Elsie Gale in Chandler, Arizona
From her Personal History written June 8, 1978
When we lived 5 miles East of Chandler (on the desert) my mother had the opportunity to go to France with "The Gold Star Mothers" as my brother Hugh was killed in action in France in 1918. My mother was a Gold Star Mother and rode in parades on Armistice Day for many years after. She never liked to ride in the parades as to us it was a sad occasion losing her son in the war. So mother made plans to go on this trip and how proud she was getting her clothes ready to go and how big an occasion it was for her to decorate the spot where Hugh fell and to put a wreath on the grave for the "unknown soldiers".
That left Dad, Melva, Victor and I alone. One night in particular, we kids were left all alone, out in the middle of the desert we lived (the old Brown place). Dad had to go into Phoenix on business, dark came and he still was gone. We became worried with mother clear across the ocean and Dad clear over in Phoenix. We felt like orphans and got to feeling sorry for ourselves. What if Dad didn't come back and something happened to mother. We decided to climb up on the house so we could see every car that came down that country road. Since Melva was the older, she could see that Vic and I were scared so she said, "Let's say a prayer that Dad will soon come home and that we wouldn't be afraid." She said a short prayer and no sooner than she had finished than we saw car lights coming our way. It turned down our long lane, sure enough it was our Dad and you never saw 3 happier little kids.
There are many more cherished memories to me with my sister and brother Vic, as we were the three that played together since we were the last 3 at home. All my other brothers and sisters were working, away, married or going to school. There are so many other stories I could tell! The time Victor and I wanted a little lamb, and how we practiced our speech to ask the sheepherder for one and how disappointed we were when he said he didn't have an extra one. The first hair-cut Dad gave me & how I cried, when I looked in the mirror.
I attended Jr. High in Chandler High School building and since we didn't live far enough out in the country for the school bus, we walked 2 and 1/2 miles up and 2 and 1/2 miles back every school day. We were living out South and West of Chandler at the Damron Ranch.
It was at that time my father became ill with heart trouble and Dropsy and had set in. So he was bed-fast and mother waited on him. He would fill up with water, and his feet would swell up twice their size. He had a tube in his side to tap the water as he filled up and I remember mother carrying gallons of water as his system filled up. Clyde was home at that time and helped mother and they bought my Dad a yellow Canary to sing for him and keep him company as he had to spend so much time in bed. He just loved that bird and called him "Bobby." How that bird could sing!
One day Clyde came to Chandler School and they called me out, Clyde told me in the hall that our father had died and they found him on the kitchen floor. They had gone to town to shop and mother kept his breakfast warm on the back of the stove. He took a heart attack as he tried to get something to eat. That was November 23, 1932. I was 13 and I can't think of anything that bothered me so much as losing my father... I loved him so much. It was a cruel blow to me. I thought he was perfect and I missed him so much. Then mother thought it best to sell out there and move to Mesa. So we had an opportunity to purchase 7 acres East of Mesa (about 2 and 1/2 miles). There we were offered a small frame house to live in. My mother widowed with 5 children to support and educate and with only a government check from my brother Hugh's Insurance to support us. We really had it poor. We all finished High School and worked what we could, but not able to go to college.
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