Paddy was gone for the longest time yet, it had been a few years now. He and his brother John had found work in Philadelphia. Paddy however did not last long at the job. He told everyone it wasn’t his type of work but they all knew it was because the job involved physical labor. Before long Paddy was back with his Mother because Margaret and her husband would not support him. Grandma was thankful that John had not come back also.
Paddy wasn’t back very long when Mother heard rumors that he was living with a woman, not his Mother. She had also heard that it was someone she knew but if the rumors were true, the woman was ‘homely as sin’ to use an expression in vogue at the time. She felt a little better knowing that, although she didn’t know why.
Mother was certain now that she would never take Father back under any circumstances! She told Mrs. D. that if she ever did, to just shoot her! They both had a good laugh at that idea.
Now Mr. D. although a good church going Catholic, good husband and father, also had a mistress on the side. He didn’t really seen to care if his wife knew about it or not. Mrs. D. knew she could not confront him with this as he would probably deny it and if she really got in his face, he would probably beat her up. He had beaten her on more than one occasion. Mother knew about this because Mrs. D. had come to our house with a black eye on more than one occasion.
Mrs. D. said that she would not report him because nothing would be done by the police or else he might have to spend one night in jail. And then he would be really mad at her and no telling what he would do. He had a violent temper. Besides, she needed him to support her and the kids. She had no training for any kind of work and in fact, had been lucky to graduate from high school.
So she decided the only way to get even and also enjoy herself in the process, was to do the same thing. She would get herself a boyfriend! Mrs. D. was a nice looking woman with a good figure if a bit on the thin side. She always seemed to look on the bright side of things and people liked her.
The next time Mrs. D. came to our house, she had a man in tow. He was a nice looking man with gray hair and a good tan and he was dressed well if a bit casual. He wasn’t too tall but that wasn’t a problem as Mrs. D. was on the short side, in addition to being slim. She introduced him to all of us and before long she asked Mother to join them going to a “Beer Garden,” as they were called in those days. They also served pizza there, which was all the rage then. Mother said okay she would go for a little while since it was only a few blocks away. Anna was eleven now and she had been babysitting the younger kids on occasion when Mother had to be gone. Mother didn’t drink but she said she would just get a coke and stay for a little while.
It was 1939 now, and while we were concerned with our own problems, the news coming from Europe was not good! The war drums were beating and getting louder by the minute.
To be continued.