Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sentimental Sunday: Karl Pape's Art

I've been corresponding a lot recently with three grandchildren, siblings, of Karl James (Jakob Lorenz) Pape, 1889-1958, the son of my great-grandfather John Pape's brother Lorenz.  Karl is my first cousin two times removed, and his grandchildren, the three siblings, are my third cousins.

Karl was born on August 27 1889, in Dusseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, the oldest child of Lorenz Pape (1862-1932) and his first wife Maria Henrietta Kamp (1862-1899).  Lorenz, Karl, and son/brother August, all painters, sailed from Antwerp, Belgium, on May 15, 1913, and arrived in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 27, intending to go to brother / uncle John Pape's home at 1043 Sherman Avenue in Evanston, Illinois.  They (and four more siblings who arrived in December of 1913) did live there until sometime in 1914, when the Evanston city directory shows Lorenz, Karl, and August, painters, living at 1622 Forest Avenue in Wilmette.  By May 1918, Karl was running the home decorating business on his own, out of that address.  

On July 25, 1923, Karl married Catherine Gertrude Schwall (1892-1977), "daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Simon Schwall of Ridge avenue," at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Wilmette.  Karl and Catherine were living at 1632 Central Avenue in Wilmette when Karl was naturalized on January 7, 1926.  Later that year, the first of their four daughters were born, and by the 1930 Census, Karl and Catherine were living with Catherine's parents at 804 Ridge (they died in 1935 and 1933).  Karl and Catherine were still living at this address at Karl's death on June 26, 1958.  He is buried at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Besides being a house painter and home decorator, Karl was a talented painter and artist.  Here are some of his works.    

Mari told me, "I inherited a painting [by] my grandfather of the farm with the church and their house in the background....Painted in 1929....The white house on the left was my grandparents' home [at 804 Ridge].  The huge [red] building on the right is St. Joseph's [Catholic] Church [at the corner of Lake and Ridge]."  

Mari also sent a close-up of the signature on the painting:

Mari describes this next one as her mother "Mary Ann Pape as a teenager, sketched by her father, Karl Pape. Probably 1946. Mom said her father told her faces were not easy to sketch. She is wearing a silk blouse with a peacock he painted. My brother has the blouse in a glass frame. Still stunning after all these years."

Here is the photo of the silk blouse, sent by Mari's brother Joe:

Detail, sent by brother John:

Another painting by Karl, sent by Joe:

I found the next image in a number of auction house web sites.  It is titled  "Stormy Waters, Wilmette," a framed oil on canvas, 36" x 48.5", signed and dated 1927.  The fact that Wilmette is part of the title (Karl lived there for 40 years) makes me feel this is the same Karl Pape.

Below is a photo of Karl Pape in his 20s.

I hope to show more of Karl's art in a future post.

© Amanda Pape - 2016 - click here to e-mail me.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Treasure Chest Thursday: 1937 Diary Found in Local Dairy Barn

Yesterday, an employee at my place of work brought me a five-year diary she found in an old barn her family owns near Lingleville, Texas:

Inside the front cover is the name of its previous owner, Betty Goodwin of Philipp, Mississippi.  Inside are some entries for 1937 (Betty did not write every day and stopped making entries on March 7), as well as some lists of names and a few birth dates near the end.  The question was - who is Betty Goodwin, and how did her 1937 diary written in Mississippi end up in Texas?

I read through all the entries in the diary and noted locations mentioned.  Betty had also put her own month and day of birth in the birthdays list, so I knew she was born on May 30.

A search in with her name, that date, a guess for birth year of 1925 (plus or minus five years), and Philipp, Tallahatchie County, Mississippi, as a location for any event in her life, brought up an entry in the U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, for an Elizabeth Whitten Goodwin, born May 30, 1921, in Coffeeville, Mississippi.  Her father was listed as James L. Goodwin and her mother as Fannie Whitten (hence the middle name).

I was able to find Betty in Philipp on both the 1930 Census and the 1940 Census at  Betty was an only child, and was born late in her parents' lives.  Her father, a salesman in a retail general store, was about 50 when she was born, and her mother was somewhere between 42 and 49.

