Tag Archives: Swanson Frozen Foods

The Letter in Virginia’s Purse

[Virginia]: To get back to the letter: When Chet [Bitterman] had been—no, it was the day that we found out about Chet, Mom and Dad and I had been out of town, not very far from our center [Loma Linda], that we were on a vacation. And when we were on that vacation, there was an American couple. They were oil people. And we were just chatting away and I just said, “Oh, I’d love to work for somebody who had money.” Now I wanted money, you know, and I just thought it would be great to live with somebody who had money.

So they just took my name down. I mean, they just somehow kept our names. And then they called. She went to a hairdresser that met this other lady and, long story short, they were the Bakers and they lived in Houston. He was a former Rams football player. Her family was the Swansons.

[Eric]: Oilers.

[Virginia]: Oilers, sorry. Wasn’t it the Oilers? What?

[Marcia]: [can’t hear] for drilling with us.

[Kathy]: Houston Oilers.

[Virginia]: No. Oh, it was his friend that played for the Rams. That’s right.

green-giantAnd her family was the Swansons. You know, Swanson Frozen Foods and Green Giant? And her family had all this money. Anyway, I ended up being a nanny for them for three summers after that.

But it was her letter in the purse that had our address on it that got the purse back to me.

Anyway, so I went—and it was just that the lady that we met in Villavicencio, which we called Villao, went to the same hairdresser as Carla Baker. They talked. Carla Baker—they’re good Baptist people—said they were looking for someone to help with the kids during the summers, so they got in contact with me.

Aunt Kathryn went to visit them to check them out. She did. There you go! She went and checked them out because she lived in Houston at the time and she went and checked them out to make sure that they were an OK family for me to go stay with. Yeah, so cool.

Anyway, so then when I graduated, Eric and Mary Lynn met me in her little Karmann Ghila. I had never really driven a car and they made me drive it. It was pouring down rain and it scared me to death because I could not see. I had never really driven. I mean, there was one Jeep on the center that we could all use or whatever. Dad had taken us out once or twice in that thing. But anyway, so I was driving her little Karmann Ghila.

I worked for them for three summers after that. They convinced me I was going to go to Dallas Baptist College. They convinced me I to go to Baylor, so I went to one year at Baylor University in Waco.

Then from there, because Bruce and Gail lived in Safford, I wanted to go to, I went there to go to Bible, no, to a camp, to a church camp, and then decided to return my second year to go to Bible college there. Then I went to that Bible college. It’s not accredited. It was just with a church. I went to a couple years there.

That’s where I met my husband. He was first friends with my sister and then she went off to nursing school. Then Bill and I. I mean, they weren’t romantically involved. They were friends, but—

[Bill]: That you know of.

[Virginia]: Then I met him and we were engaged and we were going to get married one date and then—it seems to run in our family—but, however, he was the one that stopped because he didn’t feel like I had gotten over Doug’s death yet. There was. . . .

[Kathy]: So you just waited and got married later.

[Virginia]: Yeah. Mom and Dad had already gotten their tickets and everything.

[Kathy]: Yeah, I was coming up from [can’t hear], of course, too.

[Virginia]: They ended up coming up twice, just because. So then we were married in ’85.

[Dawn]: What were the dates?

[Virginia]: We were married November 9th of ’85. And then our first daughter [Ashley] was born in July 29th of ’87. Then Doug was born 13 months later, or 13 ½ months later, September 9th of ’88, Douglas. He is named after my brother. Then Savannah was born two years later. She was born October 22d of ‘90.

story told by Virginia (Lee’s daughter) with interjections by Bill Gorman (Virginia’s husband), Eric and Kathy (Lee’s kids), Dawn (Steve’s daughter) and Marcia (Steve’s wife) to the family reunion gathering on January 11, 2014; transcribed by Dawn Duncan Harrell (Steve’s daughter)

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  • What is the name of the place where Kathy was coming from in Colombia for Virginia’s wedding? It sounded like “Something anica” to me.
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