of an Oklahoma Girl
Louise Hocker McIlwain
Born April 24, 1931
February 7, 2004
The Miller Grandparents
married in 1900 in Carthage, Missouri. My grandfather, John Emmett
Miller, grandmother, Elsie Alberta Thomas Miller, and baby son, Claude,
traveled from Carthage, to Tulsa (which was then Indian
Territory) in a one-horse buckboard wagon
in 1905 with Singer Sewing Machines to sell.
My mother, Clara Belle, was born in Tulsa in 1906, when it was still “Indian Territory.” When my mother was a girl, Grandpa Miller
invested in oil wells near Tulsa, but his were always water wells, even though Tulsa was later, in the 1940’S, called the “Oil Capital of the
World.” After my grandfather had lost
his money, the family moved their furniture out onto the front sidewalk and
founded the first Miller’s Furniture Store in Tulsa. Except for the venture
around 1920 at Miller’s Lake, this was the Miller men’s business for the next fifty years. In the early years, the families lived in the
houses at the back of the stores. In 1999, Chris Miller, the son of my Uncle
Ralph, had a store on East
Admiral Place and imported
Oriental furniture in the same building I knew as Miller’s Furniture in the
1930’s. Grandma Miller, a refined,
gentle woman, always worked in the office of their store. As far as I know, my grandfather never went
to school. When a young boy in Carthage, the owner of the grocery store where he worked taught him to read,
write and “cipher.” My grandfather was
very quick with mathematics, and could figure “in his head.” According to my cousin, Jack Miller, Grandpa
never made a mistake in arithmetic. He
provided well for his family, and, in their last decades, there was always a
comfortable life with a brick house in an attractive part of Tulsa, a good car, plenty to eat, a Spitz dog named “Tiny,” winter
vacations in Florida, and trips to Yellowstone National Park in the summers. Grandpa
Miller drove right down the middle of the road “where it was safest.” My Mother and Grandmother worried about his
driving on the long trips. I cared for
their canary when they went on the trips.
The Hocker Grandparents
My most vivid
memory of my Grandma Hocker was her breathing some
burning substance from a little can for her asthma. Whereas my Miller grandparents lived to
attend my wedding, my Hocker grandparents died when I
was five. My grandmother, Sarah Lavina Leapley Hocker, was a little woman whose hair did not gray. She was a wonderful cook, and her children
cherished her. My Mother said that no
matter how little food
was in the house, Grandma Hocker could
always make a delicious meal. The
dessert would be vinegar pie, as pioneer families usually had eggs, milk and
sugar. She and my grandfather lived most
of the time, during my first five years, with Aunt Clara at 1235 South Evanston, Tulsa. My Aunt Luella, another
sister of my Dad’s, lived about four blocks from Aunt Clara on Eleventh Street, which was then the famous Highway 66 to California. Earlier, Grandpa Hocker, George Beauregard Hocker,
had a cement business, but I think he lost the business in a gambling
debt. He and his brothers were named for
southern generals of the Civil War. He
had a brother, Nicholas, in Tulsa, but the two did not mingle.
Apparently, he and my Grandma Hocker were not
best friends, either. It was said that
when my grandfather was small, he was held up to see President Abraham Lincoln in a parade in Illinois.
First Decade—The 1930’s in or near Tulsa,
parents married, Dorset Hocker was a slender,
good-looking man with a quick wit. My
Mother, Clara Belle, was five feet five inches tall, slender, with the
prettiest, sweetest face imaginable.
Their first home in Tulsa was a little frame two-bedroom house, which my Dad and his Mother
had bought. Dorset and Clara Belle
returned from their honeymoon trip by train to Galveston, Texas to 219 South Xanthus in June 1929. My Grandma Hocker took her $1,000 out of the equity of the Xanthus house and invested it in the new home for daughter Clara at 1235 South Evanston. Grandma lived with Aunt Clara the rest of her
life. The Depression was severe in 1934,
and my parents had to forfeit the Xanthus house. I was born at Morningside Hospital in Tulsa in April 1931, and my brother, James Dorset Hocker,
(Jim) was born in April 1934. No
children could have been more wanted. My
Mother enrolled Jim and me in the Cradle Roll Department of the United
Presbyterian Church. I remember my
graduation from the church Kindergarten with a cap and gown when I was five or
six. I was unhappy because my hair had
been cut into a Dutch boy type “bob.”
In 1934 my
mother’s father, Grandpa Miller, rescued us with an offer to let our family
live out in the country at Miller’s Lake. I know that we moved out
there before my brother’s first birthday, as Mother always said, “Jim had his
first birthday at The Lake.” The 50-acre
Lake had been made by my grandfather, as he always liked to dam
streams. During the 1920’s, Miller’s
Lake had been a large lake for swimming, boating and fishing My Mother had worked as a lifeguard
there. Barnstorming airplane pilots
performed at Miller’s Lake. In 1934, when my family
moved out to The Lake, Mr. Azeltine was our roomer in
the front bedroom. For a short time, my
Grandpa Hocker lived with us. We had a small car and a big German Shepherd
dog, Dynamite, that once saved me from falling into the water by the dam. I loved Dynamite even though he jumped up on
me and clawed my leather jacket. When I
was four, and we were moving back into Tulsa, Daddy asked if I would rather have little girls to have tea parties
with me or Dynamite. I said “Dynamite,”
but Daddy gave the dog to a friend.
In the fall of
1935, after eighteen months of living at The Lake, we moved to 2861 East Admiral Place in Tulsa. It was a plain little two
bedroom frame house with a large yard and trees. Daddy had the use of an Oklahoma Natural Gas
Company truck for work. We had no family
car until 1945. My Mother had owned a
car in the 1920’s when she taught school before her marriage, but I never saw
Daddy was the
kind of man who wore after-shave lotion.
He had a “cool” sort of Humphrey Bogart image. In those days no one worried about
“second-hand cigarette smoke” and I inhaled a lot of it for eighteen
years. He worked for the Oklahoma
Natural Gas Company from 1925, when he started as a meter reader, until his
death in 1967, at age 63. I talked to
him about retiring at age sixty-two as he had had a serious heart attack four
years earlier, but he would not. His
last position at ONG was manager of operations for Northeastern Oklahoma. In his last decade, he was a civic leader in Claremore, Oklahoma and coached Little League ball.
He was a clever man, but he dropped out of school when a teenager. He worked as a ranch hand on the OO Ranch of his cousin, Ida Olson and her husband, Oscar, in Osage
Indian country near Foraker, Oklahoma. He lived alone on a part of
the Ranch, and was responsible for a certain number of cattle. In the 1920’s, when he was back in Tulsa and dating my Mother, he said that he had never imagined such a
wonderful girl existed. My Mother said,
“He was so charming he could have won any girl.” They were always very much in love, and there was
much affection in our home.
In the 1920’s,
Dad was nicknamed “Jelly.” My Mother
told me that it was because he always went to work dressed in a white shirt,
and the men called him “Jelly” for “Jellybean.”
He signed his name “Jelly Hocker” at the
ONG. Aunt Clara, Aunt Luella, and Aunt
Luella’s husband, Claude Snyder, all worked at the ONG.
Jim and I had
aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents on both sides of the family in Tulsa. Grandpa Miller’s furniture
store was less than two miles from us during the time I was aged five to
ten. My Mother’s brothers, Claude and
Ralph, had furniture stores on the same block.
Jim and I liked to play in the rooms of furniture. My father’s two sisters, Clara and Luella,
were always major contributors to our happiness. The rent on our house was $25 per month, but
that was evidently too much for the budget.
My Mother did not teach school, as it was thought that a man should
support his family, and most wives did not work in the 1930’s. Aunt Clara arranged for her friend, Elmer Kee, to rent our back bedroom for $5 per month, which
included breakfast. After my brother had
outgrown the crib, which was in the front bedroom with our parents, he and I
slept on a daybed in the living room.
There was a lot of “Scoot over, scoot over” fussing on that daybed. We children played and slept in the living
room, which had a big, brown, free-standing gas heater.
Mother was a
saint, and I guess saints do not have to cook.
I remember Daddy’s egg noodles, which he made into thick, milky potato
soup (a German dish from his mother?), huge amounts of cookies using a dishpan
for a mixing bowl, and barbecue sauce for meat.
He always brought home a smoked ham from the ONG every Christmas. In
those times, a treat for children of low-income families was white bread with
butter and white sugar on it. Everyone’s
grand-parents had false teeth, as the effect of sugar on teeth was not
known. Bountiful holiday meals were
usually at Aunt Clara’s or Aunt Luella’s.
Only once do I remember Christmas dinner at my grandparents Miller in
their apartment at the back of their Miller’s Furniture Store. I remember eating and picking out buckshot
from quail, ducks and rabbits, which Grandpa Miller had shot in the
country. Grandpa Miller always had a
hunting gun. Generally, the Hockers did not own guns, although Jim had a rifle for a
short time when he was twenty-one. I am
sure that Claude, Ralph, and my Mother loved each other, but never did we eat a
meal at one of their homes, nor they at ours.
