Friday, October 26, 2007

Marcella Armstrong's Journal, Installment 4

My sister, Clara Louise Clarke had such curly hair. She was a pretty girl. She was eight years old when we moved to the farm. She attended the country school near our farm. Then to Westfield school. She graduated from high school in 1926. She entered Lake Erie College and after two years went to Fredonia Normal (now a State University) to study art. Finally -- to Cornell University, where she became a Home Economics teacher. She taught in the Celeron [?] and Chautauqua Schools.

She married Gerald M. Lynch December 18, 1936 in the living room of Mother's and Father's home in Westfield. There were no attendants. Jerry worked in a bank in Jamestown and soon beame treasurer of Chautauqua Institution. They had a Cape Cod home built in Chautauqua at the end of Cookman Avenue. They also had a home in Southern Pines, North Carolina, where they played golf in winter.

Gerald died of cancer September 15, 1960.

There were two children. Bill (William Howard) was born November 15, 1937. Rebecca (Beckey) Ann was born March 28, 1941.

Bill was a handsome boy with curly hair and a nice smile. He joined the Marines after high school. Then he went to a two-year school in upper New York state (Delhi, N.Y.), where he studied surveying and building roads. He decided to go to California, where he attended the Police Academy in Los Angeles. He became a highway patrolman. He married Kay, who had a boy, Donnie, by her first marriage. A second boy was born -- Jeffrey. They lived at Tehachapi [sp?], California, up in the mountains.

Clara and Beckey once drove out to see them. They chose a route through the Rocky Mountains. The mountain driving frightened Clara. It was through Rocky Mountain National Park.

Bill collapsed one day at home in 1978. He was taken to a Bakersfield Hospital where it was discovered that he had a brain tumor. He was operated on but was left in a coma. Clara and Beckey flew out but he did not know them -- he showed no signs of knowing anything or anyone. But he did begin to move. He was transferred to the Veterans' Hospital in Los Angeles, then to Tacoma, Washington. He received much physical therapy and cooperated well. He was made to walk in Tacoma. He was taught cooking and typing but he was legally blind.

Harrison and Molly went to see him several times, staying in a motel overnight each time. They took him to a restaurant for steak dinners. They phoned to Clara each time to report Bill's progress.


Clara is going to take him. [Redacted] It is now 1980.


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