Three Noll Brothers

My Stay at the Lark Ellen Home for Boys - 1935

For a couple of years in 1935-36 my Mother put the three of us boys in the Lark Ellen School for boys. We understood the reason we were there and that it was only for a short time while she finished her education and then we would have our own home. I was actually too young (four) but they took me because of my two brothers. The Home was in Los Angeles, California on Olympic Avenue. I remember two giant stone lions guarding the front entrance.

They were good to us. We lived there every day and ate our meals there. The Home was run and financed by the Lions Club for orphans and parents who could not temporarily keep their children. Remember it was in the middle of the Great Depression and many were in bad financial straits. You didn't have to pay if you couldn't but if you could help they wanted your help. My Mother didn't have any money but she volunteered to give the some 40 boys haircuts each month.

She did it with a pair of hand hair cutters for each boy. And that meant we got to see her more often. On occasions she came to get us for weekends for excursions to different places. One place that I remember was the Olympic swimming pool at the Los Angeles Coliseum. On several occasions the entire group went to Long Beach to go swimming in the ocean. They took the group on these outings in a truck. It was a large stake truck and all the kids rode in back, all except me. Much to my disgust, because of my age (lower than everybody else), I had to ride in the cab.

Eventually, Mom got her degree and we all lived together in Arlington, California and she got a job teaching at a High School in Riverside. Her job was as a Home Economics Teacher. Often, she brought home things her students had cooked. Sometimes the food was good and sometimes it wasn't.

Paul, Crawford and Donald at 5, 6 and 7