Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The History of Me

I talk to my sisters often, but I don't see them as often as I'd like. I did see my sister Lenore last week and she brought me the most wonderful present. Pictures of my grandmother Frida, my dad's mother and some pictures of my grandfather William Sr. (Wilhelm) taken before they were married. To those of you who don't know the history, we're talking pre 1912!
My grandfather was born in 1877 and came to the U.S. when he was 16. OK, that was 1893 the year of the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. To put into perspective... the year that the Museum of Science and Industry opened...the year that the Field Museum was completed. And for you lovers of spooky non-fiction the year of The Devil in the White City.

Although my grandmother died when my dad was four, she has had a great impact on our family. We have fantasized about her our whole lives. Looking at these pictures, you can see why! Frida is second from the right in the suit picture. She belonged to either an acting or singing society. My guess is singing because why would everybody dress the same for a play?
She must have been quite a gal. I was so excited to get these photos because I look very much like good old Frida. Actually good young Frida, because she died when she was about 30 in 1918.
She looks like a doll in the picture below. She is the second from the left in the middle row.
My grandparent were both from Germany. Frida was from Stuttgart and Wilhelm was from Bremen and 400 miles was a greater distance back then. But they met in Chicago when they were both working at Kranz's candies. She was a waitress and he was the ice cream and candy maker.
I guess she recognized his voice when she saw him at the bus stop and asked if he was Wilhelm. The rest is history.

I had never seen the inside of Kranz's, but I have heard stories about how elegant it was. I was told that ice cream was $1.00 a pint during the depression and that certainly was a point to be made!

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