I think this was taken when I was in fifth grade. Melodie must have been in High School. Those were two of my favorite dresses ever! Sadly the white one never really fit me well. But that chocolate brown dress with the funky collar I wore over and over until it no longer fit me.
Shubi was born on December 1, 1995, in Landshut, Germany. She was my first wirehaired dackel! She lived just ten years and died young due to illness. But I can look back and smile at our wonderful ten years, because of what a great time we had together!
Arnie ~ March 27, 2007
My Throw Back Thursday is this adorable picture of Arnie. We hadn’t actually planned to keep Arnie, but when his new owner backed out at the very last minute, we knew that “Little Orphan Arnie” would be staying with us.
He is still such an amazing boy!
Since losing his sister last week, Arnie has been very sad, very needy, and very clingy to me. For fourteen years Arnie had his little sister and he’s struggling to find his place in this new world.
Arnie was the only boy in Greta’s first litter. He actually wasn’t supposed to stay. He’s been reserved by a woman in Upstate New York. But at the last minute, she changed her mind. By then, we’d fallen in love with Arnie and he stayed.
And as the others got sick and left us, Arnie has been the one that has comforted me.
He’s such a handsome old boy. At fourteen he has a few gray hairs but his eyes are still bright and he still has that marvelous swagger when he runs outside. I am hoping Arnie will be with us for a very long time. I’m not sure I can imagine a world without him in it!
When I was growing up my grandparents used to say that I looked like Papa’s sister, Kätchen. She was one year younger than Papa and they were very close.
Also, when Kätchen first arrived in Boston from Germany, her first friend was my grandmother. Both girls were 8 years old, and my grandmother, being the little teacher she was, enjoyed teaching Kätchen to speak English.
My grandfather told me it was love at first sight when he met Grandma Honey (Mary). And lucky for Papa he saw Mary quite frequently when she came over to teach and play with Kätchen.
As Kätchen grew, she blossomed into a strikingly beautiful woman. Her dark brown eyes and hair and fair skin were lovely to look at. She was also a sweet and kind person, and those who knew her adored her.
The beautiful Kätchen married Raymond on April 8, 1918, in Boston, Massachusetts. She died on January 10, 1919, in Boston, Massachusetts, at the age of 21. She was about to give birth to their first child, but the Spanish Flu epidemic was ravaging Boston. Her husband had been away at WWI and came back. Anxious to see his wife, he snuck in to see her.
Unfortunately, he carried the Flu into her and their unborn child. Kätchen became very ill with the Spanish Flu and a few days later she and her baby passed away.
Her husband Raymond lost the will to live and died in 1925.
Both Grandma Honey and Papa spoke of her often. In many ways, Kätchen had been like a sister to my Grandmother.
It is probably the reason I have been so careful during our current Pandemic. I know how easily a life can end if you are not careful.
I like to remember the good stories that Grandma told me about Kätchen. The games they played and as they grew Kätchen taught Grandma Honey to cook in her family’s kitchen. Two young women sharing their lives as best friends.
I’ve been totally immersed in genealogy the last week or so. It’s amazing how difficult their lives were back at the turn of the century for my Papa’s family, who immigrated from Germany to the United States. They did not have much money, but as soon as they arrived the older ones all got jobs to help to support the family.
Here is a picture of them taken either just before they left Germany or shortly after they arrived.
Left to right is Herbert, his sister Hedwig, my great grandfather August Prussmann, the little boy sitting down is my Papa, Frederick, then there is Henry, sitting down is the youngest Kätchen, then my great-grandmother, Elizabeth, and Herta. All lived to grow old, except Kätchen. She died at the age of 22 during the Spanish Flu Epidemic in Boston.
My great-grandfather August Prussman died after 1 year here in the USA. He suffered from terrible Asthma and died during a severe attack. He was just 48 years old.
The ones I knew best were Papa Fred and his sister, my Aunt Hedwig. Hedwig lived a very long life, and we got together with her often.
This was taken on the first day of eighth grade. I vaguely remember that dress. The hair? Oh yeah, I wanted to be Karen Carpenter so bad! That is why you can see the long hair and heavy bangs!
I loved the eighth grade. We were the oldest class in the school. Mostly, we had great teachers with the exception of just a couple.
My Dad taught at this school. So for the three years, I was in the Intermediate School, I not only had Dad as my music teacher, but I also rode to school with him every day and he made my lunch. Two slices of white bread, spread with margarine, two slices of American cheese. An apple and money for a carton of milk. God bless Dad. He had no imagination for packing our lunches, but every day, when we came down to the breakfast he made, there was our bag lunch.
At one time, everyone in town had our Dad as their music teacher. His teaching of square dancing is still legendary!
Here I am as my sister’s Maid of Honor when I was 13 years old. My mother made all the bridesmaids dresses and I remember feeling quite lovely wearing this. The bow? Not so much, but everything else was perfect.
A picture of my family for that year’s Christmas card. I imagine that Dad set up his camera to take the picture. There I am at three years old being held by my Dad, Melodie is in the front, then my Mom and brother Richard. These events were pretty stressful for us all. These were back in the days of “film” and taking an entire 36 pictures hoping to get one good one! It is so nice to have these pictures now. There are not too many of the five of us together.
Long ago and far away, in a place called Massachusetts, I was growing up. At the time I belonged to The Rainbow Girls, and although I never did as well as my sister did in the organization (she went all through the chairs and became Worthy Advisor), I did hold several offices, and I sang. Yes, yours truly, who is quite nervous about singing in front of people actually used to sing for large groups at our local organization as well as get loaned out to other chapters.
The year I was 15, I was the only girl going to the Rainbow Ball in Boston from our Chapter in Falmouth. Thus I was entered into the Pageant to see who would be crowned Queen of the Ball.
When I arrived, I was given an entry number of 13. Yup, 13. I remember thinking that I sure was sunk now, as 13 was an unlucky number.
My date that night was my ex-husband, and as we danced he joke about it a little, trying to get me to relax. I did and I recall there being a lot of fun and laughter that night.
My sister had attended this Ball in the past but had not won. So, I knew that I didn’t stand a chance. Melodie is delicate and beautiful and everything a fairy princess should be. At 15 I was awkward and big-boned and totally unsure of myself!
The evening wore on and I danced in the beautiful yellow gown that my mother had made for me, and I talked to my date and laughed and had a great time.
After all, I wasn’t going to win!
Eventually, we were all called to line up with our dates and promenade around the dance floor. A person would come up and tap your card and you would go to sit down.
Well, we walked and walked and walked, and other girls were removed from the line-up. Then there were probably three of us left. They called the second runner-up, then the first runner-up, and then that left me!
I was escorted by my date to the dais where I was crowned the 1973 Queen of the Rainbow Girls Ball!
Looking back I still cannot believe that I won. My escort always claimed it was because he was my date that night.
Whatever the case, it was the first time in my young life that I truly felt pretty.
And for one night I truly was, Queen of the Ball, just like Cinderella!