Mary Haley Spear my dear mother! Attention! It’s time for some more “memory inputs.” Your last was on MY early months and tender years so I’m looking for whatever you have on your OTHER “kids!” Find me some time please!
Okay! Okay! Life is pretty busy here. I am quite active with exercise at the "Y" and volunteering with taking Blood Pressures, singing with the Diocesan choir, baby showers and spending time with my dinner friends, etc; but, having said that, I will try to get this done for you.
Thank you Mother, sorry for the bit of scolding there; but remember this, what we are doing here is not just for me, it’s not even for you, it’s for the entire “Haley family,” for those present and for those to come.
Okay, Mary Kay was my second baby, born just 11 months after you. All my pregnancies went well for all four of you. By the time MK came along we had a Japanese maid, so that helped a little. But, we let her go after about 2 months as I quickly got my strength back and was able to care for my two babies.
She was born on June 4, 1958 not long after we moved into base housing. We hired a Japanese maid to help out at first but I soon got back on my feet and didn't need her any more.
Mary Kay had a very
nervous stomach, something I don't think she ever outgrew. I didn’t want
to cover up her beautiful red hair so I put away her baby bonnets so I could
share it with the world! Redheads have always been prevalent in the family by
|We lived in Japan at the time! Thus the kimono!|
She and Phil were very close when they were little. We returned to the States while they were both still babies, MK was just 9 months while Phil was 21 months. Good thing I was young and could handle my “nearly-twins” just fine.
Mary Kay was a little more active, or maybe I thought so because my time was divided between two very young children. But I do remember she was able to stand up in her crib and scream for attention after just a few months, much earlier than any of my other babies.
As I said she had a nervous tummy and several different foods caused her digestive distress. At that time the doctors started you little ones on solid food much earlier than they do today. Looking back now I can see that that wasn't such a good idea.
Living in base housing on Johnson Air Base made life a little bit easier than living off base but just nine months after MK was born we were on our way back to the US to our next assignment at the Air Station at Kirksville, Missouri. We went right into base housing there as Dad was NCOIC (noncommissioned officer in charge) of the Station. It was all fenced in and quite safe for you two little ones to enjoy the outdoors. We had a swing set and slide in the yard and you two really enjoyed that.
I of course was PG again with little David. (Sorry to say, David was stillborn). I looked out my kitchen window one morning and there was Mary Kay up on the top of the slide dancing around. I almost had a heart attack and went running out to get her down. The two of you got into quite a lot of mischief. You decided to inspect the small housing area (only 8 houses) and the neighbor brought you back to the house telling me that you had gone down into the ditch and started crying because you couldn't get back up out of it. The next "fun" thing the two of you did was to rub your hands on our freshly painted blue house and wipe them off on our red station wagon. Dad was not at all happy with that. It dried quickly and he had to work pretty hard to get it off the side of the car.
|Mary Kay with Grandpa Spear and Cousin Christine|
Mid 1960's at Grandpa's House
MK: "That pic with grandpa Spear has always been one of my favorites."
(This reminds me of a story you told me about MK and me, where one of your neighbors again brought us to the door in tow. His face was blanched and his hands shaking as he explained that “a feeling” made him get out of his car before reversing out of his driveway and there he found the two of us toddlers, happily playing on the ground directly behind his car.)
|"Natural" smiles there, eh?|
From then until you started school you two were pretty much inseparable. As I said, our next assignment was Bangor, Maine at Dow Air Force Base where we lived in the trailer park about 10 miles from the Base at East Holden. Housing was short because our entire unit descended on Bangor at the same time.
The two of you started school in Maine and you both really liked it and did very well in your classes. While in the trailer park south of Bangor in the town of East Holden you went to kindergarten in the public school but after we moved into Dow Air Force Base Housing, called K-Park, you finished kindergarten in the on-base school. After that we sent you and MK to Saint Mary’s, a Catholic school in Bangor where both of you also did very well.