1950 - 1951



 I went back to Newberrys for the Christmas rush and the extra money always helped.  And I worked until April, when Vanís orders for Annapolis, MD came through. We drove to Annapolis and we were assigned to a brand new Quonset hut, so new and clean and no bugs, especially after the one at Hunterís Point.  We also had new furniture and all the utilities were electric, stove, hot water heater and furnace.  Van put up a low picket fence in the front yard, so Bob could play there.  My parents came down when Pop had his vacation and they enjoy sightseeing in the area.  Van was teaching the Middies seamanship on a Yippy boat, a small powerboat, at the Naval Academy and the hospital was on the Academy grounds.  My only regret was that I didnít get to see all the activities that would be going on. I was pregnant  with Dorrie and was having a terrible time with asthma. 


My parents took Bob back to Fall River with them because Van with taking Bob to work with him.  He was doing everything around the house as well.  We all prayed that I would get well soon.  My cousin Irene came down and stayed with us for a couple of weeks.  When I started to feel better, she went back home.  She was such a big help.  When Thanksgiving was due, Van took a couple of days leave and we drove to Fall River and brought Bob back with us.  I was able to handle things with Vanís help.  Dorrie was due to arrive late February, so my mother came down and stayed with us about four weeks.  So she wouldnít be too bored, we bought a TV and we could get channels from Baltimore and Washington.  We all enjoyed that, and Mom really enjoyed the wrestling.


     Dorrie was born February 23, 1950.  I donít remember a thing about what happened because as soon as I arrived at the hospital, they put me to sleep.  In the morning about 9:00 oíclock, they told me I had a daughter.  Well, I told them they were wrong because my family only has boys.  Well, they proved it to me and I was thrilled.  And she was in good health, no problems.  I was worried since I had so much medication for my asthma.  Van was thrilled too.  My mother said that when he came up the walk at the Hut, she knew we had a girl, he looked so happy.


Bob after eye operation


Dorrie at 5 months old


at Lake Wallkill


 Across the street from our Quonset were huge tall radio towers for the Voice of America around the world.  They hummed a lot with the wind, but when we had an electrical storm, the lightning really was something.  It took awhile to get used to it.


We made a lot of friends there and the commissary was only 3 Quonsets away.  We had a movie theatre nearby and also a chapel there, where Dorrie was baptized.  We were there about a year in that Quonset when we were told that we had to move. 



Did you ever have an INSTANT MOVE?  Well, we did.  Dorrie was only 3 months old and she was having her morning bath.  The door opened and in came my husband from the base to tell me that we were moving that day.  The truck would come that afternoon to move us to another Quonset across the Severin River.  I just hated the thoughts of moving and not knowing where we had to move.  Well, I packed boxes and the sailors helping us brought them to our new home.


What a mess that was! I didnít get to see the hut until everything was moved from the old place.  When I walked in the door, I knew I was at the wrong end of the move.  Everything was piled sky high in the living room with a path to walk.  When I saw the kitchen, I could have cried.  Old sink, old gas stove and old hot water heater, not at all like the electric one we had.  The furniture was used, nothing like what we left in the other hut.  All the tenants tried to buy the new furniture, but the Navy had already consigned them to some dealer.  Weeks later when we went to the commissary, we saw all the electric water heaters in a field out in the open.  So much waste!!!  And when we drove by the old place, it suddenly hit me that I wouldnít see the 100 tulip bulbs that I planted if they ever came up.


We made do in the old place.  My health was so much better now and we were in the process of getting a doctor for Bobís eyes.  Van brought him to Bethesda Naval Hospital and they told him that the best eye doctor was at Annapolis and they couldnít understand why they had him go all the way to Washington, DC.  Bob had 2 eye operations while we were there.   He was so good.  We explained to him what they were going to do, that it would hurt somewhat after the surgery.  But, he amazed us.  He did everything right.  He had muscle problem, and he had therapy there and when we went back to MA.  But we were happy that we were at the right place at the right time.






Bob turns 5 years

 In January, gossip around the compound was that the huts were going to be demolished for a highway.  Van checked into it because our time there would be up in April and we didnít feel like moving again and then getting transferred.  He received his orders early and they were to a Deep Sea Diving School in Bayonne, NJ.



updated: 20.11.2011