S: Roberta Yeager 1929-1952
BC: Created for Roberta's family with love. Cindy Yeager McGriff Hutchens c September 2011
FC: Roberta Faye Howse Yeager 1929-1952
1: Roberta Faye Howse was born March 3, 1929. It snowed the day she was born. Her namesake was Roberta Trimble shown in top photo.
2: Roberta's Parents Robert Victor Howse January 11, 1893 - November 22, 1955 Maggie Della Wright February 22, 1897 - May 19, 1964 | Bob Howse He said his family was Scotch-Irish. He moved to North Alabama (Fairview in Cullman Co) when he was five years old. His grandfather was a fiddle-player and gave Papa the fiddle because Papa would stand around his knees while he played. My sister Lucille got the fiddle. He was a deacon and was always going to church. He had a good sense of humor. When Lucille was getting married, he asked, "I don't know if she'll get married or not. When is his birthday?" All of the in-laws had birthdays in October and he expected to keep the tradition. He was a perfectionist. He was a barber and would cut people's hair on Sunday on the porch until time to go to church | He wouldn't charge them anything. He would cut anyone's hair - men, women or children. He worked in a Barber Shop some but he also worked as a carpenter. He helped build Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL. He measured cotton acreage for the government and he and my brother Pud helped snake power poles for the power lines when TVA put electricity in North Alabama rural areas. He was a big baseball fan and during Quail season, he was a hunter. He didn't have much formal education, but he was very good in arithmetic. He could work problems that the teacher couldn't work. When he wanted someone to hurry, he would say "Turn your hat around so I can see you coming back!" He was a very hard worker and different from all his brothers.
3: Maggie Wright Howse She must have gotten married when she was 17. At the time she married, she lived next door to Papa and her daddy was killed across the road where she lived when a gristmill boiler blew up. It was his gristmill and the worked there. She was about 16 or 17 at that time. She was a very jolly person. She was a hard worker, but when she got tickled, she would laugh all over. She could really get tickled! She worked with her hands, sewing and quilting, housework, field work and carpenter work. Whatever needed doing, Mama could do it. | We were Baptist. Papa was a deacon of the church. We went to church every time the doors were open. He saw we were always at church. My daddy was the superintendent of the Sunday School and a big church worker. | Bob
4: Maggie Della Howse on far right | Maggie on left | Fr Bill (Bob's bro), his wife, Lora (sis) Maggie, Bob 2nd Sim and Lizzie (sis)Lindsey, Rhoda (mother), Jenny (sis), John Wright 3rd Carry Reid Howse, Lee (bro), Desser and Jim Howse (bro), Valley and Lawrence (bro) | I don't remember any family reunions. We did have company all the time with big dinners. All of the grownups would eat first and the kids had to wait. By the time the kids would get in there, the food was nearly gone. I do remember when I was a child, standing at the table with a peach tree limb fanning flies off the table so others could eat. | Housekeeping was not Maggie's favorite thing to do. She'd rather do canning or quilting or something else outside. Roberta took after her in that regard. She also disliked house work and would much rather be outside.
5: Bob with sister Lizzie and brother Lawrence | Lizzie and Bob | Bob's siblings Lawrence, Bill, Lora, Bob and Lee | Lee, Bill, Jim, Lawrence and Bob
6: When I was a little girl, we carried my mother's mother some apples just before she died. We put them in a trunk and they rotted. I remember that I wanted an apple very bad, but I couldn't have one because we were taking them to my grandmother. | I didn't know my grandparents very well. My father's mother lived to be about 86. She wore her hair pinned up in a ball. Her hair was very fine and she always had a halo of hair hanging around her face from hair that was not caught in the ball. She was the only grandparent I knew. Papa always said his parents were very strict. He told of once when he was young, he slipped away to go play ball. He was up to bat and his father came to get him and wouldn't let him take his turn at bat. He took him out of the game and took him home. | GRANDPARENTS | William Thomas Wright Maggie's father | Thomas Abner and Rhoda Ann Gazaway Howse Bob's parents
7: My neighbors were the same all of my life. We didn't move around much. We had good neighbors. They would visit us and we would visit them. We would go to the Thomas' when I was young. Once, Mama told me "if you ask for anything to eat, I'll wear you out". So I would just twist and twist around her chair and say "Mama, lets go home, I'm hungry". I knew they would know I wanted something to eat and would give me something and I wasn't disobeying. I was about 4 or 5 when this happened.. I loved to get food from different places. Today in the same neighborhood, the cars are so fast you can get run over. Then it was only mules and wagons and they wouldn't run over you because they weren't going that fast. | My grandmother Howse and her daughter Lora lived with us for a short time. I guess my daddy thought they couldn't take care of themselves. The only stayed a short time then they moved into a little house by themselves. It was about the time Aunt Lora went to work. She was going to nurse's training. She didn't stay long enough to finish training before she came home. Aunt Lora said her mother was sick and my grandmother said Aunt Lora was homesick, so I think Aunt Lora was homesick and that's why she quit. | Rhoda Ann
