I remember my earliest visits to the Gulf easily. I partially remember my Grandmother Lucy; she died when I was six years old from terminal cancer. I remember the races my sisters and I would have through the strawberry patch in the entryway to the main house. I remember six am nettings in the lagoon, to collect the catch of mullet for lunch and dinner.
My favorite part waking up at the crack of dawn was smelling the salt from the water and dragging those huge nets across the top of the water. My favorite part of this experience was when Rad (my Grandfather) would clean the fish, and I would throw the shavings into the water. Down, down, they'd sink, and then a nibble as fish ate the remains of their own.
As much as I loved the times with Lucy and Rad, I coveted the moments I had alone with my father on the Hobie Cat, as we'd sail across the Little Lagoon. The dark, waters of the Gulf were easily captivating, I could spend hours all day out at the boathouse, if given the chance. As much as I loved the out doors of the Gulf, my next favorite part of the Gulf was the main house.
Upon driving along the path, laid from broken shells, you entered through the screen door, and the scent of the house always greeted me, before I found Rad, who always seemed a giant to me. I loved the early mornings when I'd catch him reading the paper, or working in the gardens. I loved to crawl into his lap and stay in the security of his arms. These were my earliest recollections of the Maumenee's, although not my last.
Since my childhood my Grandfather remarried Douglas, when I was seven, and she quickly became the Grandmother I sometimes forgot. Douglas is the closest person I have left as a Grandmother, since my father's and mother's have both passed away. I always loved birthdays with Doug; she is famous for her rendition of an ice cream peppermint cake. She and I hold the same love of books, history, and the South, and this quality I cherish the most of her.
My Aunt Cammie, was a hidden idol of mine. She is very fit, stylish, and held the passion of my life, ballet. I always marveled at her as a niece, she pursued a goal I always dreamed of having, to become a professional ballet dancer. Finally, my Uncle Benny and Aunt Pam are the last relative I have from the Maumenee clan. When I was a child I would confuse Dad and Uncle Benny; they were identical to me growing up. Something I remember of Uncle Benny is his tact for taking my sisters and I to unusual southern restaurants for lunch and his white house in Fairhope, Alabama. Two things I remember specifically were the black and white checkered floors and the old bathtub with the clawed feet.
Lulie Martha Radcliff Maumenee
The matriarch of the Maumenee began with Lulie Radcliff, known as, "Ms. Lulie" and "Mrs. Maumenee." The Mobile Register noted on September 15, 1912 that Lulie was one of the south's most beautiful girls, and whose marriage was known in Alabama and Georgia. A tall blonde with fair skin and blue eyes, Ms. Lulie was known for her horsemanship skills, as well as her hospitality as a "southern belle."
From Rad's Memoir
James Radcliff Maumenee, (my Grandfather) also played a vital role in continuing the Maumenee legacy in Alabama. From Rad's memoir, the following information was collected beginning with his early childhood. Rad was born June 27, 1915 at the family home at Dauphin and Georgia Ave. and lived there until 1923. During the 1920's, Ms. Lulie recreated her childhood upbringing on the Stinson Plantation by having several animals at the house. Cows were used for fresh milk, chickens for meat and eggs, dogs helped Mr. Maumenee in his bird hunting expeditions, and horses were used for riding, the most beloved one by the name of Dick.
During this time streetcars ran on Dauphin Street running on wood block roads, 6 inches wide by 8-10 inches long. The nearest fire station was located at Springhill Ave. and Ann Street. In 1923 the family made its first move to Ashland Place were the ice for the cooling system was delivered on horse drawn wagons. Here Rad met his second wife, Douglas Maumenee at the age of four. It was during this time that a pecan orchard was purchased in Grand Bay, and the summer home at Magnolia Beach on the Mobile Bay. It was during the summers when Ms. Lulie, Ed, and Rad spent their summers taking "The Bay Queen" or Fairhope across the Bay to their home.
In 1926, the entire family moved to Birmingham, Alabama at Red Mountain. For the first time the boys held their first glance of snow where their house overlooked a large valley. Rad attended Phillips High School and ran on the track team. Mr. Maumenee taught Rad his stride, arm action, and proper body structure. As he analyzed his every race result. Rad learned four rules from his father; 1.) Never try to stay with another runner, 2.) Never stay at another runner's pace, 3.) Decide how fast you want to run each race, and 4.) Never let anything come before your academics.
