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Whiskey BreakfastMy Swedish Family, My American Life$
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Richard C. Lindberg

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816646845

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816646845.001.0001

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The House That was Not a Home

The House That was Not a Home

(p.149) 10 The House That was Not a Home
Whiskey Breakfast

Richard C. Lindberg

University of Minnesota Press

In this chapter, the author, a first-generation Swedish American, reflects on the tumultuous marriage of his parents, Oscar and Helen Lindberg. The death of her father, Richard Stone, left Helen depressed. Even after reconciling with Oscar, she was filled with depression and morbid thoughts of her imminent death. Her obsession over Richard’s death had kindled an unhealthy awareness of her own vulnerability. Helen soon found out that she was pregnant, and on June 14, 1953, she gave birth to a baby boy—the author himself. In mid-August 1955, Helen left Oscar and their Skokie home, taking the author with her to her relatives on Navarre Avenue. Oscar and Helen later divorced, and he was punctual in making his child support payments for the first few years. But slowly the interval between checks widened, making the author anxious that he would be tossed into the street, forsaken in an orphanage, or sent to Skokie.

Keywords:   marriage, Oscar and Helen Lindberg, Swedish immigrants, Chicago, Richard Stone, Navarre Avenue, divorce, child support, Skokie

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