Optimism and prosperity be damned! Full speed ahead on the road to destruction! Dick resumed binge drinking, accompanied by the customary heartache and humiliation. Gen remembers hearing a noise outside the New Moon one night. Dick hadn't come home and she didn't know what to expect. She peeked outside and saw somebody dumping him on the porch. Dick was so drunk he was unconscious and incontinent. Hey! Thanks boys! Drop him off here any time!

Dick and Gen went through lots of cars. One can speculate that quick automotive turnover was caused by the fact that cars were such pieces of crap back then that they were worn out at 50,000 miles. It could also have something to do with drinking and driving, bad roads, and brutal winter weather. Dick took off on a bender with the Minnesota Ford and brought it back with a trashed engine several weeks later.

Gen replaced the Ford with a new Olds (new olds?) Delta 88. Fast car. Powerful engine. Really great for getting into trouble. Leadfoot Genny drove it out to the country in search of eggs. She lost control on a washboard road, hit the ditch, and rolled the car. The roof was crushed down to the seats. Gen lived to tell the story, but the Oldsmobile was toast. No word about how the eggs fared.

Gen's New Moon in a cornfieldGen needed a new car. The pad in the trailer park where Gen landed from Minnesota was expensive, noisy, and distant from the Boeing plant where Dick had been hired as an inspector. Gen wanted a cheaper and quieter location. The Olds wasn't up to the job of pulling the New Moon to a new location, but a 1951 Cadillac Fleetwood was. By 1952, the New Moon was out in the middle of the prairie, near Boeing, and surrounded by, well, not much of anything except the wind, from the looks of that bush on the right.

By the winter of 1952-53, Gen had two daughters--Susan and me. Dick took off with the Cadillac, leaving Gen to fend for herself and the kids. A blizzard hit so hard that the occupants of neighboring trailers evacuated. Gen had no way out. The wind came hard down the flue of the oil furnace and kept extinguishing the burner. The only telephone service in the park was in the laundry facility, where Gen trekked to try to call Dick's sister, Peggy, for help. People have been known to freeze to death in prairie blizzards trying to go the distance between the house and the barn. Gen made it to the laundry, though, but found that the telephone was dead when she got there. All she could do was return to the trailer and pray she had enough matches to keep the furnace going.