WW Two and Post War Memories
A. L. Laibe: Memories from 1941-1952

The "Good Ole Days", when money was scarce and nobody knew what a credit card was!!


    I graduated high school in May 1941 from Saint Peter and Paul Catholic high school, Ottawa, Ohio. There were no jobs available. We were living at the Maag farm. Their son who farmed it was in the service at that time. Bing still in high school, agreed to do the farming while the son was gone. So, the whole family moved to the Maag farm.


    A family friend had a relative in the Chicago area who was superintendent of a small hospital which needed help. The hospital, Northwestern Hospital 316 N. Lee St., Des Plaines, Ill., was owned by two doctors. Molly Laibe, the relative of the family friend, was superintendent of the hospital for them.     Mom and dad knew her family well and felt I would be treated well if I worked there. After graduation I left for Chicago on a train that summer. I would not be 18 till September. This was a big step for a small town/country girl, quiet and bashful. I also had no idea what I would be doing at the hospital.     Upon arriving, Molly Laibe explained what duties I would have. I was to give baths, give back rubs, empty and replace bed pans, and also deliver meals and return the dishes to the kitchen. I did many things normally done by nurses, which I was not. There were few nurses available because of the war.


    Shortly after arriving, I met someone I knew from Ottawa, Bill Laibe. He was a nephew of Molly Laibe and was working at the hospital helping with x-rays and learning about them. It was not too long before we started to date. On November 9th, 1943, I became Mrs. William Lemley Laibe. We were married in St. Maryís Church, Des Plaines, Ill. at 9:00am by Father Stutpke. We had a Wedding Breakfast at Northwestern Hospital where I worked. A Wedding Dinner was served later at the Diemer residence, another relative of Bill's.     We stayed our first night in my room at Northwestern Hospital where I had been living. Bill was already in the army at that time and we left the next morning for his camp in Denver, Colorado, then on to Camp Fort Ord in California, arriving there 20th Nov. 1943. We lived off base in a little town called Seaside. Our first son, Frank was born, the 21st of December 1944 while we were there. He was baptized on 14th Jan. 1945 in beautiful old Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo, founded in 1771.


    After the war ended Bill spent some time in Japan. Frank and I returned to Ottawa, where we stayed with mom and dad for just a short time at Grandma Hornung's and then on to the Sherman Street home when they moved.     Bill left Nagoya, Japan on 27th Jan. 1946, 9:15 am on the USS General H. W. Butner and arrived in Seattle, Washington. He then went to Des Plaines. He was discharged at Camp Grant in Illinois on 17th of February 1946 and came to Ottawa to pick us up at mom and dadís on Sherman Street in Ottawa.


    We then moved to back to Des Plaines, where Bill worked as an x-ray technician. Our second child Judy was born on 8th Feb. 1947 while we lived there. We then moved to Maywood, Illinois, where Bill worked in Hines Veterans Hospital as the head x-ray technician. When he left there, we moved back to Ottawa in the early 50's.


    In ottawa, we rented an upstairs apartment from Morgretís. Our third child Tim was born there. In November of 1952 we moved into a home we rented from Mrs. Bennett on North Maple Street. A year or so later, the house was purchased for us by ďAunt MollyĒ Laibe. It was Aunt Mollyís way of saying we had worked hard for her at the hospital. This home is where the rest of our family was born, and I still live.

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