Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sentimental Sunday: Aunt Gret, Cousin Jack, Uncle Lee

My second cousin Bill has graciously shared a number of photographs and images of items his grandmother, my great aunt, saved years ago. This is a portrait of Bill's father, Jack Bleidt (1929-1973) on his First Communion day, May 17, 1936. He is with his godparents, my great aunt Gretchen Anna Reis Pape (1886-1947) and great uncle Lee (Leo) John Pape (1893-1979).

My dad says "Aunt Gret" (who shares her birthday with me) was a lot of fun. I will share something later that she did when Jack was born. Here's a story my dad remembers from his childhood:

Jack and I decided one day to ride our bikes out to Wilmette [from their homes in Evanston, Illinois] to visit Uncle Lee and Aunt Gret. I don't remember if we had our parents' permission. We had plain old two-wheel single gear bikes. The trip was probably eight to ten miles, maybe more. It took us all morning and we were tired when we got there. Uncle Lee was working somewhere (he was a first class carpenter). Aunt Gret was home and she fixed us a great lunch complete with lemonade and homemade cookies. Uncle Lee came home early and we got to ride in his pickup truck. It was the first time Jack or I had ridden in a truck, which was a lot of fun. They owned two adjoining lots with the house and garage on one lot. Aunt Gret had a huge well-cultivated garden which occupied most of the other lot. They grew lots of greens like lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, etc. and cooking vegetables like potatoes, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, etc. We had fun picking some of the ripe vegetables with her. I really liked the radishes. She also gave us some to take home. Around 5 o'clock we were going to go home on the bikes, but Aunt Gret had Uncle Lee put our bikes in the back of his truck and he drove us home. We were happy not only to ride home in the truck but, being tired, we appreciated not having to pedal those bikes all the way back to my house.
© Amanda Pape - 2010

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