Welcome to ELMO's Family Tree
Researching the Families of Eckard, Lail, Moody, & Owl
Website Last Updated: Mon., 8 May 2023
Passings 2016: G. Johnson, R. M.Cooper, Mu Sun Jimenez, V. Wease
John and Roberta settled into their new lives and continued to live in Philadelphia. Their exact address wasn't among any of the paperwork that I have but I do recall Mom saying that they "rented a cute little house."
I recall, too, family conversations about the work that my dad did during the initial years of their marriage. Although a college graduate, jobs weren't all that easy to come by in the 1930s, my Dad started working for General Electric as a painter's helper but soon caught the attention of upper management and was promoted to an office position, the specifics of which are unknown. But, Dad wasn't an "office" kind of guy. He prefered working outside and I always got the impression that the General Electric position, though a solid and good paying job, was not very challenging.
So, unbeknownst to anyone in the family, in July 1938, my dad applied for and was hired as a patrolman with the Philadelphia Police Department. I don't all of his assignments with the Department but I do know that he had once been assigned to their motor patrol. Among others of a young John, I had several pictures of him in his motorman's uniform standing beside his police motorcycle. He cut a dashing figure! Sadly, those early pictures were ruined as a result of a flood event from days of extrememly heavy rain that poured 6 feet of water into the basement of my townhouse around 1975.
Unfortunately, his chosen career was not "society" enough for my mom's future plans and the fact that he had made this decision without first consulting with her rubbed her wrong. In early January 1992, she had become injured and was semi-bedridden. To help her, I stayed at her apartment for several days and it was during this time that she recounted her views on Dad's decision to become a police officer.
Back in those days (and decades before and after) the qualifications to be a police were no where near as rigorous as are today in 2009. As a college graduate seeking to be a patrolman, Dad was the exception not the norm. Most patrolman (and let's remember - they were all men) were good sized people who mostly high school graduates that wanted to become employed in a "city job" that would afford them a steady check and from which they could eventually retire. This is not to say that all of these men lacked ambition; certainly many did and many succeeded in achieving their promotional goals. As Dad once put it, "Big and breathing was all you needed to be a cop back then." Socially, many viewed the policeman of the 1930s as marginally above street sweepers and to my mother's way of thinking this, she said, "...was embarassing to me!" But Dad didn't want to be tied to a desk and wasn't going to be disuaded; neither, too, was Mom's outlook to be changed - at least, that is, not for over a decade of years to come. From the time that he first started with the police department until he took leave to join the Navy in 1942, Mom said, "I wouldn't tell anyone what he did for a living and I wouldn't let him leave the house in that uniform. I was so mad that he gave up that good job with GE and a chance to be something. I didn't realize it then, but I was wrong to be that way."
Dad's career choice was a forced changed with the onset of World War II. He enlisted in the Navy on September 17th, 1942 with the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade (a rank afforded him due to his being a college graduate). It was that September that he and Mom moved to 1231 So. 26th Street, Philadelphia, PA.
On December 11th, 1942, he entered the Naval Training School, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ from where he graduated on February 6th, 1943 and began in earnest his naval career.
This photo of John Edward Kane, Sr. was taken on December 10th, 1942, the day before he reported to NTS/Princeton.
To learn more about the Naval Training School at Princeton University please visit: http://www.princeton.edu/mudd/news/faq/topics/WW2.shtml