Friday, June 21, 2013

Barbara's First Memory

When I was 2 years old something very special happened and I still do remember it. I had been at my Grandma Smith's and when I went home there was a new baby in the bedroom. My dad kept saying "shshsh". I just remember that part but the baby was my sister, Betty and she had been born at home. 

Parker Memories by Barbara Jean Smith Parker

David, Bob and Dan were fishing in the river where we were camping in the Redwoods. I don't remember if they caught anything. 

David, Dan and Wayne Smith (the little boy that we babysat with) are all at Grandma Potter's house in the yard. David has a blue cast on his arm. They were all such cute little boys. David told the story about naptime. That was scarry - didn't have any idea where he was and he wouldn't come when I called him over and over. I was so glad to have him come home all I could do was love him. He didn't do it again!

Danny talked about the Christmas trees we had when he was little. This is a picture of one. We made cookies, large ones, and painted them with a paint brushand used different colors of frosting. Then we would put them our for Santa to find when he brought the tree to decorate. He hung all of the cookies on the tree and even the popcorn that we all strung. It really was a surprise to wake up on Christmas morning and find a tree all decorated with presents under it. I don't know who had the most fun- Bill and I or the three boys.

Parker Family, 1950

Bill, Barbara and baby Bob, 1950

Parker Boys Portraits and Names by Barbara Jean Smith Parker

Robert William Parker

Daniel Thomas Parker, David Lee Parker

Robert William Parker was named because if he was nicknamed I liked the name of Bob.
His middle name was after his dad. David Lee was named because we liked the name of David and how it sounded soft and manly when you said it. Dave wasn't bad either ,and I figured Dave was a good shortened version. Lee is Grampy's middle name and Bill's mothers middle name. It also made a good "door name!"
Daniel Thomas was a hard one because I liked Daniel and I liked Thomas. Dan and Tom were good shortened versions. My Aunt wanted me to name him Thomas, so we settled for Daniel and Thomas. Of course, I call him Danny and probably am the only one allowed to get away with it. To everyone else, he is Dan. We wanted regular boys' names and not some variation or unusual ones. However, I love the name of all of my grandchildren and great grandchildren and why their parents picked the names they did. 

How Bill and Barbara Parker Met by Barbara Jean Smith Parker

I met your grampy at a church camp for college age adults at Crestline California. It was love at first sight. He was so cute and had such a winning smile and great personality the I couldn't resist him and so I let him catch me. Our first kiss was, believe it or not, a few days later and from then on it was history. He was just back from the service in WWII and I was a sophmore in college. My girlfriend had her eye on him, but because he was just going to be a freshman she knew he was to young. Well, I knew better. I knew that he had been in the service for three years right out of high school and of course I didn't tell her.
He was going to attend Chapman College and I knew I had to go there too. So I talked to my grandpa and he agreed to pay my tuition. Off I went!! We were meant to be together because after about four weeks, believe it or not, we were married and moved into the quonset huts for married students on the college campus.
We did not have much of a wedding, but it was a nice one in our minister's home with our families there. We had a small wedding cake and then headed off to the mountains for our honeymoon before going back to college.
The rest is history and after 58 years, 3 boys, 13 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren we are still here and perking along at a pretty good speed.
Life is good and our children are spectactular. Love them all.

Parker boys and the new station wagon, 1957

Purchased for $2300 in 1957, the days before seat belts!

Bill Parker, MA grad at UCLA, 1952 by Barbara Jean Smith Parker

Bill and Bob in 1952.
A long time ago. An exciting day, we made it all the way through and now on to his MA at UCLA and a move from the quonset hut to the barracks on campus at Westwood. David wa just 3 months old and Bob was 2.

Bill, Barbara and boys, 1955

Barbara and Boys, 1961 by Barbara Jean Smith Parker

This was taken in 1961 of me and my very handsome sons.

William Lee Parker, Army 1946m by Barbara Jean Smith Parker

This is of Bill (William Lee Parker) in 1946 when he was in the Army Air Corps, before it was the US Air Force. He was stationed in Okinawa for two years. The war was officially over, but there was still a lot of cleanup operations to be done. There were Japanese in the caves and sniper attacks were still going on. Bill was a crew chief on the first jet squadron in the South Pacific. He was pretty handsome don't you think?