I used Google Maps to map Coffeeville, Philipp, and all the other places mentioned in the diary:

This made me feel pretty confident that Elizabeth Whitten Goodwin was the same person as Betty Goodwin.  She would have been 15 when she started writing in this diary.  Now the next step was to try to figure out how the diary wound up in a dairy barn in Texas.

The Social Security application indicated that in December 1941, her name was listed as Elizabeth Whitten Goodwin.  However, in October 1952, her name was listed as Elizabeth Goodwin Walker, so my guess was that she married about that time.  I did some more searches in both and, adding in the last name of Walker, and learned that Betty had at least one daughter who was born in Texas.  I found the daughter on Facebook, and from there learned that Betty had at least one granddaughter (who attended the university where I work), and at least two grandsons.  None of them are named here, because they are all still alive.  I was not able to find more about Betty's husband, because his name is fairly common.  It is possible he is still alive, so he is also not named here.

The Social Security application, however, told me Betty passed away on May 16, 1995.  Further searches in Ancestry found her in the Texas Death Index, having died in Tarrant County (Fort Worth area).  That's not too far from Lingleville.  A search in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, in a database available at my university, found Betty's death notice, on May 19, 1995, in the Final AM edition, Metro section, page 35.  It indicated that she was 73 when she died in a Fort Worth hospital (she would have turned 74 in 11 more days), and was a retired civil service employee.  It also indicated there would be a graveside service at Skyvue Memorial Gardens in Fort Worth.

There is a minimal entry for Betty in FindAGrave, but the date of birth is incorrect there, and there is (currently) no photo of the marker, if one even exists.  I've sent in some edits and requested a photo.

A little more research uncovered the fact that Betty's daughter lived in the Lingleville area for a while, from at least 2000 to at least 2009, and operated a dairy while she was here.  When I presented my research to the employee that found the diary, she confirmed that a woman had leased the dairy barn and operated a small dairy around that time.

The employee who shared the diary especially liked these last two pages, where 15-year-old Betty wrote about her cats:

© Amanda Pape - 2017 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sentimental Sunday: More Corpus Christi Reminiscing

Here are a few other places in Corpus Christi that bring back old memories.

Snoopy's Pier opened in August 1980 as a small bait stand and burger joint with a 600-foot fishing pier on the Intracoastal Waterway.  You can see the name on the roof from the JFK Causeway.

It pretty much was just a burger stand (and bar) when we went there in the early 1980s.  Mark remembers that the big stove pictured below was a great place to warm up after fishing on a cold day.  I don't remember any fishing, but I do remember this stove.

Another place I drove by nearly every day for over four years was the Yardarm Restaurant.  This Ocean Drive establishment in what looks like a waterfront house has been there since 1975, but I had never been there.  That was remedied on our trip in June 2016.  The seafood, prepared with French sauces and cooking techniques and Mediterranean seasonings, was delicious.  The view, from the glassed-in back porch overlooking Corpus Christi Bay, was mesmerizing.

The Yardarm is family-owned and operated.  Diane and Constantine Tsaousis took their old family home and made it The Yardarm.  They typically close down a little before Christmas and take a vacation back in Greece, then reopen in early February.

Finally, a sight that always makes me happy - watching the shrimp boats return to the downtown Marina very early in the morning.  Back when I lived in Corpus Christi, 1979-1984, there were a number of boats in the shrimper fleet, and you could go down to the Marina and buy fresh shrimp from them at good prices.

© Amanda Pape - 2016 - click here to e-mail me.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Those Places Thursday: T. C. Ayers Park and Ben Garza Gym, Corpus Christi

While doing research for my recent post about the Harbor Bridge, I came across a photo in a Historic Resources Survey Report prepared under the direction of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDoT) of a plaque at T. C. Ayers Park in Corpus Christi, Texas:

This park and Ben Garza Park were renovated in the early 1980s with funds obtained from an Urban Park and Recreation Recovery (UPARR) rehabilitation grant.  I was the lead writer for the City of Corpus Christi's Park and Recreation Department (PARD) on the application submitted in November 1979, with the grant awarded the following month.

