Thursday, November 4, 2010


Like a graduate of a University today, 2010,  daddy was hard put finding a job in his field after the ‘crash’ of ’29. We returned to Milwaukee, close to my mother’s parents, John and Katherine Morris, and aunts and uncles. We would visit the grandparents in their home now in Wauwatosa. Time passed. Dad tried a number of projects to support his young family. He opened a creamery with friends or university buddies as partners. The factory was on Michigan avenue, a block behind Brett’s Funeral Home on Wisconsin Avenue. Over the years we often attended a  wake at that Brett's Funeral Home with extended family and friends. 
Billy, MaryK, Elayne stand beside a delivery truck
They named the company  Country Creamery Crafts. Our home was across this alley [ see electric pole in picture above ] from the dairy in a 2 story Victorian frame home on  Michigan Avenue, 2023.
[left standing] William Bergin with Marquette buddies and friends
Margaret Sullivan, a  young Irish mom, lived next door in a similar 2 story home.We used to love to play with her young son, Paddy, in his backyard . Mother and her seemed such good friends. BUT, something happened sexually between Paddy and us girls. Show his and I'll show mine or such. At any rate the relationship ended abruptly. No one seemed to know how to traverse this happening. We were just told Paddy was a naughty boy and we were no longer allowed to play together. 
I attended kindergarten now at 18th Street School [my guess called Lincoln School today,PK thru 8] and loved being at school with the other children. I learned to tie my shoes and finished blanket stitching in orange yarn around the edge of my stuffed black, oilcloth cat. I was first to finish the project. I learned group games in the school yard like London Bridge and Go in and Out the Window. Was an opening into a whole new world for me. We had a show and the children had to wear soft, pastel, printed flannel pj's. Together we sang 'Sleepy Time Express'. I loved the plays. I still recall the words- “ We’re going to meet Jack, we are going to meet Jill. They live in a shack on pumpkin pie hill. It’s an all night trip on a pillowslip on the Sleepy time Express. All aboard. All Aboard for the Sleepy time Express.
That Christmas I received a lovely wardrobe doll in a suitcase with a few changes of very stylish clothes. I was disappointed, really, for I always wanted a baby doll like my sister's 'Sugar Bun'. [see photo of 'sugar bun' in blog [MORE CLIPS FROM BABY DAYS].  I had this brown, striped kitty with glass eyes, floppy body and straggly tail. Was well loved. Now a girl from my school, kindergarten class,  lived down the alley at the next street south from Michigan Avenue. Her family was extremely poor. I visited her a time during Christmas vacation and she had an old , old baby doll. I traded off my spanking new Christmas gift, the wardrobe and doll. Mother was extremely disappointed but would not retrieve the wardrobe doll from the little girl.

We had measles and mumps and whooping cough. We spooned up many bowls of Campbell's chicken noodle soup that year. Yes, the Campbell's Kids were advertisements everywhere in the thirties, magazines, newspapers, billboards. 
And I recall vomiting into a lovely cotton quilt and all the colors ran because colors weren't always colorfast in the 30's, for sure when splashed with acids. Whooping cough was awful.
  2 blocks south were some railroad tracks. 1st introduction to skinned knees from cinders between the ties when we stumbled. Amazing how much freedom we had. My sister, almost 2 years older and I would be exploring on our own. Living on Michigan Avenue across the alley from the company, the little trucks would come and go throughout the day. We ate lots of ice cream that year. Also, there were the small Omar Bakery trucks. Certain time of day we could cherish the heavenly smell of the fresh bread baking. Another familiar smell in the Milwaukee air is forever the smell of the breweries, outstanding and therefore memorable. The dairy business was not so long lived, however. Apparently it ceased to be profitable enough at least not sufficient income for 3 families.
My parents took time off to attend the Chicago World's Fair and returned with baubles to share with their children.

You may enjoy this link. It will take you to many additional Chicago World's Fair views--  Ex. latest design in Plymouth cars and the huge Radio Flyer wagon.

[Many years later, '54-5-6-7 I would be a mother of 3 then 4 children living just across the street from this famous World's Fair Midway, long stretch of east/west green parkway. We were living in Univ. of Chicago family housing [2-story army barracks] while my hubby attended university.] 

While my parents were away in Chicago  our sitter taught me to color nicely in the coloring books staying within the lines. I learned of orange trees for the 1st time, in my coloring book, never dreaming they would one day be every day reality for me living in the southwest.  I savored coloring in orange all those circles on the green trees with my crayolas.

I frequently saw my uncles, daddy's young brothers, my young uncles, Tim and [John] Mansfield Bergin. There was a time they slept in the upstairs front bedroom. Did my parents rent the room out to them? I don’t know--  Don't know if just a visit or short interlude. I was that sleepwalker I told you about that already and oh so many nights. I recall ending up in uncles' bedroom and not my parents' at least once. If truth be told what I liked most about sleepwalking was the visit to my parents bed. They would pick me up, hugs and kisses, and return me to my own bed. Then there were those times I stayed in bed with them 'til morning

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