Story so far: Grandma Cecile has been planning her trip to visit her relatives back in her home village of Nieder-Mohrau, Czechoslavkia. The days before she departs were counting down and most of her travel plans were made.
On May 23, 1936, family, friends and neighbors, even the parish priest, Fr Joseph Scherbring, gathered to wish her well. The party took place at the home of Bill & Marie Lulay, my aunt and uncle. Aunt Marie was the oldest of Alois's children, Grandma Cecile was actually Marie's step-mother. (Marie's mother had died when she was very young.)
The only way I know of this party is from photographs. One of the group photos was in the bag with Grandma's other souvenirs and letters. Nothing was written on it, so I had no idea what it represented.
In recent years I was visiting my Aunt Betty, the child Grandma wanted to accompany her on this trip. My cousin Marilyn was digging into the old family photos to see what kind of family history we could find. Although Aunt Betty's eyesight was extremely limited at that point, most of the time when we described a photo, she remembered it and would tell us about it. A similar photo came up in her collection. On the back of it was written "Taken on May 23, 1936."
Aunt Betty remembered that the photo was of the Farewell party that they had for Grandma before she left. The house in the photo was Uncle Bill & Aunt Marie's. I recognize it. The house is still in Sublimity on the main road east out of town, not far from St Boniface Church. Uncle Bill & Aunt Marie lived there for the rest of their lives and I knew it well.
|Farewell Party Group Photo, fig.1|
This photo, fig 1, is not a great photo, but I include it here for 2 reasons. One, is that historically this is the photo that has the date written on the back. Two, there is a person in the background who cannot be seen in the better photo. All you can see is part of a hat, (see fig. 1, arrow to left). The person wearing that hat may be my Dad, John Beitel. It looks like the kind of hat he used to wear, so it might be him.
The arrow on the right side of fig.1 points to Grandpa Alois, with Grandma Cecile beside him in the print dress. I added those arrows to the picture for clarification.
The next photo, fig. 2,
|Grandpa & Grandma with Fr Jos. Scherbring, fig. 2|
|Farewell party, May 23, 1936, fig. 3|
The third photo, fig. 3, is the one that Grandma kept with her souvenirs. This photo had better exposure than the first, so people are a little easier to see and identify.
Starting on the left end of the back row, the people I can identify: Uncle Bill and Aunt Marie Lulay holding their son Clement. On the other side of the woman in the dark coat and hat - a man with 3/4 of his face showing - that could be Uncle Tony Beitel.
Now, find Grandpa Alois. Behind him in that back row, the 2 faces to the left are Ann (Krantz) & her fiance, Gus Beitel - another set of aunts & uncles of mine. Look to the right of Grandpa - the dark haired face peeking around is probably my Uncle Florence "Squeak" Beitel. The tall white haired man behind him is Joe Bernt from Mt Angel, a cousin of Grandpa Alois. Grandma Cecile is next to Grandpa in the black & white print dress. On the far right back row is Fr. Scherbring, pastor of St Boniface in Sublimty.
In front of Grandma, the boy in the white shirt is Donald Lulay, left of him is my Aunt Betty (Beitel) Silbernagel (light dress). Next to Betty is Stella (Lulay) Neal (dark dress).
In the front row, in front of Betty is Ruth (Lulay) GrosJacques, and sitting in front of Stella is Margaret (Lulay) Berning. I'm not positive that I have identified the children correctly, but I have compared them to other photos I have. Since all the rest of Bill & Marie's children are present, Billy Lulay and Joanne (Lulay) Kintz Kowitz must be there somewhere, but I'm not sure which they are.
Also, if "the hat" wearer is John, and the half hidden faces in the back are Tony and Florence, then all of Alois and Cecile's children are there as well, except Sr. Agnes. She was in the convent and was not allowed to leave very often. Their rules were much stricter than.
A couple of other facts about the date of the farewell party - it was a Saturday, and it was my Dad's 30th birthday.
If anyone has any corrections or additions to the identity of any of the people,please let me know! You can add a comment below or send me an email. Thank you!
Remember, to see the pictures closer, just click on any of them and then you wlll be able to scroll through them all.
Story to be continued......
To read Post "14 - Suggested Itinerary - Around May 31, 1936, Click here