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BY SYNTHIA HARDY KUSHNER

Lou Ann Hardy FAMILY JEWELS


Some are bright and shiny. A few are muted and dull. Several are of significant monetary value. Most not so much. They are treasures that have been lovingly passed down from generation to generation. They are the family jewels of Lou Ann Hardy. Only some of which can even be worn.

Lou Ann Hardy FAMILY JEWELS


Lou Ann Hardy

Lou Ann Hardy

Family Jewels

TOP ROW: Mae and Sodie. Synthia, Lou Ann and Eleanor

Family Jewels

Lou Ann’s Bracelet

MIDDLE ROW: Domicella, Al and Fritz Lucas. Mae and Sodie. Synthia and Lucas.

Frank and Francis Turpin

I prefer liberty to chains of diamonds.

— M ary Worle y Montagu

Predating the contributors to Lou Ann’s family jewel collection, was a collection of individuals who, like so many others of their time, fearlessly ventured from their homeland to make new lives in America. They emigrated primarily from Ireland, England and Lithuania. Some were set on blending into the greater American population. Others, such as the Lithuanians who were Lou Ann’s grandparents on her father Alexander’s side, were not. Instead they chose to settle in enclaves entirely populated by people of the same origin, where only their native language was spoken.

Eleanor’s Ring

Eleanor’s Earrings

BOTTOM ROW: Lucas. Synthia in Hawaii. Lou Ann. Francis Turpin.

Along with the new arrivals, the family also had a branch of Native Americans from the Black Foot tribe. Growing-up in a generation where many were a part of massive immigration, Eleanor, Lou Ann’s mother, was particularly proud of her Native American heritage. 2

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“Marius Amid the Ruins of Carthage” by John Vanderlyn.

Lou Ann Hardy

Lou Ann Hardy

I would rather be adorned by beauty of character than jewels. Jewels are the gift of fortune, while character comes from within. Family Jewels

Family Jewels

Francis’ Broach

The oldest piece of jewelry in the family collection originally belonged to Lou Ann’s great-grandmother,

— Titus M accius Pl autus

Francis Turpin.

“The thing I remember most about her was her straight black hair,” recalls Lou Ann. “Even as an old lady, she didn’t have a single gray hair.”

Burl, Francis and Glen Turpin

The Turpins were a very prominent family in Olney, Illinois. Grandmother Turpin’s children included Burl, Cora, Eula, Nell and, Lou Ann’s grandfather, Glen. Eula, also known as Aunt Dude, was a favorite of Lou Ann’s mother, Eleanor. The city of Olney was established around 1815 when Thaddeus Morehouse, a native of Vermont, arrived by wagon and built a log cabin along a stagecoach route that ran from Vincennes, Indiana to St. Louis to serve as a hotel and tavern. It was incorporated as a village in 1848. The Civil War brought a great deal of turmoil to the county as there were sympathies for both sides. Both Lincoln and Stephen Douglas spoke at separate political rallies on the same day, September 20, 1856. The Olney newspaper was said to be the first to endorse Lincoln. “The Turpins owned half the town,” says Lou Ann. “The family was affluent, with professionals as well as merchants.”

Francis Turpin’s Necklace

Burl, Cora, Eula, Nell and Glen Turpin

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Lou Ann Hardy

Lou Ann Hardy

Family Jewels

Family Jewels

Lou Ann’s from Glen

Glen Turpin knew the

value of an education — and the value of rewarding it accordingly.

“Pawpappy always gave me jewelry to recognize my school accomplishments,” recalls Lou Ann fondly. Married to Mae Castle, Glen also stressed the importance of getting a good education, including a high school diploma, to their two daughters, Eleanor and Betty. This was unusual for the time.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Glen and Eleanor. Glen. Eleanor and Betty. Eleanor, Glen and Betty. Glen. GLEN and Mae.

