Jun 27, 2014

When a bough breaks . . .

Well, it's official; we're no longer the descendents of the Hugs of Freiburg and Heiligenzell, Baden Wuerttemburg.  Yesterday I got Great-Great-Grandfather William Hug's death record from New York City Vital Records, and his father was not Benedict Hug of Heiligenzell -- his father's name was Adolph, and we figured out the other day that they were from Hanover, not Baden.

 Google Maps

I knew I felt frustrated about all the time I spent on that branch (my most developed one!) -- hours online, hours in the Family History Center in Santa Cruz, hours writing posts about them, and so on.  All that time down the drain.  But what I didn't realize is how sad I would feel, saying goodbye to those people, because I had come to care so much about them and their lives.

I know, I know, it sounds lame and maybe weird -- how could I get attached to people who lived hundreds of years ago?  It's not like they lived in the house with us when we were growing up, like Grandma Sophie did.

First of all, look how many ancestors are on that branch!


And this isn't even all of them, because I couldn't fit the bottom generation before William onto the view on Ancestry.  And I'm able to tell such great stories about some of them:  how Landolin was born a short while before his parents were married and what that meant, how he worked in a vineyard, why Blasius was named the way he was, how Blasius might have seen Marie Antoinette when she stopped overnight on her way to France . . . .  I loved having a great-etc.-grandmother named Salome, finding out that a Roman road went through Freiburg, on and on. 

And now . . . they're not our ancestors.  We don't have an ancestral little house in the Black Forest.  We can't brag about having had a mayor in the family.  I'm bummed.

I wish there were something I could do with this information!  The only other person I know who's connected to this tree has it as a minor branch of her 3000 people that she's not all that interested in.  I'd love to pass it on to someone who is really related to them.  I considered deleting all the posts on that line, but I'm going to leave them, so that anyone who's searching for Blasius or Landolin or Sebastian or Constantine Hug will find them.

If you're interested in reading, the Hug collection is here.  Auf Wiedersehen, you Hugs -- it's been great knowing you.

Jun 26, 2014

What's Coming Up --

I've been sick for the past few days, so I haven't updated, but I've still been busy.  In a short while, we should have:

1)  Death certificate of Gustav Berneburg

2)  Death certificate of George Siegler (Bill Ortman's grandpa)

3)  Marriage and death records of Christiane Wilhelmine Luisa Schulze  (Grandma B's mother)

4)  Grandma B's birth and marriage records.

I'm hoping that these records will have lots of interesting information for us, and that we'll be off and running again!

Jun 24, 2014

Talent Tuesday: Follow the Bouncing Ball


It's interesting how certain talents get passed down through a family; music was a very important part of life in my family, and I can trace the progression at least back through my grandmother, my father, my siblings and me, and my son and his cousins.

Though she didn't do it often, my Grandmother Ortman played the piano beautifully, in that kind of old-timey, Scott Joplin kind of way.  I guess she must have felt unfulfilled as a musician/performer, because I'm positive that she was the "stage mother" that got my dad into show biz when he was just a little child.

Grandma had clearly had a lot of training in her youth --  you didn't just sit down and start playing that kind of music -- but as far as my father was concerned, he was completely untrained and couldn't even read music.  When he had to sing in church or at a wedding or other affair, he'd have my mother or the church organist play the part for him and learn it that way.  He played the piano by ear, but really the only thing he knew how to play was "Tenderly," and we heard it many, many times.


 DVD cover art,  From Judy and Bing to Ayler and Shepp, PBS


I will always be grateful for the fact that my upbringing introduced me to "The Great American Songbook," those wonderful songs written between 1920 and 1950, for the most part.  We would sing along with the radio in the car, or of course with Mitch Miller on tv,following the bouncing ball.



All of us kids were very musical -- and we all sang in the church choir, along with our mom and dad, entertained at various church functions and in talent shows at school, but again, we were pretty untrained.  I took piano lessons briefly when I was six, but experienced nothing but frustration because the teacher expected me to play the way SHE wanted, not the way I wanted.  I did learn to read music, sort of, but I also would get my mom to play the music for me (like father, like daughter), and I'd learn it that way.  I remember at least one recital, but I bailed out about as soon as I could.  To this day, I love to play the piano but play it very poorly, so I play on an electronic piano with headphones on so no one can hear.  Yes, I regret quitting, as we all do, but that's the way it went.

