Lawrence, born October 23, 1883, was the first of John and Carrie's children.
My Uncle Lawrence moved to St. Louis sometime after the 1900 census. This must have been before 1907 because I have a postcard that he sent my Aunt Jennie then. In 1909, at the age of 26, he married my Aunt Lillian who was 34. At that time, he was a teamster for a dairy, but in later years he was a salesman for a drug company. From time to time, he sent us packages of his wares; soap and perfume for my mother and jars of a shaving cream that I particularly liked because it was soothing to my adolescent skin. I met my Uncle Lawrence only once; in June of 1943. He was sixty and living alone in St. Louis, my Aunt Lillian having died a few years earlier. I was 20 and in the Army Air Force.
I was being transferred from Chanute Field, Illinois via troop train through St. Louis, Kansas City, El Paso and Los Angeles to Santa Maria, California. When we reached St. Louis, the transportation sergeant announced a three-hour layover. On the spur of the moment, I set out by streetcar to find Uncle Lawrence from the address in my address-book.
He lived upstairs in a two family house. His landlady, pleased with having a visitor in uniform, brought me right up to his bedroom, and he was caught reading in bed dressed only in his summer underwear.
He was shorter than I- perhaps 5'6" and resembled my Uncle Art more than he did my father. He struck me as being quite pale, but then I was accustomed to the appearance of sun-tanned soldiers. He kept several glasses of brine near his bed and in his bathroom to snuff up his nose to relieve his sinus problems.
Uncle Lawrence was overjoyed to see me, and as soon as he had dressed, he took me back downtown--by streetcar again, so I could be close to the train station when my pass ran out. He offered to buy me supper but since I had already eaten on the trooptrain, we settled for an ice cream soda. Next he insisted on buying me a pocket watch, but I turned it down because I had so little use for one. Finally, he gave me $20 cash, a gift which I really appreciated.
Uncle Lawrence died in 1954 at the age of seventy. He was interred at Oak Grove Cemetery in St. Louis.
Copyright © 2000-2001 Nancy Amacher McAdams
March 25, 2000
Last update October 13, 2001
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