Hillbilly nippers

Here’s a picture from about 1934.   Seated is my dad and standing next to him is his half-brother.


This was the big family secret that I only found out years after he died, that they were only half-brothers.  My great uncle told me the story when I said my grandmother had told me that my grandfather was “the handsomest man” that she ever laid eyes on.   This was a puzzler as no one would describe my grandfather like that.  So my great uncle told me the story:  the mystery man worked with my great uncle, he met my grandmother, they got married (?) and he left her before my dad was born.   Later my grandfather had moved to the city and lived next door to my grandmother.  When they married he made her a deal, she would never speak of my dad’s father, and would have no contact with his family.    She kept the deal, except for that stray comment.

My dad lived with his grandparents when he was little and was a native Russian speaker.  He was a boxer, an artist and a bum.  He died in 1992.

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