Naomi’s Independence Day

Here’s another installment of my grandma Naomi’s story (also posted on the blog “Naomi’s Story”).

Naomi's Story

Naomi and her brothers had always been close, but when their mother’s death left them rattling around their ramshackle house, underemployed and always scrabbling for money, they realized that destiny called them elsewhere. Her brothers went their separate ways—Jimmy to join the Navy, Paul to join the Army, and John to work as welder.

That left Naomi, barely twenty, to consider the decidedly limited options for a single young woman facing the Great Depression. Unable to find work either in her hometown of Sewarren, New Jersey, or its neighboring municipalities, she had no choice but to move in with her much-older married sister Marian in Philadelphia.

Naomi and her brothers sold virtually all of their possessions, divided the money, and walked out to meet their destinies. Unfortunately, Naomi’s was looking bleak. Her brother-in-law, Bob Farley, made no pretense of welcoming her into their home. He informed her repeatedly that “You…

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