and then came back to college on the G I Bill.  His mother still wanted him to go on a mission and so he did and then back to college again.   He did tell me about when he gained his own testimony and actually wanted to go on that mission himself, not just for his mother.  When we married he was making $300 a month as an appraiser and I was making $5000 a year for 10 months of teaching.

So we met Labor Day weekend 1959 and on October 23, 1959 we were married.  When Richard died on November 25, 1996 we had been married 37 years and one month.  This is a picture with some of our San Diego North Stake friends--probably around the mid 70's.   I was wearing my favorite dress.  It was an ethnic dress from India which I bought in a little shop in La Jolla.  Richard always had a big smile on his face.

A Blessed Event...

First Apartment-The first apartment we had which Richard had shared with a man he had met at the YMCA needed a few womanly touches. I made curtains for the kitchen and we went to an auction house and found a couch.  When my parents came to visit us they bought us a lamp.  We did have a nice TV though.  Even then that was an important part of Richard's life.  I also remember when we were out with our parents we would always have to make sure we were back in time for their soap opera.  I thought that was funny but Dad was retired and so this was part of their new life together. They must have visited us when I was on Christmas leave from school.

We were attending 4th Ward and I was Sunday School Secretary now and he was the Sunday School Superintendent. I remember one of the young women seemed to have a crush on Richard.  She said he was so handsome and I was so lucky.

A funny thing I remember about that apartment is that I made a lot of Spanish Rice with bacon.  It was fast and cheap I guess.  Money was always an issue.

We Were Anxious to Start a Family-Since Richard was 28 and I was 26 we were not waiting to have children.  We were  excited to learn we would be having a baby the very end of July 1960.  There was only one problem.  San Diego Unified School District wanted expectant mothers to quit teaching at 5 months of pregnancy.  That would mean I would have to quit teaching in April.  My obstetrician said that was ridiculous.  There was no reason I couldn't finish the school year and without my even asking he put down on the form that my baby was due  in October of 1960.

The only problem with that is when my waistline disappeared I could not start wearing maternity clothes.  I wore skirts with the zipper undone and an over blouse.  I felt fat.  I did not like it at all.  I was so excited when I was finally able to wear the beautiful maternity clothes I had made.  I loved the black velvet jumper and skirt the most.  And Marilyn sent me her red pleated dress which was really lovely.  The Kindergarten mothers were as thrilled as I was and even gave me a shower before the year was over.

Through his former roommate Richard had met Mansfield Mills of La Jolla who advised clients about the stock market and he took Richard in to train him as he was already training his roommate.  We moved to a $65 a month apartment in Pacific Beach.  We paid less rent because we managed the apartments and took care of the yards.

Mansfield Mills taught Richard everything he knew about letter writing and marketing.  It was good and he made better money than at the bank.  We sold my car when we were first married and that was the first $2000 we were able to save.  We only had one car until Richard's mother bought a new one and sold us her old one a couple years down the road.

Long, Hot Summer-It was a long, hot summer and when we would go to the beach I would dig a hole for my tummy.  There was another expectant mother in our complex as well.  She did not gain as much weight as I did though, but we looked forward to raising our babies together.

I was not planning on teaching anymore.  I was going to be a full time Mom and was very happy about that.  To prepare for the baby I made an organza skirt for the car bed which would  sit next to our bed until the baby was old enough to be in a room by himself.  We also had a guest bed in with his crib, hoping someone would visit us in Pacific Beach.

My sister Carole was going to be teaching in the San Diego School District this next year and so she and Mom were there waiting for the baby to come.  It did not come, it did not come, the doctor broke my water, and still it did not come.  But the apple will fall when it is ready, he said.  I was expecting to have the kind of birth Mom did, easy.  

Finally the night of August 17 labor began and we were in Sharp Hospital.  The doctor had the nurses give me something to slow labor until he was there but instead it totally stopped the labor and that began a nightmarish night.  I will never forget the terrible pain, nothing happening, laying on a cold ex-ray table, more pain.  Finally in the morning the baby was in trouble and the doctor did a quick long cut (up and down, no neat smile) and pulled the baby out and he was put in an incubator with oxygen.   

August 18th, Johnny's Birth Date-I was very sick with high fever and I didn't realize till later that when I was up above my body looking down on everyone working around my body I was probably having an out of body experience.  I was obviously seriously ill.  For the next week I received phenomenal care with lots of back rubs, bringing my milk in, teaching me how to nurse and a lot of pain pills.  The nurses were wonderful but I never wanted another baby, that was for sure.  I did not know that normal births did not receive that much care from the nurses.  I was really coddled which I later found out was because of my bad experience.

