Historical records matching Robin Adair
About Robin Adair
What follows are reminiscences in papers left by Robin's first wife, and mother to his five children. They are her perspective alone, and do record a history relatives may find helpful.
"Some things I know about your father" This is in no wise an apology for the behavior that eventually led me to leave him. But he did have some unusual experiences. When he was born in LeRoy, his father was in charge of the stable for Mr. Wooward, the man who owned Jello. There was very little money and I know Grammy stretched every nickel. Your father had severe eczema as an infant that required a lot of care and attention. Grammy had three other kids, remember! She told me once that she had had several miscarriages, too...one time twins. Gurss they didn't know or believe in birth control????? Old Jamie was King. He participated in many horse shows, both in the area and Canada. And he was good...you have seen the trophies he won. He also had the best in riding clothes for his performances. There was no doubt. He and the horses came first; wife and family second. Grammy was even expected to give him his bath! His father was an alcoholic. As a result, your Grandpa Adair refused...all his life...to drink out of a glass. He insisted upon a cup, even for water. I never knew anything about his family further than that. Your dad also had some kind of infection in the glands in his neck. I think Grammy said they thought it was tuberculosis. Anyway, with TLC, he recovered. Grammy took Jamie and Barbara to Scotland one time to visit her family. She told me how she'd can everything in sight so that no one would have to cook while she was gone, even meat! A few years later, she had saved enough to take Eleanor and your dad. Eleanor decided she'd rather play with her friends! Grammy declared she wouldn't take one without the other. She went alone!! I still don't understand it. Guess your Dad was po'd, too. When they lived on Main Street, they had no car...in fact, I don't think Mr. Adair ever learned to drive. Let alone Grammy! So it was the bus or walk. When he was a senior in high school, your dad bought a used car...a clunker but it got him around. By that time, Barbara was working and Uncle Jim was graduated from the Academy and happily married. (I loved his wife, Anne. My sisters-in-law never had a kind word for her. Jealousy, I'm sure.) Eleanor started a nursing course in Jew Jersey, I think. Anyway, she got homesick and came home after a brief stab at it. Your father had a series of part time jobs...the longest was working at the Glen, changing the signs and doing general poop work for Menno Dykstra, the owner. Maybe that's the reason he hated going to the movies later in life. The only one I can remember was "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." We went to one of the downtown theaters...this was after were married...and I remember howling hysterically afterward...it was so funny. I guess that was almost the last time we ever went... Your father was a pretty good student, too. The name "Adair" by that time was well known because Jamie had been the first young man from Williamsville to go to Annapolis. Grammy was always very active in the Methodist Church and, as a result, had many friends. Your Dad was also excellent at sports...he was a star baseball pitcher and halfback all through high school. And very handsome. He had his 'pick' when it came to the girls because so many had a crush on him. Including me!! When he graduated in '41, the war had begun. I think because he liked football so much, he decided to take a PG (post graduate) course at school. in early spring of '42, he was given an appointment to Annapolis, too. I will never know why he turned it down. Instead, he enlisted in the Marine Corps. I do know, too, that whenever he had a job, any job, he was expected to pay room and board. When he was discharged he came 'home' to live. Why he didn't take advantage of the GI Bill, I don't know either. Instead he got to work selling portraits door to door. He was good at it but the salary was iffy, as you can imagine. I was finishing at UR and Strong. Toward the end of my stint, my mother, brother and your father all came down with infectious hepatitis. My mother insisted on coming to Strong (Memorial Hospital, Rochester) for treatment and my Dad was relieved to have her there. When she was well enough to come home, Dad asked me to take time off to care for her. I did and it cost me another couple of months before I could graduate. What could I do? My brother was hospitalized at Sisters...he was really sick, too. Your father just had to take time off from work!!! I think he saw a doctor but am not even sure of that. I know when he was able to resume working, he had to repay all the room and board he had missed when he was sick. ???????? Eventually, he was hired to Western Electric and made a reliable salary and had some benefits. (Of course, they went on strike the day before we were married!) Shortly after he got out of the Marines, Eleanor rather hastily married a man named Grant Quayle. He had been a friend and was newly returned from Europe where he had served. I drove Mr. A and Grammy to the wedding and reception...it was held at the old Hotel Stuyvesant. I was confused about the whole thing having never heard of the bridegroom before. The next time I was home from school for a couple of days, I went to Park School to see Grammy. I was surprised to see Eleanor there...obviously pregnant. The marriage was over. And rumors flew. So you can see that "little Robbie," as his sisters called him (I never did) grew up in a real mishmash of high drama at times. I doubt that he was home at the time that "Bill the Busdriver's" wife came to the house and attacked Grammy for her daughter's designs upon her husband. Or when Andy Alston came over to announce that he and Barbara had been married. Mr. Adair knocked him down the stairs. Barbara was summarily discharged from the WAAC and no one knew exactly when they were married. (edits here) When we were first married, one of the scariest things was your Dad's dreaming. He would wake up out of a sound sleep, thrashing and screaming. He did go through some terrifying times when he was in the South Pacific and no one had heard of post traumatic stress syndrome in those days. I do remember hearing my parents and their friends talk about WWI veterans who had 'shell shock.' And I have told you, I think, that one of Dad's commanding officers had written to me one time to ask that I write him more often. (I was writing daily as it happened, so many of my letters were lost, I guess.) So he was in pretty bad emotional shape at one time. And again, this was never discussed. He refused. Maybe he thought it would be a sign of cowardice. I believe a lot of the young men felt that way. Stiff upper lip and all that. One of our saddest experiences was driving Grammy to the hospital to see Eleanor after her son was born. Grammy would just cry silently all the way home. Meantime, Eleanor had managed to have her marriage 'annulled' or maybe her husband did. (Fraud??) She resumed her maiden name and life went on as if nothing had happened. Years later, my friend Arline Fisher and I were talking one time and she mentioned an old neighbor of hers, Grant Quayle. I told her the story and she was speechless. Apparently he had remarried, very happily, and had a very nice family. ------ All this is transcribed from papers left by Nancy Adair Smith, Robin's first wife. The opinions woven throughout are hers alone, and reflect her perspective, not on the individuals named herein.