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DOLORES KRENZELOK FUHRER
INTERVIEW WITH AUNT DOLORES
Interview was taped Jan 17th 2001 at Robert (Bob) and Gerry Krenzelok's home in Walnut Creek California. Dolores Krenzelok Fuhrer and husband Don Fuhrer were visiting brother Bob Krenzelok at the time.
Talking about the Krenzelok family history, Dolores remembers; when my parents came to this country they both ended up in Ladysmith in the Maple Hill area. Elizabeth with her parents Frank and Frances Kellner. And Paul Krenzelok living nearby with his friend Paul Coska's and his family until he got his own place in Maple Hill. The Coska's lived next door over according to the 1910 Census there was Peter age 32, Head of family, wife Susie age 32, Paul and Joseph. Dolores grandfather first came to this country looking for work and a place to live before he sent for Frances and Elizabeth or Berta (Bertha) as she was known as. Frank came over in 1907 and we don't know how he ended up in Ladysmith but probably found work at the paper mill. Frances and Elizabeth came in 1910 and they all went threw Ellis Island. Elizabeth told Dolores that everyone on the ship was sick from the voyage but she wasn't. She did not get sick. After going threw Ellis Island they probably boarded a train for Ladysmith. And maybe Frank met them in New York. They then moved into the house in Maple Hill.
And it was in Maple Hill that her mother met my Dad. Paul was living close by on the corner and probably had his eye on her because she was a cute little blonde. Dolores remembers Elizabeth saying that Paul was very Cute. So, after seeing each other they decided to get married. We think Paul was working at the paper mill at this time. After some time they moved to Duluth and finally ended up back in Ladysmith many years later to start the bakery with the Kobielus's.
Kellner's house in Maple hill. From the left; Possibly Anne, Frances Kellner, Elizabeth, Frances, Dolores and Lillian.
Dolores remembers her grandparents not speaking any English or at least not much. For it was always a little challenging to communicate. Dolores would go to visit her grand parents quite often with sister Betty, Lillian or brother Ed. It was always fun to go out there to visit. They would walk from Ladysmith up the hill by the paper mill and threw the woods to grandma's. Gramma would always offer the children fruit and treats. And as they got older she would give them a little glass of Dandelion wine. The Kellner's always had a cow and Dolores remembers Molly the cow. Brother Robert remembers his grandfather milking the cow on the three-legged stool and as grandfather was milking the cow squirting the kids and having a great time doing this. There was also a pig in a pen and other farm animals. There was also a water well and hand pump.
Frank and Frances Kellner house in 1998.
Frank would stack the hay in large piles out in the field tied with barbwire and one time Betty was chasing Dolores up a haystack where Dolores cut her finger wide open. Dolores went running into the house where her mother bandaged up the finger. It was a bad cut, but back then you just bandaged it up and went on with it. The whole family over the years would go out to visit the grandparents a lot. Dolores remembers going out there with her sister Frances who lived at the time in Chicago, Fran would bring her little children often for a visit. Dolores could never understand what her grandparents were saying so she can only tell us so much. She does remember her grandfather as being very quiet and very nice. Frank and Frances probably worked very hard. Each had so many things to do. Dolores doesn't remember ever getting any hugs but back then people just didn't hug much, life was very tiring. Dolores always looked forward to going out the visit her grandparent because it was always fun out there. Paul her dad seemed to enjoy very much going out to visit too. I think the ties to the old country were very strong. And they all seem to speak mostly Polish. Very little English was being spoken. Elizabeth had gone to a German School back in the old country up to the fifth grade. Paul would always speak broken English and Elizabeth very good English.
Paul and Elizabeth did not speak too much about living in the old country. I'm sure life was hard and talking about it jus wasn't done. Elizabeth did say to Dolores that they lived in a nice town (Witkowitz) and when she went to school in the morning her mother would give her a nickel to buy a bun at the bakery for lunch. Elizabeth would say that there was a lot of Gypsies living there and you always had to watch out for them. And one day she was walking around and a Gypsy said I'll give you some candy if you give us your earrings. So Elizabeth gave them the old family earrings for the candy and when she got home her mother asked her where were the earrings? Elizabeth told her mother she gave them the earrings for the candy and her mother was very mad and gave her a good crack! Elizabeth told Dolores they came to America because of revolution and the times were bad. Everyone wanted to go to America!
