Gustav Reinhold Horn

I can’t remember how our family was contacted to take Gus.

(Marilyn: In our Las Flores we had a Bishop by the name of Wunderlich. He spoke fluent German and as soon as the war was over, he was sent by the Church to be a mission president in Germany and try to care for the people there who were destitute. I’m wondering if Bishop Wunderlich contacted Mom and Dad to take him. That’s the only source I could think of.)

Gus Horn came to live with us when we were living in the house on Live Oak, in Temple City, California after World War II. He was from Germany and a member of the Church. He stayed in Steve’s room with him. Gus found some kind of a job and was sort of a strange young man. He spoke good English, but with an accent. He eventually brought his mother and sister over when he was on his own and earned the money to bring them over.

Joan had the same memory of him as Marilyn. They didn’t like him much because he was so different and not very fun…but mostly because his underwear smelled funny when they ironed it.

Gus told me that during the War his family had a time keeping their house straightened up during the bombing because everything would shake and the dust from the other bombed houses would sift into their house. They would have to re-clean the house from top to bottom after each bombing. One Christmas they got the house straightened for Christmas and they all thought “Surely they won’t bomb on Christmas.” But, they did bomb and his family was so mad because their house was dirty for Christmas. When he told me the story and how angry he and his family still were, I asked him, “Well, how do you think those boys in the planes felt about bombing someone on Christmas? Don’t you think they would rather have been home for Christmas with their families?” Gus’s response was that he hadn’t thought of it that way before.

At this time Elder Howard W. Hunter was our Stake President and lived in our ward and we became good friends with him and his wife. We felt that he was a wonderful man and later he was asked to be a General Authority in the Church as one of the twelve apostles and at the present time is in line to be President of the Church when President Benson dies.

Well, to make a very sad story even sadder, the time came when we lost the property in downtown Los Angeles, which would soon be worth millions. The war had ended and time was moving upward and everything was getting back to normal. Manufacturing was going on at full speed for things that had been pushed back in order to make the materials of war, and soon the business in the locker plant was down to nothing and we lost that also. Al didn’t have a job so he went to San Bernardino to find work and did find some kind of job, but we had no money to make payments on the house so that was gone also.

When it came time to sign the home over for debts, Al asked me to go to Los Angeles and meet with the people taking over and with our lawyer to sign away the home. When I met with them, I asked to read the document and I sat there amid lawyers and other people and read every single word of it very carefully. When I finished I told our lawyer that nowhere on the document did it say that when this was accomplished that it took care of what we owed. Then the lawyer looked it over and said I was right, so that had to change the document to read that it did release us of any more debt.

Meantime, Linda had graduated from Monrovia, Arcadia, Duarte High School known as MAD in Monrovia and she and Joan were attending Pasadena City College. After the war, Pasadena schools had made a 4 year Jr. High system and then sent the teenagers right to Pasadena City Junior College which was really bad because it put these young high school age girls in school with older war veterans. Marilyn was in her second to last year at Wilson Junior High in Pasadena where she was Vice President of the Student Body. Steve was 7 years old and in second grade.

All of the problems had gradually eroded my relationship with Al until there was no love left. When he found this out, he was devastated. In fairness to him, I must say that he was very loving with the children and myself and except in business relationships we got along quite well. We talked and talked about the situation and I asked him if we couldn’t go to a marriage counselor to see if we could work out some of the problems, but he said he was too old to change. He had some sort of job in San Bernardino and I asked him to find a place for us there and we would move in because I didn’t want to break up the family, and that we should try to work things some way. But, he said he didn’t want to do this, that he wanted me out of Southern California.

At this point I have already written about putting the furniture and other household items in storage, some of which disappeared and all I had was an old Buick and what we could put into a trailer which Al bought from somewhere for us.

But, we were leaving. An impatient blast from Betsy the Buick reminded me it was time to go. I had often wondered in the past three months if this moment would actually come. Not it was here. The two story Colonial home had been disposed of; the furniture was being joggled along to storage. We had disposed of ‘Aunt Clarence’ and her nine kittens; Taffy, the Collie was happily disturbing the early morning sleep at a friend’s ranch.