8: I was born and raised at the same place. There was an old house with three rooms. Then they built a new house in front of it and moved. It was all on the same property. We had three bedrooms, a living room, a dining room and a kitchen. Sometimes the living room was used as a bedroom. We didn't have any living room furniture to begin with and there was always a bed in there. It was called a 'fireplace room'. The parents slept in that room and then they were handy to get up and get the fire started in the morning when it was cold so that it was warm when the kids got up. In the dining room, we had a table with benches. In the kitchen, there was a wood stove. It had a warming closet with a shelf above the stove. You could put stuff up there and it would stay warm from the stove heat. It had a reservoir to heat water. That is where the heat would come from to take baths in a pan or tub. In the summer, we would set a pan of water out in the sun to warm. Then when it got dark, we could go take a bath. | When the house was built, a small room was left for a bathroom. Everybody made fun of us for wanting a bathroom in the house. They thought it was awful. It was the 1940s before we had a complete bathroom with plumbing. There were 5 boys and 2 girls, so my sister and I shared a bedroom. Once my mother's brother, during the depression, was out of work, so some of the kids came to live with us. They were just farmed out everywhere until they could get back together. We had a couple of them living with us. They were girls, so we shared the room with them, too. There were usually 2 big beds in each bedroom.
9: top: Zoe, Pud, Vic, Rrankie, Buck bottome: Bob, Roberta, Maggie | Vic, Frankie, Pud, Buck, Zoe, Roberta, Alden | SIBLINGS Thomas Victor Frankie Lucille Coker Eugene (Pud) William Abner (Buck) Elonzoe (Zoe) Dell Alden My brothers Vic, Buck and Pud played guitars. I don't know how they learned to play. Vic and Pud played the most. We didn't have anything to listen to except a radio. We listened to soap operas and fights. We listened to different radio programs. | I felt closest to my sister after my parents were gone. She was so much older than me, she was a little like a mother. We have always been a close family, but she was closer to me than any of the others. Our parents always taught us to be honest and to keep our word. Always be truthful and honest.
10: To the hunting fields we go. Bob, friend Tilro Maynard and Beulah | Papa had bird dogs for pets. He was a big bird hunter. He had this good dog named Beulah that all the family loved. Beulah went with me everywhere I went - to the field or to get water - everywhere. There was a man who kept after Papa to sell him the dog. Finally he sold it for breeding purposes with the provision that the man would keep her for himself. My daddy didn't like the way one of the neighbors treated his animals and made the man promise he would keep the dog, but he didn't; he let the other man have her. She was really too old to be bred at the time. He carried her to his house across the field from ours. When her puppies were born, she moved all of the puppies back to our house. She came home several times after that. Sometimes she would have a chain around her neck and we would all be upset and cry because we missed her and we didn't think she was being treated very well. She finally died. She grieved herself to death because she couldn't come home to us.
11: 4th Grade with Alden Legs were bandaged because they were burned. | Wilma, Francis, Edith and Roberta | I didn't go to town very often. We would go sometimes in the winter to get new shoes, but sometimes the parents would go to town and bring the new shoes home. We were always so proud to get a new pair of shoes, we wore them whether they fit or not. | We raised strawberries. There was a Strawberry festival in Cullman every year. Papa always said he could only trust me to pick strawberries because I was so allergic that I would get very sick, so I didn't eat any while we picked.
12: Peggy Wilkins, Gladys Wright and Roberta | We all had work we had to do. We did whatever there was to do. We were a poor family. My daddy provided the income doing different things. He was a farmer, but we didn't do any truck farming. The kids did most of the farming while he was away being a carpenter. | When we came home from school in the afternoon, my mother's favorite saying was "Take off your riggins and get on your raggins". That meant hurry and change clothes and get to work. We would get a baked potato from the stove or some cornbread and put syrup on it or a biscuit and onion. Then we would pick cotton or hoe. We would feed pigs, chickens, get in wood or water. It depended on the time of year. | Roberta's older brothers were sometimes cruel to her and her youngest brother, Alden. They teased her mercilessly and that is one reason she had such a low opinion of herself.
