When you write that 50 is half a century it really sounds like a lot of years.  It really is a lot of years.  They simply fly by as you are living them.  It is amazing to me how fast time goes.  I remember those draggy school days when you thought the bell would not ever ring to bring it to an end.  That was only 6+hrs!!

Six hour school days dragged?  There are 4 six hour spans in 24 hrs.  There are 8760 twenty four spans in a year.  In 50 years there are 438,000 hours or 19,500 6 hour spans to drag.  They do not!  I passed the year 50 almost 16 years ago and I have to tell you TIME REALLY DOES FLY!

A half a century ago on this day I learned much about how babies can enter this world.  While I knew where babies came from at almost 16 I was not really thinking about the whole process.  Butterfly McQueen’s first role would become her most identifiable – as Prissy, the young maid in Gone with the Wind.  She said the words, I was thinking 50 years ago today, “I don’t know nothin’ ’bout birthin’ babies!”

So here is the scene.  We have just finished supper.  We are clearing the dishes and washing them.  My dad is on the phone checking in with his supper call as he is a traveling salesman and on a road trip.  All of a sudden there is water all over the floor in front of the sink.  I said to my step-mother, “Boy did you splash” as she had her hands in the sink.  She said, “No my water just broke.”  Enter Prissy’s words all in caps!!!  I relay the information to Dad in probably a not so calm voice and he says he will call back as there was a lot of activity in our kitchen at this point!

After all the hub-bub and clean up we were sitting there three girls – sisters – with one of Dad’s bosses wives (the Anna I wrote about last year) as her husband has my step-mother in his car on the way to the hospital.  He was going that way anyway for a board meeting at the local bank so Marie hitched a ride and Dad was on his way from his trip to meet at the hospital.  The next thing I knew I was being awakened in the wee hours of the morning with the news that I had a brother.

All in all this was really good news.  He has turned out to be a really neat man!  I am not so sure I would have given those odds earlier on in his life.  As cute as he was as a baby he was loud some nights with crying when I wanted to sleep.  Our house was very tiny and the walls thin so of course he could be heard everywhere!

He was a wild child full of energy.  He was here he was there he was everywhere – and indeed – so beware!  The most interesting thing is that when he went to school his teacher said he sat still and paid attention.  Go figure!

He was great date bait!  In my small town a boy was a potential basketball player, our only winter sport, so when we would take him for a ride in his carriage guys would pay attention some!!!  

I have many stories I could share.  Most are better kept off the paper.  One I remember as it involved me directly.  It was Nov. 9, 1975.  We were at Bill’s folks in NY having our daughter baptized at the church in which my husband grew up.  We had just finished dinner and the phone rang.  My mother-in-law answered and called me to the phone.  Who knew I was there except my dad.  It was Dad.

My first response before I heard his voice was that he had remembered our daughter’s special day.  Being a single parent at that time since my stepmom’s passing 4 years before I really did not think so.  Then he spoke and his voice was shaking.  He said that my brother had been hit in the eye with a BB.  I started to get upset until he said he was okay.  I think Dad just wanted to tell me.  My sister’s daughter was also very ill with a very high fever.  Things were not good on the home front.

It seems my brother and his friends had been shooting windows out of a bus.  I am thinking it was a school bus and may have involved some punishment after the fact.  Not so sure about that.  The BB ricocheted off the bus and hit my brother in the eye.  Blessedly the only harm was his tear duct does not work.  This was one lucky kid! 

When I think about his life he has been quite fortunate overall as some of his choices were less than good!  He has managed to come out of it all on top of the world!!!  His work life is a testament to that as well.  After working for corporate companies he decided to leap out and start his own business company.  It is doing quite well.  Is he a millionaire – I do not think so.  Nor do I believe that is the goal.  Is he happy – I know he is.  He is a man who is pleased with his life.

I believe the quote from Harvey says it best in summing up my baby brother.

Years ago my mother used to say to me, she’d say, “In this world, Elwood, you must be” – she always called me Elwood – “In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.” Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.

James Stewart as Elwood P. Dowd

When he was named my father left a business card in a package of cigarettes on Marie’s table in the hospital.  On the business card he had put the roman numeral II after his own name.  Dad did not want a Jr. and he did want a namesake!

Happy Birthday Leslie William II.



2 comments on “HALF A CENTURY – HAPPY 50

  1. How sweet… I did not know all of those details. I didn’t even know that Billy’s first name was Leslie, which is my middle name — in honor of your wonderful father, of course!

    Your Cousin

  2. Wonderful website you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any community forums that cover the same topics talked about in
    this article? I’d really love to be a part of group where I can get feedback from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thanks!

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