At Play In The Archive
Hello, People. I hope you all had a satisfying Halloween. I costumed up as an accordion-playing gypsy and relaxed by my new Campfire-in-a-Can (so great) to serenade the trick-or-treaters walking by, and hand out gobs of candy. Alas, we didn’t think to take even a single picture, so you’ll have to take my word for it. We didn’t achieve the decorating heights we did last year, but we had fun anyway. We’ll bring back Macbeth next year, when all this home-improvement madness dies down.
And now, back to our story.
These photographs were all taken in 1919, the year in which my great-grandparents Leo Lessiack and Margaret Spielmann Lessiack wed. I don’t think that they all portray the same occasion because the clothes change, but I’m presenting them together because they all show the newlyweds having fun with their new in-laws.
Here is a blend of Keils and Spielmanns, with Margaret holding Baby Leopold, her new nephew by marriage. He has quite a bit more hair than he did in the pictures in my last post.
Here’s another picture of Margaret and Baby Leopold, this time with Bosco the dog. Bosco is a regular feature in family photographs–here and here, for example. Like me, these folks were wild about their dogs.
This next picture, with Leo behind his niece Wally and nephew Leopold, is so consistent with my own memories of my great-grandpa. He was always right in there with the kids, enjoying whatever we were enjoying, even as a very elderly man.
For example, here he is enjoying the festivities at my sixth birthday picnic out on my grandparents’ tiny island in Panama. (None of these children are me, by the way–my buddies enjoyed great-grandpa Leo as much as I did.)
Back to the Spielmann/Lessiack/Keil family picnics. Something tells me that it wasn’t easy to get these two to sit still. Wally would be about seven years old, and Leopold about two years old here.
This next group of pictures were taken on September 21, 1919, just a few days before Leo and Margaret’s wedding on September 24th. Here are Bruno, Margaret, and Leo playing cards al fresco, while Emma reads the newspaper. I can’t tell exactly what they’re playing, but Margaret appears to feel pretty good about her hand.
I love this next picture. Though I never knew my great-grand aunt and uncle Emma Lessiack Keil and Bruno Keil, I can’t help but think that I would have liked them a great deal. They seem like such fun, high-spirited people.
These next pictures feature the Spielmann family, Leo’s new in-laws. The pictures were also taken in 1919, but not on the same day, based on the clothing. Here is Lillian Spielmann Bielitz, with Margaret in the background. Lillian is one of the witnesses listed on Leo and Margaret’s marriage certificate. Born in 1900, Lillian would be 19 years old at the time of this photograph. I rather wonder why Hilda Spielmann Morgan, Margaret’s nearest-in-age sister, didn’t serve as witness; she doesn’t appear in any of these pictures, so it’s possible that she was ill or traveling.
Until next time, People. It’s raining here (hallelujah–we need it so terribly), but I hope that a picnic is in your near future.