1 Nephi 1: 1, 3
...therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days. And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge.

^^That pretty much explains this blog.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Is There a Scent or Sound That Immediately Takes You Back to Childhood? Why? What does it bring to mind?

I've said it before and I'll say it again--wait for it--Vick's Vaporub!
I love the smell of Vick's!
In fact, I just found a product, do-Terra, and I bought the Physician's Kit and it has all the organic smells that I love: lavender, lemon, peppermint, melaleuca, plus frankincense, and others that just smell good to me.
I am very scent-sensitive.  Perfume can send me to the hospital. The chemicals are too much for me.  I have to move and get away from people wearing perfume or cologne.  But organic smells, like lilacs and roses and hyacinth--and whatever Vick's Vaporub is made of--just intoxicate me!

What does it bring to mind...ha-ha...being sick!? 
Actually, I think of it as a healthy smell.  Smelling Vick's is going to make me get better.

My second choice is honeysuckle.  I remember Laurie Mundy and I walking through the woods and picking flowers off the vine and sucking the tiny bit of honey in the pale yellow flower and smelling that wonderful nature perfume that filled the air as we walked.  Deep breaths!  Laurie then proceeded to tell me it was against the law to pick honeysuckle.  Luckily we were embedded in a particularly dense forest while we did it. ha-ha...In fact, I just planted a honeysuckle vine right next to my front door.  I hope it grows and grows and has lots of flowers.  If it's June, it must be honeysuckle season!  I love that I can have the scent from my childhood here with me in Utah where, apparently, it is not against the law to grow domestically.

Sound?  hmmm...I'll have to think about that one.  Crickets chirping? Cicadas? They remind me of summer.  I wonder if they have those sounds in Utah.  I know they don't have lightening bugs.  Bummer.

What about you?  What smell takes you back to your childhood? 
Any sound that reminds you of anything from kidhood?  I'd like someone to give me some ideas.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Did You Have a Favorite Book or Story?

Wow...this is a hard one.  I love books.  I think my favorite book was whatever I was reading. 
When we moved to Scott Drive, my dad took us to the Coatesville Public Library on Main Street one Saturday after school let out.  I got my very own library card, and we could pick out three books a week. I had just finished first grade.  He put his hammock from the Navy up between two trees and I laid on the hammock and read my library books.
I grew to like the classics because I remember, in third grade, I stayed up all night and read "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll.  I have that same book still. It was my dad's from 1935. It was a child's book, but it has 241 pages!
It was late, like midnight, and I challenged myself to not stop reading until I finished the book.  I remember waking up, lying across the end of my bed the next morning.  I had done it!  I was on the last page.  I don't know that I retained an awful lot of it, but it was interesting and I just wanted to say that I stayed up all night to read a book.
This engraving is on p. 131 of my copy of the book

Another tome that really influenced me was "Little Women." 
I marvelled that I was in all the characters.  I was the oldest sister, like Meg; a writer (wannabe), like Jo; I played the piano like Beth and I painted like Amy.  I could relate to all of them.  I said before, I found an old typewriter in the attic that used to be my mom's.  It was from the 1940s, I think.  I carried that black manual typewriter, in its black canvas case, up to Pike's Peak and sat down and typed out my novel.  I was in sixth grade, I think.  I remember letting Nancy Antol read it and she said it needed more adventure in it.  I can't remember what I wrote about, but after Nancy's critique, I had a skiing accident in there somewhere.  I scoured the map of the United States to see where my novel would take place and I picked Hagerstown, MD.  Little did I know that I had ancestors who lived in that very place.  I wasn't sure if people skiied in Hagerstown, so the novel went on the back burner while I painted--probably.

I read "Lives of the Saints" and was very taken with religious writings.  I read about "Theresa, the Little Flower" in third grade and I decided I wanted Theresa to be my Confirmation name.  If I'm not mistaken, my friend and former babysitter, Theresa Pahira, was my sponsor when I was confirmed.  I loved her.  I missed her when we moved to Scott Drive.

I also read about "Helen Keller."  It was about the time the movie, based on the stage play, with Patty Duke came out.  I stayed overnight at my grandparents' house and Mona and I re-enacted the scene where she and Annie Sullivan were in the dining room and Helen was eating off everyone's plates.  Mona was Annie and threw herself into the part.  I believe I had bruises and scratch marks after the re-enactment.  I hope she was given as good as she got, but it was for the play!

