Sunday the store and bakery were closed. If we got unexpected company they would  come through the house and Steve would open the store. On Sunday’s the brothers  would play cards and the family and cousins would listen to the radio. The card game  was called “Penny Ante” and the kids would listen to a radio program called “The Shadow.”


We decided to elope and we went to Pottstown with only fifty cents in our pockets. We
went to the Russian Orthodox Church to get married. Father Melasevitch was the
priest, but we had to stay overnight because we did not have a marriage license. He
married us the next morning and we then returned home. John went to his uncles home
and later came back to the Wartella home and said to me we have to tell them we are
married. Steve was upset at first. It was Sunday morning and the family was having
their breakfast. They were all happy to hear the news and gave us their blessings.
They were happy we got married in a Russian Church.

It was during the Depression and Jack was not working. Jean was our first child.  We stayed at the family Wartella home on Jackson Street. Jean was born  on her grandmother’s (Bobbie Wartella’s) bed. Tillie Wartella (Steve’s wife) went into the store and furnished all the layette to be ready for the doctor. Dr. Davis delivered the baby girl and was surprised at the complete layette in the room. Tillie was there  to help the doctor deliver the baby. She became godmother for Jean.

It was still the Depression and my mother (Bobbie Wartella) gave John and I, to start our life, a double block home on Armstrong Street. John was able to pick up  a few trucking jobs and the rent from the other side of the double block also helped.  John then bought his own truck and later he was in the excavating business. I  operated a beauty shop from the front of my home and set hair for 50 cents. I then closed the shop when Jack, Jr. my second child was born. Then my third child Daniel was born. John, Sr. passed away at the age of 68.

My daughter Jean at the age of 12 remembers her grandmother (Bobbie Wartella) taking her up to the bedroom and under her mattress wrapped in a handkerchief  she had change of about 50 cents. She also, remembers her Aunt Till making home made blueberry ice cream for the store and Bobbie would bring a pint to our home on Armstrong Street. She would walk to our home and on the way would stop to talk with all the neighbors and when she arrived the ice cream would be melted. It was only fitting that Jean received as a gift the bed she was born on from my mother. Jean treasures it to this day.

Jean and Margaret (Peggy, Steve and Till’s daughter) would take my mother to the movies. They would drop her off and come back for her when the movies were over. Her favorite thing was to stop after the movie at the Dolly Madison shop for a vanilla ice cream soda.

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