I guess that the first real
tragedy in our life was the loss of my father when I was at a very
young age. It happened in 1938, the year that I graduated high school.
He never had a chance to enjoy life, to make any money, to see his
boys grow up and be married or to even see any grandchildren.
Mildred's Father and
Mother had the same fate and passed on even before we were married.
I often think of how fortunate that we are to be able to know and
watch our great grandchildren be born and grow. As of now we
have 7 to enjoy. My Mother lived to be 89 and she got to know all her
The next is
about some material things that are lost. When the war started,
we all left home and my Mother was in Newark alone. During our younger
days we had a very large collection of Lionel trains that were put
up every Christmas with a village that covered the living room and dining
room. Somehow, during this time my Mother gave the whole collection
to the next door neighbors. Also I had a sizable collection of Indian
trading cards. They also disappeared. To whom, I don't know. My very
extensive stamp collection went the same way. I hope that somebody is
enjoying all those things today.
Aunt Mateel had many valuable antiques. She even cataloged a large
collection for a famous New Yorker, who was killed in a subway accident.
He would give her some each time that they met or when she was cataloging
his collection. These all disappeared. I think that her attorney stole
most of them. She also gave me two famous paintings, Christmas Eve
and Christmas Morn. The last time that I saw these was at an auction
in Brooklyn N.Y. I had no way of getting them to my house in Virginia.
Also, I couldn't get the time off to attend to her estate since I was
in the Air Force and far away.
We have a few things
that we think are worth keeping in the family and as the family
pass through, we put their name on the items that they would like
to have. Jay is the family archivist and I send him any documents,
newspaper write-ups, photos etc,. so he can keep them as mementos of
I guess that the greatest disaster
was the loss of the Meierdierck Brewery. But for the grace of
GOD, instead of buying a sixpack of Budweiser or Millers or several
others, you might be asking for a Meierdierck. Details of
this are chronicled in Jays history.
Upon my return from WW II, I was
able to bring back a collection of Beer Steins. I think that I
had 5 or 6 and they were all Regimental Steins from Germany.
Each was inscribed with the names of the soldiers, their regiment
etc,. The bottoms of some were made so that if you put it up to the
light and looked at the bottom, a figure would be visible. On
top of the lid, each had a metal soldier.
I also found one that
was about three feet high, made of blue pottery and I don't remember
the decor on it. I had it crated and shipped to my home in San Antonio,
Texas. When it arrived, it was in hundreds of pieces. I hid it away
under the eaves meaning to try to put it together some day and when
I moved, I left it behind. Several years later I returned to retrieve
it, but it was gone.
The other steins, I
left at my brother Victors house and I really don't remember why
I never did pick them up ??? Anyhow, later in life we were estranged
and when he died, his wife sold them at a garage sale. Again, So it goes.