(Use Google Translate to see an approximate translation into another relevant language)

[General index]  [Index to chapters]  [Index to galleries]  [Full family history]

This chapter is about my high-school sweetheart and first love, Pam Ives... Part I takes place in 1961 at the US Army garrison in Frankfurt am Main, West Germany, where we lived and attended the Army high school on base. Part II starts in 2018 — 57 years later! — in New Mexico and the Bronx.

[Photo gallery]

Germany, Frankfurt High School, and the Teen Club are explained in greater detail in the Frankfurt chapter.
Tom McCaffrey, Joe Martin, and other names in here are characters from Frankfurt High School.
—Frank da Cruz <fdc@columbia.edu>
Most recent update: 25 December 2022 07:51:08

11th grade at Frankfurt High School and Pam Ives 1960-61

Me in 1961
1961 yearbook photo
Me in 1961
Look: saddle shoes!
In 11th grade I made tons of new friends, started going out on the town and drinking beer (and anything else I could get my hands on - cognac, Schnapps, Jägermeister...), having all kinds of fun. Maybe too much fun because now I recognize that, for the two full years 1961 and 1962 I drank to excess almost every day. At first it was some combination of dulling the stress and oppression of "life with father" and the fact that drinking in Germany was easy, cheap, legal, fun, and everybody else was doing it. Later, back in Virginia, where it was not legal, I still did it. But after I left home the compulsion gradually faded.

I often felt that my time in high school in Germany was the best time of my life. It was such an adventure to be in postwar Germany, still pockmarked with the scars and rubble of war, still relatively poor, still full of Nazis, and with Elvis stationed just down the street. And on the base, to be among people of all races, nationalities and social classes after living in racial and economic segregation up until then. And my first love, Pam Ives.

Pam Ives
Pam 1961 in FHS gym
Pam Ives
Pam 1961
Nürnberg Bierdeckel
Nürnberg souvenir
Cheerleader portrait
Even in 11th grade I was still shy around girls and had only been on a couple awkward dates. Pam was in 10th grade and a Junior Varsity cheerleader. We clicked instantly, we were inseparable; we did everything together, she was funny and she was fearless. And (as she says herself) kind of smart-ass. We always enjoyed each other, never argued, no egos, no drama, just romance, affection, and tons of fun. Everything was hilarious to us. We went on long trips in Army buses to away-games in places like Mannheim and Nürnberg (and then didn't bother going to the games), we went up in the Taunus mountains and drank our­selves silly with no idea how we would get back. I would go to basketball games just because she was cheerleading. She came to the radio station with me on Tuesday nights sometimes. I'd meet her in HiCoG every morning, where she lived, to walk to school together.
Jazz Keller
Jazz Keller
We wrote notes and slipped them into each other's hall lockers. We went to the Teen Club after school and then again after dinner at home, when it became like a night club: lights low, dancing to the jukebox or a band... and everybody forming little groups for sorties into the neighborhood or downtown — restaurants, bars, Storyville, the Jazzkeller — then coming back to the Teen Club to share our adventures. Typical corny teenage stuff but I was never so happy before or since (until recently).

The time we went to Nürnberg we wandered around the city and stumbled onto the Luitpoldhain, which is where big annual Nazi rallies were staged from 1933 to 1938. Spooky!

Pam's Prom book
Pam's Prom book 1961
Prom night 1961
Prom night April 1961
The Casino Officers Club seen from I.G. Farben
You can see how ridicu­lously happy I was in the pre-Prom photo, in which the other two are our friends Joe Martin and Genell Roberson, and in which Pam is wearing the dress her Mom made for the occasion. Joe had his dad's car that night. The Prom was a very big deal, held not in a crepe-paper-decorated school gym like most proms but in the Officers' Club, the "Casino" part of the I.G. Farben complex and probably a major "venue" for the Nazi elite during the war. It was in the Casino's enormous, elegant ballroom. Honestly I don't remember much about it (was there an orchestra? Was there food?) but Pam and I danced and danced. And then as the Prom wound down we drove to a classy nightclub downtown with a stage show and had fizzy mixed drinks with umbrellas instead of beer steins. We stayed out very late, culminating in a Prom breakfast at 3:00 or 4:00am in the main Snack Bar. It was a night like in a 1940s Hollywood movie. Pam is the only one I ever danced with.

