My Boardwalk Empire Connection
Most times when you get together with family for the holidays, the same stories get recycled, mostly favorite tales about the people we love who aren’t around anymore. However, sometimes some family history that was never revealed shows up to astonish us.
Such was the case this past Thanksgiving when I found out that my family had a direct link to the true tale of Boardwalk Empire.
First a little bit of back-story is in order. My parents Barbara Helm and Harry Hoffman were both only children from divorced parents who were brought up by their mothers. As a result I never knew my biological grandfathers.
From what little I knew, that was for the best. When my mother tried to reconnect with her father Harry Helm when she was 15 (he was remarried with a new family), he came to the door, said he didn’t have a daughter and slammed the door in her face.
On my dad’s side of the family, I knew even less about Frank Hoffman, except that he was not around when my dad grew up in the Chelsea section of Atlantic City.
Last weekend I asked my mom if my dad knew Nucky Johnson, since he grew up in Atlantic City when Nucky was still in charge of the town; my dad was born in 1924. Well that question led to a fascinating fact. She told me that my dad didn’t know him, but my grandfather Frank Hoffman did.
Apparently my grandmother Anna was not happy when her husband started working for Nucky Johnson. My mom doesn’t know what Frank Hoffman was doing for Nucky, but you can be sure it was illegal. My grandmother took her three-year-old son (my dad Harry) and walked away from the marriage in 1927. Since that was still during Prohibition, Frank Hoffman might have been doing something in the booze trade with Nucky.
This news has made me want to try and find out more about the grandfather I never met.
Tags: Boardwalk Empire