family history 1950s

October 1952 sounds right for Debbie Born in Los Angeles
I was 5, started first grade in Tucumcari really bright sun me am mom walking downtown her carrying baby becky.
Then went to LA.
Then came back for Steve to be born in January.

Bus trip to Los Angeles both ways I guess while dad working.
I remember Bob Johnson big house on side of mountain set off by itself.
Valley below full of trees and bushes.
Many rooms in the house.
 not sure where in LA that was.
Seems it was LA proper around ball stadium NW of downtown over toward Hollywood?
Don't remember Bob but do remember lots of females putting on makeup in front of mirrors.

Also was in West Covina Grandparents house.
Rapidly growing city, new construction everywhere.
They used oil burning in little black pots instead of lights to warn drivers not to drive some areas.
Grandma taught sunday school, a good teacher.
Had a TV, first I saw, Robin Hood.
We did have a radio in Columbia Missouri that mom listened to.

I turned 6 in November probably in LA.
Then returned to Tucumcari where I re-entered first grade Mrs. Stone.

1953 spring we went to farm show in Dalhart Texas near Stratford Texas where Rosemary and Sherry were born.
I think Anita was born in San Diego?
Sort of overcast weather but a fair amount of sun and not too cold I got to sit on tractor.
Parents a little depressed, maybe Burl in bad shape, ?

Grandpa Kelley's brother Jeff? shot himself with shotgun in Portales.
Aunt Ruth said he was an alcoholic.
Probably was a smoker too I think he had emphysema or lung cancer something.
Skinny gaunt, we drove by once, mom commented about how bad he looked, could see veins in his arms.
That was probably October 1952 and maybe led to her taking bus to safety in Los Angeles with me and Becky.
Not get mixed up with addicted family which is common in Missouri still now google 417 meth phone area code.
She thought she was better family Scandinavian from the north Dakota Minnesota.

Why grandparents moved to New Mexico because Missouri is the #1 tobacco alcohol meth sugar state.
Lowest tax rates on tobacco and alcohol, so people get sick, addicted.
Aunt Mary Ella got sick as baby and doctor said to get her out of the state Valley Fever Asthma lung problem.
so they left the next day to Clovis New Mexico high dry low smog allergens.
Grandma called Tucumcari Tucum.
I think Mary Ella got lung sick from from her father who smoked 2 packs of Camels per day until he died from it - 
second hand smoke on babies is bad.
My dad smoked until Steve was born - he could not take it.
I may have some lung damage from that.
Steve was also allergic to chocolate.
None of the rest of us had any problems with allergies.

 I remember dad driving south to the his uncle Jeff's funeral alone - car going off in distance in bright sun.
Seems we lived in 2 or 3 different houses in Tucumcari?
May not have been a happy time, why mom left to LA.
I cut my hand on an old steel trash can in that back yard about the same time and 
still have a sesame seed sized piece of metal embedded in my left palm.

Mother got sick once and passed out, collapsed, in Tucumcari first house - about September before we went to LA.
She hit the floor and came to in a few minutes I just sat there waiting did not know what to do.
Was pregnant with Steve, probably was about August or September.
She must have been quite pregnant in LA should not have been traveling.
6 months pregnant with Steve he may have epigenetic psychological damage.
Tucumcari we had a refrigerator leak and stinking freon all over the house at least once.
Seems some of us got sick from breathing it, maybe led to pass out.
Probably when we first moved in August or September 1052 or so.
Uncle AJ had many boxes of Toys from Asia and Korea in the building behind the house I got a few to play cheap stuff made in Japan from used beer cans.
Some antiques he was selling in the 1990s.
He was in Air Force 17 years, before WWII, Korea, and early Vietnam.

Then summer 1953 we moved to Artesia green valley after long drive high plains barren hills from Tucumcari to Clovis to Roswell to Artesia.
I started second grade central school.
I got sick real bad in the spring with measles, mumps, chicken pox all at the same time.
Missed 3 weeks of school still remember feeling tired and sick of it after 2 weeks.
That was the last I missed ever, not missed any school, or military, or work since then due to illness.
Was glad we moved into new house lived 5 years without so much moving or traveling.
hated to leave New Mexico to move to California miserable place.