Unfortunately, I could not even hold my baby for a few days.  I was feverish and he was in the incubator. Since this was our first birth we had nothing to gauge how it should have been instead of how it was.  How thrilled I was when they finally brought him to me with his little scowl.  His fingernails were long and skin very dry.  He looked like he had been too long in the womb and we would say that he was  rebelling against leaving Heaven, like he objected to a lot of things later.

The doctor would tell me later I had uteri inertia and was written up in a medical book,  I don't know.  A mutual friend of a nurse in the hospital told me he had to stop practicing at that hospital because he did not follow the rule of consulting with another doctor when a Cesarean appeared necessary and then a decision being made by two doctors instead of one.  He said he knew I wanted a large family and he did not want to have to do a Cesarean and so he prolonged the inevitable  and then ended up doing the kind that would limit my family anyway.  It was not good.

It was wonderful to have Mom with us when we brought John Eric home.  That first week I was getting in and out of the low rocking chair so much that the outer sutures broke in two (they were like wire) and were poking at my tummy from the inside out.  The doctor wouldn't believe me when I called to tell him but sure enough that is exactly what happened.  I was going to have the most ugly scar ever forever!

So Much to Learn-One thing about the baby clothes in those days is that so many were made out of cotton and came out of the dryer wrinkled.  We used the sleeper sacks mostly instead of the footie's.  Because of the beach air and his weakness toward ear infection Johnny would also wear lots of hats that covered his ears.

A Name Given and a Blessing-Johnny was dressed in a darling white suit and I had crocheted a small afghan for his Blessing and Naming at 6th Ward in Point Loma.  Richard gave him a beautiful blessing.  Eric is named after my mother's father and John just because we like it.  Richard looks so sober here.  I think he was more fatigued from the birth and lack of sleep than I was.

This is from my journal. "Today started out rainy, dark, and dreary.  Then the sun came out and I had to do the wash.  All morning I've been saying things to myself I wanted recorded and now I'm almost out of the mood of writing.  At first I intended this to be mostly a record keeping book of our family's doings, but now I've decided it will be my private thoughts. 

I had a diary before, once in third grade, again in Junior High and finally somewhat in college.  My sister Jeanne, found the first one and repeated it on the way to school one day "how I had wanted to hang my tennis shoes by George's ".  Well, I destroyed that one.  The one I wrote in Jr. Hi I also destroyed as it sounded so silly when I read it in High School.  My freshman year in college I wrote down all my thoughts, ambitions, and etc. and sealed it (with staples ) to be opened in five years.  Well, I read it the next year and my ideas, likes, and dislikes had already changed so much I felt I was very wishy washy. 

Now, I would give anything If I had all those records because it's the change that shows the growth and maturing of  myself.  It's hard to know today what you really thought yesterday.  I am going to write with the idea that no one is to read this--that way I can really be honest with myself.  I want to include facts my faulty memory alters ideas today, no matter how different from yesterday or tomorrow.

John Eric is waking. I'll leave him till he cries for me, he seems to enjoy his crib and looking at the bunnies--probably even babies enjoy a little privacy. He's 3 1/2 months old now and so very alert and active. He weighs around 14 lbs. and is 25" long-- a husky fellow who laughs and smiles for everyone. Most people think he is older and I do believe he was about 3 weeks past due when he was born. He was due July 27th and not born till August 18th.

The doctor says I should have only two more babies and have them two years apart. I'm not sure how much confidence I have in Dr. Shepherd though. I may change next time. Baby John wants me now, he doesn't cry much, just fusses to tell you things. He always lets me know when he's messed his pants so guess he'll be a particular boy about his clothes!! Funny fellow, he's almost back to sleep again--he sleeps much more lately it seems.

Yesterday he had his casts removed that he had worn for 3 weeks to tighten his heel cord. It was not serious and looks much better. We received our processed roll of film back. I'm so anxious to see our first movies--hope we really keep a good movie record of our children.

December 7, 1960 Poor John is feverish and unhappy today. He had his second polio shot yesterday and it has affected him. I've been getting a few things ready for Christmas--I'm so anxious to get a tree up, the wrapped packages look so pretty.

Saturday we bought our projector and screen. We've shown our Thanksgiving film over and over. I never tire of looking at baby John, I believe he is such a sweetie. I never dreamed I could have such a darling, lovable baby.

