I wish I had learned earlier that the stories of peoples’ lives were so much more important than filling in sheer facts of dates and places on a form. But I’m thankful that I did ask my Gramie about how she met my Grampa. I had been hesitant to ask, because he had passed away only a few years earlier and I had a strong sense that she still missed him very much, so I was hesitant to ask her for fear of bringing up painful feelings.
She seemed to enjoy talking about him and told me that she met him when she was at work at the shank shop.
Her job was to tape the metal shanks that became the arch supports for shoes. At that time (the 1930s) that area of Massachusetts was still a huge shoe-working center – think “Bostonian Shoe.” It seemed ironic to me that they had met at the shank shop, since it was right up the street from their home and I had memories of hearing them talk about it all my life.
He was a truck driver, and delivered supplies to the factory.
She said he would always wink at her when he came in, until finally, the red-headed son of Irish immigrants asked the beautiful daughter of Italian immigrants for a date.
They were married at the Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Whitman on 27 November 1932 and remained together until his death in January of 1971.
They had three sons, my dad, Edmund (front left), and my uncles Kevin (front right) and Shawn (the baby).