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 CONSTANCE - CONNIE DELIA (HOSKINS) WELLS

USNR, YEOMAN 2/c

 

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I was born in Hyden, Leslie Co., Kentucky on August 14, 1923. I had three younger brothers. During my four years of high school I went to Berea College Foundation School, a boarding school where all students also worked to help pay their board. After high school I went one year to Sue Bennett Junior College in London, KY.

My family moved to Daytona Beach, FL, where I attended vocational school and took typing and bookkeeping. After working for a time I joined the Navy just after my 21st birthday in August 1944.

I took my boot training at Hunter College in New York and yeoman training at Cedar Falls, Iowa. From there I rode a troop train to San Francisco.

The barracks were made up of two large apartment buildings side-by-side at 609 Sutter Street. My job was working in the Fleet Post Office. This office was kept open 24 hours a day, so we worked different shifts. We each had an alphabetical section of the Navy personnel on file cards, which we kept up-to-date as much as possible, making frequent changes. We received mail, sometimes stacks a foot or so high tied with string, just for one sailor, and his mail couldn’t keep up with his or her moving around. We would forward the mail to the latest address we had. Often the mail would still be wet, and many times we had to write "deceased" on them. The war was rapidly winding down by this time and a lot of personnel were returning to the States.

While in San Francisco I was able to see shows, movies, walk across the Golden Gate bridge, go skiing and hiking at Yosemite, spend several weekends at Carmel on the beach, boating on the Russian River, take a try-out-cruise on a liberty ship that went out under the Golden Gate bridge into the ocean, and many more interesting things. I enjoyed San Francisco but have no desire to return there.

A WAVE friend of mine, Frannie, was planning to marry a sailor, Jim, who was in San Francisco after his ship, the USS Hadley, had been towed back after being hit in a big battle in the Pacific. Jim was Catholic and Frannie was trying to become Catholic. Jim’s friend, Bob, also a sailor on the USS Hadley, told Jim he’d take Frannie and Jim out to dinner, and to have Frannie bring a friend along. So, I was Frannie’s friend who was taken to dinner. To make a long story short, Frannie just couldn’t turn Catholic, so she and Jim broke up, but Bob and I got married in a chapel on Treasure Island on December 7, 1945.

Bob was from Priest River, ID, and in May 1946 I was discharged and went to Priest River. Bob and I have four sons and three granddaughters.

I took extension courses, one year at North Idaho Junior College, and my senior year commuting from Priest River to Whitworth College in Spokane.

In August, 1963, our family moved to Sandpoint, Idaho where I had a job teaching second grade, a few days after my 40th birthday, and my youngest son began first grade. I enjoyed teaching very much.

After retirement Bob and I moved to Hope, Idaho where we built a beautiful home overlooking Lake Pend Oreille.

For years I gardened a lot, and especially growing flowers, but now I spend most of my time with my oil painting and sewing. I belong to two quilt guilds and the companionship of the other ladies with a common interest is great. In one of the guilds, the Clark Fork Valley Quilters, we make charity quilts for children’s homes, various homeless children’s care groups, quilts to be used for non-profit organizations as fund raisers, lap robes for those in nursing homes, and our own raffle quilt once a year to raise money for more materials, etc. We have one quilt show a year in Hope.

I also help in the primary rooms at the Hope Elementary School. This keeps me in touch with the young pupils and the school rooms.

 


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