Ike and Betty (my parents) had three children, all boys. My Mom always wanted a girl. She was the youngest in her family and had lost her Mother when she wasn’t quite two years old. She grew up without a Mother and thus always wanted a girl of her own to make up for her lonely childhood.
My Mom got married when she was sixteen years old to an 18 year old transplanted hillbilly whose family immigrated to southern Chester County in 1930 to work picking fruit and vegetables on his Uncle Donald Byrd’s farm near Unionville, PA.
My dad's ID card from his job at Lukens Steel Co. 1941
The tall, young, blonde haired gangly man with the big smile she married was the fifth child of a family of eleven boys. There was a twelfth boy (a twin) who died at birth. My dad had ten brothers and no sisters.
On November 9, 1941, I was the first born of my parents' three children. My Mother already had a girl’s name picked out for me (Louise, her middle name) if I was a girl. Since I wasn’t a girl so she named me after a popular movie star of the day, Ronald Coleman. My father wanted to name me after him, Isaac, but she thought “Isaac” was an ugly name. She told him “You’re not naming any of my children that ugly name.”