Cherokee Connection Chapter 3 page 29
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Annie's children grow to adulthood

After Charles left, Annie had four children to support ranging in ages from one year to twelve years. They had to move from the dairy farm. She raised her Children alone by working as a cleaning woman, in offices, apartments, homes and the cars of the Red Car Line (a rapid transit street car line in LA). Sometimes she had to allow one or more of her children to live with foster parents. She always kept her daughter Hattie with her. Also to help out from time to time, she lived with different men. Three different ones, I think.

My sister, Alice and brother, Don remember a man by the name of Van Damn. He was good to grandmother and they liked him. They don't remember when or how long he and grandmother were together.

I remember a man, Mr Haggerty. He turned out to be drunkard and a thief. In 1929, I was nine years old. We lived in Phoenix, Arizona and I was recovering from a bout with Scarlet Fever. My mother, sister and I left Phoenix for the summer and were living in an apartment in Los Angeles. It was broken into and our clothes and some other things were taken. I was able to identify a dollar pocket watch that I had broken when I sat on it. The broken crystal dented the face of the watch. It was found in a drawer in Mr. Haggerty's room and incriminated him.

After her grandmother Annie's children were grown and left, she marred a Mr Morrow (about 1932). He was diabetic and had one leg amputated. They probably lived on a California Pioneers pension. She lived with him and took care of him until he died. Annie died in Los Angeles in 1954.

While my mother Dora lived in many difficult places, she always had a more or less stable life. All of grandmother Annie's Pfieffer children had difficult lives when they were adults.

My aunt Bessie's life turned out the best. But she got into trouble like her mother when she was young girl working for well to do family. The man of the house got her pregnant. The family adopted the baby girl, and raised her as their own. Later my aunt married and had son with her husband and lived a fairly good life. She died with cancer of the jaw bone at about age 70.

Aunt Bessie's first son, John, never worked out his problems. He joined the navy when he was young. He was sent to China and went AWOL before his term was up. John disappeared for years. He never turned himself in and was always a hunted man.

My father saw him in a traveling carnival side show in Phoenix in 1929 and invited him to our house. He was married to a wonderful girl with a humpback. They both worked in the side show. She as a fortune teller and the second pair of legs of a four legged lady. John was a worker and a part of a half lady - half man. She was good for him but he remained a drunken bum. They had two sons that turned out to be drug addicts.

We never saw much of him after that. They went back to California. I remember John because of a Navy picture album with post cards his stay in China. There were pictures of criminals being punished by cutting their hands or heads off. As a young boy, the pictures were scary. I never forgot them when I went to China after WWII.

Her second son, Charlie worked hard all of his life. He was a teamster dock worker and union leader. Charlie had two children, and was happy for awhile. But his wife divorced him and took the children. He died in the 1980's, an old man, alone in a trailer home in the desert.

Her other daughter, Hattie got married. She had a son and a nice home. The boy died at three yearsafter he eating a whole bottle of pills. Her husband never forgave her. Hattie never worked out her problems and died at an early age of cancer.

The last son, Woodrow was born with asthma and was never healthy, He died young after an early marriage.

In spite grandmother Anna's troubles as an innocent, vivacious teenager and while trying to raise her child alone, I like to think she did her best to raise her children alike. Unfortunately, she never had a good enough education to get a decent job and never picked men she could count upon.

Things worked out for my mother. Not being told the truth, turned out to be for the best. It allowed Dora to be proud of herself most of her life. Even at the end, when she learned the truth.

If there is an after life, I think my mother, at long last, met her father, William Freeman. At the same time, Anna and her sister Alma met and forgave each other and William.


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