My mother, Ann Palwick, was one of nine siblings, all born in New Jersey. Her parents were born in Selicia, Poland and immigrated to the U.S. at the turn of the century. They were peasant folk and had gone as far as the fourth grade in grammar school held in the basement of the village church. Their family name was Pointkowski (?) but changed it to Palwick when in the U.S. All of their children graduated from high school. The oldest was Steve. Others were Ann (my mother), Joe, Henry, and, and (? I’m forgetting already yet their names!)
In the 1930s my mothers parents lived with us in Irvington. My grandfather Palwick was not home much as he was a live-in maintenance man at a large resort hotel somewhere in northern New Jersey. Later, when he retired (or was laid off?) he spent most of his time in the basement room my father had fixed up as a ham radio shack. That’s where I found him dead one evening when I went to call him for dinner. He died of a stroke. I was nine years old at the time. I never knew him well. He was pretty much a stranger to me.
My grandmother, on the other hand, was our ‘Nana” who baby-sat us when we were not at school as my mother worked 5-1/2 days a week as a legal secretary in a law office in Newark. For many years in the depression my dad did not work but he left the house every day to give the impression he was working. I have no idea where he went. He finally got a job in about 1938 or 1939 with the major power company in the northern part of the state. He was a journeyman electrician.
When the family moved from Irvington to the Jersey Shore, to Manasquan, grandma Palwick moved with us. It was she who actually put up the money for the down payment for the house my parent bought. She finally left when she was about 70 years old and took a job cleaning offices from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m., finally ended up as seamstress in a Catholic orphanage where she lived until she died. I have no pictures of my maternal grandfather but here are a few photos of Nana.
Nana in her garden about 1947
Nana about 1947.