Matty and Frankie were lovers, and my parents, and although I was the third of four children, conceived before the advent of the PILL, I was loved unconditionally. They were devoted parents, first generation Americans, born of Irish immigrants, and lived in Jersey City, then Roselle Park, New Jersey. They said they married because they both loved to dance, and did so their whole lives.
What they did not anticipate was the postwar Baby Boomers who definitely had a mind of their own, brewing a revolution for America, engendering a new wave of permissiveness, sex, drugs, rock and roll, and, 'unconventional' lifestyles. Brought up in large Irish Catholic families, both Matty and Frankie, struggled to find their way in prewar America, but were steadfast in their faith, patriots to the core, and happy to be alive. Frankie often said, "Hitler ruined my youth," because when she was a teenager, he began his march across Europe. She loved Frank Sinatra, saw him at the Paramount Theater, wore bobby socks and saddle shoes, and was a raving beauty with dark red hair and a petite curvy figure because "we walked everywhere - nobody had cars..." She was the baby girl of seven girls in the Gallagher clan, born October 3rd, 1921.
Matty, grew up in Roselle Park, dead last among seven children, born September 29, 1921, and during the Depression, he quit high school, and joined the Youth Conservation Core or CCC as it was known, one of the greatest programs of the New Deal. He went to Utah and Idaho to build roads and had the time of his life. After two years, he joined the Navy as a coxswain and went to Panama, Cuba, and then to New Orleans to deploy on the D-Day Invasion. His ship was number 748, and he played that number every chance he got.
However, he never made it to D-Day. He was welding a nut to a bolt on an "LC" or a landing craft, when the whole metal plate, slipped, and hit him on the head. This would always be referred to as his "Navy Accident.' He split his skull, was rushed to the base hospital, unconscious, slipping into a coma. They patched him up, pretty certain he would die.
Later, he was sent to Bethesda Naval Hospital where they performed breakthrough neurosurgery on him, inserting a tantalum plate in his skull, and then waited for him to wake up. A couple of months later he did, and they discovered he had a broken nose. After a year in the hospital, Matty Boyle was sent back to Roselle Park, New Jersey, in the hopes he would live. They even filmed the neurosurgery for posterity and catalogued it for the National Archives.
But, Matty was mad. He wanted to go to war. They went to D-Day without him. Many were slaughtered, but Matty was spared. He had a girl, Rosie, he called her. But, most of her friends called her Frankie. In 1945 they were married. And, when Matty brought bottle of booze to the reception in Jersey City, his mother-in-law, poured it down the ‘john.’
Frankie wore a borrowed dress, a beautiful silk dress, and they moved to Elizabeth, New Jersey, where Frankie became pregnant with their first daughter Maryann, born in April, 1947 . James came three years later in March, 1950, and the Nora, in April, 1955, and finally, William, in November, 1960.
Matty and Frankie loved each other and loved their children, and they loved to dance, but when they bought a three bedroom colonial on Lincoln Avenue in Roselle Park, they had no idea of the changes that would follow in the years to come. The home would be come to known as Lincoln Beach as when his children asked Daddy where they were going on vacaction that summer, he would reply, " Lincoln Beach."