Pages of History: Housewife, mom and holder of a full-time job?

By Nita Phillips April 17, 2014 01:10 pm

From the pages of the Del Norte Triplicate, April 1952.

Mrs. Dee Spann is the mother of three growing children. She keeps house, shops, cooks, bakes, irons and stays up nights when her youngest has a cough.

Besides this rather usual state of being for a Del Norte woman, she is also Arlene Spann, county assessor. That is another full-time job.

Mrs. Spann sees nothing unusual in being a working housewife. “I have hardly a friend who isn’t working. All my sisters work.”

“I want to do better than just survive,” she says. “I have hopes of my children going to college, so I work.”

Local firefighters busy

The volunteers of Crescent Fire Protection District had a busy week.

The CFPD answered a call at 3:05 p.m. Friday at the John D. Weiler home on Cooper, Zone 3. The ceiling caught fire around a stovepipe leading from the wood range in the kitchen. The Weilers dashed water on the ceiling, dousing the blaze before the department arrived.

Monday morning at 6:30 a.m. the department responded to a blaze in a partition in the William E. Walter home, located on Oregon Street, south of Hoover, in Zone 2. The fire, which started in the partition, burned about 10 square feet of partition, roof and wall before the quick-thinking occupants drowned it with water from a garden hose.

The CFPD volunteers dashed out to 364 Pebble Beach Drive, Zone 4, Tuesday at 1:05 p.m. just as Mrs. C.O. Conklin plunged some flaming curtains into the kitchen sink. The curtains had caught fire from a pan of grease on the stove which burst into flame. The ceiling was scorched, but sheetrock insulation stopped the fire from spreading. Mrs. Conklin dashed in from the garden in time to prevent further damage. The residence is owned by Ernest Cassel.

Lyle Griffin was chief in charge of the volunteer crews. He stresses that those reporting fires should give some street numbers to hasten arrival of the department. 

Field and Stream story

The April 1952 copy of Field and Stream carries an article on African hunting by Alexander Lake. Lake and his wife, Mildred, made their home in Smith River a few years ago. He still owns the beach studio cottage he built while here.

Mrs. Lake is the sister of Art Lawn of Smith River, head of Pelican Bay Construction Company. Mrs. Lake’s daughter, Jackie, Mrs. James Yarbrough, lives at Pelican Bay Gardens near the state line.

The Lakes also have a 3-year-old daughter, Storm, who was born shortly after the couple moved to Campbell, Calif., where they now make their home. 

A native of Africa, Lake now writes about African game hunting from intimate knowledge. The current article on rhinoceros hunting is the third of a series published in Field and Stream.

Man hit by auto 

A man was knocked down by an auto in the street in front of Trehearne’s store Sunday evening. That is one version of the story. The police version, as given by Chief Hoyer, is that the man hit the automobile.

F.W. Browning, aged about 50, was standing on the curbstone as two autos were passing, according to eyewitness accounts, when he ran out and hit one of the cars in the side.

He was taken to Seaside Hospital and treated for a cut in the head. Next day in court he was assessed a $15 fine.

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