He, and all of us, owned quite a few Irish records which we played on the old gramaphone. He played the harmonica and "jews" harp, and enjoyed music, especially John McCormack, the great Irish tenor.
Apparently his pension was good and he had saved some money. The impression was that he had bought the house "out South" on Carpenter Street.
Originally, the house at 5930 Carpenter Street was ground level but he had it raised and a basement was built beneath it. He also had an oil furnace installed.
He always talked about warm floors and some of the pipes under the floor were not insulated, thereby providing heat under the floor. (When, in later years, we saw the dirt floors in Ireland, we understood) So that he would never run out of oil, he had them construct a 1,000 gallon oil tank. This consumed one-quarter of the basement. But we never ran out of oil!
He promised to buy me a bike when I graduated from grammar school and he made good on his promise, buying me the bike I had picked out.
When we lived on 30th and South Park, he brewed a good quality of beer and had it stored in the basement acoording to age; newest brewed, aging, and drinkable at the time. He continued brewing when we moved "out South" to Carpenter Street.
He also, on 30th Street, had a small still which he would set up in the kitchen and distilled and bottled apricot brandy.
This was in the days of prohibition, and even I, as young as I was, was aware the making of beer and whiskey was forbidden.
One day two policemen came to the house! They left with several bottles of beer and brandy. When we lived on Carpenter Street, Mr. Olsen, manager of the local National Tea market, would deliver the groceries as much as possible because he would always get a bottle of beer. Pa was famous locally for the great beer he brewed.
He died without a Will, and whatever money he had was contested by some of his family in Ireland. This went on for several years and although he lived with us all the time (Mom could have used the money desperately) the entire amount was eaten up by lawyer fees and costs. After he died, some people said it was from a broken heart after the death of his only son.