I've shared with you most or all of her writings about her childhood (starting here), and now I will begin to share stories from her adult life.
This one is a rare story about her beloved younger sister Eileen, whom the family lost way too young and therefore was gone before I was born.
As a reminder, when Mormor writes "Papa" she is speaking to her grandchildren (my cousins, brothers and me) about her husband Carl (our grandfather), who was, among his many vocations and avocations, a dance band leader in Arcata, California, in the 1920s and '30s. Those of you familiar with Humboldt County and the northern California coast may recognize some of the locations mentioned.
Shortly after my sister, Eileen, graduated from St. Francis School of Nursing, she began to work as a nurse at General Hospital.
One Saturday night she was invited by a couple of friends to go to a dance at Loleta where Papa's orchestra was playing. So she dressed in her best and they started out.
As they neared the present off-ramp to the College of the Redwoods they came upon a wreck that had just happened, involving a motorcycle and a car. Two teenagers, for no accountable reason, had rammed right into a fast-moving car. Cars began to stop and someone started screaming for a doctor or a nurse. My sister rushed over, said she was a nurse, and asked people to move back. She quickly saw that one boy was so badly hurt and bleeding in spurts in many places that there was no chance she could keep him alive until an ambulance could get there. The second boy's slashes were mainly on one leg, which she hoped to save by putting on a tourniquet. No bandages were available so she tore up her beautiful new slip for the purpose.
Meanwhile, someone had raced to a phone to call an ambulance which arrived very quickly. While waiting, Eileen took a lot of static from bystanders who faulted her for not giving her main efforts to the other dying boy, so she did a few things for him that she knew were just gestures. She could not tell the people in his hearing that there was no hope for him.
As the victims were being put into the ambulance, the boy with the lesser injuries pleaded with her to come with him to the hospital. Since she was blood-stained, her dress ruined, and she was a soft-hearted darling, she went with them to the hospital. On the way, the one boy died, a fact she managed to keep from the second one by saying he thought his friend was unconscious. She stayed with him through the surgery and called his family.
Emergency treatment did save the second victim's leg, and in a short time he was able to leave the hospital. Before going he came to thank Eileen for saving his leg, maybe even his life, and for staying with him through that awful night. He also said he had no money to pay her for this, but if there was anybody around that she wanted licked, he was her man -- just let him know. Well, Sis couldn't think of anyone that she wanted beaten up, but promised to call him if anyone came to mind.
She did tell him she hoped he'd stay off motorcycles forever and ever, and he answered that he surely would as there might not be a good nurse handy another time.