A Prom-related incident resulted in a bump in our relationship (my fault) and before it could be fixed the school year ended and Pam's family rotated back to the States, Pan Am Flight 73, Frankfurt to NYC, July 2, 1961 (just after her 16th birthday). I would have been devastated by this if it were not for the fact that we were being rotated too! A year prematurely, due to a f**kup by my dad. I was devastated anyway; back in Virginia I missed her like crazy. We stayed in touch by mail. A year later she was thinking about college, wanted to major in psychology, wanted to come to the east coast somewhere but said her grades weren't good and probably she would wind up at Iowa State ("Anything! Anyplace! Just to leave home!"), wished we could talk about it and do the things we used to do, and closed by telling me not to do anything crazy like getting married or... Joining the Army! But then her father was transferred to Fort Leavenworth and I left for UVA at the same time, and then the Army, and then my Mom left my Dad and my Dad lost the house — the address Pam was writing to — so we literally lost touch. Forever.  Or so it seemed!

Pam, Part II

Pam as nursing student
Pam 1964
As the years and decades piled up I realized that I had never felt so good with anyone as I had with Pam Ives back in the Army high school in Germany. We were always comfortable and totally open with each other. We had very similar lives and temperaments and backgrounds, we understood each other perfectly. I looked for her over the years, hoping she would show up in the Frankfurt High School reunion lists, but she never did. When the Internet was born I looked there too, every year or so: nothing. When I finally signed up for Ancestry.com in the course of writing this history, I discovered that instead of going to Iowa State, she entered the St. Lukes Hospital School of Nursing in Kansas City, Missouri. This is her picture in the 1964 yearbook ("Luke O Cyte" :-)  

Long story short, in September 2018 I was finally able to track her down. I wrote her a letter, and poof! — after 50-some years (closer to 60 if you must know), we were back touch. She's a retired nurse, was married twice and has four children and four grandchildren and is now single. She's active, in good health, and lives in New Mexico ("the Land of Entrapment", she says, because the cost of living is so low there, nobody could ever afford to move away). She had hard times in her life but she survived. All these years I didn't even know if she was alive or dead.

Pam family
Four generations: Juliet, Ruth, Pam, Ellie
That month we were talking and emailing full time, early morning to late night. It was the most fun I'd had since I could remember! A little tentative at first because neither of us had any idea of what directions the other had grown in. But each little feeler resulted in another revelation that we were the same... sense of humor, politics, disrespect for authority, likes and dislikes... I hadn't laughed so much in years! Pam's second husband died in 2011; we both confessed to being sad and lonely, and now suddenly we both weren't. We each found ourselves waking up ridiculously early, eager to continue. Then she left on a long-planned trip to Paris with her sister, brother-in-law, and cousin. I told her I hoped that when she comes back there would be lots more weeks like this one, she said "you bet there will be". One thing's sure: we'd never be bored because between us we have 140 years' worth of life to catch up on.

Pam in France
In France September 2018
Pam is a pretty historic person too. She was stationed inside her Mom Ruth while her Dad Charles, a 1st Lieutenant in the 75th Infantry ("Diaper") Division, fought the Battle of Bulge, where he commanded Company G of the 289th Infantry Regiment[18]. So like me, she was born into the War. Pam's earliest memories are of crossing the ocean in the hold of a troop ship in 1947. Until 1949 she lived in the rubble of bomb-flattened Stuttgart, "on the economy" in a requisitioned German apartment because the American bases and housing weren't built yet. She and her brother Warren were raised by a German nanny, Anna Katrin von (something... every American family hired German domestic help during the early occupation) so German was their first language. They moved a thousand times, she has lived almost everwhere, including many places I lived but at different times, like Stuttgart, or (to mention just two of the K's) Kaiserslautern and Kentucky... She has guts too. Just one example: as the first leg of her Paris trip, she hopped in her car and drove 450 miles by herself to meet her daughter Juliet in Colorado.

Pam and Frank
Pam and me at White Sands November 2018
Three weeks later we had arranged to meet again after 57 years; I flew to Albuquerque November 5th (never thought I'd fly again!) and stayed with her for two solid weeks; we picked up where we left off in 1961 like we were 16 again. Except instead of going to the Teen Club and to bars we drove all over New Mexico photographing New Deal sites... Talk about compatibility! I met Pam's mom Ruth again after all this time. She lives nearby; we saw her a lot and she is awesome. I met some of Pam's friends too and (on the last day) also her sister Penny (last seen in HiCog in 1961) and brother-in-law Tom. We also dropped in on FHSer Sue Topp at her shop in Santa Fe. Besides zooming around all over the state and seeing people, we also ate well, enjoyed some good movies, and talked and talked and talked. We have never stopped talking. And laughing!

