Tag Archives: 1969

Marcia Did Not Teach Burlesque in Italy

Cristoforo Colombo took Marcia, Steve, and Dawn to Italy, 1970.

Cristoforo Colombo took Marcia, Steve, and Dawn to Italy, 1970.

We did go to Italy.

I didn’t learn Italian ahead of time.

In fact we went separately. Steve flew there. He flew ahead to find a place for us to live and some work for me to do because I was going to be “putting hubby through,” so to speak. I had a trunk full of our household goods and at that time it was cheaper to go across on an ocean liner and take your trunk than it was to fly. So he flew and I came later.

I learned a little Italian on the ship. I was on the Italian lines. I met up with him in Italy there and then I took some Italian lessons when I was there. Basically we learned Italian from just living in the culture.

I remember. . . .

[Heidi]: The ship came into Venice.


[Steve]: No, that was the second ship.

No, that was the second time we went back. The first time it came into . . . um.

[Steve]: No, uh, the other side of the peninsula.

[Heidi]: Florence?

[Steve]: Florence, no, um.

[Heidi]: I mean, um, Genoa.

[Steve]: Genoa.

Genoa! We came into Genoa.

[Heidi]: And then you trained across.

[Steve]: Yeah.

[Heidi]: To Padova.

Yeah. We did a lot of train travel in Padova.

[Eric]: While he was in medical school, you were working?

So then he found me a job in a Berlitz school, teaching English. So I taught English in a Berlitz school.

[Bruce]: Burlesque?

[Steve]: Burlesque?



[Heidi]: Mom did burlesque to bring in the money.

And I learned a lot of, you know, I learned a lot of Italian teaching English, just because of the way the Italians would speak English. It helped me to learn how things were said.

[Heidi]: Twenty-six years later, I moved to Italy and lived in Venice and taught English in a Berlitz school and learned some of my Italian.

[Virginia]: Are you serious? Oh, Heidi, that’s awesome.

So after three years in Italy, he took an externship at Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital in Brighton. Came back for a period of six months. I came ahead. I was six months pregnant with Dawn. I came ahead and Dawn was born in the States at that hospital, Saint Elizabeth’s. He was not—were you here for the birth? You were back by the birth time. OK.

Then we went back to Italy and the second time we went back together in a ship. That’s when we went to Venice. On our way there, we stopped in various ports. So we were in Malaga, Spain. We stopped and visited Pompeii and we were in Naples and visited Pompeii.

[Steve]: We stopped in Sicily.

We did. We stopped in Sicily. And then we went up the Adriatic and stopped in Greece.

[Steve]: In Greece. We went to Greece.

We stopped at Piraeus. And then we took a day trip to Athens. And then we went over to Venice.

That gave us a chance to see a lot of places in Europe and when Dawn was baby, we traveled—when we had vacation times, we had a little VW Bug and traveled to various places, to visit places in Italy.

[Heidi]: You went to see Aunt Betty and Uncle Harley.

And we went to Austria also because we had met a couple on a ship—he was Austrian and she was American. They invited us to go to Austria to visit them at Christmastime, so we did a few things like that.

[Kimberly?]: Aunt Betty and Uncle Harley.

[Steve]: That was up in Switzerland. We had gone also, among other things, we saw where The Sound of Music was designed in Salzburg.

[Victoria]: Yeah. In Austria.

They lived in Salzburg, so they took us around to all the sites in Salzburg.

We traveled to Switzerland several times and met up with Aunt Betty and Uncle Harley there and Sandy and Debby. They would get apartments for missionaries in various places in Switzerland where we would have vacation time. So we would drive through the fog out of Italy, because it was usually very foggy at Christmastime.

Then I can remember one time when we were driving up in the mountains in Switzerland. Steve was not feeling good. Did you ask me to drive? And I was like. . . .

[Dawn]: Dad was in the back seat.

Dad, he would look out the window and see that it was a drop-off like this and he just closed his eyes and hoped we didn’t drop off.

Anyway, so we had a lot of good memories from those years. We were there for six years. Came home in 1974.

story told by Marcia (Steve’s wife) to the family reunion gathering on January 10, 2014 with additions from Steve and Heidi (Steve’s daughter) and interjections from Virginia Gorman, Bruce Kindberg, and Eric Kindberg (Lee’s children), Dawn Harrell and Kimberly Duncan (Steve’s daughters), and Victoria (TJ Ramey, Kathryn’s son’s wife), transcribed by Dawn Duncan Harrell (Steve’s daughter)

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below. (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.)

