Storyteller: Joan Carr
Location: New Jersey
My father, Gene C. Carr, was born in 1910 in Paterson, New Jersey. He was only 8 years old during the flu pandemic of 1918, but he remembered it vividly. But because he was only a child, he didn′t understand what was happening. He survived, along with my grandmother, Mary Hennessey Carr, and my aunt, Rita Carr Pogacer. Gene was a quiet man who did not talk much about the historic events he witnessed during his lifetime (He served in WWII in the Army Air Corps in the Pacific).
I first learned about the pandemic of 1918 in an American history class in high school and that′s when my father first told me about it. He died in 2004 at the age of 94. He would be proud to know that I am now working in the field of public health and contributing to efforts to lessen the effects of the next pandemic.