Sunday, January 22, 2012

Interim family information

I am still trying to accumulate photos and addresses of places I have lived, but in the meanwhile, my sister Rhea asked about how our parents met each other:
JCPenney Co. started in Kemmerer, WY. Grandfather Robinson was born in John Day, OR and went to The Dalles, OR as a young man and was hired by Blaine Elliott to work at the Penney store there. Blaine was married to Doris Remington. They introduced our grandmother Edna Frances Remington to Robert Pemberton Robinson and they were married in The Dalles, OR in 1914 when Grandmother was only 16 years old. I don't know if she ever finished High School, but she wanted to get away from her family of all sisters. Grandfather Robinson was transferred after Delbert James 1917 and 3 years later mother Jeanne DeVere 1920 were born, to a store somewhere in the mid-west [Nebraska or Oklahoma?]. Then he was transferred to manage the Twin Falls store when mother was in elementary school.
When our Dad, Horton Granville Haight, b. Jan 8, 1919 was a 6'th grader, there was an influenza endemic in TF and most of the teachers were out sick. The upper grade students taught the younger grade students; dad met mother when he taught her 4'th grade class.

They dated off and on while he was in High School. When he graduated in 1936 [he had skipped a grade in elementary school] he got a full scholarship to the University of Idaho. He was hired by DuPont as he graduated in Chemical Engineering in 1940 and sent to Columbia in NYC to work on his Master's and the DDT project for WWII. He rented an apartment in Rahway, New Jersey.


Mother graduated in 1938, became Miss Twin Falls and was runner-up in the first Miss Idaho competition at Sun Valley [Miss Nampa won]. Both of them worked at Sun Valley summers and winters between school terms. Mother got a full scholarship to study music at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her roommate was a 'pistol packin redhead' from a logging family in WA. When the war started in 1940, mother transferred to Linnfield College to major in secretarial studies, which she thought would be more practical than music. That is where she met Frances Cottingham [Longworth , Robbins etc.] her roommate, and life-long friend.
Mother and dad married in Twin Falls on August 30, 1941. Mother said she appreciated the fact that dad had a steady job and was not about to be killed or injured in active military.

The Robinson's were transferred from Twin Falls  to Wenatchee, WA and Bobby [RPR, Jr. 1936] went to school there. Then much later in his career - probably around age 50 - Grandfather R. was transferred to Bend, OR and still kept a cabin at Lake Wenatchee, where he died of a heart attack age 65 or so - just before he was to retire - Grandmother R never forgave him for ruining their retirement plans! Bobby never forgave his mother for selling the cabin!
Mother used to entertain Mr. James Cash Penney with her piano music when he visited them as he did most of his managers. Thus, later in life, mother got the executive secretary job for JCP in NYC, because she not only had the secretarial qualifications, but also Mr. Penney had known her as a young lady.


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