When my son was little, it became clear that he had musical talent, too.  I was determined that he should get a good music education, so when his Montessori school had a piano teacher coming to teach once a week, we signed him up.  I would sit and listen to the lesson and just be in agony -- play this note not that note, hold your fingers just so, no, no. no . . . I couldn't stand it.  It's just my opinion, but I think 6-year-olds are too young to play in a regimented way.

One day at school I was having lunch with a colleague, Dee Spencer, who was a Professor of Jazz and 20th Century Music.  I was complaining to her about the teacher Devin had, and asked her if she knew of anyone that would have a different style of teaching.  After talking for a while, she said that *she* would teach him, and I was ecstatic.  The two years he spent with Dee set the stage for his whole music career.  She let him experiment and play, as well as learn the basics, introduced him to a synthesizer, and fostered his love of music instead of squashing it like a bug.

Dee Spencer

When he was in 5th or 6th grade, he decided he wanted to play the saxophone, and we set him up with a former student of Dee's who followed the same principles -- support the love for the music, and the technique will follow.  By the time he was out of his teens, he'd done various summer programs, Stanford Jazz Camp three times, spent a summer at the California State Summer School of the Arts, and was an excellent musician in every way.

I have to say that nurturing my son's musical talent was one of the most satisfying things I ever did as a parent.  One day when he was in his late teens, I heard him playing the keyboard in his room, and after not having taken a piano lesson since 3rd grade, he was playing a transcription of Ellington's "Lush Life," note for note.  Once he'd had a solid foundation, he taught himself to become an amazing pianist.

One of the great sadnesses of my life is that my dad didn't live long enough to see the flowering of Devin's talent -- that would have made him so happy and proud.  I'll just have to be proud enough for the both of us.


Jun 21, 2014

Please Stand By --






I'm in the process of transferring over to a new design, so things may be a bit wonky for a couple of days as I work it out. 

Let me know what you think of the new design in the comments!

Surnames Saturday --

Since I'm now a member of Geneabloggers, I'm going to try to use some of the suggested topics that they post every day.  So today they have "Surnames Saturday," when you talk about your family's surnames.

Okay.  The first thing that immediately leaps to mind is a whole name:  Waltraud Marianne Sophie Berneburg.  That was my mother's name, and it seems very big and strange, especially when she was a little girl.  She had a hard time during WWII, when she was maybe 15-19, because her name was so very very obviously German -- and there was nothing she could do about it.  She was "Wally" her whole life, then "Walli" later, as she became an artist.

My father was 100% German too, but he liked to downplay it, maybe for some of the same reasons.  His family's name had been "Ortmann" when his grandfather arrived in the US in 1860, but his father dropped the extra "n", so that "Ortman" wouldn't be quite so obviously German (it still is, right?).  My father saw himself as 100% American, not German, and acted on that belief by not allowing us to learn the German language, spoken by my mother and grandmother who lived with us, and by not eating my grandmother's German cooking.  I deeply regret not having learned German at home (though I did study it in high school and college), and we were able to enjoy my grandmother's cooking because my dad traveled a lot for work and Grandma would cook up a storm during those weeks.



I remember my Grandmother Ortman telling me that her mother's name was "Matilda Hug," and suggesting that that was pretty funny.  She also told me she went to school with two children named "Frank Footer" and "Stella Hamburger."  Frank Footer also had a sister named "Doodle" -- and "Doodle Footer" struck me as the funniest name of all.

[As an aside, I went to high school with Ann Salmon, Nilgun Tuna, and Iris Herring.]

What is the origin of some of these names?  Here's what I know:

Ortmann = referee
Siegler = keeper of the seals to sign documents
Vogel  =  bird
Hug  =  bright in mind and spirit/intelligence
Schauf  =  shepherd
Kura  =  I can find the meaning in Japanese and Maori, but not in German
Berneburg  =  your guess is as good as mine.  "Burg" means "castle."  There is a town called "Bernburg."
Langer  =  tall man
Schulze  =  magistrate
Schweitering  =  who knows?

So . . . we are smart public officials, good at rounding people up and birdlike in our temperament :)  (of course I just made that up).