David Lee Parker with his MG, by Barbara Jean Smith Parker

This was such a special red car. The young man driving it was and is pretty special too. He worked many hours to earn enough money to buy this car and was determined to get the one he wanted. He found this MG at Joe Thrall Motors and took his dad to see it. He had just enough money and laid it all out but asked his dad for fifty cents more. His dad said no and David had to break another dollar. Bill came home and told me about it and said that he was so proud of David for doing what he did and working so hard to get what he wanted that he didn't want to take away the feeling of having done it all himself-down to the last penny. At least that is the way the story was told to me. Wish he still had that special car.

Pearl Jessie Rose, age 3

Parker boys Christmas, late 1950s by Barbara Jean Smith Parker

Christmas a long time ago with my 3 little boys. Now they are grandfathers- goodness how time flies!

Parker boys in wagon, 1963 by Barbara Jean Smith Parker

I was cleaning out some drawers and I found this old picture. They were such cute little boys. This was in front of our first house in North Torrance. We purchased it for 12,000 dollars. Times have changed!!
Can you even imagine it? Danny was four months old, David was two, and Bob was three. This was in 1953. Notice-David has a watch on. Do you think he could tell time?

Parker boys with Lauren Stephanie Britton, circa 1968, by Barbara Jean Smith Parker

Do you recognize these young kids? Of course they didn't think they were so young.

This picture must have been about 1968.  David and Lauren were seniors in high school, Bob
was going to Orange Coast College and Dan was a junior in high school. My how our family has grown
from these four to 45 or so. I need to recount the number, but is somewhere around there.
We are truly blessed.

Church in Bakersfield, by Barbara Jean Smith Parker

One Sunday we traveled from Torrance to Bakersfield for the dedication of their new church. Bill was in the cradle roll of the old church and his name was in the plaque on the new church.

Disneyland, April 1957 by Barbara Jean Smith Parker

Can you believe Disneyland with ever so few people? We surprised the boys and went here on David's fifth birthday. They were so excited when we drove into the parking lot that I thought the top would come right off of the car. It was a surprise and they did not know where we were going. What a fun day!!! April 1957

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Milo Dock Potter with his Great Grandsons

Grandpa Milo Dock Potter and the three boys (Bob, David and Daniel Parker) in front of the house at 4509 E Ocean Blvd in Long Beach. Grandpa built the rock wall around the front yard. The house is no longer there and there are two three-story apartments on the property. It is sad because there was so much of grandpa's hand work with rock and tile. He was quite a worker and very proud of his home. Here he was dressed to go a performance of a Barber Shop Quartet that he sang in. There are lots of good memories of Grandpa.

New Car, 1967 by Barbara Jean Smith Parker

We lived in Villa Park, which was a rural area at the time. We had this old barn in the backyard where the boys used to play. Dan practiced his drums out there and we had a barn dance for Bob's 17th birthday. Our house was built in 1905 and was a craftsman style. Sears used to sell a kit house for 500 dollars and this is what our house was. The Holditches, an old Villa Park family had it built for their first home after they were married.
In 1975, Grampy bought the 1967 jag for ?? but it wasn't much compared to cars today. Bob was driving the old blue chevy station wagon and still trying to fix up the old white ford that he had purchased from a friends father. It didn't run but he finally got it running and then David could drive the blue chevy until he bought a car and then it was Dan's turn. That old chevy had two hundred and fifty thousand miles plus on it when it finally died.
The little jag was a pretty car and the boys took it to the proms. It was special to all of us.

Written in February 2008

Pearl holding Elliott Richard Parker, 1974

A picture of Pearl Jessie Rose Potter, holding her first Great-great-grandchild, Elliott Richard Parker, in the fall of 1974.

Parker Boys Camping Trip

A fishing trip with Uncle Johnny. They did catch some fish.