  • Any other Smith and Steve Duncan family stories from those Christmastimes spent together that you’d like to tell?
  • Would someone please tell the flaming fondue table story?
  • Can someone relay the peanut butter story? Didn’t Harley and Betty come to Italy for that story? What was the context?
  • How about going to France to help build the camp one summer story?
  • Sandy? Debby? What do you remember of those intersecting times?
  • Why would Betty have stayed behind in France at Steve’s graduation? Children? Other duties? Finances?
  • Any other stories from the ocean liners? How about the diapers-in-the-hold story from the second crossing?

A Car Crashes into Taylor and Virginia

Taylor and Virginia, 1963, courtesy of Colin DuncanJimmy [Wally’s son] came to our house and said that he was going to go to a camp to just visit. So he came to the house. Now Daddy [Taylor] was still living. He said, “Tell me how to get the . . . .”—see those days, people used trolley cars a lot, you know. Where did he get the trolley car to take him up to Lexington, that’s where it was.

And so Daddy told him where to get the trolley car. But he says, “Better than that, you get in the car and your grandmother and I’ll take you up to Lexington. That isn’t so far and it’s round about to go by trolley.” He got in the car and we took him up to someone’s house. I guess it was the counselor’s house. He was well-received.

We got in our car to come back home again. When we got to the next corner—this was in Lexington, I tell you. We—I take an awful lot of blame for this. He said, “I wonder whether we were to go up this street or whether we’re to go up further on this avenue?”

I said, “I don’t know but I think we were to go up the avenue.” Then we got to the corner, I said, “Oh no, I guess we it was the street.” See I didn’t know anything about that location. So we started around to go up that street.

As we did—it was sort of on a hill—along comes a car and runs right into us. Ran right into the side where Daddy was sitting. He was pinned to the car and I was right alongside of him, you know. It was just awful because the car ran into his left-hand side and broke this left leg, right here, you know, and also the right leg down farther. Both legs were broken.

[Barb]: Oh.

We attracted enough attention. One man called out. He said, “I saw the whole thing. You didn’t know which way you were going. You were uncertain.” I said, I said to myself, it really was my fault because I wasn’t too sure which street to go up. And anyway we had that awful accident.

So we stayed there for a little while, and first thing you know the police and the fire department came along. They were afraid the car was going to get on fire. Daddy was pinned in the seat there. I couldn’t, we couldn’t get him out anyway. So when the fire department came along, they had to cut the car all around to get him out of it.

When the car ran into it, I didn’t know what to do. I jumped out of the car and jumped it back in it again because I didn’t want to leave him. I could see I couldn’t get him out. Then when the fire department came, they cut all around and got him out of it. And the ambulance took he and myself to the hospital.

‘Course, I was hurt a little bit. My back, I thought it was broken because that’s the first thing that you feel is the impact in your back, you know. I was so confused I didn’t know what to do. Whether to get out or sit there. You know, I was in and out of that car two or three times.

The windshield was so badly broken that it sifted in my mouth. I said to a lady, “Could you get me a piece of bread, please? My mouth is full of glass. I’m afraid of swallowing it for fear it’ll cause damage in my system with all this broken glass.” She went in and got me a slice of bread, soft bread, so as to see if I could see if I could get that glass out of my mouth. And I know it was in Daddy’s, too, you know. It was awful.

When they took me to the hospital, the first thing I kept saying was, “Take care of him, but oh how my back hurts. Oh, how my back hurts.” I was sure that they had broken my back, too, you know, except that I could get out, get out and in. I guess I went in and out three or four times.

Then they took Daddy to the hospital. He was there for a month, I guess, and then it was so terribly expensive and he, being a veteran, I said, “Why shouldn’t I take him over to the veterans’ hospital?” They took us both in the ambulance over to the veteran’s hospital, which was not too terribly far away.

When I got to the veteran’s hospital, they examined me well and told me that there was nothing broken. ‘Course they gave me all kinds of X-rays, as well as Daddy, of course. He was badly injured. Both of his legs broken and one arm. Three things. He really was in a bad way.

They took us both into the hospital, but I didn’t have to stay. They didn’t think I was seriously hurt at all. But I know for a long time my back ached. However, he never got up on his feet again. That was in, I would say, that was September and he died in December. He never really got up on his feet again.

Every time I’d go to the hospital, he would say, “Take me home.”

I’d say, “What would I do with you at home with all these broken?” You know, his arm broken.

[Barb]: Did they put a pin in it? Did they operate?

