Poor Boy Makes Good!
A grandson of immigrants, my grandmother arrived at Ellis Island alone at the age of 12. Johanna married early. Her husband Adolf ran a dairy business, bottling and delivering milk by horse and wagon. There is one treasured heirloom from that era, a milk bottle with the Centner family name inscibed in the glass. Gramma was widowed in 1929 with a family of 4 to support. She did factory work, ran her own restaurant and sold liquor out the back door to policeman and others during Prohibition. She worked hard, saved and was able to purchased property by the end of World War II. She became a landlord, which we just took for granted as we grew up within her influence. Gramma experienced one daughter admitted to a sanitarium for tuberculosis in the 1930's and a son who died prematurely in the early 1950's. Like his father, he left a widow and family of 4 for Gramma to help care for in a downstairs apartment. One of Gramma's daughters was my mother.
Dad grew up on a farm and graduated the 8th grade from a one room schoolhouse. He was the youngest of 5 children. He hated crooks as he described anyone who was dishonest. He worrried whenever we went swimming as he had almost drowned as a child. He survived World War II. He hated guns. He was awarded a purple heart and a bronze star while on active duty in Germany. The medals were stored, unceremoniously, in the bottom of a large wardrobe, in their cases, underneath other life memorabilia, never to be acknowledged or spoken of during his lifetime......to be continued
........ I am a baby boomer....to be continued
....... I was encouraged to read by my teachers in elementary school. There were very few books in my home, but there were libraries nearby and a bookmobile came to our school every Tuesday. I loved archeology and ancient history, mythology, biographies, science fiction, comic books and novels. My parents argued continuously and were always struggling with their bills. The bathroom didn't work in our home, the pipes under the sink were broken, the house was always a mess,. I was always embarrassed that our home was ramshackle, lawn overgrown and uncared for. I feared failure as staying at home after high school meant being stuck in a place that was a dead end and stifling to my psyche. I had to get out of there, some way, some how!
....... to be continued