Sheltered Childhood

As I grew up, my mother was quite protective, and frightened that I would turn out like her wild cousin.  For example, when some neighbors moved out and a single man moved in, my mother forbid me to cut through that yard any more because she was afraid of him.  Presumably to protect her children, my mother burned, in the furnace, all the books we had that dealt with evolution.  I  recall having to write a paper on evolution high school biology, but my mother forbid it.  The teacher, Helen Kettering, dealt with it beautifully, and I completed a paper on another topic.  That wasn't the only biology lesson I missed, as I think I was in high school and still didn't know where a baby would come from. 

I had a boyfriend at the time, Bob Kromhout, and we went hiking and spent time discussing things including Einstein's new work.  At Christmas he gave me a very nice knife.  My aunt Ida razzed me about getting such a gift from a boyfriend.  He continued visiting me at the office and I decided that wasn't right - I should be working - but I don't recall exactly how our friendship ended.

I do recall one date, however.  My Uncle Les (who, incidentally, also taught me to drive) organized a date for me.  The young man took me from bar to bar for our date.  I had a couple drinks, but it seemed to me a odd way to spend an evening.  The fellow later wrote to me, but my mother intercepted and discarded the letter so I could not write back to him.