Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Andrew Rosenbalm (continued)

During the years that followed I was to learn many things about “my
hero in a homburg hat,” Andrew Rosenbalm.
Bob and I had a step-grandmother we did not meet until later in 1942
We had 2 uncles,7 aunts (3 of the aunts were younger than I.) My hero in the homburg hat fathered his last child at age 65.

My Mother eventually revealed the destruction of the relationship between she and her father:
Her Mother, Elizabeth Goodrider Rosenbalm died when her son, Marlyn (Poge) was born. There was 12 years difference between Billie(Josie) and the infant Marlyn.
Andrew was grief stricken over the death of Elizabeth and he drank and gambled their money away and eventually lost their home. He took the children to his mother’s and father’s because he no longer could take care of them.

In the interim the children's grandfather passed away. That left an aging grandmother trying to raise Andrew’s two children. They lived mostly out of the garden grown by their grandmother. Both children remained there until Josie enrolled in nurses training at Sparta, Wis. and then eventually transferred to Cook County Hospital in Chicago. Marlyn stayed until age 12 when he moved to Chicago after my mother and father married.

My Mother was raise in a refined upper middle class home. The Goodrider family provided Elizabeth,Andrew, and Josie with all of the extras in life and Andrew with a good future if Andrew “behaved himself.”

Andrew’s sister, Eunice told me many years later: The Goodriders were wealthy farmers and they had a large grain and feed business. She told me that Andrew went through a kind of “hell” that he brought on himself.

Mrs. Goodrider died not long after Elizabeth. Mr. Goodrider may have helped Josie go to school. Mr. Goodrider left no inheritance to the children because he was bitter over the death of his daughter and the immediate and untimely death of his wife that he also blamed on Andrew. Mr. Goodrider apparently banished Andrew, Josie and Marlyn from his life.
It is hard for me to understand how this grandfather could turn his back on these children.

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