We called Mom on Sunday to ask if she would come back with Carole after Christmas but they probably won't because of the business with Lorin.  I do love to have Mom and Dad here and time is growing short.  Aunt Erica was buried last Wednesday.  She was so good to us children all the time and so healthy.  It's hard to believe she became so weakened.

Marta sent a picture of her baby and he is darling with his big black eyes.

Richard is enjoying being Elders Quorum President.  Since we've been married he's held three jobs: Teacher's Adviser, Superintendent of Sunday School and now E Q P.  He is a good organization man and speaker.  This Sunday he must speak in Sacrament Meeting and he enjoys getting it ready.  Richard is so smart, if only it were easier for him to get up in the morning but with coronary thrombosis so prevalent in the family it's probably a good thing he doesn't strain his health.  He is such a good husband and so helpful.  At times I feel ashamed that he works so hard at work and is still so helpful to me at home.  He is so generous, and I am much too selfish.

Last week I went visiting teaching with Sister Dastrup and I fell in love with her home.  It's just what I'd like someday.

John cut his first tooth on December 8 at 16 weeks old!!!"

Families Are Forever-We did go to the Los Angeles Temple as Richard promised and become a Forever Family.  It was on November 4th and another couple went with us.  Richard was very concerned at what I was thinking but I found it very enjoyable and comforting.  They brought Baby John to the Endowment Room and as he sat on the altar between us he looked from one to the other and cooed.  It was memorable.  The only problem was that John refused to drink from a bottle and he was starving and crying when we finally picked him up from the Nursery.

I would always have a problem getting him to take a bottle except for the cereal/fruit bottles we gave them at six months.  He finally went straight from breast to cup  at eight months old.

Except for taking a bottle everything else was full speed ahead.  Johnny had his first teeth at four months and crawled at five months.  My sister's Siamese cat was staying with us and slept in the crib quite often with Johnny and became very well acquainted with him.  This was how Johnny learned to crawl.  The cat would sit just out of reach and Johnny would keep trying to reach him until eventually he was crawling after him.

Johnny spent a lot of time in a large square playpen in the corner of the apartment and he would pull himself up and walk around the edge.  Finally he mastered holding on to the string of toys while walking which were diagonal across the playpen and thus could walk well at nine months.  He was a very cautious child and never tried anything he couldn't master so he never took a bad tumble.  One of his favorite toys  when he was sitting was a plastic bottle which he would put colored shaped blocks into and then dump them out and start all over again.  He had great patience.  He also loved to sit in his Dad's green rocker and look at books.  He would study each page for the longest time.

That first Christmas we spent in Las Vegas to show Johnny off to his cousins, the children of Scott and Miriam Hardy.  They came to know him as Johnny and for years after would call him Johnny, even after we started calling him only John.

Always So Much To Do-We really enjoyed the backyard at our apartment.  Only one weird thing, a pervert stole our undies off the least that is what we think happened to them.  Then he paid a visit to Carole and I when we were alone and gave us an amazing display--we had a glass door plus our glass windows so it was hard to get away from him.  We called the police but they never caught him.

While Richard and I were in 4th Ward I served as a Sunday School teacher for the three-year-olds and then Sunday School Secretary.  In 7th Ward they called me to be Sunday School Secretary also and then as a Laurel Leader.  I quite liked that job though it scared me at first teaching those teenagers.  Then I went to Second Counselor in the Mutual and did a lot of activities with the teenagers.

Silver Gate 1961

Dad Builds His Cabin at Silver Gate, Montana- In the summer of 1961 we took a vacation to Utah, Idaho, and Montana  and stayed at my folks new cabin in Silver Gate, Montana.

He had  built it with  the help of his son-in-law Stan Thayne and Dad's friend Art Hagenston. Art also had a cabin next door.  Art ran the Hagenston Hardware store in Glendive, which was next door to Dad's Anderson's Store.  They had been business and fishing friends for years. 

We had been taking vacations to Silver Gate, Cooke City, and Yellowstone Park for years but had always rented cabins.  There were several families who had cabins in Silver Gate and it had been Dad's dream to have one, too.The rock fireplace was done by Jeanne's husband Stan.   At this time the Anderson Cabin (which was called the "Relative's Roost") shared a front road with the Hagenston's and had a side patio.  Later they enclosed the side of the house.  And much later the front road was done away with so we would not be crossing the Hagenston's yard.  At that time the road was put at the back of the cabin and we entered from a more western road in Silver Gate.

