Rose Hennigan and Chris Hennigan

Recorded October 18, 2009 Archived October 28, 2009 30:45 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: SCK001796



  • Rose Hennigan
  • Chris Hennigan

Venue / Recording Kit


StoryCorps uses Google Cloud Speech-to-Text and Natural Language API to provide machine-generated transcripts. Transcripts have not been checked for accuracy and may contain errors. Learn more about our FAQs through our Help Center or do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions.

00:02 Okay, this is Chris Hennigan. It's October 18th. 2009 were in Norristown, Pennsylvania, and Grandma's man. Grandma's Rose Hennigan Department. I'm 20 years old and it's about 12 if you want to give your information.

00:24 Just your name the day, where you are.

00:30 Okay, my name is Rose Hennigan and I live in the Dekalb Apartments.

00:40 And,

00:44 Just how old you are one years old now. Can't believe it.

00:53 + 2.

00:55 Still enjoying life, so

00:58 I guess it's not too old. So when your 91 years old, so what what year were you born in? Do you remember anything about your your mother your father? What kind of? So my mother was very good woman and she raised the

01:29 For kids fire sale.

01:32 How did your father die?

01:35 How did your father die?

01:42 Flu, flu epidemic. They had a very or a lot of young.

01:48 People died, then it seemed to affect them more than it did the older.

01:54 And,

01:59 Highways one to two months, I think at the time. So I mother had a pretty tough you left with four kids. It just happened that she had a good job with the city and she she got that job through mayor, mayor of Newark. Mayor Marie. He is my mom. Worked in the grocery store, for step daughter. I mean, there's a stepmother and the

02:34 She is Met Your Mother. Mary used to shop in there and he, when he found out my mother had the four kids, you know? And worked are so he got her a job with the city.

02:51 So she'd have a permanent job where your parents born here, or

03:01 No, they were born in it. I think my mom was born in Naples.

03:08 And my father,

03:10 My father was over here when my mother came.

03:15 And he worked in a grocery store and you later on boy, at the grocery store.

03:21 So what was it like growing up? Was it after your father died? What was kind of what was it? Like growing? What was the situation? Your mom was trying to raise four kids. Well, she put three, three of the kids in the orphanage and then I was the youngest and they wouldn't take me till I was 22 years old, and I was only a couple of months old then.

03:48 So, she had a

03:50 She worked for her.

03:53 Step sister, Wanda.

03:57 Grocery store and there was rooms of over the grocery store. I used to stay there and my, my mom could go up and check on me every once in awhile.

04:13 So do you remember anything of that? Are you, are you first of of living over the store? Or are your first memories of the orphanage really? Is that what do you remember of that? What we what are your memories of that?

04:35 Do you know anything about the nuns or?

04:39 Is some of the nuns were nice and some of them are mean and their

04:48 And treated so bad.

04:51 There was one girl there that always used to run away and every time they quarter they did she get a good beating but she do it again. They finally I think they shaved your hair off.

05:09 So she would be too ashamed to go out, run away then.

05:14 So, why was, why was she running away was was it you said you had how many brothers and sisters?

05:28 I had did.

05:31 Two sisters and two brothers.

05:35 His say was Sal, Jimmy.

05:39 And then there was said, Teresa and Marie my sister's. So there were five of us how they like the orphanage or anyting about.

05:59 It all depended. A lot of the nuns were, nice, you know, I encountered a lot of nice ones.

06:08 But now you don't think anybody likes living in an orphanage. They rather be with their parents and home.

06:17 So, do you have any stories about about your brothers or sisters about Aunt, Theresa?

06:26 Yeah, well Teresa was one, she had a big heart and know if anybody was being punished and put the bed without supper to see with the go down to the kitchen and sneak food up for the and I can remember sometimes the nuns used to have to chase her around.

06:48 She was a good-hearted person and was always trying to do a good deed I guess.