Pam and Ruth
Pam and her Mom Ruth

Pam at WPA site
Pam at WPA site

Pam's apartment
Pam's apartment

Pam at WPA site
Pam, Tom, Ruth, Penny at El Pinto
Pam came to stay with me in the Bronx for a week in January 2019 and we had tons o' fun. We toured the neighbor­hood, cooked and ate well, listened to music, danced(!), watched movies, slept, all the things of life (retired life, that is)... She met Peter and Amy; Peter cooked chilis relleños for us one night. Then we had a second Bronx rendezvous in March, and I met her son Billy, wife Claudia, and their son Sean. I went to NM again for a couple weeks in April, she came to the Bronx again in September, and again in February. Then the Coronavirus called a halt to everything. Eventually we'll figure out what comes next. I'll say this: finding Pam again feels like coming home after a nearly lifelong exile.

Pam in Bronx
At the Bronx Botanical Garden Jan 2018
Pam in Oval Park March 2019
In Oval Park March 2019
Spaghetti March 2019
Dinner March 2019
Van Cortlandt Park 2019
Van Cortlandt Park
The last photo is of a guy we met on one of our epic walks... the volunteer caretaker of the 1948 Memorial Grove in Van Cortlandt Park, where trees were planted and markers placed for 21 Bronx World War II veterans who never returned. If you enlarge the photo you can see several of the markers.

Early days

Pam's birth notice
Pam's birth notice 1945
Pam meets Dad
Pam meets Dad
Charles, Pam, and Ruth
Charles, Pam, and Ruth
Stuttgart 1945
Stuttgart 1945 (RAF photo)
Pam in Stuttgart 1947
Family in Stuttgart 1947
Pam in Stuttgart 1947
Pam in Stuttgart 1947
Stuttgart house in 2021
Stuttgart house in 2021

Pam was born in June 1945 in Rockford, Illinois, while her Dad was fighting in Germany; her Mom Ruth was living with her mother, Olive, in Rockford. Her dad was able to come home on leave for New Years 1945 to meet his 7-month-old daughter for the first time, then he went back to Germany and Ruth and Pam sailed to Bremerhaven in January 3-18, 1947, in the hold of the troopship USAT Bridgeport, arriving in bomb-flattened Stuttgart to settle into a German house requisitioned by the Army on the outskirts of the devastation. The two photos in the house — which was (and is) at Stälinweg 33 — were taken by a neighbor, Ilse Heinhoff, in 1947. As of September 2021, according to Google satellite view, the house is still standing and Pam recognizes it as the same house. Note: Stälin, not Stalin.

Pam's family

Ruth and Charles Ives
Ruth and Charles Ives
Lt. Charles Ives
Lt. Charles Ives 1945
Col. Charles Ives
Col. Ives 1970
Lt. Charles Ives
Charles Ives medals
Ruth and Charles Ives
Pam, Warren, Penny
Pam's dad was Charles G. Ives, known as Chad, born in 1923 in Rockford, Illi­nois, son of Navy doctor Captain Warren Chamberlain Ives (1892-1952), who was the son of Dr. Charles Gustin Ives and Helen Chamberlain Ives. According to Chad's 1940 Rockford High School yearbook he studied German, was in the school band, and "After leaving school 'Doc' will attend college, aiming to become a capable physician and surgeon" (like his Dad). He was at the State Uni­vers­ity of Iowa when Pearl Harbor hap­pened and he enlisted in the Army at age 18. Quickly rising to the rank of Corporal, he was sent to (racially integrated[14]) Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning Georgia and commissioned Lieutenant in late 1943, then became a squad leader in the 75th Infantry Division, where he was awarded a Bronze Star[1] and a Purple Heart for his actions at the Battle of the Bulge (click the medals image for details of his medals). Meanwhile, his father Warren was a Navy Captain stationed with a hospital unit in the Marshall Islands, working as a surgeon.