They operated! No, it was absolutely severed! It wasn’t something that was just cracked. It was absolutely broken off! I said, “I could not take care of you.” I don’t know how I could, I’d have to have a . . . .

[Barb]: No I mean did they operate on the broken bones?

Oh, they tried to, but it was so badly broken they had an awful time. They had all kinds of doctors come up and look at this one leg, thinking if they could take care of the one leg, maybe, you know, he could get by with one limb.

He kept saying, “No, don’t take my leg away. I’m sure that it will go back together.” But his arm or his leg never did heal. Never did heal.

I’d go down there every single day. It was an awful long trip. As Wally told you last night, that’s when I started to think I ought to be able to drive, you know. And so I took lessons. I used to go up and down Commonwealth Avenue. I don’t know whether you know anything about it. I tried awful hard to learn, but I was in such an upset condition myself, knowing my husband was in the hospital, you know, and I had to go down there. I was really afraid, myself, to get in my car and go beyond 69th Street.

Oh, I never became a good driver because I had too much fear in my heart, you know. I remember paying them $48 for the lessons, which killed me because there was no other income but my own.

partial transcription of Virginia’s life story as told to Barbara Duncan (Wally’s wife) in the summer of 1987, courtesy of Barbara Duncan

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below. (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.).

  • Do you recall the names of the hospitals to which they were taken, either first or the veteran’s hospital?
  • Which children were called when this happened? Can Lee, Betty or Steve tell us the story from their perspective?
  • What do the grandchildren remember about this: Jimmy or anyone else? Did you visit Grandpa in the hospital?
  • Grandpa died in 1969. (Correct me if I’m wrong.) Grandma remembers the car crash in September followed directly by his death in December. Are these the dates you recall?
  • What else should we know about this story?

Kindbergs Anticipate Their Return to the Field

The past two and one half months have been happy ones for us as we have had opportunity [sic] to visit with members of our families and also to see numerous of you [sic], our friends. We have also enjoyed telling of the work of the Lord among the Ashanica Campas, and of their needs. We have been encourages by your interest and your prayers. It has been a time of spiritual and physical refreshing because of warm Christian fellowship and the cool and invigorating climate.

Eric adapted well to his new environment here in the United States, too, and we are thankful to the Lord for a quick settlement on the insurance for his accident. We miss very much our other children who stayed in Peru, and we look forward to seeing them the end of this month.

It has been a concern of ours to help interest people in, and recruit them for, Christian service on the foreign fields. There has been some response to the challenge, but the need continues to be great. Would you continue to pray with us for new recruits for several types of mission work, especially the following:

1. Tribal teams to accept the challenge of learning a tribal language and culture, along with translating and teaching God’s Word [sic]. The task is difficult, the challenges great, but the rewards immense.

2. Teachers who would be willing to sue their abilities teaching missionary children (in English) on the mission field. There are mission schools in many countries, including Peru, badly needing grammar school and high school teachers.

3. Typists who can greatly speed up the work of translators on the field by typing manuscripts of the translated Scripture portions, reading primers, and other books in tribal languages. In Peru right now much of our materials is awaiting a typist. Peru needs a few typists and so do several other mission fields.

As we anticipate our return to the field, we would appreciate your continued prayers for the Indian believers and for us and our children that we might be physically, mentally, and spiritually well so that we can be the most use to our Lord in His work. Pray for us as we work on the revision of the presently translated Scriptures in December and as we prepare for new translation work in January—probably starting with the book of Romans.

Our address until November 15:
16 Frost Lane
Greenlawn, L. I.
New York 11740

Casilla 2492
Lima, Peru, S.A.

form letter from Lee and Will Kindberg (Lee’s first husband) to “friends,” November, 1969, courtesy of Virginia Gorman (Lee’s daughter)

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.).

  • Eric’s accident is mentioned? Can Eric tell the story of his accident and why he needed to adapt to the United States? Can you?
  • The address until November 15 is in Greenlawn. Were they staying with Aunt Polly and Uncle Bob? Can Polly and/or Colin, Gene, Andy tell the story from their perspective?
  • How old was Eric in 1969?
  • What were the “other children” doing in Peru? Were they old enough to look after themselves? Did someone else look after them?
  • A Lima address is listed for Peru. Was the family still stationed in Pulcapa? Were they elsewhere?
  • Can someone tell us about the Ashanica Campas: where they are/were, their language, their cultural characteristics, their dress, your friendships with them, their architecture, their mode of transport, their stories?