When Frank went off to America to pave the way Frances and Elizabeth stayed with Frances's sister who was pretty well off. When staying there Elizabeth remembers her aunt being a little tuff on her. They would have candy up on a shelf and Elizabeth cousin could go and have some but if Elizabeth tried to reach up to the shelf, they would not let her take it. They were very selfish. We don't know the name of the sister or family. Paul's family and Elizabeth's family did not know each other in Europe.
Paul and Elizabeth stayed in Ladysmith for a while. Paul continued to work at the paper mill. Then sometime later they packed up and moved to Duluth. In Duluth Frances and Anne were borne. Note: Anne says that when trying to get her Social Security information she was informed that just Baby Girl was written down, no name. Anne had to fill out the paper work to get her name on it. While in Duluth Paul worked at a bakery deli and may have started a small bakery. The idea of starting a bakery in Ladysmith came up from John and Martha Kobielus. Elizabeth wasn't to happy about moving back to Ladysmith, she was very happy in Duluth. So they packed it up again and moved back to Ladysmith. The 1920 Census put them living at or next door to Elizabeth's parents in Flambeau Town (Maple Hill). Fran age 5, Anne age 3 and Paul 1 . It is possible that Paul work at the paper mill until 1922 when the Bakery opened up. Later on Dolores remembers the Kobielus's and playing with their children. She remembers the family as very nice. Sometime later Paul and Elizabeth moved into the house on 4th Street. Dolores remembers the house and remembers not like living there. The Ducommuns (likely misspelled) live close by and Dolores said I hated the neighbors , I hated the boys referring to Orville and his brothers. Dolores also said They were like guys from the old West or something. The 1930 Census puts the Krenzelok's living on 4th street. Paul is the head of house age 40, Elizabeth, wife age 33, Fran age 16, Anne age 14, Paul age 11, Joseph age 9, Bette age 6, Robert age 4 , Ed age 3 and Dolores age 1 . Lillian was not borne at this time. Dolores said she was borne at the hospital.
The Paper Mill in Ladysmith around 1913. Frank Kellner may have lost two fingers here. Paul Krenzelok worked here for a short time around 1920 and may have worked in the wood industry when he first came to Ladysmith from the old country. Robert Krenzelok remembers hearing that their neigbhors in Maple Hill, Paul or Joseph Coska fell off the water tower while working on it and lived to tell about it.
Dolores remembers the house on 4th street: We had a wood stove in the Kitchen, where her mother would boil the water on one side and cooked on the other side. The bathroom was off the kitchen. That's where Dolores remembers smashing her finger on the door. She was chewing on some licorice and after she got sick and never liked licorice again! Paul also use to bring home treats for the children. Dolores says My Dad was good about bringing us kids treats. Dolores remember her father as an easy going Happy go Lucky Guy and the most easy going guy there ever was. Dolores said that this is where the Krenzelok's get that easy smile. There was a living room, but she doesn't remember it too much. She remembers out on the porch a big swing. She remembers sleeping on the couch next to the bathroom because she always had to be close to it. They had a good size back yard. She doesn't remember where everyone slept, but more than one had to sleep together. She remembers all the time sitting down and eating dinner together. At dinnertime everyone was allow to talk and do what they wanted. They always eat together who ever was home. Ma always fixed a big meal at noon. Ma used to work hard back then, she wash clothes by hand. It seemed she was always doing dishes, cooking and cleaning.
Pa coming home was always a big deal. He was always bringing home day old rolls, they never had fresh rolls when they were living on 4th street. It was always the day old stuff! Dolores remembers having Guinea pigs in the back yard, brother Robert said they had chickens but Dolores doesn't remember that. There was some kind of big barn garage out back; the boys would hang around in there. Pa had a car most of the time, but she doesn't remember what kind. She thinks she went to kindergarten at the West Side School and she walked there because it was close. From there they moved to town, she was 5 at the time and then all the kids enrolled in the Catholic school. My Dad never gave me a licking! Dolores remember Pa playing his Accordion at night and weekends the whole family would gather around to hear Pa play. She still remembers one song Oh Johnnie, Oh Johnnie how you can love and he would kind of sing that too. If you are ever at Don and Dolores's ask her to show you Pa's old accordion. Pa use to love to play his accordion. Note: if you look at the old and new pictures of our relatives in Poland you will see accordions in the pictures to this day.
