Sunday, May 10, 2015


I've written here about Martha, the woman I think of as "Mom".  That is not to diminish in any way Gladys, the woman who is/was my biological mother, the one who helped bring me on to this interesting place we call United States, planet Earth.
Gladys with her first snowball?
Gladys was born in 1911, to her family who lived in Mazon, Illinois.  She had a brother, Everett,  and a sister, Dorothy. At some point in her life, she decided to pick up and move to Los Angeles, California. She worked as a secretary, and wound up working for Louis B. Mayer (the "Mayer" in Metro-Goldwin-Mayer, a.k.a "MGM"). I understand that she was responsible for taking deposits to the bank. (That bank was at the other end of the block from the one I worked at.) She also helped run his stables.  I'm pretty sure that was Mayer's horse stables, and not his stable of ladies who entertained visiting firemen (IYKWIMAIKYD).  On the other hand, it's an interesting speculation.

Somewhere in Los Angeles
I remember being told that she and Dad were introduced at a U.S.O. club, so I imagine Dad was on one of his postings in California. I also have in mind that she picked him up. Again, an interesting speculation. (By today's standards, both Gladys and Martha might be considered "cougars", Dad being seven years younger than Gladys, and six younger than Martha. Or maybe he just liked older women.)

They were married at Cathedral Chapel, a block north of Olympic on La Brea in L.A., in 1948.  I've always assumed that she moved in with him, at his place on Crenshaw Bl. Gladys became pregnant in '49, and Martha introduced them to the OB/GYN who delivered Lane and me.  Gladys fell prey to the perfect storm for pre-eclampsia: it was her first pregnancy, she was near 40, and it was a multiple birth. She could no longer clot blood, and so bled to death despite all efforts to save her.  Neither Lane nor I could clot, and I believe that was a major cause of his death.

George and Gladys
The wedding party. L to R, Jack Travers (Best Man), George, Gladys, unknown gentleman, Bessie Tidey (Maid/Matron of Honor), and two more unknown gentlemen.

I don't know at all if Bessie was married at the time or not. If she were, I have a hunch that the gentleman standing between her and Gladys is her husband, Cliff.  But I don't remember him as well as I do her.  Dad asked Jack and Bessie to be my Godparents when I was baptized.

The traditional cake smushing.
Post-nuptial beverage.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the neighborhood...
The lovely young woman on the right, Betty, would soon become Jack's wife. One of the reasons was that she loved Cathedral Chapel, and the priest who given Gladys her pre-nuptual "Catholic lessons" was a nice guy, so she took her's there, and that's where they we married.

When I was about 40, Gladys' sister Dorothy passed away.  After she did, her daughter sent me a package of documents she found in Dorothy's desk that was addressed to me. In it was a hand-written account of what had happened. I may post that another time, as the spirit moves. (A little about that here.)

She and Lane are buried in Inglewood, at the Inglewood Park Cemetery, across the street from the old Inglewood Forum.

And, with all of that, I do have a connection to her.  She made sure that both Lane's and my first initials were "L. A.", because she loved Los Angeles. So that is my link to both her, and the city of my birth.

Thank you, Gladys.

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