Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mines magazine By Colorado School of Mines. Alumni Association

Mines magazine By Colorado School of Mines. Alumni Association: "Edward V Graybeal Edward V Graybeal and Miss Alice Mathewson were married at St Mark"

While surfing my recently discovered gold (copper) mine, Google Books, for anything about my grandpa E.P. Mathewson, I ran across the following item. This my dad, Edward V. Graybeal. There is virtually nothing outside of genealogy sites and what I've written that comes up under his name. In the first years after he and my mom, Alice S. (Mathewson)  Graybeal were married, three boys, Ned, Jack and Jim came into the world. They were living in Great Falls, Montana where Daddy was employed as a mining engineer.

With the birth of their third son, Jim (James Mathewson) Mom developed a blood clot which resulted in an aneurism which left her paralyzed on her left side. Daddy got an offer to work at the Miami Copper Co. in Arizona. Prior to the move, they went to visit Mom's parents in Staten Island, NY. Grandpa had, by this time, established his metallurgical and mining administration consultancy in NYC. having resigned as general manager from the British America Nickel Corporation. 

There was much concern about Mom's ability to have any more children, the doctors' opinion being that she should stop with the children she had. But with corrective surgeries, which got her back on her feet, she threw caution to the wind and soon my sister was born.

Mom and Daddy were very devoted to one another and his career was doing well, but once again tragedy struck with the accidental death of their eldest son, Ned (Edward V. Jr.) in 1930. Resiliency reigned over the Graybeal household and in 1932 Mom was expecting again. 

In November of that year, Daddy, Jack, 15 and Jim, 13 were on a hunting trip when Daddy, chasing some game up a ridge accidentally shot himself while rushing through some bushes after downing some quail. He fired his gun twice in succession and one of the other adults in the party said "That's a call for help!"  

The boys reached him and Jim was sent for help. Jack stayed with him as Daddy managed his own care, using Jack's belt for a tourniquet. Eventually, they got him down to a car planning to rendezvous with the ambulance up the road.  The boys, driven by one of Daddy's friends in our car followed a quarter mile behind. The car ahead stopped and the dome light turned on. Jack recalled some 60 years later, "I'm pretty sure, that's when Daddy died."

Mom was nearly 7 months pregnant with me when all this happened. She had been in and out of hospitals over the years fine tuning the remedial surgery to assist her walking abilities and was recovering from one of these procedures. Daddy had been converting the cookstove to burn kerosene and it was all apart leaving the family with little to prepare a meal on other than a camp stove. A neighbor came over to finish up the job, and Mom bravely marched on.

But a mining camp was no place for a widow to raise a lively bunch of kids and a plan was made to move to Tucson, some 110 miles south of Miami and the retirement home of Grandpa and Grandma. Mom gave birth in January of 1933 and six month's later, we made the move. 

Mom never remarried, never wanted to replace the man she so loved. She had a degree from the U. of Montana and decided to go into education, specializing in teaching children with special educational needs. Her contract with the Tucson Public Schools System coincided with my first day in school.