Tuesday, December 15, 2009
When Irene was a teenager, her best friend was Ruby. As they got older, they dated together, and had lots of fun times. Irene worked at a factory that made footstools and other furniture. I'm sure she brought home money to help her family during that time in her life. During WWII, the factory was turned into a place that made parachutes. Irene continued to work there. The parachutes were made to carry men and supplies. Each color of parachute fabric meant something different. There were blue, yellow, white, and red parachutes. Someday I'd love to research what the different colors meant. Irene brought leftover fabric home, where she and her mother would use it to make quilts. My mom still has one of these quilts!
During this time, Irene and Ruby has a great time dating the enlisted men. Eventually, they decided to date only officers, because they made more money. Haha! One day, Irene was walking along the side of the road, and a car pulled up. In this car was an officer - Thomas C. Evans.
(I told you yesterday he was handsome! What do you think?)
He asked her if he could give her a ride. She said no, she didn't let men pick her up. So he got out of the car and walked with her. Thomas was stationed at Langley Field Air Force Base in Richmond, Virginia. He was an instructor and co-pilot on B-24 Bombers. It was a whirlwind romance. They knew each other only 6 weeks before they were married in 1945.
After the war ended, Thomas was discharged and they were married in Richmond. That day, they jumped in the car and headed west - to Salt Lake City, Utah. Thomas worked at Caldwell Motors for awhile, and then got a job at Hill Air Force Base, were he was a flight line inspector. Irene stayed home and took care of the home.
One of the things about this time of my Grandmother's life that I admire the most is her willingness to leave her family and go across the country to live. Back then, long-distance phone calls were for emergencies, and flying across the country was not an option. My mother said that her father would save up money and time off of work for two years and then the family would go for 1 month to Virginia to visit her mom's family. This was the pattern throughout most of their married life, at least while they had kids at home. I know how that feels. During my early married life, I lived very far away from my family. We came to visit once a year. Each year in between visits seemed like an eternity to me. I can't even imagine how hard it must have been for my grandmother to go 2 years between visits.
Tomorrow, I tell you about my grandmother as a wife and mother. She was amazing. Plus, there are some very good lessons that I learned about this time in her life.