CHAPTER 9 - - JOHN ROMANICK
Growing up in the 1930's was not the happiest times. Unemployment was 35 percent during these years. John Romanick Joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1933 when it began enrollment for the unemployed youth. He served one year at Fort Hoyle, Maryland. Some 2.5 million men served in the C.C.C.
After leaving the C.C.C., he left home for the Big Apple - New York City, some 135 miles from Wilkes-Barre, for employment. While looking for work he stayed with his first cousin, Mary Freudig and her husband, Rudy on Guernsey Street in Brooklyn. When he found work in a restaurant he moved out to his own apartment.
John Romanick (Army Serial Number 32 284 377) was drafted into the U.S. Army on April 4, 1941. After serving three years with the Army in Europe, he was captured by the Germans on December 20, 1944. He was held as a Prisoner-of-War (POW) for six months in Ziegenhaim, Hessen-Nassau, Prussia and was liberated on May 19, 1945. His services were terminated with the U.S. Army. He received an Honorable Discharge on July 24, 1945 with the rating of technical Sergeant (E-6).
Once again, John while looking for a job stayed with cousin Mary Freudig at Maspeth, Long Island City. He stayed several months while awaiting the results of his application for a job with the U.S. Postal Services. He moved out after John started to work at the Post Office at 34th Street and Seventh Ave. After working there for one year, he quit for personal reasons and headed west for California.
John arrived in San Diego in October 1948 to attend the Christening of Frank and Frances Romanick's daughter, Suzanne. She was baptized in the Russian Orthodox Church. Brother Joseph Romanick was her godfather.
John moved to Compton, California where he found employment in the company making cardboard boxes. During one of his visits to San Diego, he brought a lady friend with him. My wife Frances was under the impression that this girl was John's live in friend.
After several years at various Jobs in the Los Angeles area, John moved to San Leandro where he found employment as a handy man at Club Ronda and Bob's Cocktail Lounge.
John died November 19, 1976 of a heart attack in San Leandro, Alameda County California, at the age of 62. 'He lived at 317 Maude Avenue in San Leandro. The death certificate listed him as widowed. He was buried in the Holy Resurrection Cathedral Cemetery in Plains, Pennsylvania, where his parents, Mary and Maxim Romanick are laid to rest.
It was not until March 1996 that Frank Romanick began an intensive search to find the whereabouts of the family of John Romanick. During the week of March 13, 1996, Frank visited John's place of residence, 317 Maude Ave. Two schoolteachers, who recently bought the house, now own it. Since it has been some 20 years ago that John lived at 317 Maude Ave., no one in the neighborhood remembers him.
After visiting several bars in the neighborhood, I found out that Bob's Cocktail Lounge was located at 1786 E. 14th Street In San Leandro. Presently it is bookstore called The Book Market. They do not have any knowledge about the Bob Cocktail Lounge. In my conversations with the bar patrons in San Leandro, Loretta Richer is the only person who definitely knew John. She told me that he was called "Polack John". My brother spoke of having a daughter and a wife to Loretta but she never met them or knew their names.
While at the State Capital in Sacramento, I searched the files of birth certificates, marriage and death certificates and the results were negative because, they were not legally married.
Frances and Frank believed that John had a daughter. One day, we spotted the name Patricia Romanick in the Pueblo telephone book. I called Patricia Romanick and asked many questions about John Romanick having a daughter. Much to my regret, Patricia did not answer any of my questions.