Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Life of Hazlette Brubaker :: Part 13 ~ Adult Life

If you haven't already done so, you may want to read The Introduction to this series of posts.

Adult Life

Just before the war ended I moved to Columbia City and began working for the larger "Home" Telephone Company.

I was still in Etna at the end of World War I. I had gone to Columbia City when Mama left the farm and had gone to work at the telephone office there. When Lodema Roth, the manager at Etna got the flu they sent me there till she was better. During that period the message came thru that the war was ended. I opened the keys on the switchboard and told everyone "the war is over". A short time later a message came that it was a false alarm. So I had to make another "all out" call - but only a few days later, on November 11, 1918 it really was over.

I was back in Columbia City and had gone home to lunch when our next door neighbor, Fred Howell, who was Wire Chief for the telephone company, came to our house and said, "Hazlette you must go pack for a few days stay at Arcola and catch the next train in half an hour." Well, I scrambled to get everything I needed and ran to the depot, which was just half a block from our house. The girl at Arcola had died and her family had moved away. Fred came over that afternoon and set up two cots - one for the neighbor girl and one for myself. He made arrangements for the restaurant to bring my meals. I only had to stay for one week while training the new girl. Then it was back to Columbia City.

During the next year I made lots of new friends. Maud Cramer and I hit it off at once and we were friends for the rest of her life. She and I double dated occasionally. Her future husband, Elmer Bump, and my future husband, Victor Phend, were one of these double dates!

Later I left the telephone company (the pay was terrible) and went to work at the Jet White Grocery, the first cash and carry store in the city. For a time I worked at Dr. Glock’s office in Fort Wayne, then went back to the phone company.

One day Lawrence Goble came in to the telephone office and asked me to come to work for him clerking and bookkeeping. I thought it was too big a job for me with no formal education. But he told me to write him a letter asking for the job, and he could tell from that. I wrote the letter and got the job as his "girl Friday" and worked there until Phyllis was born.

Hazlette Brubaker and Victor Phend. Her brother Bill in the background.
Probably about 1920.

Vic and I were married October 15, 1921 and Phyllis was born a year later. We lived in the Kissinger Addition and Vic worked in Fort Wayne; the government was paying him to learn the typewriter business. Patricia was born in 1926 and the next year we moved to Fort Wayne on Westbrook Drive. Virginia was born in 1928 and two years later, William Henry was born. He was the only one of the children born in a hospital (Lutheran) and the girls always thought you went to the hospital to get boys.

Note added 10 a.m. January 16, 2011 :: Born in 1902, Grandma would be 109 years old today! Happy Birthday Grandma!

1 comment:

  1. Love the picture! I find the episode where she was recruited by Mr. Goble telling. She was clearly bright, capable and impressive. It comes through in her writing and obviously struck him.

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