The genealogical problem of some of these names is that they were not always spelled in the same way -- thus, you have Hug, Hugo, Hugg, Hog, Hogge, etc. etc. and Schulze, Schulz, Schultz, Schultze, Schulte, etc. etc. etc.  Makes things difficult for the budding genealogist.

I'll end with a family crest for one name:  Schulz.


Pretty cool, right?

6/21/2014







Jun 20, 2014

A Major Goof . . . a Rookie Genealogist Lives and Learns.

Oh dear.  I found out yesterday that my work on a whole line of ancestors is wrong.  The Hug ancestors are not from Baden-Wuerttemburg but rather from Hanover (the former Kingdom of Hanover, not necessarily the city of Hannover).  Goodbye to Blasius and Landolin, Salome and Maria Euphrosina -- it's been nice thinking about you, but we're not related after all.  The puzzle falls apart (that section of it, anyway).

Image from Microsoft clipart

How did this happen?  Well, in following up on hints on Ancestry.com, I communicated with a woman who was very experienced and who had the Hugs as a minor branch of her family tree, joined by marriage to her ancestors.  The key person is Wilhelm/William Hug, who came to the US from Germany some time prior to 1860 (when he shows up in the US census).  She had a great deal of information, both from Germany and from the US, but there were two problems:  1)  she had documentation of  Wilhelm Hug from Baden Wuerttemburg in the right time frame, but no documentation of that specific person arriving in the US, and 2) the William Hug who is absolutely our great-great grandfather stated his birthplace in a census as "Prussia," as did his wife.  Baden is nowhere near Prussia -- it's way in the south of Germany, while Prussia was in the north.

I brought this up with the other Hug researcher over a year ago, and she remained convinced that she was right.  So I left the whole Baden Hug clan in our tree.  But it has been nagging at the back of my mind.

Yesterday, I went over the Wilhelm/William Hug stuff again.  I found him and his wife on a state census, as well as the 1860 and 1880 US censuses.  I noticed that in one census, his birthplace was recorded in a word almost illegible, but very definitely not "Prussia."  I began trying to decipher the word, finding help from folks on my German Genealogy Facebook page.  Here's the word:


I looked at the census taker's writing of other letters and figured that the first letter was likely an H, and I saw a similar flourish at the end of some of the writer's r's.  I continued searching through the records and finally came up with a very similar word:


If we ignore the little flourish over the second letter that makes it look like a capital E (I think it's ink bleeding through from the other side of the paper), those words are very, very similar, and that was the consensus of experienced people on the German Genealogy page as well.  Our great-great grandfather was most definitely not from Baden-Wuerttemburg, but from the old Kingdom of Hanover, so that's what I have to pin down at this point.  And many, many hours of research on the Baden Hugs go down the drain.

How did this happen?  First and foremost, I allowed my doubts to be overridden by a researcher who was more experienced and very confident, even though I had information that strongly suggested she was wrong.  I also went ahead with researching that branch of the family, even though I didn't have that one piece of documentation nailed down.

All those circled in red have fallen from the tree, unfortunately . . . 

Still, I learned a lot from pursuing this line -- the status of illegitimate children, the guild system leading to being a master craftsman, much about the surrounding area -- and also, not to take someone else's word, no matter how confident they are.  See the documentation with your own eyes, or don't use it!

I'm really, really sorry, though, to lose an ancestor who might have seen Marie Antoinette on her progression to be married in France.  (See this post for more on Marie Antoinette).  Oh well -- even after doing genealogy for a couple of years, I see that I still have much to learn!

6/20/14


Jun 17, 2014

. . . and another line busts wide open!!!

The German Genealogy facebook page member that offered to look up historical records in W├╝rzburg found a record of George Siegler's birth, and much more!

George Siegler was Grandma Ortman's father.  He came to the U.S. when he was in his teens, somewhere around 1884 or 1885 it seems (though I haven't quite nailed down the record), became a citizen in 1891, married Mathilda Hug in 1894, and had three children -- Mary (Grandma O), Nicholas (who died early), and Dorothy, many years later.  He worked as a barber, worked into his 60's, and lived to the ripe old age of 74.

But where did he come from?  The only information I had was that he was from Lohr, Germany, but I couldn't find any further records.

