Miracle of the Hartford Circus Fire

Sunrise on Keys
Sunrise on Keys

Helen lived with her family on a tobacco farm in the CT valley. She planned to go see the circus in Hartford on July 6, 1944. Weather changed her plans.
The previous day, Helen had gone shopping with some friends in Springfield, MA. Arriving home with her parcels, she noticed the fields looked all wrong. A hail storm had passed through leveling the tobacco plants.
“Oh no,” she thought, “all of the things I bought will have to be returned.” The ruin of this crop meant a huge loss of income to her family.
Her father confirmed this. He must spend the next day working in the field and would need Helen to drive the tractor. She would not be going to the circus on the 6th!
Helen wasn’t the type of girl to weep. A Polish farm girl, she did what was expected of her. She was not among the 7000 people who crowded into the big tent pitched on Barbour Street in Hartford. She was at home seated on the family tractor.
She was not one of the 168 people who died that day in the largest circus fire on record. Nor was she among the 487 people (mostly children) who were injured.
Helen lived a long life, raised children of her own, and near the end of her life she thanked God she did not get to attend that circus.

CT 1944

Third Delivery Miracle

Sunrise and Most Southern USA Point
Sunrise at Most Southern USA Point

It was early on a Saturday morning in September. This was my third time in the hospital delivery room, the second time in just over a year. Our two young sons were still asleep in their bed and crib at home, with my mother watching them. We hoped that they would soon have a new little sister.
Some hospital procedures had changed in that year. My husband had to wear hospital garb to be in the new Lamaze delivery room. And we would have a midwife, whom we had not met, assisting the gynecologist.
Somethings didn’t change. The doctor incorrectly assumed he had time to get a cup of coffee before the delivery. One contraction after he got into the elevator, the nurse realized my labor had begun. Immediately I had to be moved by gurney to the special delivery room. My husband had to fit into a small-sized hospital outfit in a side room about the size of a closet. And the nurse had to find the doctor.
During all of this commotion the midwife arrived. She did her cheery best to calm everyone down. She chatted about being free to spend the rest of this lovely fall day at home with her family. I listened in between performing the pant-blow technique I had learned to slow the delivery.
The doctor arrived and it was time to push. Between contractions the midwife continued to chat, this time about her boys at home. My ears perked up as she said their names – Thomas Jr., Matthew and Daniel. At home we had a Charles Jr. and a Matthew. The name we picked for a girl was Grace; the name for another boy was Daniel.
At that moment, just before the final push I knew our third son was about to be born.
What kind of a miracle can we call this? Reassurance, that God had a plan and it was good. So strong was the assurance that it overcame any disappointment I might have felt.
Fifteen months later my three sons were joined by a sister named Grace. And our third son would become the only one to have sons of his own to carry on the family name.

CT 1970