The move from Riderwood to Towson was made in 1935, and since Irwin was only a mile away from his work, I do not know why they moved to Towson; but move they did, and this was a much bigger house than they had in Riderwood. Bessie's son Russell and his wife, Lois rented the second floor. The third floor of the house was one big room and Preston and Edwin called this their sky-parlor. Preston had finished his stint with the CCC. These two boys, because of the careful management of Clara, their mother, grew up with advantages that only children who had parents in the professional fields were privileged to enjoy. Because of the fringe benefits, Preston seems to have set the "pace-of-his-life". Preston was a personable young man and seemed to have that drive in life that would take him anywhere he wanted to go. Edwin, on the other hand, even though he also, was a nice looking young man, was the complete opposite of his older brother.
The economy of the country did pick up a little. I suppose President Roosevelt's New-Deal-Policy was beginning to pay off. Pres. Roosevelt, in his campaign speech, promised a car in every garage and two chickens in every pot. That was a pretty big promise to a nation whose people (the vast majority of them) was living on a diet of watered-down soup. It was Will Rogers, the famous comedian and cowboy philosopher, who said: America is the only country he had ever heard of that was traveling down the road to poverty in an automobile.
An excellent portrayal of these days was John Steinbeck's book - "The Grapes of Wrath". Maybe Uncle Irwin got a small raise; anyhow something prompted them into wanting to buy a house of their own. It was the year of 1939, and Preston is 25 years old and Edwin is 22 years old - neither one of them is around anymore on a regular basis.
Clara and Irwin found something they liked - a six-room new house in Parkville with a club basement. It was on Wycliffe Road. The smallest bedroom upstairs was equipped with pipes behind the walls that could be hooked into a kitchen sink and stove if they ever wanted to make it into a three-room apartment. When they moved into their new house in 1940, Irwin was 57 years old and Clara was 46 years old --- and they lived happily ever after - or did they?
Lets go back to Grandad Alban and see what he is doing. His second family of children are growing up fast - Eleanor is 17, Amy is 15, John is 14 and Dora is 12 years old. Just after Thanksgiving of 1921, Maggie, his wife is taken sick. She is 53 years old now, and maybe all she needs is a good rest. They thought it best that she be put in the hospital. The diagnosis of her illness was worse than the family had expected but they were sure with proper care and rest, she would get better. On Friday evening, December 16, 1921, while the three girls were doing the supper dishes, someone brought word that their mother had died. Amy, who was drying dishes at the time, fell to her knees and sobbing her heart out, began vigorously scrubbing the floor with the dish towel. Grandad and Maggie had been married for 18 years. Grandad married again on July 29, 1922 to a widow, named Mary Badders.
The year that Grandad's second wife died, Bill and Nellie had built a house on the Moser farm on Gwynbrook Ave., directly across from the Tom Gill house where they had been living. Bill is a street-car mechanic and he works from 7AM to 7PM, seven days a week with every other Sunday off. He works at the Owings Mills car-barn. He left the Davis store in September 1920. Mr. Davis had been good to him but he had to find a job with better pay. At sixty cents an hour, with an 84 hours a week, maybe it was more hours that had brought him more pay.
A baby girl was born to Nellie and Bill on September 15, 1921 and they named her Mary Elizabeth Alban, but she was always called Betty. In 1924, Nellie and Bill added three more rooms to their house and a bathroom
Bess and Jim had another baby; it was a little girl (at long last) and they named her Elizabeth ..... About the year of 1926, Russell, their son, joined the U. S. Marines and he sent his whole pay home to his mother and his mother would send a montly allowance back to him. Do you think you would be able to find a young man doing that in this day and age? I sincerely doubt it.
I was born March 26, 1925 and I caught every childhood illness that came along. I had forgotten that I had the rickets when I was a baby and for a while it looked like I was going to follow my two brothers before me - home to heaven. Nevertheless, I James Frank Alban was baptized on March 21, 1926, by Cyrus N. Robinson, Pastor of Gills Methodist Church. He must have said an extra prayer for me because even though I weighed ten pounds when I was a year old; seventy-five years later I weigh 240 pounds in my bare feet. I can still remember that horrible castor-oil I use to have to take to build my bones. I had a difficult time putting a little weight until I was 35 years old. When I was a kid, Lois Howard use to call me Fats and I loved it. In addition to being terribly skinny, I never showed (much to my Dads disappointment) any athletic abilities - I was awkward to say the least, it was like I had two left feet and I did not have any coordination. The only time I caught a baseball was right into my stomach (in the appendix area) and I actually thought the ball had gone straight through me - I looked behind me to see where it had gone, and instead, it had bounced back from me and was laying in front of me.
⇐ Elizabeth 3 Elizabeth 5 ⇒