Frances Helen Clifford (1930-)

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Frances Helen Clifford Whittemore
Sex: Female
Birth: July 3, 1930
Father: Ralph Linwood Clifford Sr
Mother: Rose Mary Khederian
Spouse/Partner: Walter John Whittemore
Marriage: July 2, 1950

Born in Cook County Hospital, South Boston, Massachusetts First home was with my Armenian Grandparents, Noritza and Garabed Khederian. Address: 121 Nicholas Avenue, Watertown, Massachusetts.

Approximately at the age of one (1) years old, moved across the street from the Watertown Arsenal, on Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA. We were living at this address when my father left my mother. The next address I was told was next door to my grandparents at 123 Nicholas Avenue.

Then next home I remember is when I was five and a half (5 1/2)years old. We were living on Summer Street, close by the West Watertown Library and Town Hall and the big Watertown Park.

 This is where my brother Wilfred was brought home and I was so excited and I asked my mother where she got such a sweet baby brother for me.  The only words I understood my mother to say were, "I had him in a stall."  The only stall I knew about was the bathroom stalls at school and I thought to myself, "what a strange place to find a baby." 

We must have moved back to East Watertown, this time on Dexter Avenue. I went to the Hosmer Elementary School for kindergarten and first grade. I don't remember anything about those times except the one thing that sticks out in my mind is my best friend's name was Pasty (can't remember her last name at this time). Her father was a policeman and her mother had died and she had a housekeeper named Clara, living with them and taking care of her family.

Hosmer school had these wide long steps with rounded curbings on the sides all the way down to the street. Pasty and I loved playing on those steps. I fell one day, and since Pasty lived on the same street as our school and a couple of doors down, she took me home and Clara cleaned my bruised knees and Pasty and I stayed and played in her room. Just before dinner, Clara came in and told me I should be going home because my mother would worry about me. I told Clara a "big fat lie." I told her my mother was never home and we just stayed there by ourselves.

Clara let me stay and eat with the family and then she took me home. Needless to say, my mother was home and she was washing the clothes by hand on a scrub board in the kitchen sink. We had two big huge deep tubs in the kitchen for washing clothes and for our cooking and cleaning. Clara scolded me and told me if I were going to tell lies, then she didn't want me to play with Pasty any more. Oh boy, my mother was furious and you can bet I got a whipping. Once for not coming home from school and of course, for lying.

The next place I remember is on Melandy Avenue and it was when we had the big hurricane. Willy was sitting in high chair the kitchen and the wind must have broken a window because he was knocked over with the high chair. Thank God he wasn't even bruised but we had an uncle who was just living up the street and a tree fell over on him and killed him. Willy was about two year old, so I had to have been around seven and a half (7 1/2).


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