Interview with Phyllis Wesolowski

Phyllis Wesolowski grew up in a small town in Iowa called Estherville. Population: roughly 6,000. She grew up during the great depression, therefore life wasn’t easy. She lived with her mom and dad, along with her two bothers and two sisters. Money was scarce. Food was taken care, because of the fact that they lived on a farm. Other than the necessities, there weren’t many goods in her house. Life was rough but her life got even tougher when she left her nest for Boston.

At the age of 17 Phyllis started her journey and boarded a bus to Boston, Massachusetts. Her voyage took three days and two nights, surrounded by strangers, traveling to a place that was completely new to her. Phyllis was traveling to Boston for a new job opportunity. A rest home. Luckily, her job offered free room and board at the rest home, because at the time Phyllis was broke. Although the room was free, she didn’t enjoy living there, mostly because her roommate was an old lady in her upper 50’s. Phyllis was too scared to talk to her.

Phyllis didn’t feel at home in Boston. She remembers back to her “going away party” everyone that attended wrote her a letter. Phyllis was told that once she got to Boston she was suppose to read one letter a day, but she was home sick and decided to read them all at once.

She wasn’t all alone in Boston. At 910 Chestnut Hill lived her sister. The first time Phyllis tried visiting her sister she took the bus. Everyone told her to tell the bus diver the address she needed to go to so he would drop her off at the house instead of the bus station. She told him. The bus driver ended up dropping her off at a corner on a busy street. She was left with nothing but her two suitcases. “I was scared to death,” she said. Luckily, a police officer saw her crying and kindly took her into his car and drove her to her sister’s house. When she got to the correct address, she arrived crying.

After that traumatic experience Phyllis memorized one way to get to her sister’s house. It required her to take the subway. Her sister told Phyllis not to take the subway, but Phyllis went against her word. As Phyllis was walking down to the subway, she fell down two flights of stairs. She decided to take the bus from then on.

After three years of living in Boston she decided to move to Omaha, Nebraska. Phyllis moved out to Omaha for business school. While at business school, she met the man of her dreams. William Wesolowski. They got married. Once William got out of the service together they moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where they had four healthy children. One of whom was my mom.





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