Mixsonian Morrs and Barbara

Barbara and Morris

Barbara and MorrisNow with two children Barbara and Morris needed a larger house so they found a little two-bedroom house two blocks away from Betty and Billy’s house. There, Barbara and Morris became good friends with Harwell and Latrelle Folsom who lived in the house next to them and they continued playing cards several nights a week with Betty and Billy, life was good then in June the owners sold that house that Barbara and Morris were renting.  Having to move again, they rented a two-bedroom house out on the Hawthorne Road at 1704 NE 8th Street where they made lifelong friends with their next-door neighbors Donald and Irene Rick who had two boys, Wayne, and Sammy.   Irene was and excellent seamstress and made several dresses and darling outfits for Brenda.   Barbara’s mother would buy the material and Irene would make the outfits. One outfit Barbara particularly liked was a pink winter dress with a pink matching coat. 

In July Barbara found she was pregnant again, but she didn't tell Irene for several months.  When Barbara did tell Irene, Barbara said, “Irene was so good to me when she found out because I really had so much to do already caring for two little ones.”  Irene and Donald would often take Brenda and Larry to Sunday School with them at Eastside Baptist Church although Morris and Barbara very seldom went to church at the time. 

Barbara kept very busy taking care of Brenda and Larry, cleaning house, cooking, washing and ironing.  She was so happy when  Morris bought a Kenmore wringer Wringer Washerwashing machine from Sears, (on credit) and put it on the back porch, Barbara was happy not have to go to the laundry mat anymore.  Washing was not easy, clothes were placed into the open top washer, filled with water and the agitator would go back and forth until the clothes were done, and a timer shut it off.  Then pulling a lever, turning some knobs the tub would be drained and the process repeated with fresh water for a rinse.  After the rinse water was drained then the cloths would need to be wrung dry, thus the name wringer washer.  Above the tub were two rollers a little over a foot long which an electric motor turned in opposite directions.  Barbara would take each piece of clothing and feed it though the rollers which would squeeze the water out.  Barbara was always careful around the wringers for she had heard stories of housewife’s getting their hair or piece of clothing caught in the wringer which pulled the woman in, killing her.  She didn’t know if it was Ironingtrue or not, but with such a contraption it sounded true. After the wringing removed much of the water from the clothes they were then put in a basket, taken outside, and hung up on the clothesline to dry. When dry, the clothes then were taken down, sprinkled with water, starch and ironed, even all of the baby clothes were ironed. On most weeks this took Barbara two days and, on some weeks an additional load of diapers would have to be done later in the week.   

  Taking care of two babies was a lot of work for Barbara with their seemingly endless bottles and diapers.  The use of baby bottles post World War Two became predominate with breastfeeding considered only being done by the uneducated and lower classes.  Bottle feeding was promoted to free women from the embarrassment of breastfeeding giving them more free time to perhaps get a job.  So, several times a week Barbara would sterilize glass baby bottles and rubber nipples in boiling water then filling them with milk and putting them in the refrigerator. At feeding time, a bottle would be taken out of the refrigerator and placed in a pan of water on the stove to be warmed, overall taking considerably more time than breastfeeding.   Diapers also took a lot of time. In the 1950’s cloth diapers were used which after soiled by the baby which were rinsed in the toilet, placed in a diaper bin then were a separate load to do on washing day.      

When Barbara needed to go to the grocery store or other errands, she would leave little Brenda and Larry with Irene next door and Barbara would do the same for Irene’s boys Wayne and Sammy who were about the same ages as Brenda and Larry.  This was no trouble for Barbara or Irene since they would often spend time with each other while the kids played together. 

Larry,Danny,Brenda 1953
Larry, Danny, Brenda
Under the Christmas Tree 1953

Morris continued to work at the Chemistry Department which was most of the time a eight to five work day with an hour off for lunch which he usually went home and helped Barbara with the kids.   Betty and Billy continued to come over and they would play Canasta with Barbara and Morris while the kids would play together.  Several times during the year Barbara’s parents drove down from Atlanta to visit.  On my birthday, Donald and Irene, who lived next door, fixed a birthday dinner. Their sons Sammy and Wayne as well as Mom, Dad and Brenda enjoyed it.

At Christmas time Barbara really wanted to spend it with her family so Barbara, Morris and the kids drove to Atlanta to see them arriving in time for Larry’s first birthday for which Barbara’s mother made a cake.  It was a wonderful Christmas with the family all there, even Jimmy was there having a two week leave from the Navy.

Updated: 02-08-2022