Prince Otto von Bismarck of Prussia. He engineered the unification of German States under the leadership of Prussia.
My Grandfather Karl (Charles) Wilhelm (William) Potthoff came to America alone as a teenager in 1868. He lived in Chicago for a few years where he became a chef on the Empire Builder, the transcontinental passenger train of the Great Northern. He eventually settled in St. Paul, married Mary Weber, and helped raise a family of 4 sons and two daughters.
I was born in July 1941 in St. Paul at Mounds Park hospital on the East Side. My parents and I lived in an apartment during the war years on Earl Street. The 1948 photo was taken at the intersection of Hudson Road and Earl Street on the East Side of St. Paul, Minnesota. One block behind the photographer, who was facing south, is the apartment where my parents and I lived during World War II. In 1946 we had moved upstairs into my grandparents’ house, which lay about 7 blocks straight south on the bluff high above the Mississippi River.
Oct 1945 outside my grandparents house on Mound Street. Four year old Troutbirder, his parents and paternal grandparents, Charles and Mary.
Around the corner on Hudson road (now Interstate 94) was Basta’s Bakery. Several times a week, a elderly gentleman with a white hair and a mustache and a cane arrived at our apartment to present me with a Bismarck. I was five years old. Of course, it was my grandpa…. The Hudson Road proceeded east less than a quarter mile where it reached the edge of the city, then turning into U.S. Highway #12 as it went on to, naturally, Hudson, Wisc. To the right in the photo was a Rexall Drugstore and on the south side, Johnson Bros. grocery. In the mid-fifties that grocery store was rebuilt a little further east as a "supermarket" and provided me my first job when I was in high school.
As I write this early in the morning, my thoughts turn to our small town family bakery, one of the few left in southeastern Minnesota. I don’t have to tell you how much better their baked goods are than those obtainable in the Big Box stores in Rochester. Maybe I’ll get a couple of Bismarck’s….. And remember my grandpa.
A wonderful memory and a charming photograph.ReplyDelete
Sweet nostalgia, Trouty. I think yo should definitely treat yourself to a Bismarck.ReplyDelete
I always enjoy seeing the old photographs. What a "sweet" memory to share about your Grandpa and the Bismarck.ReplyDelete
I love the old photos. That intersection photo is so much fun to view and you as a four year old !ReplyDelete
Thanks for the share .
Delicious thoughts. Oh, my husband loves fresh and tasty baked goods. I won't show my husband or he'll want to take a detour to that bakery when we visit Minnesota in July!ReplyDelete
they look great - and a sweet remembrance.ReplyDelete
Wish I had a bismark this morning. Wait I have rainbow trout cooking on the grill.ReplyDelete
The bismarcks we get today are too gooey in the center so I'll take an apple fritter, please!ReplyDelete
Cheers and thanks for the memories,
Bismarcks are great for the memory! I would like to visit your bakery someday. What a great trip down memory lane, I enjoyed the old photos too. Your Grands will appreciate this blog someday:)ReplyDelete
You are certainly right about the mom a pop bakeries making much better stuff.ReplyDelete
I am always stunned to read about someone who goes to another country, especially as a teen. Not knowing the language or customs had to be daunting. You come from courageous stock TB.ReplyDelete
Good to know the delicious family business is still thriving.
Wonderful and fascinating post, and I love old photos!ReplyDelete
Oh, weren't those small bakeries the best? Nothing better than fresh pastries on Sunday mornings. MmmmReplyDelete
Mmmm....fresh baking makes it much easier to remember and think. ;)ReplyDelete
I love this walk down memory lane. Funny how food and memory can be linked. I need to get a voice recorder and start "listening" to my mom and dad before it's too late.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing this piece of nostalgia. Love the old pictures, you were a bonny lad, right enough.ReplyDelete
What a great memory. I hope the Bismarck was just as good as those you remember from your childhood. I loved the photo. Your grandfather looked like such a great man. Well, everyone looks so pleasant and nice. You have good stock.ReplyDelete
I would not have liked living during that time. (I'm to much of a rebel) However I will say that I wish I could see it and experience it. Odd I know. I'm a history buff. I loved the pictures! I think you are wonderful.ReplyDelete
A great set of memories. The two Burgus boys, on my great great grandfather shipped out of the Prussian area to come to US. Went to Pennsylvania then down to Iowa. My late wife's sister still lives over in the area where you have described. I am familiar with the Mounds Park area.ReplyDelete
Warm memories. Love family stories. Did you have those bismarks like you mentioned. I haven't had one in years -- your post made me wishful for one -- barbaraReplyDelete