Our Married Life
As I look back I wonder if I was ready for marriage - ready
to share. The very first day of our married life I was very
upset with Wilbur for he put some of his things in my
desk. From the time Dad made it and gave it to me that desk
had belonged to me alone.
We were married on a Friday evening by Dr. Mark
Matthews and I had wanted Dr. Bollen, the University Baptist
pastor and my
former speech teacher at Linfield. Wilbur won out for we
did belong to the First Presbyterian Church and I was a choir
member also. But on Saturday I persuaded Wilbur to go with
me to the Bollen's and we had our picture taken with them!
We were married in The Manse on Harvard Avenue. Only my
family and Frances and Howard Rosenquist were there. Afterwards
Dad and Mother had refreshments for us - a wedding cake,
Our first apartment at 3731 University Way was on the second
floor. Not too long after we moved in an
apartment downstairs was available and it had both a private
entrance and a private
bath. It had no closet, just a huge wardrobe. In spite of
its small size, we managed to squeeze in my new studio size
Wilbur had bought a window cleaning business, which also
included cleaning and polishing floors. This work had to
be done after business hours so when he wasn't at the university
library studying he was working. Two nights a week I taught
at Business College. One night I came home to find the apartment
filled with a huge dog that had followed Wilbur home from
the campus. Since I had been bitten by a couple of dogs I
wasn't fond of them. I very nearly ran home to Mother and
Dad that night.
One day I did. I can laugh now, but then it was very serious.
A fly kept bothering us while we were eating and finally
Wilbur squashed him - yes, I mean SQUASHED - on the table.
So back to 1324 Allen Place I trotted. But Dad wouldn't let
me stay. In later years I would get angry because Wilbur
refused to kill a fly or a spider, even huge ones.
We got married early in the Depression and businesses on
the U Way felt it so much they even started to wash their
own windows. Then I became pregnant and lost my job of teaching
at the business college. Mrs. Snyder, my friend who taught
shorthand, told us
of an acquaintance on 33rd Ave North who needed to rent all
but one room of
her home. She liked us
so we moved in with her. That was Viola's first home.
Wilbur tried to find work but as so many others, couldn't,
as there was none. So he went to Yakima to pick apples leaving
me with less than one dollar. We couldn't pay Mrs. Micken
rent so a friend in the church choir, Mrs. House, offered
us her upstairs at 230 W. Galer Ave on 99 Hill. That was
winter, snow and ice. One day I found Viola's bassinet covered
with snow on the back porch. However, Viola was warm. There
wasn't any heat except from floor registers so it was cold
upstairs. One night we went out I put a hot water bottle
in the bed so it would be warm. We got into the bed but just
as quickly got out. The bottle had broken!
Wilbur started working at the Gas Company at night so we
could afford to move. 4831 Fremont Avenue was our next stop.
The house was so cute! It had a big kitchen, a small living
room and a small bedroom, and a bathroom. We had a big coal
range and when we first moved in Kenneth McKenzie's father
(Kenneth & Wilbur were Friday Harbor friends) sent us
a load of coal. The house was torn down several years ago,
and an apartment building is in its place.
Our backyard was next to the backyard of a family named
Rhoades. The husband, Clyde, had been laid off at Boeing's
and he was working for Lockheed in Witchita, Kansas. Wilbur
was working nights so Isobel and I would take our dinners
and our three children to Woodland Park. She is the one who
got me to drinking coffee, for she couldn't bear to throw
Barbara Lou and Viola were the same age and Gloria (now
spelled Glorya) was older. Our families became the best of
friends and had so many plans for retirement but both Clyde
and Isobel died of cancer. Glorya lives in Bellevue and we
see each other periodically.
During the daytime Wilbur worked with a Mr. Richardson at
the University Y. When he learned Verna was on the way he
offered us his house at 3824 Bagley Avenue. His daughter
and son-in-law were fixing it up and were prepared to move
in but he preferred renting to us. So in the fall of 1933
we moved here, paying $25.00 a month.
The thermometer said freezing, and it was. We started a
fire in the kitchen stove and the pipes in the wall burst.
We started a fire in the fireplace and got smoked out. After
a couple of days the pipes were fixed and we could have a
What did we pay for things in 1928? Here's a sample from
Wilbur's little account book:
||milk . 15
||grapes . 15
||beef steak .15
||chili powder .15
||eskimo pie .05
||shredded wheat .13
||canned milk .25
Several years after we moved in, we decided we should pay
more rent, so we voluntarily paid Mr. Richardson $35.00.
When WWII began prices started to go up, rent as well as
everything else. We knew Mr. Richardson could sell the house
so we offered to buy it. He set the price at $3500, which
we accepted. Who wouldn't?
Over the years we have made a few changes. The window seat
in the dining room was taken out so we would have more room.
There once was a built-in china closet on the wall away from
the windows and there was a beamed ceiling and French doors
from the dining room into the living room. I liked the doors,
but with three children plus their friends, glass got broken.
There were practically no kitchen cupboards so Wilbur and
Vern remedied that. Where the breakfast bar is now there
was a pantry and a cooler. For a time we had a table and
benches there. Later, much later, I was told how easy it
was to drop unwanted food out of the window.
So after living in nineteen different places in my first
twenty-eight years, I have lived in this one home for fifty-nine
[In addition Gma requested and JA is looking for: Picture
Lou with curls, maybe also Clyde and Isobel.]
Comment by Viola Allan re Clyde and Isobel Rhodes, the good
friends with whom Hazel and Wilbur had hoped to travel with
during their retirement: Both the Rhoades died of lung cancer.
They were heavy smokers. One
for Wilbur she mentioned to me, not really seriously, she
was just frustrated at the moment, that she wished he smoked
so she could buy something related to smoking. I thought
that was a little far out for a reason for smoking.
Dedicated to Verna