Today’s topic are musings about Bob Montgomery’s sister Joyce. I only knew Bob’s sister, Joyce, over the phone. Joyce lived in Bremerton with Bob and their mother then Joyce moved to Lakeport, California in the 1950’s after working at the typewriter shop with Bob. When I first started working at the shop I’d chat over the phone with Joyce not knowing at first she was Bob’s sister. Joyce often would call the shop late in the night as Bob used to live behind the shop. I got the feeling those two would talk half the night. She never got used to Bob actually having an apartment at the Willows. Typically, Bob and I would arrive at the shop and there would be a loving message on the recorder for Bobby to call. It was never Bob, always Bobby!
Hearing the message I would return Joyce’s call then put Bob on the phone. They really loved each other, constantly laughing and talking of the minor events of each day. Joyce also loved cameras and would send Bob photos, each with notes written on the back. I’d often find Bob sitting on that orange vinyl couch in the back going through the photos and laughing. When Joyce passed away it was the only time I experienced Bob crying with grief.
Occasionally, I publish some of Mr. Montgomery’s musings edited only for grammatical errors. I really appreciate all that Mr. Montgomery has done in his life, so this article is for Bobby and Joyce.
Virginia Joyce Montgomery – Born June 22, 1925, passed away on November 4, 2015
It’s been a long time since I even thought of this subject, and time of life. I can remember living at our house in Seattle, at 4619 Brandon Street, when I was the only child. But that‘s another story. I was about 3-1/2 years old at the time, and was totally unaware that I was about to cease becoming an only child. What I do remember, was my father getting me out of bed one morning (it was still dark outside) and delivering me to a strange house down off Rainier Avenue not far from our house. I have no recollection of any explanation for the sudden move, or why I was left with these strangers.
Beyond that, I don’t remember much about any thing except that I must have been a constant nuisance to various people. The time was nearing the Fourth of July, and I had been given a little flasher device. What I can remember about this device, was that it had a sort of handle, when I push down on the plunger, it caused a colorful disc to spin around, making a whirring sound, and spinning of flashes of sparkles into the beyond. I think I probably pushed the plunger until it was out of whatever made it whirr and sparkle.
The scene changes. Maybe the next day, or something, my father took me downtown and we went up to visit in what I now know as Seattle General Hospital (I hope I got the name right). Where I was brought to my mother’s bedside, where this small squirming infant was presented to me. I distinctly remember looking at this apparition, and finally remarking “Oh, is that all.” I think I was expecting something spectacular, not just an ordinary baby. I continued to pump my sparkler device until we left. I think the Fourth of July finally came and went, and the little baby came home, but I don’t really remember much about the business at all.
I can remember riding in our car along the Lake Washington Boulevard, with my mother showing off this newborn infant, bundled up in this big old touring car. It was summer. The car was a big 4 door open top CLEVELAND touring car with a canvas top for our sunny sightseeing tour along Lake Washington.
Speaking of automobiles (about 1925/6), my father was involved in an accident, I think with the big old Cleveland automobile. Except for a forehead scratch he was unhurt, but I assume the old car needed to be traded off. What I remember was my father arriving in another car, an Essex. The Essex may have been a wonderful car, but this one I think, developed distaste for our family. Little problems like unexpectedly stalling and refusing to start without considerable persuasion.
The incident I remember that decided the cars fate was one time on a trip into the wilds of a south Seattle street where the street crossed the railroad tracks. At the moment this car got half way across the tracks, the engine stopped. My father succeeded in getting the engine to start somehow, and shifted into low gear, except the gearshift lever broke off. There was father with a gearshift lever in his hand, with a stalled car sitting on the railroad tracks (I think it was the Northern Pacific main line, too). Things got very exciting about then. The engine was still running, and somehow my father pulled a large screwdriver from somewhere under the seat, plunged it into the hole with the broken gearshift lever, shifted it into gear, and moved our contrary automobile off the tracks. Fortunately no trains came by during all this business. That was the last day we were to see that car.