Dave went to work for Fadel Construction Co., building a flying bomb base up in the San Gabriel Canyon. He worked for them for quite a while. While working for Fadel we received word that Dad Rowley had died, this was in 1948 (14 March). Dave prepared to attend his funeral in Montana. We decided not to take the family and when Dave got to Harlem he was sorry we all hadn’t gone with him as most of the other members of his family had brought their families.
There was a lot of violence and crime in the big city and so many influences that were not good for the children, that we decided it might be best if we looked for a smaller community to raise our family. We put our place up for sale and when it sold we prepared to leave for Gridley, California. We bid our friends goodbye and moved as soon as school was out.
We stayed with my Aunt Jeannette for a couple of weeks while we looked for a place we could buy. After about two weeks we bought the Melissa Clements home just off the Colusa road on Grace Ave. it was about three miles from town. It was much more of the kind of environment that we desired for our children. We made the move with six of our living eight children. David was in the Navy and Grace and Don were also in the Navy.
We sought out the LDS chapel, one of the first things, and enjoyed becoming acquainted with the good members in Gridley. The summer we got there, we were at a loss as to getting an income coming into the home, so Dave took the children and started to pick fruit. They would get up real early in the morning and work until afternoon. They picked peaches, prunes and other varieties. One day, just before school started, Hugh, who was only about 9 years old, climbed a tree to pick some fruit. He lost his footing and fell. He grabbed for another branch as he fell, but it was rotten and it gave away with him. He broke his arm and started school with his arm in a cast.
On Thanksgiving Day, 1948 Marjorie complained of a sore throat. The next day we took her to the doctor and he told us that she had diphtheria. There was only one other case in the whole town and we didn’t know the person involved. The family was put in quarantine for about three months. Dave lived with a neighbor during this time because he had to continue working. Most of the children were with us except for David, who had been discharged from the Navy. He stayed with another neighbor and went to school. We spent Christmas without daddy that year. Dave did come to the door and watch the children open gifts and play with some of them, but didn’t dare come in. Before we could get rid of the bug, both Marjorie and Hugh had to have their tonsils out.
In June of 1949 Grace and Don did have the baby they had waited so long for. It was a lovely little girl. Shortly after that, Don was discharged from the Navy and they came to Gridley to live. They named the baby, which was a girl, Cheryl Jeanette. Don couldn’t seem to adjust to the life of a civilian and he reenlisted in the Army. The Army afforded more time for his family than did the Navy. Just before this time, our son David also enlisted in the Army.
David was sent to Japan in 1949, and was there close to when the Korean conflict started in 1950. He was sent to Korea and we received word that he was missing in action as of 16 July 1950. We were very upset about this report and anxious for him to be found. We didn’t hear any more from the Army until December. In the meantime, another soldier had been reported missing whose family was Catholic.
To be continued…