My Pop-Pop, Frederick Chester Krausch, Jr., was the eldest child of German and Irish immigrants who came to the United States early in the 20th Century. My great-grandfather, Frederick Chester Krausch, Sr., was born in Frankfurt, Germany, and my great-grandmother, Elizabeth Mahoney, was born in County Cork, Ireland.
Born in August, 1923, Fred was born a first-generation American in the Bronx, New York. A child of divorce, Fred grew up with a hard upbringing, facing poverty and adversity throughout his childhood and adolescence. At the height of the Great Depression, my Pop-Pop dropped out of high school before his junior year to support his parents and eight siblings. After falling in love and marrying my Nannie, Anita LaRocca, in 1942, my Pop-Pop was drafted to the Army in the Spring of 1943. After returning home a Corporal and a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, Fred and Anita had four children, and continued to work to face economic adversity.
This hat was given to my Pop-Pop in 1983 as a reminder for his and his family's sacrifices to each other and their country and the pursuit of the American Dream. Though he passed away in 2012, Fred is remembered as a tenacious New Yorker, loving father, and an American hero of a dying breed, "The Greatest Generation". Through this hat, I take pride in all he accomplished since being born into poverty, and I, along with so many others, aspire to capture his fortune in making it here in the United States.
– Kyle J. Kilkenny