Lois and Eddie: The Rest of the Story

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When I wrote about Lois and Eddie, I ended the story in mid-June, 1940, when Lois stopped writing in her diary.

At that moment in time, she was young, in love, optimistic—and that seemed enough for me. She had recently written “Eddie and I have more fun together than a barrel of monkeys. Oh, we love each other so much I just can’t explain.”

I didn’t know if I wanted more information—

What if Eddie jilted her and left her heart broken?

What if Eddie went to World War II and died, or returned a broken man? What if they wanted children and could have none or had one precious child who died?

I thought maybe it was better to leave her happy . . .

But my friend Carol was curious, like many of you, and wanted to know more.

I got a Facebook message yesterday from Carol.* She has been a journalist and is currently a librarian and she brought her considerable research skills to bear on the subject.

And I’m so glad she did!

Carol has learned a lot about Lois and Eddie. It’s not earth-shaking, it’s not comic or tragic, it’s not especially exciting. But it is a nice small-town American story of a woman not so different from those of us who live happy lives that are not earth-shaking or especially exciting.

So, here’s what we learned about the rest of the story.

Lois was only 17 in 1940, when she got engaged. She lived in the tiny town of Mooers, NY, which sits near the Canadian border. Eddie lived about 13 miles east in Rouses Point, a larger town even closer to Canada.

Eddie was salutatorian in high school and worked as a sales rep for different companies; he seems to have specialized in radio. He did join the Navy during World War II.

Eddie and Lois were engaged in 1940 and she left the area with Eddie in 1942. A local newspaper has the story that “a farewell dinner was given, where [Lois] was presented with a practical gift.” They moved to western New York for Eddie’s job.

They were married October 1, 1942, in Williamsville, NY, where Lois’s parents had moved. Lois wore a light blue wool dress with navy accessories and had a corsage of red rosebuds. They went to Niagara Falls for their honeymoon, and then lived in Buffalo.

By the late-1940s, however, Lois and Eddie had moved back to the North Country and were active in the towns where they grew up. Eddie was the service manager of a local company that sold TVs and radios.

Eddie

The only photo of either Lois or Eddie that I came across.

Lois seems not to have worked outside the home during these years. She and Eddie had one child, a son, and by 1949 she was actively involved in the local Home Bureau, where she taught others how to sew.

Lois also did charitable work, especially for the Mooers Free Library for many, many years, and for the March of Dimes.

She sounds like a good homemaker, from what I can tell. She certainly did a lot of entertaining, and the local newspapers of the day made note of it all!

In early September 1969, the newspaper also reported that Lois had blue jays in her yard—this was notable, I guess, because it was early for blue jays. The paper reports that Lois, ”being quite sure they were hungry from their journey from who-knows-where, . . . is feeding them.”

Eddie died in 1978, at the age of 59. Almost immediately, Lois became the local representative for Avon, which, Carol says, indicates she was a true survivor! I wonder how many women turned to Avon for income when times got tough and they had few marketable skills.

Lois died in 2001, at the age of 78, after a “long and courageous ordeal with cancer.”

When Carol wrote to me, with most of these details of Lois’s life, she said, “I think we would’ve liked being friends with her.”

Let’s see—she was a small-town girl, happy with her world. She did good deeds, loved her guy, and took care of animals. She adapted to what life gave her, moved when she needed to and came home when she could. She tirelessly supported her library. She sewed and cooked with loving hands at home.

Yes, I am quite sure I would’ve liked being friends with Lois. I think you would’ve, too.


* I mostly don’t like Facebook but Carol is one reason I keep my account. I knew her 40-plus years ago, in high school. She was a few years younger than I and normally, in the way of high school kids, that would’ve meant she was non-existent to me. But I had reason to spend a few days getting to know her and thought she was the funniest, cleverest person I ever met. I graduated, moved away, and never heard from Carol again, until she popped up on Facebook! And now my life is enriched by the brief interactions I have with her (she is still funny and clever and very supportive) . . . and that makes the rest of Facebook foolishness worthwhile!

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96 thoughts on “Lois and Eddie: The Rest of the Story

  1. Well, thank you Carol, and thank you Kerry. I’m so glad the story has been brought up to date – and in a good way too. Hooray for the searching power of the internet. It’s enabled me to be a far better sleuther than I thought possible when it comes to fleshing out the tantalising snippets offered by a few dry facts and figures on a person’s timeline.