In later years, the family rumor was that one of my Mother’s brothers
turned the other in to the Internal Revenue Service for possible income tax
We spent much
time with my Grandparents Miller. They
really loved their daughter, Clara Belle, and drove over to our house every
week. They took Mother, Jim and me in
their Dodge coupe on many short trips around Tulsa. The car had only one seat so
my grandfather drove and one of us children would sit on the lap of one of the
women. The second child had to lie on
the ledge beneath the rear window as there was no back seat. No seat belts in those days! Elmer Kee sometimes
drove Aunt Clara and the four of us up to the Ranch where the Olsons lived. At
least, Elmer had a car with a front and a back seat. We all loved to go to “The Ranch.” There were large ranch houses and horseback
It was on Admiral Place that I started studying piano on an old “player” piano from Grandpa
Miller’s furniture store. I learned
later that my mother charged groceries at Bechtold’s
Market and paid for my piano and tap dancing lessons with the food. Daddy would sing, and I would tap dance to
such songs as “Baby, What I Couldn’t Do with Plenty of Money and You.” This was during the worst part of the
Depression, and we had no extra money.
One important fact is that Daddy never lost his job. I remember winning a six pack of Coca Cola in
a Cake-Walk at the school carnival when I was in the third grade. A luxury!
My Mother made all of our clothes on her electric sewing machine. I have wonderful Christmas memories of
Grandpa Miller in a red Santa suit. He
carried a gunny sack full of coloring books, paper dolls, and other toys from
Woolworths. “You just missed seeing
him. The sleigh just went over the
garage.” Christmas stockings held
oranges, nuts and candy. Aunt Clara
always had the prettiest house with colored lights inside and outside and
special foods for the holidays. She was the best
hostess with four sets of china and a wardrobe of table linens. She was very generous with me, and loved to
take me shopping for clothes in the best shops in Tulsa, always pretending that I was her daughter. This continued until I was in College, when
she bought a beautiful wardrobe for me with dresses of crepe, wool and
corduroy, a brown wool suit, and coat and leather purse. I never told sales clerks that she was not my
mother. She was a single woman, who
said, “We lived on Admiral for five years and five months.” I went from Kindergarten to March of the
fourth grade at Whittier Elementary School near Admiral and Lewis. This
was about one mile to the West, and Jim and I always walked to school. I remember galoshes, mittens and carrying
lunches. The mittens were tied to a cord
and put through the sleeves of our coats so that we could not lose them. Even though Dad’s income was less than $100
per month, we had the basics and we children were happy. Aunt Clara gave me a Shirley Temple doll, Jim
had a red wagon and we both had tricycles and the yards of several families in
which to roam and play.
Second Decade—The 1940’s
(World War II)
In March of
1941, with Grandpa Miller’s help, my parents paid $2,750 for a house and barn
on one and one-half acres just three blocks from the end of the city bus line
at 4403 South Peoria in Tulsa. (We still had no car.) The little acreage was a dream-come-true for
my parents. We had one-half of an acre
in strawberries and blackberries, one-quarter of an acre in barn and pasture
for a registered Jersey cow named Dreamer Sultana Bell, one-quarter of an acre in vegetable
garden, and one-half of an acre in house and orchard. The orchard was cherries, pears, apples,
elderberries and “plumacots.” We had a special well to water the
strawberries. In the summer, Jim, Daddy
and I would often lie on a blanket out in the berry garden at night listening
to the water pump and looking at the starry sky. We sold perfect strawberries
for ten cents a quart. Jim and I had to
weed the strawberry patch and pick the berries.
Grandpa Miller gave us a pig to fatten one time. He came one fall day and slaughtered it (a
shot between the eyes). Mother even made
soap from the hog’s fat. Grandpa Miller
was still in the furniture business, and he once received rabbits and their
hutches in a purchase. Of course, he
gave them to us. Eventually, we ate all
of the rabbits because Mother never could manage to breed them.
When I was in the fifth and sixth grade, our religious life centered
in the Brookside Baptist Mission. Jim and I walked north on Peoria Street one mile every Sunday morning. Mother went to Church with us often, but I
cannot remember Daddy’s attending any service.
He was not an atheist, but he had his own agenda. I do know that he was proud of my brother’s
perfect attendance at Sunday School. I joined this Church when I was twelve years
old, and went downtown to the First Baptist Church of Tulsa to be
baptized. I fainted that day, and, upon
recovery, looked up and saw the stained glass windows. I thought that I was in heaven.
It was June of
1941. Jim and I spent much of our free
time with the Catholic, Syrian Abdo boys who lived
across the street. I was ten and Jim was
seven. The Abdo’s
five remaining sons ranged from two to eighteen years. Neasib Abdo, who was my age, was my boyfriend, and I was sure that
we would marry when we grew up. It was a
wonderful time of playing freely in the fields around us and riding my bicycle
wherever I pleased. On the hot summer
days of 1941 and 1942, Jim, the Abdo boys, and I used
to ride on the wagon, helping their Uncle Joe harvest the cantaloupes, corn,
watermelon, and Syrian cucumbers on their “Truck Farm”. These experiences with the Abdo family made me very sympathetic to Middle Eastern
people, especially the Christians.
Christianity is a Middle Eastern religion.
attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. World War II changed our lives, and improved
our financial standing because we received a monthly allotment from the Navy
and my Mother’s teaching salary. After
Daddy left for the Navy, Mother resumed her teaching career. In the fall of 1942, my father came home
singing “I’m Popeye, the Sailor Man.”
Daddy would have been too old for the draft, but those were patriotic
times, and he enlisted as a “Shipfitter” in the
Navy’s “Seabees.” This meant using what
he had learned about assembling gas lines at the ONG. The C. B. initials stood for “Construction
Battalion”, and they were called “Seabees.”
My mother was in tears. Daddy
left for Navy training in Virginia on December 8, 1942, and would
not live with us again until the fall of 1945.
My Dad was never in combat in the war.
After basic training in Virginia, the 64th Construction Battalion went to Davisville, Rhode Island. On March 5, 1943, they embarked for Argentia, Newfoundland, where they helped construct a huge naval base. The German U-Boat threat was great on the North Atlantic. The “U” is for “Unter”
(Under) as they were submarines. By the
time that base was built, the U-Boats were not such a problem, but aircraft and
surface ships set out from the base at Argentia to
protect the Allied convoys crossing the North Atlantic. The 64th Construction Battalion
sailed from Argentia back to Rhode Island on New Year’s Day 1944. The
new Base in Newfoundland was given to the British.
As Daddy had
not allowed Mother to resume teaching after I was born, this war-time separation
was her chance to get back into the profession that she loved. We moved to Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, where my Mother’s friend was Superintendent of Schools. We lived across the street from a plaque that
said “Washington Irving Camped Here.” Fort Gibson had been a fort for the United States Army when Oklahoma was Indian Territory. The wooden Fort and the old
stone buildings were all still there.
Mac Johnson was the Superintendent of all schools from kindergarten
through High Schools, both black and white.
In the spring of 1944, my Mother took me to the black High School
graduation. That was the first time for
me to attend an
My mother had given me a brown-skinned baby doll when I was small, and
she had taught us that all people were the same, but Oklahoma was a segregated state.
African-Americans did not have the freedom promised them by the
Emancipation after the Civil War.
allotment from the Navy and my mother’s salary, we had money to buy
non-essential goods for the first time.
We went by bus the short distance to Muskogee to shop and eat lunch at a cafeteria on Saturdays. I think that we had never eaten in a
restaurant of any type before this. My
mother used this chance to pay off our old grocery bill at Bechtold’s
Grocery on Harvard
Street in Tulsa. They had allowed her to
charge groceries for about five years without paying.
At the age of
nine, Jim had malaria, dysentery, and double pneumonia in the fall of
1943. Daddy was with the Navy in Newfoundland. The doctor in Fort Gibson was inadequate, so, at Thanksgiving, Elmer Kee
drove from Tulsa with Aunt Clara to rescue us.
Mother, Jim and I lived at Aunt Clara’s house, and a doctor came to the
house to see us, as was customary at that time.
Mother rented a hospital bed for Jim in the living room, and I, though
not as sick as Jim, was in the front bedroom.
I do not think that antibiotics were available to us, but Jim and I
recovered. I was back in Fort Gibson by January 1944 with my Mother.
I rebelled at practicing classical piano repertoire so I was allowed to
play popular war songs such as “I’ll Walk Alone.” Jim lived with Aunt Clara in Tulsa until the summer of 1944 to be near the good doctor.
and I spent the summer of 1944 in Providence, Rhode Island with Dad, as he was stationed at Camp Endicott. We traveled by train, as
there was very little commercial air travel.
The Pullman train had seats that made into beds with thick canvas curtains all
around. The four of us saw Boston, Plymouth, New York City, and
Niagara Falls. We lived in Providence, but we did not know that our forefathers, Maturin
Ballou and Robert Pike, had been early settlers there
in the 1600’s. In Plymouth, we had no idea that we were descendants of five Mayflower male
passengers who signed the Mayflower Compact (Miles Standish, John Alden, William
Mullins, Richard Warren and Peter Browne).
Our apartment at 3
Defoe Place had only a
kitchen and livingroom/bedroom. Our family shared a bathroom with two young
women. Every night Jim and I put up
canvas army cots for our beds in the kitchen.
