1969 The Year of The Divorce

1969 is the year of the divorce of Gary and Melanie.  It took place in this way.

Six years have gone by so quickly.

A son, Trenton Gary Bahr (I liked the name), was born June 1, 1964. He was born in Madison, WI at Saint Mary’s hospital – early AM after checking into the hospital late eventing. I remember sleeping on a bench awaiting his arrival.  He was a fun kid from day one.

A daughter, Stephanie Roberta Bahr was born March 12, 1969 at the hospital in Salem Oregon. Melanie and I had split before her birth, but were both living at the time in Salem. At the hospital, and seeing her for the first time, I had to lay claim to her as she looked like me. My child support would double. I would have called her Tara. I am not sure why and suspect she is use to her name, Stephanie by now.  I called her Stefi for short and with the “i” as “I” chose too.

Actually the divorce would come after her birth. I suppose I delayed divorcing Melanie as felt divorce was wrong.

Melanie had quit her job in the summer of 1968. Never knew what happened, but knew she was unhappy with her job, some x-marine who she had gotten to know, and quickly went back to Wisconsin with our son Trenton for some time. She was not a happy person with me as her husband. Her loss I figured. She returned after receiving a letter from me suggesting we part. She got pregnant the day of her return and months later came Stephanie’s birth.

When she moved back, I moved out in a few days. I was prepared to see how things worked out over time, but her brother had informed me that Melanie had went out with an old boyfriend during the above return to Wisconsin. But, before I knew it, Melanie  had headed back to Wisconsin to live with her parents.

Meanwhile I was studying the New Testament in a college class and read in Clark’s Biblical Law that a woman in open rebellion against her husband deserved no special consideration. This would be my out of the marriage excuse – even though my Christian beliefs opposed divorce. Sometimes reading the Bible can mean more than one direction.

After Melanie quit her job, I had to find work – to live. I went to work for a bank in Salem Oregon at the downtown main branch. I had posted a for rent notice of our home after Melanie had returned to Wisconsin with Trenton.  I never expected her to return as divorce was planned or in process.  A gal name Vickie saw the rent notice and I showed her the house and told her to workout the rent with the owner who lived in Alaska. Vickie worked for a branch of the bank I went to work for and I knew who she was. I had thought she was attractive but she always would say she had a date with her boyfriend. She did rent the house and was planning to move in when Melanie returned to live in the house.

I felt sorry for Vickie and her son Todd who had to look for a different place. I did not see her until near Christmas when all the bank branches went to the woods to cut christmas trees for the branch banks. It was there I met Todd, Vickie’s son. Well, I always loved kids and Todd was cute as can be.

I later ran into Vickie and Todd at the Mall and we had a coke. Find out Vickie’s so called boyfriend was only her reference of going to see her hairdresser.

Well, before I was to get involved with a woman, I would need the divorce.

Prior to the divorce hearing, Melanie had Stephanie and escaped back to Wisconsin and would not be in court.

Prior to going into court, my Attorney advised me that when asked if the mother would be a good custodial parent, I should answer yes. Or, the judge may not grant a divorce until custody of the kids could be decided. I did what the Attorney said as I was paying for his advice. I did want the divorce. So when asked, I said yes she was a good mother, and I hoped so.

At first, I had nothing against Melanie being the kids mother and having custody. I figured I would move to Wisconsin to be near the kids. I also always thought she would let me have custody some day as she had some problems of her own to keep her occupied.

It was wishful thinking on my part. Not only would she be on welfare for years, but alternated between hating me and loving me.

After the divorce, I developed a relationship with Vickie, got married and returned to Wisconsin. Visitation with my children were minimal as Melanie often had an excuse not to allow a visitation, and would agree when it was convenient to her. As the custody suit evolved, I would learn that she was avoiding visitations to hide some of her events and happenings with the kids.


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