Dolores remembers her mother as quite, unless she got mad then you might get a Crack. Dolores said she probably had it coming. With raising so many children and all the hard work she did it was no wonder. Mother's have to take care of the kids all the time, no wonder us kids got a good crack sometimes. Dad's are the easy guys on the other side Dolores says.
Dolores and sister Anne's daughter Carolyn.
Dolores remembers her Brothers and sisters: I remember first hearing that Ma had a baby that died at child birth while on a trip to Chicago visiting sister Fran in the late 1940s. They were all talking about there big family when Fran said, Ma had another one that died at birth it was a surprise. Fran knew a lot of things that no buddy else knew. Ma and her were very close and were on the phone a lot. . Note: if you go to the Court House in Ladysmith you can find the birth records. Dolores remembers her oldest sister Fran as always being very generous person and would begin home gifts for everyone when she came to visit. Very soft hearted and you didn't want to hurt her feelings and when you went to Chicago to visit she would take you all over the place and show you everything. Dolores remembers sister Anne as working a lot when she was young. Anne married Dave Closs who was working for Pa. Pa hired Dave and taught him how to bake. Anne has always been a hard worker.
Dolores would always enjoy when Anne and the children would come up to the bakery for a visit. Dolores remembers her brother Paul as happy like her dad and loved to joke around. Pa and Paul got along very good working with each other in the bakery. Dolores's husband Don does remember Paul walking off the job once, but it was no big deal and it was over before it was started. Before the war working at the bakery was Pa, Paul, Joe, Anne, Dave Closs and Bud Cobb. Bud was an old neighbor from 4th street. He lived across the street. He was a close friend of the family. Dolores remembers Bud living with his grandmother with the name of Bowmount. Pa taught him to be a baker too. Pa also trained another guy by the name of Gene Callaway who work during the war but there wasn't enough work and so he left. She remembers her brother Paul marrying Marie Hauser over at the Tony Church. It was a big wedding and a lot of fun; they got married as a double wedding with Marie's sister. Dolores remembers Paul dating Marie who was working at Speidel's drug store down town. Dolores remembers Paul going into the drug store to visit Marie, Marie was very good looking. They both hit it off very well.
Dolores remembers everything about her brother Joe (Joseph). Joe was a hard worker and liked all he made to be just right. He could get a little mad sometimes and you better run when he did, but he always had a smile for you and was enjoyable to work with. You could hear Joe singing as he worked and all the fine cakes, rolls, pies and all the other many fine things he made with pride. Joe enjoyed having fun when he wasn't working. Paul and Joe hung around each other when they were young. Note: Robert Krenzelok remembers always wanting to tag along with his two older brothers. They didn't like it and Robert would always be seen tagging along at a distance.
Dolores and brother Joe.
When Paul was younger he was in charge of selling The Minneapolis Star Journal for the Ladysmith area. He hired the boys and girls for the paper routes and picked up the Newspapers when the Soo Line delivered them, then he had the papers sold that day, the money was sent back to the Newspaper in Minneapolis later that day on the returning Soo Line. Paul had a good size crew working for him including his brother Ed and sister Dolores. Dolores's route was to walk around town and jump on the waiting train and sell her newspapers. One day while selling papers in town she had one paper left and a man walked up to Dolores who was saying Minneapolis Star 2 Cents the man said, If you know what my name is, I will give you a dollar Well, Dolores said No, I don't know your name . Well it was Babe Ruth and he gave her the dollar anyways and that would be the last time she would ever see him. Paul was around 19 and Dolores around 8 or 9 at the time. Dolores remembers getting around a ? of cent per paper.
The paper sold for around 2 cents at the time. She ran home to tell the family whom she met! At the end of each week Paul would have an Ice Cream contest, whoever eat the most ice cream would get a prize. Dolores was the only papergirl. They would sell a lot of Newspapers in those days. Robert says he too worked for Paul selling newspapers. He worked from about the age of 10 to when he was in High school. He remembers the Newspaper Company would provide some of the gifts to the paperboys and girl (Dolores) that Paul would give to the winner. Sometimes it was a trip to Minneapolis to a baseball game or other big event. This included a overnight stay in the Hotel. These gifts were for getting the most new customers or selling the most papers.
