Dad, Mr. Ternes, died when I was about 27, by that time Norman had had two children, Jack and Patricia, and he himself had been terribly ill. He was hospitalized for about a year and the penalty for that prolonged illness was very harsh. He recovered but was addicted to the use of drugs. This plagued him for the rest of his life. Norman was a capable young man who worked for his Uncle George Ternes in the coal office in Dearborn. He was also an accomplished pianist and sometimes played in a dance group with his brother in law Hugh Jack.
Orrin had married a beautiful and vivacious girl named Bernadine Cooper. Bernadine was a nurse. In time they had a fine young son named Charles, your father.
In the covent sisters are given about 10 years in which to decide if the really want to make a permanent committment and take final vows. After Dad's death I decided it might be better if I went home first. When I came home Charles was a baby, Bernadine was working at her profession in a Detroit hospital and Orrin was, as usual, out of work. Things were just beginning to level off after the depression and jobs were scarse. Detroit had a waiting list of teachers two thousand long and preference was given to Michigan trained teachers. I had a college education two degrees and no work. I took part time jobs and housekeeping jobs - at the munificent sum of eight dollars a week and finally got back into a Catholic school in Wyandotte Michigan. Just about that time Orrin vanished from our lives. Where he went or why we never found out. Mother and I felt very sorry for Bernadine and Charles but I, especially hesitated to ask too many questions. I thought it was Bernadine's right to tell us what she chose. If your grandmother Perrin chooses she may tell you more. I know absolutely nothing about it. I am afraid I can not deal too kindly with your grandfather because I watched his mother's eyes change from incredulity to hope, to resignation and finally to despair. I've told you all this just to tell you that I don't know where your grandfather is or if he is alive or not. If he is alive he would be about 73 years old.
Your great grandmother whom I call Mother Ternes was a beautiful, able, capable woman who seemed to bend but never break. Under great pressure she would often say, "Well, we'll just have to make the best of it", and she did. She was never mean or petty or critical. She had never learned how. Her greatest fault was that Orrin took advantage of this. She had a wonderful sense of humor and was willing to believe that everyone did the best he could.
When the going was pretty rough we lost our home at 3775 Taylor and Mother and I moved out to the cottage at Hickory Island and stayed there until winter. We came back to the city and rented an apartment in Inkster and later found one in Dearborn. In 1938 Elmer and I were married and both our mothers came to live with us on Morrow Circle in East Dearborn. We each had a mother in law. It sounds like a strange household, I know, but it really wasn't. For us it was ideal. Neither of us had to worry about leaving our Mothers alone while we were at work, because each of them had a companion and a place to play house all day. they didn't have the major responsibility of running a house and they got along exceptionally well together. Elmer worked as assistant traffic manager of a major oil company with offices at Trenton, Michigan and I taught school in Dearborn. We were both secure in the knowledge that our mothers were not alone. I must admit that I was pretty badly spoiled. They both assured me that they had to have something to do all day and so they did the washing, ironing, dishes, dusting, mending and minor cleaning. They set the table, prepared the vegetables and let me do the shopping and the cooking. I couldn't have asked for more.
The little autograph book accompanying this tape belonged to your great grandmother. In another nine years it will be one hundred years old. Please, cherish it as I have. I believe the earliest date in the book is 1887 and th latest 1891. The premium award sheet is dated 1895.
The small pictures are of the cottage at Hickory Island and one of your great grandfather and me on the back porch on twelfth street. Your grandfather was almost cut off completely.
to be continued.....