My mother, Irene Nora Davis, was born in April 1932 in Tacoma, Washington. Her parents were Ernest Nathaniel Davis and Nora Ethel Waller. She was the third of three children. The family spent the first several years of Irene's life living in Tacoma and in Moclips, a small community along the Pacific coastline.
When she was about three years old, a neighbor suggested that her parents have her hips evaluated for possible orthopedic issues. Mom was diagnosed with dislocated hips. She underwent a year long treatment to move her hips into proper alignment at Children's Hospital in Seattle, Washington. The treatment consisted of applying a series of full body casts to slowly cause movement. She recalls being in the hospital for a month at a time without seeing her family. Her family had to return to Moclips (along the Pacific coast) and it was a long, challenging trip. The hospital staff took great care with her. During the year in the body casts, she was carried as she was immobile.
The family remained in Moclips until concerns about security along the Pacific coast during WWII prompted a departure. She remembers bunkers being dug in the sand dunes (one was directly behind their house) and watching the soldiers' maneuvers on the beach. It was a time of great anxiety for the adults but the kids were fascinated by the soldiers. My grandparents moved back to the house on 56th Ave NE in Tacoma, Washington in 1943. Work was available for both of them at the nearby Tacoma Shipyards.
NE Tacoma is located on a large bluff area overlooking the Port of Tacoma to the south and Puget Sound to the west. This would remain the family home Ernie's death in 1965. They lived close to Davis and Waller family members in Tacoma and Gig Harbor. Family gatherings with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins took place regularly. Mom was close to her first cousins, most of whom were older, and treasured their childhood times together.
Mom had a grand adventure when about she was ten years old. She went on a car camping trip with her Aunt Margaret (Ernie's sister) and Uncle Alton. They took a meandering path to Yellowstone National Park and back to Tacoma. Margaret and Alton were a couple of free spirits and there many spontaneous side trips. They slept in a tent and cooked over campfires. It was a memorable summer.
Ernie and Nora divorced in the mid 1940's. Mom and her brothers, Kenneth and Wayne, stayed with their father in the family house. Her mother, Nora, lived nearby in downtown Tacoma. Mom did not want to attend Stadium High School which was a very large school. True to her independent nature, she walked several blocks to take a city bus to Federal Way High school and graduated in 1950. After graduating, she went to cosmetology school and worked in a salon in Tacoma.
She met my father, Ronald Daniel Wentworth, at a dance hall in 1955. They married three months later in Tacoma and she moved to the Wentworth family farm near Oakville, Washington. Being a dairy farmer's wife was a new adventure for her. She was not always happy with the cows, especially when they broke through a fence and had to be chased down, rounded up, and put back into their pasture. I think she was very happy when my brother, Art and I, were old enough to ride horses (and/or bikes) and herd the heifers and cows when needed. In time, she became a country girl at heart and enjoyed living in the country.
My dad hired a hay crew every summer consisting of high school boys. Mom and I would cook a hot lunch for them every day. These boys would eat a lot of food. We would prepare feasts consisting of platters of meat, multiple vegetables, salad, bread, and desserts. She always had plenty of ice cold water and snacks for them throughout the day. If they were going to be working late, we would cook them dinner as well.
When Mom wasn't chasing cows, cooking, doing laundry, taking care of kids, doing garden work, canning, and everything else a farm wife does, she enjoyed sewing, crocheting, decorating cakes, and other crafts. She was always busy. After they retired from farming, mom and dad would regularly meet friends at the Elma Senior Center. While Dad played cards, she enjoyed making crafts with the ladies. The crafted items were sold and produced a steady income benefiting the center.
Mom never returned to the big city life. She is happily living on a small piece of land which was part of the original Wentworth family farm. She enjoys playing Mexican Train dominoes with her friends weekly, putting together jigsaw puzzles, watching TV movies, and she especially loves watching Live PD.