The Star Tribune Company of today has its roots in four newspapers whose beginnings are interwoven with the history of Minnesota: The Minneapolis Tribune, The Minneapolis Times, The Minneapolis Daily Star and The Minneapolis Journal.
The Minneapolis Journal, an evening paper, was launched in 1878. The Minneapolis Times began publication as a morning and Sunday newspaper in 1899; it was purchased by the Tribune in 1905 and its name was used in various forms until 1948. Another evening paper, The Minnesota Daily Star, was launched in 1920 and changed its name to The Minneapolis Daily Star in 1924; it later became known as simply The Minneapolis Star
Dolores remembers sitting around the table with the family and listening to the radio the day the Japanese hit Pearl Harbor. I remember this real clear she says. We were sitting around the table that Sunday December the 7th and they declared War on Japan. And a week later Joe was drafted into the Army. Joe decided to go into the Air Force. The Air Force was a part of the Army at that time. Joe was gone for four years spending time in Italy and on the Island of Trinidad, which is on the Northeast end of South America. Joe was a Master sergeant and with this crew repaired the banged up B-24 Liberators that came in. While on the Island of Trinidad the B-24 Liberators were involved in U-Boat patrol in the Battle of the Atlantic. He was station there when his sister Bette die and he flew home. Dolores remembers how bad the family felt about the boys going to war. When the war was over Joe would come back to Ladysmith and continue being a part of the family bakery business
Posted by Lillian's daughter Therese and their family: Dolores upstairs in the bakery at Christmas time. We need a date.
When asked about her sister Bette: Bette was 21 when she died. And she died of TB of the bone and Spiral meningitis, which she caught in the hospital. Bette worked in the bakery just like the other brothers and sisters. She would wrap bread, frost cakes, cookies and rolls and wait on customers. Bette never liked working in the bakery a when she graduated from high school she went to work at the office of Triple A for Marie Hauser Krenzelok's father. She went to St Mary's parochial school just like all the other Krenzelok children, and was in the Class of 1941 at Ladysmith High School. Bette had a pleasing personality, very pretty, soft-spoken and very seldom got bad at anyone. Dolores remember the many friends Bette had. Dolores remembers Bette going to the dances a lot and Dolores always wanted to tail along after her. But Dolores couldn't go because she was too young. When Bette died Dolores remembers how hard her mother took it, but remember Pa taking it even harder. It was a very sad time for the Krenzelok family. Bette was sick at home before she went into the hospital. Dolores remembers helping to take care of her sister at home.
Dolores remembers her brother Robert working in the bakery like everyone else. Also playing with the only neighbors with children the Martins who lived behind the bakery. The Martin's had a large family and everyone seems to remember them as a little on the tuff side. Dolores remembers her brother Ed who was a year older than her and going around town selling fish that Paul and Joe would catch for about a nickel a fish. They would sell any kind of fish her brothers would catch and they sold them all! She also remembers going to the Unique Theatre across the street from the bakery. Her and Eddie would go in back of the theatre and find the tickets torn in two and paste them back together again. She felt the owners always knew what they were up to but never made a big deal about it. Back then they would watch weekly shows that continue each week like Flash Gordon. You just couldn't wait to see what would happen next week! Getting into the theatre back then was a dime. Her brother Robert remembers the one time that Pa gave Joe a dime for the theatre and Joe lost it. That was it for Joe going to the movies! Years later the Unique Theatre burnt down. The Unique Theatre had been there a long time.
Dolores and Don's wedding.
Dolores remembers her sister Lillian as doing very well in school and got good grades. Dolores was about 1 year older than her sister. Dolores remembers getting fair grades in school. Lillian worked in the bakery also, and was on a lot of school activities. Lillian met her husband to be in Ladysmith. Russell Jensrud was in town visiting his Navy buddy Wayne Robinson. Well Lillian and Russell hit it off and decided they would get married around 2 weeks later. Dolores remembers Russell coming up to the house to meet the family; he seemed like a nice guy and enjoyed having lots of fun. They got married in Ladysmith and it was a fun wedding. Russell had brought up some friends in their band to play in the wedding and remembers them also driving around town playing music.