Milo, Pearl, Bill and Barbara, 1964

An old picture taken in 1964. Pearl (Jessie Rose Potter) and Milo (Dock Potter) are the same age here as we are now! Yes we have grown older. Bill and Barbara on the left.

by Barbara Jean Smith Parker

Bill and Barbara's First Home, by Barbara Jean Smith Parker

I have been taking a writing class on stories about our family. I started with stories about meeting Bill. One of the stories was about our first home. Yes, it was this lavish, luxurious quonset hut on the Chapman College Campus! This was also Bob and David's first home as they were both born while we lived here. You can see diapers hanging on the clothes line and the baby buggy with Bob in it. I look at this picture and see how far we have come. It was fun there, though as the other quonsets had students just like us with babies and we were all poor and knowing that it would't be that way forever.

Bill and Barbara, circa 1958 by Barbara Jean Smith Parker

We were young once! This was taken in Palm Springs where Bill was leading a conference for the Merchants and Manufactures Association in Los Angeles. So this had to be about 1958. We were living 
in Covina at the time, and Bill was driving into Los Angeles for work every day. This was about his last year of working with this Association as he found another job close to home and the opportunity was much better. He and two others started the plant project for Hoffman Electronics in El Monte. This involved building the plant, hiring the workers, etc. In other words, starting from the beginning. The plant was for the growing of solar crystals to be made into solar panels, etc. He was a very busy husband and father as the job required most of his time. It didn't last forever though.

Idylwild by Barbara Jean Smith Parker

In 1953, we went to Pine Cove in Idlywild and spent some time at Grandma and Grandpa Potter's cabin. There wasn't a lot of snow but enough to have some fun in. The cabin is still there but the people that bought it fixed it up and painted it with red shutters and a red door. 
Let me explain the cabin. Grandpa built it on the lot that he bought and it started out to be the garage and he was going to build a bigger cabin when they could afford it. However, it never got done and he had made this "garage" into a very livable large room! On the inside, he built a loft. This was a fun place when I was a little girl. I could go up into the loft and see down below. It seemed so high. He built a ladder that fastened up to the beams and if you were as tall as an adult it was easy to undo it and put it down so that you could climb up. It was made out of manzanita wood as were the railings on the loft. There were two beds up there for sleeping and a window that you could see outside.
As you walked in the front door you could see the whole place. There was a sink and drainboard on the left with tile counters that grandpa had made. The tile was mismatched in bright colors. Oh yes, there was a water faucet on the sink, but it was only cold water. If you wanted hot water or wanted to cook there was a wood stove. There was no electricity and we used oil lamps for light. So needless to say, we went to bed early. The cabin was full of antiques that were not antiques at the time. Two brass double beds and two birdseye maple dressers. There was an old large windup victrola with many old records that as children we loved to play. 
The one thing I did not like was the "outhouse." I am sure the new owners have indoor plumbing. In the winter, we kept our food in a box that Grandpa had built in the tree outside of the front door. It was cold outside so we didn't need ice. A different story in the summer. Then we had to get ice from the little store down the road.
We always had fun and looked forward to going to the mountains. Bill and I even spent our honeymoon there. As it was December, it was so cold and we had to keep a fire going in the old wood stove. Not sure the boys remember our time at the cabin, but I hope so.

Written in April 2008

Great Grandma Coles

Barbara Jean Smith Parker, with her mother, Evelyn May Potter Smith Coles, and some of the children. This was taken in about 1985 in California.

Bob and David Parker 1956

Bill and Barbara Parker Family 1963

Wedding at the Oceanside First Christian Church
August 2, 1963

David, Barbara, Daniel, Bill and Bob Parker

Starspray by Barbara Jean Smith Parker

This picture is of us christening the "Starspray." I broke the bottle. Bill held me from falling in and Bob took some pictures. I don't know who took this picture? This was an exciting day and we were anxious to sail our new boat. Just more memories.

All three boys Bob, Dave and Dan are in the cockpit and it looks like Bill on the tiller. Those were fun days. Especially when Bob was on the tiller and heeled the boat over very far. Sure he like to hear me scream! Remember when we went out to meet the Queen Mary and it was so windy we had to head back. Remember our days spent at little harbor in Catalina. How about getting caught in the fog off of the coast. Or pilling into Woody's Wharf and David trying to keep the boat from ramming into the bow sprit of a docked boat. Many memories. I am sure the boys have more. Going out of the jetty at Newport. Could be headed for Catalina?

