The People of Pancho

At Play In The Archive

A Thanksgiving Surprise

Hello, People. I’m back. No, I didn’t drown in a vat of gravy, but I did suffer a wee touch of overcommitment-itis that prevented me from immediately leaping on the surprise I will describe shortly. Last weekend was wonderfully bonkers, and it went like this:

First, Thanksgiving on Thursday, where we warmed the lovely new home of our dear friends the Nelsons. Charles is my husband’s best friend, best man at our wedding, and best host this side of the Mississippi. It was a delicious Thanksgiving, even if I did forget to bring the gin and juniper cranberry sauce I had so carefully prepared. Not to worry. It found another venue.

The only person missing from this shot is my cousin Craig, who is the master behind the camera, and my daughter's friend Olivia, who was holding everyone's beers while we got our picture taken.

The only people missing from this shot are my cousin Craig, who is the master behind the camera, and my daughter’s friend Olivia, who was holding everyone’s beers while we got our picture taken.

Thanksgiving was followed by the opening of Miracle on 34th Street at Coastal Rep on Saturday, for which I produced the opening night post-show gala: champagne and heavy hors d’oeuvres for 250 people in the decorated lobby (cue the cranberry sauce). Sounds glamorous, but no. It was a ton of decorating (which occupied several weeks leading up to the show), a ton of cooking (which I spent all of Friday doing), an hour or so of post-show gnoshing and gabbing, and then dishes and vacuuming until two in the morning. Did I mention that I’m the girl who is usually in bed asleep by 10pm? Without my dear husband and younger daughter’s help, I think I would still be over at the theater cleaning up.

Do I have a single photo of the event? Of course not. But here are a few shots of the prep work.

Grace doing the magic she does.

Grace doing the magic she does.

The finished product. This was not its final position.

Grace’s finished product. This was not its final position, but you get an idea of how cool it looked.

Here was my project (also not its final position). I think Santa would approve. Next year, this will live at my house.

Here was my project (also not its final position). I think Santa would approve.

Sunday morning after the gala, our elder daughter Anna turned 21, so we hosted a birthday brunch for the girls who helped her to begin celebrating at midnight, and then slept over. She enjoyed beautiful flowers and balloons from Grandma Sue and Papa Lew in Panama.


And, some delicious bacon prepared by moi. I may have been a tiny bit off my game at this point.


Do you think it’s done?

Actually, the rest of brunch turned out just fine (and luckily there was an entire ham left over from gala, so the bacon incident was not a disaster). Anna was amply fêted, and we all had a wonderful time.

Monday, I went to work to rest.

So, what about the surprise? Remember this post awhile back? Way back in early September, I submitted paperwork for a copy of the actual marriage record. The day before Thanksgiving, just before the aforementioned insane flurry of activity began, I received an email from the very kind Ms. Irma Wurz, archivist for the Jewish Community in Vienna, containing a scan of the record itself. So much information is contained in this beautifully handwritten record, including the names of the parents of my great-great-grandparents Fanny and Hermann Spielmann, the towns from which they came, and their residences in Vienna prior to emigration. With some help from the Jewish genealogy group on Facebook, as well as the German genealogy group, I’ve begun the painstaking process of translating the document and unlocking its secrets. More to come on this in future posts. Suffice to say, I’m delighted that a brick wall appears to be tumbling down.

It seems rather funny to be unlocking the secrets of my Jewish roots admist this explosion of Santa and ham and whatnot, but such is the way my life works. I am thankful for it in all its messy glory, and thankful for all of you too, People.

4 comments on “A Thanksgiving Surprise

  1. Amy
    December 7, 2014

    Mazel tov!! (Now that you are officially a member of the tribe, that seems the most appropriate thing to say.)

    I’ve been missing your posts, so I am glad you were just busy-busy and otherwise okay. It does sound like a full weekend!


    • Pancho
      December 8, 2014

      Thank you, Amy. Yes, it was nuts, and my feet are still recovering. To get such a juicy tidbit right before I knew I would have no time to study it was torture. I’m looking forward to unlocking its secrets.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jana Last
    December 10, 2014

    Ah. The bacon. Yep. I think it’s done. 😉

    Happy Birthday to your daughter! And congrats on receiving the marriage record you’ve been waiting for! Genealogy Happy Dance time!


    • Pancho
      December 11, 2014

      Thanks, Jana! Yeah, that bacon was pretty unmistakably done. My my daughter wittily remarked, “Actually, I prefer my bacon to have the consistency of ashes.”


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This entry was posted on December 7, 2014 by in Asides, Spielmann People and tagged , , , .
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