Talking about her brother's Paul and Joe: Joe worked in the bakery and made all the donuts, cookies, cakes, butter rolls and there wasn't to many things he didn't make Dolores says and everything had to be perfect! Joe like Paul had a very high standard when it came to what they made for the bakery. Dolores says Paul was the bread and bun maker and filled in where ever he was needed. Paul also did most of the delivering of the bakery goods. When asked about the everyday routine of the bakery: Dolores says the Pa wasn't in there too much when she was growing up. Sometime after the war Pa started working less in the bakery. He still came down to help with the donuts and cleaning up. It was good to see Pa not having to work so hard after so many years of hard work. So pretty much after the war Paul and Joe ran the bakery. But Pa was still the boss. Sunday was the only day off for the bakery. And during deer hunting season the bakery would close down for a week. At this time everyone would go on vacation. The first thing that would happen everyday is that someone would have to turn on the oven. The oven was originally fired with coke, then fuel oil and finally gas. The oven would have to be turned on at 9:00 the night before. If someone was living at home they would do it. Later Paul or Joe would take turns turning on the oven and coming in early. There was just a switch on the wall to turn the oven on. You would have to open the dampeners. The oven would be ready to go at 3:00 am in the morning.
Dolores and Joseph's wife Helen.
Paul and Joe went by weeks coming in. Who ever week in was that person would come in at 3:00am. The next man would come in about 1hour to an hour and half later. They would start mixing the dough's. The bread dough's would be first and then the different dough's would be next. But the time the second man arrived he would have some dough to work with. Dough for sweet rolls would be next, this dough would be for Orange coconut rolls, almond rolls, cinnamon rolls and all the other donuts and roll that the bakery made. Paul worked by the ovens and Joe worked in the back on the big donut bench over by the side door and mixer. Joe would make donuts, bismarks, fried cinnamon rolls, long johns, and everything else back on the fry line. About this time Dolores and Ann would come in around 7:00am and start doing their jobs. Dolores would start to slice the bread; the dark breads would be ready to slice and wrap. Dolores would then start to frost the sweet rolls. The frosting was made out of powdered sugar, shortening, vanilla , salt and water. Ann would start decorating cakes or whatever needed to be done. Note: Robert remembers that years after Frank Kellner would deliver milk to the bakery a milkman in his truck delivered milk to the bakery and the neighbors. The milk at one time came in large metal containers and the cream would rise to the top. Paul would take the cream off the top and whip it for the cream puffs. Dolores remember spying on her brother Joe. Joe and friend Spike Straton would times go down into the basement and drink Rum and Coke. This was probably in the early years. Another story Robert Krenzelok remembers is one day Eddie was out collecting bottles when someone told him about a bunch of bottles over there. Eddie with his pull wagon headed out and picked up the bottles. Brother Paul out delivering in the bakery truck saw his brother loaded down and picked him up. They didn't know that someone had broken into a railroad car and stolen a few cases of beer and the railroad Dick's were watching the empty bottles. They watch Eddie picking up the bottles and then brother Paul picking Eddie up. When Paul and Eddie got back to the bakery the Railroad Detectives tried to arrest Paul for being the ringleader. Paul and Eddie told them their stories and were let off the hook. This is one of many Krenzelok stories we are trying to collect.
