Learning from the past, living in the moment, and leaving footprints for the future. Stories of lov

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sentimental Sunday - Walter Christian Roesch

Walter as a young man
with his parents,
Julia and Clyde Roesch
 Walter Christian Roesch was born in Potosi Village, Wisconsin on August 9, 1925.   It was in October 2008 that I learned that he was in Heartland Nursing Home in Platteville, Wisconsin, not recognizing anyone.  He passed away this past January 28, 2012 at the age of 86.  He was the grandson of Philip Roesch who served in the Civil War.  Walter never married and never had children.

Walter is remembered as a young boy carrying his violin to school as he took music lessons.  He spent many months in Eau Gallie Florida as a child with his parents in a cottage on Highland Avenue.  His father, Clyde, purchased it from his brother, William Russell Roesch, Mayor of this charming town.

After graduation from Potosi High School, Walter attended Bayless Business College in Dubuque, IA. During World War II, Walter served in the U.S. Army. He worked as an administrative assistant at the Potosi Brewery. Walter later worked at the Civil Defense Office in Lancaster until his retirement. He was a member of the Davies Memorial United Church of Christ, where he played the organ for over 40 years.

Five months have now passed since Walter's death.  Then a surprise came to me on June 22, 2012 in the form of a message waiting for me on ancestry.com.  It read: 

My name is John C. and I work for the Department of Veterans Affairs in the Memorial Programs Service and have received an application for a marker for Walter C. Roesch. Unfortunately there is a requirement that a next of kin signs the request in order to issue the marker. If you wish to be of help in this matter, please contact me at 888-101-1111 ext 111. Regards,

I immediately called John.  It seems a veterans agent in Wisconsin had called him about the situation for he said that Walter had no next of kin.  John told me that when these situations arise he researches ancestry.com to see if he can find a relative.  This is how he found me.

I was overwhelmed with emotion and so grateful for the opportunity to do something so very special for Walter. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - Voicing His Opinions.

Observations By An Observing Observer is a column my grandfather, Wm. Phillip Roesch wrote in 1925 in Eau Gallie, Florida.  Here is a small collection of his witty, subtle, and sometimes cutting  remarks to voice his opinion.

A few years ago the greatest preventive known to fond moments for Old Maidism was a partly concealed, well oiled porch swing - now replaced by the rumble seat in a sport modeled roadster.

It requires more time and attention to raise a crop of "wild oats" than one would imagine - and then the crop is worthless.

Over in Tampa the police threatened to jail two girls for appearing on the street without stockings - straining at a gnat and swallowing a horse fly - as it were.

If you want to find a prosperous town, find one where the Dove of Peace is a permanent resident.

Miami has a new method of showing police officials that the public is really their boss, by trying a few of 'em om ordinary murder charges.

Suggested slogan for the Garden Club:  "Make your house look like a home - plant flowers."

Strange as it may seem, you never see a checker game going on in the store of a consistent advertiser.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thankful Thursday - A WWII Hero Dies

Military Monday - Plane Down

I am re-posting this story today, for John Walter Wyman passed away last Thursday. He was a truly loved man by not only his family but the community as well. We drove the four hours to Rumford, Maine to attend his services that were held on June 20th. Thank you for your gallant and brave service. Rest In Peace.

John was an easy going man, a true hero from WWII.  He raised his four children not by lecturing, but by only two rules, "I won't take you to the hospital, and I won't bail you out of jail."  Another words, stay out of trouble.  He and his wife Rita would have been celebrating 70 years of marriage on July 7th.

John's plane was shot down and he was taken prisoner.  He was moved from one camp to another during one of the worst snowstorms in history known as the "Black March".  Many died but John survived with only a blanket.

From Wikipedia:

The March" refers to a series of forced marches during the final stages of the Second World War in Europe. From a total of 257,000 western Allied prisoners of war held in German military prison camps, over 80,000 POWs were forced to march westward across Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Germany in extreme winter conditions, over about four months between January and April 1945. This series of events has been called various names: "The Great March West", "The Long March", "The Long Walk", "The Long Trek", "The Black March", "The Bread March", and "Death March Across Germany", but most survivors just called it "The March".