Well, our angel found several important records and has sent me translations (copies of the documents will follow).

http://withlovefromlohr.blogspot.com/

The information is probably way more interesting to me than to everyone else, so I'll show you a pedigree:


So here we have not only George's parents (Nicholas Siegler and Maria Josepha Vogel), but his two sets of grandparents (Balthasar Siegler and Margarethe Sieblitz and Valentin Vogel and Anna Marie Sieblitz) and one set of great-grandparents, )Nicolaus Sieblitz and Eva Imhof).  I don't have the dates yet, but we're definitely into the 1700's here.

St. Michael's Church, Lohr

I hope to find out more about these people -- at this point, I know that Nikolaus Siegler was a stone mason, as was Valentin Vogel.  I will keep searching!




Jun 16, 2014

Official Records . . . and the Kindness of Strangers

What's frustrating and sort of amazing about genealogy is that you can search and search and come up with nothing, and then suddenly an avenue opens up and you find yourself breaking through to wonderful new information.  I think the trick, in this internet age, is to use every single resource available to you, including email lists, forums, and Facebook pages.  The wider net you cast, the more likely you are to come up with something or someone that can help you.

Official records are very important, of course -- one line of our ancestors broke wide open when I ordered the death certificate of Maximilian Langer (Grandma B's father), because it gave me so much information; the same with Joseph Ortmann's New Jersey death certificate.  So this week I've ordered Grandpa Berneburg's, just to see what it has to say in terms of his parents, and Great-grandpa George Siegler's (Grandpa Bill's grandfather), to see if it has his parents' names as well, because I haven't had much luck in finding anything about him online.  I'm looking forward to getting those.

One thing that's very frustrating in searching records is that names were often spelled differently at different times, and you have to search on as many variations as possible.  Grandma Ortman's birth name was Mary, but when we knew her, she was called Mae -- and she told me that her original name was Maria.  And I just found a Social Security record for her under the spelling of May.  And then Ortman can be spelled Ortmann, but a search also pops Hartman up, and I've seen on one of the censuses that the name was written down as Artmann, and that was picked up by Family Search and recorded that way. And don't get me started on Waltraud -- Grandma Walli's name is mangled every which way on the various censuses:  Wahtrand, for example.

The other thing I've found in the past couple of years is that people who do genealogy are so generous with their time and help.  Just today a woman on the "German Genealogy" Facebook page said that she'll be in an archive tomorrow in Germany and will probably have some extra time -- did anyone have anything they wanted looked up?  She got plenty of responders! 

 The Reformed (Calvinist) church in Linden, Hannover, Germany

I've had people send me xeroxes of pages from an Ortsfamilienbuch (historical record of people living in a particular town), go to various archives while asking nothing in return, translate documents and other texts, spend time with me via email trying to sort out some lineage, give excellent suggestions for places to search online --  every single person I've met in the pursuit of genealogy has been very, very kind.  Through the administrator of one of the Facebook pages, a secretary at the Reformed Church in Linden, Hannover, Germany, spent hours going through historical records, looking for Grandpa Berneburg (which is how we figured out that he has a different mother . . . ) -- I did make a contribution to the church for that work!

I should just give a shout out, I guess, to the folks in the Sacramento German Genealogy Society; the Hudson County, New Jersey, Historical Society; the Facebook pages for German Genealogy, Genealogia Silesiae Superioris, the Genealogy of Lower Saxony, the German Language Area DNA Research Project, and the U4 Haplogroup.   People in all these various places have been very helpful to me.

So, I've just been meaning to put that out there for a while, that I very much appreciate the kindness and helpfulness of others in the genealogy game.  And I keep on searching.

Interior of the Reformed Church.  Many of our Berneburg relatives would have been baptized there.


Jun 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

I've been wanting to write about my dad for a while, and I won't be able to write as long a post as I'd like to today, but I want to write something.

My dad was a talented little kid who by the time he was five years old was performing in vaudeville in New York City, as "Little Billy Ortman."  He performed in a top hat and tails, and my grandmother said he would sit on a box backstage and as the chorus girls were going by, tap each one on the behind with his cane.  He went on to perform on the radio in programs like "Let's Pretend," and a soap opera called "Dusty" (he was Dusty).  At the height of the Depression, I'm sure he was bringing a significant amount of income to his blue-collar family.



By the time he was in junior high, he was only going to school half-days because he was working so much (and he was smart enough to do well only going half-time).  He continued his theatrical life until he joined the Army at age 17 to serve in WWII (he taught men how to drive tanks at Ft. Knox).