Now back to the bakery:After this Paul was rolling out more dough for breads, they would make about 300 loafs of bread a day. It all depended on the year and season. However much they made they would always sell all of it. They also made lots of buns and if it was bun day to go to the schools they would make around a hundred and some dozen. The bread and buns would be delivered to the schools. And after Joe got done with the fried cakes he would start mixing up dough for cookies. The bakery everyday would make around 3 different kinds of cookies. Some of the cookies were the Date filled, sugar cookies, chocolate chip, jelly rocks, ginger cookies. The bakery had about 20 different types of cookies they would make. Then Joe would make the cakes, Joe like Paul was a busy guy! Joe would make one or two kinds of cakes a day. Sometime it would be chocolate or banana and if it was wedding cakes usually white cake. When there was wedding cakes to be made there would be a little more work. Joe would also make lots of cupcakes. Right about now Paul would be rolling out buns and parker house rolls and probably has another batch of dough in the proof box. The proof box was a large metal box with a small heating element and rocks with a can of water. Any dough that needed rising would go in for around an hour or so. Paul would check out the rising dough and if it looked ready he would take his peel and into the oven it would go. Paul baked his bread at 400 degrees. When the cakes were going in the oven it was around 12:30 in the afternoon. Cakes were not ready to sell until later in the day. Dolores and whoever was there to help would frost the cupcakes. The last batch of bread would come out around 1:00 in the afternoon. Ann would be decorating birthday cakes and she helped Paul baking the breads and buns. The bakery would make lots of birthday cakes and Ann would do all the decorating. They would make extra cakes and keep them in the cooler ready for special orders. In the morning the special birthday cakes would be made. The bakery also made a lot of sheet cakes for all kinds of special events; Ann would also decorate these cakes. Sometimes during Graduation the bakery would have 100 cakes to make and decorate. Dolores says: Ann did all the decorating
Clean up started in the afternoon, with Paul or Joe's kids coming in to earn a little extra money and help out. Dolores worked from 7:00am to 3:00 in the afternoon. The bakery would close up around 5:30 or 6:00. Paul would go home around 3:00 and would go home and take a shower and clean up and come back around 5:00 and deliver anything that needed delivering. Joe would go home around 4:00 or so. They did this 6 days a week. Week after week. Everyone worked very hard! The bakery never had too many leftovers.
For many years the family lived upstairs. And one by one as the children got older the children moved away. But all the children always would come by or come home to visit Pa and Ma and there was always a lot going on upstairs. Ma continued to make breakfast and dinner for who ever wanted to come up for a bight to eat. And at 6:00 she would cook supper. There was always a place to stay on a visit. And every Christmas the whole family would be there, sometimes as many as 40 of the family. The family continued to get larger and larger. Note: For me being one of the grandchildren I had so many fond memories of going up those long stairs to where the family lived. I remember the kitchen and the kitchen table, the rooms on the side and back. The living room and windows overlooking the street and the dining table with a lace table cloth. And Grampa and Gramma's bedroom. And I'll never forget Grampa sitting in his rocking chair smoking a cigar in the little porch overlooking the street. They both would make us feel so special when we came for a visit. It broke my heart to see the pictures in the Ladysmith News paper taking down the bakery building after the 2002 tornado. It was like all my memories being crushed. In the later years Grampa would have a little more time to enjoy himself, spending a little more time down at Taylor's visiting with friends. And later Ma would finally have a little time just to watch a little TV which she enjoyed doing.
Dolores says: Ma use to enjoy coming down stair to see what was going on. If it was Easter time when I was busy frosting 100's of dozen's of cookies, she would help me put the sprinkles on. Ma would just to come down and be surrounded by her children and family. Ma always made a little extra cash by making and selling fudge, penuche, and sea foam. She would sell it in the front case and would always go over very good and she would sell it all.
Remembering a few stories: I remember when Lillian had Scarlet fever, she was about 10 at the time. Ma, Dolores and Lillian were quarantined upstairs and no one could come upstairs. I remember my brother Bob putting our food in a bucket on a rope and we would have to pull it upstairs. I was mad at Lillian because I didn't have it and she had it and was getting all of the attention. Dolores and husband Don remembers when the electric mixer broke down and they had to mix all the dough and batters by hand. What a job that was to mix everything. The repairman was in Minneapolis so it took a while for him to get out to the bakery. We would have to mix in small batches. We always use King Midas flour and it can at that time in cloth bags. Sometimes we would buy it from the feed mill store in the early years. And then later on a truck would deliver it to the bakery and it was in paper bags. In the very early days the locals would supply the bakery with milk, eggs and whatever was needed. Grampa Kellner sold us the milk from his cow for many years. Later now trucks brought in all the supplies.
