Black Sheep Sunday 6 Sept 2009
Harry M. BLIVEN was the black sheep of my maternal side of the family. He was married briefly to my great aunt whose name was Dorothy Palmer BARBER. They were divorced after their daughter Gloria was born. Gloria only lived to be ten years old as she died of pneumonia. It's a sad family story. I always pat her gravestone when I go by.
My mother told me he had a snazzy car and drove it too fast. This may not be much to go on but it is meaningful. Dorothy's father, James Frederick Barber, loved automobiles and owned a garage and later a chauffeur service. Dorothy worked for her father as she was a bookkeeper. It looks like Harry was a traveling salesman for an auto parts company. That's probably how they met.
I think I have his parents identified correctly and that he married again after his divorce. Judging from the tight timeframe, the second wife might have been the cause of the problem. Well, we may never know.
I adored my great aunt. She was smart with math, very independent and worked for the local Electric Company. I loved going to her house which was on the Westerly-Pawcatuck line. It had a great attic and she let me play up there. She gave me great presents and lived long enough to see my daughter. I am sad that she had such a hard life for a woman of her time. We think that her black sheep husband stole the Medal of Honor that belonged to her grandfather from her house.
I am going to search for his WWI or WWII draft card....the rat.