Dr. Maumenee's main goal he instilled in his sons was because, as he often stated, "the most brilliant mind with an inadequate physical body was no good and also the finest body and a weak or unlearned mind was no good." Rad participated in the PSI Sigma Tau high school Fraternity whose goal was to build confidence in its members. A popular event of the high school guys was "pop calling." This involved visiting girls unannounced, and then leaving after a short while. The girls knew how popular they were, based on the number of visitors they had. Nearing his senior year in high school, Dr. Maumenee's dream was for his sons to become doctors to take over his practice.
During Rad's senior year in high school he pledged to DKE fraternity at the University of Alabama. It was during his time here he served as the house manager, majoring in pre med with a business minor. All four years at the university Rad ran on the track team eventually participating in the hurdles and high jump. During these years Rad realized he did not want to pursue medicine like his Father and brother, and instead entered law school at the University of Alabama.
Upon his first year at law school, Rad and his father were taking the train to see Ed graduate from Cornell University. During this train ride, Alfred suffered a ruptured aneurysm and died in Greenville, North Carolina. Rad returned home with his Mother and closed all of his father's accounts at his ophthalmology shop and offered to stop school. Which of course Grandmother Lulie adamantly said no to!
Upon graduation from law school, Rad moved to Washington D.C. and was a special attorney with the justice department. During his time as a special attorney Rad befriendedCongressman Frank Boykin and Senator Joesph Hill. While in D.C. Rad moved on to his second Job as the assistant to the Commissioner in the Federal Communications Commission.
While in D.C. Rad attended dinners and government functions as a stand in for the congressman. From this, Rad at the White House with the Roosevelt's several times. At first, Rad lived at the YMCA, then rented a room from Robert Frasier, an assistant to Senator Hill. At the break of WWII, President Roosevelt asked the FEC to make an analysis of all radio broadcast to determine if the media was pushing for intervention or non intervention. Rad was assigned the task of sending a telegram to every radio station to send the FCC copies of all information regarding entry or non-entry into the war. Fifty readers were assigned to gather the information and punch the information on cards. Rad submitted a brief to the White House that determined the media was neutral on the subject.
Upon the outbreak of WWII, Rad enlisted into the Air Force at the age of 25. While at boot camp in San Antonio, Texas he learned of the attack on Pearl Harbor. At this time he was transferred to Phoenix, Arizona and then to Taft, California for advanced training. Starting out, Rad flew P-39s at Edwards Air Force Base. At the height of 6'3" he was promoted in flying the Hudson bombers, the final plane he flew was the B-25, twin engine. His assignments involved dropping bombs on Kiska (an island occupied by the Japanese). During these bombing raids he was stationed in Anchorage, Alaska.
Upon his assignment ending he was re assigned to Tonopah, Nevada where he taught instrument flying. In 1944, he was transferred to Paterson field in Dayton, Ohio where he worked terminating Air force contracts. In 1946, Rad was discharged as captain. Upon completion of his military service, Rad returned to Mobile and started working for the Alabama Dry Docks & Shipbuilding Company (ADDSCO). ADDSCO He started in the insurance department taking workman compensation clams. He also piloted the company plane and lobbied in D.C. as a representative of the company. served on Shipbuilders Council
Upon his promotion he was made manager of his department, secretary of the company, treasurer, and finally the vice president of the company. He was voted in 1963 as President of the Alabama Dry Docks and Shipbuilding Company, where he served until his retirement in 1981. For one additional year, he worked as a consultant for the docks, until his final retirement in 1982. Projects he oversaw during his years at the docks were a 120 million dollar contract with the Navy for submarine vessels. Also, he oversaw drilling rigs for oil companies, such as Exxon for 95 million dollars where a pipe was barged in the North Sea.
Upon his retirement Rad served as vice chairman of J.J. Henry and Co on the 93rd floor of the twin towers in New York City. He did this until Lucy was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
How Rad met my Grandmother Lucy is quite an interesting story that deserves the attention I will give it. While reading Rad's memoir, I was surprised how he felt when he first met Lucy, and how surprised he seemed when she said yes to marry him. In 1945, rad attended a party at Dr. Oswalts where Mrs. Emma Dee Pillars, introduced Lucy to Rad. Rad's first impression was Lucy's difficult mannerisms and found himself having a hard time carrying on a light conversation with his future wife. At this time, Rad moved back to Mobile to Work at the Dry Docks.
Upon Rad's return home to work and live with his mother, Ms. Lulie built at social hangout for her son and his friends. This homemade bar and dance floor, came to be known as, "Raddy's Paddy." Lulie and Rad converted the inside of the garage into a bar, and had a friend paint the face of a person on the dance floor. it was at such social gatherings, that Rad began to see more of Lucy, although she usually brought a date.