At Christmas time the bakery was in full swing, and a very busy time for us. But Christmas was always a very special time of the year. Christmas eve everyone came up to the house. Everyone would bring all the children dressed in their good clothes. It was wonderful, the tree was decorated a couple of days before and stay up until Jan the 6th. Ma would serve some kind of fish for before midnight and then Ma and the girls put on a big buffet for after midnight, we could not eat any meat until after midnight. We would all have a few drinks to celebrate Christmas Eve and all of us being together. On Christmas when we were real little each of us would receive one present and we would open it on Christmas Eve. Dolores says: I always got a Doll, I always loved Dolls and I do to this day. I still have a Doll I won in a popularity contest when I was about 11 or so. I won this from the Drug Store. Pa was always in a happy mood. Some of us would go to Midnight Mass in the snow. Pa would always like to go in the morning. If you went to Midnight Mass we would come home and have more eats, drinks and open presents. On Christmas day we would have chicken and lot of special food. Ma always liked to cook chicken on Sundays. Ma would always have Jell-O, I always liked Jell-o too
Ed, Dolores, Robert and Lillian in back of the Bakery, Ladysmith Wisconsin.
Remembering Ma and Pa: My dad was the easiest going guy there ever was. In the afternoon Pa would tell Ma that he was going around the corner to Taylor's to play cards and have a drink with some friends. He would come back home before 6:00 for supper and after would go back down to Taylor's. Later on when Dolores was older and was home, Pa would want to know if I wanted to go with him. He would say in his broken English I buy, I buy. Sometimes I would go with him and we would have a beer and a shot and shake dices or play cards like Smear. When they would shake dice we would play a game called Ship's captain and crew. It was 6,5,4 and you had to get closest to 12 would win. They would play for a quarter a shake or whatever was the mood. 3 to 5 people would play and high point takes the pot. If they played Smear in was a dollar a game and 50 cents a set, if you got set you would have to pay the extra 50 cents. Ma didn't like to go out with him at night. Paul enjoyed wearing his Suede Hat when he went out. Pa went to Taylor's almost everyday until he went into the hospital and passed away.
Talking about her dad passing away: Pa died of Cancer of the lining of the stomach. I never hear Pa complaining about his stomach. Note: Paul was probably not one to complain. The first day I found out about this was when Ma was in Chicago visiting Fran. Pa was sitting up in his rocking chair on the small porch overlooking the front street and getting ready to go some place. And I said to Pa I'll tie your shoes for you his feet were kind of swelled up. Then he said something about having black stools. I mentioned that to Joe the next day and Joe said we better call the doctor. The doctor and my dad were good friends and the doctor said, bring him in for a check-up. So we took Pa downtown for a check-up and I don't know what happen between Pa and the doctor, but the doctor told Joe and I that he thought Pa better go into the hospital. When Pa did go into the hospital they found his blood count was about 4 when it should be around 50, Pa was bleeding in the inside. Up to this time Pa seemed just fine. When he was in the hospital friends started volunteering to give blood, Pa had quite a few transfusions. Ma and me would go visiting him through out the day. One day Pa told me that Joe and I just brought him here to die. Pa didn't like it in the hospital and Dolores told him that tomorrow she would get a hospital bed and bring him home. Well, tomorrow came and my dad died that day. Pa died pretty fast, 2 weeks he was in and out. When asked about the funeral: Do you want to know something funny? I don't remember Pa or Ma's funeral. The grieve was just too much to remember. But we know that Paul's funeral was large and the whole town came out to say good bye to Paul their friend, father and baker.
Dolores and brother Joe.
When asked about her Mom: Ma always loved her children very much. Each one of us was special to her. And Ma would always do something special for each of us children. None of us will ever know just how hard Ma worked to take care of her husband and family, all 9 of us children. One little story Dolores remembers is When I would buy her presents, she would say Lillian knows where to put it, she knows how to put stuff better Dolores would buy Ma pictures and furniture and things like that. And I didn't like it because I bought it. If I liked burnt pork chops, my mother would make me burnt pork chops. And if there was Jell-O she would put some aside for me when I would come bye the house. Each of us kids Ma, did something special for in a different way. Dolores says: I was a little independent, and I didn't like anyone telling me anything. So every once in a while Ma would send Joe after me, and one time I said something like I hate Ladysmith and it was in the evening and I thought I was really in trouble so I ran away and I went down in the bakery and we had flour piled up real high. So I climbed to the top of it and hid. I laid there until I knew everyone went to bed because I knew I was going to get it! I came down and went upstairs to bed and I never got it.
Ma always wore her hair up in a pug. And one time we talked her into getting a permanent and I wish we wouldn't have, it was more work with the permanent and was never right. Later when I had children every time Julie or Patti would get sick, Ma would make herself sick with her diabetes. When Pa was still alive he enjoyed having Patti on his lap and telling her what a good girl she was because she never cried.