When the War ended Chad was appointed Provost Marshal of occupied Stuttgart[6], and at one point he drove Eleanor Roosevelt on her postwar goodwill tour through the rubble and DP camps of Frankfurt am Main and Wiesbaden[2,12]. In the late 1940s or early 50s he was one of the guinea pigs at the A-bomb testing sites who stood there and watched the blasts with only sunglasses for protection. He was sent to Korea twice, once during the war there, and to Germany again in 1958-61 (Kaiserslautern and Frankfurt), and to numerous military bases all over the USA throughout his 30-year career, some of them in the deep South in the Jim Crow era, where Pam tells me he made a point of sitting in the back of the bus. His peacetime achievements are listed in his Legion of Merit citation: Batallion Commander, Base Commander, Professor of Military Science... He retired a full Colonel in 1972 and moved to New Mexico for health reasons, where he became active in local affairs, serving as chairman of the Rancho de Placitas Water Board and of the board of El Pueblo Health Clinic in Bernalillo (on which Pam herself serves today). He was a fan of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Benny Goodman and played the clarinet. He died at his home in Placitas in 1997 with his family present.

Chad Yearbook 1940
Chad Yearbook 1940
Ruth 1941 yearbook
Ruth Yearbook 1941
Chad Yearbook 1944
SUI Yearbook 1944
Olive Yearbook 1912
Olive Yearbook 1912
Pam's mother Ruth was born Ruth Ann Lawrence in 1922 in Mendota, Illinois. Ruth's mother was Olive Safford, who was born 22 March 1894 in Rockford to John Darius Safford and Nellie Ann Johns, and died 25 April 1990 in Rockford. Olive married Robert Alexander Lawrence 12 July 1919. In 1930, they lived at 510 Oakley Avenue in Rockford with their children Mary B (born 1921), Ruth Ann, and Roberta O (born 1925). Olive (Pam's granma) died 1990. Ruth was attending West High School in Rockford when she met and dated Charles so they — like Pam and I — were high school sweethearts. Ruth graduated in 1941 and then attended Layton School of Art in Milwaukee. Meanwhile Chad went to the State University of Iowa (SUI) in Iowa City, which he left to join the Army in mid-1942. By then he and Ruth had drifted apart, but once in the Army he came across her photo in his locker, wrote to her, and they wound up marrying in July 1944 at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, where he was stationed. Later that same year he was back at SUI as a staff officer in the ROTC program until shipping out for the war in Germany, and would remain in Germany until 1949. In 1947 Ruth and Pam sailed to Bremerhaven and made their way to Stuttgart somehow to join him. Their second child, Warren, was born there.

From that point on, it was the nomadic existence of a military family. Ruth lived the busy life of an Army officer's wife (Stuttgart Economy Wives Club, Officer's Club, Officers' Wives Club, local charities, U.S. Lady Magazine...) Pam and the other children went to countless schools; there was a stretch when Pam went to six different schools in six years: an elementary school in San Bernardino CA for 6th grade; Kaiserslautern Junior High for 7th, Frankfurt Elementary for 8th, the brand-new Frankfurt Junior High for 9th, Frankfurt High for 10th, and Fort Leavenworth High for 11th grade. When Chad was sent somewhere that was not set up for dependents, Ruth would take the children back to her mother's house in Rockford, as when Chad went to Korea. Pam lived in Germany 1947-1949 and 1958-1961, about five years out of her first 16.

Placitas view
View from Ruth's house
Pam and Ruth
Pam and Ruth in Placitas 2018
Ruth Ives in her studio
Ruth in her studio 1997
Ruth Ives 100th birthday
Ruth's 100th birthday
Ruth is a very creative person. She drew and painted whatever she saw wherever she lived, from occupied postwar Germany to New Mexico. Since the 1970s her work has been shown and sold in New Mexico art galleries. She's also a patron of local Pueblo artists and made a series of paintings of Pueblo dancers and children[11].  Not to mention that also she is a skilled "modiste" who made Pam's 1961 Prom dress! And her mother Olive's first pants suit when she came to Germany to visit. Today (2022) Ruth still lives in the house that she and Chad bought in Placitas when he retired in 1972, in the foothills of the Sandía mountains, about 20 miles from Pam in Albuquerque. Ruth turned 100 on December 4, 2022; photo at right with her children Penny, Warren, and Pam, with some of her paintings and her collection of pueblo art in the background.

Pam's family tree

Pam family tree
↑ Click image to see the whole tree

Pam's part of the tree puts the other parts to shame, in height if not in breadth; it goes all the way back to 1066... no, make that 540AD! On her father's side...