    • I thought of and your recent research when Carol gave me these details! I suppose I could find out a lot more about these people if I had access to Ancestry.com–someday!

    • I, too, would get in line for a novel from you. Seriously, Kerry … you’re a great writer, and I could see you writing a memoir (or some kind of memoir-type book). Or maybe a book filled with all kinds of stories you’ve heard. If I’m not mistaken, you’ve lived in the same area (growing up on the farm and later on, staying in nearby towns, etc.) throughout your entire life. And although some people would consider that a form of torture, you seem to embrace it. There’s a short story right there.

      And, by the way, I would be honored to be your copy editor. I would take great care to format the manuscript to make it ready to send to publishers.

      So what’re ya waitin’ fer? Dust off that old Remington typewriting contraption (aka iMac OS X with the 120 GHz Intel Core Trio, 50 bajillion terabytes 7700 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, and 400gazillion MBs in the hard drive, and 20 Tb in the mouse!). (Can you tell I’m not an IT guy?) 😀

      And don’t forget … I’m your biggest fan.
      :o)

      • How about you write the book and I’ll be your copy editor?! I think you are my biggest fan and I appreciate it no end but . . . no books for me! I wrote one, in order to get tenure, and that was enough!

    • That’s a very kind thing to say, Johanna, but no books for me! I’m perfectly happy with the pressure-free writing I do here and with you and my other perfect readers!

      • Never heard of it before. I will try to blog something soon, where this phrase can be included 🙂 Monkeys do often seem to be enjoying themselves. Imagine a whole barrel of them!

  2. Excellent research from your friend Carol – proving the rule that just now and again facebook is a useful tool to have 🙂 Like you I am rarely on it but do find ‘messenger’ very handy. We would have loved Lois! And I’m glad she settled with her Eddie and had an ‘uneventful’ life – for it is in the uneventful of our lives that goodness and contentment is to be found.

    • I completely agree–give me uneventful and calm and peaceful any day! My personal journal is a total bore to read . . . and I love it that way! And, yes, a friend like Carol makes Facebook worth having!

    • Well, believe it or not, Carol sent me information on the son, too! I’m not going to do another post on him but I can tell you he is still alive, at 69, and he is living in Mooers, the town his mother grew up in! He’s a railroad buff and has written a book about the railroad that used to go through Mooers.

  3. I”m like you, I would have been afraid to find out. Having someone else do the research and then let you know that it was indeed a happy ending — that’s a very good research plan! I’m glad your friend let you know!
    It’s like one of those episodes of Who Do You Think You Are or Finding Your Roots – you’re worried about what you might find out about people you never even knew!

    • Too true–we owe Carol a lot because I probably would never have taken the plunge, out of fear of what I’d find! Plus, I’m not the researcher she is so I would’ve found little. She even found info on the son–if you’re interested, see my response to the comment from adaisygarden.

    • Oh, probably. The problem is that the writing is really cramped and she writes over top of herself sometimes. Much of the diary consists very small details of small-town teenage life and, frankly, it’s a little boring. But I can see there are gems in there, too . . .

    • Yes, the connection with Carol is an important part of this! I’ve told her in the past that she would make a great blogger–she writes priceless Facebook posts. Maybe someday we’ll see her here on her own terms!

    • I do hate most of Facebook–the stupid memes, the political bile, the self-promotion. But, it has its place, I guess, and I just try not to get sucked into the other. It was a happy day when I decided to simply “unfriend” some people!

  4. Awww….this is lovely. A big thank you to you and Carol. I don’t make as much use of Facebook or other social media as I could but because of what is available via Facebook etc and the internet in general, I have linked up with an old penpal in South Africa, discovered cousins and a huge family tree in the North Island, and brought together my brother and an old school friend from 55 years ago. I am now toying with the idea of a post about my father’s war service, in an attempt to see if there is anyone ‘out there’ with information about that time, or who may remember my father.

  5. What an exciting find! I know I would like Lois and imagine we would all get along just fine. I loved the lost and found stories you weave through this post, you and Carol, Lois and Eddie and the magic of connections.

    So will you try to find their son?

    I wish you would submit this story, parts one and two to a magazine for publication. It’s wonderful.

    • Carol has found the son! He’s alive and living in the area. If you’re interested, see my response to the comment from adaisygarden above. Thanks for the vote of confidence about the quality of the writing–I’m happy with my audience right here!

