How It Happened

My cousin asked me the other day if I knew how/why my father’s whole Vezie clan family moved from Washington Pennsylvania to Phoenix Arizona. I told her the story as best I remember it and said I would also confirm it with my mother when I visited her today.

I thought I would document what my mother told me here on my blog in case my daughter, Shantel, or any other family members, want to read it for themselves.

Here is the condensed story according to my mother:

My father was the youngest of 10 children.

My father and mother married in 1949 and had four children.

My mother was an RN, and my father worked on a pipeline in Washington Pennsylvania. While my father was guiding a metal pipe into a ditch, the crane holding the pipe up in the air, hit a high voltage wire, and my father was electrocuted, knocking out his teeth and causing a lot of internal damage. He survived, but was no longer able to tolerate the cold winters of Pennsylvania. Eventually, a doctor told my father he should move to a warmer climate.

Once the decision was made to make the move, my mother and father started out with intentions of moving our immediate family to California. As a registered nurse, my mother knew she could find work anywhere, and my father decided he would land a good job once he arrived in California.

So my parents packed up all their belongings, my brother, Tommy, who was 27 months old, my brother, Danny, who was 16 months old, myself, I was only 6 months old, and my cousin, Patty Dobscha, who was 18 and had just graduated from High School (Patty had severe allergies and thought the warmer climate would help her as well). My brother, Stephen, had not been born yet.

Apparently the road trip from Pennsylvania was very event filled. My mother said my brother’s, Tommy and Danny, had been broke from the bottle before we left Pennsylvania, but on the road they started stealing my bottle and would cry when told to give it back. So, to keep the peace, and their sanity, my mother put my brothers back on the bottle, figuring she would break them from it again when we arrived in California. However, that never happened, because the car broke down just as they pulled into Phoenix, Arizona.

My father found a gas station and tried to get the car fixed, but the gas station didn’t have the part needed for the repair so they had to send away for it. My mother found a motel and we got a room. While waiting for the car part to arrive, my father contacted a long-lost uncle he had, Uncle Leo, who lived in Phoenix. It was my father’s uncle Leo, who helped my father get a job at the Holsum Bakery. My father was hired on the spot and began working 16 hour days, 6 day’s a week. He had to walk a long distance to and from work everyday but he needed the money and did what he had to do.

Eventually, the car was fixed, and we could have been on our way to California. However, by then, my parents decided they liked Phoenix, and decided to stay. My mother got a job at the local hospital as an RN working nights, while my father continued working days, and my cousin, Patty, took care of my brother’s and I… and life was good.

Then, as time went by, my father’s mother missed my father so much that she said she wanted to move to Phoenix to be near him. Apparently, my father was what they called their “rose bud”… I had no idea my father was so close to his family because he told us stories of how he left home at somewhere around of 9-12 years of age to bum around the country hanging out with Hobo’ and the like. Then, he eventually went into the Marines at the age of 17, and went off to fight in WWII. But, as the story goes, according to my mother, after being away from home for so long, when my father finally did go back home, he was given the hero’s welcome by his family, and forever remained in their good graces.

My father contacted his mother and father and told them there was work in Phoenix and plenty of housing if they wanted to come, which they did, and my father helped this brother, Grant, get a job at the Holsum Bakery while his sister, Vonnie, got a job working at Woolworth. His sister, Dee Dee, stayed home to take care of the house and her mother and father as they were beginning to have health problems.

My mother said, as time went on, my father’s other siblings decided to move to Phoenix to be near the family. The only siblings that did not move to Phoenix were his brothers, Earl and Fred, and his sister, Thelma. They all remained in Washington Pennsylvania.

And that’s how it happened…according to my mother. 🙂


Stay Tuned!

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Stephen Jr.
    Jul 31, 2013 @ 20:31:22

    You learn something new everyday.
    Thank you


    • beyondcinderella
      Jul 31, 2013 @ 20:47:51

      I’m glad you enjoyed the story Stephen. Not sure how many of the younger family members know how your Vezie
      Grandparents ended up in Arizona…Thanks for reading and leaving your comment. I so appreciate it. Love you, Aunt Virginia


  2. katsbynp
    Aug 01, 2013 @ 01:27:01

    Thanks for sharing. I never knew the story of how everyone ended up there as my Dad never shared a lot about it. I do remember when you came back to visit and we played in my back yard. I have some great pictures to document the event too.
    I remember everyone coming back to Washington to visit except Grandma ,Aunt Dee Dee ,Aunt Vonnie and Uncle Grant.
    I often wondered why we , Uncle Earl and Aunt Thelma stayed. Of course Uncle Earl did move to Texas later.
    Maybe in next year I will get out there for a visit.


    • beyondcinderella
      Aug 01, 2013 @ 02:19:49

      Thanks for your response Kathy. I also remember playing in your back yard when we came back to visit. We also moved back for about 18 months as my father never really got over leaving Pa as he loved it so…and he wanted to see if he could tolerate the winters again but it was not to be so we went back to Phx. Would love to have you anytime you can make it out here so if/when you see it in your plans just let me know. Your welcome to stay with us anytime.


  3. gotham girl
    Aug 01, 2013 @ 01:32:17

    Now that’s a story!! xoxo More!


  4. Aunt Ellen
    Aug 01, 2013 @ 19:11:03

    I am so glad my sister, Virginia remember the story as I was about 7 or 8 years old when you and your family left Washington. I remember being so sad as I enjoyed helping my sister with the babies and staying overnight. Loved your visits back at our home and having fun playing and reading you stories. Then we all grew up and loved our visits to Arizona and spending wonderful times with you and all of the family. Lots of good fun memories for Harvey and I visiting all the surrounding Wild West especially Sedona and other beautiful sights.


    • beyondcinderella
      Aug 01, 2013 @ 20:31:37

      I remember going back to Washington to visit and playing with you too Aunt Ellen and all the fun times we had when you came to Arizona. Please know you can always come back to Arizona to see your sister again, and also visit with Danny and I and our families…XXOO Virginia


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