Lives Not Yet Intertwined

Lives Not Yet Intertwined

My dad was 16 years older than my mom, and I often think of what their lives were like before they found each other. During the 20s, when my dad was working in radio and touring up and down the West Coast as an actor, my mom was a child growing up in a company house in a Western Pennsylvania coal mining town. When my dad was working to bury…

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Claridge, PA in the 1930s

Claridge, PA in the 1930s

My mom grew up on this street. It’s in the tiny town of Claridge, in Pennsylvania's Westmoreland County, about 30 miles from Pittsburgh. Claridge was one of many coal mining communities in Western Pennslyvania. Company houses, a company store, and miners, many of them immigrants from Eastern Europe. My grandparents settled in Claridge shortly after arriving in the United States from their homeland of Slovakia, which they fled just…

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My Dad in 1913

My Dad in 1913

This is the second-oldest photo I have of my dad. According to an annotation on the back, it was taken on Essex Street in Brooklyn in the fall of 1913. (View the full-size photo.) I don’t know who the little girl is. She could be one of my dad’s sisters, but given that his eight siblings were older, I doubt it—one of his sisters would likely be…

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My Dad’s School Photo

My Dad’s School Photo

This is the oldest photo of my dad that I’ve found. He’s in the far-right row, second from the front. I’m guessing he’s about 10 or 12, which would date this photo at between 1912 and 1914. (View the full-size photo.) Born in 1902 as the youngest of nine, my dad grew up in Brooklyn. And just a little bit of photo forensics provides a detail…

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