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An eventful letter after all

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In last week’s letter to Dave’s parents, Alice enjoys her Easter vacation and schemes early for her summer hiatus. I don’t know where she got such chutzpah in 16 years. She writes:

Oh, I just thought of something that made Easter eventful. Yesterday the Atlanta Dogwood Festival was celebrated in Peachtree City with a Balloon Festival! It was more exciting than the 4th of July! And so fun. About 15 balloon owners (hot air balloons –huge!) brought their balloons to Peachtree City, to the big open area behind the Medical Center [now Drake Field] and next to our church [1st Presbyterian]. Read More»

Another letter

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Your response to the columns on our family’s move to Georgia in 1971 was so positive that I was thrilled to discover one more letter in the drawer, and I think it’s the best.

This one is from Alice to Dave’s parents in (probably) 1974 when she was about 11. In a way, it also offers a glimpse into a moment of Peachtree City’s history.

Dear Nana,

I think it’s about time I wrote you and wished you a Happy Easter. Being that it’s Easter day itself, it is about time, so I’ll write and say “I hope you had a Happy Easter.” Read More»

Have you hugged your philodendron today?

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Riding a bicycle gives just the pace to cover the ground in a hurry, yet allows for leisurely visiting with joggers, porch-sitters, or passing motorists willing to pause a moment.( No, I no longer ride a bike, just one of the many losses this demon has cost me. I looked a long way back to find this contribution to the human condition, still relevant today.)

I was pedaling home from work, sifting among the dozen or so ideas competing for incarnation in print, when fellow-scribe Glen Allen waved and yanked his car to an abrupt halt along the edge of Willowbend.

We both began at once: Read More»

A German family becomes American

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The Bumer Family came from Germany to America in waves, and settled into several communities in the vicinity of Pittsburgh, Pa. Frank Bumer chronicles the establishment of  families and homesteads.  

Man’s Age

Sunday, February 12, 1888 I married Mary Auer, who was born May 1, 1864 in…Wuerttenberg, Germany. We were married in the Evang. Lutheran St. Paul’s Church, a quiet wedding celebration at our first home in Allegheny [County, Pa.]….

Our first child was born, December 5, 1888…and named Wilhelmine Franziska…. Read More»

German Family History Part II – To America, via Shipwreck

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Having followed the early history of the German Family Bumer, the narrative of Frank Bumer continues:

Youth Age

In Spring 1872 our oldest sister, Karoline, got married to Aston Hutzel of Berg. Sad, however, after eleven months she died, only being sick three days.

In 1874 I finished the Public School and was confirmed by Rev. Heinrick Frank. For two years thereafter I worked with my father in the field. In Winter I attended Night-School; in Summer, Sunday-School, as I always desired to get an education for a School-teacher or like occupation. No women ever taught school in Germany. Read More»

A German family becomes American -Part I

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Watched Ken Burns’ “The War” last week, and when I picked up the document below, I was struck by the similarities between the epic of World War II and the brief WWI history a dear friend lent me.

I am always touched to read of the courage and eagerness to work that our forebears exhibited on first arriving in the New World, and then surviving rough times to establish a new American family. A dear friend in Peachtree City shares part of his family history.

No doubt every new family forms with similar effort. It’s an old, old story. Read More»

Lost meds

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It must be the only time-honored bit of travel advice everybody agrees with: Keep a list of your current medications when you roam, and store supply bottles separately.

In Europe this spring, roughly April 15 through June 15. I faithfully did what I was supposed to do. My demon requires I take more than 12 pills per day, every day, and to be sure I don’t miss one or double up, I distribute them in cases, each of which holds a week’s allotment. Read More»

True Blue

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Why, when we were little, did we believe we had to have favorites? A favorite flower, a favorite dress, a favorite friend, a favorite color.

I suppose it was our way of defining who we are. If I can describe the things I like, perhaps I am seeing my own self.

Much was made of my blue eyes, when I was small, and my mother often dressed me in blue. Old pictures, now sepia-brown, show me as a serious-looking child with a huge floppy bow on the top of my blonde head. I can’t tell, but I think it was blue. Read More»

Ghost story

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Several years ago we were on another long-distance trek, when we heard a traveler’s ghost story on a two-day train ride from the Canadian west coast to Jasper, Alberta.

After the first 10 hours or so, not even the spectacle of the Rockies’ snowcapped peaks could keep us entertained. We struck up a conversation with a slender lad across the aisle, who had been hunched over the little tray-table, catching up his delinquent journal.   Read More»

Montserrat visited

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Montserrat, Barcelona, Spain

We debarked from our cruise ship eagerly, glad to be back on dry land and to see what Barcelona was all about. We met Mary there; she had flown in from her home in Germany to spend a few days with us before we all flew on to our next stop.

Barcelona is the best example we’ve seen of an Olympic city that got it right. Outdoor statuary, foot bridges, green parks – they’ve maintained most of the more interesting Olympic legacies. Read More»