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The Heritage

Mom was born and raised in Cleethorpes, England. She grew up without much and went into the Royal Air Force during World War II to escape the grinding poverty of her youth. Dad was born in Sault Saint Marie, Ontario. His family emigrated to Minneapolis for work when he was young. He studied violin with the concert master of the Minneapolis Symphony until the Great Depression, when like so many, he had to give up all non-essential expenses and help support his family. He never quite gave up on music, though, and continued to play where and when he could. He was drafted into the US Air Force and stationed first in Stornoway, Lewis and later in England where he met my Mom in a bar. She had recently lost her finacé, Ray Murphy, who was shot down on a bombing mission over Germany. Wartime makes for strange love stories and theirs was no exception. They were married in Colcester, and settled on Bainbridge Island, Washington where my Dad's parents had moved while he was away at the war.

Image: 
two late teen boys dressed up holding a banjo and a guitar on the front lawn of a house
Biography Date: 
1944