  6. I’m so glad Carol researched this. It’s wonderful to read “the rest of the story.” It’s fantastic how small town papers used to include lots of stories and details in stories that never would make the paper today. The snippets really bring Lois to life: what she wore when she left on her honeymoon, that she volunteered with the Home Bureau, sold Avon. . . and had blue jays in her yard.

    • After Carol told me where to look, I went and read, and those old papers were such fun! I even came across a reference to my grandfather being elected as a Justice of the Peace–I was scanning and his name jumped out at me! Now I want to go back and look for more references to my own kin . . .

      • Are the old newspapers publicly available on the web? I think that I saw an old newspaper site awhile back, but can’t remember what it was called to find it again.

      • Carol used a site called NYS Historic Newspapers. I don’t know if there’s an equivalent for every state but try Googling the state you want and see. Once I got to the NY site, I could narrow the search to specific counties or cities. I do know that there were lots of items in the newspapers the didn’t come up in a regular Google search.

  7. Thanks to you and Carol for sharing her story. One question I sometimes ask people is, “did you ever think you’d…?” For instance, I asked a woman in her late 90s if she ever thought, when she was growing up in South Dakota, that she would travel the world as she had. She said oh my goodness no! She never even expected to cross the Missouri River! In my own life, I never thought I’d … almost any of it! What a surprise!

    • That’s a great way to open a conversation, especially with an older person who has seen so many changes in themselves and the world, over the course of a long life!

  8. Aw, thank you Kerry and Carol. I wasn’t sure I needed to know the back story but I’m so glad I do. Lois and Eddie had a lovely life together. Simple, pleasant, purposeful, all good! Proof ordinary is rather perfect.

  9. I like this so much and it did make me feel happy to hear the story of Lois and of your friendship with Carol. Maybe it is old fashioned of me, but I too like doing homely things like sewing, cooking and caring for people. It is about love. It sounds simple, but it is true and it is all we need really, isn’t it? 🙂

  10. Wow, you were so right when you said that we all wanted to know what happened to Lois and Eddie. Clearly, they captured the hearts and minds of all of us who love history, a good story, and a happy ending.
    and of course, the story of you and Carol, is oh so great, too!
    Thank you for sharing.

    • Every time I get ready to dump my Facebook account, because I am so fed up, something happens to make me re-consider. It’s like that with a lot of our modern ways, isn’t it?

      • It is! I actually closed my account once for a few months and didn’t miss it at all. My daughter and sister persuaded me to open it again because they find messaging on FB quicker and easier than on any other site. I do belong to a few FB wildlife groups who kindly help with identifying plants and flowers for me.

      • I belong to weavers’ groups that are invaluable for ideas and advice. And my favorite restaurant posts its weekend specials. Beyond that? Meh. 😉

  11. Great story and thank you so much for the link to the NY newspapers. I had fun searching for our history and found April 21, 1871 “Murder at the mill”. Kerry check it out.
    I also found the purchase of our saw mill back in 1838.

    • Hi, Jill! I didn’t know the saw mill was in the family so early! I need to spend some time doing this research, too. What do you make of the “murder” story? Is it fiction? It was fascinating to read!

      • I thought it might be fiction too but enjoyed the story. I also found a Sanger that was a recruiter during the Civil War.

      • That’s so cool! I definitely need to spend some time exploring but it’s all so compelling I won’t get anything else done for DAYS once I start! Are you coming for the pancake breakfast???

  12. Such a relief to know they were happy. My dad just told me last week that he has a bundle of letters between my grandparents and I am dying to get a look at them. He also mentioned that he and my mom burned all of their love letters together in their first home so none of us would be able to read them. I can’t decide if that was romantic or horrible.

    • My husband and I had a long distance relationship early on and communicated a TON by email. He printed our emails off and had them bound into a book that I am determined to burn! Way too personal! I completely understand your parents’ stance on this!

  13. Wow, what an incredible find! I just can’t believe you found out what happened to them. I also love that the local newspaper reports things like having bluejays in your garden. It sounds like they had lovely lives. One of my favourite TV progammes ever is The Office (The US version). I love the way they portray the beauty in “ordinary lives” – which most media representations seem to miss. It sounds like Eddie and Lois also had a beautiful, if ordinary, life.

  14. How fun to find out about the young diary owner. That’s pretty amazing that Carol was able to find that info. Not everyone needs to have a news worthy life, most of us just keep busy making our own worlds go around. Thank you for sharing!

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