We had never seen escalators before, and Jim and I rode up and down, up
and down, on the escalator in a department store in Providence as though it were an amusement park ride.
from San Francisco on October 25, 1944, the 64th
C.B. spent five months at Pearl
Harbor, Hawaii. The following March they
sailed to Tubabao, a tiny island off the east coast
of Samar, a large island in the Philippines. There, they helped build
another enormous naval base. It was
meant to be used for the invasion of the Japanese main islands. In August 1945 the War in the Pacific was
over. There had been no invasion of the
Japanese main islands because the United States had dropped two atom bombs on Japan. Dad had always been in
relatively safe places, and, in Hawaii and the Philippines, in very beautiful places, but we never knew where he was during the
war. All “V-mail” was censored. (V was for victory.). The times when Daddy came home on leave were
very emotional—the anticipation of his coming and the sadness of his
leaving. Mother imagined that he was
clearing the way for tanks to drive in and attack the enemy lines. Mother did not like for us to look at Life
magazine because it always showed such graphic pictures of people who had been
killed or injured in the war.
summer in Rhode Island with my Dad, the three of us went back to Fort Gibson where we lived until March of 1945 when my Mother was offered a job
teaching in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Her dream had always been to
teach in Tulsa, and Broken Arrow was close. Mother was an
excellent elementary school teacher, and in the last ten years of her life, she
taught children with special needs. I still count as a good friend, Mary Ann
Vandenberg Pickrell, whom I have known since the
spring of 1945, when we were in the eighth grade in Broken Arrow.
World War II
ended in the summer of 1945 and that fall Daddy returned from the Pacific. Dad wanted to buy a place in the country
again so my parents bought a house, barn, and pond on twenty acres of land
twenty miles east of Tulsa on Lynn Lane Road. This was
my first time to have a room to myself.
I was fourteen and Jim was eleven when Daddy came back from World War II. I went every day on a yellow school bus the
one and one-half miles to High School in Broken Arrow. I was a bit resentful as I
would have liked attending High School in Tulsa so that I could play flute in an orchestra. I played in the Broken Arrow High School band for four years and entered state contests in both flute and
piccolo. My cousin, Jane Snyder, was my
piano accompanist. I nearly always won
Daddy drove me to Tulsa for flute lessons. Do not
think that he sat in the car and waited while I had the lesson. He went downtown in Tulsa to the Elks Club to spend the afternoon with his buddies. I took the city bus to Aunt Luella’s house
where I waited for him. Aunt Luella was
the one who had found a flute and Vena Tipton, who taught flute at the University of Tulsa to teach me. That was why I
started studying flute in the ninth grade.
Very soon, I was the owner of Powell flute number 823. I still own it, and its value has increased
more than thirty-fold (from $200 to $6,500).
Starting in ninth grade, I was back to classical music.
In 1948/49 Jim
had an early Sunday morning rural paper route out of Broken Arrow. As he was under sixteen, I
often drove him in HIS red Willys Jeep. Jim allowed me to drive his Jeep into Broken Arrow on Sundays to the Baptist Church. When returning alone from
church one winter day, I was the only driver on the lonely road behind the old
Mound. I think this is an ancient Indian
burial place. A thick snowstorm
prevented my seeing through the windshield.
I stopped and exited the Jeep to scrape the ice off. Two men in ragged clothing emerged from the
whiteness. One came toward me with a
straight-edge razor. He lifted it, and
scrapped the ice from my windshield.
Neither man spoke. I scrambled
back into the Jeep with a breathless “Thank you.”
As a senior in
High School in 1949, I was the top High School flutist in Oklahoma. My most fortunate destiny
was to meet the top High School flute player in Texas when Vena Tipton drove me to Denton, Texas for a scholarship audition.
Carl Edwin McIlwain and I both won scholarships in the School of Music at The University of North Texas in June 1949. Flute-playing changed the course of my
life! Carl’s music somehow went back to Oklahoma with me in my briefcase. I
made a floor-length black moiré taffeta skirt in anticipation of playing in the
orchestra at North Texas. The following December at
intermission during a performance of the Concert Band, Carl took my hand while
we were standing in the velvet drapes backstage. I went home to Oklahoma for Christmas talking about “the smartest boy I had ever
dated.” There were a dozen flute
students at North Texas, but Carl was the best. He
always played First Chair, and the rest of us alternated on Second Chair or
Third Flute and Piccolo. The high point of my Freshman year music experience was
playing Third Flute and Piccolo in an orchestral concert, which included
Borodin’s “Polovtsian Dances.” When I went home from college that summer, at
age nineteen, I asked my Mother if I was too young to plan my life around one
young man. She said “No.” I went back to Denton, Texas and, as I had decided not to be a music teacher, changed my major to
Home Economics, with minors in music and chemistry. I admit that I nudged the romance with Carl
along by having a few dates with a motorcyclist who ate at the boarding house
where I lived. In April of 1952, our
junior year, Carl and I went to Dallas on the Greyhound Bus one Saturday afternoon for him to buy me a diamond
ring. We thought that he would be a High
School band director and I would teach Home Economics someplace in the state of
Texas. William Perry and Alice
Field were our best friends while we were at North Texas. They married one year later than we. Bill had been Carl’s roommate, and Alice mine. Bill did have a music
teaching career, but Carl’s destiny was to become a physicist.
Before I leave
my childhood, I would like to list the characteristics that come to mind for
each of my parents. For my Mother, there
is sweet, devoted, caring, loving, religious, trustworthy and full of
laughter. She was gentle like Olivia de Haviland as Melanie in “Gone with the Wind.” For my father, there comes to mind
strictness, hard work, fun, sense of humor, joking, singing
and dancing. He was a great imitator of
Bing Crosby with his “Bu, bu, bu,
boos.” I was Daddy’s girl, and Jim was
Mother’s boy. Both parents loved
music. At Fort Gibson, my Mother would open the little Presbyterian Church, teach Sunday School and play the piano for hymn-singing. My Dad was a guitar-playing, singing
cowhand. It was a case of the cowboy
marrying the school “marm.” My Mother had a Master’s degree from the University of Tulsa, and my Dad did not finish Tulsa High School, but in any emergency, he was the calm one with common sense. Unfortunately, they had few common friends.
Every tie we
have to a well-known person came through my Grandma Miller, Elsie Alberta
Thomas Miller. Through my grandmother’s
grandfather, Zadock Thomas, I have the five male ancestors who
came to America on the Mayflower. A cousin,
Laura Ballou, was the wife of the United States Naval
hero of the Spanish American War in the Philippines, Commodore George Dewey.
Another cousin, Eliza Ballou Garfield, was the
mother of the assassinated President, James Abram Garfield. I have seen the grave in Windsor, Maine of Abraham Cleaves, the only Revolutionary soldier in my family line
whose gravesite I have been able to find.
Grandma Miller was a reserved, serious woman. It is not surprising that our most famous
relatives were in her family.
Third Decade—The 1950’s
(Early Married Years)
Carl and I
were married in the Rose Chapel of the Boston Avenue Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma on December 30, 1952. I became a Methodist, as that was the McIlwain’s church. I
had sewn my floor-length satin wedding dress. Carl’s mother, a dear little
woman and the best mother-in-law any one could ever have, had sewn teal blue
taffeta dresses for three bridesmaids, and my mother had stirred the wedding
cake in a dishpan. (There is a dishpan
used in baking again, but these were white enamel, not the plastic ones we have
today.) It was a beautiful wedding with
the reception in my parents’ home on 36th Street in the Brookside area of Tulsa. The next day, Carl and I
rode in the Greyhound Bus back down to Denton, Texas to complete our senior year as undergraduates.
I had so
looked forward to our graduation, but when my parents arrived the following
June, I saw that my Mother was gravely ill.
I walked with my Daddy around behind their car, and asked him, “What is
wrong with Mother?” He said, “She has
cancer.” It seemed to be too late. During graduation ceremonies, tears streamed
down my face. That taught me not to
count on something in the future, but to live in the present day.
married during Christmas vacation in our senior year because my father had said
that Carl had to have the money to support me before we could be married. (Remember, in the 1950’s,
most families were patriarchal.)
During college, Carl worked at the Sinclair Oil Refinery in Houston in the summers. By the fall
of 1952, he had saved $1,000. This meant
that we could be married five months before graduation from college as we
calculated that we would need $200 a month to live. Therefore, the Christmas Wedding! Dad gave in to losing his “little girl” even
though earlier he had said “No daughter of mine is ever going to marry a damn
Because of my
Mother’s illness, the first year of my marriage was heart-breaking. I tried to teach science and music at Oats Prairie Junior High School in Houston, Texas in the fall of 1953, and Carl worked both single and double shifts
at Sinclair Oil Refinery to save money for graduate school. We lived in Houston, but I went up to Tulsa, Oklahoma as often as possible until Mother died in February 1954. Daddy said “I would rather get in a pit with
lions than to have to plan her funeral.”
The Service was in the little Presbyterian Church in Claremore. That was my last open-coffin service; Oklahoma’s mores were
not for me. I spent a month with Daddy
after Mother’s death, and then went by train to join Carl in Iowa City, Iowa in March. Carl, who had been
interested in telescopes, recording sound, and the physics of music, had
enrolled as a graduate student in the Physics Department of the State
University of Iowa under the supervision of Dr. James Van Allen. (Later famous for the Van Allen Radiation
Belts around the earth)
adventure awaited us. Carl found himself
in astrophysics at the beginning of the Space Research Program of the United States. The National Aeronautics and
Space Administration (NASA) had not been established. He has written his story in another
paper. I worked as a laboratory
technician in bacteriology and chemistry at the State Hygienic Laboratory of
Iowa. I ran ion balances on ground water
samples, and also did bacteriological control work on water and milk
samples. I worked three years, and then
we adopted a baby girl, whom we named Janet Louise, in June 1957. In July 1958, Janet and I were with Carl on
the beach at Cape
Canaveral, Florida where scintillation counters Carl had designed and built were
launched on the Explorer IV Satellite.