Below is a clipping from page 3 of the August 1982 edition of the City of Corpus Christi employee newsletter, City Quill, reporting on the progress of the projects. By this time, I was working for the city's public information office that created this newsletter, and I took the photos and wrote the caption.

Sadly, according to the article "Bridge design to take more right of way in T.C. Ayers Park" by Kristen Crowe in the April 30, 2016, Corpus Christi Caller-Times, all but about three acres of the 8.77 acre park, acquired in 1938 and named after T.C. Ayers, the first principal of the nearby African-American Solomon Coles School, will be part of the right-of-way for the new Harbor Bridge.

The recreation center, according to Section 5, page 4 of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Harbor Bridge replacement project, "was closed by the City of Corpus Christi in 2007 due to underutilization. The recreation center activities continue to be provided at an alternate facility, the Solomon Coles Recreation Center [the former school]..., six blocks to the east in the same neighborhood."

Above:  View of  circa-1950 T. C. Ayers Recreation Center, facing northwest, from TxDoT Historic Resources Survey Report, about December 2012.  The covered basketball pavilion, still in use, can be seen to the right

Below:  EIS Illustration 5.2-2. T.C. Ayers Park playground equipment, about November 2014, with the covered basketball pavilion in the background.

The EIS goes on to say that the nearby swimming pool (not part of the UPARR project), as of November 2014, "is currently operated by the free of charge to the general public for about 12 weeks between June and August."  The pool is likely still maintained by the city and appeared to be in excellent condition during our visits in June and July, 2016.

When I learned that the Harbor Bridge replacement project would negatively impact T. C. Ayers Park, I was curious if there were any limitations to changes in the land's use due to the UPARR funding.  Turns out, according to Appendix B of the EIS, there are.  In a February 4, 2013 letter (page B-285) from then-PARD director Michael Morris to TxDoT, it is noted that "included with the funding was a requirement that the park to remain in use as a park into perpetuity....The perpetuity requirement may be converted to a new park and/or recreational property upon consent by the NPS [National Park Service]."

According to that same Appendix B (page B-331), the City plans to transfer the perpetuity requirement to a new park to be developed at the site of the former Booker T. Washington Elementary School (mistakenly called the Carver school in the Historic Resources Survey Report). It is within walking distance of T. C. Ayers Park.  Funds for the development of this park, as well improvements to the pool (which would remain), would come from TxDoT.

Interestingly, the funding would also include improvements for the nearby five-acre Dr. H.J. Williams Memorial Park.  Acquired in 1927 and once called Hillcrest Park, it was renamed in 1986 for the physician, former president of the local NAACP, and civil rights activist.  This park was the recipient of a $40,000 UPAAR rehabilitation grant in July 1980, the application for which I also coordinated in February 1980.

And what about Ben Garza Park?  Acquired in 1938, this 10.85 acre park with its gym and recreation center (site of a Red Cross disaster relief center I helped supervise after Hurricane Allen in August 1980) was named for Bernardo "Ben" F. Garza, entrepreneur and a founder and president general of the League of United Latin American Citizens.  According to page 5-34 of the EIS, it is supposed to receive enhancements as mitigation for the loss of T. C. Ayers land, as well as all of Lovenskiold Park, a tiny (0.7 acre) "special use" park acquired in 1937 and named for Dr. Perry Gray Lovenskiold, who served as the city's mayor from 1921 through 1931.  His brother, Oscar C. Lovenskiold, was mayor 1892-1902.

However, according to a June 22, 2016, news story by Caroline Flores of KIII-TV in Corpus Christi, the City Council was discussing the future of the park in executive session.  No word on what if any decision they made, but this park would also be affected by the UPARR perpetuity provision.

© Amanda Pape - 2016 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Sentimental Sunday: Happy New Year (from 1976)!

