Santa Fe Living Treasures ‚Äď Elder Stories

When World War II began, Ann left Des Moines to work in Chicago at a hospital for marines. In February 1943, the Coast Guard sent Ann to Santa Fe "to open a hospital at the Japanese-American internment camp," Al said. At the time, both Ann and Al were corresponding separately with a friend from Oelwein who was living in California. The friend told Al that Ann was living in Santa Fe, and wrote Ann that her friend from Oelwein was living in Albuquerque--stationed at the Albuquerque Air Base, now Kirtland Air Force Base.

One day "Ann called me up and asked when I would have a day off," Al reminisced. She visited him in Albuquerque and invited him to come to Santa Fe when he had a pass.

The Barths were married in Santa Fe on August 16, 1944, in the chapel at Bruns Army Hospital. They had planned to return to Iowa, but Al found a job in Santa Fe and Ann went to work in a doctor's office until her only child, Bob, was born in 1947. She stayed home until Bob started school. Before she could return to work, however, Ann had to learn to drive. "She had never driven a car," said Al.

Please see Volume 1 for complete text.
Photo ©1997 by Joanne Rijmes