This, of course, is Mrs. T standing behind a favorite shrub, next to our driveway. It's name is Red Prince Weigela. No, not red haired Prince Harry of England, whose grandmother the Queen, recently wholeheartedly, breaking all tradition, approved his engagement to bi-racial divorced, movie star, Catholic, and beautiful Meghan. My favorite prince was Prince Otto Von Bismarck, who united the German States in the 1860s, made the Prussian King into an Emperor thru a few successful wars and created a peace till WWI long after he retired. Under his leadership Germany was the first country to establish modern social security for its people.
Fortunately, my peace loving Lutheran great grandfather decided to bring his draft eligible sons to America during those early wars of unification. Thus my early American German heritage rests on the practice of draft dodging. The old saw of "play a marching tune and Germans will line up in parade ready to march off to war" was not universally true...:
My favorite prince, Otto von Bismarck
This all brings us to my grandfather. Karl (Charles) Wilhelm (William) Potthoff who came to America alone as a teenager in 1868. I, his grandson by his youngest son, was born the 1941 just before the beginning of The War. We lived in an apartment on the East Side in St. Paul just a few blocks from my grandparents home. I remember my grandfather arriving at our apartment several times a week with a cane and a small bag in hand. Here he is with me, my grandma and my parents a few years later in 1948.
So what was in that little white bag my Grandpa carried and that I'm still addicted to?
Yes, it was Bismarck's named after my favorite German besides my immigrant Grandpa...:)
Bismarck was certainly a fascinating leader. Lucky you to have a grandpa who brought a bag of treats and interesting history!ReplyDelete
I think I would become addicted to them pretty darn quickly, too. :-)ReplyDelete
Looks always too good to me, so I tend to indulge when I see themReplyDelete
Hi Troutbirder - I should have put an entry into my recent doughnut and cookie post - lovely history and what fun to see your early family ... I bet you're glad your grandfather came over ... cheers HilaryReplyDelete
Interesting. Your grandfather was brave to travel to America alone at such a young age. I can see I am going to enjoy these tales.ReplyDelete
Nice picture of Mrs. T and an interesting post.ReplyDelete
You tied this together nicely.ReplyDelete
Who knew I would be indebted to Otto in a round about way for my monthly check plus a delightful treat? Thanks TB for the cool history lesson plus back story on your family. I am always amazed at the courageous moves our ancestors made. Would we have done the same?ReplyDelete
Wow! It's good to write about family history.ReplyDelete
RE: aches and pains, I learned much from my friend who had health issues. I find it interesting to share stories, and how you cope.
My hubby has prostate cancer, and I share our journey. I have learned much.
All the best.
YUM! Those bismarcks remind me of the Polish paczcki.ReplyDelete
I look forward to your new direction and stories. It's good to mix things up a bit.
I have been shaking my head for years about Camilla being welcomed into the family...and now Meghan Markel? Seems like the old queen is softening with time???
Dear Troutbirder, I so enjoyed this posting because I have a hunger always to learn about the past and how we became who we are and how we got to where we are.ReplyDelete
I admit to not having a good impression of Bismarck. It's an impression formed, as many are, by little knowledge. So I'm glad to learn that you admire him. I wonder what it is about him that you most admire.
I really enjoyed the photo from 1948 of your grandparents and parents. Your mom's clothing is exactly the type my mom wore then--the hat, the coat, the shoes. There you were--just about 5 years younger than I at the time--in St. Paul, Minnesota, a state in which I settled in Stillwater for 32 years in a lumberjack's 1870 home.
As to liking the Bismarck pastry . . . yes!!!! Peace.
This blog is awesome and very informative keep Sharing this type of blog.ReplyDelete