A COLLECTIVE MEMORY

Our mother, Anastasia, was a unique person, with all the virtue of a loving Polish Mother, she cared for us and provided a home environment in which we found happiness.

I was born in a little town in Eastern Pennsylvania, which was at that time the center of the anthracite coal mining industry. Looking back, I can remember as a five (5) year old boy, a hot summer day, in the year 1920. A traveling photographer came into our neighborhood, leading a burro donkey with a wooden tripod camera attached to the animal. My mother was attracted to this man's suggestion of family children in a photo group. "Mom" was all a flutter, how to gather her scattered children? The photographer seemed impatient! Peter, my oldest brother was playing with his friends somewhere in the street. Our family method of communication was simple and universal: Mom would stand in an open doorway, and call loudly "Peter come home, I need you!" Her voice command was obeyed instantly. Peter was then given the chore to locate my brother Leo and myself, we were in our backyard playing marbles. Cassie (my sister) was occupied on the back porch playing with a rag doll. Sister Pearl the eldest family member, was in the kitchen with the task to polish the top of the old cast-iron stove.

With Mother's frantic worries, we finally assembled in front of the waiting photographer, his wooden tripod and camera. We had no time to change into our Sunday church going wearing apparel. With sullen pouted faces we posed for the photo, wishing that the photographer would hurry time along. Our interest was to return to our interrupted playtime moments........ Mother seemed very pleased with the outcome, all of her life; she held that photo as her one family highlight!


Standing: Pearl, Peter.
On burro: Leo, Paul, Cassie.
Showers Memoir Index 1925