My mother and Bob were born in Gentry Arkansas farm 
and the older boys born in South Dakota, Smithwick farm.
My father born in Rogers I think most of the others too, probably all of those siblings.

in 1952 uncle Bill and Edith lived in Neodesha Kansas next to a wheat field.
We went there often from Baxter Springs Kansas.
Big screened in back porch with mattress, laundry, tools, etc.
Me and Becky used to slide down Mom's back like a slide on that mattress.
I used to brush Mom's hair a lot - she liked that.
I first saw Charles Johnson there he was out in the wheat field.
We may have tried to harvest and eat some of that wheat some how.

We did not see your family much after you moved to Los Angeles.
But we went back to Wichita somewhat often, and once to Joplin and Arkansas.
Then after we moved to California saw you in LA often but never went to Wichita or anywhere back there.

Becky had a violin about 1955 and took a few lessons
I was scheduled for viola lessons the same time but got time fouled up and never went.
Really should have learned music.
I did take ukelele and maybe could have been a Beatle if continued.


 obituary on

Deborah Johnson Galil

• BORN: October 12, 1952 
• DIED: August 24, 2009 
• LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA 

From: Joyce The Traveling Lady 

 I enjoyed all the information about your moving around and when you started first grade and when your mom went out to see Debbie when she was born and the place is in Tucumcari. 

I really don't know where everybody lived because I was young. 
Where was your mother born and where was your dad born and where were you born? 

When Bob and Debbies mom headed to California she was pregnant and stopped it our house in some small Kansas town which I don't know what it was.

 I think from there we moved to Udall Kansas area who had the big tornado. Udall was I think five miles east of us. 

I think I have pictures I have your family coming to visit us in Belle Plaine. 

Of course there are a lot less kids!!! 

Your parents must have already moved to Tucumcari when we were in Belle Plaine and from there I think we move to Lawton Oklahoma where I started  first grade . 
And from Lawton Oklahoma we move to Azusa California. 

Amazing we all went and saw anybody because we had to write a letter first and find out if it was okay to come and wait for the letter to come back! 
I don't think many of us had much of the phone service stuff. 
And Lawton Oklahoma area of our phone was on the wall and you picked up the handle and gave the operator the short number you wanted to call.
 I think I used the phone once.

John my brother should be able to fill me in on  the houses we lived in when we were in Belle Plaine because my dad belt one which was the last house where we lived in another one because I remember both my parents had poison oak and went to bed really really sick and the doctor had to come to the house. 

I have a picture of that one somewhere also. The one my dad built 
I Remember Mom would chop heads off of chickens in the driveway after she grabbed them by the head and swung them to break their neck first. 
It's still a vivid picture for me! 
That house was by a railroad and we would have a big garden out back. 
You were there so you probably will remember it better than me because you were older. 
I remember coming to your house I think in Tucumcari and I think Becky had a violin? 
I think Aunt Ruth lived in Clovis at the time? Does anybody remember? 
I remember being there when I was young and laying on the couch with an earache and she put oil in my ear, warm oil.

Well enough of the reminiscing. 

Maybe if I get the photographs out someday I can put it together a little bit better!

 I don't remember Rose and Sherry when we went to see aunt Ruth but I am sure they were there along with Uncle burl but everybody was probably outside playing and I was laying there sick.

Did you go to Wichita and see and Edith and Uncle Bill and Barbara and Larry on your trip to Tucumcari from Missouri? 

They live there long before we went to Kansas I believe.

We move to Azusa California in 1957 in the summer.
 I had just gotten out of first grade and I was born in 1949. 
There was no kindergarten in Lawton Oklahoma or if there was nobody signed me up! 
Debbie was born in October of 1953 oh gosh I'm pretty sure that's what it was. 
I have it written down.

Cousin Larry Johnson ought to know a lot of the stuff too.  

More later,

I sat out on my balcony and my bathing suit yesterday until I got so hot I had to come in! I think it was in the sixties but the sun was out.  

I believe this coming week is the same forecast. 

 The dry air sure helps with not having any aches and pains. 

 Maybe you should buy yourself that little motor you talked about and head south in the winter and north in the summer.

 I always wanted to just go sightseeing all around the United States. 

There are a lot of places you can park for free.
 They list dump stations on a website  
I don't remember the name something like truckers path way. 
You could do the whole Oregon coast the whole North border and the Northeast maybe in one summer or just hang out on the Pacific Northwest. 
It is always cool there in the summer at the beach. 
 I have not been traveling hardly at all since I came to Nevada. 
I'm not looking forward to Summer but I imagine your body adapts to the heat. 
 I used a fan a lot last summer which seems to help me tolerate higher temperatures and I used air conditioning but I didn't have to set it  all that cool. 
When the Sun goes down at night it's not bad at all outside even when it's really hot.


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