06:56 Wow, and so do your when, when you get to see your mom, if your mom put you in the orphanage, when, when were the times you would get to see her, we'd come with the Satchel full of goodies, you know, how cookies and stuff and then we would all meet in the they call it the Parlor, which would be a big living room and then she'd visit and she'd have his Satchel full of goodies. Like I said,

07:31 So that was the only time we saw her once a week, you know.

07:37 So was stuff on her, I'm sure. So how when when did you leave the orphanage? When was a time, that is 9 years old. My mother managed to save enough money that she thought she could take us out. Take care of us.

07:59 Where did you move after? Where did you move to e moved in with her?

08:04 Where where? Where were you guys living?

08:11 Now, we move to around the we went to the second floor bath.

08:21 Was it near the orphanage or you still in New Jersey, right?

08:28 Is the Newark, New Jersey?

08:32 And so on. So you got out of your condition and how old we, how old were you? Then when you got out of the orphanage and then, what was the rest? What was your life like out of the orphanage? You were, you were going to school, I guess. Or do you have any, do you have any memories of that going to school and

08:55 Yeah, I went to Catholic School.

08:59 Then I went on to business college, 4-year took up typing shorthand.

09:09 And did bookkeeping.

09:13 So then I got a job.

09:16 After that, is it?

09:18 Orla secretary.

09:21 How do you get the opportunity to go to business college?

09:25 Well, my mother.

09:27 Madison to save money and send me.

09:32 So, yeah, so you went you went to high school then you went to business college. And did you, how did, how did you meet Edward? Edward senior?

09:47 Has.

09:49 Oh, he lived. He lived about a block or two away from me.

09:55 And the

10:00 I think I used to wait for the same bus all the time to go to, go to work.

10:07 So, so, is there a moment, when your first memory of him? Or how did you guys, how did you guys start going out or becoming in a relationship? Did he did he come talk to you or did you go talk to him or what? Do you remember? What happened?

10:34 No.

10:41 We got to know each other seeing each other all the time in.

10:48 He used to carry my books.

10:56 So then you guys, did you guys get married before you went to business college or after? What was the hole?

11:08 When did you guys get married?

11:11 I hope you have to went to business college. What was he doing at the time? What was what was his job in Qatar?

11:25 Company.

11:27 They had those big old fashioned adding machines Peak. Everything you said, have to carry that in and out of places where he showed it, you know.

11:40 So are you guys still living close to where you grew up and in Newark or where did you guys live when you got married?

11:53 Videos of when I got married.

11:58 LOL, I love you move to Roselle, right? When you got married or

12:04 Oh, I didn't move to Rosalia.

12:07 Roselle, New Jersey.

12:10 Okay, and so, so you got married, and do you remember anything about getting married about your marriage? I mean, I mean about, like, actually, the day you got married.

12:25 Well, I didn't have a big wedding, but I got married in the church and but I wore, I didn't wear a wedding gown. I had to dress, sue them.

12:38 Why didn't you wear a wedding gown?

12:41 I guess we.

12:45 Didn't have the money to buy one thing.

12:51 So you, so you moved to Roselle and you're living with Edwards seeing you in. Is you, when did you start having kids?

13:02 I was married, I guess after I was married for about 3 years.

13:09 And it was, it was your first child was here.

13:13 Who is that? Nancy?

13:17 And then the game.

13:20 Eddie.

13:22 And then came.

13:30 Now, and then see Eddie.

13:33 Bobby cat Bobby and then Kathy,

13:37 So,

13:40 So you were you at for kids at at the time and where were you at? Where were you working? You said you were secretary?

13:54 Yeah, I was working for a company name to Austin Nichols.

13:59 And,

14:04 At that time.

14:12 I know I didn't remember a long at work today.

14:18 And so I think Edward Edward senior died when he was pretty young. And you remember what you remember?

14:28 How how old? How old were the kids?

14:35 Etsy, you think Nancy was about?

14:42 10.

14:44 And Eddie was I think eight.

14:48 And then Bobby.

14:52 Bobby was too and Kathy was 2 months older than

14:57 So what would it? What were the circumstances of his death had? Why did he die or how did he die? How did he die? Or why did he die of a heart attack?