Ms. Lulie had a saying that, "pretty is as pretty does," and from this point of view Rad saw that Lucy (in his opinion) had the right philosophy of life, the right principals, and a dry sense of humor. In 1947, Lucy made her debut at Mardi Gras, and asked Rad to be her escort (AKA knight). On the day of the festivities, Rad had a case out of Mobile to research and missed the party all together.
As a peace offering, Rad presented to Lucy a white goat with a red ribbon around his neck. In shock, Lucy accepted the goat but eventually gave it to the cousins, Luc and Babe Wilson, who finally gave the goat to shipyard workers, where he lived indefinitely. During this process, Rad proposed and he and Lucy were married November of 1947. The significant aspect of their marriage, were the places and houses that lived in, that eventually led them to the house at the Gulf, where Lucy lived until her death in 1986.
Their first place of residence was at an apartment in D'leberville where they lived their first four years of marriage, and where Cliff and Ben were born. Their second residence was at Terrace Avenue, a two bedroom, two-bath house where Cammie was born. In 1952, Ole Miss (Lucy's mother), died of melanoma, and from 1957-1979, Lucy and Rad lived at Ashland Place, which they inherited from the Campbell's. In 1958, they purchased the Gulf house, which they used as a summer home, until they finally moved there in 1979. Rad remarked in his memoir, "Lucy truly loved the gulf and I feel her happiest years were spent there," also... "I think the children enjoyed the freedom of the gulf, but at times got a bit restless." It was here Rad remarried and lived until 1998, when he sold the home and gave half the acreage to Cammie, where she has built a lovely home, next door to the main house. Rad and Douglas since, have built a home in Daphne, where the Currently reside.
Dr. Alfred Edward Maumenee, Jr.
ebooksread alfred-edward-maumenee interview
ebooksread alfred-edward-maumenee interview
The last person, in the character sketch to note, is Rad's brother, Dr. Alfred Edward Maumenee, JR. MD. (1913-1998). Dr. Maumenee had a fascinating career, which I was not aware of until I read articles on him and visited the Johns Hopkins Wegsite at http://www.johnshopkins.com Dr. Maumenee was the director of the Wilmer Eye Institute, whose career spanned 50 years, until his retirement at Point Clear, Alabama. He practiced ophthalmology that he contributed to clinical and laboratory advances in "corneal transplantation, uveitis, cataract surgery, glaucoma, retinal, and macular diseases."
During the 1950's Ed was the first to identify and study corneal trasplant rejection, he specializedin corneal trasplantations. Among his accomplishments, he was the first to perform fluorescein angiographies, first to classify macular diseases, he was an innovator of anterior segment microsurgery, and his scientific and laboratory research led to 300 scientific articles, chapters, and books.
Dr. Maumenee received his education from the University of Alabama, Cornell University, and the Wilmer Institute at Johns Hopkins University. During his career he served in the Navy during WWII, in 1946 he was made staff at Wilmer Institute, in 1948 he was a professor and the head of ophthalmology at Stanford University. In 1955, he served as chairman and director at Wilmer Institute, where he served until 1979. Permanent tributes to his career can be found at Johns Hopkins where today the Maumenee building at Wilmer, and the A. Edward Maumenee professorship is still at work at Johns Hopkins.
Dr. Maumenee held many titles in associations, such as the Association of American University Professor of Ophthalmology, which he founded, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (CARVO). He served as president and chairman of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Pan American Association of Ophthalmology, and the National Eye Institute. Ed's goal was to be the "best ophthalmologist in the world," a goal he set to conquer and clearly accomplished. His legacy continues in the "success of his residents," and the true enjoyment of his career was, "teaching and seeing my resident really learn and accomplish things."
From the research I conducted, the history I learned of, and the tremendous amount of information Rad and Douglas supplied to me, as well as Mrs. Otto Hodges, I learned many things about my family I was unaware of. For example the Stinson plantation, my Uncle Ed's work at Johns Hopkins, my grandfather working for a firm at the twin towers, and the deep history that surround Mobile. All of these details of some one's life established the scene the preceding generations are born into. The maumenee's are a well-established southern family, far from perfect, they have returned to society, the values, traits, and experiences thay learned from their forefathers.
The sad and unusual truth surround the family, is the extinction of the Maumenee Surname. Only daughters have been born to the Maumenee men, Cliff and Ben. The name ends at this generation, however two of Uncle Ed's sons, will continue the Maumenee name through their lineage. As much as I have learned of the history of this paper, I have also gained a new respect and admiration of those who have come before me, and those will come behind.
Maumenee 17, 18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,& 27