A NEW BEGINNING
We learned many things in the past three years, and none more important than the fact that a supportive family is a key ingredient in making your dreams come true. Hard work and a little optimism measure into the mix also. Mother and Dad were blessed with these basic ingredients and, would put them to good use in pursuing their dreams!
Dad would always find a good deal on a car that needed some repair work to make it a good sell. One of the first to be refurbished was a 1941 Plymouth in September 1945, while still living in the garage apartment. (Our fifth residence in three years but, who`s counting?)
December of that year would find us in our first, very own house. It was a fixer-upper, bought with a down payment borrowed from the realtor! The house located in Park Place at 803, Cottage Avenue, was just a short walk from The Madison County Engraving Company where Dad worked. Mother could drive or catch the bus to work.
They must have done a good job on the house, because it`s still there!
Christmas was way conservative this year due to the house investment. Dad really hated having to forgo the giant Christmas tree. But, we really enjoyed having our own place!
We got a shepherd mix breed from the dog pound and named him Sandy. (Fourth dog but, who`s counting?)
I stayed with Grandpa and Grandma Wolff while Mother and Dad were at work. But, many lunches were shared at Shadyside Park.
Grandpa and Grandma Barrett came down in May to celebrate Mothers Day with us.
THE WOLFF`S INGENUITY
While staying with Grandpa and Grandma Wolff I got many a free haircut with the hand clippers!
Grandpa would also repair our shoes with his cobbler`s stand and leather sewing awl. Also on hand was a leather punch for adding a hole to a hand-me-down belt or to put holes in a piece of leather for a sling shot.
Grandpa Wolff was a jack-of-all-trades. He invented a hot stamp press for the Gospel Trumpet that sped up the foil stamping of mottos and book labels. He built a water softener system for the High Street house. He developed the skills to do his own carpentry, plumbing, electrical and masonry work which, luckily, was passed along to future generations.
This spring, Dad bought another car to rebuild, a 1942 Studebaker. Howard, had just restored a1937 Cord with a supercharged engine, grey coffin hood body and side discharge exhaust which he then offered to sell to Dad as an investment. A good deal that could`t be passed up!
Grandpa and Grandma Barrett had just come down for my birthday and to pick Mother and me up for a trip to Iowa to visit relatives.
When we got back, I had a birthday party and Mother and Dad got me a sand beach with canvas awning. Then, I went for a ride.
In August, 1946, Grandpa and Grandma Barrett got a visit from Grandma`s mother and they come down for a visit.
Four generations! L-R Grandma Hildred Lillian Augenstein Barrett, age 49, Marvin Eugene Wolff, Jr. (Skip), age 4, Great Grandma Maude Mae Miller Augenstein, age 68, Mother Geraldine (Gerrie) Viola Barrett Wolff, age 24.
The Barretts sure did like to travel. They picked me up in November to head out west to Oklahoma for a visit with Grandpa Barrett`s sister Maud Jane Barrett Baker. She was born in 1885, and married Sam Baker, who was a marshall in Wagoner Oklahoma. Grandpa and Sam went jack rabbit hunting from sam`s Jeep. I held one of their kills up by its` ears and it came up to my shoulders! This was my first live encounter with any kind of livestock and I enjoyed it!
Grandpa took us to a cotton field that was ready for picking. As a boy growing up, he had picked quite a few fields and wanted me to see and feel, first hand, what it was all about. Those balls were like thistles wrapped around the cotton. Very difficult and painful to remove!
When I got back home, Dad had found a buyer for the Cord and reinvested the sale on a new 1947, Studebaker Starlight Coup, with a straight eight engine and white paint with blue interior! All was good with the world!!
Christmas 1946, was for my favorite cowboy, Gene Autry.
We were back living in the garage apartment on High Street this Christmas, after selling the fixer-upper house on Cottage Avenue. Mother and Dad splurged for a portrait this special Christmas.
January 1947, gave us a big snowfall and an opportunity to have some male bonding. We built the biggest snowman on the block complete with black coal eyes, Dad`s hat and pipe! We had to go in several times for hot chocolate that Mom made to get us warmed up.
The garage apartment side porch can be seen in the background.
I found this ad in a 1947, Nature magazine!
Ma Bell was improving and moving on up just like us!