Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Story of Two Moms

Ann Davies Romney
Mabel Knox Wyman

 I love it when the Democrats close ranks and hide in the bushes.

Such was the case this past week when Democratic lobbyist Hilary Rosen observed that Ann Davies Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, "never worked a day in her life."  Ann was a stay-at-home mom who raised five boys.

First Lady Michelle Obama was first to defend Ann Romney:  "Every mother works hard, and every woman deserves to be respected," Mrs. Obama said.

David Axelrod, the president's political adviser, called Hilary Rosen's remarks about Ann Romney, "inappropriate and offensive."

Even the president himself weighed in:  "There's no tougher job than being a mom," Mr. Obama said.  "I haven't met Mrs. Romney, but she seems like a very nice woman who is supportive of her family and supportive of her husband."

Jeez!  Whatever happened to the Democrats standing up for working moms, moms who HAD to work?  As always, the Democrats showed themselves to be a bunch of cowards who run for cover when one of their own says something that might be construed as "sensitive."

Let me tell you the story of two moms.

Story One:

Ann Davies grew up in the rich suburb of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.  Her father was mayor of the town and was labeled an "industrialist" by the Wall St. Journal.  After graduating from the Kingswood School, an exclusive private high school in Bloomfield Hills, Ann converted to Mormonism and attended Brigham Young University.

Ann dropped out of BU, married Mitt Romney, and raised five boys.  She later went back to the Harvard Extension School and graduated in 1975.  Mitt's father was CEO of American Motors, maker of the Nash Rambler.  Neither Mitt or his father served in the military.  

The wealth of both the Romney family and her own family allowed Ann to be a stay-at home mom.

Story Two:

Mabel Knox grew up in Crystal Lake, Illinois.  Her father farmed 160 acres of land north of town.  She had four brothers and four sisters.

After attending the one-room Terra Cotta public school, Mabel graduated from Crystal Lake Community High School.

She attended Rosary College for two years, paying most of her own tuition by waiting tables in the Rosary cafeteria.  However, the family was strapped for money, and Mabel had to quit Rosary in 1931 and return home.

After staying home and helping out on the farm for two years, Mabel took the state test and became certified to teach.  She taught in two different one-room schools between 1933 and 1947.  During World War II, Mabel also worked during the summers at Oak Manufacturing in Crystal Lake, assembling radio tuners.

In 1939 she met Willis Wyman.  He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1940, and in 1943 Willis was captured by the German army in North Africa.  Willis was held in three different German prison camps for 26 months.  He was liberated in May of 1945. 

Willis and Mabel were married in 1946.  Willis worked for Railway Express, riding the rails between Chicago and Omaha and Chicago and Buffalo.  Mabel was still teaching at the one-room school north of town.  She had to quit in November of 1947 because she was pregnant with her first son.

When her father died in 1947, Mabel inherited $3,500, which allowed she and Willis to put a down payment down on a house.  However, times were tight for the young couple.  Willis was working hard, but he was not bringing in enough money to support Mabel and their son.

The bills piled up.  Car payments weren't made.  The car dealer came and pounded on the door, demanding money.  He was the brother of the pastor of the Catholic Church.  Willis's family didn't have any money.  His dad was a retired Public Service line foreman.  Something had to be done to keep the family afloat because the embarrassment was devastating.

There was only one solution.  Mabel decided she had to go back to work so in the fall of 1951 she started teaching at St. Thomas Grade School in Crystal Lake.  She had to quit in December of that year because her son was in the hospital with a reaction to penicillin.  He almost died.

Mabel nursed her boy back to health, and in the fall of 1955, after having a second son, she went back to work again.  She had to work.  There was not enough money coming into the household.

After teaching 2nd and 3rd grades at St. Thomas for eleven years, Mabel knew that she had to make a another change.  The salary at St. Thomas was much lower than the salary at a public school, and her oldest son was getting near college age.

In the fall of 1966, Mabel left her beloved St. Thomas and started teaching for more money at Clay St. School in Woodstock.

Mabel's husband was now showing the effects of his imprisonment in Germany, and he was forced to go on permanent disability in 1968.  Mabel kept on working.  She had to.  There wasn't enough money coming in.

In 1973 Mabel retired from teaching after 32 years. 

The moral of the two stories?  I think you can figure that out!


  1. Jim,

    Another GREAT blog post. Thanks for these insights and for being the voice of reason.

    1. Thanks, Russ! Enjoy reading your blog. Keep that Logue investigating. It lets me sleep at night!

  2. Democrats have a history of being weak- livered, especially on subjects they should be proud of like civil rights, gay rights,environmental protection, killing bin Laden, and wacking Norriega. Dems need better cheerleaders than the Occuppy movement I guess is my point. Keep up the good work

    Aunt Mabel's grand nephew

    Larry Knox

    1. Thanks, Larry. Still talking about your performance a few weeks back. Don't ever forget Dylan!