Geneva Wireman never served in the Armed Forces; she went to school tilll the sixth grade and she was the smartest and most clever and determined woman anyone could know. Geneva also did her part to defeat tyranny by working in the most dangerous part of the munitions complex at Kingsbury, Indiana, where the explosives were placed into the bombs. Geneva worked together at the plant with Hazel Winfrey, formerly Hazel Bradley. One night after work, Geneva Wireman went to Hazel Bradley’s home and she saw a photo of a big man with a very handsome and kind face. She asked who he was and after learning that he was her friend Hazel’s brother, Willis, Geneva looked at the photo and my mom blurted out, “I’m going to marry him!”
Geneva Wireman, my mother, was born in 1925 and was a very sensitive, strong and determined woman. I cannot think of anything she started that she did not complete. She taught us kids that nothing was worth doing if we couldn’t do it to its completion. She was one of the best guitar players I have ever heard and determined to make sure that her kids had a better life than she had had and had the biggest heart I have ever seen in anyone. She was quite possibly the only person I had ever trusted completely, because of her integrity and her selfless love for her children. I think of her almost every day.
The reason why I have included the Kingsbury Munitions Plant in this adventure is because without that now historic place, I would have never been here to write this story. It was not long after my mother; Geneva Wireman shouted “I am going to marry him,” Hazel set up a blind date for Geneva with her brother and my father, Willis Bradley. I have always known that I have a lot of determination. I have come to realize that I got it honst, as my dad was known to say.
Though it may be hard to believe, it is true; they went out on their first date and were married the same night; only two weeks after my mom declared that she would marry that man in Hazel Winfrey’s photo. My dad went on to work at Studebakers for eighteen years, and my mom became the greatest babysitter in the history of the world.
Now, statistics do bear out that such marriages rarely last. In fact, though it’s a family secret, my mom and dad never realized that we kids knew that my father had already married once before he had ever met my mom. I do not know the woman’s name nor do I know why, but my dad’s first marriage was annulled shortly after they wed. Yet, my mother and father defied the odds, raised five kids and were married for fifty-three years before my dad’s heart disease finally overcame him in 1996.