In the next forty years, Carl was to have many successful satellite
launches. Our son, Craig Ian, was born
to us in 1959. Carl finished his Ph.D.
in physics at SUI in June of 1961. We
still have wonderful friends from the eight years we lived in Iowa City (George and Rosalie Ludwig; Larry and Alice Cahill; and Mary Ray,
widow of Ernie Ray). George Ludwig
designed the radio transmitter for Explorer I, the United States’ first satellite, which was launched in 1958.
Carl’s last-of-his-career success was the launch of four
satellites on CLUSTER II. CLUSTER II was
put into earth orbit using two Russian-made Soyuz rockets fired from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakstan in 2000.
Fourth Decade—The 1960’s
(The Young Family Years)
We drove from Iowa to California in our 1956 Chevrolet, arriving in La Jolla on February 2, 1962. Carl had been recruited to
the faculty of the brand-new University of California at San Diego (UCSD.) Coming from the snow
of Iowa City to La Jolla in February seemed like coming to the Garden of Eden. Carl, Janet, Craig and I went to see the Pacific Ocean at La Jolla Shores, and settled into a rented house at 2122 Paseo
Dorado. In August 1962, we moved into
the home we bought at 8696 Glenwick Lane in La Jolla. The children attended
Scripps Elementary, Torrey Pines, and La Jolla Elementary. Janet studied piano and violin, and Craig
played piano and organ. Both children
had the “once-in-a-lifetime” experience of eight months in Bousefield Elementary School in the South Kensington part of London, England in 1968. Janet, then, enjoyed
six years at the Bishops School in La Jolla. Both Janet and Craig have
degrees from the University of California San Diego. From 1957 to 1977, I was a
very happy full-time Mom. My volunteer
activities were at La Jolla Presbyterian Church, the International Center at the University of California San Diego, San Diego Public Schools and Scripps Clinic, La Jolla.
In May 1964,
Carl and I went to Europe together for the first time.
That was the beginning of this wonderful perquisite for being
the wife of a world-famous scientist.
Carl has made almost uncountable trips abroad, but these are the times
when I have traveled.
What follows are sketches of the fifteen trips to Europe
with Carl, plus trips to Alaska, Malaysia, China, Japan, New Zealand,
Australia, Canada and Hawaii.
1964 Washington, D.C., Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark
Even though we
were leaving the children with the best mother-in-law in the world, I was
almost in tears when we departed La Jolla. For our first trip abroad
together, Carl and I flew from New York on Alitalia, the Italian Airline. After the overnight flight, I was thrilled to
look down and see Lisbon, Portugal in the morning sun. I knew
nothing about international travel. We
had checked large suitcases, which were lost by Alitalia. The four days in Venice, we had only the clothes we were wearing. We retrieved our suitcases and went by train
to Florence for a glorious week. I had done my research and enjoyed being in Florence so much, including a bus ride up to Fiesole, while Carl was at the fourth COSPAR, Inter-national Committee on Space
Research. COSPAR is unique because
Russians were part of it, all through the Cold War. The Opening Reception was in the Great Hall
of the Palazzo Vechio in Florence, with guards in medieval uniforms lining the interior staircase. We
met our best Russian friend, Yuri Galperin, in Florence at this meeting. Italy was our favorite part of this trip.
We traveled by train north through the Alps via Milan to Zurich. Zurich was dull after Italy, although the views from the train were spectacular. We flew to Munich and Copenhagen. Munich was “Old World” compared to Copenhagen. We have always enjoyed Bavaria. Older German people, who
could remember it, often thanked us for the Marshall Plan (United States money to rebuild Germany after WW II). In 1964, Munich was still only about eighty per-cent rebuilt from World War II.
September 1966 England, Yugoslavia, and Italy
For our second
trip to Europe, dear Grandmother McIlwain came to La Jolla to stay with Janet and Craig
again. The itinerary was London, England, Keele, England, Belgrade, Yugoslavia, Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, and Rome, Italy. Pan American was not as
exciting as Alitalia, but we went to London and stayed four nights at the Waldorf Hotel at Aldwych. London became my all-time favorite city---marvelous English breakfasts,
remarkable people and all the exciting historical sights. We went by train up
to Keele, where Carl attended a meeting. A friend from our Iowa days, Brian O’Brien, drove us to Audley in
Staffordshire, where Carl, Brian and I spent two hours on our knees rubbing the
brass of Thomas de Audley, in his Armor (died 1385). That was my first brass rubbing. We used a six-penny stick of “heel ball”
bought from a cobbler. The next day, Rosemarie
Davis and I went to Madeley and rubbed the brass of
John Egerton and wife in the church (died 1528). During the next four years, I rubbed fourteen
brasses, including the best ones in London (Westminster Abbey, All Hallows-by-the-Tower, Chelsea Old Church and St. Helen Bishopsgate). After the meeting, Carl and I went back to London and tried the South
Kensington area with a stay in the Bailey Hotel, across from the Gloucester Road Tube (Underground train)
Station. We ate our first really exotic
Indian meals in London at Ashoka’s and Veraswamy’s. South
Kensington became “our” part of London.
From London we flew to Belgrade, Yugoslavia via Zagreb, on Yugoslav Airlines for Carl to attend COSPAR. Our good friend, Larry Cahill, was
there. The receptions for the
participants in the beautiful government buildings were impressive. This was in the time of President Josip Broz (Tito.) The Cold War was on, and it was strange to
see a cloth head-board on our bed in the Hotel Metropole. (Was there a microphone or camera
there?) They took all of the meeting
participants out to a feast in a castle at Novi Sad on the Danube River, and I was sure that they searched everyone’s room while we were
gone. There was a daily program for
wives, but I still had time to wander around Belgrade alone. One day I went into
the Church of St. Mark’s. There was only a sandbox
with a few candles—no furniture or decorations.
I thought “What a contrast to England’s lovely country churches and the exquisite interior of Westminster
Abbey.” I resolved to go home and work
in a Christian Church. After Belgrade, we flew over to the lovely Adriatic city, Dubrovnik, where the footsteps of centuries have polished the marble
streets. We did not realize it then, but
we had gone to Croatia, a very different place from Serbia. Women selling food at the
street market wore ethnic clothing, there was beauty everywhere, and there was
music in the churches. We stayed at the
Hotel Excelsior, where we could swim in the beautiful, clear Adriatic Sea from our
hotel’s dock. Ironically, Croatia was the ally of Nazi Germany in World War II when
the partisans of Yugoslavia were fighting with the United States.
Then, it was
on to Rome, as we had loved Italy on our first trip to Europe. Friends from our Iowa City days, Guido and Elena Pizzella, met
us. We stayed four nights at the Hotel Inghilterra. Guido
was, and is, a Professor of physics at the University of Rome.
My father died
in St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa in September 1967. He had a
long health battle, with many surgeries, and was only sixty-two years old. The children and I had spent the month of
August 1967 in Oklahoma with him. Dad really loved
Janet and Craig. I am so glad that they
knew at least one of my parents. He had
married Pauline Walton in 1955. At the
time of their marriage, her son, Darryl Walton, was about twelve years old.
December 1967 to July 1968 (A Sabbatical Leave with a Guggenheim
London, England; Madrid, Spain; Rome, Italy; along the Rhine, Munich, Germany; Salzburg and Vienna, Austria; Copenhagen, Denmark.
This was our
first time to take the children to Europe, and those eight months was the happiest time of my life. My main occupation, other than taking care of
my family, was to plan trips from London. Carl worked at Imperial College in South Kensington. We lived one block from the
Gloucester Road Tube Station at 14 Ashburn Place, London S.W. 7 in a very attractive post-World-War II building. The children were happy in Bousefield School, just off Old Brompton Road. We rented a piano for Craig
and I took Janet to Nottinghill Gate for violin
lessons. Carl studied German in the
language school across the street from our flat, and I studied Spanish
there. We went to Munich for Fasching (their Mardi Gras), Rome and Madrid for Easter (saw the religious processions in the street from our
hotel window), and celebrated Janet’s eleventh birthday in Germany at Schonenburg Castle on the Rhine on April 21. Spain was still under the rule of General Franco. This was the spring of student uprisings in America and Europe, and the University in Madrid was closed. We saw Mozart’s “Geburtshaus” in Salzburg, and performances of the Spanish Riding School Horses and an opera
in Vienna. We rented a car and drove to
In England, we went by train to Gravetye Manor at East Grinstead. We crossed the English Channel on a Mail
Boat to see Bruges, Belgium. We went to Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. And then, after all that, we
delightedly sailed back on the S.S. France from Southampton to New York. The children and I each had
little Globetrotter suitcases--- Janet blue, Craig gray and mine green. I still have mine with the “S. S. France”
sticker on it.
In March 1969
we bought the home at 6662 Avenida Manana in La Jolla, where we have lived for the
past thirty-four years. I named our home
“Hollybush House” after a country hotel in Ayrshire, Scotland.
1972 (A Sabbatical
for the Spring Quarter)
1973 The Netherlands, England, Sweden and Germany
We rented a
flat on the Bayswater side of Kensington Gardens for six weeks. We found that
we liked the South Kensington side of the Gardens much better than the north. Janet was a boarder
at the Bishop’s School in the ninth grade so she was with us only for Easter
Holidays. We four went to Gouda in The Netherlands for Craig to play the famous pipe organ as he had
become an organist in the seventh grade.
