Over the next few years my Father managed to lose his job as a teacher. He always blamed the Republicans for that. He told everyone that he had refused to vote Republican and since the School Administration officials were all Republican and Pennsylvania was a Republican state in those days from the Governor on down the line, they only wanted teachers who towed the party line. He would not work in the coal mines and since that was where the jobs were in the small coal mining town where we lived, he was pretty much out of luck as far as jobs were concerned.
Paddy’s father had been killed in a coal mining accident a few years after the Christening for Joan and he went down hill after that. Between losing his teaching job and then his father in a few years, he was never the same after. He even threatened suicide one time and my Mother had to call his Mother to come and try to talk to him. I suppose he was in a depression for awhile then although no one ever heard about that then or at least no one talked about it.
So while there were reasons for his not working it still did not pay the bills and put food on the table, especially if you have several kids to feed. My Mother did go out and find a few jobs cleaning houses and cooking for wealthy people. Sometimes she had to stay overnight because her employer was having a party. She made extra money then. He was happy to stay home and watch the kids. He would sit on his rocker and hold the latest baby on his lap and sing all the songs he knew. He could cook but mostly he would make a big pitcher of lemonade and a package of cookies for us to eat. But Mother’s pay was not enough to take care of all the bills even after we moved into the shack and the rent was less.
So the fighting and arguing was beginning to be a constant thing until one day Paddy came up behind my Mother and tried to strangle her! She was pretty feisty and managed to get out of his grip and picked up the nearest thing and threw it at him, which happened to be a clock. He ducked and started to come after her again. Then she started to scream and I think he got scared that the neighbors would hear. By this time all of us kids were crying and wailing and we ran outside. She yelled at him to get out and never come back. And fortunately he did just that!
To be continued.