15:12 He was there.

15:15 Thank you. Call it those days. He was born with what they call a rheumatic heart. It was something wrong. I guess there.

15:30 So so yeah, so it was just, it was just you then after after he died, raising four children, and it was that was that hard or

15:43 Did you delete? We work in the same job or how it how are you getting by? What were what were you?

15:52 What were the circumstances really?

15:55 Well, yeah, I put it, it three of the kids were in the orphanage. Anything.

16:02 Oh, I did not have a minute. So that was my family.

16:09 Well, I managed to get along.

16:19 Yes, so you had I remember a lot of Italian saying about at your mother's house Olympia, that dude, that big family dinners there. Do you remember? Do you remember those days? Yeah.

16:33 Like, Thanksgiving and Christmas, she would do.

16:40 Do the cooking. What would you cook?

16:49 Some did you know a turkey or?

16:53 Sometimes the ham, whatever.

16:58 And who would be there on the, on the holidays? It was you and your kids and who else from the family? Or who else was?

17:06 I kind of we your brothers and sisters there as well where they still live in clothes.

17:22 Well, I guess it was one that had the grandchildren to about 19 people all together.

17:31 We would you do any cooking on those dinners or would you just want to relax then on those classic recipes? Still, is that, right?

17:49 And I so, so what was it? So was it like raising raising your for kids? What were they like you have any memory specifically about Nancy or Bobby or editor Kathy?

18:02 Jimmy.

18:05 About them growing up, or just

18:10 Hey there, pretty good, kids have too much trouble with them.

18:19 CS you don't you don't you have any stories about them and like any funny stories or any?

18:31 Not that I can.

18:35 You at Bobby and then when he was in the school, and he was in the classroom and the nun came in to look for the report cards to hand them out, and they weren't there.

18:58 And yeah.

19:00 She said, she she she yeah, she left the room and she told tell the kids. They better be quiet. And she didn't want to hear any buddy walking.

19:13 So,

19:15 When she came back in, she should have told Bobby. She core them talkin and he said I wasn't talkin sister. I was praying that you would find the guards.

19:31 She got it. Slam the door to the classroom so hard. She broke the pain in the ass part.

19:42 And what it was at the time when he got the the, the window Pole.

19:48 And was now I don't think that was the time.

19:53 Do you remember that? Do you remember that time when he said on guard?

19:59 To the nun. I know she wanted to hear them for something, I think.

20:05 What do you do?

20:07 Homemade. No Bobby O, he just picked up a pole and lifted this big window I think and then he just said he wasn't going to hurt everybody. Just pretended.

20:24 If so, so

20:28 You originally. So how was everyone? Everyone went all your kids went to college, right? I mean, how did it, how did you manage that to get all the, all the kids to college song? I've got scholarships.

20:45 I was at with that something that they they'd managed to kind of do on their own, or you helping them with that, or with a, with a kind of in charge, is their own thing and you just you just kind of encourage them or helping them with getting the scholarships or filling out the thing forms.

21:09 Hey, I guess I I did what I could do what I had to do.

21:17 And so,

21:21 So you say you at, you don't even have any stories about Ed or Nancy or Kathy? No, no, no, nothing, interesting.

21:40 Just that one about Bobby and the nun.

21:46 Maybe a size, 10. Do you remember? I am here at the, you learn? The, a grandfather clock song right at the orphanage. And you'd at least, if you still remember that to get it right there and you go, do you want to? What are you mind? Staying yet? Will you remember? Okay.

22:08 My Grandfather's Clock was too large for this show and it stood, 90 years on the floor. It was told by have been Leo man himself and it weighed not a pennyweight more. It was born on the morn on the day that he was born and was always his treasure and Fry, but it stopped short never to go again. When the Old Man Died ninety years without slumbering. Tick, tock tick, tock life, s numbering tick, tock tick tock, stopped short. Never to go again. When the old,

23:08 Amanda.

