Binks in hospital with nurses Jan 10, 1928During my first year in college, the family had a nightmare experience. Henry, Wiggles and Lawrence were diagnosed as having diphtheria. Because of all the coming and going at the school, they were sent to the King’s County Hospital for communicable diseases. Lawrence even had to spend his 8th birthday there. The nurses gave him a party and fussed over him (photo to the left), but it was still agonizing for us to have him there.

   That experience made Mother determined to have a home away from the school. She found a lovely house for us at 117 Meadbrook Road, in Garden City, Long Island. She and Dad moved while we were at Cragsmoor, so we returned in September to a lovely new house. Mother had only about ten months to enjoy it. On June 25, 1929, Mother and Dad were going to take the Long Island Railroad into the city to hand out diplomas at the graduation of P.S. 102, at the principal’s request. I was planning to take the same train into the city to look for a summer job. Henry was driving us to the station in our new Studebaker Dictator. Dad had left the car with the mechanic the day before to have the brakes adjusted. They returned the car and left what Dad thought was a bill, but which he learned later was a note saying the brakes were not fixed. There was a light rain falling, and the car skidded and turned over. Mother was thrown out and landed under the car. It was a terrible blow to the family. I thought we just couldn’t keep going without her, but of course we had to! (SPD: My grandmother, Marian, sustained a injury on her lower left arm and had a large scar to remind her of that terrible day.)

117 Meadbrook Rd as pictured on Google Maps. Built in 1927 according to Zillow.

   I transferred to Adelphi, which had just moved from Brooklyn to Garden City, and took over some young pupils that Mother had started. Later, Henry went to Rutgers, and Wiggles went to Pratt Institute for two years, and then to the National Academy of Design, where Charles Curran, who painted the beautiful landscape which is now in my living room, was a teacher. Dad gave the painting to Mother as a silver wedding anniversary present. She had always wanted a Charles Curran painting, and Dad thought the silver birches were appropriate. The silver wedding anniversary was September 2, 1928.

   Alexander married Bertha Geer in December, 1930. We were glad to have her in the family. More changes were coming. After a few years, Dad married Claire Tucker. No one could replace Mother, but he deserved the companionship of someone close to his own age. We gave up the Meadbrook Road house then, and Henry, Wiggles, Lawrence and I moved to an apartment, with Dad kindly paying the rent, while Dad and Claire lived in Brooklyn. After a while there were more changes. Henry moved to an apartment on East 72nd street, Manhattan, Wiggles married Charles Leake, and Lawrence went to Harvard. Then I moved to an apartment across the hall from Henry. (Wiggles and Charlie had three daughters, Anne Georgine (Geordie), Betsy and Susan).


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