When the family moved from Dubuque to Omaha our mother [Ernestine (Sanders) Strelesky] was very homesick and lonely for the Sanders family.
Grandma Sanders [Josephine (Uhlrich) Sanders], her mother, sent Aunt Norma to Omaha to keep our mother company. As a young adult she was quite different from the person she later became. She was very popular, had many friends, and got along with our dad [Jack Strelesky]. She got an excellent position with the telephone company as night chief operator. As a result any courting that was done by her boyfriends had to be done in the day time when Herb and Alice were around. She had one boyfriend our dad thought he was a ding-bat and gave him the name of “Homer Albright Persimmons.” On this particular day Aunt Norma was courting as best she could with Herb and Alice in the next room. Herb said to Alice “We had better be quiet. It is time for Homer Albright Persimmons to come.” “Homer Al Pers”was a chacter [sic, character] from the funny pages. Needless to say, he never came to see Aunt Norma anymore.
Of all the boy friends it was Burt MacDonough who stole her heart. Our mother hated him and succeeded in breaking them up. Many years later when the family moved to Sheridan, Wyo. Aunt Norma stayed in Omaha. It seemed that there was no mail delivery in Sheridan and people picked up their mail at the P.O. Herb and Alice were with our mother when she stopped for the mail. There was a letter from Aunt Norma saying she and Burt MacDonough were married. Our mother cried all the way home and for several days to come.
* Aunt Norma and Uncle Burt’s first Christmas was very lonely. They were married in Nov. and our mother thought it would be nice to send Herb and Alice to Omaha to spend Christmas with the newlyweds. Eunice was four that December and I was born the previous February. Aunt Norma did everything she could to make a nice Christmas for Herb and Alice, but they were homesick and nothing helped. In the meantime, our mother and dad missed their oldest children and Christmas felt flat to them. When they returned home Alice told me our mother said “Jack we must never send the children away again.”
Our mother died the following Feb. during the 1920 flu epidemic. Never was our family ever together for Christmas holidays. We each was sent our separate ways.
*Please note: Marjorie is wrong about the date of Burt and Norma’s marriage. They got married in November but in 1914 NOT 1919. The children may have spent Christmas 1919 with the MacDonoughs but it wasn’t their first year as a married couple.