Friday, September 19, 2008

Life in Mineral wells Texas

The Lt. who was drinking orangejuice and writing to his wife whom I called W arrived with his wife. I was so happy to see that they were going to live in Mineral Wells also. W's wife was a very warm, friendly person and we became good friends which lasted to the end of their lives. But I was jealous of the fact that because they were married before the war, they had silver implements and sheets and all thosee things we need to live graceful lives. Many of those things were unavailable to us and when we entertained there was very little grace showing. But when our year was up and we left Texas it seemed it had been a wonderful year with lots of fun and lots of love.

But there was also strife and heartache. The first day we settled in we arranged to have the Forth Worth paper delivered. Each day there was a plea for any medical person to come forward to work with a ward ful of young polio patients. It broke my heart, that here I was, probably knowing more about the treatment of polio than any one else. I had to go. I asked S if I could volunteer three days a week. He said yes of course. I called the Hospital and they said' Thank you, thank you, forever. The next morning the paper had a headline big enough to announce THE SKY IS FALLING. Angel of mercy. Warm Springs educated, soldier's wife willing to come work with our children. I had never had a headline devoted to me before. Wow. Little did I know.

That evening S and I went to the movies after dinner. I can't remember what we were seeing. Suddenly the lights came up and the movie went blank. And just as suddenly there were two burly MPs standing in front of us and one of them said; Lt. S, you are ordered to come to the Post. Col Botts orders you to come. I walked home and I really don't know if S had to ride in a jeep or something worse. I kept thinking, why. What could be so important that it could not wait til tomorrow. When S came home, he was worried but he couldn't keep from laughing.

The Col told me I have to forbid you to go to Forth Worth. S said I almost told the Col about the green nail polish. We were so new there that we did not know that Forth Worth was off limits for the GI.s Col Botts was worried about germs and such. Since S was an officer I did not know that we were GIs. And so I called the hospital again and told them the developments. The headline in the next paper was bigger and blacker than before. US Army will not let the Angel of mercy....

Well, that day I was called in to see the Col. I don't remember how, but I know it was less dramatic. The little man roared: You get the paper to recind that headline. We are not forbidding you to go. But we are putting your husband under quaranteen on the post if you go. I said Sir, If you have children I hope they are treated with more respect than you have shown us. And if I had anything but tennis shoes on, I would have klicked my heels, turned around, and left.

A few days later, a group of parents came and rang our doorbell. We come from Ammarillo, Texas. We read about you in the paper. If we bring our cildren here, will you work with us? I said: of course I will. They were forbidden by the County Health Department to bring their children there. The idea that persons who were no longer sick but suffering from the after effects of the disease could affect a village or a troop of soldiers is so ridiculous. But remember where we are.

S was nervous that they would send him overseas immidiately. But then the Army would not have anything to hang over my head. And so we stayed in Mineral Wells for exactly a year.


Emiana said...

So for that year you were there you couldn't treat anyone, irrespective of whether you went to them or they came to you?

Cats~Goats~Quotes said...

Such a shame...but I can remember when some people thought cancer was contagious.
Am enjoying your blog so much!

TM Photography said...

I love your spirit and sass!!

Anonymous said...

You sure are one heck of a woman!