Muriel Vernon

Jaye Campbell

About her life growing up

Muriel Vernon was my great grandma. She was born and raised in Chicago Illinois with her mom, dad, and two sisters. She was born January 20, 1915. Her parents were Ethyl and Houston Vernon. She was the middle child to her sisters Clair, the youngest and Janice the oldest. Muriel had a hard life growing up as a child. She was born with a bad leg and was unable to walk without a brace until the age of 12 when she convinced the doctors that she would teacher herself how to walk if they didn't help her. On top of not being able to use her leg her parents divorced when she was only eight years old and her and her father Houston were forced to live in a one room hotel. Due to her parents lack of money and Muriel's leg conditions she was not able to play any sports.

Middle Life

When Muriel was 21 she married Carl Erikson and moved to Danville, California. There she raised her family. She had two children, Shelly and Carla. Shelly is my grandma and my dad's mom. Muriel and her family lived in a small townhouse right in the middle of Danville. Muriel worked as a medical assistant for a heart specialist. Carl, her husband worked as an engineer. When I asked my grandma to tell me a story about her mom the first thing that popped into her head was the way her mom got a car. What happened was Muriel wanted to buy a car so she went down to the car dealership and picked out a baby blue Plymouth convertible. When she went to the owner and told him she wanted to buy the car he said that the only way she could buy the car was if she had her husband's consent because in the 50's women were not allowed to buy there own things without their husband's consent. So she marched down to the company her husband was working at and just at that moment a magazine company ran up to her asking if her and her husband would take a photo for the cover of the magazine Pig Tails. After the photo was taken she got her husband to write a letter to the man saying she had his condolences to buy the car. When she marched back to the car dealership she threw the magazine on the man's desk with a check for the car and drove out of the dealership. The reason my grandma chose this story is because Muriel alway believed that women should be treated just as men and was not afraid to stand up to them. One fun fact about where my grandma grew up is that she went to San Ramon Valley High School where she met my grandpa and have been married to him for over 50 years.

Important events that happened in her life

The important events that happened in her live was World War II, President Roosevelt, and the killing of Lucky Luciano. World War II effected her life because he husband's brother was fighting in the war and when he returned he didn't have a home so he stayed with Carol and Muriel. When Muriel was in her 40's she worked as a nurse helping vets so when Carl's brother came back she was able to help him with his PTSD. President Roosevelt impacted her life by making work days only six days a week instead of seven making Sundays family nights. That was important to her because family was her biggest concern. The reason Lucky Luciano's death was important is because at the time he was shot and killed Muriel was working at the candy store across the street and right before Lucky had gone into the movie he went across the street and bought candy from her.

Last years

Muriel retired in 1982, when working as a nurse. After she retired she worked at local thrift stores and chareties. In her free time she would go down to the Indian casino and gamble. She watched her grandchildren grow into fine young adults and enjoyed every minute of it. She died when she was 84 even after a life of smoking. Muriel Vernon Erikson was a strong, brave women who lived a long happy life. Unfortunately I was unable to get the satisfaction of meeting such an outgoing women but she lives on in our memories reminding us how to stand up for what you believe and always be yourself.