My high school friends get together for a New Year's Day holiday party less than a year after we graduated, on January 1, 1976.  In the photo above (courtesy Sydney) in the top row from left (first names only) are  Ardis, Annette, me, and Sandra.  In the bottom row from left are Audrey, Nancy, Martha, and Sydney.  The photo below was taken by me.  Everyone is in the same order; I'm just missing from the picture.

© Amanda Pape - 2016 - click here to e-mail me.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Those Places Thursday: Corpus Christi's Harbor Bridge

There's something about driving into Corpus Christi, Texas, over the Harbor Bridge that always says "you're home!" to me.  As usual, I didn't think much of taking pictures of the bridge while I lived there from April 1979 through October 1984 (other than one nighttime attempt from the crest of the bridge, coming into town in my car), but it seems I have taken a picture on every other visit - like this one from July 2000:

Above:  View of the Harbor Bridge from the USS Lexington, July 12, 2000 / Amanda Pape /

Below:  Harbor Bridge Aerial View, circa 1987 [I think 1984] / Jay Phagan / CC BY 2.0

The photo above is about as close as I will get to the view I experience coming over the bridge and entering Corpus Christi.  That's because I think the photo above was actually taken about 1984 rather than the 1987 estimated by the photographer.  The present-day Omni Hotel (the first large building along Shoreline Drive, on the left, nearest the marina) still looks to be under construction; it opened on Valentines Day, 1985, as the Hershey Hotel.  The Holiday Inn just behind it also opened in 1985, and appears to have a construction crane on it in this photograph.  However, there is no sign yet of the twice-as-tall One Shoreline Plaza between them, which was begun in 1983 but not finished until 1988.

The Harbor Bridge has an interesting history.  Besides the Texas Department of Transportation archives photos below, a number of 1950s construction photos are available in the William H. Parker Photograph Collection at the Mary and Jeff Bell Library at Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi.

Texas Department of Transportation archives via

Texas Department of Transportation archives via

The Harbor Bridge replaced the 1926 bascule bridge (a drawbridge), visible in the two photographs below.  Its 97-foot width was a tight squeeze for cargo ships entering the port, and as traffic at both the port and on the road increased, so did delays.  My kinsman, city Mayor A. Albert Lichtenstein, was a big supporter of a toll tunnel under the channel, but the City Council, on March 24, 1954, voted to go for a high bridge instead -- mainly because the state highway department would pay for it.

Construction of the "High Bridge," as it was originally called, began in June 1926.  According to Murphy Givens' article, "Building Harbor Bridge was decade’s big event" on page 11A of the January 21, 2015, Corpus Christi Caller-Times, 

Construction of the Harbor Bridge was started on each side of the ship channel with the cantilever trusses meeting in the middle. When the two spans met they were off by a few inches, which had been expected. One side was jacked up until the two spans fell into line. The new bridge dwarfed the bascule bridge under it. Harbor Bridge opened to traffic on Oct. 23, 1959.

Texas Department of Transportation archives via

Texas Department of Transportation archives via

When I lived in Corpus Christi, the only lights on the bridge were typical streetlights installed to illuminate the pavement for drivers.  According to the article, "One year later, Harbor Bridge lights continue to draw onlookers, delight" by Rhiannon Meyers in the December 26, 2012, Corpus Christi Caller-Times:

The first bridge lights were put up in 1986 by the Central Business District Association, a predecessor to the Downtown Management District. The lights were turned off in February 1998 after numerous circuit failures and corrosion damaged a quarter of the lights.
A public-private partnership between the Texas Department of Transportation, the city of Corpus Christi, the Port of Corpus Christi Authority and American Bank helped relight the December a synchronized array of colors and patterns.
Since then, the bridge has been featured as the focal point for a Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra concert, that featured a musically coordinated light show, and during the annual Fourth of July fireworks display.

The $2-plus million, 11,000-LED lighting system can be programmed to create color changes and patterns in 950+ fixtures to commemorate various events.  It's a popular backdrop for portraits.

