Who are these silent strangers waiting for me to know who they are?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Howard and Bernadean - The continuing drama 2

Frank Howard Sexton was born April 10, 1911 to Julia Peterson and Frank A Sexton in Chicago, IL. Frank was a young architect and Julia came from a wealthy family of Swedish immigrants. Her father owned three barbershops in Chicago. He as the first grandchild for the Peterson's and an only child of Julia and Frank. Looking at his early photographs one could easily imagine him as a bit spoiled. He was a happy, easy going child with an apparent love for cats.
By the time Howard was in High School, Julia and Frank had built their own home in Evanston. He attended Evanston Township High School. In 1929 the Evanston Township High School took a trip to Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Howie was popular with the young ladies and from the letters he received from many of them I believe he was a good friend and confidante. In December 1929 I also found a curious receipt from the Evanston Cradle (adoption agency) thanking Howard and a young lady named Morrell for their donation. I may be wrong, but it seems to me that on his High School trip he and Morrell became familiar with each other. (a little too familiar)
Following his graduation from Evanston Township, Howard enrolled in Kemper Military School in Booneville, MO. Howard's father wished for him to study architecture and indeed he did but did not wish to make this his career. He instead, developed a deep love for the Arts. He was enamored of all things concerning theater and the new theater - movies. So after a short course of study at Kemper he graduated in 1930.
Following Kemper, he enrolled at N.U. (Northwestern University) in Chicago. During his University days he studied writing and decided to go into the advertising field. Upon his graduation he pursued a career in Theater. Initially he worked at a small theater in Chicago, a job he procured through his grandfather - Charles Peterson. During those early adult years he also worked at the Chicago World's Fair in 1933. It was during this time that he met a young woman, Bernadean Jones, who he would later marry. It was also during this time that his parents divorced. It was an ugly, drawn out divorce. Frank was a womanizer who met a younger woman (secretary at his office) with whom he had an affair. Of course, Julia divorced him leaving her destitute. Frank in turn, promptly moved away without a forwarding address and refused to pay any alimony.
Back to Howard and Bernadean. They met and began a long distance relationship. She had come into Chicago to attend the World's fair and met a dashing cashier named Howard. Alas, she live in Oklahoma and after returning to her home there she wrote to Howard.
"I hope that you write back, I wanted assure you that I am not in the habit of meeting strange men for lunch." Howard does write back and thus begins a new chapter of his life.

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