Aunt Babe to us but she started out with a very different name, Gertrude Eunice Putnam. Gertrude was born in Visalia, California to Etta Jane (Francis) and Ira Blossom Putnam on Feb. 20, 1914. I do not think anyone ever called her that, instead she was Babe, or Eunice, or her brother simply called her Sis.
Aunt Babe was my fathers sister. It was just the two of them growing up on a very dusty ranch outside of Visalia. They walked to school but it probably was less than 2 miles and there was no snow in Visalia, for sure fog but no snow. In these grade school pictures we see “Babe” with the blonde “rag curls” seated centered with her brother Lloyd on the ground (no shoes) just in front of her. This is just a segment of the School photo.
In the 1920 US census we see Gertrude E. (5) born in California as were both her parents and her brother. Her father Ira B. is listed as a farmer.
Also in the family is William E. Bryant (22) listed as Ira B. Putnam’s nephew and listed as a Farm Laborer. William is the son of Grace Ellen (Putnam) Bryant half sister to Ira. The census also shows a boarder in the household a Mr. Taylor Archer (64) also a farm Laborer.
In the 1930 US census on this page we see Gertrude U. (16) attending school. Both she and her brother graduated from Visalia High School. Lloyd in 1932 and Eunice in 1934.
In the summer of 1933 Eunice was sent to stay in Davis due to an influenza outbreak that had her parents concerned.
Upon graduation from high school Eunice’s parents sent her to beauty school in Fresno, California where she became licensed as a beautician. She returned to Visalia and worked all of her adult life in a local salon. She and Ralph Logan married in Carson City, Nevada in 1942 with Lloyd Putnam acting as best man . I do believe that Ralph was already married when they met and that Aunt Babe was the “other woman” Their marriage was a little rocky and they were married a second time in 1960. They never had children of their own but Ralph (and Paulette his first wife) had two boys, Robert and Norman.
Uncle Ralph and Aunt Babe spent many summers traveling to Alaska and working in the Fishing industry there. Aunt Babe worked in the cannery while Uncle Ralph spent his days out fishing. Without Children of their own and Ralph being married to the “other woman” they spent most holidays with our family. Aunt Babe liked to bring Christmas Eve Dinner for the family. It was always tamales from Estrada’s Spanish Kitchen. God, I loved those tamales.
Ralph Logan was a contractor and built their home out on the Putnam ranch, right along Hwy 99. They also built two rental apartments next door. I remember that in the 1970’s my grandmother (Etta Jane) was living in one of the apartments.
A couple of things about Aunt Babe. She did not like that Madeleine and I were doing Genealogy, she wanted the past left alone. The other thing was she would cry at the “drop of a hat” Happy tears, sad tears lots of tears.
After Uncle Ralph died (02 July 1994) Aunt Babe lived alone in her “Tin Can” (trailer house) in Visalia until her Alzheimer’s was such she could not live alone. After spending some time in a Senior Home my sister took her to live with her in Fort Bragg, California. Aunt Babe passed on 1 March 2002.