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My father was a bit over fifteen years old when he climbed out the window of the Swiss cheese factory where he lived with his family. He got work as a hired hand to another Swiss cheese maker; and, by the time he was twenty-one he managed his own factory. He left his family because his step mother was cruel to him.
My grandfather had immigrated to Wisconsin from Switzerland when he was a young boy. When he had saved enough money he returned to Switzerland to marry the girl he loved and bring her to the United States. Soon my father was born. When he was about eight his mother had another son. The boy died at six months; and, she died a few months later.
My grandfather thought there should be a woman in the house. He took my father with him to New York. My true grandmother's half sister was working there as a nanny for a wealthy family. He married her and they returned to Wisconsin. The step grandmother disliked my father. She disliked my grandfather too, although somehow they managed to have four more children. One Christmas the four siblings were treated to fresh fruit. My father, who slept in an unheated room, received no fruit. His step sister snuck him a grapefruit. He was thankful.
After they'd been married some time, my step grandmother refused to ride in the car with my grandfather. I didn't meet her until I was twelve. She was not a warm woman. My grandfather used to come visit our family. Once he brought us roller skates. Another time he bought each of us a bike. I liked my grandfather. He read the Wall Street Journal and had taught himself how to purchase stocks. Every two or three years he would use to money he'd made to take a trip to Switzerland. His wife wouldn't go. He asked me once if I'd like to with him. Oh, yes! My mother said no.
to be continued
Very good! Can't wait until the next installment. I can't tolerate cruelty to children. How can people be so crazy?