Sometimes life can be complicated. My Father deserted our family shortly after I was born. My two sisters were seven and eight years older than me and were upset and, at my Mother’s wishes, they were not to discuss this with me until I was older. In grade school, My sisters watched over me while my Mother worked. The Story about my Father was related to me just before I entered High School. Its effect on me was miniscule, just another stumbling block living during the Depression of the 1930‘s . As a high school freshman, I was able to find jobs. I worked selling bread and rolls door to door for my Uncle John. I also worked after school at the local Grocery. My third job was in school during periods when I had no class. This was a government program for boys without fathers. During the summers, I worked with my Mother and Grandparents picking Blueberries in New Jersey. Returning home after one of the blueberry seasons, I was greeted by a letter from Uncle Sam to register for World War 2 as a draftee. I had just turned 18 and yet to finish my final half year of High School. .. In May 1943, I was inducted into the U.S. Navy and sent to the Great Lakes Naval Center North of Chicago. Normally, Boot Camp would make a boring story except about half way through my training, I was informed I had a visitor at the center. It was my Father there to see me. At the center he approached me and attempted to hug me . I resisted primarily because other than knowing that he existed, I knew nothing else about him. With three weeks to go in Boot Camp, he visited every Sunday. He seemed to express sorrow for leaving us and told me about my brother who was in the army. (My mother explained that my brother went to see him one summer and never returned home). He was about 11 years old when he left on train to Chicago, Illinois)
As a eighteen year old boy, I had no idea how to handle meeting with my Father. He never talked about the past and never ask to keep him informed of my whereabouts in the Navy.
This is a great story Joe. I'm so intrigued by your unique perspective on life during the depression. Each person had his/own experience then but we rarely get a glimpse into the individual's lives. Thanks so much for taking time to write. It's really excellent.