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday - Yoo-Hoo Dinner Is Ready

My Nannie's Potholders
My dad always received his two weeks vacation the first two weeks of July.  There was always so much excitement as my mother packed our suitcases to hit the road down the old US route 1 highway heading toward my maternal grandparents who lived in Rockledge, Florida. 

The drive alone was filled with anticipation and lots of questions such as "Where are we now"?  We always drove straight through. Mom always packed a cooler with sandwiches, drinks and snacks to eat.  Dad only stopped when he needed gas or the very important potty stop, lots of those with four kids in the car. So my three sisters and I in the back seat did all sorts of contortions to find a comfortable place to sleep, i.e. legs on top of each other and even on the floor.  No seat belts back then.

Of course when we got close to our destination we recognized the familiar sights we have seen so many times before and soon we would be at my grandparents home, where we knew fun and spoil city lived.

I remember my grandmother Florence, whom I called Nannie, always served ice tea at lunchtime with cold cuts to make sandwiches and slices of cantaloupe and other good stuff to enjoy. It was very hot there in July so cold food for lunch was a good thing to eat. We sat at a table in a very large dinning room that was once utilized as a restaurant. She was a very good cook and at one time had many faithful customers, especially truck drivers hauling their goods down route 1 known as the Old Dixie Highway.

Dinnertime was a different event as a good old southern fried meal was cooked in a hot kitchen with potholders and dishtowels hanging nearby. Whether it is steak with gravy and peas or chicken and gravy and always lots of mashed potatoes with corn on the cob with ice-cold juicy watermelon for dessert, it was always delicious and fun to all be together.

She made her own potholders and if you look closely you can see the fruit and flowers that she cut out and applied, and then crocheted around each item and around the eyes and mouth of the faces she so carefully made.  It's fun to look at them and remember her.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wordless Wednesday-Rocky Water Park

Postcard of Rocky Water Park.

 Built abt 1923 by my great grandfather, Emond Lewis Sterling, located on Pineapple Ave., Eau Gallie, Florida.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sullivan and O'Brian - I Wear The Green

This past February I wrote about my Irish link and how difficult it was to find the the correct ancestors for there were so many by the name of Dennis with a wife named Hannah.  It makes me happy to have found the Irish link I was always told I had.  Madness Monday - My Irish Green Eyes

Here is an update on my Irish 3rd great grandparents, Dennis Sullivan and Hannah.  I learned that her maiden name was O'Brian.  You can't get any more Irish than Sullivan and O'Brian.  Although I havn't found the record of when they came to America, it is possible they left Ireland because of the Potato Famine.

I was surprised and shocked that the 1870 census checked the box that said: Whether deaf & dumb, blind, insane or idiotic. Could that be true?

The 1880 census said that Hannah could not read or write, but Dennis could. What I came to realize is that they only spoke Gaelic when they came to America.  Dennis had learned not only to speak English, but now could read and write.   Being the bread winner by farming found it was a necessity to do business Most likely because Hannah was the stay at home housewife she only learned to speak English. They lived in Lakeville, Massachusetts.

I went to the Lakeville town hall and got copies of their death certificate.  Hannah died before her husband on July 31, 1897. Cause of death, of old age, 80.  Interesting is that it listed her parents, Timothy O'Brian and Hannah Sullivan. Dennis died two years later on March 20, 190 in Middleboro. Cause of death, Arteris Sclerosis at age 96. His parents were not listed, call me disappointed.

They practiced the Catholic religion and chose St Mary's Catholic Church Cemetery for their final resting place in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Family Receipe Friday - Grapefruit Salad

Just in time for summer.  This is a receipe from 1925

1 tablespooon of lemon juice to
3 tablespoons of olive oil
add salt and pepper

Place grapefruit sections on lettuce leaves
Then pass the dressing for others to pour on.
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