Pam's mother's side goes all the way back to the Norman Conquest (1066 and all that), starting with Normans Sir Hugh de Ville and Lord Robert de Hatton, speakers of the Norman language who founded a dynasty of Lords and Sir Knights in Hatton, Warwickshire, near Coventry, that lasted until at least 1260, at which point the tree branches off via Beatrix de Hatton and the Hatton Lords go off in another direction. Never fear, Beatrix's son-in-law was Sir Peter Pierce Thornton, (a.k.a. Peter Thorton-Le-Moors) First Baron of Cantilupe. Other highlights include:

After another trip to New Mexico in June, 2019, I dug deeper into Ruth's side of the tree and found that she (and therefore Pam) is a direct descendent of Charlemagne, and of the English kings from William the Conqueror to Edward III and their queens, and of a Spanish king, of several French kings, of Henry "Hotspur" Percy (from Shakespeare's Henry IV), of the Viking conquerors of Normandy and Russia, of Queen Anna of Kiev and of Saint Anna of Sweden, of Yaroslav the Wise and of his father Vladimir the Great of Kiev, and on and on; see this page for highlights.

Many more branches remain to be explored.

  1. Charles Ives Medals, Pam's father's medals 1945-1972.
  1. Headquarters, 75th Infantry Division, Office of the Commanding General, CITATION, General Order Number 150, 25 May 1945.
  2. Mrs. Roosevelt in Germany, British Pathé newsreel, 1946 (no sound). Unfortunately it doesn't show Pam's Dad, even though he is driving the car. More about Mrs. Roosevelt's 1946 German tour here in the New York Times (15 Feb 1946).
  3. New Mexico New Deal Sites, the photo gallery Pam and I made in November 2018.
  4. New Mexico snapshots, November 2018.
  5. Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame [Inductee List] (Charles G. Ives).
  6. Roesler, Jörg, Die Wiederaufbaulüge der Bundesrepublik, Karl Dietz Verlag, Berlin (2008); pages 54-55 describe a food riot in Stuttgart in November 1948 about which Captain Ives (commander of the MP detachment that was called when the German police failed to contain the disturbance) commented to an AP reporter that he didn't know if the instigators were Communists or Nazis[9], which caused a major uproar among German "conservatives"....  Nazis???? In Germany?????? This incident is known as the Stuttgarter Vorfälle; it was the "only instance since the end of the war that American military forces acted to quell a public disturbance"[8,p.117][9].
  7. Stuttgart Post News, 1940s, for example the February 21, 1948, issue on The Stuttgart Commissary, which indicates there was still some degree of rationing. See more Stuttgart Post News articles.
  8. Lemza, John W, American Military Communities in West Germany, McFarland & Company (2016).
  9. "5 Reds in Stuttgart Riot", New York Times, 30 October 1948, p.4: "Capt. Charles G. Ives, United States Provost Marshal for Stuttgart, said, 'I don't know whether they were Communists or leftovers from the Nazi regime'."
  10. Jardineros de Placitas 50th anniversary, interview with Ruth Ives, Youtube (2015).
  11. "Pueblo Kids Enliven Artist's Work", Albuquerque Journal, 11 February 1997, p.45 (West Side Journal section, p.7).
  12. Postwar Europe: A Haunting Horror (1946), Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project, George Washington University, according to which ER spent three days on the ground in West Germany and visited DP camps in Zeilshausen (about 7 miles outside of Frankfurt, the next town past Höchst) and Wiesbaden (11 miles past Zeilsheim). She also visited Frankfurt itself including the I.G. Farben building, and also Höchst, before flying to Berlin. So this was when Pam's dad was ER's escort, February 13-15, 1946.
  13. ER's February 1946 Frankfurt/Berlin itinerary.
  14. Officer Candidate School (United States Army), Wikipedia (accessed 26 February 2019).
  15. Wallace, John P., Genealogy of the Parke family nine generations from Arthur and Mary Parke, 1720-1920, privately published, 1919.
  16. Chamberlain, Levi, Journals 1822-1849, typed transcripts on microfilm at the Online Archive of California at the University of California at Berkeley, Collection Number: BANC MSS 67/9 p FILM.
  17. Melville, Herman, Typee and Omoo, written in the 1840s, in which he takes a dim view of the protestant missions in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii).
  18. Bob Judd, Russ Elliot, et al., Combat History - Company G, 289th Infantry (PDF), Summer 1945 (previously unpublished typescript describing the the unit's actions in the Battle of the Bulge and subsequent engagements in France and Germany, December 1944-April 1945, found among Charles Ives's papers): 18 pages that "may not contain the names of all the casualties and ... the individual incidents that each one of us remembers"; Ives is mentioned three times but without an account of the incident where he was wounded and for which he was awarded two medals. Includes a cover letter by Jack Hawkes from April 1982.

Most recent update: 25 December 2022 07:51:09