My Second Marriage

In the summer of 1981 Judy got the very tragic news from her Aunt Ella that she lost her only son, Misike in a car accident. The whole family was completely devastated, and she decided to go back to Hungary for a short visit. They all grew very close to Judy during her first visit and her presence in this trying time was very comforting to them. My little girl was becoming a very independent young lady who was making all her own decisions. I was not very surprised to learn after Judy came home from Budapest in September that she was going to marry Michael, a very fine young engineer whom I had met previously. I was very happy for them, but the sad part for me was that the young couple would live in Texas, where Michael's job was located. Their wedding took place on December 27th in the groom's hometown in the State of New York, because Michael's parents would not fly to California. Louis and I flew up there for the occasion and to spend a few days with the new in-laws and the extended family. The wedding was beautiful, the Church was decorated with Christmas flowers and fir branches, and puffy, huge snowflakes were falling from Heaven.

Our old home in Camarillo seemed even more deserted with Judy being not in town. George was pretty busy with his studies at USCB, seldom came home on weekends; and Louis was preoccupied with his new job and career. Our small home suddenly became too large for me and I decided to sell it. It took a long time to find a qualified buyer, and finally the realtor bought it up for rental property. Finding something affordable and feasible was just as much of a problem, and I ended up buying a newer built two bedrooms, two baths duplex with a small yard. I was in the middle of the moving when Judy gave birth to Maureen, my first grandchild in December of 1983, and I was flying in a hurry to Texas for a few days to hold my little granddaughter.

On the job at work everything went on schedule, and I got promoted to the top of my pay scale. I worked thru all the branches of the Accounting department and ended up in Disbursement, paying on the multi-million dollars contracts to private companies. Much of my work was done on computers utilizing the old IBM system. During that time I became very fond of a kind and soft-spoken gentleman, Leonard, who was working in the Budgeting department, and we started to date. On the following spring we had decided to get married and our wedding took place on August 3, 1985. Louis was walking me down to the altar, just like he had done it with his sister, four years ago. Leonard was a widower with two grown sons and a brother and sister in upstate New York. Both our families were very delighted with our decisions, and came to the ceremony. It was a very joyful and a little tearful occasion, and my heart was singing with happiness and hope.

The St. Mary Magdalen Chapel in Camarillo

The St. Mary Magdalen Chapel in Camarillo and one of the thirteen stained glass windows in the Chapel. (See link below for further information).

St. Mary Magdalen, Camarillo; Parish History.

Leonard and me after the Ceremony with my Matron of Honor, Marika and Leonard's Best Man, Ray; at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Chapel on August 3 1985

Leonard and me after the Ceremony with my Matron of Honor, Marika and Leonard's Best Man, Ray; at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Chapel on August 3 1985.

Our newly extended family in the wedding reception at the Church Hall.

A few days after the wedding Len and I flew up to Vancouver, Canada to board a ship named Nordam to take a five day Alaskan cruise. The ship was huge and we occupied a very comfortable room on the Promenade deck. I was a bit afraid of getting seasick, and sure enough on the very first night a violent storm hit us. The rest of the cruise was very pleasant and we enjoyed the accommodation and the excellent cuisine. It was a lifetime experience of cruising thru the icy waters of Glacier Bay, where the seawall was made out of white-blue ice, and big chunks of ice were floating around the ship in the ocean. Our ship docked at the cities of Ketchikan, Juneau and at the western side of the peninsula, Sitka. We took side-trips and visited the cities, the Rain Forest and the Glacier National Park.

The pictures below show Len, while the Nordam is docking at Juneau, and me, enjoying the beauty of the Mendenhall Glacier, August 1985.

Composite picture

These two pictures were taken at the Captain's table on our last evening, celebrating my birthday on board the Nordam, August 12, 1985.

Before we got married, Len had already decided on retiring from the Civil Service; he sold his house and moved into my duplex. We had to combine the two households and adjust our lifestyles to accommodate each other's need. This was a big adjustment for me having been single so long, but I went to work every day while Len stayed at home. In November George married a beautiful and smart little girl, Tessie. They had met at UCSB and were planning this wedding of theirs for a long time. I was very happy for them and it was hard for me to believe how fast time went since his babyhood. The ceremony also took place in the St. Mary Magdalen Chapel, with Louis the Best Man. Their very grand reception was at the Hilton Hotel in Ventura, where I had a chance to get acquainted with Tessie's lovely family.

In the summer of 1986 Louis decided to take a break from work and studies, and left for Europe for a few months tour. His plan was to visit several countries, but naturally his main goal was to go into Hungary to see Mami again and meet the rest of my family and friends there. He took this very seriously, and before he left, he attended some Hungarian classes at UCLA to perfect his knowledge of the long forgotten language. His trip was very successful and he came home with suitcases of presents and memories.

Louis with Mami and Editke in Sopron, Fall 1986

Louis with Mami and Editke in Sopron, Fall 1986.

