Taking Baby Home

February 22, 1953 on 10:18 am | In Beryl, Bill Manvell, Early Childhood, My Grandparents | Comments Off on Taking Baby Home

My mother wrote about where they lived after getting married and when I was born:

We rented a one bedroom apt. in Falls Church – didn’t have much money, so only had necessary furniture. Daddy’s parents were dead set against us wasting money on rent and insisted we buy land and build a house. Bought a lot in Spring Lake, Vienna, and attempted to personally build a house.

Meanwhile, they wanted us to live with them while building to save money. I insisted on our own bigger room and bath for privacy. We had to build the room off the kitchen but the bathroom never happened. It remained a closet.

I still worked in Arlington for “W. J. Baumbach Plumbers.” A plumber lived in Vienna and picked me up in his plumbing truck at 7:30 A.M. and Daddy picked me up around 5:00P.M.

All our friends had babies, so we wanted one, too. Pop Pop and Grandma Bobbie now lived in N. Arlington and my doctor was in D.C., so Vienna was WAY OUT IN THE BOONIES.

Grandma H. was next to impossible to live with. She wanted to take care of me and was my shadow. It was driving me nuts.

Grandma Bobbie wanted us to stay with them the last month (of my pregnancy) to be closer to D.C. We did, but they were drunk all the time and Grandma J came down for the big event. Every evening the three of them fought while drinking and overcooking supper. We stayed there a couple of weeks after you were born, them moved back with the Manvells to finish our house.

Finally had a roof, windows and doors and second hand appliances, so we moved in and for several years tried to finish the house (which we really never did before selling it as part of the divorce settlement). Daddy was always working – construction superintendent, drawing house plans, and his band. I insisted on being the stay-at-home Mom that I never had. Things were tough.


How My Parents Met

February 21, 1953 on 10:07 am | In Beryl, Bill Manvell, My Grandparents | Comments Off on How My Parents Met

My mother sent me an email with this story of meeting my father for the first time.

How I met your Daddy: When Pop Pop was stationed at the Navy annex in Arlington, we lived in South Arlington and I became friends with 2 sisters, Yvonne and Saphronia Sparks, that lived next door to us and went to W & L and the same Baptist church.

Grandma Bobbie sent me back to live with Grandma J. in Malden , Mass., as we three didn’t get along at all. I was all church and temperance involved and they were all for drinking and having fun. I was very friendly with my minister and wife in Revere, MA, and they had a daughter Gracia, (much older in a seminary studying to be a minister) that took me under their wings.

Gracia and her boyfriend, Bob (also in the seminary), arranged a blind date for me with a fellow student and friend. We double dated all year and we became engaged. I moved back to Virginia to graduate earlier – I was lacking 0ne credit to graduate, so went to summer school to graduate in February 1950 – so I could get married and become a minister’s wife.

Absence didn’t make the heart grow fonder. I went back to Mass. to marry him, but we broke up instead. Grandma J. could not afford to take care of me, and Pop Pop paid her and gave me four weeks to find a job so I could stay. I had a promised job with the phone company, but they couldn’t start me for another week past the four, so Grandma Bobbie came up and took me back to Virginia.

Picked up my friends I had made at the church when living there before in Arlington, even though we now lived in Alexandria. Yvonne and her husband, Chuck Goodson (Daddy’s drummer), took me to Hunters Lodge, a dance hall on Lee Hwy in Fairfax one Sat. night to introduce me to the “the band leader,” Billy Manvell, with the thought of arranging a blind date later. Wow, was I impressed –  “The band leader!”


Daddy proposed on our second date. I said, “No.”

We were both so unhappy living with parents that a couple of months later we were married, June 23, 1951.

My Name

February 20, 1953 on 10:00 am | In Beryl, Bill Manvell, Early Childhood, My Grandparents | Comments Off on My Name

I asked my mother how they chose my name and this is what she sent me:

Pop Pop was Capt. of a patrol craft ship (PCS) in Key West 1947. Even though he was an officer (Ensign), Grandma Bobbie and he hung out at the “Chief’s Club” on the Navy base. They were more fun.

One chief, Jack Cunningham, had a step daughter too, Lola, who was 18. He asked if he could introduce her to me, I was 16 and a junior in high school, and take her to the USO as she had no friends. Lola had a 3 year old brother, John, and a baby sister, Noreen Marie.

We liked the name Noreen and picked Carol out of the air because it sounded good. Noreen Carol Manvell. You were not named after her – we just liked the name.

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