Tuesday, May 18, 2010
My Grandfather Charles Joseph McIntyre was hired as a City of Boston "military substitute" patrolman in June 1941 by September of that year he was hired permanantly and retired from the force in 1976. In the 1950's he worked a lot of details outside bars and nightclubs in Boston's South End. By the time he retired he was working a desk job.
A couple of years ago I had a bit of a "brain fart" and sent and email requesting his employment records from the City of Boston. (to the best of my knowledge, I didn't have to pay anything for this service)
What I got in the mail a few weeks later was a documented almost month by month history of his life from the time he was about 30 til very near his death.
His medical records as well as employment records were all included in the 100 some odd pages (some hand written) that were sent to me.
My Mother listened to me talk about these documents with a sort of quiet patience that parents reserve for kids who get all excited about something the parents find hopelessly dull.
Then I read from a medical examiner's letter that detailed a night when my Grandfather was:
"struck on the head with a glass by a prisioner he had arrested outside the G&N Restaurant, 518 Tremont Street, City."
At that point my snapped her head around and with a very surprised look on her face said,
"I remember that night!"
When her Father came home the night of this incident she was sent to her room. Having no real reason to remember it, she had almost forgotten it.
As any kid would remember thier father coming home injured, she remembered the night but being only about 11 at the time, and a girl as well, she was not told what happened at the time and the memory kind of slipped away to the back files of her mind.
Charles Joseph McIntyre's employment record turned out to be such a wealth of information to me. Not only did it contain interesting glimpses into his day to day life but it records time off he took for his parents deaths and his children's births and childhood injuries. It also is a priceless record of his medical history.
We got a bit lucky that he worked for one employer for so long but I often wonder if other "companies" still in business would still hold records of former employees and what hidden genological/historical gems may be out there just waiting for some interested party to dig them up and blow the dust off....