After the war, life went on.  He attended a bit of college but then entered the business world, working for many years for Minneapolis Honeywell.  He married my mom, had three kids, and moved to the suburbs.

But the theatrical bug was still with him, and for many years he performed in community theater, the Minneapolis Repertory Theater, and musical dinner theater (he sang like an angel).  He'd finish his workday, eat a quick dinner, and take off for rehearsal or performance.  I spent many, many nights seeing him perform, in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Rhinoceros, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, on and on.  Here he is as Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music. 

 Guess what they're singing! *

I loved many of the shows he was in, but my favorite was Threepenny Opera, in which my dad played Mr. Peachum -- twice, in two different productions, with his dear friend, Grace Keagy.  I love everything about that show, especially the music, and Dad and Grace were wonderful.


One of my happiest times was taking my son, Devin, to see Threepenny Opera when he was maybe 12 or so -- although he grew very annoyed when for the tenth time I whispered, "That was Grandpa!!"

Over the years, of course, there were funny stories about things that happened while he was performing.  One Good Friday, while he was singing the part of Jesus in The Seven Last Words of Christ in church, my brother, age 3, turned around in the pew, pointed at the choir loft, and said (loudly), "That's my dad!!" But  my favorite occurred when Dad was playing the padre in Man of La Mancha.  As he was singing "To Each His Dulcinea," a bug flew into his mouth.  Being the trouper he was, he swallowed and kept going.  But as soon as he got off stage, he picked up an entire pitcher of water and drank and drank . . . 

Happy Father's Day, Dad.  We'll never forget the times you made us laugh until our sides split, or the times we sat in church listening to you sing, or the times you played "Tenderly" on the organ (the only song you knew).   I can't count how many nights I sat in a darkened theater, whispering to myself, "That's my dad . . . "  We miss you.



*"Edelweiss"

6/15/14

Jun 9, 2014

Mysterious information

I've gotten quite a bit of information recently on CDE's Grandpa Gustav Berneburg, but in the end it seems quite confusing.  I've had several wonderful people helping me, including a lady who is the secretary at the Reformed Church (Calvinist) in Linden-Hannover, Germany, who has done quite a bit of searching through the files for me.  In addition, I've done a lot of searching this and that database, and finally reactivated my "World Explorer" membership at Ancestry.com so that I can get into their German databases.  That's helped me a little in our progression.

The caption says "Heartfelt greetings from your true square-head(bolts)-turner, G."

This is a picture of Gustav Berneburg (Grandma Walli's father), maybe in a ship, otherwise in a machine shop somewhere in Germany.  He traveled on ocean-going ships as a machinist, fixing things and fabricating things, I guess.

Our information has it -- from Grandma Walli's sister-in-law, who wrote down a lot of family history -- that Gustav was born on June 3, 1884, in Linden Hannover, Germany.  He was the son of Andreas Berneburg (d. 1898), a stone-setter, and Hermine Kleemann (d. 1919).  Here's where it gets a little messy.

I can't find any marriage information for Andreas and Hermine.  I do find, however, marriage information for Andreas Berneburg and someone named Johanne Luise Karoline Sophie Dorothee Schmidt, specifically in records of christening for four children:

Heinrich Friedrich Georg Berneburg, 26 Sep 1876
(Gustav, June 3, 1884)*
Johanne Dorette Auguste Berneburg, Jan. 22, 1887
Hermann Fritz August Berneburg Sept. 26, 1889
Sofia Lina Berneburg, Oct. 26, 1892

*I've put Gustav into the birth order of these children, though he is not the child of Johanna Schmidt Berneburg.

Now, I know that Gustav had a brother and sister that are on the list -- "Fritz," must be Hermann Fritz, and Sophie, who later became Sophie Knolle when she married Hermann Knolle.  I have confirmation of this directly from the church records, and I met Sophie Knolle in Germany, in 1966. The family also has a written record that Gustav had a brother "Willi," so I'm not sure that that would match up with Heinrich, because there's nothing that could morph into "Willi" in his name. And as for Johanne Dorette, because I can find no other record of her in the church records -- confirmation, death (both of which are there for Sophie), I can only conclude that she died early.  