When Eleanor was born in 1917, less than 20% of all 15 to 18-year-olds were enrolled in a high school and less than 10% of all American 18-year-olds graduated. Women did not receive the right to vote until 1920 and were significantly less likely to complete their high school education than their male counterparts. The economic value of a woman with an education was diminished by the Great Depression which by 1932 had left 12 million people out of work. As a result, not only were women discouraged Glen and Mae from “taking jobs” from men, but some states actually passed laws against hiring women. Nevertheless, Eleanor, who was so intelligent that she was skipped ahead one grade, did graduate from high school, much to her father’s delight. “Mom absolutely adored her father,” states Lou Ann.

Proverbs are mental gems gathered in the diamond districts of the mind.

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— Willia m R. Alger

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Lou Ann Hardy

Laura's Wedding Set

Family Jewels

Lou Ann Hardy Family Jewels

Glen’s poker pals were all millionaires who apparently didn’t mind frequently parting with their money and/or wife’s jewelry. For fifty years, the group played every Friday with Glen winning far more often than not.

Perhaps time's definition of coal is the diamond.

—Kahlil Gibr an

Glen and Mae Turpin were divorced at a time when the divorce rate was at a historic low and considered much more of a scandal than today. The separation affected everyone in the family differently. As a toddler, Betty was too young to really understand what was happening. However, the stigma and daily separation from her beloved father, profoundly affected the teenage Eleanor. While Mae quickly moved on to her second marriage, Glen became quite the man about town.

Conversely, prior to meeting Glen, Laura Llewellen’s life had not always been a winning one. Laura’s first husband, who had been a jeweler, and their young daughter died as the result of a diphtheria epidemic which killed thousands in the Chicago area in the early 1900s. A tiny but intense woman, Laura was employed as a manager at the Bobbie Brooks clothing factory when she met and fell in love with Glen Turpin. Totally content with his bachelor life, neither Laura nor any of his other dates were going to quickly persuade him to take another trip down the aisle. Fortunately, Laura was a woman of extraordinary patience. “Laura was always very nice to me, although she was also very strict. She had a cute little apartment that I loved and a huge button collection from the Bobbie Brooks clothes,” remembers Lou Ann. “She so loved Pawpappy. They dated for over twenty years and she really took care of him the whole time.” Laura’s supreme patience eventually paid off. She and Glen finally married in 1959.

Bachelorhood suited Glen just fine. Dashingly handsome, unfailingly nice and steadily employed as a steel mill engineer, Glen never lacked for companionship. While most of his dalliances casually ran their course, there were two relationships that evolved into lifelong commitments. These included his Friday night poker game and Laura Llewellen. Both contributed significantly to the family jewels. Lou Ann’s Ring

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Lou Ann Hardy

Lou Ann Hardy

Family Jewels

Family Jewels

Mae Castle,

Lou Ann’s maternal grandmother who was called Grandy, was not an easy person to understand. The youngest child in a troubled family from the wrong side of the tracks, early traumas undoubtedly contributed to her narcissistic idiosyncrasies. But she did marry well. Mae married Glen from the relatively well-to-do Turpin family and together had two daughters, Eleanor and Betty. As was common during the depression, the family took in boarders, one of whom was a significantly younger military man, Everette Overturf, whose nickname was Sodie. Shortly thereafter, Mae began an affair with him. After her divorce from Glen, Mae and Sodie married. “Grandy and Sodie taught me how to have fun,” explains Lou Ann. “When I was really young, they completely spoiled me – especially Grandy who always loved the baby in the family. I would sit on her lap for hours and pretend to drive to visit relatives. There was no discipline. Grandy never said no to anything – but also never kept a promise, especially to the children. Poor Mom had to wipe away a lot of disappointed tears. And when my cousin, Merri Ann, came along and I wasn’t the baby anymore, things changed.”

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Many individuals have, like uncut diamonds, shining qualities beneath a rough exterior.

— Juvenal

Mae and Sodie

Sodie and Mae

Mae’s Watch Broach

“Sodie, on the other hand, was kind and totally dependable. He worked nights and would spend days playing with me while my parents were at work. One of my favorite memories was of Sodie taking me fishing for tadpoles that he had planted where I could catch them.”