In August of the same year Judy and Mike's second daughter, Kelly was born; and in the following Spring Len and I got into our car and headed for Texas. We chose the southern route thru New Mexico, where we visited the magnificent and huge Carlsbad tavern. At Judy's home we had a great time with the kids, the baby was adorable and Maureen was a very bright little girl. After a few days of enjoying the happy family, we started our trip back to home. This time we took the northern route and took a side trip to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Unfortunately, it was way too windy to take a flight over the Canyon.

While I was going to work every day, Len became really restless. I knew he missed his friends at work and I encouraged him to visit during lunch hours, also, to look up his old neighbors. He was not very handy at all with housework, but liked to putter around the house. On weekends we went off for short trips on the Central Coast, or up to the surrounding mountains. I do not remember exactly which one of us had the idea to buy a lot to build a vacation home on, but we agreed on it and Len got very busy designing the house while contacting real estate agents. The price of the bare-land was already very high in California, and we went farther and farther up north to find something more reasonable on a desired location. After much looking we found and bought our building lot, 12 miles west of Paso Robles, up in the mountains. The road was very narrow and curvy with almond groves on the hillsides, but there was a retirement development, Heritage Ranch on the shore of the beautiful Lake Nacimiento. While making up the drawings, Len and I had lots of discussions, and sometimes arguments about the interior of the house; frequently we were up until midnight working on the room designs He even built a small cardboard scale model to make our planning easier.

Lake Nacimiento.

The drawings had to be turned into blueprints and we found a part-time draftsman up in the Ranch, who produced the required plans to attain the building permit.With the permit in our hands we were very lucky to find and hire a young, but very capable contractor who took on the job. From there every Friday after work we drove up to the Ranch, about 260 miles from Camarillo, to watch the building progress and to communicate with the contractor. After a very tiring weekend Len made the suggestion that we should move up there permanently and enjoy our years together while we were still able to do so. That if we could sell the duplex we would be able to pay off the building cost; and we would live comfortably on his retirement pension not having any mortgage to pay. This made lots of sense to me, so I agreed. By the end of April the outside of the house was almost completed and we had to choose the color-schemes for the interior, the light fixtures and the floor coverings, it was lots of fun.

Len is standing on our lot where they would build our "Vacation Home"; the house is progressing, but our mailbox is still missing. Heritage Ranch, Paso Robles, April 1987

Len is standing on our lot where they would build our "Vacation Home"; the house is progressing, but our mailbox is still missing. Heritage Ranch, Paso Robles, April 1987.

We put the duplex on he market and in few weeks it was sold with a modest financial gain for us. I also presented my two-weeks notice and left my job on May 15, after working 15 years for the Navy. In a week we were all packed up in boxes and rented a moving truck that Louis volunteered to drive to Paso Robles. We kept very little of our furniture and were planning to buy new ones for our new home. We organized a patio sale, but only a few pieces of the furniture were sold and we ended up giving the items to Goodwill. George and Tessie came along also to help with the moving. We rented out a furnished bachelor apartment in Paso Robles until our house up in the Ranch was completed; Louis and George loaded all our boxes into a rented storage room.

On the 4th of July weekend Louis came up to Paso, and we moved our belongings from the storage place into the new house. Without having any furniture but the kitchen table and chairs, we had to sleep on the floor for a few days until the new furniture we had bought was delivered from the local store. Len and I were truly enjoying living up there, but the summer months were very hot, and we spent considerable time on the lake and in the pool at our Clubhouse. We also bought a small second-hand motorboat, and George and Tessie came up to the Lake to have some fun with us. Because now we were only a few hours driving distance from each other, we invited Marika and Les for a visit, and it was not surprising that they just loved our new home. In September Tom, my stepson was staying with us for two weeks, recovering from a very bad shooting accident. By then a new lawn was put in, flower beds were created and Len and I planted 16 different species of young trees up on our hillside behind the house.

Visitors welcome, and with Tom at Lake Nacimiento, Heritage Ranch, Summer of 1987

Visitors welcome, and with Tom at Lake Nacimiento, Heritage Ranch, Summer of 1987.

Louis was telling me that the political situation in Hungary had eased up a bit, however it was still Russian occupied. It was said that Hungary was the most westernized country behind the Iron Curtain. As long as a person kept his mouth shut and danced to the music of the communist government, nobody was getting arrested anymore. With this encouraging news I decided to apply for passports and entry visas for Len and myself, still not quite sure if they would permit me to visit.

With some good fortune our papers came through without any delays or problems, and a few years later my political status was officially changed.

Above is a copy of the official document I received from the new Hungarian Government in 1991. It nullifies the charges which were made against me in 1952. The judge's name has been removed in the interests of privacy.

  1. Home Page
  2. My Parents and our Family
  3. The Lean Years after World War II
  4. The Turning Point and Escape
  5. My new Family in a new Country
  6. Our New Life
  7. Visits and Achievements
  8. My Second Marriage
  9. Travels and Changes
  10. The Golden Years
  11. Reflections

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