David H. Kubert, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Roy Martin Boyd, Philadelphia, Charles H. Brunner, Jr., Norristown, for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Ross, Gunther, Wright, Woodside and Ervin, JJ.
[ 176 Pa. Super. Page 627]
This is an appeal from the order of the Court of Common Pleas No. 5 of Philadelphia County dismissing exceptions to the master's report and dismissing the complaint in divorce a.v.m. It was a bitterly fought contest in which there were twenty master's hearings and 938 pages of testimony. We have carefully
[ 176 Pa. Super. Page 628]
reviewed the testimony and have concluded that the case was properly decided by the master and the lower court.
The parties were married December 9, 1925 and at the time the appellant was thirty-three years of age and the appellee was twenty-nine years of age. They lived together in Narberth until January 5, 1952, at which time the appellant left their common abode and went to the Bala Apartments to reside. One son was born to the parties on January 27, 1928. At the time of the hearing he was married and worked as a florist for his father.
The marriage was fairly harmonious until 1940. The appellant testified that at a florists' party in Reading he and Jack Coxe left appellee and others, went up to the fifth floor of the hotel and entered a room where two strange show girls were and kidded with them, when his wife came along and complained about it. Certainly this was not an indignity to the appellant but could have been considered one to the appellee. In 1941 the appellant's company gave a party for their employees and wives and he testified that while he was dancing with one of his employees the appellee 'kicked me in the pants' and then pulled him away from his dancing partner, whereupon the appellee went off and danced with someone else. The appellee testified that she merely tapped the appellant on the shoulder and told him not to forget that she was there as he had not danced with her for about three hours. He testified that in 1945 she threw a shovel of coal at him in the greenhouse. She said that he locked her out of the house in winter without a coat and this made her angry and that she followed him to the greenhouse and threw a piece of coal at him. The appellant admitted that he locked her out of the house on numerous occasions. In 1946 she got a Scout
[ 176 Pa. Super. Page 629]
hatchet and held it over his head. She said he had hit her on the head and hurt her and that she threatened to come after him with the hatchet if he hurt her again. He testified that he overpowered her and took the hatchet away from her. She testified that she put it back where it belonged. Their son John contradicted both by saying that he took the hatchet from his mother. In 1945 appellant purchased a house in Beach Haven and he stated that things were pleasant for the first season there. In 1946, in July or August, he stated that she criticized him for visiting neighbors and spending his time on the beach and leaving her alone at home. Appellant also stated that she would leave dirty dishes in the sink for several days at a time and that the house was not kept clean. She, on the other hand, testified that she took good care of the house. Some of appellant's witnesses corroborated her in this as did the appellee's witnesses. He also stated that she did not prepare meals for him at times and she said that the only times she failed to do this were when she was ill or he had abused her. He testified that sometime in 1947 she threw a bowl of ice over his head in the presence of one of his friends. In the same year the parties attended a banquet at the Warwick Hotel and were accompanied by two of the appellant's employees and their wives and their son Blair and his wife. The appellant escorted the wife of one of his employees into the dining room and assumed that the appellee ...