Mae, Synthia and Sodie

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Lou Ann Hardy

Lou Ann Hardy

Family Jewels

Family Jewels

I have always felt a gift diamond shines so much better than one you buy for yourself.

Betty’s Rhinestone Collection

— M ae West

Al, Eleanor, Chud and Betty

Just as reflected by her jewelry, there was absolutely nothing subtle about

Betty Jo Turpin.

The total opposite of her elegant, rule-abiding sister, Eleanor, Betty lived a life with ruthless, thrill seeking abandon from the very beginning.

Mary Holtrop and Marius Rooks “Mom used to say that even when she was little, more often than not, Betty would decide that having fun now was worth were married the punishment later. It was an attitude that completely mystified her,” laughs Lou Ann. on February 16, 1950 12

Betty and Eleanor

Almost as wide as she was tall, Betty could dance all night – and often did. Eventually married six times, to men from various nationalities, she often said she regretted none of them. Her second husband, Chuddie Costello of the Chicago Mafia Costellos, provided a multitude of adventures and family tales – some of which were actually true. Betty

and Chud’s union also provided a daughter, Merri Ann. As Lou Ann recalls, “I was five or six when Betty was pregnant and not happy at having competition for my favorite Aunt’s attention. To reassure me, Betty told me she would have rather had a pony too, but, unfortunately, she was having a baby.“ 13


Lou Ann Hardy

Lou Ann Hardy

Family Jewels

Family Jewels

The words that enlighten the soul are more precious than jewels.

— Hazr at Inayat Khan

Lou Ann

It’s hard to tell whether

Eleanor Ilene Turpin’s

jewelry was elegant – or whether her inner elegance simply reflected on whatever she wore. Eleanor’s Broaches

Lou Ann, muses, “Mom would be working hard cleaning the house, dressed in a housecoat and still look perfectly put together. She’d have on full make-up and not a hair out of place. She always looked great. It was amazing.” More than a pretty face with Betty Grable legs, and despite skipping a grade in school, Eleanor never felt particularly smart, especially in math. However, she was never afraid to go after what she wanted — including a husband. As Eleanor often recounted, “Al Lucas wasn’t all that interested in girls, but he was a great catch and I went after him. He was handsome, owned a car and had a job. That was the best you could do during the depression.” Mae, Eleanor and Glen

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Lou Ann Hardy Family Jewels

Lou Ann Hardy Family Jewels

Eleanor’s Cuff Guards

“Not only was Mom a whiz at living on a budget, but she was also very generous and kind to others who weren’t so lucky,” reveals Lou Ann. “She was always taking food to people who were in need. However, she’d make-up an excuse such as she had made too much or some other thing so they wouldn’t make them feel like it was charity.”

The newlyweds soon began what would be a lifelong passion for travel. Unique for the time in their economic circumstances, the pair traveled around the country whenever possible. They wanted to see and learn about everything they could find, from major attractions to unknown roadside amusements. Their adventures were well documented in photos, film and Eleanor’s vividly detailed journals. Married over six years with no pregnancies, the couple expected that they would never have children. Therefore, it was an unexpected but pleasant surprise when Eleanor found herself pregnant with Lou Ann. A child of the Depression, Eleanor strongly believed in living within her means – and knew how to live well on very little.

Although she worked hard at making her husband’s various business ventures profitable enough to support the family, Eleanor eventually found her own professional success in retail sales. Her success at selling women’s clothing, especially ladies’ coats, prompted Chicago retail icons Marshall Fields and Carson, Pirie, Scott to continually compete for her services. Lou Ann says, “Mom was such a success in retail because she had great taste and was completely honest with everyone. She refused to lie to make a sale, so customers trusted her and always came back. She also knew how to make people look beautiful.” Thanks to saving everything she earned in retail for several years, she and Al were able to buy a house in Florida and retire comfortably. “Mom was so wise. She did what she had to do to support us — but she also did what she wanted to do,” states Lou Ann.

