Jan, My email is email@example.com. Thank you so much!
My Grandmother was born on the farm in Malcom. She was the oldest of four, the other three being Virgil, Colleen, and Clif. They all moved to Los Angeles in the Twenties, I guess, because Clif was ten years younger than Martha, and he was born in California. His middle name was West, after all! Sometime when my grandmother was in high school, Chester abandoned the family, and my grandma went to work as a mother's helper for a wealthy family, sending her money home to assist in supporting the family. She went to nursing school in New York after she graduated from high school, and never moved back to LA. She met my grandpa in NYC, and they married sometime in the late thirties. I'll check these dates with my mom, as I'm really not all that clear on them. My mom was born in 1942, and my uncle Sandy in 1945, I think. They lived in the Bronx, and then in Munich, Germany in the fifties. My mother and uncle went to boarding school there for at least a year, maybe more (again, I'll have to check with my mom), and then back to New York, this time to Hastings-upon-Hudson, then Canton, Mass. My mother went to Radcliffe, met my dad, John Clark, who was a fellow undergrad at Harvard and got married in 1964. They went to Turkey in the Peace Corps from '64-'66, where they taught English in a little school in Adiyaman, which is in the eastern part of the country. It's a regional capital, but in the sixties it was pretty primitive. I have some pictures of them during this time, and they look ridiculously young!
You said Chester's cousin lives in Springfield, MA? I live in Northampton, MA, which is just 15 minutes up the road. How amazing! Maybe we could arrange a visit? Please email me, this is really fun! Martha