Early Years in Seattle: 1935-1940

        
 
By 1935, Seattle had become a bustling city, even though growth had been slowed by the Great Depression.
Despite high unemployment in the area, Guy and Ada were able to find a job managing apartments at the Melrose on Capitol Hill.

The building looked very much as it does today; Ada, Guy, Dave, and Bob shared a basement-level apartment.
Bob attended Broadway High School, just up the hill, which must have seemed like a university after Greensburg.
Dave found work as a "painter" in a logging town called Selleck, which lasted until he was severely injured in an accident and had to be hospitalized.

In August, Don and Helen were married. Don later said he wished he'd just eloped with her after their first date at the Colonial Theater.
Ebba flew out to Seattle from Cleveland to visit in 1936, when the family had made a move to the Waverly Apartments, also on Capitol Hill.

This is the Waverly Apartment Building, according to the University of Washington libraries collection.
I thought Guy and Ada had the photos below taken at the Waverly front door, but I think it's actually the Stephensburg Apartments -- a tonier place across the street. The door details match an historic photo I found online.
The Waverly was torn down, which accords with Bob Burns's memory.

In the meantime, Bob was working as a janitor in another apartment building, the La Veda, shown below, and maintained his own room thereHe loved this, because he could read about the Roman statesmen all night without bothering anyone.
The following summer, Ebba, Don, and Helen drove out in Don's old car, and the family did a lot of camping and fishing together on the Olympic Peninsula. A sampling of photos from this period is shown below. It was by all accounts a wonderful time.







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Another important thing happened in 1937: Dave met and married the glamorous Wilma Lois Stoffer.


Another piece of lovely serendipity: Guy and Ada made the accidental discovery of a cleaning solution for rugs and furniture, and launched a new business. White King soap was a basic component.
But they needed more room to carry out the work, and found a perfect spot down on Yale Avenue, south of Lake Union: a large apartment over Rodgers Tile Company.
Here they had room both to live and to work.





In 1938, Patricia Louise Burns (Patty Lou, Princess of Forty Hands) was born, and the family circle began to grow.







After living a while behind a curtain in the back of the shop, Dave and WIlma moved tothe Sylvia Court Apartments (below), farther north on Yale. Then they moved again, to a little brown house on East Thomas Street, where Patty's first two years were spent, and where the dreaded wringer incident took place. She almost lost her arm to gangrene, and Ada never got over it.




The business grew beyond all expectations, and soon the whole family was hard at work keeping up with the demand.
When Don and Helen decided to move out to Seattle, D.A. Burns & Sons was well and truly launched.

Only one chick still had not rejoined the nest, although she was an official shareholder in the business. But Ebba was working as a nurse out in Cleveland, acquiring an additional degree in education, and conducting a rather curious romance with Gerald Burke.





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