Letter to My Daughters - “In 1946 we were living in Worcester and I was managing a fur business. My income was about $7,000 a year. Mom and I were very happy in our small mortgaged home. Grandpa took a shock at this time. Dr. Beale advised me that day that Grandpa would probably not be able to work again the rest of his life, and, further, if he lost his business, it could kill him.”
James A Freaney, my father, was born on August 5, 1916 and passed away on January 8, 1998. I was the person that went through his personal papers, etc. and settled his estate. I was angry that he left me with a big mess - my totally dependent mother, manic-depressive sister and Donna. The living room was piled high with brokerage statements, articles, notes, etc. I tossed everything in site, anxious for a clean start. He had been giving me instructions on how to settle his estate since I was 7 or 8 years old. I was done! I tossed stuff I wish I had now, 20 years after his death.
My father "did the payroll" on the kitchen table on Wednesday nights after dinner. When I was around 10 years old, I was allowed to help. My father showed me how to take the hours from the foreman's notebook, determine if the hours were straight time, time and a half overtime or occasionally double time. Multiply the rate times the hours to calculate Gross Wages.
My business education began when my grandfather had a “shock.”. The doctor told my father that my grandfather could never work again AND, if he lost his business it would kill him. As the oldest son in a Boston Irish Catholic Family, my father role was clear. My father sold our little home in Worcester, Massachusetts and we moved to 24 Belmont Street in Weymouth, Massachusetts. My father took over the family business and my education began. I was 6 or 7 years old.