Even as she grew
older her determination never faltered. Dur- ing World War II, if
she happened to be late for a bus, and she often was, she drove as fast
as she could until she had overtaken it, forced it to the
side of the road and climbed aboard. As far as I know
the bus drivers were more amused than angry, which was just as well
because any dressing down would have gone in one ear and out the
My parents had seven children — Mary, myself, Teddy, Anna, Edward,
Bill and Ruth, but as Mary died before Ruth was born we were
essentially six. Living as we did in a rather remote lo-cation, we had
to use native ingenuity in contriving our various forms of amusement.
One of my very early recollections is
being pushed down the back stairs by Mary, a painful experience that
called for vengeance at the earliest opportunity; and so it
went until Teddy was old enough to become the victim.
Our back stairs were perfectly straight with a door into the
kitchen at the bottom. Whenever we got a new cook, we broke her in
by letting several dozen golf balls loose at the top of the stairs
all at once. Their impact on the closed door was enough to scare any
unsuspecting person out of her wits.
Another amusement was to play games in the night. The
children's wing of our house went off at an angle from the main
part, and my parents at one end could look across to our rooms
at the other. However, they were sound sleepers, and we could usually
pull down our shades and turn on the lights in the small hours without
being detected, and indulge in various antics such as
checkers, cards or perhaps a treasure hunt. We moved about on
tiptoe, never raising our voices above a whisper and making every effort
not to get into each other's hair and stir up a rumpus.