We saw the flower markets in Alsmeer and the
great bulb garden in bloom at Keukenhof in The
Netherlands. Janet flew back to San Diego by herself from Amsterdam. I flew over with her from London and saw her on the plane, and flew back to London all on one Saturday. Then
Carl, Craig and I went to Stockholm for one month, (lived in the Wenner Gren Center) and then to Munich for one month. Carl was (and
is) associated with the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics at Garching by Munich. Some of the German
scientists have been friends of ours since 1963, going from young parents to
grandparents just as we have
(especially Gerhard and Dina Haerendel
and Goetz and Karin Paschmann). They enjoy La Jolla, and have visited here several
March to August 1977 Japan, England, West Germany, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, France and Israel
This was a
really tremendous travel year! Janet
lived in the dormitory at the University of California San Diego in the spring and at University of California at Berkeley for the summer. Craig
finished High School one semester early so he and I went to Tokyo just before Easter because my brother, Jim, was stationed there in
the Air Force. With Jim, his wife, Mary
Elsa, and their four children Elizabeth, Andrew, Clara and Mary James, Craig
and I visited Tokyo, Nara, Kyoto and the Kamakura Buddha. We eight sat under the cherry blossoms in Ueno Park in Tokyo at Sakura time. I was very
positively influenced by the Japanese culture and art. I bought antique blue and white plates and an
Obenito with a wonderful pine tree scene. Jim’s family lived on the Yakota
Air Base near Tokyo. The Japanese were very eager
to meet Americans. The mannequins in the
department stores all had brown hair and round, blue eyes. That surprised me. Once back in La Jolla, Craig helped me make a Japanese Garden with a dry stream. It is
still a beautiful garden.
working at the Max Planck Institute in Lindau, Germany during this time, and Ian and Joy Axford
were his hosts. Craig and I flew from Tokyo to Honolulu, Los Angeles, London, and Frankfort, Germany where we took the train to join Carl in Lindau
on April 19. On Walpurgis Nacht, April 30, Carl, Ruth Fejer
(a La Jolla friend), Joy Axford and I walked through
the woods near Bad Grund, Germany carrying burning firebrands behind a marching band in uniforms. There were fireworks, speeches, etc. This was
as close as one could get to the witch mountain as “The Brocken”
was in East Germany. The wild scene was like
“Halloween” for adults.
The Cold War
was really omnipresent. Carl, Craig and
I went by train to West Berlin. As we traveled through the
East German section, I asked a guard “Sind Sie DDR?” “Are you
East German?” He smiled and said “Ja”. It was
fortunate that each of us in our family could speak a little German. We three enjoyed sightseeing in Berlin, and stayed five blocks off the “Ku Damm”
(Kufurstendamm) in a pre-World War II building, 48 Fasanenstrasse, Pension Terminus. It was an adventure to cross over to East Berlin and travel by
train down to Prague, Czechoslovakia. Security was extraordinary
at border crossings. Dogs searched under
every train car. On the train from East Berlin to Prague, we sat in a compartment with East German Soldiers. We returned from Prague to Lindau by train. This Lindau, near Katlenburg, was a farming community close to the border
with East Germany. One day Craig was running in
the field. He was taken by the police,
who thought he was running from East Germany. He said “Ich
laufe fur meine Gesund. Ich bin American.”
They believed him because, besides his accented German, a German would
have said “Gesundheit”, not “Gesund”
for “health.” Craig enjoyed being in Europe, and studied pipe organ on a
tracker organ in Katlenburg, Germany. I drove him over to the old
half-timbered Kloster on Monastery Hill in Katlenburg for his practice and lesson times. I would sometimes wait outside the church and
watch a man cut hay with a scythe and load it on his little horse-drawn
cart. The scene was medieval. I bought Craig lots of new clothes in Germany, and he flew back to San Diego on May 30 to graduate with his La Jolla High School class. Carl’s sister, Rose,
and her husband, James Warren, served as his family.
left Germany, Carl and I flew on El Al Airlines to Tel Aviv, Israel. The security of El Al at the
Frankfort, Germany airport was the tightest we had ever seen. There were armored cars, hand guns,
submachine guns, and body searches, but it was a beautiful flight over the Mediterranean Sea. I was excited to look down on Israel. In the Tel Aviv Airport I saw my first Arabs in long white robes. When we were walking on the streets of Tel
Aviv, I was surprised to see that it looked like Ensenada, Mexico. Carl was there for a COSPAR
meeting and had only the weekends off.
We went by “sherut” taxis to Jerusalem on two weekends. These are
taxis driven by Palestinians because the Jews do not work on Saturdays. Jerusalem was so beautiful and so exotic.
Shepherds still watch sheep on the surrounding hills. From Tel Aviv, I went on a bus tour to Caesarea, which had been an important
Roman city in the first century. St. Paul sailed from there on his trip to Rome. There are only Roman ruins
there now--no modern town. Carl and I
went to Bethlehem, Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee and Capernaum in Israel. It was our first experience
in the Middle East, and I loved being in the “Holy
When we first arrived, we went to Jaffa for dinner. This suburb of
Tel Aviv is more Palestinian than Jewish.
It is the “Joppa” of the Old Testament (the Jonah and the whale story). A man was cooking lamb shish kebabs on a
charcoal grill on the sidewalk. They
were for sale to passers-by. Beside him,
in a cardboard box, were the skin and entrails of the lamb. It was all so earthy. Jaffa is directly on the Mediterranean
Sea with white houses trimmed in beautiful
shades of turquoise and royal blue.
There was a kind of “flea” market in the center of Jaffa where I bought three Persian prints and a Turkish coffee pot. I thought Jaffa was wonderful, but an English friend of mine thought it was too
returning to Germany from the two weeks in Israel, Carl and I went on a special French train to Paris. We stayed in Hotel Nikko. As Carl was
in meetings, I went alone to see the main sights in Paris, and was surprised by the beauty of Notre Dame—the great high vaults
and all of the magnificent stained glass windows. La St. Chapelle is
a Gothic chapel completed in 1248 by Louis IX, King of France. One still marvels at its exquisiteness,
richness and refinement. Paris, the city of lights, is truly beautiful.
After Paris, we visited Bern, Switzerland and went by train via Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald
up to the Jungfraujoch. This is a glacier which flows south down into
Italy. At 4,195 meters, the sky is
a very deep blue. We went by train to Lucern and then back to Germany. A Jupiter Workshop (the
planet) was held in Lindau. Dr. James and Abbie
Van Allen came from Iowa. I could drive Abbie Van Allen around the German countryside near Lindau as the Max Planck Institute provided a small Ford
for foreign resident visitors.
On August 10,
Carl returned to California, and I went to London for five days of genealogical research. I stayed in an Imperial College dormitory in South
Kensington, and spent my days at the London
Society of Genealogists, where I am a member, and in the Victoria and Albert Museum, where I love to go. After
that, I spent a week visiting in Tulsa and Houston before going home to La Jolla. I cannot remember how I ever
had the energy to travel non-stop for six months. I liked everything except Tel Aviv. It was surprising that Jewish dietary laws in
Israel covered even what tourists ate (no separation of Synagogue and
State.) We were not allowed to have a
beef sandwich at the same table as a glass of milk. There were rolls of barbed wire on the beach
at Tel Aviv. It was a wary, vigilant city.
1970’s, my dream, other than travel, was to work at the University of California San Diego. My work experience to that
time had been as a buyer/trainee for Foley’s Department Store in Houston,
school teacher at a Junior High in Houston, Chemist at the State Hygienic Laboratory in Iowa City, and fabric salesperson in La
In June 1979, I began working as an Administrative Assistant in the
Chemistry Department performing grant management and purchasing for Professor
Russell Doolittle, Biochemist. This job
gave me an opportunity to use everything that I had ever learned in my life! Working at the University was a very positive
experience for me. For most of the
nineteen years that I worked at UCSD, I worked less than full-time, and I was
allowed to take time off to travel with Carl.
Sixth Decade—The 1980’s
March to June 1982
(A Sabbatical with Carl the awardee on a Senior Scientist
Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship)
Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Switzerland
driving, he and I made a great circle trip from Munich, Germany all around The Netherlands; across Belgium, Paris, the Loire Valley, and Alsace, France before returning to Munich. During this time, Janet
lived in our home with another girl, and Craig lived in the dormitory at UCSD.
We arrived in Munich the 20th of March in bitter cold weather. Professor Gerhard Haerendel
met our plane and drove us to the charming Hotel Biederstein
by the Englisher Garten in
the Scwabing section of Munich. Carl was to work at the Max
Planck Institute for Aeronomie in Lindau
the first month. The Alexander von
Humboldt Foundation had arranged for us to have, during our time in Germany, (free) a Model 728I BMW.
This was a beautiful automobile.
We picked it up at the Bavarian Motor Works Tower in Munich on March 22.
Carl was a
fabulous driver on the Autobahns. We
started by driving up the “Romantische Strasse”
on our way to Lindau.
We stayed at the Hotel Glocke in Rotenburg on the Tauber. In Lindau, our
friends, Ian and Joy Axford, were our hosts
again. “Herr Professor Dr.” Ian Axford was Director of the Max
Planck Institute in Lindau. The Axfords were
from New Zealand.
For the month
we were in Lindau we shared an apartment with a man
from The Netherlands who went home to his wife and children in Leiden every weekend. Each Monday,
he cooked a huge vegetable stew for himself.
He worked in Germany because he was unable to find a position in The Netherlands. After the month in Lindau,
we continued our European auto trip in the beautiful BMW.
