Friday, July 20, 2018

A new Book on Chester about WW2 in the city

The city of Chester, Pennsylvania, is pulsing with activity during World War Two, grinding out ships, planes, and helicopters at record rates to fuel the fight against Hitler and Hirohito.  Its winding streets are a patchwork quilt of ethnic neighborhoods, and families display stars in their windows to show they have sons or fathers off serving their country.


     There are five stars in the window of young David’s house, representing four of his seven brothers and the husband of one of his two sisters.  While he prays for their safe return, David peddles newspapers to the shift-workers at the war plants, dodges the local traffic cop who wants to shut down his shoeshine business, hookies school to hear Louis Armstrong in Philly, and does his best to negotiate adolescence on the home front. 


Born in Chester, Pennsylvania, in the early days of the Great Depression and coming of age during World War II, David Komarnicki was number eight in a line-up of ten kids. His father’s earnings didn’t stretch far, and the kids added needed income to the family coffers as soon as they were old enough to venture into the larger world.  David’s contribution came from peddling newspapers to workers at the wartime plants and selling scrap to the local junk dealer.
   The steadily expanding family moved six times before David entered grammar school, but they always stayed in the patchwork quilt of ethnic neighborhoods that made up Chester at the time.  After graduating from Chester High School in 1948, David went on to attend Philadelphia Bible College, the Kings College, and Reformed Episcopal Seminary.      In 1958, David followed his older brother George out to Southern California, where he earned a teaching credential from Long Beach State and became a public schoolteacher in South Los Angeles.  He was teaching in this area when the Watts Riots broke out in 1965, and one of his students was the first among 34 people to die.
  After the riots, David shifted to teaching at the federally funded Watts Skills Center.  He later transitioned to the corporate world, joining Equity Funding Corporation as a regional trainer.  In this role, he used his teaching experience to prepare sales agents for required certification examinations on both a state and federal level.   
  He later formed his own training company, Financial Schools of America.  In partnership with his wife, Leslie, he provided training for insurance agents as well as all levels of securities personnel, preparing them for examinations given by the New York Stock Exchange, the National Association of Securities Dealers, and the commodities exchanges.
   In 1986, David sold Financial Schools of America to the Longman Financial Group and returned to Pennsylvania with Leslie and their two young daughters.  There he pursued various occupations, including the teaching of memoir writing for a few semesters at Neumann University.
  Since the return to Pennsylvania, David has sought to reconnect with the elusive ghosts of his childhood, and the book FIVE STARS IN THE WINDOW is the result of rendezvousing with some of them. 

The Book can be purchased on Amazon













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