My father William

This is a blog about my father, William Foster Gillian and the legends he created during his life. We, the children have such great memories of an amazing life, because of him and my mother, Virginia Rose Gruszka Gillian. I want to tell of the stories and folktales of my family, for we have no next generation. I hope I can do justice to my father, for he was an amazing story teller. Thank you for your precious time spent reading this blog!

Location: United States

Thursday, March 24, 2005


Virginia awoke sunday morning, and went off to church, as all good Polish Catholic girls do, with her parents. Yes, she complained about her poor treatment on her blind date. Yes, she admitted she had a great time playing cards with him and their friends. Yes, she admitted she even liked him. No, she was not going to see him again! After all, he made her walk everywhere last night in her high heels! When mass was over, she headed off to a group picnic, to spend the afternoon with friends.

While she enjoyed a refreshing beverage, bemoaning her date to sympathetic girlfriends, she spied a group of women surrounding a man juggling. They were laughing and talking, having such fun. Just before she went over to join in the frivolity, she recognized the center of attention. Yes, it was William. My father always knew how to entertain people. I was raised being mystified by slight of hand. He knew how to make anyone feel part of the group. Yes, she snubbed him, though they exchanged glances. My father figured "oh well", and went on amusing his bevey of beauties, having a great old time.

As she stood against a tree, with her clique of friends, a young man she and William knew saundered by. "Hey Virginia! Wasn't that a great thing Bill did for his buddy?" he said. She replied, in a miffed tone, that she did not know what he was referring to. "You don't know?! Everyone is talking about it. His best friend Jerry got married friday night, but he did not have enough money for a honeymoon. Bill loaned him his new car, so Jerry could take his bride away to Chicago for the weekend. Boy, what a guy." I can just imagine her thoughts and feelings. She tried not to let anything show upon her face. I bet she just felt horrible, and yet incrediblely touched by the romance of the story. That act of kindness, was when William started to sweep my mother off her feet. She must have had a beautiful smile upon her face, and a few tears in her fawn brown eyes.

She looked across the lawn, and gazed upon Bill, then like a moth to the flame, she closed the distance between them. She joined in the merriment, and my father smiled at her, not knowing what had just transpired. They spent the rest of the afternoon together.

Now you know what happened to the car. But what exactly transpired between the time my father teased his blind date on friday afternoon and picked her up on saturday afternoon?!?! Tune in next time for:"Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam". Just like the serials my father loved to go to as a child on saturday mornings.

History 101: Serials were a film series, one installment shown at a time. In the good old days, when you went to see a picture show-it was a real show. There were trailers, cartoons, and the serial before the star attraction. The serials were westerns, scif-fi, and melodramas. Each ended with a cliffhanger-leaving you not knowing what to expect next time,thus making sure you would come back again.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Where is the car?!

Virginia Gruszka went home, and talked with her mother about the way she was treated. She was so offended by encounter. Antonette laughed, and asked her daughter if he was a "dog". My mother stampered, and then meekly replied "no". So, saturday morning she dressed not only to go to work, but also for the date that evening. Father was picking her up after work, then they were going to a mutual friend's home for an evening of cards and drinks. Yes, this was the person that fixed them up, but I was never told a name though. She was told, by the friend, that my father had a new car, so she picked out her high heels to wear. She was dressing to WOW.

History Lesson 101: Right after the end of WWII, new cars were a rare thing, since all the metal and such went to the war effort. You could say they were rarer than hen's teeth. A new car was a major status symbol at the time.

My mother finished her day, and stood outside the store (Carrie Long's) to await my father's arrival. She told me that her shop was enveyed by the others on the block, and there was an expectation for the CL girls to be the best dressed, compared to the rivals. As she stood outside, she admitted to me, she was checked out by the competition-knowing she was looking GOOD!

My father walked up and greeted her. She was hoping for him to pull up in front of the store, and to have everyone see her date and his NEW car. She was looking to make a splashy show in front of the other shop girls- CL girls rule! She thought he must have parked down the street. They started to walk, and my father, possessing the gift for gab, was talking about all kinds of things, while smoking his cigarette. My mother slowly realized that the farther they went, that there was NO car. She was going to have to walk the 12-14 blocks to the friend's home in her uncomfortable high heels! She was not amused!!! During the hike, she firgured he did not have a car after all, and just told this so she would go out with him, or that he did not think the date was worthy of the car. Either way-she was UPSET! Of course, due to her up bringing, she was not about to broach the subject with him. It was just all too embarrassing.

They arrived at the residence and played cards well into the night with a few other couples. My father then walked her home. My mother was vivid, making up her mind that no second date was ever going to happen.

Well, I am going to leave you here for now. The next part of the story is long and a little complex. It involves a sid story, that is one of my personal favorites.