Being in high school rather ruined me with reading.  I didn't particularly like the books we had to read:  "The Scarlet Letter," "The Red Badge of Courage," "Great Expectations," "Moby Dick..." Classics, all, but not my taste.  Once I got out of high school and college, I could read whatever I wanted.  That, I liked!  I got to choose the classics that suited me.

I still love classic literature--"Jane Eyre," "The Count of Monte Cristo," "Little Women (still)," "Gone With the Wind," "To Kill a Mockingbird..."

I've said it before, "Jane Eyre" is my favorite book of all time.  I don't know why.  I just like it.

What are YOUR favorite books or stories?

Do You Remember a Favorite Toy?

Yes!  My Chatty Cathy doll.  You pulled a string in the back of her neck and she spoke!  I thought it was the most marvelous and magical doll!  She had blonde hair and my mom made clothes for her.  She was my favorite, favorite toy to play with for a long time.

Alas, when I was in about 4th grade, my brother, whom will remain nameless (but his name begins with W), pulled the string right out!  My Chatty Cathy was voiceless.  *sigh*  I was devastated...

I also liked to play with Paper Dolls.  I started to play with Paper Dolls when I was about 4-years-old. My friend, Mona, and I would spend hours cutting out the dresses for our dolls, then pretending with them.  But I think the fun part was the cutting. It was a wonderful device for teaching a child how to use scissors correctly.  If you wanted to play with them, you had to first cut out all the parts.  I was diligent and endeavored to never go out of the lines to ruin the clothes for the dolls.  I believe it was the precursor to my love of Scherenschnitte (Pennsylvania Dutch term for "scissors cutting")!

I had paper dolls of Janet Lennon and the Lennon Sisters, Dorothy Maguire and the Maguire Sisters   (I think my mom liked them) and I even had Dinah Shore and George Montgomery Paper Dolls!!! ahhhh!   And remember the FREE Betsy McCall paper dolls in the McCalls magazine every month?

I wish I could talk to my friend, Mona, and see if she remembers what other paper dolls we had.
And, of course, the BIGGEST thing to come out in the 50s was BARBIE!!!!!  I remember wanting a Barbie doll so much, but my mom said we couldn't afford it.  At $3, it was expensive in 1959.  So she first bought me a knock off doll.  Her name was Babette--NOT a Barbie.  I wanted a brunette Barbie with a pony tail--a classic. 

Then, one day, a few years later (yes, YEARS I had to wait), I got a Barbie--an ash blonde Barbie with a "bubble cut."  *sigh*  Oh, well...at least it was a Barbie. I still kind of get a tingle when I think about it . . .

(This is the first Barbie commercial that first aired during Mickey Mouse Club!)

I didn't have a Ken doll either until one day, my friend, Laurie Mundy, gave me her old Ken doll that a dog had mauled.  It had no hair and only one hand.  We said he came back from the war, and I was content.  Then my brothers got GI Joes and that was even better than a Ken doll.  So Barbie, and later, Tressy, had GI Joe boyfriends.
Tressy was the doll whose hair would grow when you pushed a button on her back (or was it her stomach?)  "Short, or long, or in-between; Tressy's hair makes her a queen!"  "It's grows and grows!"

I decided then I wanted to be a hair dresser when I grew up.

What was YOUR favorite toy to play with when you were young?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

In Honor of My Ancestor Fathers

I see I honored my ancestor mothers on Mother's Day.  Now I will honor my ancestor fathers on this Father's Day, beginning with my dad.
Henry J. Tobelmann, Jr.
b. February 3, 1926, New Orleans, LA
d. November 14, 1989, Palm Coast, FL

My father was born in New Orleans and he and his parents never really felt 'at home' in the Northeast. They were southerners through and through. Many times my dad would refer to his offspring as 'you Yankees,' though he had lived most of his life in Pennsylvania.

