May 19, 2010

Mailing List

Written for May, 20, 2010

Margaret Millicent Barnum taken while she attended The University of Michigan.

Himself: Went to doctor who renewed his prescription and set him up for a physical, made reservations for the coming week.

Herself: Wrote, shelved books, Amvets and fat lady’s store….no swim suits, made some awfully good nachos, read.

A blog you might like: Time Goes By is the home of the premier Elder Blogger, Ronnie Bennett. Sometimes Crabby Old Lady moves in and offers opinions, but usually Ronnie offers balance. Right now we are all learning about what to do when you retire in the wrong Portland. As I write this, her belongings should be arriving in Portland OR, and we await news.

Reading: Michael Palin….yes, I said that.

Gratitude: Both daughters.

Dear lady in charge of the invitation list for this year’s UM group at the AIA Convention.........

I admit to being amused at the sudden appearance of my mother and father's name on the mailing list for the University of Michigan's gathering at the AIA Convention. When the second piece of expensive mailing arrived today, I thought I might write you.

Madge driving her Overland book mobile just after graduation. There were no jobs at the beginning of the depression for architectural engineers, much less for a woman architectural engineer.

My mother, Margaret Millicent Barnum (followed by her married names), certainly was the first woman architectural engineering graduate of the University. She was second in her class and married Mr. Chester Asa Sirrine, who was number one. Unfortunately, my mother died in 1989, and my father, who attended UC, died in 1966.

Madge cruising the south seas, 1969.

I have been enjoying these mailings that have suddenly appeared in my mail box, and I'm sorry to ask you to remove their names from your list.

Thank you very much,

Margaret Millicent

Madge, now called Maggie, with her third husband Bob Dowd in 1982. Photo Credit: CA.


  1. So interesting! You must be proud.

  2. Was it common in those days or in your family to marry three times? I come from very strict Irish Catholic background, can't imagine my grandmothers leaving their husbands, let alone marrying again.

  3. Fun to see the letters, must give you a pang to miss your loved ones. What a beautiful lady, your mother!

  4. You do come from very dynamic genes. Very interesting.

  5. So you descend from the circus. Well well well. Yes I think it's time your parent's names were removed from the mailing list, but it sure provided a good read for us Postcard observers today. Enjoyed the look back through the photos; do you have one of your father? He was your Mom's true love, right?

  6. How fun to see someone so accomplished at a time when women were not meant to accomplish anything professionally. She certainly was a pioneer! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Dear Anonymous: No, he wasn't. An architectural student she met in school was her true love. He returned to Germany just prior to WWII, and he died during the war.

  8. I'm glad I bobbed back in to see if you answered the comment. Don't know how it happened, but that "anonymous" person was ME! The true love story is better even than my version. Every woman should have at least one true love plus lots of others. (WHAT!? did I write that?!)


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