Birth of Bradley

By mid-summer ’54 we were settled into our new house – and waiting. We were waiting for the arrival of the reason that I was so miserable.
That summer was SO HOT. And I was SO SICK. Morning sickness lasted morning, noon and night for most of the summer. Bradley didn’t cause me near the trouble the rest of his life that he did those first few months before his arrival.
Eventually, the morning of November 22 arrived. Flying season had ended, Vernon was subsoiling the cotton fields. Five year old Margie was engrossed in watching Captain Kangaroo on television (our first TV set). She was very annoyed that I disturbed her by sending her to a neighbor’s house. By the time the neighbor got Vernon from the field there was no time to lose in getting to the hospital. In fact, Vernon burned a bearing out of the Hudson on that trip to the hospital.
So Bradley William Ward arrived and Margie forgave me for taking her away from Captain Kangaroo. However, I think at first she was a bit disappointed in her “little boy brother” (as she called him). Two of her favorite playmates were the sons of our neighbors, the Haneline family. She loved to play cowboy and Indians with them and she seemed to think that her “little boy brother” would be able to immediately join them in their games.
Brad’s Grandmother and Grandaddy Ward came from California after his birth to help us. They stayed until after Christmas then returned. That was the last time we saw Grandaddy. He died in California two years later.

Brad's first home - Estill, MS

Margie and her cowboy friends, our neighbors, the Haneline brothers

The Subsoiler