My beloved Grandfather, Henry Joseph Tobelmann, Sr.
b. December 16, 1896, New Orleans, LA
d. May 4, 1968, Coatesville, PA

During the Great Depression, my grandfather lost his job at Lukens Steel Company in New Orleans.  My grandmother said he tried to make a go of selling stationery, but only made $2 a week.  Her exact words, "He only made $2 a week selling carbon paper." He was hired on at Lukens in New York, and, three years later, moved his family to East Orange, NJ while he commuted into the big city every day.  He was then transferred to Lukens Steel in Coatesville, PA at the home office.  I believe my dad was about eight years old when he moved to New Jersey.  Wouldn't that make him a Yankee, too?

My grandfather's father was Henry Rudolf August Louis Fritz Tobelmann
b. February 2, 1869 in New Orleans, LA
d. September 5, 1936 in New Orleans, LA

The picture of the children is Henry Rudolf with his two surviving sisters, Ernestine (center) and Laura.
He also had a much younger brother, August, who wasn't born at the time this photo was taken.
Henry R. had two siblings that died within days of each other in February of 1882.  I couldn't find any supporting documents on their deaths.  I assume an epidemic, illness or maybe an accident.  I know of no family stories.
On my trip to NOLA in 2001, I found his obituary and looked him up in the City Directory.
OBITUARY: TOBELMANN--At the residence, 2647 Cleveland Avenue, on Saturday evening, September 5, 1936; at 10:40 o'clock, HENRY R. TOBELMANN, in his 67th year, beloved husband of Susan Hoerner, father of Charles, Henry J., Mildred and Elfreda Tobelmann and Mrs Frank P. Deegan (Olga) and brother of August L. and Laura Tobelmann of this city and Mrs. A. E. Ewing (Ernestine) of Shreveport, La. Relatives and friends of the family, also officers and employees of sewerage and water board, of The Times-Picayune and Louisiana State Board of Health, are invited to attend the funeral, which will take place from the funeral home of Pat J. McMahon-Coburn Company, 2305 Canal Street, corner North Miro, on Monday, September 7, 1936, at 4 o'clock p.m. Interment Greenwood cemetery. (THE TIMES-PICAYUNE, MONDAY, SEPT. 7, 1936)

New Orleans, Louisiana Directories, 1890-1891:  Henry Tobelmann; Edison Electric Illuminating Co.; dynamo tender; (Location 2) 308 Gravier, New Orleans LA 1891.

I know he owned a bar, too.  My dad said he was an ornery man.  As his grandfather, he used to chase his grandchildren away and they were afraid of him.

According to Margaret Deegan Conner, his granddaughter (my dad's first cousin), Henry R. loved full-blooded fox terriers. That probably explains why Dad and Mom bought a fox terrier.  Tippy was my first dog. According to Margaret, he also had a canary. He grew peppers in his garden, and he paid his grandchildren a penny a worm to get them off the peppers.

I remember my grandfather used to recite all his names for me and I couldn't get past Rudolf because I thought of Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer.  When I met up with Margaret in NOLA in 1993, she recited all of his names, to my delight! Henry Rudolf August Louis Fritz.  I now have them all documented.  She said he was named after all his uncles, but I haven't found evidence of that.

In the bowler hat is my great-great-grandfather, Charles (Adolph Carl Friedrich August) Tobelmann, The Immigrant.
b. February 12 or 15, 1844 in Wagenfeld, Hannover, Germany
d. April 13, 1899 in New Orleans, LA
I went on a genealogy trip to NOLA in 2001 and went to the New Orleans Public Library.  I found the Obituary for Charles Tobelmann and his death certificate.
OBIT IN TIMES-PICAYUNE, N.O.L.A.: "He was a native of Germany and a resident of New Orleans for many years. He died at age 55. Mr. Tobelmann started life as a steward on the steamers plying between Bremen, Germany and New York. When the Civil War was inaugurated he remained in this country and in 1866 came to New Orleans. He engaged in the grocery business and remained in it until six years ago. At this time he retired from active life.

Besides his wife, he leaves four children, Mr. Henry Tobelmann, now in business in New Orleans, Mrs. A. E. Ewing of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Miss Laura Tobelmann and Master August Tobelmann. Mr. Tobelmann was a member of Germania Lodge #46 F. and A.M. and was buried by that order. He was one of ten original stockholders of Jax Beer [Jackson Brewery]." (Times-Picayune obit., April 14, 1899, p.3, col.4)

Death Certificate for Charles Tobelmann, found in New Orleans Public Library, Loyala Street, NOLA, Microfilm #FF650, 1899.

