At Play In The Archive
Hello, People. I’m back.
I won’t bore you with the details of the rather long hiatus since my last post, but I will say that ramping up at a demanding new job, working on one too many home-improvement projects, making three trips across the country — for a wedding, a class reunion, and a funeral — and becoming a half-empty nester (sniffle) does tend to derail even the most committed of writing routines.
One fun highlight: In August I attended the two-day Cotati Accordion Festival, the epicenter of accordion awesomeness in California. Here I am mangling Lady of Spain in the giant crowd play-along, just minutes after my sweet husband bought me this cute little Hohner travel-sized accordion. He is a very understanding man.
So you see, I have not been idle, but nor have I been blogging. I feel the ancestors clamoring, so it’s time to fix that. Thank you for your patience. Now, where were we?
As I mentioned in Branches Intertwining, we’ve reached the point in time where the Lessiack family and Spielmann family begin to merge. Leo is 27 years old, a devoted uncle to his sister Emmi Lessiack Keil’s children, Wally and Leopold, and a proud employee of the Hamburg-Amerika shipping line, where evidence suggests some members of the Spielmann family were also employed.
(A quick side note about Emmi’s son Leopold Keil: Poor little Leopold. As with many second children, there don’t seem to be quite as many pictures of him as there are of his older sister Wally, although you’ll see a few in upcoming posts. Census data suggests that little Leopold was born in New York in 1917. He was obviously named after his uncle, my great-grandpa Leo (aka Franz Georg Leopold Lessiack), in keeping with the pattern begun with Wally, who was named after Leo and Emmi’s younger sister, Wally Lessiack.)
Back to the courtship. Though I have no evidence of this whatsoever, I imagine that one night a Spielmann brother invited Leo home for dinner, lovely Margaret was at the table too, and blammo! Shot through the heart. What follows are some very romantic shots of Leo and Margaret dated June, 1918, the year before they were married. According to the captions on the back, the photos were taken at River Edge, NJ, which Wikipedia tells me is a borough in Bergen Country, New Jersey, where Leo lived at the time. The setting feels like something right out of a movie, doesn’t it?
Who could resist falling in love in a rowboat? So romantic.
Until next time, People.
Welcome back! I have missed you and your blog. It sounds like it was all good stuff (except the funeral) so that’s a relief.
Those are just lovely photos. You must just cherish them! I am looking forward to seeing what happens next.
Thanks, Amy. I will write about my dear Gram Bette in a future post–it was her funeral that I attended, and my feelings are all a bit too raw at the moment. I loved her so. So glad to be back, and still marveling at your wonderful coincidental photo find.
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I am so sorry for your loss. How fortunate you were to have her so long into your adulthood. My last grandparent died when I was 23. Cherish your memories.
Thanks, Amy. I very much do.
Welcome back, Panch! I missed your wonderful stories and research, but you sure were busy…I saw it first hand! 🙂 As it is, I am in awe of what you get done. Enjoyed these pictures so much, especially you playing the accordian! Warm hugs to you all.
So nice to see you here, Fran, and looking forward SO much to our happy occasion coming up.
I love, love this. A real-life historical romance with illustrations! Wonderful.
I hope your Grandmother’s Memorial service brought some comfort.
It did, though it’s still a little too tender to write about. I hope that you’re doing OK too. I’ve really been enjoying your cookbook explorations.
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I am. Thank you.
Take your time. I think the words stew awhile and then pour out.
I am so looking forward to reading more of your beautiful story.
Thanks for following. Mysteries are more fun to solve with companions.
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