One is a picture of my parents and their children plus Carole's cat and the beloved dog Poika, who was also Dad's hunting dog and Mom's special pet.  All of the family were able to get there for a few days at the same time and we had a wonderful time and these are several pictures of that visit.

One is a nice picture of my Mom and Dad with my brother Dick and his son Roddy and my younger sister Carole.  Some of the family had to stay in the Larson cabins which were very near by.  Dad had a truck and a small fishing boat as well.

My brother Dick, Mary, Roddy and Cheri are in one picture.  They lived in Glendive, Montana and Dick was now manager of Anderson's Store as Dad was now retiring.  He had been manager and/or owner of the store for almost 30 years.

Another picture is of my sister Jeanne, Stan, Steven, Doug, Dave, Brian and Carole.  They were living in Orem, Utah where Stan was a geologist for the Sate of Utah. 

My sister Carole is with nephew Roddy. Carole had graduated from BYU and was now living behind Richard and I in the apartments that we managed on Felspar in Pacific Beach. She was teaching school in San Diego and living with a college roommate. She had not yet met Len.

Baby Johnny is wearing sample cowboy boots from Ferrell's.  We liked to stop at the store in Idaho Falls which was managed by my brother David.  Johnny had very slender feet and they actually fit quite well.

Marilyn and Arky were living in Texas where Arky was working for an oil company.  I do not have an individual picture of them and their three children Sherry, Debby, and Laurie.

The last picture is everyone that was there in 1961.  Dick, Mary and Cheri and Rod.  Jeanne and Stan with Steven, Doug, Dave, Brian and Carole.  Marilyn and Arky with Sherry, Debby, and Laurie, Janet and Richard with Johnny and Carole was still single and Dave and Dorothy did not have any children.

A New Home Planned

From my Journal-"Almost a whole year has passed since I've taken time to write in my journal.  It's hard to believe time has gone so fast.  We had a lovely Christmas last year and I have already done a lot of shopping for this year.  I bought several things at the Christmas Bazaar--so many ward people don't buy there but we did well."  

Relief Society Bazaar-In the fall of 1961 we prepared for the annual Bazaar of the Relief Society. We really sell a lot to non-members and so prepared a fantastic amount of things to sell. I actually made 20 little dresses for toddlers and all sold well but I swore I would never do that again and so did Richard! The machine was always out.

Journal-"I love to sew though since I got my new Slantamatic.  I made a jacket and hat for John today. Tonight I should have gone with my Laurel class to the Stake Hall but I've such a cold and been so worn out I stayed home.  I believe I'm about a month and a half along on a new baby, too, surely hope so!"

A New Home-We made plans to buy a home in University City. We actually wanted to buy in Pacific Beach but just couldn't afford it. I really fell in love with a home down there. But we picked out a lovely three bedroom that was just being built and was on the edge of the canyon. My parents planned on spending the winter in San Diego so we were looking forward to that as well.

After I was finished teaching we sold my car so we only had one car! Richard's mother said she would give us her old car as she was buying a new one. Another car would be needed once we were living in University City. It would also mean we would be moving into 10th Ward and so would be getting new church jobs again. That kept life interesting.

My folks were actually in San Diego from December 1961 to March 1962 and lived in Loma Palisades.  It was wonderful having them here but they decided they do not want to live down here.  They are building a home in Idaho Falls.

Christmas In Pacific Beach-From my journal: "It was  having Mom and Dad here especially for Christmas. We had lots of good food and fun. Richard gave me a $100 bill besides a maternity outfit, perfume and things for our movie camera.

We gave Johnny a maple rocker but he wasn't interested in anything after he unwrapped a big dump truck. He would stand at the couch and run the truck back and forth, back and forth.

His love for cars and trucks has increased and he plays with them all day and carries one or two wherever he goes. He always offers them to adults but will never give them to another child. He does need more playmates, however. 

The only children he ever gets to play with are at Sunday School, Sacrament Meeting or Relief Society. They keep them in a Nursery which is helpful for parents, children and keeps the chapel quiet."

When he was three he was old enough to go into Jr. Sunday School.  He left after opening exercises!

I found some information about John's haircut.  I remember that it stuck up funny and I have wrutten that I trimmed it at 6 1/2 months and it did not look much better..  Then my Dad trimmed it at 7 months and it looked pretty good.  At 8 months he had his first real hair cut by a barber on Garnet--the little crew cut.
This is the Life of Janet Anderson Hardy from 1956-1999