27 January 2012

Vecchio Venerdì... a big family legacy

Going with the tired musings of a semi-depressed, quasi-injured, tired mom of a less kids than this woman in the picture has... I'm heading back to my roots and resurrecting the good ol' Vecchio Venerdì, which means 'old Friday' in Italian. I thought it was a classier alliteration than 'Foto Friday' when I started doing it a year ago. You know I go for classy every time...and you know how much I loovvvvve alliteration ;-)


These are my ancestors. You've seen a couple of them before...if you've been reading my blog for the past year...or poring over pages from the past in an effort to glean as much info about me as possible.

In this photo circa 1914, the family patriarch (AKA GCL)...the very same one with the college snack-bar named after him...is the one wearing the hat. He was also the son of that murdered, itinerant butcher mentioned in the linked post.

All six of his children are pictured with him. They are the same kids who played indian in 1912. My grandpa Hugo is the cute one who looks sort of like Q-man...smiley, squinting into the sun...second from the left. GCL holds Isabel, the only girl and the second youngest of the bunch (she would be 100 this year but passed away in 2009). Apparently, they were inseparable. 

Mutter (they were German) holds the youngest, who grew up to become the father of a cousin with whom I am very, very close. This wee boy became a prison reformer and voluntarily served time in a penitentiary as part of his work (who remembers Brubaker with Robert Redford? yeah...like that). Sadly, he died while still a young man in an auto accident.

The little guy beside my grandpa was killed by an automobile as well. He was still a child.

I sure wish I knew more about what life was like for them.

Rumor has it GCL ran a might tight ship...and judging from the grip he has on the oldest child's arm, I'd say that rumor holds some validity.

Do you wish you knew more about your ancestors' family life? Or do you already know enough to satisfy your curiosity? Any good stories?


  1. Love old family photos and tidbits. I went back and read all of your linked posts - I wish I knew as much about my family as you do!! I would have to pay for that kind of info. ;)

  2. This is very cool. I love the old picture, and I'm looking forward to reading the old posts.

  3. I wish I knew more about my family. Both grandmothers came from big families (13 and 16 kids) and I've never met a few of them. Now that all my grandparents are gone, I feel like I've lost the chance to know important parts of my history. :(

  4. Spent the greater part of an afternoon with my aunt going through two thick photo albums containing her childhood photos (with my dad and grandparents and some of the extended family) and another that was mostly my grandmother's childhood/early adulthood photos. My aunt says she wants to do some scrapbooking with the pictures (my stepmom had taken them when my grandmother died and my aunt was thrilled to have them back) and at least tell what she remembers of the stories. Our generations are very far apart (the last few generations had their kids near 30) and our family is very small (dad had one sis and mom had one brother) so there are very few of the folks alive. I can count on two hands the number of people alive that are blood related to me. My husband can't even count all his aunts and uncles on two hands (mom youngest of 7 - all still alive). Will have to dig around and see if I can scan some of the old photos that I still have.

  5. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Here is the link to the cauliflower crust pizza recipe:

    You don't need to put that much cheese in the crust. In fact I'm sure you can get away without any at all. I tend to throw in a half handful, but next time I'm going without to see if it's ok.

  6. Cool picture. It's kind of sad real pictures are declining and everything is electronic. It won't be quite as nostalgic for our kids to grab the backup hard drive and peruse the gobs of electronic pictures we take these days.

  7. Ah, I love family history. I'm always hungering for more!

  8. I know very little about my ancestors. I love your new blog header.

  9. That's cool. They have a big family like you. :-) I'm just now starting to appreciate old photos. I used to look, but not really look. Now I study them.

  10. My grandfather invented being awesome and passed the knowledge down to me. That's why I'm really good at being awesome.

  11. oh you know I love this. I love old pictures and the stories behind them. for me I will never know enough. My dad's past is fascinating and also filled with so much pain..and my mom's family is so big, I could never know enough about both sides. My dad does not open much about the years during WWII, too painful and I get it. I might copy you and follow you in this tradition!

  12. this is really wonderful! my daughter (age 6) had "heritage night" at her school earlier this week. we went to my mom's and looked through lots of old family photos together. it was so special and so fun. i loved hearing the stories my mom had to tell about my grandfather and his 11 siblings growing up on a farm in canada and about my grandmother and her three sisters going ice skating together. i wish i knew more - or that i could have met some of them. my mom gave me some pictures to keep and i am going to frame them. they are really so so special.
    hope you're having a great weekend!!


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