1963 In The Beginning
There is a background to this story about who is best qualified to be the parent of the children of a divorce.
I, Gary Bahr, was born in 1943 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I would be a child of divorce parents. My mother lived with her parents in Oshkosh on Ashland Avenue.
I really did not know my Dad very well. My first memory is that while I was still in a hi-chair he wanted me to eat a square meal – like I was in the military. He had been in the army and was home from World War II. Apparently, I did not eat a square meal properly – my Mom or Grandma or Grandpa Krieser had never taught me how to eat a square meal. The punishment for not eating a square meal was to kneel with bare knees on the woodgrate in the floor that warmed the house. It was painful. It did not help me in life at all other than to support fair punishment for crimes and misdemeanors.
1946 is my second memory of my Dad. I was still in a crib due to shortish of real beds and I was the youngest. I heard my Dad arguing with my Mom downstairs. I climbed out of the crib went down stairs to confront my Dad. He stood 6 ft tall and I was maybe pushing 30 inches. I went up to him, shaking my arm at him, and told him to “Leave my Mom alone.” My Mom convinced me I would be safer upstairs.
I figured I would be eating square meals the next day, but the next morning my Grandfather took me aside and informed me that my Dad would not be around his house anymore. That was fine with me and meant I would not have to beat the crap out of my Dad one day. Grandpa had probably got some sort of court order to restrain my real Dad from bothering my Mom. My mission was accomplished and this was my first experience with parents arguing, divorce, children in divorce, and court orders.
A couple of decades later I met Melanie Wright, dob 2/3/1944. She was 19, blond and I was 20. I had become the salesman for my stepfather, Ellward Wolff, who owned and operated a turkey farm and hatchery known as Bellefontaine Farms near Belleville, WI. I was out to sell turkey poults to farmers in the Midwest – mostly Wisconsin, but sometimes in Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan.
Melanie’s parents, Melvin and Roberta Wright, owned a turkey farm near Weyerhaeuser, WI – up toward the end of the earth. They were the nicest people you could know. I mean that. And, they bought turkey poults from me and introduced me to Melanie, their daughter – the old farmer’s daughter story. Thus begins the story that leads to marriage, divorce and an eventual custody dispute.
I will try to stick to the facts, court orders, filings, court opinions and actions; and limit my opinions of others to a minimum. The facts will support my opinions or let you form your own opinion.