"Be it remembered, etc., etc. ., J. Duffy, undertaker appeared before the recorder of births, deaths and marriages, etc., who herein declares that Charles Tobelmann, (white), a native of Wagenfeld, Hanover, Germany, aged 55 years, 2 mos., departed this life yesterday (13 April 1899) at [home?] Valence and Baronne, this city [New Orleans].
Cause of death: Sarcoma of Cervical Glands (cancer of the throat, I believe)
Certificate of Dr. F. Loeber
Deceased was married and 33 years in city.
Birth place Wagenfeld, Germany."

I have a picture of Charles in his Mason garb. He looks so familiar. Family.

The first old house photo is the birthplace of Charles Tobelmann, Wagenfeld, Hannover, Germany.
This place is still in Wagenfeld and has been renovated, kept up and passed down through the Tobelmann lineage.
Georg Tobelmann is the proprietor of what is now an exclusive restaurant and tavern.

The picture, hanging in the Hofschanke Tobelmann, was taken in 1900. 

The Hofschanke Tobelmann in Wagenfeld as it appears today, taken while my brother John visited Wagenfeld in about 2006.

The house on Valence and Baronne in NOLA, was the home of Charles and Sophie Tobelmann, (photo taken 2001).

Gloria Garrett (my father's second cousin), granddaughter of Ernestine Tobelmann, found abundant information on the ancestors of our Charles Tobelmann.  She hired someone in Wagenfeld, Germany to extract information on the Tobelmann family.  We found out, according to naming customs, we did not start out as Tobelmanns at all!
Charles' father was Friedrich Wilhelm (or Henrich) Auffurth. When he married his wife, a Tobelmann widow who lived at the Tobelmann farm, he had to take that last name because your last name came from where you lived. Thus, his children were all named Tobelmann.
My brother, John, was able to travel to Wagenfeld a few years ago and meet the Tobelmanns descended from Margaretha Dorothee Louise Dehlfing Tobelmann and her first husband, Georg Friedrich Tobelmann. They are our 4th half cousins. It was a grand reunion. 
Cousin Gloria did the family a great service by finding all the information on our Auffurth ancestors back to 1714.
I don't understand why anyone would want to locate to New Orleans--it is stinkin' hot and humid there most of the year--but Charles had a plan, I guess.  He married Sophie Droge, whose parents came from Germany as well.  I do have pictures of her and her parents.

The four generation shot is of Sophie Droge Tobelmann, holding her great-granddaughter, Rheba Steadman. Her daughter, Ernestine Tobelmann Ewing and granddaughter, Regina Ewing Steadman, mother of the baby, are in the photo. Gloria Garrett sent me a copy.
Catherine Sophia Droge, b. July 3, 1845, New Orleans, LA, d. June 26, 1931, NOLA

The little house with the wrote iron fence was the home of Sophie Droge Tobelmann after the death of Charles, at 1021 Foucher St., NOLA, (photo taken 2001 by me).

Sophie's Parents were Elisa Haustermann Droge, b. March 9, 1820, Land Wursten, Amt of Dorum, Kingdom of Hannover, Germanym d. December 26, 1882, NOLA, and Nicholaus (Claus) Droge, 
b. March 4, 1812, Land Wursten, Amt of Dorum, Kingdom of Hannover, Germany, d. May 12, 1879, NOLA.
Gloria sent me those copies too, but they're not very good. But I'm happy to have them.

Wursten was originally a Frisian Land, and was a free peasant republic until 1525 (non-feudal). It is located on the right bank of the Weser estuary, just north of Bremerhaven, the main German port through which emigrants left for the US.

Rheba Steadman, the baby in the photo above, was a great genealogist.  She left her work to her sister, Gloria Steadman Garrett.  Many thanks to caring cousins who shared their hard-earned information.

I am grateful to all of my ancestor fathers (and mothers) without whom I wouldn't be who I am today.  I can't imagine the sacrifices they had to make to leave their country and start new lives here in America.  I am grateful to be born in this land of freedom.  I don't know what I did to deserve it, but it couldn't be done without those who went before.  Thank you. Thank you. Thank you...