Lillian, born in 1919, was a sweet and polite young lady who always made herself available to help out anyone in need. Herbert on the other hand, was quite the man about town. Born in 1915 he left home at the age of 14 and struck out on his own for the glitz and glam of Chicago. He held some pretty interesting occupations in Chicago during that time. He was employed as a "Lookout" for a local brothel where he would alert the ladies if an officer was approaching. Being a 14 year old kid, no one would have ever suspected his involvement is such a seedy operation. A few years later he found himself employed by none other than the infamous gangster "Al Capone" running liquor during the prohibition! He was given several cars with hidden compartments to contain the libations as he drove through town to make his run. On several occasions he was shot at by the same people who were subsequently gunned down during the "St. Valentines Day Massacre" (Caution! graphic photo in link!). After escaping death on more than one occasion he finally decided he'd had enough and gave up on his illegal shenanigans.
Now I know that many of you may have doubts as to the authenticity of this story but I remember sitting there with him and listening to his stories rich with detail for many, many years without so much as a minute change in detail! There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that these things really did occur. Although I do not agree with his early lifestyle choices, I do however, find it a very interesting piece of family history that deserves to be shared.
Herbert and Lillian went on to have 11 children together including my father Phillip. They made their home and a life together in Gary Indiana and eventually moved and built a home in San Bernardino California. They lived in area called "the valley" where many of the same families still reside to this day. There they raised lots of babies including my dad who is third to the youngest of them.
Herbert and Lillian or "Lilly Mae" as he used to call her were married over 60 years before he passed away in 1997 and she in 2000. They were not perfect people and they made many grave mistakes in their lives but they were genuine individuals who weathered the storms of life and remained together for a lifetime. When I think about them I make it a point not to think about the mistakes that they may have made but I always remember the love and care they showed me personally. I always knew they loved me and felt they always made me feel that I was important enough to make time for in their busy lives. It is those memories of moments spent with them that continues to fuel my love for these very special people.
My husband and I stopped just the other day to visit their grave site and to remember them. As I sat and viewed their final resting place all the happy memories of times spent with them flooded my mind and I was filled with feelings of happiness and peace. It is for this reason that I wanted to do a pages in time post featuring the two of them. I will always remember Herbert and Lillian always remembered by me as Very Special And Loving Grandparents.*The digital collages of them in both younger and later years were created using the Creating Keepsakes SBD digital software with original photos being imported into the program for editing and embellishing.