Monday, February 2, 2009

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Mom catches a saboteur during WWII

Mom's Memory Blog
Florence Otway and a friend approach the I Miller factory in Long Island City during WII.

Anna Kirschen ni Gold and Florence Kirschen (Otway)

My mother went to Cooper Union before the war. Her mother designed hats, and Mom became a shoe designer for I Miller.

Florence and Anna Kirschen

Florence Otway second from left

Mom worked at Carnegie Hall, at the USO. Here she is with British officers who would take newly launched ships from southern ports in the US, to Britsh ports.

Her work at I Miller changed with the war as well. They were not allowed new designs during the war, so she began drafting for production of parachuts at the I Miller Factory.

Mom noticed an elderly lady would run her thumb down each seam as she finished sewing. The woman always had a Band-Aid on that thumb. She remembers the older woman was nice, but always had odd things to say, such as, "babies pee more in the rain." At first Mom thought she was smoothing down the seam. But, she became more and more suspicious of this, and informed her supervisor.
The woman's hand was examined, and a small razor blade was discovered hidden in the Band-Aid. She was cutting the seam, under the stitches where the cut would not be noticeable. Mom was given a lapel pin for her vigilance. She does not know what happened to the old woman.

Florence Otway at the drawing board 1940s