Michael John Munroe
in conversation February 11, 1969
Stories of My Grandfather - Michael John Munroe
michael munroe June 23, 1999
When my grandfather turned the TV to one of the prize fights, I could
tell that my grandmother was angry. She didn't exactly stamp
around but the atmospher chilled and I noticed that she no longer
addressed questions to my grandfather. She now would only
communicate through me.
The TV room in their city row house was less a room than it was a wide
hallway between a formal sitting room and the dining room. The
dining room had french doors with lace curtains, a row of window seats
and on the window sills were her African violets.
I think my grandparents had color TV before we even had a black and
white set. The TV sat on a big mahogony side table that was in
the space in front of the open staircase to the second floor. My
pieces of broken glass to scrape off the old finish. Today we would use
flat scraper or a sander. In my grandparents house, the steps to both
second floor and to the third floor were always beautifully finished.
The shows my grandmother loved to watch with me and Granddad included,
Queen For a Day, Art Linkletter, Laurence Welk, and Jackie
Gleason. My grandfather loved Jimmy Durante and his prize fights.
Granddad had lots of stories. He had grown up in the rough side
of Wilmington leaving school in the sixth grade. When he left
school, he continued to leave each morning with his lunch pretending to
go to school for some time until his parents found out. He had
worked at many jobs such as taking cows to pasture, working on a hack
taking people into Wilmington, working in a glass factory, shining
shoes and a rolling mill.
In the end, his father helped him get a seven year apprenticeship at
where he took up the trade of a molder. A molder was one step below a
maker who would have been just below an engineer. It was a
job with great responsibility as the rolls he poured were the among the
being made at that time. Lobdells made chilled iron rolls for the
industry and this work was a very good occupation. At Lobdells,
got the nick name Pete. He started out as "little Pete" until the
original Pete left and granddad became known simply as Pete.
granddad worked at Lobdells until he retired and there are several
from that period of his life that will have to wait until later.