Showing posts with label Womens Army Corp. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Womens Army Corp. Show all posts

Friday, July 23, 2010

Aunt Fran Konesky Amerine Sepia Saturday Week 33 (click here to other Sepias)

This week I introduce, my aunt,, Frances Kochanowski (aka Konesky) Amerine, who was the intrigue of our family and the reason I so wanted to live in CA which I did for many years.  There will be more later to share about her, but for today, suffice that she was the  eldest, first born of Rose and Teofil, my Mom's parents and my grandparents.  Born in 1916, but she  changed her age so frequently that when she died in CA in 1999 even her daughter and son did not know her true age.  The only time she could not lie about her age was when she was around her sisters, who would not tolerate that.  This is the earliest photo I have of her, similar to Uncle Carl's at the Renton School, taken in about  1923.

Aunt Francie was the most  adventuresome  as well as he most argumentative of the family and enlisted in the Women's Army Corps (WAC)  in  1942 to the consternation of her family. If Uncle Carl her brother was going to enlist, so was she and she did, with her first stretch of the truth about her age when she made herself older, the only time she increased her age! I always thought that was so brave of her; she never served abroad though she claimed to be wanting to do just that, but she traveled all around the country serving where needed.  I am uncertain what she did in the WAC's, likely some sort of office work, I do not believe she went into nursing.  This photo is from about 1942 and you can see how pretty she was and quite happy to be out and about in the world.

 She wanted to travel and did so much of her life, after marrying Uncle Paul, who was career military Air Force. For their marriage, sometime between 1947-1948, she made herself  younger because he was younger than she.  There were many family discussions about that and even Francie's father, Teofil could not understand why she did not just admit her age and be over with it.  There were many things he did not understand about this daughter. 

Well she was on her path and one thing she wanted was out of the Polish poor family and onto the world.  At times she rather looked down on her roots; but her family accepted her, referring to her "big ideas."  I liked that from early on, believing that we should all have big ideas.  I  never knew as a child that there was any negativity associated with it.  The next photo is about 1943.

She visited home often and the next two photos are in 1945 when yours truly was among us.  The photo of her holding me looking toward the bridges and the river was one I remember my Grandma Rose saying, "there was Francie holding you and telling you there was a world to be had and seen beyond the riverbanks of PA."    I believed her from this time when I was only  several months old.

Here she is holding me beside her sister, Helen, my Mom the  widow.

I will have more photos and stories next week or so about her.  She died in CA in 1999 and we lived there at the time so I was able to see her.  For someone who always  practiced  good health habits, never smoked, nor drank alcohol, ate extra healthy preferring little meat and large amounts of vegetables and didn't even drink caffeine, it seemed not right that she would have heart problems.  One of my visits to her in the hospital I mentioned that and she said "yes I always took care of my health and look where it got me, on the way to death anyway!"

As I said more to come later about this intriguing though at times haughty aunt Francie, named for my grandmother's baby sister, Great Aunt Francie Mroz whom I wrote about  Sepias ago. She did not get on at all with her brother Carl, especially after their mother passed away and she did not come home to PA for the funeral.   He has never forgiven her to this day despite his dementia for ignoring her Mom's funeral.   As always click on the title above to get to other Sepia Saturday posts.