Monday, April 30, 2007

My grandmother's divorce papers were an interesting read. I got copies of them when I was back home. I wanted to know more about this woman, who wrecked so many lives with her actions.

There were some surprises. Alice had gotten pregnant by Morrell in early 1930, was sent down to live with her cousins and secretly give birth, and the baby (my father) was given away. Morrell found out and tracked the baby down and took him to his own parents house, with the grandparents raising my father until he was four.

The surprise was to find that Alice and Morrell were married in 1932, before Alice's mean mother had died. They did not live together at first, I suspect it was a secret marriage, hidden from Alice's strict parents. It came out into the open after Alice's mother died in 1934. In May of 1939, shortly after the birth of my aunt, Alice decided to end the marriage and rid herself of Morrell, who wanted to use the family farm as collateral to start a new business.

The Friend of the Court described the family life. My father was "somewhat in poor health, is unsettled, nervolus and absent [from school] a great deal... Is reported as being very find of his father, and was given to understand at home, that his father was away attending school... He later was told that his father was not coming back." My mother says that later, Alice would invent really fun things to do when it was time for Morrell to visit the kids. Of course they resented him. I never met my grandfather, he died when I was 12.

Alice was "evidently inclined to be selfish and martyr like in her attitude....one party, well qualified to judge, believes that she is not giving her son proper training, in denying him opportunities of associating with other children." My father picked up that trait- he never wanted us kids to have a social life.

Why the divorce? Alice wanted a more compliant husband, and had already found one: "It appears that the hired man is the real bone of contention. One witness states, the conviction that [Morrell] had done all that any man could to patch up the affair, that, he was very much disturbed over hired man's attentions to his wife...and had stood more than the average man could, and that [he] was long suffering and patient. The hired man is described as being young, uneducated and away beneath [Alice's] mental plane." Alice was married to Howard less than a year later. Howard was perfect for her, so easy to boss around, unable to stand up against her when she was doing the evil things she did. I don't have much respect for him.

It's like a soap opera. Except no hermaphroditic serial killers that I know of.

Of course, there is my cousin on my mother's side who was the girl friend of a mass murderer.

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