|Ed and Lottie at John and Emma|
Thornally's home in Brookdale
Dedicated to the memory of my sweet and loving husband for the 51 happy years we shared from August 19th, 1939 to September 3, 1990.
I met Ed at a dance at the German House in Oakland in January of 1938. Our first date was on January 30 to the President’s Ball. It was held at the Oakland Auditorium – a special event to raise money for polio victims. It also honored President Franklin Roosevelt who was crippled by the disease. We had a wonderful time and dated regularly from then on.
Ed was anxious to get married – he was 25 but I was only 18, and not ready to settle down and become a housewife. I wanted to enjoy my new independence for a little longer. He wanted us to “break up”, but even though I didn’t want to get married – I didn’t want to lose him. I realized what a good husband, lover, friend and father he would be. So, after lots of discussion we decided to be engaged, but wait a year before getting married.
|German House where Mom and Dad met in 1938|
|Oakland Auditorium where Dad took Mom on their first date|
That important day was August 19, 1938. We had a lovely wedding at St. Leanders Church. I planned the details for months, and with Rosemary’s help, I designed and made my wedding gown. We had our reception at Sequoia Country Club, and then left for a one whole month honeymoon – as Ed had been saving up all his time off for this day. He planned it all. Our first night we stayed at Hotel Oakland – our room overlooked Lake Merritt – even though we already had our own apartment on Oakland Avenue.
|St. Leanders Church where Ed and Lottie were married, 1939|
|Two shots of the interior of the Sequoia Lodge where Ed and|
Lottie held their wedding reception
|Avalon Ballroom on Catalina Island - where Ed took Lottie|
for their honeymoon.
|The theater on Catalina Island|
Our marriage wasn’t one of wild passion, but rather happy contentment with the little things life offered us and the desire to please each other. I knew it would last for a long, long time, and now that its ended, my only regret is that it couldn’t have continued for many more years.
|The first of 51 years, taken in 1940 on their 1st anniversary|
In the beginning, Ed had a good job with Signal Oil Company and commuted to San Francisco every day, but six months after we were married, he was fired – for being honest. He reported some crooked deals to the wrong man – not knowing he was also involved in the scheme. So, they got rid of Ed to cover up for themselves. We had some rough years, but we managed, and there was lots of love between us.
Move to San Leandro and Births of Terry and Kathy
We moved to a duplex on 78th Avenue. Rent was only $27.50 per month. It was there that we became acquainted with our first “married friends” – Mickey and Harold Mohr. But we got each other in trouble with the landlord and we all got evicted. So, in 1941 we moved to Joaquin Avenue in San Leandro. That’s where we lived when Terry was born March 11, 1942. It was a pleasant and comfortable place, but Ed wanted Terry to grow up in his own home with a big yard and animals.
|When Terry was born Dad was adamant|
that they buy their home on Elsie Avenue
So, we went house hunting, and bought our nearly new five room home at 730 Elsie Avenue. My Mom and Dad lived just around the corner at 636 Sybil – they took care of Terry when Ed and I went out partying and I’d push Terry home in his buggy, so as not to wake him up.
Twenty months later Kathy arrived. She was a sweet and good baby and I was delighted to have a little girl to sew dresses and pinafores for.
|Two photos taken at their home on Elsie, 1944|
|Kathy, Ed and Terry planting seeds, 1945|
By law, Ed had to get work in a defense plant. So, my Dad got him a job at United Iron Works and wanted him to become a machinist. But Ed disliked that kind of work and was pretty unhappy.
At last the war was over and our friend Walt Gunn offered Ed a job. At first it was just digging ditches, building forms and hauling materials. But Ed worked hard and gradually learned construction and carpenter work and he was much happier. In 1946 he joined the carpenters union #1622. That was a good decision. So, we have always been grateful to Walt.
Our life on Elsie Avenue was pretty good. We still didn’t have
much money, but we went on picnics with Jess and Cliff and Grace and Ernie,
spent holidays with mom and Dad, Ma and Pop, Bert and Marge and the Anglemyers.
We got acquainted with our neighbors – Floyd and Clara Van Epps, Ronnie and Freddie
Shehab, Bea and Jo Arnold. We all liked to play pinochle and took turns as
hosts at each other’s homes. The guys would run across the street and check on
the kids now and then (a no-no today). Freddie introduced us to New York pizza
– nobody in California had ever heard of it at that time.
|Walt and Jean Gunn. Walt gave Dad his first job in|
construction and remained close friends for life.
