The Pasquets life in Virginia
In 1952, we began to think about leaving Long Island for more rural surroundings. My father had died in 1950. I don’t think we would have left if he had still been in Brooklyn. We moved to an old farmhouse [ed note: near Winchester, Virginia] with no conveniences in October, 1952. The first things we got were two stoves in the kitchen, an electric one for cooking, and a coal stove for heat. It took about six months to get a workable kitchen and bathroom, electric heating panels in some rooms, and to start the necessary plastering, papering and painting. There were 225 acres which seemed enormous after our corner lot in Garden City. George and Henry learned to milk cows, take care of chickens, ducks and guineas, and did some horse back riding. They helped the neighbors when they made hay, and learned useful things about running a farm.
We stayed on the farm for eleven years. During that time, the boys finished eighth grade at Middletown school, went to James Wood for two years, and then to Randolph Macon Academy for two years. After that, George went to the Air Force Academy, and Henry went to V.P.I. where he was active in the R.O.T.C. They both graduated as Second Lieutenants in the Air Force. In 1963, we heard that Route 81 was going to cut off our access to Route 11. Since Jean and I had to go into Winchester regularly for church work and teaching, we decided to move. We found a house we liked at 714 South Steward Street.
George married Virginia Fisher on August 3, 1963. We moved to Winchester just in time to have their rehearsal diner in our new house. They have two charming daughters, Susan Earle, and Anne Elizabeth. Susan was born during their first tour of duty in the Philippines. George was flying in and out of Viet Nam, but was able to be home when she was born. Anne was born while they were stationed at Fayetteville, North Carolina for the first time. (SPD: Grandmama waited with me while Dad went to get Mom and Anne, and she told how I entertained the other waiting people by dragging my balloon around and asking about the people in potty chairs, which were actually wheel chairs.) Henry married Wanda Rigby in Abilene, Texas, on October 4, 1968. Jean and I flew there for the wedding. Henry just barely got back in time from a TDY assignment. They have two wonderful sons, Henry Lawrence Jr. (Hank), and John Arthur. Hank was born while they were stationed in Taiwan. Henry was flying in and out of Viet Nam, too, but was able to be home on the day in 1969, when Hank was born. John came in 1971, while they were at Hanscom Field, in Massachusetts. Jean and I were very fortunate to have exceptionally fine sons who married exceptionally lovely wives. Needless to say, the grandchildren are exceptional, too, and a great source of comfort and satisfaction.
On September 29, 1976, Jean suffered a severe stroke, and after some miserable months in hospitals, died on January 24, 1977. He is greatly missed, but I feel that he lives on in his sons and his grandchildren, and in his music, which is still widely used. I am glad that he had the satisfaction of success in his work, and the joy of knowing his grandchildren.
This excursion into the past has only touched the highlights, and it may still be too long to read. It has been interesting to me to look back. I find I have two regrets. I am sorry for any impatient or thoughtless words through the years to people I love, and I regret being deprived of so many hours with my dear sons while they were growing up, in order to augment the family income. The only comfort that I get from it now, is that I can be independent as I grow older, and even help them out a little.
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