Christmas in the 1950s by Barbara Jean Smith Parker

This was about 1954-55. Notice the very large TV in the
corner. The tree was decorated with large cookies that
we decorated. The pattern for the cookies were taken
from color books and then painted with a paint brush and
frosting. The boys would put all of the cookies out on
Christmas Eve before they went to bed and Santa would
bring a tree and on Christmas morning. Lo and behold there
was a decorated tree with all of the packages underneath!
It was a fun tradition and lasted for quite a few years.
Now all three of these little boys are grandfathers. Where did
the time go?

Written in December 2008

Lost and Found by Barbara Jean Smith Parker

My father had 2 sisters, Aunt Dorothy and Aunt Winifred. Last night, I recieved a phone call from a lady who had found me on google she asked me some questions. She caught me up on my two aunts and had questions regarding my father.
My Aunt Dorothy married at the age of 50 and has since passed away and she had no children. I had not seen her since I was 12 years old. Aunt Winifred had two girls, Lynn and Cameron. Aunt Winifred has since passed away also. I had no way of connecting with any of my cousins as I didn't even know their names. The phone call turned out to be my first cousin Cameron Pilchard Kelsey. For years, I have wondered where these two cousins were, but I couldn't trace them because I didn't know their names. I did know that the oldest one was named Lynn and I did see her once when she was a baby. Cameron was born when I was about 15 and I didn't know anything about her except that she was Lynn's sister. Anyway, it was rather exciting to finally know where they are and what their names are. Lynn lives in Santa Maria and Cameron lives in Prescott, Arizona. We talked on the phone today and Cameron is going to send me some pictures of the family. I only have five formal pictures of Grandma and Grandpa Smith and my two aunts and my dad. Not only that, but I really didn't know any of the history of the Smith family so she said she would catch me up on some history. She did say that she had the names of Grandpa Smith's mother and father and a picture of Grandpa and his brothers and sisters. I didn't know he even had any. I know that on the Smith's side of the family there were only my sister and me, and Lynn and Cameron. On the Potter side, there was my cousin Glenn and my sister and me. Glenn has since passed away also. No one else is probably interested but I have a mystery solved!

May 2009

Emily May Pinney Rose Roberts Potter by Barbara Jean Smith Parker

A cousin in Arizona sent me these pictures of our family. I had never seen a picture of Obediah Wellington Rose before. He died when Pearl Potter (my grandmother) was three years old. This was before the Pinney family left Missouri by covered wagon and came to California. She has more pictures to send so I will blog them when I get them. I am not sure of the date on any of these or just when Emily married Mr. Roberts. After they were divorced, or he passed away (I am not sure which), she married Andrew Jackson Potter, who was Milo Potter's father. This made Grandma Pearl and Grandpa Milo step brother and sister as well as man and wife. I know that Emily did not marry AJ Potter until some time after Pearl and Milo had been married for some years. Family history has so many stories.

Obediah Wellington Rose and Emily May Pinney Rose. This is a picture of Pearl Potter's parents.

Emily May Pinney Rose

Emily May Pinney Rose Roberts Potter

Rose Sisters by Barbara Jean Smith Parker

My cousin, Eleanor Martinez in Arizona, sent me these pictures. She is the grandaughter of Dorothy MacDonald, who was Aunt Blanche's daughter.

This is a picture of Pearl Rose Potter, Blanche Rose MacDonald and Olive Rose DeRemer. They are three sisters. Pearl is the youngest and Olive is the oldest. I remember all three of them and used to visit Aunt Olive in San Fernando, California. Uncle Ed and Aunt Olive had an orange grove and I remember Uncle Ed getting up very early in the morning to set out the smuge pots. After the 1933 earthquake in Long Beach my mother, sister and I lived at their house for a good six months.

This is my mother's sister, Lucille Potter Miller, Dorothy MacDonald (Aunt Blanche's Daughter), someone named Vera, who I don't know and Evelyn May Potter, my mother. This picture is in Long Beach down by the Pier. I love to look at the clothes and notice the bathing suits on the people in the background.

