Names of the living are withheld.
My grandparents, Mary Lucile Crowe and John Joseph Gallagher, were married on 20 January 1945 in Indianapolis, Indiana. By 19 June 1947, they had moved to 651 Virgil Avenue, Ridgefield, New Jersey, and would celebrate the arrival of their first child … a girl!
On 20 February 1949, they welcomed not one, but TWO more girls into the family! This is my mom and her twin sister:
… and here are the twins with their big sister, who looks none too happy (wonder why?):
Just over a year later, on 18 April 1950, yet another girl was born to the happy couple:
Obviously, this was taken a while after she was born. Unfortunately, I have no baby photos of her (and neither does she … I asked).
Two years later, the family moved three doors down and across the street to 660 Virgil Avenue.
About this time is when my grandfather said “We’ve got too many girls. Let’s change hospitals.” And on 10 January 1954, in Hackensack, New Jersey, they finally had a boy.
… and another boy (also born in Hackensack) on 1 January 1958, my Uncle Tommy. He passed away in 1996 at the age of 38 from acquired leukemia (probably CLL or AML, I’m not sure). Unfortunately, I don’t have a baby photo of him either.
And here they all are together for a Christmas card photo:
In 1960, my Grampa bought a bus for $600 and they fixed it up for traveling. And travel they did. In August 1962, the newspaper even wrote about the “Gallaghers on the Go”:
On November 7, 1962, Grampa resigned from the Ridgefield Police Department, and the bus was sold to a gentleman who wanted to use it for his hunting lodge up north (possibly in Maine or Canada), and the family relocated to Naples, Florida, to try their hand at hotel ownership.
They owned the Motel Iris. It had 10 units and for a while, the 4 girls lived in the two connecting family units. When they finally needed the rooms for guests, the girls had to move into the house behind the motel. The girls washed the sheets for all the rooms using nothing but a wringer washing machine.
After about three months, when he realized they weren’t going to make a go of it at the motel business, Grampa went to Miami to find work. All told, the family spent about 9 months in Naples.
In 1963, the family moved to 9010 SW 197th Street in Miami. Grampa worked as a guard for Pinkerton and sold insurance for Life of Virginia Insurance. At some point, he began working for the Department of Agriculture in customs, then began investigating food stamp fraud for the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Agriculture. Somewhere in there, he also investigated fraudulent insurance claims, but no one is sure about the time frame or the employer.
By 1968, all the girls had graduated from Palmetto High School. Sometime around the end of 1969 or beginning of 1970, the boys moved with my grandparents to Kennesaw, Georgia, where they lived until 1974.
Coming up … empty nesters?
Do we share ancestors? Email me: lostancestors AT gmail DOT com
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