Monday, October 06, 2008

My World Journal Post

Another page from my grandfathers journal:

Tuesday, September 21, 1971

The world that I had lived in was not one filled with geography or history, but rather one filled with vulgarisms and anxieties, love, joy, sorrow and most of all - religion.

I can remember when I was very young during the depression years. We lived near the waterfront in Chelsea, a suburb of Boston, near the Mystic River. That section of the city was called Little Warsaw, due to the fact that everyone on that street (Medford Street) was from Polish extraction.
My mother and father could hardly speak or understand any English, so it would be apparent that I was in the same boat.

rdinarily, this would be a disaster but it wasn't because all my neighbors and friends spoke the same language.

e were educated in the Saint Stanislaus School. It was there that I learned how to speak English.

he days in school were split up into two parts, the first part of the day was English and the second part of the day was Polish. I did not understand what the nun was talking about when my lessons were in English, but I did very well with my Polish Lessons. As a result, I had to stay in the first grade again.

hose days were very difficult for me because while those good and dedicated nuns were trying to teach me my lessons, my mind would be in 'Little Warsaw', swimming for bananas that would fall from the banana boats or making crab traps. But those thoughts would soon end when the nun would catch me day dreaming.

o matter how hard I tried to pay attention in school, my mind would always drift off, into my world, time and time again.

can remember how frightened I was of the nuns the first day of school, especially when they spoke a foreign language - English.
previous journal enteries. 1. 2. 3.


  1. Hi Joe,

    I'm a friend of Barbara's in France... Just stopping by to check out your blog and say hello...
    When I visited Poland last year- Warsovie and Krakovie.. I was amazed at the amount of people there who spoke --- ENGLISH --- much more than in France, though in Paris pretty much everyone speaks English!! Nice post...
    Take care,

  2. It is SO awesome that you have a treasured family diary like that to pass down to Lil'Guns!

  3. lessa, welcome to my blog. I try to be eclectic (sp).

    debi, his journal was the seed for this blog. LilGun's will have plenty to read in the future.

  4. I went back and read all your posted journal entries. Fascinating stuff. Very articulate for a man that went back to school at age 40! An intersting insight into a world long gone, from someone writing in the 70s.

  5. WOW.

    Absolutely wow.

    This is fantastic!


    Mrs. Hall

  6. It's great that you're preserving your grandfather's journals. Chelsea in the 1930's, and near the waterfront, was no doubt a rough neighborhood. I'm sure the street was a private world unto itself. Pretty tough to make a living anywhere in those years. Are we headed down that road again? I remember the 30's, as a sub-teen child, poor but not unhappy in the little town of Westford, Mass.