Written in July 2009

Obediah Wellington Rose and Emily Pinney Family by Barbara Jean Smith Parker

This is Obediah Wellington Rose and Emily Pinney with their children. This must have been about 1892 or 1893 as Pearl, who is in the center, was three years old when they came to California and Obediah had passed away before that. I know that Olive and Blanche were the other two girls and Carl was one of the boys.

Written in Aug 2009

Long Beach Apartment House by Barbara Jean Smith Parker

Another old picture. This is the house on 4th Street in downtown Long Beach, California, that Emily Potter owned.
She lived in the apartment on the right side of the picture and Aunt Blanche lived in the apartment on the left. I remember visiting when I was about five years old. It was a different kind of place because it had one toilet downstairs in the back hall for the downstairs apartments to use, and one upstairs for the upstairs residents. I remember it being dark and the toilet seat was a funny color of black or dark brown. I did not like to use it unless veryyyyy necessary. Great Grandma always had cookies but we had to have oatmeal first. The very small kitchen had very dark wood cupboards and wood drain boards. There was a pull-down bed in the living room. I don't remember if there was a bedroom. Great Grandma was always in her rocking chair. She had very white hair that was a little bit yellow and and my mother said that it was because she only washed it once a month or longer. She always had on a long black dress with a white lace collar. I remember the funniest things but I was only five when she passed away.
In the summer, when my mother was young, they would visit Great Grandma and from there, they would go to the Pike or the beach. I think in some of the pictures you can see my mother and Aunt Lucille in front on the steps.
There are new apartments there now, and I went down a couple of years ago to see the house and get pictures, but it has been torn down and the apartments were built. This is the only picture I have and it was sent to me by a cousin.

Written in Aug 2009

Long Beach Peninsula House

Barbara and Betty at Grandma and Grandpa Smith's at Christmas. I think I was 8 years old but don't remember. We loved these dolls and grandma made the dresses and knit the sweater, caps and booties. I remember one time, Betty insisted that "Toodles" had a cold and she rubbed Vicks all over her chest. From that day on, we could tell which doll was which and which was hers and which was mine. The Vicks really discolored the cloth body of the doll. Grandma always gave us a new doll at Christmas.
These pictures were taken on the boardwalk in front of the house. You can see a bit of the Christmas tree in the window. The house was on the Peninsula in Long Beach with Alamitos Bay on one side and the ocean on the other. One time, during a terrible storm, before Long Beach put in the breakwater, a big log was washed up by the huge waves and it went right through the front window. They don't have tides anymore since the breakwater.

Bruno's in Villa Park, by Barbara Jean Smith Parker

When we moved to Orange County in 1961, we lived in Villa Park. We lived in a little craftsman house that was a Sears and Roebuck catalog house from 1905. It was built by a family called Holditch and they owned the orange grove on Wanda Road that can be seen on the left side of the picture. The Fitchens owned the house across the street form that we lived in and the 8 acres of orange grove that surrounded our house. They had moved into another house on Lincoln that was closer to the corner of Wanda and Lincoln. When Bob, Dave and Dan were in school, they would go to Bruno's market on the way home and get candy and things. I could run up there for milk or bread, etc. instead of having to go to Alpha Beta on the corner of Collins and Tustin. (When I was in a hurry!)
We now live on Wanda road between Katella and Collins and just south of Lincoln Street. This picture is from the corner of Wanda and Katella. You can see the railroad tracks on the left side of the picture. They ran right down the street in front of our house. Wanda was only two lanes wide and Katella was only two lanes wide with houses on both sides of the street. We really lived in the country then. Villa Park incorporated and became a city at the time we moved there. It is now celebrating its 50 years as a city. Where we live now used to be Villa Park and Bruno's was in Villa Park but when the city incorporated, it divided Wanda Road in the middle and everything west of the center of Wanda Road was Orange, so if Bruno's was still here it would be Orange, not Villa Park.
All has changed so much and now all of the orange groves are gone. The streets are four lanes and
there are traffic lights on the corners. The house we live in on Lincoln is gone and it is now a street with houses on all the land where the groves were. We had eucalyptus trees dividing all of the groves
and down the streets. You can see the ones behind Bruno's market. 

These were the good ole days. We didn't even own a key to the front door!