What Did Your Mother Do?

Otis Orchards, Washington
October 30, 2017 5:25pm CST
I was watching an old clip of the Leave It To Beaver show where the class had to write a fifty word composition of what their mothers did before they got married. After Beaver listened to the others in his class he decided his wasn’t exciting enough so he made up stuff based on a woman he saw on tv. Of course everyone knew it was made up. But it got me thinking. What did my mother do before she married my dad? I know she grew up on a farm of sorts because she said her parents sold eggs. I also know she married and had a girl before she married my dad. Her first husband ran off with the girl and later divorced my mother. I guess you could get away with that sort of thing in the 1940s. My mother told me she also came up with the idea of a central vacuum system. She took her idea to a major vacuum company (I can’t remember which one but I’m thinking Hoover). The company told her they were not interested. Mom’s problem was she did not get a patent on her idea before going to the company. Other than that she did a little secretarial work and house cleaning. What did your mother do before marrying your father?
8 people like this
9 responses
@paigea (21016)
• Canada
30 Oct
My mother grew up in a city. She was involved in sports. She went to university to become a Physical Education teacher and married my dad while at university. Her summer jobs were being a Life Guard, a swimming instructor and a chamber maid at a nice mountain resort. She taught P.E. while I was growing up. Leave it to Beaver was on TV, but my household wasn't like that.
3 people like this
• Otis Orchards, Washington
30 Oct
Sounds like your mother was very active. I don't think anyone's household was like the Leave It To Beaver household.
@paigea (21016)
• Canada
30 Oct
@RichardMeister That's what I think too.
1 person likes this
• Otis Orchards, Washington
31 Oct
1 person likes this
@much2say (34539)
• United States
30 Oct
You have a sister somewhere out there ! My mom's family in Sacramento, CA was relocated to Arkansas in a concentration camp . . . and there my mom was born. Soon after they moved to Japan and lived the farm life, but they were poor - and her mother passed away in her early 40s from some illness. The family came back to the US when my mom was about 15 - they lived on a farm again in Sacramento, but was still pretty poor. I don't know what else they farmed, but I do know they had strawberries. My mom was paid pennies for picking strawberries and she vowed she would save enough to get out of this life - and she did. She moved to Los Angeles, worked for Honeywell doing manufacturing stuff (assembling, I think, like the rest of her silbings) - and eventually got her own apartment. She met my dad through someone and they were married within a couple months. Oh - and til this day she will never ever go strawberry picking with us .
1 person likes this
• Otis Orchards, Washington
30 Oct
Quite interesting. I knew about your mother's dislike of picking strawberries but I had no idea your mother was born in a concentration camp and moved to Japan and back to the U.S. Did your mother's family hold a grudge against the U.S. for putting them in a concentration camp?
1 person likes this
@much2say (34539)
• United States
31 Oct
@RichardMeister My mother was of course too young to remember anything - so she's never felt directly affected by it - but it was difficult for her older siblings. I have read and heard personal stories of families about their resentment for being put in concentration camps. But this is the odd thing. I was told that my grandfather didn't feel it was so bad . . . everything was "controlled", so he has less to stress about. There was always food on the table. I think my mom's older siblings held a grudge against my grandfather for moving them all to Japan . . . my only uncle on that side claims that because they were poor in Japan and there wasn't good medical care there, that is why my grandmother passed away so young - he blames that on my grandfather. I am not certain why they moved back to the US, but it was difficult on the kids once again.
1 person likes this
• Otis Orchards, Washington
1 Nov
@much2say I was wondering why they move to Japan afterwards. When I was in high school one of my teachers told the class that the concentration camp was more for the protection of the Japanese families from people ganging up on them for being Japanese.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (96710)
• Bunbury, Australia
30 Oct
My mother grew up on a dairy farm and they supplied milk to the local town. For a while after she left school she also worked in a department store.
1 person likes this
• Otis Orchards, Washington
30 Oct
I was raised on a dairy farm so I know what that's like. I hope she enjoyed working in the department store.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (96710)
• Bunbury, Australia
31 Oct
@RichardMeister She did. With her first pay she bought a new straw hat with a coloured ribbon but her mother made her replace the ribbon with a black one. She never forget it. It seems a very harsh thing to have done.
1 person likes this
• Otis Orchards, Washington
31 Oct
@JudyEv Why a black ribbon?
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
31 Oct
Well, way back in the 1920s, women did not do much in west Texas except work on the farm. My mother told stories of picking cotton, milking, churning and finally marrying my dad because her father said to. It was not a happy union, though it produced three daughters and (15 years later) a son, me. There was no love lost when my mother and dad separated when I was eight months old, forever. Side note, I dated a woman here in Eugene, who grew up in LA and was a regular on the "Beaver" show in the classroom, but never spoke on camera.
1 person likes this
• Otis Orchards, Washington
31 Oct
I suppose there wasn't a lot for a woman to do in the 1920s. It seems rather harsh to marry someone because her father told her to especially someone she didn't love. Interesting you dated someone who was on the "Beaver" even if she didn't talk. Several years ago I ended up working with a guy who was in the classroom scene on Little House On The Prairie.
@Kandae11 (25590)
30 Oct
She taught kindergarten.
1 person likes this
• Otis Orchards, Washington
30 Oct
That was a good occupation.
1 person likes this
@snowy22315 (32826)
• United States
30 Oct
They got married almost right out of HS. She worked in as clerk in a store for awhile..but before she married my dad..she was a farm girl..She hated it!
1 person likes this
• Otis Orchards, Washington
30 Oct
I grew up on a dairy farm so I know what it's like living on a farm. The thing I didn't like was having to get up so early in the morning. Other than that I didn't mind it.
@LeaPea2417 (14614)
• Toccoa, Georgia
5h
My Mom got her College education in Teaching and taught school a little bit before she married my Dad.
@UncleJoe (8071)
• Virginia Beach, Virginia
31 Oct
Mama was a farm girl.
@toniganzon (39805)
• Philippines
31 Oct
My mother graduated in college with a degree in Nutrition. Before she got married her parents planned for her to go to Canada and she was actually processing her papers to work there. But then she told my grandfather she fell in love and didn't want to go anymore. They were at the airport already and she was crying. Love won!