Naval Station Norfolk

A Suitable Home

"I don't think it's a safe place for a pretty girl."

"Originally he didn’t want me to go to Norfolk because he said, 'That place just is crawling with the Navy,' and he said, 'I don’t think it’s a safe place for a pretty girl.' But he said, 'We’ll go down together and see how it is.' So when we took the train out of New York, it was a train, but when we got to the service point, then it was a boat, and then it was a train again, and...when we got in downtown Norfolk, he looked at me [gasp] 'All those people!'

But we went up to the big hotel and at the big hotel, there was a Navy desk and an Army desk, and when people came in, you went there to find out where to find a room. And they picked us up for the night and then told us the following day to come back and they would get us a permanent place, so we did and...they sent us out to see this one lovely area in the Norfolk area, and it was just...just a pretty, pretty, pretty place, and ensigns and their wives were just living all up and down the streets, because they had gone door to door, asking people, did they have any extra room for the Navy? We got to live with Mr. Doc Reverend and Mrs. White, and they were First Presbyterian, which we were, and we could have their...well, it used to be the maid’s place. It was a nice room right over the garage and had its own bathroom. We were the only ones that I know that had that. [Chuckles]. And it was fifteen dollars a week."