Arthur Willt

As in every one's life, some rain must fall. We were married only two weeks when her cousin burst into our apartment one evening - screaming, "Your father is dead." I could have terminated her cousin's existence then and there. Gerry of course covered her face and threw herself on the bed crying.

Her father Arthur Willt was a blacksmith by trade who moved his family north from West Virginia in search of employment. Previously his specialty was sharpening drills at the coal mines and building homes with his father.

A mammoth project was begun in New York State to build a tunnel to carry water from reservoirs in the Catskill Mountains to the city of New York. The tunnel was large enough to accommodate the largest of Mack Trucks. Much of the work had to be blasted through rock. Here Arthur applied his trade sharpening and hardening drills.

They lived in Elmsford in the early 1930s near my father's battery and radio shop. I knew all of the family at that time and even played daily with Gerry's brother Harold.

Little did I know at the time that Gerry would be the pretty little girl I would see from the top of a ladder. I didn't recognize her as the impossible brat I knew when I was ten years old. Gad! She was a snooty witch.

The tunnel project ended and so did employment. The Willts moved to Cairo, New York where Arthur worked for a road building company. I never met Arthur again. Just before our entry into WW 2. when employment was again at a low peak. Arthur went to Trinidad off the coast of South America to build naval bases for the US. There he contracted malaria and died.

The funeral took place in Oakland, Maryland. Our automobile at the time, a 1934 Ford, presented a challenge just to drive across town. Being the best we could afford, we drove the car to Oakland. Arthur's body did not arrive on schedule and I was obligated to be back home.

I arrived home with just fifty cents to my name. Gerry stayed and returned with her mother.

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