So . . . what do we have here?  I'm convinced (I was going to say "absolutely" but nothing in genealogy is absolute) that we have Gustav's siblings and father here -- but what about his mother?  It's hard for me to believe that my uncle's wife wouldn't have had the correct name of Gustav's mother -- Hermine Kleemann -- but all we can conclude is that his birth was the result of some kind of extramarital relationship.  Unless you have a better idea -- 

I have been unable to find anything definitive about Hermine Kleemann -- I find a birth record for a  "Luise Hermine Kleemann" in 1858, in Lippe, which is about 57 miles from Hannover.  She would have been 26 at the time of Gustav's birth.  No reason to think this is she, however.  I also found in a directory for Braunschweig for 1911, a "Frl. Hermine Kleemann, Krankenpflegerin,"  which is a nurse that goes to houses, especially where a mother has just given birth.   Braunschweig is about 45 miles from Hannover.  

I will continue to look for evidence for Hermine, for Gustav's birth, and for a brother named "Willi."  One thing about this odd situation might make sense -- we know that Gustav had "anger management issues," and was a person who could be very cold and unloving.  If, in fact, he was not a legitimate son, he could have had an unpleasant upbringing that may have led to his resentments and unhappiness.  We also know that he was the one that "flew the nest," that went to Bremerhaven, went to sea, and finally emigrated to the United States -- the only one in his family to do so.  

So much for today.  The digging goes on . . .

Good news!

My blog has been accepted to GeneaBloggers, a "blogger central" for genealogy.  I hope to get some new readers through this site, and to be able to expand the blog in ways that will be fun and interesting.  Thanks, Thomas MacEntee, for letting me join in!  If you're interested in that site, the button on the left will take you to it.


Jun 7, 2014

Saturday at the Jamboree

Well, so far I haven't won a raffle prize, which I'm a little disgruntled about.  :(  But anyway --

This morning I went to a session on the new Family Tree feature on Family Search.  They're going for a "human family" tree -- that is, there are no private trees but rather each tree joins to every other tree.  It was an interesting session on how to use all the new features.

Then I went to a session on blogging, a panel discussion by some pretty prominent bloggers.  I found it inspiring and immediately when I got to the hotel made some changes to my blog :)

I also had a meeting with Bennett Greenspan, the president of Family Tree DNA.  I had several little ancestry charts and wondered whether having more distant cousins tested would add anything, or whether I should increase Chris' Y-DNA test to 67 . . . happily, he talked me out of almost everything, pointing out how much money he saved me lol.  I will upgrade one test, but not more than that.  The problem is that we (Elise, Deb, Chris) have very unusual mutations in our DNA that seriously limit the number of matches we have, so there's not much point in doing any more testing -- we have to just wait until more people are in the database that match us, and then we will definitely be related.

So, home again tomorrow.  It's been fun but a little overwhelming!


A small part of the exhibit hall --

Jun 6, 2014

It's a Jamboree!

Well, here I am at the Genealogical Jamboree in Burbank, put on by the Southern California Genealogical Society.  It's a huge extravaganza -- four days of all kinds of presentations, an exhibtion hall, special events, on and on.

Yesterday was "DNA Day," a whole day on genetic genealogy.  I learned quite a bit at the various presentations, but the one at the end of the day was so intense that I just couldn't follow it (and found out later I wasn't the only one).

At the end of the day, I spent two hours with a team from Ancestry.com in a focus group, discussing a new product they are developing.  I signed a non-disclosure agreement, so I can't say what it was, but the six of us who were there pretty much trashed the idea, to the point where I felt kind of bad for the Ancestry folks, who clearly had high expectations for this project.  Oh well.

Today I went to a few sessions, wandered around the exhibition hall, and spent some time with a researcher who helped me to get a little bit further with Grandpa Berneburg's story, which is turning out to be a pretty interesting one.  I guess the lady thought I knew enough about doing the research that she asked me if I would be willing to volunteer some time to help other people.  While that was flattering, I don't think I'm ready to be helping other people yet!

More, more sessions tomorrow, and I have an appointment with Bennett Greenspan (the brother of Alan Greenspan), the president of Family Tree DNA.  I'd like him to give me some advice on the value of having other people in the family tested.

So, I'm having fun!  Look for another post soon on the Grandpa B. story -- it's not really a story yet, but a bunch of facts that I can maybe make sense of with a story.

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