Monday, June 28, 2010

Virginia Vonderheide Ryan - II

Raising Children

Virginia Ryan loved being a mother.  She had four children in very short order:  Virginia, Evelyn, Florence and Jim.  All four children were born in five years.  As children, Grandma had a desk in a little alcove off of the living room (I have it now), and this family portrait was on it.

Pictured from left to right:  
Florence, Virginia, Jim, Evelyn, Roy and Virginia

Virginia was protective of her family.  Aunt Evelyn told me that when they were growing up, St. James School was located just on the other side of the fence in their backyard.  Grandpa had installed a gate making it easy to get to school.  When Jim was in the 8th Grade, the school relocated to a new facility on Springfield Pike.  "Poor" Jim had to walk to Springfield Pike for school as he was in the first 8th Grade Class to graduate from the new school.  Grandma did not like this one bit.

 You can bet that Grandma sewed all of the girl's dresses and probably made their hats.


I recently called Uncle Jim because I realized that he "came of age" during World War II and I knew he had been in the Navy. He told me that he was going to be drafted when he turned 18 in July 1945. Not wanting to be in the Army, he made the decision to enlist in the Navy in June. He attended basic training and then was scheduled to go to Hawaii following a week's leave at home. Meanwhile, the war ended and his orders were changed. I will tell his story in another post.

Jim never saw a day of combat, but that does not mean he was exempt from the "horror" of war. He was assigned to the "cleanup" crew assigned to the Pacific. Need I say more. His mother was understandably very distressed at the thought of her only son going off to war. They lucked out.

Note the picture on the desk!

As I type this, I realize that today is the 16th Anniversary of my mother's death.  I dedicate the page to her memory and the sense of family that she instilled in me.

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