13: School Days | We didn't have kindergarten. I went to Fairview from grades one through twelve. When I was in first grade, the class was big. When I went to second, they divided the class. They went down the roll and took every other name. Half of the class went to second grade and half went to "high-first". I went into the high-first class. But then when I finished school, we had the largest class that had ever graduated. There were 85 in my class. I rode a bus unless the roads were too bad. Then we would walk or ride a mule to school. In the fall, we would go for 2-3 weeks and then school would be closed for 2-3 weeks so that kids could pick cotton. | My parents wanted all of us to get an education. All of us didn't finish high school. My parents didn't want me to go into service. They really didn't want me to be a nurse, because nurses had a really bad reputation for being loose. I liked bookkeeping and typing more than geography and English. I worked in the lunchroom to pay for my lunch when I was in high school. I washed dishes there. When I was in school, my opinion of myself was not very good. My best friends were Jean Yeager and her sister Nadine. They were my age. Maybe one was older and one younger. We don't have any contact anymore. If we do see each other we are glad.
14: Roberta and Francis Howse eating Hickory Nuts | Marzell Louvern, Roberta, Francis and Olean | Olean Louvern, Francis, Marzell and Roberta
15: Francis, Olean and Roberta | Marzell, Roberta, Francis and Olean | We didn't really have hobbies. I did roll a click-n-wheel to get the mail every day at dinner. After supper, there wasn't a lot to do. By that time, the chores were done. We would sit around and talk. There weren't any books to read. We got a newspaper and we would sit and read the funnies. Our neighbors would come at noon time to read the funny papers and we would have to wait until supper time to read them. | We didn't have any magazines. We checked books out of the library and we got the Birmingham Post Herald. I remember one time I had a couple of books for Christmas or some event and I really enjoyed Meg of Mystery Mountain.
16: Francis, Wilma and Roberta | On the weekends, if we weren't working in the field, we would sweep the yard and pick the grass out of the yard. We used a brush broom to sweep the yard. We would wash, iron and mop floors. Then on Sunday after church, we never knew who would eat dinner with us. We would bring whoever we wanted for lunch. Then after lunch, we would get out in the field and play ball or knock the can or hide-n-seek or some type of game like that.
17: Roberta 2nd from left | Roberta far right | I remember once going from school with a group to a movie. It must have cost about 25 cents. There was something in it about Lonesome Pine. | We spent the summer in the field hoeing and getting grass out of cotton. There wasn't any such thing as vacations when I was coming up.
18: Roberta Alden and Frankie | Peggy Wilkens and Roberta
22: I remember going to the prom. I thought I had the most beautiful prom dress. My sister was in college and she and her roommate made me an ice-blue taffeta gown that was beautiful. There were yards and yards of material in the skirt. I went with Jack Butler. He came to pick me up in a car. I don't remember anything else about it.
26: Francis, Roberta, Frankie | Francis, ??, Roberta
27: The summer after high school graduation, I worked and tried to save money for nurse's training. I worked in the field. I didn't really have any long range goals. I just wanted to get away from home. | Roberta and R.L. Thomas | Roberta with nephew David | Francis and Roberta
28: The biggest reason I went to nurse's training was to get away from home. Another reason was that I wanted to prove myself to everyone who teased me growing up. I went to St. Vincent's Nursing School in Birmingham. My tuition was not all that much, but my brother, Vic, worked and payed for it. Then at school, we worked the entire time (except the first 6 months). We were paid $15/month for our work. It was mostly the books that cost. | Day in 1949 I went into Nurses Training. I wore a sack dress made by Mama. Back row left - Skip (best friend)
29: Part of the training was a tour in New Orleans. The nurses school didn't have enough psychiatric, pediatric or communicable disease patients, so they sent us to New Orleans for 8 months of our training where we got those 3 subjects at Charity Hospital. We lived in a nurses' home next door to the hospital. Then we went to DePaul for psychiatric training. We were there during Mardi Gras and we really enjoyed that and all the bands that would march up and down the street. My favorite song was "When the Saints go Marching In". | Nurses at DePaul Psychiatric Hospital in New Orleans
30: Halloween Party - I had to work - on left.
32: Skip was crowned Miss St. Vincent by popular vote by the class
33: Far right on back - my date was Pos Little
34: June Williams being honored with Bruno Belair
35: Graduation Tea Chemistry teacher Miss Sanner on front
36: Capping Ceremony Student nurses at St. Vincent's Hospital of the class of 1952 received their white caps yesterday after completing probationary studies. The future graduate nurses heard the Rev. Patrick Ruddy describe the nursing profession as "one of the greatest," before receiving their caps from Sister Mary Alice, administrator of the hospital. The nurses are shown as they took the Nightingale Pledge to uphold the ideals of their profession. (from Birmingham newspaper article)
39: Graduate Nurses - ready for duty
40: I graduated and got my registered nurse license. If we had gone to school one more year, we would have had a bachelor of science degree, but I didn't do that. I thought I had had enough school for the time being. When we're that young we never take full advantage of what is offered to us in school and I was no exception. I wanted to go into the Navy after school. I would have been an ensign, but my parents were so against it, I didn't. I thought it would be great to be in the Navy and see the world!
42: Letter from Roberta to future husband Harvey Lee (Pat) Yeager