“Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life” In two past blog entries I explain how I knew my father was in the army and that he had been the pharmacist at Northern State Hospital. In Northern State Hospital’s newsletter, columnist Janet Forza includes a shared moment with the “postal representative” in a piece published May 1940. A swarm of bees has arrived at the front lawn.
It was psychiatric hospital. Some of the patients were drug addicts. The United State Post Office truck unloaded where the pharmacist sorted the mail. The hospital relied on the pharmacist to watch for possible contraband and to analyze any unknown substance at the pharmacy laboratory. The pharmacist received packages that supplied orders for drugs and necessities. The pharmacist photographed patients when they entered. He developed some photographs.
The postal representative rushed out with camera in hand and by sheer brute force wedged his way into the midst of the melee and snapped one-two pictures – then – was seen no more. The column by Janet Forza is titled, “Behold, the Conquering Hero Comes” and is about nature and man. The column is an extended metaphor which references ideas in people’s thoughts and conversations in May, 1940, the ideas included war and even concentration camps. Below the whole column appears a comment of praise: “The Men’s O.T. has done a classy job of binding Goethe’s Works for Library.” – the comment of praise for Occupational Therapy is filler, yet newsworthy. From time to time in the newsletter occurs a comment appears about columns by Janet Forza. People liked her columns. I can include the 1940 article in full.
It was at Tacoma Public Library that I awaited, with others, the 1940 United States Census in 2012. I found Theodore Jensen listed as pharmacist. I had glimpsed the 1930 census of Northern State Hospital to determine that among employees at the hospital were names of English Descent, among patients were a larger representation of names that were non-English.
Recently, when Tacoma Public Library had logged me in to Ancestry, I found a physician listed at Northern State Hospital listed as private or unknown at a family tree. The assignment of privacy or unknown requires a respectful distance, although I have no way of knowing about the physician’s distant family member who created their tree. The tree includes a beautiful professional photo, others with the wife of the physician as a young girl. The private or unknown designation can be about stigma, about the wide category of difficulty associated with the institutions.
Janet Forza’s first home address exists along a maze of old two-story row houses, where at places there are churches or public buildings, on Google Earth Street views. She was born Janet Allsopp, and is 2 years old, in Derby, in a United Kingdom 1920 Census. Derby, it seems, is close to the middle of England. Her mother, a widow in the United States, married Joseph Forza, who was born in Austria. Janet Forza is in the 1940 United States Census as 22 years old and working at Northern State Hospital as a stenographer. At Ancestry at Tacoma Public Library, I find Janet Forza is included in family trees. Janet Forza is buried in a Sedro-Wooley Cemetery, on Find a Grave, not the hospital cemetery.
Regarding the appearance of Theodore Jensen, there to photograph this event so momentarily: I can also include one photograph of hospital days saved among his other photographs. it is a photograph of a work crew I think putting down tar on the road at the hospital, this is work therapy, another occurrence during a hospital day. It is unusual for there to be among my father’s photographs a Northern State Hospital Photograph. Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life.
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