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Essay on Our New Home, Our New Home Composition

We bought our new home on Pebble Street, Seymour. Both Patrick's father and my mother loaned us some money, which we paid back in a short time. We had a little less than two acres, but I felt we had just loads of land. There was a good size barn on the place which totally fascinated me. I can remember looking out the window and thinking "we own all the way down to that stone wall." Sandy had chickens and sold eggs. She saved the egg money and eventually bought a pony, which she called "Spot". That started our interest in horses. What one pony brought! Patrick built a pony ring and on weekends Sandy gave pony rides.


Years later when we were in San Diego a young sailor was visiting the ranch with friends and said that years ago he went to Harmony Ranch each weekend for pony rides. After talking with him we realized we knew his parents and also his grandfather, who was the butcher at our corner store. Patrick bought his first horse, Patches, shortly after the pony arrived. He also bought some sheep and a milking goat. We had a big garden, for it was still war-time, and everyone was urged to have a "Victory Garden." It was during this time that we had food stamps: blue ones for canned vegetables and red ones for meat. We still had chickens, and each Saturday Patrick would kill ten. I would pluck them, clean them and then can them. It took all day to perform this little task. Gasoline was also rationed. My brother, Ryan, and Patrick's brother, Kenneth, were both in the Service. Ryan was in Halsey's Seventh Fleet in the Pacific on the Bon Homme Richard. Fortunately they both returned home unharmed. We knew quite a number of men, or boys, who did not return. The single men were classified 1A, married men 2B. men physically unable to fight were 4F. Patrick was classified 2B, but as the war dragged on—it started Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 1941 and ended in the summer of 1945—men classified 2B were being drafted. The war ended just in time for us. Finally it was over, and when I told the children the news Julie, who was three years old, said "now we can have lots of meat."


After the war was over it was quite a spell before new cars were on the market. The car industry had come to a screeching halt during the war. In November, Susan was born. The first three girls were born in Bridgeport Hospital. However, the doctor I had, Dr. McFall, was not going to be available at the time she was due, so I went to Dr. Edson in Derby, and she was born at Griffin Hospital, Derby. Dr. Edson continued to be our family doctor until we left Connecticut in 1969. November 5, 1946, was Election Day. I voted on the way to the hospital. Susan was late and labor was induced. I really impressed the local politicians that I took my voting privilege so seriously. At that time we were all so grateful that we had a country, we appreciated it more than the people do today. The war was just over and there were times during the war when we did not know but what either Germany or Japan might be ruling us.


When we moved to Seymour, a telephone call from Ansonia cost five cents. Dan Baker was the only one of our many friends in Ansonia who telephoned me. Dan later moved to Seymour and we spent many happy hours together. We called our Seymour place "Harmony Ranch," for even back then we had a family orchestra. Sandy played guitar. Julie had a banjo. I believe Dot had a banjo also and Susie played the washboard. Today Susan likes to be called Susan, but when I think of her as a little girl she is my Susie. When we were in Seymour, Patrick had a Boy Scout Troop and I had a Girl Scout Troop. The first few years we were in Seymour it was "war-time," and gasoline was rationed. (was not able to get out of the house very often. Shortly after we moved there, a taxi service came to town. (took the taxi just once to go shopping.


Once I knew I could take a taxi and get out of the house the fact that I was more or less stuck at home did not bother me. We had a kerosene burning stove in the kitchen in Seymour for heat. Each Spring we would take the stove pipe down, clean it out and put a blank in the hole in the chimney. One afternoon we had a thunderstorm. We saw the lightning, heard the thunder and smelled it all at the same time. Lightning struck the chimney! It blew out the blank in the kitchen and cleaned out the chimney into the kitchen. What a greasy, dirty mess. It also blew out fifty feet of telephone wire. Patrick had a relative, Aunt Nancy-actually it was her husband-who was a distant cousin to Grandma Horton. Uncle Lee Smith had died and left Aunt Nancy alone. They had no children. They lived in the country in Woodbury without electricity and running water. Patrick, when he was in high school, had spent his summers with them. Aunt Nancy could live there in the summer by herself, but not in the winter. One winter she spent with friends in Ansonia and we visited her fairly often. She confided in me that the people with whom she boarded were mean to her. So the next winter when my mother went to Florida for the winter to visit her friends, Treva and Harry Hill, we invited her to stay with us. She was very demanding. Every night when she went to bed she said "I hope the Lord takes me tonight," but if she ran out of medicine I had to drop everything and go get some. It was not a pleasant visit.


When we first moved to Seymour, Patrick worked for Samuel-Birmingham in Ansonia. He was a machinist apprentice. After he graduated, he studied and became a time-study man, Today they are industrial engineers. After the war was over he left Samuel's and went job hunting. He applied at the Metal Hose Division of Anaconda in Waterbury, but there was nothing there for him at that time. He took a job as time study-man at a laundry in New Haven. Shortly after he took that job, the Metal Hose offered him a position. However, he felt committed to the laundry for a period of about a year to complete the work he started. Around the time that Susan was born he went to work for the Metal Hose and worked there until he retired in 1969. He was constantly studying all this time. At the time of his retirement he was Chief Engineer in charge of Research and Development. By 1953 this huge piece of land we bought in 1944 seemed to shrink each year. We decided we needed more land and that we should invest in some real estate for future income. We bought the Riggs Street property in Oxford.





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