Jan. 2, 1947: Second Child Dies as Tragedy Strikes Family Again

Jan. 2, 1947, Mary Worth 

Note: This is a post I wrote in 2006 for the 1947project.

Jan. 2, 1947, Douglas TrustJan. 2, 1947: In the fall of 1939, The Times carried a series of heart-wrenching stories about Dicky Trust, a toddler who was diagnosed with leukemia, which was then incurable.

“I’ve cried when I had time, but I can’t now,” his mother, Bernice, told a Times reporter. “I’ve prayed and prayed and cried—but now there is so much to do and nothing helps. Oh, nothing helps—and he’s been failing so fast today.”

“Please, God, let my baby live,” his mother sobbed as she knelt next to his crib. “My child can’t die. My child can’t die.”

The boy rallied as nurses volunteered to help him and an unidentified Riverside doctor used an unidentified injection to reduce his white blood cells. Around Thanksgiving, his mother said: “I’m sure my baby isn’t going to die.” Dicky’s appetite returned and he asked his mother: “Can I go out and play?”

Then he died a few days before Christmas. The birth of his younger brother was reported in The Times in May 1946. It seemed impossible, but a few months later he was dead too.

Public records, however, fill in the story. The Trusts had another son, Raymond, in July 1949. And as he does not appear in the state death records, or in The Times, we can hope he is still with us at the age of 56.

Bonus factoid: The Times Winter Edition includes photos of automobile plants operating in Los Angeles: Ford in Long Beach; General Motors in South Gate, making Oldsmobiles, Pontiacs and Buicks; Plymouth and Studebaker. The Times reports that a Chevrolet and a Lincoln-Mercury plant are under construction, while three factories are being converted to produce Willys, Nash and Kaiser-Frasier autos.

Quote of the day: “It was as if some Southland Jupiter on an Olympus of the Sierras had commanded the rain and the wind to cease and had ruled that this be the holiday of holidays. For there came with the dawn flame in the east a benign conspiracy of the elements to make this New Year’s Day a gentle one through which the blossomed shadows of loveliness glided effortlessly down Colorado St.

It was, too, as if this festive local Jupiter had dispatched his Olympian court to reassure the blushing rose, to alert the sleepy violet. And who indeed could gainsay the Junoesque beauty of the girls who smiled through the mist of heather?”

The Times’ Gene Sherman, on the Rose Parade

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1947, Comics, Medicine and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Jan. 2, 1947: Second Child Dies as Tragedy Strikes Family Again

  1. I had a relative who died of leukemia at a very young age in the 1970’s; it still amazes me that now it can be survived.


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