Friday, July 28, 2006
Happy Birthday, Peg-o!!
Today is Peggy's birthday, and when I was rummaging through the few old photos I have from her childhood (many if not most were destroyed in a fire), I came across this one. I believe (and hope) this was taken in one of her dramatic turns at Mount Vernon High School. Peggy has always lusted after glamour, and you can see why in this picture. She has a natural flair for it. (Who are your fellow dramatists/bar flies, Peg-o?)
The day she was born was a day quite like today in Washington DC: hot, windy, a bit muggy. I went into the hospital at 9 a.m. so the doctor could induce labor. Don, Peggy's dad, had just come back to town, and everyone wanted the baby to arrive so we all could move on to Minneapolis, where Don had a job waiting for him, selling office supplies at Miller-Davis, Inc. The hospital, in Antigo, Wisconsin, was maybe 35 or 30 miles from Grandma and Grandpa Carew's home in Elcho, where Peggy's dad and I were staying temporarily after her dad's release from active duty at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, following the Berlin crisis. (I'm not telling her age, but you'll get the general range if you google "Berlin crisis.") Antigo had a small hospital--the first thing you smelled when you walked in was the toilets. As Peggy's dear departed Uncle Jim used to say (and Jim put in a few hospital stays there after what our niece Carey used to describe as "'mashing cars"), "Jeez laweez, some old lady comes around with a mop, then an hour or so later, she comes back with a nurse's hat on and gives you a shot!"
The doctor who ushered Peggy into the world was Dee Dailey, son and medical partner of Old Doc Dailey (don't know his name--that's what everyone called him), who had practiced medicine in Elcho for years. Dee and his wife, Marian, lived on Enterprise Lake. Marian, whose brother-in-law was publisher of the Kansas City (KS) Star, was a beautiful, athletic woman who trapped all the mink for her fur coat herself. Dee and Marian had no children of their own, but they were especially fond of the Carew kids: Don, Mary Ellen (not me), Jim, and Paul. Peggy's and my first visitor after Peggy was born was Marian.
It took Dee about 45 minutes to drive from his home on the lake to the hospital to deliver Peggy just shortly after 1 a.m. A happy, blessed event, though I was out cold when it happened. The nurses didn't want me participating until the doctor arrived.
Anyway, here's my dear hero Peggy acting glamorous. Happy birthday, sweetheart! I'm so lucky and glad that you were born!!