My diary – June 29, 1975

Today Johnny and I spent the whole day at Frank’s house. Frank was at work, but Kimmy (Frank’s niece) was having a birthday party so we went over and had dinner and cake and ice cream. It was a nice day. Frank called this morning and I had to take some steaks to his work for him and I met some of the guys. They are all so nice and the fella named Steve told me I was prettier than my picture. Frank is proud of me cause I am losing some weight and I am being nice to him. Last night we went out and had a nice time. He is pretty affectionate now (I wonder why?) When we came home we even made beautiful love. He was good! It is very rarely that Frank wants to be that way. But lately he has been pretty nice to me. At least nicer than he usually is.

Friday night Mike took me and Johnny to see Bambi. We went to eat at Perry Boys, it was good! We also stopped at some friends house of his and I saw another old high school crush of mine, his name is Jim. And boy is he good looking! When Mike and I got home we were talking and he was telling me that he feels that we aren’t getting along. I told him that Frank was still a big part of my life. I can’t tell him that I love Frank and if he wanted me back I would go in a minute. Well, I was sweet and I beat around the bush but I guess things are O.K. We made love and it was nice. But it’s not like with Frank. There is a fierceness in Frank that I love. Mike is too gentle sometimes. But I know he likes me a lot. I just wish I could feel more.

Frank doesn’t want me to go to the river with Mike this 4th of July weekend. He is starting to threaten me. But I can’t back out now, I must keep my promise. I hope Frank will miss me so much that he tells me he loves me when I get back (I feel as if he is close to saying it now) with my luck he will take some other broad somewhere and fall in love with her. I wish I didn’t love him so much, life would be so much easier. Oh well. When I was coming home from the birthday party I went by Mike’s home, he was out so I stopped. He was looking for me all day cause a bunch of people went to Knotts Berry Farm. Rats! Oh well, again.

Goodnight.

My thoughts on today’s diary entry: My first thought is “poor Mike, I know he really liked me and I led him along” but we were in our early 20’s and who acts rationally and makes good choices at that age? I know it seems weird now that I depended on men to make me happy, but in those days it was expected. I never fully embraced the women’s movement, I agreed with it but could not seem to put it into practice. I had forgotten all of this back and forth between Mike and Frank. I did love Frank but….I always looked for something better so I guess that wasn’t really love at all. I also realized that weight has always been a problem for me and my self image was always bad if I was a few pounds overweight. I probably weighed about 130, wish I was that now!!!

Advertisements

My diary – June 26, 1975

Me and my son Johnny, Sept. 1975

This week has been another busy one. Monday Frank didn’t call or anything. He did come over at 8:00 p.m. but I wasn’t home.

Tuesday I went out with Mike to his sister and Dave’s house. Dave was home alone. All Mike and Dave did was get loaded on marijuana. Today we heard it was going to be legalized. Well we came home early and David (my nephew who spent the night) told me that Frank had called. I called him back and he said let’s go out for awhile. So at 11:00 p.m. he came over and we went cruising. We went to the Parasol and who was there but Jim Bass and his new girlfriend (I almost married him a few months ago) We went in and I asked Frank to please be lovey to me. It was weird. But Jim was nice to me. His new girlfriend is ugly and acts like a slut. Frank was really nice to me. He kissed me in front of Jim and everything and before we got there he just leaned over and kissed me for no reason. That is his way of saying “I love you”. He has a hard time showing his feelings. I love him. Then we went up in the hills and made love in the truck. It was nice, he was nice!

Then last night he called at my sisters house and wanted me to come over but he wanted me to get someone to watch Johnny! No! I said. So that killed that. We are going to go out Saturday. Mike is getting mad at me cause I haven’t been exactly sweet lately. But all that dope smoking is bothering me. I told him tonight when he called. Wow! Today Frank called me at work and I let him listen when I answered the phone and who should call but Mike! Wow, did I act fast! I cut Mike off and told Frank that “Hello Shortrun” (which is what Mike always says to me when he calls) was a code the salesmen use. I was scared if Frank knew it was Mike he would have hung up! Well, Frank called me 2 times at work today (once to tell me that he burnt his leg with hot grease) I went to the doctor today and I have to go to the hospital to take some x-rays of my kidneys.

Well, goodnight!

Todays thoughts: I sort of remember dating both Mike and Frank that summer….it was kind of hard to balance them both, I was never good at that. Mike did smoke a lot of marijuana. I laughed at the remark that we heard it was going to be legalized….obviously that didn’t happen in California until 2018 which was 43 years later! We were sure wrong on that one!!! I do not remember going to the hospital for x rays. I know I had some trouble with my back on and off for years, might have been that.

Lawrence and Annie Ledger – victims of 1918 flu pandemic in New Orleans, LA.

While doing my family research I occasionally come across stories of my family that I didn’t know and that require more study. In this case I was filling out family tree information for my maternal grandfather’s side of his family. My maternal grandfather was Leonard Ledger and his first cousin was Lawrence John Ledger. Their fathers were brothers. The family had come to Louisiana from French Canada in the 1860’s and grew exponentially while in Louisiana. As I was adding information to Lawrence I started to learn about his tragic life.

