Wednesday, Jan. 26, 1938

Cold. Boy! Its 6 above radio says. E. St. Louis was 4 & at St. Louis 2 above. in Minnesota 22 below. Bert [Bertille] baked cake, stitching etc. Aunt Mary’s birthday. Bert called & congratulation. Uncle Fred was working in the woods all morn.

Tuesday, Jan. 25, 1938

Pretty cold. 18 above this morn. Order of Chicago Mail, cotton & goods etc came today. Leona send in a card to Susie, WTMO to sing for Aunt Mary’s birthday Wed; they sang it Mon. eve we didn’t hear it; had company then. It’s been so windy & snowing.

Tuesday, Dec. 28, 1937

Heavy fog today. Uncle Fred & A. [Aunt] Mary went home after breakfast this morn. Emil came over to pay the rent to them before they left. We went to mass at Paderborn, of Fr. Teoonine [sic – Toennies], church was filled; & so many priests, all had lunch in hall and at 12:15 was going to leave, burial at Germantown; had honorable & pallbearers. Uncle Fred left there car set at Neff’s lane & walked home the rest of way. Rob & Alice Laut came this eve. we played 7 games pinochle. Pierre was by Osie Neff’s, Myrtle birthday celebration; played games etc. Walter Wittnauer was here with his books again on land.

Sunday, Dec. 12, 1937

Went to mass. Uncle Fred & A. [Aunt] Mary had dinner here played cards. 4 games. Emil’s birthday. Gregsons were all by him. Tonite is Solemn closing of Mission, & the begining [sic] at Paderborn. Uncle Fred & A. Mary came, went along with us to closing of Mission, but boy! what a nite, raining & slick, coming home going down Round Prairie Hill, our car turned around 2 times around boy it sure was awful, but turned out alright, they didn’t have the cinders put on there yet; but were just at it.

Thursday, Dec. 9, 1937

10 above this morn. We went to mass. & sermon. Washed, made carmel [sic] cookies; cracked nuts etc. Levi Gregson came to get our key to Emil’s, he wasn’t at home but came later. Levi couldn’t get the car started, got some hot water home. Mrs. Geo. Parker’s birthday today. We went to Mission Devotion.

Sunday, Dec. 5, 1937

Went to mass. Fr. Simion, made a little sermon & read epistle & gospel, he has high mass & read some of his programs. Uncle Fred & A. [Aunt] Mary stopped awhile went home. We went to Leo’s & Rose’s [Rosalia] – Leo’s birthday, had dinner & supper; played cards. Sure cold tonite, at 7 o clock 14 degrees; we didn’t go to Mission Service tonite, to cold. Fr. Aydt is having some teeth extracted, has another priest here today. Wed. Holiday has 13 hr. Devotion. Fr. Brandmeyer of Paderborn to make eve sermon. They have Mission up there next week by Fr. Hullwing [? – unclear] OMal. also of St. Henry’s parish Belleville.

Tuesday, Nov. 30, 1937

Went to Leo’s & Rose [Rosalia] butchering 2 hogs. Jake helped awhile had to go home Earl came to fix him a brick foundation for kettle. We had lunch, dinner & supper & sugar cured meat & played 6 hand pinochle in eve. Uncle Fred & A. [Aunt] Mary stayed also, they left there car set by Jake’s to much mud. Mr. Orlets birthday today 73 yrs.

Thursday, Nov. 18, 1937

Uncle Fred birthday; 63 yrs. today. They came up butchered 139 lb. hog @ $8.40; finished at 1 ‘oclock, sausage out of kettle & everything done. Harry Wittenauer stopped in. The Farm Bureau have meeting & show tonite & school hall. Smithton have euchre. Uncle Fred & A. [Aunt] Mary came this eve. & Bert [Bertille] went along to picture show in school hall, big crowd, showed pictures of 4h. club; from all over the county. Miss Werner of Hecker, leader of Busy Bee Club, has the most in county. Buddy Braun was here selling chances on box candy.

Remembering Our Ancestors’ Birthdays

Today, November 5th, is a special day around here. It is Bertille “Tillie” Anne Brand Klein’s birthday! She was born on this date in 1914.

Do you acknowledge your ancestor’s birthdays? If so, how? I tend to only remember/acknowledge those relatives that I knew personally. My grandparents and my father are the birthdays that I remember. I take a moment to think of them and how they affected my life. I enjoy sharing photos with others on this special day in my loved one’s life. Many times I am not the only one that remembers them and I thoroughly enjoy hearing others memories. Many times I hear stories that I had never heard before. That is a true blessing!

As for Bertille aka Tillie, you, my dear reader, know her by her words. By her chronicling of her small town of Hecker during the 1930s. She is most likely pretty one-dimensional in your mind. But if you knew her..

If you knew her you would have loved her. I was blessed to have known my grandmother for over twenty years. She lived with us for the last five or so years of her life. So I was able to develop a relationship that went beyond familial. It was a true friendship.

She was a quiet soul that enjoyed listening. Being a teenager/twenty-something, I enjoyed having her listen to me. Listen to me complain about my step-father, my Texan boyfriend, my college woes, etc. etc. So many troubles I thought I had then and she was always there.

Take a moment when that date comes up and remember whose life you used to gather to celebrate then. Take that moment to still celebrate by raising a toast or looking at old home movie or sharing a photo.

Remembering those who came before us is good for the soul.

Did you know Bertille in real life? I would love to hear your memories of her! Please share below.

Friday, Nov. 5, 1937

Beautiful getting colder. Bert’s [Bertille] 23 birthday. Uncle Fred & A. [Aunt] Mary went to Red Bud to Buehler’s this afternoon & junk pile. Mrs. L. Fogassey & relatives, were visitors in town here, last Sun. Oliver & Cecelia & Mrs. Pour & Carrie Lorberg & Agnes Gregson were visiting at Iowa several weeks ago; from Fri. until Mon. Ben Schilling bought 126 acres of land from Emil Schilling & wife transfer in Waterloo paper. Uncle Fred & A. [Aunt] Mary had supper here. Leo & Rose [Rosalia] came this eve. played 5 & 6 hand pinochle, refreshments & cake. Tolin was here on business; trying to sell a mare to pap.