I had built up a nice clientele of ladies that I did dressmaking for, and it gave us a few extra dollars for pleasure spending.
|Lottie, Ed, Kathy and Terry at Elsie home|
One project Ill never forget! In one three-day weekend – we painted our entire house. Clara and Floyd, their kids and my Dad all pitched in to help Ed and I. Clara did all the cooking and we ate our meals at their house. A few weekends later we reversed the process and painted Clara and Floyds’ house and I did all the cooking for the gang. My Dad cleaned all the paint brushes and cleaned up our mess. Boy were we tired and slap happy when it was done. But darned proud with a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.
|Lottie and Ed with Chris|
Move to Castro Valley and Birth of Chris
In June of 1948 we bought a lot on Alma Avenue (a half-acre for $10,000) and drew up plans – with Walt’s help – to build our present home. It was a huge undertaking with lots of headaches. But still today it gives us a wonderful feeling of satisfaction. I’d take Terry and Kathy to my Mom and then ride the bus to Castro Valley – get off at Redwood Road and walk up to Alma Avenue – 1 mile. Later my Dad gave me his old 1928 Hupmobile and I learned to drive out here. I’d work on the house, sanding, painting, putting on button board, or those awful furring nails in the stucco. Then as soon as Ed got off work, he’d join me and we’d work till dark. Then back to San Leandro to pick up Terry and Kathy and drop into bed pooped. On weekends, I’d bring out our electric roaster and cook our meals.
|John Thornally, Lottie, Emma and Terry. The Hupmobile in|
the driveway of their new Castro Valley home, 1950
Mickey and Harold and Rich Mohr were our contractors but Walt helped us a lot with the plans, materials and subcontractors and Bert helped us with the concrete work and plastering and stucco – along with more friends. And so, in April 1949 we moved to Castro Valley and a new chapter in our life.
It was only three months later that I was pregnant for the third time and Jean said – oh! We forgot to tell you Castro Valley is nick-named Pregnant Valley. But lo and behold on January 24, 1950 Chris became a wonderful addition to our family tree. She was always a happy go lucky little girl. Terry adored her, and so did Kathy – Ed beamed and I was in my glory with two girls.
Those were busy years – school activities, PTA, Brownies, boy scouts – Ed and I took an active part in it all. And for a while Ed was a volunteer fireman. I started working at Daughtreys part-time. Doing the alterations and working in the Children’s Department with Marge Searle.Ed worked hard - sometimes jobs were plentiful – he must have hung a million feet of sheetrock - he took pride in doing a quality job. But other times jobs were scarce, so every morning he went to the union hall and waited for a call - that didn’t come. He’d finally come back home very discouraged. But no matter what happened, he never complained and just kept on doing his very best. And whenever one of our friends needed help, he was always there with a willing hand.
|Dad's photo in the Castro Valley paper when he was part of the volunteer|
The years flew by. Terry graduated from Castro Valley High in 1960 – then Kathy – and suddenly she met Larry. They were married at Our Lady of Grace Church on February 22, 1964.
|Kathy on her wedding day with parents Ed and Lottie|
About the same time Chris went bravely thru a traumatic period while she was in the 8th grade. During a routine physical at Kaiser, her Doctor determined that she had scoliosis – or curvature of the spine. She had a very difficult back surgery – they inserted an 8” steel pin. She was in a full body cast for six months. She sure was a good patient and like her Dad – never complained.
Just six months after Kathy and Larry married, they moved to Alaska. We all missed her so much that in 1965 we bought a camper for $750. That July Ed drove the Alcan Highway to Fairbanks in only seven days. What a great trip that was for six weeks. It was really cozy when Kathy joined us for a week to Mt. McKinley National Park and way down the Kenai Peninsula. Sure hated to say goodbye when we went our separate ways in Anchorage.
|The camper we drove to Alaska in to visit with Kathy and|
Larry in the 60's
We had a lot of good times in that little camper. Up the beautiful California coast into Oregon, Yosemite, Santa Cruz, Disneyland, on hunting trips with Bert and Marge, Marie and Mike, Johnny and Helen and Jim and Carol and extra special good times with Jean and Walt at Scull Flat Ranch.
Then in May 1971 we bought a new Four-Star Camper and took some great trips to Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion National Parks, Yellowstone, Canada, Vancouver Island and Olympic National Park. What wonderful times my sweetheart and I had in those years.
Kathy came home for a three month visit in 1967. Shaun was three months old and in 1970 she came when Eric was three months and Shaun three years. After a year stay in England they returned to Australia.
|Ed with grandson Shaun, 1970|
|Ed with his grandson Eric|
Terry worked at Caterpillar Tractor Company for ten years and then retired in 1974. He enjoys life – helps others – does volunteer work at church and CCD. He enjoys going to auctions and collecting and recycling aluminum cans.
Chris graduated from the University of California in 1975. With a lot of hard work and determination, she has established a very successful business as a landscape architect. She has an attractive office in Oakland. She and Dianne have a lovely home in the Oakland Hills. In January 1990 they also bought a great little cabin in Point Arena. It’s located on ten pretty acres of Redwood and Pine trees and covered with wildflowers and rhododendrons. What a peaceful spot it is to spend a weekend relaxing.
|Ed and Lottie at their Castro Valley home 1956|
|Ed and Lottie when Dad still had hair|
|The family in outfits Mom made, 1946|
|Bert and Marge, Lewis and Anna, Ed and Lottie|
|Ed and Lottie with his 1936 Chevrolet, 1938|
|One of many parties on our patio at the Castro Valley home.|
L-R Rose and Emma Thornally, Lewis, Terry, Anna, Ed, Bert,
Kathy, Maege, Pat, Christy and Pat - all Pattillos
|One of many happy Christmas holidays. Emma, Terry,|
Kathy, Lottie, Ed and Chris, 1956