We drove to Bremen and then around the outer dike to Noordwijk,
The Netherlands. We went to Keukenhof bulb garden where we had been ten years earlier
with Janet and Craig. Then it was down
to Brussels where we visited Joseph and Cecile Lemaire
and their three children. We saw Amiens
Cathedral on the way to the home of Roger and Janine Gendrin
in Bourg La Reine, a suburb of Paris. In the Loire Valley we drove to Chartres, Orlean, Blois and Chambord, Azay-le-Rideau, and Chenonceaux,
where Mary Stuart (Mary Queen of Scots) and Catherine de Medici had lived. We drove on country roads and found the house
Francis I had given to Leonardo da Vinci. In Alsace, we went through Eguisheim on our way to Colmar, France. Then it was across the Rhine and into the Black Forest of
Germany. The drive on the autobahn from Stuttgart to Munich was terrible. Seven times,
the traffic was “blockiert.” This “double carriageway” was old and
crowded. It had been built in 1938,
during Adolf Hitler’s time. The only good part was talking to the truck
drivers through the car windows when we were at a stand-still.
Carl worked at
the Max Planck Institute at Garching by Munich for another month. We lived
in the Freimann part of Munich in a lovely apartment in the “Gasthaus” of
the Max Planck Institute. On May 15,
after Carl’s workday, we drove to St. Gallen, Switzerland to see our La Jolla friend, Kate Baur-Bridgman, dance in the Stadt Ballet. We
began the trip by car around the east end of the Bodensee through Austria. After St. Gallen, we continued around the Lake to Gottlieben, Switzerland and the Rhine Falls. We enjoyed the
German-speaking part of Switzerland very much, because we had some language skills, but an American who
tried to live there found it difficult to “fit in.” Then, it was back to Munich.
July 1983 Sweden and Scotland
As part of my
job at UCSD, I was sent to Stockholm to learn how to organize the Xth
International Congress on Thrombosis and Haemostasis,
which would be held in San Diego in July 1985. After my
working week in Stockholm, I flew to Glasgow, Scotland to meet Carl. We rented a
Jaguar and drove in Ayrshire, Scotland where McIlwains had lived for
centuries. We saw three places
associated with McIlwains in Ayrshire, including the old
McIlwain castle at Thomaston. I cannot
tie us directly to any McIlwain in Scotland (Most of the records were lost at sea when they were being returned to
Scotland from London after the rule of Oliver Cromwell.)
Carl’s McIlwain ancestors, Charles and Susanna, came to the United States from Ireland in the 1830’s or ‘40’s. Many McIlwains were Covenanters in Scotland (Presbyterians) in the 17th century.
March to June 1984 London,
England; Munich, Germany; St. Gallen, Switzerland;
Venice, Italy; Toulouse, and Quimper, France
For the first
time, Carl and I had Eurailpasses.
We spent the
first week in South Kensington, London. While there, we saw four plays, and ate at the Bombay Brasserie in
the Bailey Hotel, before we left for Carl to attend the “Large Telescope Meeting” at
the Max Planck Institute at Garching by Munich. After that, we went up to Lindau by train for two weeks. It was our first visit there without the Axfords. We had an
apartment on the third floor of what had been the Director’s (Axford) house. This
was the trip when we went to Goslar in the Harz Mountains of Germany. This 11th century town deserves much wider
renown. It was a lead, zinc and silver mining area, and there are beautiful
half-timbered buildings. We went back to
Munich, and Elizabeth Hocker, one of my brother’s
daughters, joined us on May 8. Carl had
rented an IBM PC for 100 Deutch Marks per day. The rental was so expensive that he decided
to buy the computer. On May 14 Elizabeth
and I, who very much enjoy traveling together, went by train to Venice, Italy for a few days. Then we went
by train to Zurich, and Winterthur, Switzerland. Our friends, Karl and Alice Baur, drove Elizabeth and me all over southeast Switzerland, and to their
holiday flat in Davos. Carl, who had been working in Garching, joined us at Kate and Charlie Baur-Bridgman’s
home near St. Gallen.
Elizabeth continued her trip to Paris, and Carl and I went to Avignon, where the most interesting place to me was the 14th Century Palace of the
Popes. Carl and I continued on to Toulouse, France, where Carl attended a meeting.
Our Russian friend, Yuri Galperin, was there.
There was no program for wives. I did
not like Toulouse because men always yelled at me on the street. I think they were trying to entice me to eat
in their restaurants, but it was not fun.
I had a bad cold, and the French trains were on strike. We managed to get out to Quimper in Brittany on a “Train Militaire.” Quimper was not disappointing, as Toulouse had been, and Carl let me buy pottery at “Faiencerie
HENRIOT”. I was feeling much
better. We drove around the coast of Brittany in a rental car. It was
definitely worth struggling with the train strike to get to Brittany. We enjoyed food, museums,
pine forests and the pipe organ at Locronan.
We went by
train from Morlaix to Paris, ate near the Gare Este,
and caught the Orient Express back to Munich. However, we had caught more
than the train in Paris because we both became very ill on the train that night, and could just make
it to our apartment in Munich the next day. Fifteen days
was long enough on a Eurailpass!
On May 31,
Ascension Day, we went to the Catholic St. Michaelskirche
on the “Fussganger Zone” (pedestrian area in downtown
Munich) for a service, which was a Haydn Mass. In our minds, this was a Memorial for Carl’ s Dad, who had just died. The Mass was glorious with sixteen altar boys
and much swinging of the incense lavers.
Back in the apartment, I fell down the stairs and tore a ligament in my
left foot so I had to miss going to the Passion Play
in Oberammergau. I had planned to go alone on
July 1988 London, England; Porvoo, Espoo and Helsinki, Finland; St.
of this trip were: one week living in New Court, St. John’s College, Cambridge, the time at COSPAR in Porvoo, Finland, and the ferry trip to Leningrad, Russia. Ian and Joy Axford were in Finland. Carl and I went from Helsinki, Finland on the “Sally Albatross” ferryboat to Leningrad, Russia and back to Helsinki. Our tour group was allowed
into the Hermitage Museum after hours. We saw clothing
worn by Peter the Great and Catherine the Great. I flew back to Heathrow, London three days before Carl and enjoyed London by myself. I went to the
Library of the Society of Genealogist, other repositories, and took a walking
tour around St. Bartholomew’s (Medieval London mentioned by Chaucer). St. Bartholomew’s was built in 1123. Another day I walked to Kensington Palace Museum, and I saw Diana Spencer’s wedding dress. Then I went down to the south end of Whitehall, and I found the underground area of Winston Churchill’s World War II
command rooms. I walked to the
Banqueting House and saw one of the shirts Charles 1st had worn “to have his
head severed from his body.” They also
showed his light green knitted vest and gloves that he wore that day. He had worn two shirts to be sure “that he
did not shiver.” I am always interested
in costumes and fabrics in history.
sight-seeing, I caught the No. 14 double deck red bus, sat up on the top level
in the front, and watched the traffic on my way back to South Kensington. The man next to me said “London moves at the same pace as it did when it was horses and carts.” I always enjoyed London and the English people. Carl
joined me in South Kensington, and we returned to the US together. This was a three
week trip with much diversity and education.
June 1989 Ketchikan, Juneau and Sitka, Alaska
I went alone
to Alaska on one of the Alaska Marine Highway ferryboats to visit my cousin, Jane Snyder Stewart, (daughter of Aunt
Luella and my only female cousin) and her husband, Tom Stewart, a retired Judge
in Juneau. Jane, Tom, and I went on to Sitka, Alaska on a Marine
ferryboat. At Sitka, I added to my collection of Russian metal icons. This Alaska trip was spectacular with the fjords, glaciers, and unlimited
scenery. I flew back to San Diego from Juneau. This is the only time I
visited Jane in Alaska.
The best part
of the Alaskan scenery was Tracy Arm Fjord, south of Juneau (with calving glaciers). Tom, Jane and I also took a day-trip on
their sailboat to Admiralty Island, a complete wilderness across from Juneau.
December 1989 Hawaii
Carl and I
went on American Airlines free tickets to Oahu, Hawaii. We stayed at the Royal
Hawaiian Hotel on Waikiki Beach, and the Hilton Hotel at Turtle Bay. I loved being in the water
at Waikiki Beach and the balmy climate. I had
forgotten what a balmy evening could be like as evenings in La Jolla are usually too cool to enjoy
Seventh Decade—The 1990’s
March and April 1992
England, Sweden, Scotland, Germany, Italy, Austria, Hungary
This was a
great trip. In March we went to London and then to Kiruna, Sweden, a city above the Arctic Circle. A drive from Kiruna, across frozen Lapland, transported me to Riksgransen, the border with Norway. There I saw NATO (North
Atlantic Treaty Organization) forces in white clothes on maneuvers. Laplander’s Reindeer pulled sleds across
frozen lakes, and the snowdrifts were ten feet high. I went down more than 1,000 feet in the
largest iron mine in the world in Kiruna. Russians had come to this meeting by bus
(paid for by Sweden). My only time ever to dance
with Russians was at a party there one night.
