John “Jack” May
Storyteller: Katherine “Kitty” May Ryan
My father, John “Jack” May, was almost two years old when the Great Pandemic arrived in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, in 1918. He and his mother, Dorothea Ann Free-May, were both were quarantined for over two months. Jersey Shore, located in the middle of the state, and on a major transportation route for the Pennsylvania Rail Road and the Susquehanna River brought many travelers through Jersey Shore from the east. No one else in the family became sick. Grandfather was the station master at the rail road depot in town, and the two older brothers were in enrolled in schools that were probably closed due to the dangerous and easily passed virus. Dad and his mother survived. When they were sick, the rest of the family prepared their meals, washed and sterilized their clothes; and passed these items to them through the door while wearing masks, to prevent contamination. My father lived to be 96 years old and his mother 82 years.