When asked about what led up to Dolores taking care of her mother: Ma was taking to much medicine and brother Paul said that I should quit work and take care of Ma. And so I did and Ma came to live at our house. When we were building our house and knew she would be coming to live with us I heard Ma mention to daughter Fran I hope Dolores doesn't put me in a nursing home, I don't want to go in any nursing home. Dolores told her mother you are never going to go into a nursing home. We would all go out and check on the new house and we finally moved in with Ma. Ma loved the outside porch; she just loved than outside porch. Ma was no work Dolores says, as far as dealing with her. Of course it's a lot of work being a caregiver and Dolores loved having her mother at home to take care of her. Ma never complained about anything, never once did she complain. But one time Ma asked me why I was so crabby? I told her I was tired. And one time I went out Bowling with my league and I told Ma Now Patti is going to stay with you tonight, and so she is going to help you, and I'll be back. So when I got home Patti said to me, Gramma wouldn't even let me help her and went to bed with her clothes on. So I said to Ma, why did you do that, why didn't you let Patti help you, you hurt her feelings. Don't you ever do that again Dolores said Ma felt bad and told Patti to come over to her and Ma tried to give Patti five dollars. It was just like Ma to give the grandchildren some money! Dolores told Ma that you don't have to give the kids money every time they do something for you. Dolores remembers when they lived at the trailer house in town; Ma would come out to baby sit the kids. Dolores would tell Julie and Patti to go to bed at 7:00pm. And they always laughed about it because they would go to bed and then seek back out and watch TV from the back of Ma's chair. Everyone got along good together when Ma was at our house.
About Ma passing away: Dolores says: I was kind of warren out and needed a break and I asked Joe if he could take Ma for a couple of days so I could get away for a while. Joe said OK and Ma went to their house for the weekend. When I came back I picked up Ma and Ma said Look at my leg Ma had fell and Dolores thought it was just a sore. I told Ma we'll have to go to the doctor and show this to the doctor. So we went to the doctor to have it checked out and the doctor said your mother is going to have to go into the hospital. Ma was mad because I took her to the doctor and we found out she had gangrene in her leg. At the hospital they tried to do everything they could to stop the gangrene but couldn't. Ma couldn't have surgery because of her weak heart and the doctor said I don't think your mother would want to live with one leg. So Ma was in the hospital for about 2 weeks and the family would come to visit her. Fran came home to help and was by her side. Dolores says: I was feeding Ma oatmeal that morning and she just passed away. That's how fast she died. These were very hard times for the family. And very hard for Dolores and her family, that had gotten even closer to her living together. Dolores was thankful for the time she had with her mother. The family had decided not to tell Ma that she had gangrene in her leg, they knew she just couldn't take the bad news. Ma passed away peacefully. Like her father's funeral, Dolores doesn't remember her mothers too. Maybe that's a blessing. Elizabeth was 81 when she died and Pa was 72 when he passed into the hands of the Lord.
Lower right: Dolores husband Don, Patti and Julie
Note: I would like to thank My Aunt Dolores for sitting down with me, and taking the time to do this recording. It's not always easy to just take the time and sit down and talk about the pass. And how fast the pass gets lost if we don't. Please always take the time to sit down and find out all you can about your family. They will not be there forever.
Taped in Jan. 2001
DOLORES'S HUSBAND DON
Corporal Don Fuhrer was a part of the US Army's 12th Armored Infantry Battalion, company D and stationed at Worms, Germany during the Korean War. Don's wife Dolores told me that at the time of overseas embarkation the men were in line waiting to be loaded on ships and one man was told to go left on a ship headed for the Korean war and the next man would be told to go right headed to Europe to be part of the WW2 occupation army force. Don was told to go to the right, it would have been a very different story if he would have been told to go left.
In the summer of 2005 at the family reunion I had a chance to sit down with Don and Dolores and tape his military and family history. In the future I will transcribe the tape and post it here on the website.
Don on the right while stationed in Germany around 1954.
Don on the right while stationed in Germany around 1954.
The above pictures were taken at Don and Dolores home in Wisconsin in the summer of 2005.
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