Friday, December 31, 2010


Almost immediately after the party at Ruth Fallgatter's, Pete Hodgson, Sr. asked my dad to help him out by quitting his steady factory job in New Bedford and coming to New Haven to work for the relatively new "business". Pete would often recount how my father turned up for the official interview in a "zoot suit". They were both somewhat prone to telling me "stories" so I'm not sure if this was true. I'm sure my father looked great, even if he was dressed inappropriately for an "interview" because Daddy was always "clean". Also, even though the meeting was characterized as an "interview", Pete was already very familiar with my family and he knew my father well.
I often wondered what my mother was thinking when my father came home and told her that he was going to quit his job as a machinist and that we were going to move back to New Haven so that he could manage Pete's new business - a business, mind you, that involved selling a bounceable malleable rubber substance as a toy. My mother, being typical of the "good" wives of the day, aparently said "o.k." and they packed up and moved to New Haven. My mom says that since they didn't have any money they lived with my Grandma Jane in a three bedroom cottage at 261 Day Street with at least two other adults and two other children.

The top right photo is of my dad, William "Bill" Henry Haynes, and my mother, Juanita "Nita" Haynes and me in the carriage. The bottom photo is of my mom and dad. My mom is holding me. The boy is a Cape Verdean family friend. Both photos are taken in New Bedford. The second photo must have been taken right before we moved back to New Haven.

In New Bedford, my dad had been immersed in the Cape Verdean culture as we lived in the south end of New Bedford (and my mother is Cape Verdean). My grandmother didn't really speak a lot of English. It must have been a culture shock for my father to live in New Bedford and then a culture shock for my mother to move to New Haven.