There was even an aurora the night of that party.
exciting de-icing of the airplane in Kiruna, we left
the icy north, flew back to London, and stayed in an Imperial College Dormitory, South Kensington. We heard the marvelous London Symphony at the
Barbican. We went by train up to Yorkshire to see where
Carl’s ancestors had lived before they went to New York State in the 1840’s. We rented a
Vauxhall Carlton car and had fun driving to all the little villages where Ellsworths (Carl’s great grandmother) had lived. Carl went to a European Geophysical Society
meeting in Edinburgh so we were able to see that exciting city again. Ian Axford gave us
tickets to a reception in the Edinburgh City Hall. After Edinburgh, we went by train up to Aberdeen one day to visit the sister of a San Diego friend, Margaret Fillius, wife of long-time
friend, Walker Fillius. Margaret’s sister and her husband, Ian and
Betty Stott, owned and managed a large Texel sheep
farm. After a short stop in London, we took the train up to Oxford where Carl had been invited to visit the Rutherford/Appleton
Laboratories. We stayed in the Cosener’s House right on the Thames in Abingdon. When we left, a driver from the Laboratory
took us from Abingdon to Heathrow Airport. This is the only time that a
driver was supplied to take us to an airport in England, although it was common in Germany.
We flew to Munich and moved into the apartment at Freimann
again. As we had been cold ever since Kiruna, we spent Easter in Merano, Italy, where I was surprised to find the German language was spoken by
all. This is the Tyrol.
Later, while Carl was working at the Max Planck in Garching,
I went to Vienna, Austria to visit Doug and Elsie Land.
He had been a pastor at La Jolla Presbyterian Church. Elsie and I went by train to Budapest, Hungary for a weekend. I went by train back to Munich from Vienna and to the apartment at Freimann.
We have always
enjoyed Munich because Gerhard and Dina Haerendel were
always so hospitable, the Bavarians know how to have fun, and we could try to
August 1992 Hong Kong, Malaysia, China
Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Malaysia; Foshan, Guangzhou, China
This was a
long-anticipated trip (two free Business Class tickets on Cathay Pacific from San Diego to Kuala Lumper, Malaysia). Landing at dusk at the old
Kai Tak airport at Kowloon, Hong Kong was a thrill because of flying low over the colored neon lights in the
business district. After a weekend, we
flew to Kuala Lumpur. Cecilia Pereira, a school
teacher and sister-in-law of a Bridgman La Jolla friend, was our guide in KL. We were impressed with this country where
Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, and Muslims seemed to all live harmoniously
under a Muslim government. The public
schools had vacation on all religious holidays.
There was total religious and cultural freedom. We went by train up through the jungle to Penang. Everything in Malaysia seemed exotic. Men and women
in the jungle wore sarongs. Near Penang was the Snake Temple with poisonous vipers. In Penang were rickshaws, durian, rambutan, mangosteen and longan fruits, and
clove, nutmeg and cocoa trees. We
enjoyed eating satay from street vendors. At Penang we stayed at
the Hotel Ferringhi, which was similar to the Royal
Hawaiian in Honolulu. Carl bought me a ruby ring in Penang for our 40th
We returned to
Hong Kong for Carl to attend the Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting. I discovered Dim Sum. The food was reasonably priced and terrific,
but prices of everything else in Hong Kong were out of our range. We
made a trip to “the land between” Hong Kong and China, and then went on a
Catamaran from the Hong Kong Ferry Terminal to mainland China for a one night
stay in Guangzhou (Canton). The tour
around Guangzhou consisted of just two American couples, a guide and a North
Vietnamese driver who never spoke or smiled.
We stayed at the China Hotel in Canton. This was all arranged by a
travel agent in Hong Kong, who was an uncle of my friend, Yang Pan, UCSD student.
May 1996 Germany and Turkey
Since Carl was
working in Garching by Munich again, we looked for a place we had never been and chose Istanbul, Izmir, Kusadasi, Ephesus, Channakkale, Bursa and Troy in Turkey. Turkey is a fabled land of ancient sights.
We especially enjoyed Istanbul, Ephesus and Bursa, where we had Turkish baths in the old Hamam,
next to our hotel, the Caravanserai. I
loved seeing the “Bible city of Ephesus” and Haggia Sofia, the church in Istanbul, which had been the center of the world’s Christianity for one
thousand years (until destroyed by Europe’s Crusaders!). In Istanbul, we enjoyed seeing the underground cisterns, which had been built by
the Romans, the Old Bazaar and the beautiful ceramic tiles in the Harem of Topkapi Palace, where Sultans had lived. We saw the famous Blue Mosque and went inside
the Turkish Bath (Hamam)
where Florence Nightingale is said to have gone after the Crimean War. We stayed away from the Kurdish problem in
October 1997 Germany and Malta
Carl went to Garching by Munich to work for a week, and we decided to see Egypt. Again, I did my research,
and we had reservations for a two-week trip to Egypt. Just before we were to go,
two German tourist busses were burned in the parking lot of the Cairo Museum. I canceled our trip before
tourists were massacred at Luxor. It was the first time that I
had ever taken trip insurance, and I used it.
We then decided to go to Malta and Gozo Islands instead of Egypt. For a safe place with five
thousand years of history, Malta was perfect. The Knights of
Malta had built the fortified city of Valletta in the 16th Century.
We visited General Dwight Eisenhower’s World War II offices in the
fortress of Valletta. It was there that he planned
the invasion of Sicily, which started to take Europe back from the Nazis. We loved
using public transportation to see the island of Malta and a driver in a Mercedes to take us around Gozo Island. The Phoenicia Hotel in Valletta is a sister hotel to the Waldorf, Aldwych,
that we like so much in London. They served the very same
English breakfast, except no kippers! Malta was a great choice-beautiful and safe.
October/November 1999 Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand
of 1999, we went to Jackson, Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park. We were interested in
comparing the thermal areas in Yellowstone with those in Rotorua, New Zealand. On October 27, another
long-anticipated trip was to Hawaii, Australia and New
Zealand. We had free Business Class tickets on
American and Qantas Airlines. We visited
Joy Axford in the Axford
home in Napier, New Zealand. (Ian was still working in Germany.) The highlights of this trip
were The Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu, again, Leura in the Blue Mountains of
Australia, Akaroa, New Zealand, Napier, New Zealand and the Rotorua area of New Zealand with Joy Axford. We caught trout in Lake Taupo, saw nineteen rams at the Agrodome sheep
show near Rotorua, and soaked in the thermal pools
with Joy in Taupo and Rotorua. New Zealand is a gorgeous country, and we had the best guide, Joy Axford.
2000 Nice, France; Dorking, Dorchester and London England
The first part
of this trip was to Nice, France for Carl to receive the Hannes Alfven Medal from the European Geophysical Society. We arrived in the rain, and were surprised to
find the Albert Ier Hotel small, dirty and
unfriendly. This is a three star
hotel. Never stay in any hotel with
fewer stars than three. The only good
thing was the German breakfast as they catered to German tour buses. On my birthday, April 24, the Award Ceremony was at the Acropolis Convention Center, and the formal Dinner was in the Louis 14th Room in the Negresco Hotel. This
Dinner was worth the whole trip to France. The waiters wore Napoleonic
uniforms and white gloves. It was incredibly elegant, but lively and
entertaining. This dinner in the Negreso Hotel stands out as a really beautiful occasion in
In Nice we
enjoyed eating in the restaurants of Old Nice, even though one night I
accidentally ordered pig's tongues stuffed into the rind of a hog's leg!. We especially
enjoyed the National Museum of Chagall in Nice. The Matisse Museum was great, but the Marc Chagall was fabulous. I also made a short trip up to Grasse and St. Paul de Vence (a
beautiful little town in the hills overlooking the Mediterranean.) Out German friends Arne and Dagmar Richter, Goetz and Karin Paschmann,
Gerhard and Dina Haerendel, and our best Swedish
friends Carl-Gunne and Anne-Marie Falthammer
were all in Nice. That made it much more
I do not feel
at home in France, and during our week there, we experienced horrid winds.
It was a relief to leave, even
though in the rain, to fly to England where my main interest was genealogy. I was looking for just three families--Hockers, Churchills and Mullins.
and I went to Dorking (south of London), the home of William and Alice Mullins and their children Priscilla
and Joseph who came to New England on the Mayflower in 1620. The
home and possible shoe factory, which William Mullyns
sold in 1619, is now four adjoining antique shops. Next door is the Historical Society building
and library where they treated me like a celebrity as I am a descendant of
these Mullins. One woman antique dealer
told me that a ghost goes through the basement under all four shops!. Mr. Mullins
brought dozens of pairs of shoes and boots to New England in the hope
of trading, but he, his wife and son all died the first winter. We stayed two nights in the old White Horse
Coaching Inn in Dorking. It was a perfect place for a restful week-end.
Then, Carl and
I traveled to
the Churchill country in Dorset. We went by taxi to Woking where we caught the train for the two-hour ride to Dorchester for a three
nights stay in the Bed and Breakfast, Muston Manor,
owned by Churchills for almost 400 years. A John Churchill bought Muston
Manor in 1609. I would like them to be
my ancestors, but I think they are not. Our niece, Elizabeth Hocker, joined us in Dorchester, and stayed
with us for the rest of the trip. In our
bedroom at Muston Manor we were allowed to handle about 15 old deeds
dating from 1556 Mary and Philip (Bloody Mary, daughter of King Henry the VIIIth), to 1798.
This encompasses Elizabeth the First, James the First, Charles the First, Charles the Second,
James the Second, and on up to the Georges.
This was a really golden moment--the deeds were marvelously written on
parchment with red wax seals hanging onto them.
I knew they were there in the old manor house, but I had to wait two
days before our hostess at Muston Manor offered the
cardboard box of them to us for private viewing.
