March -- Memories -- Genealogy by darylo

March -- Memories -- Genealogy

I'm starting March without a photo of food! That feels so good to say! I did get a very nice surprise this morning on my 5th weigh-in with 2.5 more pounds lost this week for a total of 13.7 pounds to date. I was absolutely shocked because my scale would not budge downward for 5 days. And then, bam, it just plunged. I don't expect this average to keep up, but my meal planning will!

Ok, so onto next project that I have been wanting to do for a long time: tackling the monumental number of papers, old photos, newspaper clippings, ancient letters that I am the guardian of in the family. I have been wanting to make family trees, record things that others in the family would love to know, and expose things that are not so endearing from our southern lineage. I have the old family Bible, with some things actually "cut out" from there; I have a speech or recollection delivered as a speech I believe from my slave-owning great-great grandfather that predates his publication of Memoirs of a Southerner; I have daguerreotypes, countless letters, things no one can even decipher, but I want to start getting them all logged and digitized in some coherent way. Eventually, I'll make it a book for my family.

So, I want to start with something fun. And purely accidental. As a somewhat natural "archivist," this find was great to put 2 and 2 together.

I first found the "itinerary" in some of the boxes I've saved under my mother's/grandmother's things. It is called "Scandinavian Student Travel Service: Hotel Mailing List Tour 803."

I wondered if this was the grand European tour my mother mused about once; she went after she graduated from Vassar college in 1958 (with her best friend growing up). I put it aside, and I kept going through papers--I was going to put all things in piles that had relationships to one another. At some point, I was rummaging through some photographs, and this post card popped up. On the back, it reads: "Well here it is - the highest pass in all Europe. A feeling of exhileration unknown before! Driving is quite a feat, too. But Kjeld is a perfect master of the car! Love, Me" Addressed to my grandparents Mr and Mrs. F.C. Hunter, Spring Rock Farm, Woodbine, Maryland, USA.

I looked at the post stamp, which indicated it was sent from Vitznau with a beautiful black and white stamp of a cable car going toward some mountains (in Switzerland, I presume). The stamp says "50 Helvetia."

I stopped and realized that this just MIGHT be associated with the grand European tour list I had found earlier (the tour lasted from Aug. 7--Sept. 30). Sure enough, Sept. 1-4, My mother and friend stayed at Hotel Terminus in Vitzau, Switzerland. The note on the itinerary says "See Vitznau, Vierw." I believe it's a typo for Views, but who knows?--Added note: And now there is an answer thanks to a fellow 365er (see below)!: "Regarding the itinerary, the “am see” means “on the lake” (Frank’s GG grandfather came from a town on Bodensee, which is called Lake Constance in English) I did a Google search for Vitznau and find it right on the shore of Vierwaldstättersee, which would explain “Vierw.”"

Anywho, I promptly scanned the itinerary and the photo to send to my mother AND to her dear friend (who is like another mother to me and a grandmother to my children--she lives in NYC). My mom told me about how after the trip ended, she and Judy R. went to East Germany on their own and stayed with someone who made them leave their shoes out at night to indicate they had come home--all of this was secret because they didn't want to tell their parents they were going "off grid" back then.

So this is a fun find. It's logged in the files now.

Some things I may post will not be so fun--in fact, I will have to weigh the appropriateness of some things, but this is the month to get to the heart of all matters family that keep living in boxes. I'll try to use my archivist tendencies to look at it with a new sense of disclosure and history. It's been way too long.

Additional note: this trip went to England, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and France. WOW
Even though this month is NOT about dog! What a chore you have set for yourself! I have boxes of letters from my parent sto each other and to amd from THEIR parents and would like to do what you are doing but have no earthly idea where to start! I am afraid I would forget which pile was what! Fabulous photo to document the start of YOUR journey!
March 1st, 2021  
Fabulous, I love that the hotels have a telephone number and a CABLE number. Great find and good luck Daryl
March 2nd, 2021  
A wonderful project ahead for you! And big congratulations on your weigh in. I'm starting out my week with no motivation!
March 2nd, 2021  
@grammyn I'd be happy to talk with you over the phone and help guide you! I have to catalog things all the time -- it used to be part of my research. It would be best to start in piles, and have folders right by your side to give them places to live. I have done all the piles--I'm making the files as I go. The scanning has started, and the photos for March! No time like Now; too many people in my family have passed that the stories are with me now.

I used to "interview" my grandmother about her early days and all the people in our family (the photographs on her walls). I still have the scribbled notes and I was smart some days to actually write on the backs of the framed photos who was actually in the photograph! I wish I had done it all the time. Now, I'm digging for info where there are very few people who remember well enough.
March 2nd, 2021  
@phil_howcroft Some of the hotels still exist even. I dream of taking my mom on the same trip again. Who knows!
March 2nd, 2021  
@linnypinny Thanks re weigh-in. I was shocked because for 5 days, nothing different. Oh, motivation is a tricky thing. I have to catch the wave when it hits. This actually came because it's dark outside, I didn't want to go back outside to take a picture, and I remembered I wanted to do a month of archiving--so here I am with motivation by default! lol
March 2nd, 2021  
Lcongrats re the weigh in and what an undertaking you are doing on the side
March 2nd, 2021  
That is quite the task! But what a treasure for your family for generations to come! How wonderful to have someone from the previous generation who may answer questions and help you with details that might otherwise be lost.
March 2nd, 2021  
What a fabulous narrative and image. I love the itinerary from 1958 - how absolutely marvellous. Before we were thought of! You have a big task ahead of you, but how wonderful. I am looking forward to viewing your March photos and narratives with you!
March 2nd, 2021  
Wow, all that history--what a fabulous undertaking! Congrats on your weigh-in, woot woot :-)
March 2nd, 2021  
Wow - good luck with your undertaking! That's quite a challenge you've taken on - but I'm sure you'll find it absorbing. And especially your younger family members will appreciate it in the years to come.
March 2nd, 2021  
What a fantastic project! I too am the “family archivist“ and “family historian” and, since Frank is an only child and genealogy/family history nut, like you and Katy @grammyn we have boxes and bags and albums of things I’ve really wanted to make time to organize and scan. Since I’m always behind with my 365 project, it may not be too late to join you. As you say, motivation!

Need I say that I hadn’t followed you before but am now!

Regarding the itinerary, the “am see” means “on the lake” (Frank’s GG grandfather came from a town on Bodensee, which is called Lake Constance in English) I did a Google search for Vitznau and find it right on the shore of Vierwaldstättersee, which would explain “Vierw.”
March 4th, 2021  
@mcsiegle thank you!!!
March 4th, 2021  
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