Al, Lou Ann and Eleanor. Eleanor. Mae, Sodie, Betty, Al and Eleanor

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Lou Ann Hardy

Al’s Cufflinks

Family Jewels

Lou Ann Hardy Family Jewels

Alexander Samuel Lucas

was the third child his mother, Domicella, had given birth to in just a little over two years. With his mother physically depleted from the multiple pregnancies, infant Al had to rely on his own constitution for survival. Fortunately, he was up to the challenge. Al was born to parents who had come to the United States from Lithuania, a country in Northeastern Europe and the largest of the three Baltic states which also includes Estonia and Latvia. They lived in an entirely Lithuanian community in the Chicago area, which allowed Domicella to avoid having to learn English. It was a culture in which males ruled unquestionably. Al’s siblings were brother Joseph (Joe), the oldest child, and sister Francis (Fritz). Handsome and athletic, young Al was considered smart but was not particularly interested in education. A truly gifted athlete, he dropped out of high school when he joined

Al’s Basketball Team

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Eleanor and Al

Lou Ann and Al

Fritz, Al and Joe

Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.

— Chinese Pr overb 19


Lou Ann Hardy

Lou Ann Hardy

Family Jewels

Family Jewels

family gems

Betty

Al, Synthia, Lou Ann and Eleanor

Al and Joe

Al’s Ring

a semi-professional basketball team and became ineligible to play for his high school team. “Daddy was my playmate,” recalls Lou Ann. “I was the only girl with a baseball mitt at five years old. While Mom was at work, we would go to all sorts of sporting events in Fort Wayne, like the Pistons basketball, the Comets hockey and my favorites, the Daisy’s, which was a women’s baseball team. I wanted to be Dottie Schroeder, their shortstop.” While Al may not have valued his own education, he 20

did value Lou Ann’s. He gave her $10, a huge sum for the time, for each report card in which she earned straight A’s. When not indulging in their love of travel, Al and his wife Eleanor owned a variety of businesses including a boarding house, dry cleaners and a restaurant. Eventually, Al went to work in a steel mill, where he was also the union secretary. Retirement in Florida was a dream come true where the couple, naturally, traveled to every event they could find.

Grandy loved the electric Hawaiian guitar and wanted everyone in the family to learn to play it.

Mae and Sodie

was fond of saying You own things. You don’t let them own you.” Good advice that the freewheeling Betty lived by. It is, also probably worth noting that at the time of her death, Betty did have a lot of stuff.

For some undisclosed (but highly speculated about) reason, Al’s mother (Domicella) quit speaking to his father – for 40 years! Because of her Black Foot Indian heritage, Al always teased Eleanor that she had “dirty feet."

Daisies

The Fort Wayne were a woman’s professional baseball team that played from 1945 through 1954 in the All-American Girl’s Professional Baseball League.

Dorothy Schroeder (Dottie) was a shortstop who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. At age fifteen, Schroeder became the youngest founding member of the league, thus having the distinction of being the only girl to play in the league for its twelve full seasons. A three-time All-Star and ranked in the Top-10 in several offensive categories, she was arguably the top shortstop in league history. After the league folded in 1954, she played four more years on a touring team of 11 All-Americans.

Al’s brother Joe married Eleanor’s cousin, Mae. They had two daughters, Sue Jo and Patti. Although Sue Jo was ten years older than Lou Ann, as adults, they looked like identical twins.

Al’s siblings Joe and Fritz both died before their 50th birthday – while Al lived to be 95.

Dorothy Schroder

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Lou Ann Hardy

Lou Ann Hardy

Family Jewels

Family Jewels

Lou Ann Lucas was

five WHEN the family bought a restaurant, the Alpine Grill, and moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana.

When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds & diamonds are made under pressure.

— Peter M arshall

The move was off to a less than auspicious beginning when it was discovered that little Lou Ann had been playing hooky from kindergarten. “All the kids were doing at school was playing. I already knew how to play. I wanted to learn something,” explains Lou Ann. The problem was solved by moving Lou Ann up to the kindergarten class that was half a year ahead – and was learning things. Attending the new class during the day and running the cash register at their restaurant in the evenings kept the precocious Lou Ann happily engaged. “I loved running the cash register at the restaurant,” Lou Ann recalls. “People would give me really large bills to see if I could make the correct change. I could and got great tips!”

