Blog Post # 33: My Mom: Miriam Elizabeth Hall Gateley, 2 – 1st thru 8th Grades

Mom’s 1st thru 8th Grades

Welcome to Part 2 of my Mom’s life.  As Part 1 was from her birth thru 1st grade (last week’s blog post, ), Part 2 will continue her story from 2nd to 8th grade.

(Note to family members: Please let me know if you remember something differently or something more and I’ll add to her story.)

Mom, her brother Parker and mother had moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma where she attended first through fourth grades at Persing Grade School.

Miriam, painted by Marjorie

Mom writes the following about this time.

Not sure, but think before we moved from Colorado to Tulsa, Grandmother Haswell was living with Archie Jones. She took care of his son, Leland. The first house we lived in was on rout 66 in west Tulsa. We didn’t live there long, but moved to 1803 West Archer street. It had two bedroom upstairs and one downstairs, as well as bathroom, kitchen, living room and dining room. Parker had one of the upstairs bedrooms. 

Grandma Haswell used the dinning room for her bed room. It was close to her friend Alma Cline and she and I would walk over to see Alma at least twice a week. Alma was always sewing and she inspired me to learn how to make the pretty things that she made for her grandchildren. 

I just remember something funny that Parker did when he was about fourteen. We were living in Oklahoma. One day he took a string and tacked it up across the door way to the kitchen. He would look at Grandmother Haswell, then decide how high to tack it up. When she ask him what he was doing he told her that when she walked into the kitchen it would cut the top of her hair off. She had the prettiest light brown long hair. she would twist it into a top knot on top of her head, but it also would be fluffed out, not pulled straight back.

Ray Peter and his mother also lived in Tulsa, but not close to us. They had been good friend with mother before she and dad moved to Colorado and renewed their friendship. Mother and Ray’s first wife were very good friends. When Mother and Ray got married they didn’t live with Grandmother Haswell, Parker and me. Ray would work in the shipyard as a welder in Bremerton Washington in order to get enough money to go prospecting for gold in New Mexico. He could only prospect in the warm months. The first (I think) summer he and mother went to New Mexico they took Parker with them for him to help prospect. I stayed with Grandmother Haswell. Ray thought Parker was lazy and hit him with his fist. Parker then left and went to live with dad. Later I ask mother why she stayed with Ray after he had hit Parker and she said that she didn’t have a good pair of shoes to travel in. 

They came back to Tulsa when it turned cold and Ray moved to Port Orchard Washington and got his job with the ship yards. Then he sent for mother to come out there September 1940. She and I rode a bus and followed his directions on taking the ferry from Seattle to Bremerton and then we had to transfer to a smaller ferry to Port Orchard. By that time it was eleven at night, We went into a small building on the dock to wait and some policemen came up and starting asking us questions. It seems that there had be a murder in that building a couple of days before and they we watching to see who used it. 

I was in the fifth grade.  (As an adult, when I visited Sissie in Oregon, we drove there and she agreed with me that I had a high hill to climb to get to school.) 

Miriam, I think

Mom went to 5th and 6th grades in Port Orchard, Washington. One time her mom took her on a visit to Canada. Her mom didn’t drive, so they took the bus everywhere, including Canada.  Coming back home, the border guards wouldn’t let them into the US again until her mom showed a birth certificate or some proof they were American citizens.  Her mom had nothing. So my Mom, little 5th grader, looks in her own purse and pulls out her library card. The guards were satisfied and let them back in the US, based on that library card. (how things have changed!)

Mom wrote the following about her time in Port Orchard.

I spent three winters in Washington, and we would go back to Tulsa for the summer. Also went to Truth or Consequences New Mexico, from Washington in September 1945. When I was 16 I told mother to divorce Ray and she did. I never told her that he tried to rape me.

She never told her mom, but she told me. One day while her mom was at work, my mom’s stepdad started fondling her and pushing himself onto her. Mom said she started screaming.  Her stepdad told her to be quiet or the neighbors would hear. So she screamed louder and fought him.  He left her alone then. When her mom came home she told her to divorce Ray, which her mom promptly did.

For Part 3 of Mom’s life, I’ll focus on what she wrote about her brother Parker during this time.

LESSON LEARNED:  If I start to feel sorry for myself for moving a lot during my growing up years, just re-read how much Mom moved during her growing up years!

LESSON LEARNED:  If I’m leaving the country, be sure to take whatever ID is necessary to get back in!

LESSON LEARNED: Mom’s example with her stepfather is a lesson: Never put up with someone assaulting me, even if they are in authority.

My Great Grandma Haswell
Mom’s Brother Parker, My Grandma Hall, Mom, and My Grandpa Hall


Paula Amrhein: would have to be astonishingly famished to eat squirrel

Emily Crutchfield: squirrels are good to eat

Sarah Swenson Smith: remembers morse code machine at Vero Beach house from when Grandma Hall was a telephone operator, says squirrel stew is pretty good

Peggy Hite: said Uncle Wallace sent Jewell & Frankie checks every month, remembers Uncle Wallace sending her a new typewriter when she graduated high school, said Jewell’s real name was Julia.

Deborah Gateley: said Frankie (Grandma Hall) got $50 a month (a decent amount back then) from her brother Wallace, which was an annuity that continued until she died.

General Discussion: wondering which deer movie Mom saw … Bambi? The Yearling?

Games and YouTube Videos

Here are the links to my signing and cueing YouTube “Word Of The Day” channels. I post a new word every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Check it out and I would love to know what you think of them!

YouTube ASL Word Of The Day

YouTube Cued Speech Word Of The Day

Also, Check out my Adventure Games in the App Stores

Please join me for my new blog posts each Friday.  Have fun with your ASL and/or Cued Speech Adventures!

Published by Donna Gateley

Developer of SignCueQuest and CueQuest

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