Other than her first few years of childhood spent in New Jersey, 90-year-old Anne has always lived in the Bronx. Growing up the only girl in a family with three boys wasn’t always easy, but Anne welcomed the challenge. She believes the experience made her strong and prepared her for life during World War II, when women were called upon to work jobs traditionally belonging to the men away at battle.
Anne found work as a riveter for the Morganite Brush Company, producing war munitions. “It was a filthy job,” Annie said. ”I came home covered in carbon.” Her friends dubbed her “Annie the Riveter” after cultural icon Rosie the Riveter.
After the war, Anne “magnetically” fell in love with and married her neighbor. Together they raised two children, a boy and a girl. However, the relationship did not last. Her own parents moved to Florida when they got older. Upon her father’s death, Anne, newly divorced and in need of a change of scenery, relocated to Florida to care for her ailing mother. In her little free time, she would babysit to help make ends meet. She returned to the Bronx following her mother’s death.
Anne has had her own health challenges. She successfully battled breast cancer and endured numerous rounds of radiation. However, as she got older and more frail, “Annie the Riveter,” who worked tough jobs and took care of others, needed extra help. All three of her brothers have passed away and her children are now themselves elderly and unable to provide her with regular care. “I am very grateful for the meals. I can’t stand up for a very long time, so I’m unable to cook. I have neuropathy in one leg and have to wear a brace. If it’s not that bothering me, it’s my back. Getting the meals has been a real relief.”
Anne believes the meals she receives from Citymeals are one more reason to be grateful she lives in New York.