Lou Ann through the years

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Lou Ann Hardy Family Jewels

Lou Ann Hardy Family Jewels

Lou Ann’s Watch Broach

It probably didn’t hurt that, unlike most children, Lou Ann could talk to adults with ease. Not only was she an only child, which meant spending time primarily with adults, but she also had significantly older cousins. The daughters of her Uncle Joe, cousins Sue Jo and Patti were a decade older and had the unenviable responsibility of taking Lou Ann with them everywhere they went when she joined them at their lake cottage during the summers. “They had to take me along wherever they went all summer,” admits Lou Ann. “And they thought I was terribly spoiled. Of course, they were right, I was! Still, it was a lot of fun, for me anyway. I learned a lot from them and their teenage friends.” The first real challenge of Lou Ann’s young life came in the form of her third grade teacher, Mrs. Bill, who didn’t like her. When the distraught Lou Ann announced this sad truth to her mother, Eleanor explained to the eight year old, that it was her responsibility to win the teacher over. Says Lou Ann, “Mom was very wise when it came to giving advice. She wasn’t preachy, just offered help. She taught me so much. Oh, and Mrs. Bill even came to my high school graduation.” 24

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Lou Ann Hardy

Lou Ann Hardy

Family Jewels

Family Jewels

Lou Ann and Company

Elementary school was full of learning, theater and pageants for Lou Ann, who also loved tutoring the other kids. The challenge presented at eleven by a severe case of the mumps, which left her deaf in one ear, was met with the same “can do” attitude she demonstrated in her other endeavors.

Lou Ann’s Necklace

Somewhat overwhelmed by junior high, Lou Ann’s popularity plummeted when her new classmates thought she was too smart – and too intense. Again, her mother wisely suggested that she try smiling at everyone she saw in the halls. It worked rather quickly, and the again popular Lou Ann was ready to take on high school.

time to take advantage of the many extracurricular activities Southside High School offered. Along with being in charge of many school events, she ranked sixth in the state for speech, was a radio reporter, did service work for teachers and acted in theater productions at every opportunity. “I wanted to be a professional actress, and auditioned in high school,” recalls Lou Ann. “I really liked being funny. Not making fun of others, but of myself.”

Despite all her additional interests, Lou Ann graduated with almost twice the required class credits. As proud as her parents were of her intelligence, they were even more proud that she was known as much for her As an academic superstar, Lou Ann had niceness as for her grades.

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The entire family was big card players. The children were allowed to help the adults play (usually from their lap) until they were six. Then they were expected to play on their own!

family gems

Lou Ann and Fellow Actors

Family vacations were a big part of Lou Ann’s youth – despite her tendency towards car sickness. During his bachelor days, Glen Turpin would often go on vacation with Al, Eleanor and Lou Ann

From kindergarten through high school, one of Lou Ann’s best friends was Sally Chapman. The most popular girl in their grade, Sally was very nice and was allowed to wear make-up and hose – unlike Lou Ann. Lou Ann always dreamed of being a mermaid. She and her friends would put stocking caps on their legs and wiggle on the floor.

Lou Ann

rode the city bus from school to her parents’ restaurant every day at the age of five. While Lou Ann thought she was alone, her mother had actually made arrangements with the bus driver to watch over her.

Classmate Judy Christman & Lou Ann took turns scoring the highest on their annual competency tests.

