Interview With Barbara B. Wickert

From the interview with Barbara Boyd Wickert of Pflugerville,TX conducted by phone on December 16, 2008 from the Fort Worden History Center by Eleanor Rigby. Ms. Wickert, the daughter of Colonel Joseph Lyon Boyd, was born at Fort Worden. Here she relates the story of her birth:

“I was born in the quarters. My mother didn’t make it to the hospital. The story I grew up hearing was that my parents lived in a three story complex with apartments and that the stairs on the upper level went past the kitchen window. My parents lived on the second floor. My mother,quite pregnant, was standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes when the neighbors went down the stairs to go to the movies–everybody walked everywhere because things were close together. When the neighbors came back up the stairs after the movie, they looked in the kitchen window again. The baby was born and was being washed at the kitchen table.

I was not ever back there after my infancy, I don’t have any memories of living there. It was mostly the stories I heard told as I was growing up. However, the doctor, Dr. Ison, who brought me and my brother into the world was at Fort Worden too. My parents must have lived there for at least three years.

About her family:

“My older brother, Joe, junior was also born at Fort Worden two years before me. My father served in the Medical Corps, he wore the caduceus insignia on his uniform. He was the post dentist at Fort Worden. He went into the service right out of dental school right before World War I, so he served in both world wars. During World War II, he had quite a large group of dentists serving under him. He was a full Colonel.

His first station was in Manila before the First World War. He had met my mother while he was still in college going door to door selling WearEver aluminum cookware. She was a schoolteacher in a town in Texas when he courted her. From Manila he wrote her a letter of proposal and said that if she would accept, he could get leave to come back to the states and they could be married. Their trip back to the Philippines would be their honeymoon. It took a whole month on the transport to come from San Francisco to Manila. The doctor who delivered me was stationed there and that’s when my parents first got acquainted with the Isons who were friends all their lives.

When I was seven years old, we went to the Philippines and lived on Corregidor Island….I was ten when we came back from there. By then our family had four children.”

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