| Ray's diary tells us that Mary Rhodes came right out to California to help her daughter with her first pregnancy and also her second. Mary was a dedicated single mom. It was a long journey from Jefferson City, MO to Otay, CA in 1889. Her grateful daughter responded by naming her first daughter after her Mom,
Mary Trussell. These weren't the only times Mama came out to visit.
Mary Rhodes' family was descended from the French Huguenots. The French Huguenots left France in the 1680's in an effort to escape persecution under King Louis XIV. The Rhodes family, located in Missouri, kept slaves until the end of the Civil War. Some of them continued in the Rhodes' employ for some time after, but it was a time of social turmoil. May told her children of some difficulties that used to occur between black and white children when she was a youth. When May was nine, her father died and the family's financial condition took a turn for the worse. Mama Rhodes did sewing to help raise the money to get her four daughters through high school. Laura was the oldest daughter, then Grace, then May, and finally, Edith. Of the four sisters, Laura probably had the roughest life. She married a man named Scruggs, a fellow May didn't much care for. On occasion Laura would run away from Imperial Valley, where she and her husband lived, taking a bus to Escondido where May and Ray lived. Eventually her husband would come and take her home. Grace married a fellow named Burch and lived in Pasadena. Her son, Oscar, used to come visit often.