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Lou Ann Hardy

Lou Ann Hardy

Family Jewels

Family Jewels

Bud and Lou Ann

Lou Ann’s other primary activity during high school was dating. Lou Ann’s Diamond

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Rich & rare were the gems she wore. And a bright gold ring on her hand she bore. — Thom a s Moore

“Daddy wouldn’t let me go anywhere with girls — only boys. As a result, it wasn’t unusual for me to have dates with several different guys on the same day. My biggest dating problem was that Daddy wouldn’t allow phone calls during our hour-long dinner every night. If the phone rang, he would pick it up, state that we were eating and hang up. No names. No messages. Nothing,” says Lou Ann. Lou Ann liked dates who were good company and witty. Having spent so much time with her father, she was always comfortable around men. A pretty, smart and fun loving young woman who loved all sports, it was no wonder that she had so many admirers. 29


Lou Ann Hardy

Lou Ann Hardy

Family Jewels

Family Jewels

Lou Ann’s Pearls

After her first serious relationship with Jay Smith was squashed primarily by his disapproving mother, B. Marvin Hardy II (Bud) entered her life. “I really had no desire to go out with Bud, but the girl he was dating did something to a friend of mine, so I went after him in revenge,” confesses Lou Ann. “Then my mother started pushing me to continue going out with him because the other guy I was dating showed up with beer breath. Bud was charming, smart and very ambitious. Being four years older than I was, he was ready to get serious. He gave me an ultimatum, and we got engaged.” Being concerned that 18 was too young for their brilliant daughter to get married, Lou Ann’s parents insisted she get a college degree first. Lou Ann explains, “Mom loved working in retail, but with only a high school diploma, she had no other choices. She wanted to make sure that I had choices.” By testing out of many classes, she was able to earn an associate degree in business from International College in a year. She and Bud were married the weekend following her graduation. Their honeymoon in Atlanta produced a baby girl nine months later.

Lou Ann and Bud

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family gems

Neither Lou Ann’s nor Bud’s families were happy with their wedding reception. The southerners were upset that they served champagne punch at the reception (which was in the church) and the northerners were upset that there wasn’t a full open bar.

Bud

Hardy’s immediate family included: Father: B. Marvin Mother: Lelia SisterS: Anne Penn (older) and Lelia, Jr. (younger).

Shortly after Synthia was born, Lou Ann and Bud got a German Shepard puppy they named Sheena. To calm her horrified mother, Lou Ann assured her that if having a baby and puppy didn’t work out – they’d keep the baby.

Fort Wayne, Indiana was Lou Ann’s favorite place to live

Lou Ann and Grandmother Hardy had a major argument which became family lore. It was over the correct pronunciation of the word Praline.

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Lou Ann Hardy

Lou Ann Hardy

Family Jewels

Family Jewels

Growing up in Bardstown, Kentucky as the one son sandwiched between two sisters, and with a domineering mother,

B. Marvin Hardy II (Bud)

understood the allure of jewelry. Along with an impressive diamond and platinum wedding set, his wedding present to his bride was a lovely set of pearls. At the time of their marriage, Bud was a young engineer for International Harvester, busy designing what was to become the first SUV. Lou Ann also worked at Harvester, as the temporary secretary for the vice president of international affairs. She adored her boss and as part of her job she tracked his stocks, wrote reports, arranged entertaining and kept his schedule. It was perfect training for a future corporate spouse.

I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They've experienced pain and bought jewelry.

Lou Ann and Bud

As was the custom of the time, as soon as the honeymoon baby started to show, Lou Ann had to quit work. Fortunately, she was so thin; she was six months along before that happened. Despite Bud’s bets that the baby would be a boy, a baby girl was born on July 4th, 1960.

—rita Rudner

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Lou Ann Hardy

Lou Ann Hardy

Family Jewels

Family Jewels

“It was a happy time,” recollects Lou Ann. “We went to dances all the time and played word and card games with friends. We were also very active in organizations like the Elks Club.” “Bud was moving up the corporate ladder and we started doing a lot of entertaining. We hosted a lot of parties, which were hits because I was very creative and really understood how to provide a great presentation. The tricky part was doing it fast, since Bud would sometimes only give me a few hours’ notice.” “That was also the time when I wrote Bud’s engineering reports. He would dictate the basics but I really understood the engineering because it was just math.”

