Some people were born to fight the good fight. Remember Walt’s mother Pauline, the nurse? When her son was just five-years-old she comes down with a patient-related infection and maybe even influenza—so one day her parents show up to remove Pauline, bed and all, and return her to her childhood home across town to recuperate.
Naturally this is about more than an illness, because Pauline seeks a divorce. She’s the only person she knows who is divorced—and whose child is now in the custody of his grandparents. It’s one hell of a mess, especially since the only way to regain her family is to renounce nursing and adhere to a life with a humorless ex-husband.
Pauline is having none of it. Instead she moves nearly two hours away—that’s her in the back row and she is a nurse for a Children’s Orphanage in Newark New Jersey. She may not have her own son but man do these kids need her and it helps ease the pain. And every couple of months throughout his childhood, young Walt is ushered on a ferry to Philadelphia where he is put—alone—on a train to Newark so he can buddy around with his mother, who he adores. The two of them travel into nearby New York City and walk the streets and sometimes they treat themselves to a day in Coney Island. At the end of the weekend Pauline has to put Walter back on a train to return to his grandparents. Man, that was rougher than rough.