You Make an Entrance
My next descendant is scheduled to be born on April 14 of this year. (She will be my great-granddaughter). This really will be my fourth great-granddaughter. The estimated hospital cost for her delivery is $14,100.00.
The hospital cost for my last grandchild, born in 1997, was approximately $8,300.00. The cost for my last child in 1975 was $374.00. The hospital cost for my delivery in 1934 was $32.00. This covered ﬁve days at $6.00 per day plus $2.00 for the bris.
I was born in St. Francis Hospital in Escanaba Michigan at 4:10 AM on October 26, 1934. That was a Friday.
I was the ﬁrst son and second child. My sister (Beverly) had arrived about ﬁve years earlier. Three brothers (Keith, Robert and Stephan) and another sister (Michele) would arrive over the next twenty years.
When I was born, my parents lived in the white frame bungalow they had built in Soo Hill, a small community near Escanaba. Soo Hill had approximately 100 residents at the time of my birth and Escanaba had about 8,000. I lived there the ﬁrst eleven years of my life.
My parents named me Rodger Frederick Mattson. Not sure where this name came from but my folks were friends with the Roger Morris family about this time. The Frederick came from my dad who was named Fred.
My nickname was “Red” until I went into the business world after college. This was based on my hair color. Some childhood friends still call me by that name. The red hair came from my mother. My two sisters and one brother also had red hair. My other two brothers (Keith and Stephan) had brown hair from my Dad. Today my hair (what is left of it) is mostly grey, however.
“We were all thin and active as children, I do not remember any children Being overweight. All kids, in those days, had the run of the neighborhood and community. Everyone knew everyone else.
We might be away from home all day with little concern about our well being. There were few cars going by the house and very few strangers.
The only strangers were men that we called “bums.” This word was not used in a pejorative sense. They arrived by rail (tracks about a mile away from home), lived in a small, cluttered clearing (about three blocks away) and would occasionally come to our back door and ask my mother for a sandwich, which she would always provide.
The clearing was a scary place that we kids would never explore, at least in the summer time. I do not remember them being around in winter (probably in Florida).