Lawrence was born Oct 23, 1885 in New Orleans. He was listed as a motorman on a streetcar in the 1910 census. And in each city directory after that he was listed as a laborer until in 1915 where he is listed as a welder.

He married Annie Bulger in December of 1910 when he was 25. They proceeded to start a family but things didn’t go very well for them. On August 21, 1911 they had a baby boy, Lawrence John Ledger Jr. but he died on August 23. Then on June 9, 1912 they had twin boys, Lawrence Anthony and Clarence Anthony Ledger. Clarence died the same day (or may have been stillborn, I do not know) and Lawrence died on June 15 at 4 days old. How heartbreaking this must have been for Annie and Lawrence. I discovered after much digging that they were finally able to have 2 children before their deaths, the children were only 5 and 2 years old. These children were raised by Lawrence’s parents and grew up to marry and have children of their own. I am working on their part of the family tree now – I hope I can find descendants that have photos!!!

In February 1918 Lawrence applied for a passport for a trip to British Honduras, it was a work trip and he is listed as a welder and he was going there to teach welding. Looks like he only stayed a short while.

Then on September 12, 1918 he registered for the draft. WWI was going on and all men had to register.

In October 1918 the flu epidemic had hit New Orleans. It came by ship and wrecked havoc on the city.  Between October 1918 and April 1919, the city experienced a staggering 54,089 cases of influenza. Of these, 3,489 died.  Only Pittsburgh and Philadelphia – the two cities with the worst epidemics in the nation – had higher death rates.

On October 24 at 12:25 a.m. Lawrence John Ledger, 33 years old, died of Influenza. Approximately 10 and a half hours later Annie Bulger Ledger, 24 years old, died of pneumonia-influenza.

Their funerals were held on October 25, Lawrence’s at 10:30 a.m. and Annie’s at 11 a.m. They are buried together in the Bulger family crypt.

Greenwood Cemetary, New Orleans

I found their story to be so tragic. A young couple, their babies dying, they finally have 2 children, then they die during the flu epidemic of 1918. I wish I had a picture of Annie. The one picture I have of Lawrence is from his passport and it is not very good. I won’t give up trying to find one. Lawrence was my 1st cousin twice removed and I hope by telling Lawrence and Annie’s story that I am keeping their memory alive.

My diary – June 22, 1975

I just read what I wrote on the last page. Boy I sure lie alot. The next day after that happened. I called Frank at work and apologized for being so snappy. I must admit I wasn’t very nice. So I kissed his ass again! I didn’t call Wednesday night or Thursday. He called Friday but I was out with Mike. (Typical, he calls at 9 p.m. to ask me out). Then on Saturday he gets in touch with me at my sisters house. I was helping her clean really good and he calls when I left for a minute. So when I come back he comes over and I kiss his ass as usual. When I am nice to him, though, he is nice to me so it pays a little to kiss his ass. He took me and Johnny for a ride to his new house. (His parents bought a beautiful house) We just sat around and I was supposed to call Mike and we were going out that night (Saturday) and I was also supposed to be going out with Mike B. (Boy, I am crazy!) Well, I went back to my sisters and went to pick up Guy and his buddies at the Catalina Terminal (the spent the whole week at Catalina) and Colleen was going to watch Johnny when Frank and I went out after I pick up the kids. Then when I got home (after I hurried like crazy to pick them up and come home and change) Frank calls and says he is tired and he will just take me and Johnny out to dinner to our favorite restaurant. So while I was getting ready, Mike calls (I know I shouldn’t have answered) He was waiting for me all day and I told him where I was going and he got jealous but not mad. He is so sweet, he doesn’t get mad. I feel bad cause I hurt him a little. He is really a neat guy, I care for him alot because he cares. At least he has feelings, sometimes I wonder about Frank. Well, dinner was nice and we came back here and put Johnny to bed. Then we made love. Well, making love with Frank is alot different than with Mike. Mike tries to please, Frank gets pleased. Frank is good but he doesn’t have enough inner feelings. Oh well, then he made me get all our old memories out and we looked through them. It was nice. A love letter he once wrote me was so beautiful I cried, just like when I read it 2 years ago. We have sure gone through alot together. That is one thing that Mike can’t understand. He wonders why I put up with Frank’s shit (Frank even cruised Mike’s house last night and Mike heard us, I felt so dumb) But Frank and I have had many good and bad times together and through all the hurt I love him. I know he loves me too, although he could never trust me again. And I don’t blame him. I told him last night that I think we will get married some day. He said no way because he eon’t raise some elses kid and he doesn’t want a wife who doesn’t want any more kids. I told him I wanted more kids. But I could just imagine having his kids, I would have to do everything myself with no help from him. Oh well, that is thinking too far ahead. I really loved him last night, he was being pretty nice for a change. He finally went hom at 12:00. I had a nice time.

