Saturday, March 26, 2011

Alberta Joy (Gardner) Brown

Alberta Joy Gardner
Alberta Joy (Gardner) Brown was born 26 March 1928 in the Bronx during the Great Depression.  Her parents, Nathaniel & Helen (Coyle) Gardner had waited several years for her arrival and were so happy they gave her the name Joy. She was also named in remembrance for her father’s brother, Albert Gartner, b. 11 December 1988 & d. c. 1920. He was a nurse.
Alberta Joy grew up in the Bronx. In 1934 they lived at to 2856 East 197th Street in the Bronx. She roller skated on the sidewalks, swam in the river with her father, took dance lessons and attended public school #71. She went to Mass at the neighborhood Catholic Church. On 23 May 1936, Joy received her First Holy Communion at the Church of Saint Theresa. She was a little red haired girl with lots of freckles and a tendency to get herself in mischief.
One day Joy’s friends thought tree climbing would be fun.  There was a tall tree next to the apartment building she lived in.  She climbed right up, higher and higher till she could see her mother in the second floor window.  Joy called to her and thought it was great fun when her mother looked out, surprised.  Helen immediately ran down the stairs and to the foot of the tree.  She spoke softly to her daughter, urging her to climb down.  Naturally, she was terrified that her only child would fall to the sidewalk.  So she spoke softly as to not startle her.  Slowly Joy came down.  Once she was safely on the ground, Helen started scolding her and warming her bottom!  Joy couldn’t understand why her mother was so upset.
On Election Day 1940 the Gardners moved to a small house in the country in Germantown, NY.  She had to adjust from living in one of the world’s largest cities to a town with no traffic lights, dirt roads and a small school for grades K – 12. She traded her much loved roller skates for a bicycle, met a girl who was to become her lifelong best friend and decided country life was not so bad after all. Alberta Joy lived in Germantown for the rest of her life. She met her husband at a square dance. She & Delbert K. Brown were married 8 August 1948. They had four children. I am the second of those four children, very fortunate to have had such a marvelous mother.

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