Four months before I was born, Grandad Alban's Uncle Noah died and Mom and Dad picked up Bess and Jim and went to the funeral. My Dad had bought a new Chevrolet touring car in 1922. Uncle Noah died on November 3, 1924. He was laid to rest beside of his brother - Thomas William Alban which was the father of Grandad Alban in the Grave Run Methodist Church cemetery up Falls Road.
As shown in the family group sheet, Thomas William Alban was born May 30, 1838 and died April 26, 191 1, and was short of five weeks of his seventy-third birthday. Uncle Noah, Thomas William's brother lived to be ninety years and seven months old. Mother was five months along with me, so I feel I went to that funeral also. Funerals always bring a bit of nostalgia to remaining members of the family; so at Bessie's suggestion, they drove over to where they lived when their mother was still living. My mother told me about this.
Dad held onto his 1922 Chevrolet until about January or February 1926 and he bought a 1925 (closed-in) Chevrolet. I have a slight memory of the 1922 car - Mom use to roll me up in blankets that I looked like a log of wood - I remember staring into the light on the dashboard and hearing the flapping of the eisenglass windows. The 1922 Chevrolet had 2,000 miles on it when he traded it in for a new car - not much mileage for a three-year old car. Dad kept the 1925 Chevrolet until 1931 and traded it in for another new Chevrolet and mother learned to drive. The " 31 " he kept for eight years and traded that in for a 1939 Plymouth.
The summer of 1938 was a good summer. Even though our country felt the Wall St. crash of 1929 until World War II, we grew up with some social amenities. My two sisters Ethel and Betty went to visit Mom's Aunt Annie at Blue Ridge Summit, Md., and I went to spend a week with Aunt Bess in Riderwood. It was the week of July 24, 1938 and the church was having its annual carnival. Lib and I went to the carnival in the evenings and during the day, we would ride our new bicycles. One morning, we were riding one of the side roads and it had just been tarred. This did not daunt us, we rode right through that thick hot tar, and if you would have seen our new bikes after that - you would not have thought they were new anymore. We stopped at Helen and Willard's house and Helen gave us kerosene and old rags to get the tar off our bikes. Early the next morning (s) I would go up to the carnival grounds to see how much change I could find on the ground that fell from peoples pockets the night before.
The summer of 1940 was a good one also. We went to see Dad's brother in Brighton, Mich. Uncle Sam and his wife, Aunt Gene had four sons and five daughters. Bob had an old Model A Ford with a rumble seat and with six or seven kids in that old car we covered all the back roads within 50 miles. We always ended up at the hamburger place - it was owned and operated by a very pleasant Italian man, and he had his three daughters working for him. The girl's names were May, June, and July (pronounced Julie). The place was always jumpin with juke-box playing as loud as it could "Roll out the barrels". One day while we were there, Uncle Sam went with us in our car and directed us to the Ford Motor Plant. It was open to the public and we walked through observing how Ford automobiles were put together. Afterward, we drove to Dearborn and saw Ford's first car and other museum pieces as well. Uncle Sam and Aunt Gene were the perfect host and hostess. Uncle Sam was the railroad station master at Brighton and he also ran a farm and had an apple orchard. In the 1920's he invented and had a U. S. patent on a lawn-mower sharpener - something unheard of in those days. When we left Uncle Sam's we drove north and went across to Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. What a wonderful time we had !
Little did I realize then that in three short years, I would be drafted into the army. I left home in August 1943, took my training on the Majove Desert, Calif, and went overseas to England in August 1944. I saw a great deal of England, France, Belgium, Germany and we even went into Switzerland and Austria, just far enough that I could say that I had been to those two countries.
Right: April 23, 1944--Dr. Hunt with James Frank Alban Sr.
I lived in everything from a pup tent to a twelth-century castle with a moat and a drawbridge. I was assigned to an Anti-Aircraft-Artillery with 90 milimeter guns and we were always several miles behind the front line.
I had married my high- school sweetheart - Eleanor Fritts while on furlough - March 18, 1944 and when I got home the only thing I could find to set up house keeping was a guard shack pulled off of Fort Holabird and made into three rooms.
The house had a kitchen sink in it and nothing else. We had to buy paper-board closets to hang our clothes in. We cooked on a kerosene stove and behold, the ice man cometh everyday. We had all new furniture and I thought it was great but Ellie cried everyday because it was so primitive. Our new baby had to sleep in its basinet on top of the bureau - there was no place else for it. The thing Ellie missed the most was an inside bathroom. Mom and Dad made a three-room apartment for us at their house.
⇐ Elizabeth 4 Elizabeth 6 ⇒