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1. Title:   Correspondence.

Notes
a. Note:   Wayne Westover, bawayne@comcast.net (March 2011) See Notes Section. Wayne Arthur Westover, Sr .was born on August 26, 1898 in Underhill, Chitenden, Vermont, the youngest of Madison and Lizzie’s children He was the only one not born in Wisconsin as sometime after the birth of Ella the family returned to Vermont. Little is known about Wayne’s early years but he spoke of being in an orphanage, called Hampton A. Colegrove “ grandpa Colgrove “, remembered sleigh rides pulled by a horse called “ Dolly Dimple”, saying that his mother was a Postmistress, the time of “sugaring down”in the maple trees and gathering what he called “paw paw” nuts in the woods. In the Appendix is a photo of Lizzie and all four of; the children taken at Lake Eden, Vermont on May 30, 1903. Wayne Sr. Would have been 5 years old at the time. There is also a photo of him with the Colegroves when he was about 2. I do not recall his saying anything about school in Vermont but he did attend in California, having to walk from 28th Street to downtown Richmond In the winter he would sometimes tarry and play in the flooded 16th street underpass and receive serious punishment for being late He probably did not have regular attendance in Vermont and did not have a chance to go too far in school. here in California as he went to work very early at the Standard Oil Refinery. It was obvious that the lack of formal education did not harm him as his knowledge of the basics was excellent and on a par with anyone who completed High School. .He stated that as a condition of going to work so early he was required to take, and did take, correspondence courses It seems that he did go as far as the fifth grade as he told me we each had the same teachers, Miss Newcomb and Miss Elliott in the forth and fifth grade If my calculations are correct he came to this state between 1910 and 1913 and before working at the Refinery he had delivered groceries with a horse and wagon and was an usher at the State Theater on MacDonald Ave at Forth Street in Richmond. During his work delivering groceries he said that on occasion he was invited to stop and have a cup of coffee with some of the employees at a local “sporting house “ in Point Richmond. In one of the family albums is a photo of him in his ushers uniform. When his brother Gerald lived in Richmond one of his jobs was running the street car from Point Richmond to Sixth and Broadway in Oakland .When he first went to work at the Standard Oil Co. Wayne, Sr. rode to work on a bicycle and later on an Indian motorcycle. Lizzie was, at times a practical nurse and also took in boarders. He went to work full time at the refinery in 1913 and was washing glassware in the laboratory. One summer he met a young man who had come for a summer job in the lab and whose father was a Director of the Company. My dad felt this was important so when this man was himself an official in the Company he could say he worked his way up. Anyway he told my father that later he would go to sea for one cruise as a Cadet in the Maritime Department as part of his fathers plans for him and when Dad said he would give anything for such an adventure the young friend set it up for the both of then to go. It so happened that during World War I the Navy had a shortage of vessels and arranged with the Standard Oil Company to use one of its old Sailing Ships to carry five gallon cans of gasoline to South Pacific locations that did not have the facilities to unload modern tankers. So, in 1918 the two of them sailed as Cadets from the Point Orient Wharf in Richmond on the S.V. John Ena, an old four masted barque, under the Standard Oil Flag. She had been built in Scotland of all steel construction, with no refrigeration and only sail for power. All in all very primitive , even for that time, and when they encountered lightning, with steel masts and a hold full of gasoline they all ”got religion”. Her sister ships can still be visited. The Star of India in San Diego and the Balclutha in San Franciso. The outbound trip to Australia took 53 day but on the return, due to adverse winds and storms, it took 90 days. On the return there was no longer a need to press these old timers into service and no place for a budding third officer trained only in sail so my dad went to work in the Manufacturing Department where he would spent almost fifty years as a Stillman in the Low Pressure Batteries. The John Ena went to work with the Alaska Packers Fleet, later to be cut down as a coal barge. It is interesting to note that one day when I was six or seven we were taking a ride to the big Montgomery Ward Store in East Oakland when my dad looking at the estuary said “ those masts look like the John Ena”s. Over we drove and sure enough it was the old ship waiting to be cut down to haul coal . I am fortunate enough to have a belaying pin from the old ship, and in my mother’s old album is a photographic history of the entire trip .During World War II he was selected to train the great number of women called into service to run the refinery while the men were at war. He was a good instructor and was awarded an “E” award by the military for his outstanding contribution to the War Effort. I must say that my mother was not that appreciative because when they were out and about and when one of his students came by he was often greeted with a “Hi Pappy “ and a hug . . In 1926 he had married Della Viano who was the youngest daughter of John and Albina Vacca Viano who had come to this country from the far north of Italy from villages in the Piedmont Area called San Colombano Bel Monte and Nomoglio. John had worked in the coal mines in Missouri and had, because of his expertise with explosives, come to Pinole to work for the Hercules Powder Company. He later was a Janitor at Roosevelt Jr. High School in the Richmond Unified School District. Della was born in Frontenac, Crawford, Kansas on January 10, 1903. Her brother Leo Viano taught school in Richmond and also served one term as its Mayor. He married Florence Shaw of Berkeley, CA. Della’s sister, Catherine, also lived in Richmond and married Alexander Allamanno..The Senior Wayne was a man of a great many interests, including but not limited to; early radio, 16 mm movies, raising exotic birds and making detailed ship models from scratch. His interest in movies led to a number of reels showing Yosemite, Lassen and other then remote areas in the days when they were rustic places with dirt roads and no crowds at all. I have had some of these transferred to video tapes. He was handy in the fields of carpentry, plumbing, wiring and masonry, mostly thro self education .He was an avid gardener, even to the extent of growing ferns from spores in laboratory glassware. As Wayne, Jr got older he jumped into the Boy Scout Program and often went on the camping trips to Wolfboro, near Lake Alpine, where he did some of the camp cooking and took a lot of movies. In later life, after his retirement, he and Della were very active in the local SPCA and usually had a number of cats at home. He was the Humane Officer for Contra Costa County for a number of years and showed that he was truly interested in animal welfare. He spent many years collecting stamps and had an extensive collection at the time of his death. Before and after retirement he put his construction abilities and was the principal builder of two houses on the San Pablo Dam Road in El Sobrante, California. The photo of one of these in the Photo Binder. Both Della and Wayne died at Brookside Hospital in San Pablo, California, he on 12, August 1973 and Della on November 20, 1986. They are buried at Sunset View Cemetery in El Cerrito, CA. and a map of the various family burial spots in included in the Appendix. Their only child was Wayne Arthur Westover, Jr, born in Richmond, California on January 17, 1927. During our trip to Vermont we were unable to solve the puzzle of why grandma Westover used so many different names and birth places and we were surprised to come back with yet another mystery, I had sent for and received my father’s birth certificate from the Town of Underhill and it gave his correct birth date of August 26, 1898 and his parents names as Lizzie A. Westover and Madison J. Westover. It was a single birth and the name Wayne Arthur Westover was shown. When Wayne and I went to view the State Records at Montpelier we found a birth record for grandpa in most respects the same as the one I had. Same parents, same date, a single birth but on this record there was a name of the child given. ..Jamis J. Westover. So that is one more interesting item about the family. It is with great regret that I did not ask more questions of this truly remarkable man...... and I apologize to future generations that may read this work for that failure.


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