AJ, meanwhile, had spent time in the army stateside and then had moved to New York and enrolled in the Art Students League. Lee reconnected with him and started a regular stream of mail correspondence. This was all done clandestinely, of course. While she never wavered in her perceived obligation to care for Bob, she was also driven to make some semblance of an emotional and intellectual life for herself.

In the Fall of 1946, Lee discovered that she was pregnant again. The pregnancy provided the impetus for Lee and Bob to move out again, this time to a tiny, one-room apartment on Greenwood Avenue, near the Trenton train station while Gary remained with his Grandparents. In July 1947, Robin was born 3 weeks prematurely. Lee wanted Gary to bond with his new brother, so he moved to the apartment. Shortly after that, the whole family moved to a small house in Morrisville, PA. This was the first taste of normalcy for everyone. Bob had started working at a desk job and Lee was now a full time housewife and mother. The family even had a dog, a golden Cocker Spaniel named Buffy.

A mechanic friend had devised a way for Bob to drive a standard shift car with his handicap. This was the era before automatic transmissions were common or cheap. The mechanism rigged a bar between the clutch and brake pedals so Bob could manipulate both at once with his left leg while using the accelerator with the right. Having the mobility of a car greatly raised his spirits, enabling him to transport himself to work, to drive-in restaurants, and even to drive-in movie theaters. In 1948, Bob bought a failing bowling alley in Trenton (the "Gaiety Lanes" later changed to "Olden Lanes") on Olden Avenue. [SEE NOTE BELOW] He quickly turned the business around, attracting double leagues 6 nights a week and drawing some World Champions to his meticulously maintained alleys. (Trenton was, at that time, bowling's center of the universe). The family was financially sound for the first time.

Naturally, this engendered another move, back to Trenton to a nice house in South Trenton, off Lalor Street. Gary spent three years in Lalor elementary, a new record of stability. Bob spent most of his time at the bowling alley. Lee kept house, nurtured Robin, and engaged in strange hobbies (such as building an HO Gauge Railroad and recasting O'Henry's Ransom of Red Chief as a radio script for a performance by Gary's Cub Scout pack). Everyone was... thriving.

NOTE: In 2020, we made contact with long-lost relatives through one of the geneaology apps. One of them informed us that a group of our father's cousins collectively bought the bowling alley for him. Given the financial toll on the family by his illness, this was an incredibly genrous act on their part and we are grateful to be able to document it here.


Robin, Gary, and Lee in the Greenwood Avenue apartment (1948)