Below:  Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge Lights - 2016 / Amanda Pape / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

On August 8, 2016, ground was broken for a new Harbor Bridge.  The primary reason is safety, as the new bridge's approaches will be straighter, but it will also allow for taller ships (such as cruise ships) to use the port.  The current Harbor Bridge has a 138-foot clearance, the new bridge will have a minimum 205-foot clearance.  The project is expected to cost a billion dollars and take four years.

© Amanda Pape - 2016 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Sentimental Sunday: Merry Christmas (1965)!

Christmas morning, 1965, in the Pape house at 8015 Sharpview, Houston, Texas.  My back is to the camera in the lower right corner.  Across from me in a matching robe is my sister Karen.  My sister Mary is the little one bending over on the left.  Dad is sitting watching us, and my brother Brian (I think) is barely visible at his feet and behind me.

© Amanda Pape - 2016 - click here to e-mail me.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Those Places Thursday: Sheraton Marina Inn, Corpus Christi

Originally I wasn't going to post about the hotel that was originally the Sheraton Marina Inn - until I learned more about its history.

The Sheraton Marina was designed by Richard Colley - the same architect who designed the Memorial Coliseum and the 1952 City Hall.  The 180-room hotel was built in 1966 and opened on June 19 of that year.

Above:  Corpus Christi Bayfront, ABT 1982, with the Sheraton Marina Inn at left / Amanda Pape / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Below:  Radisson Hotel 1991 [cropped] / Jay Phagan / CC BY 2.0

The hotel was refurbished in 1985, and remained part of the Sheraton chain through at least January 1990.  By 1991, it had become part of the Radisson chain, and by October 2004, it was part of the Best Western chain.  The look of the hotel has not changed much over the years - it was blue back when I saw it nearly every day between April 1979 and October 1984.  Back from at least 1974 to at least 1987, you could play tennis on the roof of the parking garage - but that apparently is no longer the case.

Above:  The Best Western Corpus Christi, 18 June 2016, with the Friendship Monument in front.

Below:  Early Sun on the Marina, view from the [Best Western] hotel balcony [circa 29 March 2008] / Karen / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

I don't ever remember being in this hotel, which had a restaurant and bar on its top floor with an obviously wonderful view.  My husband tells me there were telescopes there - and he tells me some interesting stories about them!  I chose the photo above from those with Creative Commons licenses in because it was taken from this hotel, and looks like it was taken with a telephoto lens.

The boat in the bottom left corner of that photo is in the approximate former location of my husband's sailboat slip - back when slips lined this side of the Lawrence Street T-Head, which is no longer the case.  From a higher floor - like the eleventh, where the bar was located - you could easily see down into the boat with a telescope.

© Amanda Pape - 2016 - click here to e-mail me.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday: Clara, Rhea, and Walter Pape

This past summer, my second cousins Kim, Debby, Val, Claudia, Beverly and I worked together to get gravestones made for their grandmother and our great aunt(s) and great uncle.  They were all buried in the Pape family plot at St. Henry Catholic Cemetery in Chicago, but for a variety of reasons, never had markers placed.  My cousins wanted to do one for their grandmother, Maria "Rhea" Gertrude Cecilia Pape (1892-1977), as well as our great aunt Clara Martha Pape (1889-1975), who was close to Rhea.  I decided to purchase the marker for our great uncle Walter Francis Pape (1900-1975), who, like Clara, did not have any children. In the end, we all went in together for the stones, which were designed by Gast Monuments to coordinate with that of their parents, John Pape (1851-1945) and Gertrude Kramer Pape (1859-1919).

The stones were installed by the end of October, and the following month, on a beautiful day, my friend Amy Windler got the following photos for me.  The first shows the stones in reference to John's and Gertrude's upright marker, with Clara to the left, Walter just in front, and Rhea to the far right.  We are going to inquire about moving Walter's stone to be located between John and Rhea.

© Amanda Pape - 2016 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sentimental Sunday: St. Agnes Girl Ornament

A Christmas tree ornament my parents gave to me when I was in college (along with a similar one for that school), representing my high school.  SAA stands for St. Agnes Academy in Houston, Texas - the school colors were black and gold.

© Amanda Pape - 2016 - click here to e-mail me.