Moving Back Home to California

Life After the Navy

The young couple moved to California and made their home with Bernie's sister Aline, her husband Thad Hayes, and her 12 year old daughter, Elaine. Aline's home on Octavia Street in Oakland was quite comfortable because it had separate living quarters for two families. Elaine was delighted to have a baby in the house, and to finally get to know her "Uncle Bunny" who had previously been on the road playing baseball or busy being a sailor inthe Navy. Thad hand-made Patsy a doll cradle like Elaine's.

All three of the Mayer children were living in Oakland for the first time in many years. Ce and Jim Cleveland lived in the Oakland hills. In fact, it was Jim that helped Bernie get a post-Navy job as a salesman at Golden State Dairy.

In 1945, less than a year after their move to California, Dorothy's mother, Evelyn, suffered a heart attack. Since Dorothy's sister, Bernice, was a nurse stationed overseas at the time, her mother sold her house in Paris and came out west to be with her only other family.  She and a GI Loan helped Dorothy and Bernie buy their first house, and then made her home with them at 132 Via Mariposa Street in San Lorenzo, California.

It was the beginning of Amerca's babyboom era. On October 11, 1947, their second child, Nancy Jane, was born. She was followed by Margaret Eleanor whose birth on June 6, 1949 broke up a baseball game that Bernie was umpiring. When he first saw Margaret, he described her dark eyes as looking like "oil on muddy water." It seemed that Bernie would be surrounded by women his whole life!

Dorothy's sister, Bernice Williams, was a nurse stationed in Korea,