Bud, Lou Ann and Synthia

Lou Ann’s Pin

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Lou Ann Hardy Family Jewels

Lou Ann Hardy Family Jewels

As was the norm of the time, Bud did not want Lou Ann in the full-time work force. Yet she always seemed to be working. Among other things, she read enormous amounts of books, sewed matching coats and dresses, formed a new region for the Girl Scouts and substitute taught for three different school districts. “My favorite teaching experience was a year-long experimental assignment with at-risk sixth graders. We made grade contracts with the students so they got to choose their grade in advance and decided what they would need to learn to earn it. They learned how to learn and to want to learn. Everyone succeeded. We didn’t lose one single student,” says Lou Ann.

Lou Ann and Synthia

Later, she did bookkeeping, taxes and legal secretarial work. After she and Bud divorced after 17 years of marriage, she was one of the first three women to work in sales for Creative Advertising, a billboard company. One of her clients was Rustcraft Radio & TV in Steubenville, Ohio. Largely thanks to the Federal Communication Commission’s ultimatum that broadcasters hire women managers or risk losing their license, Rustcraft offered Lou Ann a position as their Business Manager – and a remarkable career in broadcasting began. As luck would have it, Lou Ann’s secretary was related to the owner of the jewelry store in town. Many a lunch hour was spent adding to the family jewel collection!

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Diamonds are only chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs, you see. 37

— Minnie Richard Smith


Lou Ann Hardy

Lou Ann Hardy

Family Jewels

Soon after starting at Rustcraft, the company was sold and the radio and television stations split apart. Although the initial salary was higher in radio, Lou Ann chose to hire on at the television station. It was a wise decision. “I loved television,” say Lou Ann. “You could do so many different things. I never really liked accounting, so I could delegate that part and do other more interesting, things like financial statements and traffic reports. And I really loved labor negotiations. Our New York lawyer taught me to remember that you have to work with them later – so don’t get caught up in the fight. What’s best for everyone is best for the company.” Over the next decade and through eight or nine different corporate owners, Lou Ann kept adding more responsibilities for the broadcast groups, eventually becoming the Assistant Controller. When Michigan Energy Resources decided to diversify into television, she took a position as Controller of the broadcast division and was based in Mobile, Alabama. Along with setting up computer systems, she evaluated new stations for potential purchase.

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Lou Ann, Bow, Samantha and Synthia

Family Jewels

Eleanor was a voracious reader her entire life. However, she only read nonfiction, primarily biographies.

family gems

When they were dating during the Depression, Al brought Eleanor a pair of shoes to replace hers which had holes in the sole. During their over 60 years of marriage, when Eleanor would get angry with Al, she’d comment “Well, he did buy me those shoes.” It was undoubtedly the smartest investment he ever made!

Lou Ann

traveled to Greece with the Women in Broadcasting Association in 1983. Hosted by the Greek Prime Minister’s wife, the group was given access to many places that typical tourists were not allowed. It was a once in a lifetime experience.

Eleanor always said, ”You are no better than anybody else. But don’t forget that there is nobody better than you.”

In 1984, to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, Lou Ann took her parents on a trip to Hawaii – one of the few places they had never been.

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Lou Ann Hardy

Lou Ann Hardy

Family Jewels

Family Jewels

Not on one strand are all life's jewels strung. — Willia m Morris

Gary and Synthia

After leaving television, Lou Ann’s priorities shifted to spending time with her daughter,

Synthia and, especially, her grandson, Lucas. Lou Ann eventually relocated to Michigan, where Synthia and Lucas moved when she married Gary Kushner. Says Lou Ann, “Of all our jewels, my family are by far the most valuable.”

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Lucas’ First and Last Day of School (RIGHT).

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Lou Ann Hardy Family Jewels

The most precious jewels are

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Lou Ann Hardy Family Jewels

not made of stone, but of flesh. — R ob e rt Lu dlum

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BIOGRAPHIES

Author Synthia

Hardy Kushner

Designer Tiffany McCurley Bierlein Editor Rene Johnson Additional Photography Michael Werden

For more information

www.HardyInk.com Words&Wisdom@HardyInk.com 888.410.1606


Lou Ann Hardy FAMILY JEWELS

Lou Ann Hardy Bio  

A "vignette" style biography created by Hardy Ink

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