OUR STORY

MICHAEL LEACH

Page 49

Michael Rufus Leach, our firstborn, can into the world in the wee hours of January 21, 1955.

Francine had a hard time and was in the maternity ward for 5 days before he came. He was born in the old Macon Hospital, the same place I had bee born, and where there was no waiting room for the maternity ward. There was only a couple of wooden benches at the head of the stairs for the men to sit. And there was no such a thing as getting in to see your wife. The only communication I had with Francine was through a kindly nurse. After he was born I went home to get some sleep. It was a cold dark day and as I walked down the alley between the hospital buildings I saw the intern who had delivered Michael getting into his car. He was going home for the holidays in North Carolina. He was a couple of days late as he had stayed to deliver Michael

We had moved into an apartment house on Orange Street when Francine was expecting. We had no car and it was only a short two blocks to the hospital. Bill and Nell Chapman lived across the street and we would go over and watch television as we didnít have one.

We made friends with Sheryl and Elizabeth Smith who lived upstairs. Sheryl has this idea that if he could get $100.00 he would be a success in life. I wanted $100.00 too. We tried several schemes to raise money. We found out where we could get a nickel refund on soda bottles. We recruited neighborhood kids find them for us, paying them 2 or 3 cents each. I donít remember this working to well as most of the kids were smart enough to figure out they could a nickel without us. Sheryl made rabbit boxes and sold the rabbits he caught. The one thing that did work well was selling Christmas Trees. We got someone at the farmers market to give us a wholesale price and we went from door to door selling them and making a dollar or two a tree. This worked well and we made money but I had to spend mine as fast as I got it. Sheryl gave up and borrowed his $100 from his brothers. He probably still has it.

Two other events happened at that apartment building worth noting. Bill Chapman came on to show us a car he had just bought. He ask me to drive it to see how I liked it. I headed down the alley which led to the hospital. When I got to the stop sign I found the car had no brakes. Luckily there was no one coming and we made it across the street into a tree tearing down a sign in the process. No one was hurt and the car still ran. After we brought Michael home from the hospital it was very cold in our apartment. Late one night I went into the kitchen and turned on the burners of the

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