23:17 What was the, what was the Chiquita Banana Song? Bananas have to ripen in a certain way when they are flecked with brown and have a golden, you bananas. Are the best and are the best for you. You can put them in the salad. You can put them in the pie. I anyway, you want to eat them. It's impossible to beat them or bananas like the climate of the very, very tropical Equator. So, never put bananas in the refrigerator. No, no, no, no.

24:07 So what was that was that was that a commercial or?

24:15 And so so at that point in your life, your your kids are gone, the college and we're off to college and kind of moved out. And what were you doing? We have you after Kathy on the college. We will you still living in Roselle or what? Were we still working in the in the same place?

24:43 Yeah, I was working in the store.

24:47 What kind of store was it?

24:51 Wizard.

24:52 Sorry, the store.

24:54 5 +.

24:57 And, and what?

25:02 More stuff than a 5 and 10. I guess. Do you remember anything about kind of the neighborhoods you grew up? You were you were living in cuz it seems like they're they're all different kinds of people. What my dad always says, you taught him was to respect everyone, equal in that. You just had a a lot or treat people as they treated you and you just had a lot of new, a lot of different kind of people. So you remember kind of who your neighbors were who your co-workers were

25:43 Well, I guess it a lot at some of the neighbors were Irish and it did mostly Irish and Italian neighborhood.

25:53 Same-day immigrants seem to,

25:58 Come to that. Place a lot.

26:02 About mrs. Wynn. All send The Bagel Factory.

26:08 Did the mrs. Win HOH?

26:16 Oh, and that one of my neighbors misses winhall. She on the

26:22 And bagel.

26:24 A place where she sold Bagels.

26:28 And she used to bring some home when they were real hard. And when my kids were little, they with teething, and they would tease on the fight, on the bagels, you know.

26:41 But she was a good neighbor.

26:44 So, so then went, when did you retire from working?

26:54 Remember it? I remember Joe still sold the store and then you had a new bosses. He's so mad whenever Jo Goodman so many islands by then. Oh, yeah.

27:06 Yeah, my voice. Mr. Goodman.

27:11 Is sold a store to.

27:15 Abe. Somebody was I forget, listening.

27:19 I don't know what I work for him for a while.

27:24 Did I work?

27:25 The word for him.

27:28 For how long do you know?

27:37 So, so anyway, somehow somehow you got to Norristown. I don't know where you are now. And so what what do you what do you like to do now? You like to play a lot of Scrabble or

27:51 Yeah, I like to I like to play Scrabble.

27:56 Cuz I'm pretty good at the game. That's wise. I wouldn't want it. Always, you would never, you would never let me win Scrabble, when I was little why it, why is that? I never use that. You would you never let me win. You would always beat me when I was little I mean not play right here. Right now. You're definitely retired. You're not working at the five-and-ten anymore now, so so what it what do you like to do? What do you like to do now? What I mean?

28:40 I like to do crossword, puzzles and play Scrabble.

28:47 Why why do you like to do crossword puzzles? What it what is it about then like?

28:54 And you learn a lot of words when you do them.

28:59 So it's kind of Scrabble, Scrabble training.

29:05 And yes, so so

29:10 That sounds like,

29:13 And I had a very full life. Do you have any, do you have any words of wisdom that you would like to be recorded or just plan plans for the future hopes for the future words of wisdom.

29:37 Well, I always tried to be upbeat and look at the bright side of things.

29:45 Do you have any yummy? You know, my dad actually would always say you were always upbeat your entire life. When when, when he was a kid. You when you had to move around to different apartments. You always maintain you always just really upbeat, and would you say that? Was that really how you lived your life for? That? Was that was how you got through? Yeah. That was how I tried to get through and you think of the bright side of things.

30:16 Said you at, do you have any future plans for when you turn 92 any goals or hope sir?

30:27 I just said, I'm healthy and

30:30 And have all my marbles.

30:36 Alright, well, thanks. Thanks for letting me interview. Grandma is great. So, okay. Thank you.