Mike and Johnny and I spent the day together. We went to some people’s house (with Rich) and had dinner and went to the park and threw the Frisbee. It was fun. We played on the kids toys and really goofed around. Had a nice time. Mike was jealous of Frank and he asked me if I had a good time, etc. I think it is cute. Mike acts so much more mature than Frank does in so many ways.

Well, I am so tired, I could drop. Goodnight.

p.s. Frank just called and he was nice! Still kind of crazy and he always acts like he goes out with so many broads but I know he just likes to make me mad! I know he really cares. Goodnight!

My thoughts today: I am mad at my young self for being so needy. For thinking Frank would somehow work his issues out. He ended up marrying twice, never to me. He had 2 kids with wife #2 and he is still married to her. His kids are grown, he has grandchildren, he is happy. I ended up marrying 2 more times and my third time was a charm, 30 years together this month. But even though Frank was married, or between marriages, he still kept contacting me. Although the last few years not much. He is old and so far right I can’t take it. I am old and far left, so we butt heads politically. But I will always still look backward at our relationship and be happy for the good times we had.

My Diary – June 17, 1975

My nephew’s Mike (not the Mike I am writing about in diary) and David, my dad Dexter, my nephew Guy and my son Johnny in January 1975

I had to stop last night because Mike came over, he wanted to read this but I wouldn’t let him. I told him that when I was 70 he could read it. Tonight Mike and I went to get some Chinese food I left Johnny with David at his house. My sister gets all uptight but she is such a stick in the mud! (sometimes) Then Mike and I went to his house and took a shower together and then romped on the water bed. It is so nice. He is tender and loving. Not like Frank who only cares about his cookie. And when he does try to make me feel good it is only to feed his own ego. As you can tell I am mad at him. He just came over. He pulled into the driveway and revved his engine. I just got out of the shower so I stuck my head out of the door and said I just got out of the shower, he says “sounds like a personal problem” Then I got mad cause he never comes in, he just expects me to jump out there and talk to him. He never gets out of his truck. Well I told him that and he says “Hay, don’t jump on me, Fuck you” and he tears out. Boy, I slammed the door and got pissed! Poor Johnny, he likes Frank and I always yell at him when I am mad at Frank. He even wanted to give F rank the fathers day present he made at school. I finally talked him into giving it to my dad but that broke my heart. I told Frank and he didn’t even care. Why do I care for him? If he calls later I will probably kick his ass. But if he wants to talk to me he can come into my house. It is so degrading for me to jump to his every wish.

Goodnight

My feelings today: I mentioned my sister getting uptight – David is her youngest son and he helped me out with Johnny quite a bit, he was about 16 at the time. His brother Guy helped me even more but for some reason he wasn’t around I guess…he had just graduated high school so he was probably busy with his friends or girl friends. My sister never wanted me to have fun, go out, she really didn’t like how I lived, but I did what I wanted to. Now we don’t speak, but that is another story.

I wish I could have let Mike read this diary when I turned 70. His death 3 years ago really hits me now. I wish I could have let him know how I felt about his wonderful treatment of me. I also am reliving my weird dependence on Frank. I had forgotten, or repressed so much, he was not very nice, and I did not remember that. In his defense, I was really trying to find the right guy since I knew Frank wasn’t it so his trying to hold onto me was really difficult. Even after Frank was married later, he still kept coming back…why? Just for the sex? I don’t get it really. This exercise is really helping me deal with old stuff, I am glad I decided to do it.

My diary – June 16, 1975

Mike in 2015.

Last night Mike came over. He is so sweet to me. We made some beautiful love. Or should I say he made some beautiful love to me. WOW!

Frank called at 1 a.m. He always calls me late at night I don’t know why. He used to call late and then come over just to make love to me. But he doesn’t want to come over and make love. He just calls and talks. He told me the other night that he met Linda Ronstadt and she was very pretty and nice.

Today my muffler fell off of my car on Baldwin Ave., it was funny. When Frank found out he went and bought me another one. I have to pay him back $6.00. But still he did it for me. Sometimes he is nice to me. Why?

My thoughts on todays entry: I wish I had a picture of Mike from 1975 – I only have the one at top that he sent me in 2015. Imagine him the same but with a full beard and more hair, but the same impish grin was always there! Mike was a sweetheart. He died suddenly from a stroke in June 2016 – I was so saddened to hear of his passing.

I had forgotten about Frank calling me so late all the time. This was the days before cell phones or answering machines or even being able to unplug your phone, so unless you left the phone off the hook (which caused lots of noise as it beep beep beeped as long as it was off) then the phone would ring. I wonder if it woke Johnny up, I can’t remember. We slept in the same room. Any lovemaking I did was in the living room when Johnny was asleep. I drove Volkswagen beetles at this time and I don’t remember this time that the muffler fell off but I do remember it falling off on the freeway about a year later! Obviously I didn’t have any luck with mufflers!