From the unpublished autobiograpy of James McNitt, 1992
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|James McNitt's text
|Bill McNitt's annotations
|In walking to work, I began encountering an attractive, slim brunette, and each morning we would exchange greetings. This was on the walk from Division Avenue down Hall Street to Steele Avenue. One morning we stopped to talk, and I asked her to go to a movie. She agreed. I learned her name was Peggy Snyder, and would later learn she had changed her first name from Lena. I found during the course of the date that she had been married, but was divorced.
|Lena had married Neil Wierks on May 17, 1934, in Elkhart County, Indiana. How long the marriage lasted is unknown, but she is listed as divorced in the 1940 census. At that time she was living with her parents, Seth and Ann (Christian) Snyder, at 1217 Randolph, just south of Hall Street where Dad was walking to work. She was nearly two years older than Dad, having been born in Grand Rapids on May 9, 1911.
|We continued to date, once breaking up for a short period. We finally married in a parish house near her home. I had asked my friend, Lyman Shields, to stand up with me. He agreed, but later his mother persuaded him to change his mind. Driver Les Bouman stepped in. It was just a simple affair, with a small reception afterward.
|According to their dirvorce record on Ancestry.com, they married on March 21, 1941.
|We took a furnished apartment just off Division Ave. I had bought from Dad our old house at 33-35 Shelby Street. Before long we asked the downstairs tenants to move and we took over.
|It was rather a rocky road. She became ill and had to have an operation. We had no hospitalization insurance (Texaco would a little later institute such a plan) and we had to take out a bank loan.
|We had an occasional party with Les Bouman and his wife, and Louis Lamphear, a driver hired later, and his wife. I played golf when possible with Les and others at Indian Trails Golf Course.
|Peggy could be quite loving, but she could also be very shrewish. One time when the aunts came to visit, we had just had fight, and the black and blue mark on my arm gave evidence that there had been trouble. She was telling me off for some real or fancied grievance one Sunday morning when the radio announcer broke in with a news bulletin that Pearl Harbor had been bombed!
|Things happened fairly rapidly after that. I received a low draft number - 147. I went for my physical exam and was placed in 4-F as the result of being nearsighted. A few months later it was decided to take able-bodied men with slight defects such as mine for limited service, in non-combat work.
|I then volunteered. It was no great deal; I would have had to go within months anyway. Patriotism coupled with troubles at home led me to push it ahead a bit.
|His date of induction was August 22, 1942. At that time he and Peggy had been married about a year and a half.