Dorchester area was just as interesting as we had expected. I had arranged for a tour guide, known
locally as the "Towne Crier" (Alistair Chisolm)
to drive us around the countryside. We
enjoy Thomas Hardy novels, and all the locales were there. Every night we ate dinner in the Thimble Inn
in Piddlehinton, the parish town for the Churchills at Muston. Research in the Dorset County Archives in Dorchester did not prove
who the John Churchill was who appeared in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1643, but I enjoyed trying to figure it out.
Carl, Elizabeth and I were on the train to London. In London, on our way to Five Sumner Place in South Kensington, we made a quick run by our favorites: Westminster Abbey,
Road and 14 Ashburn Place, where we lived with Janet and Craig for eight months in
The next day I
went to the London Society of Genealogists Library, and Carl and Elizabeth went to museums of their choice.
Our best time together was on Friday when Elizabeth's idea took us to the Wallace Collection, which we had somehow
missed on earlier trips. Afterwards, we
ate lunch in the Crypt of St. Martin's in the Fields, and enjoyed London tremendously, as we always do.
left for the United
States on Saturday,
Elizabeth and I went to Portobello
market, and then to the Genealogical Fair at the Conference Hall in Westminster. As we walked from the Fair,
we managed to go inside a large building and listen to bagpiping
auditions for the Queen Mum's (mother of Queen Elizabeth the Second) piping
band. We paid two pounds, which allowed
us to visit all afternoon, hear the auditions, drink lemonade, and mingle with
the kilted men. Then Elizabeth and I
went by taxi
out to Kew.
I spent a beautiful Sunday in Kew Gardens. Monday was my only day to
research at the Public Record Office looking for Hocker
in Cornwall in the 16th and 17th Century and Churchill Wills. I read the State Papers of Elizabeth the
First learning about the German miners who went to England and Wales from Wurzburg near Munich in the 16th century. Elizabeth helped me by copying Churchill Wills. We did not find our Hockers
Tuesday we went by bus to Hampton Court Palace, and Wednesday we flew from London Gatwick to Jackson, Mississippi. My brother and his wife,
Mary Elsa, met us, and Thursday and Friday I saw the sights of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Another niece, Clara Miles,
and her husband, Brian,
and son, Brayton, drove up from Florida just to see me! On Saturday,
May 13, I flew home to California.
extraordinarily diverse three-week adventure was my 15th trip Europe.
Dorset was a treat; I always loved that name!
March/April 2002 Cruise—to British Columbia
the 6th International Conference on SUBSTORMS at the University of Seattle in March. We had attended the
1st meeting of this group in Kiruna, Sweden in 1992. We were given a tour
of Boeing Aircraft, near Seattle, and went for barbequed salmon at Tillicum Village. We stayed at the Inn at the Market in Seattle.
As part of
celebrating our 50th year of marriage, Carl and I went by the Cruise
West Company for a one-week cruise from Seattle to Vancouver and on to Princess Louisa Inlet in Canada. We enjoyed the stops in
ports such as Sidney, Nianamo, Friday Harbor and Victoria for the Buchart Gardens. One night on the way to
Vancouver a “Little Hawaiian Pineapple” hit from the stern and gave a few
anxious hours. The next day one couple
left the cruise and another man spent the day in a Vancouver Hospital. The best part was cruising
up Princess Louisa Inlet. It was a clear, warm
day. We also enjoyed having the “Owner’s
Cabin” except during the stormy night.
We discovered, first hand, that the top deck and the ends of the boat
move the most in a storm. We were on top
deck on the bow.
September 2002 England and Scotland
This trip was
special because our son, Craig, and his wife, Virginia, went with us to London. After four days in London at 14 Sumner
Place again, Craig
and Virginia drove out to Wales for nine days of travel in a rented Vauxhall.
went to a
meeting in Abingdon, that lovely village just outside Oxford, and he and I stayed, again, amongst the Medieval Abbey grounds and
English gardens in the beautiful old Coseners
Millhouse on the Thames. Craig and Virginia joined us
for one night at the Upper Reaches Hotel, about one block from the Coseners House.
The plan had
been for Craig and Virginia to meet us in Edinburgh but they were enjoying Wales too much to stop and go to Edinburgh. We had three days to ourselves in Edinburgh. I asked our Blue Guide, Iain
Anderson, to take us to Burntisland, where my five greats grandmother, Sophie Sims Hocker,
had been baptized in 1686. This was also
where the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) met with
James I and VI to discuss publishing what came to be called the King James
Version of the Bible. We also went to
the other side of Scotland and saw The Trossachs and Loch Lomond. We met Craig and Virginia
back at Gatwick Airport and flew home together. This
was a great trip.
Who Influenced Me?
Mother and Dad
come first. Vena Tipton, my flute
teacher, was unforgettable. In college,
the Dean Florence Scholar, could inspire almost
anyone to go to Graduate School. Eight Pastors at La Jolla
Presbyterian Church have been my friends and inspiration during the past
forty-one years. I am grateful that my
generation inherited the Judeo-Christian value system, which was mostly intact
during my first twenty-five years.
La Jolla Presbyterian
came true in January 1996 when, after serving three years as an Elder, I was
elected Clerk of Session at La Jolla Presbyterian Church. In the 1960’s I had come back to the Church
of my Mother (Presbyterian). I was Clerk until I resigned in June 1998.
Famous People I Have Seen or Known
Harry Truman in Tulsa at Skelly Stadium in 1948, Dwight Eisenhower
in the town square in Denton, Texas in 1952, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in La Jolla in the 1970’s. (She waved at me from her car.) I also met
the famous German rocket scientist, Dr. Werner von Braun, at the Explorer IV
launch in 1958 at Cape
In 1996, I saw
Jimmy Carter speak in San Diego. Hillary Clinton was in La Jolla for the dedication of the Eleanor Roosevelt College at UCSD. (She waved at me from her car.) We saw the former president
of Russia, Mikhail Gorbachev, speak in San Diego in 1996. Carl and I went to
the UCSD Commencement in June 1997 when President William J. Clinton spoke
I have known
three Nobel Laureates, Dr. Harold Urey, Dr. Hannes Alfven and Dr. Walter
Kohn, at the University of California San Diego. One Russian scientist, Dr. Konstantin Gringauz, designed the
low-frequency radio transmitter for Sputnik I, and he was the last man to touch
Sputnik I (the first satellite to orbit the earth, in October 1957) before it
was launched into orbit from Baikonur, Kazakstan. His
low-frequency radio was the one that allowed amateurs to track Sputnik, and
made it much more important politically.
Once, at a dinner in our home, Dr. Gringauz
told us the secret of Russia’s successful space launches.
He said that Russian scientists would walk in a circle around the launch
vehicle just before the rocket was to be fired.
My brother, Jim
In 1954 Jim
was accepted at the United
States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Four years he received his
engineering degree, and was commissioned an officer in the Air Force. In January 1959, he married a lovely girl,
Mary Elsa Murphy, from Jackson Mississippi.
They became the parents of Elizabeth, Andrew, Clara and Mary James Hocker. After twenty
years in the Air Force, Jim retired and obtained a law degree from Washington and Lee University. He, Mary Elsa, and the four
children moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Now, Jim and Mary Elsa have
seven grandchildren, and live in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Jim and I have had great
family vacations together in Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico, Florida, Arizona, Mississippi and California. As many as fourteen Hocker family members have attended our reunions.
United States Travel
Carl and I
have also had many trips in the United States. We have seen the sugar-like sands of Florida, woods of Maine, charms of Boston, lakes and parks of California and Utah, Southwest Santa Fe in New Mexico, Grand Canyon of Arizona, Blue
Ridge Mountains in Virginia, Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Yosemite Valley and Yellowstone National Park.
Much to be Thankful For
Charles Freeman in 1982, and their children, Kathryn (Katie) and David, bring
us much joy. Craig gave us a dear
daughter-in-law, Virginia, and another Kathryn, for a step-granddaughter. We are grateful that our family lives in San Diego so Kathryn and David Freeman have aunts, uncles, and grandparents in
the town where they live just as Jim and I did sixty years ago in Tulsa. Our grandchildren, in San Diego, California in the 21st Century, are in such a different environment
from what Carl and I knew in Oklahoma and Texas in the Great Depression of the 1930’s. I realize, as I write this, that, during my
childhood, rescue and caring figured in my story often. Carl and I have been exceedingly lucky, and
Carl has always been a diligent worker.
A young Ph.D. physicist now could never get an Assistant Professorship
at Iowa immediately after graduation, 1961, or ask for, and get, tenure at UCSD in 1962
only one year after completing his Ph.D.
It would be extremely difficult today for a young scientist to obtain
funding (from National Aeronautics. and Space Administration or the National
Science Foundation) to support a laboratory of forty people. Carl received two Guggenheim Awards and one
Humboldt Senior Scientist Fellowship.
(This is a program Germany had to thank the United States for the Marshall Plan after World War II.) He received the Hannes
Alfven Medal in 2000. I am thankful for the love and
the fifty-one years I have had with my dear husband, Carl, and for our
wonderful children, Janet and Craig.
Now, we sit on our upper deck and look down three hundred feet and one
mile west to the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean. We can see breaking waves,
whales, sailboats, fishing boats, United
States Navy ships, Catalina Island and, sometimes, in winter, the snow-capped
San Bernadino Mountains. I am also grateful that I
have the time, energy and memory to write this.
Life is too short, but we THANK GOD FOR ALL we have had.
McIlwain, La Jolla, California, February 7, 2004