Wednesday, July 25, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 30 – Colorful

My aunt had a colorful name. Violet was my mother's youngest sister. My mother, Wilma Falk, was 12 when Violet was born on 11 Mar 1924. There were 2 other sisters between them and a baby brother was born in 1927.

I decided to check happenings in Violet's life in the 22 years before she was married in 1946 by using the website. Since she lived in Harrisburg Oregon the nearby newspaper in Eugene did include her name in over 30 issues. Also I found a mention in the Corvallis paper when she attended the England family reunion in Corvallis in 1930 with her parents and siblings. Since she was only 6, I wonder if she would have remembered that.

Reading about her activities in the newspaper, I learned a number of new things about her. When she was 5 years old in 1929 she attended a Sunday school party. In 1937 she was attending Busey school and
appeared in two of the plays presented at the school pie social. She was the only eighth grade graduate from Busey school that year and went on to attend Harrisburg High School. She did well in school, listed on the honor roll at least 3 times and graduated in 1941 with a class of 17 as the salutatorian. She appeared to be active in school: she was vice president of her junior class; appeared in the junior class play, played in a trumpet trio for the school band concert and went with the group to the coast for the Senior “Skip Day.”

She also was involved with the church as in 1939 she went with a group of Christian Endeavorers from Harrisburg to Portland. She played in a trumpet duet for the 1939 Christmas Sunday School program. I never knew she played the trumpet.

The newspaper named Violet as one of those who attended the bridal shower for her sister Lois in 1939 and again for the wedding shower for her sister Erma in 1941.

At some point Violet moved to Eugene where she was employed in office work. The 1944 Eugene city directory lists her as Violet Falk as a secretary at Oregon Mutual Life Insurance Company. Oregon Mutual was located at 132 E. Broadway in the Miner Building, room 343. I have memories of visiting the Miner Building, although it was not for Life Insurance. Violet was living at 710 Lawrence and her phone number was 2977. According to Google Maps today, it is ½ mile from where she was living to where she was working and it would take about 11 minutes to walk that distance.

While living in Eugene Violet still had friends. She was the maid of honor at a wedding and was in charge of the guest book at another, plus she was listed as a guest at a couple of bridal showers. She joined the Business Girls club, aka the Employed Girls club at the YWCA. In 1946 she was the chairman of their social committee and helped with at least 3 of their dances. She also served as a Junior Hostess for the USO, and received a 200 hour pin at their closing meeting in February of 1946. I read a little more about the USO Junior Hostesses and discovered they had some fairly strict rules: no slacks allowed, no smoking inside the USO areas, no drinking alcohol on the job, no dancing with other women and no refusing to dance with a service man unless he was “ungentlemanly.”

Finding out more about my aunt from reading in the newspapers made me wish that I had talked with her more often and asked questions about her life.

1 comment:

  1. I am sure many of us can sympathise with your wish that you had spoken more to a relation, but left it too late. There is a Violet in my husband’s family tree, but I must admit I never thought of looking at “colourful” Christian names fir this prompt.