Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Walkin' the East Side #8: The Triumphant Return

I have only one more after this one.  I need to get walking again.  There are only 14 photos this time around, due to misbehaving batteries in my camera.  As always, the bulk of the photos will be after the break, but here's something anomalous:
It's a Google Street View car.  Over on Porter Street.  This is actually the last photo I took.  I posted it on Facebook, with the caption "Given the neighborhood, I presume someone stole it."  That's the kind of 'hood I live in, yo'.  Really, I have no idea what it's doing there.  I've checked out my house in Street View just the same as everyone else, and it's obviously an old picture--once upon a time, apparently, the house I live in used to have a wraparound porch!  Anyway...I want that job.

We hit two cemeteries this walk, but most of the photos are from the first one (again, damned batteries).  I was trying again to find the relatives of mine whom I know are buried somewhere near there, so we went to St John's Lutheran Cemetery and then Hermann Sons Cemetery.
This is a beautiful headstone.  For the five people on the Internet not fluent in German (seriously, what is it with nerds and that language?), while Auf Wiedersehen is typically translated merely as goodbye, it can also be held to mean "until we meet again", or "until the next time we see one another".  Either way, a poignant sentiment for a gravestone.

These two are presented together because of the first name.  Erik has a friend from Texarkana named Meta.  Until mid-March, I had never come across that word as a name. Apparently it was the name for German girls in South Texas in 1895, though.  Apparently it was also cursed.  Those were the only two Metas in the cemetery.  Miss Kunkel's parents also had twin boys, Hans und Fritz, who died in 1898.  They just could not get a break.  Again, I had a hard enough time with just my miscarriage, I cannot imagine having three children die like that.  Erik saw the grave of a toddler who died in 2010 in the same cemetery, which we didn't take a photo of for obvious reasons.  A reminder that bad things still happen, even with all the miracles of modern medicine.

 Here rests in God...Several of the older stones in these cemeteries are written in German.  Of course I know the verb geboren, but quite honestly I don't remember what the word for "died" is.  Guess I never had call to use it in junior high/high school.

 This is easily the most impressive single headstone in the cemetery.  The mournful angel is a common funerary motif.
 A decorated grave.  A handful in this cemetery were, but no others to this extent.  The kicker?  Whomever this is died 109 years ago.  I can't find any mention of him online (there are a few Richard Lamberts, but the others all died later), and the grave was not part of a family plot--actually there are very few of these in the cemetery.
 I believe this is the only mausoleum in that cemetery.  The graffiti on the door probably gives you a good idea of why it's shut up tight like it is.  Sometimes I have luck with putting my camera up against a window and shooting the interior, but not this time around.

Hey look, it's a Nobel prize!  Or, er, not.  Can't say as I've ever seen another coin-themed headstone, though.

 It must suck to get to 99 and then keel over nine months before your centennial.  No one remembers the folks who almost lived to 100.  Actually I think I took this photograph 'cause that's one hell of a name.

 This is completely unreadable.  I checked both sides, of course.  None of the others were in such bad condition.

I guess this was the poor man's stone back in 1928.  It looks more like an area marker or a temporary one, and it may well be the latter.  Again, the only one of the sort, and not one I have seen elsewhere.

Over in the Hermann Sons Cemetery, we met a cat.  He was lying between two of the headstones and I thought to begin with he was dead, but he was just lounging.  Friendly thing.  We all petted him and of course Esther wanted to take him home and I had to remind her of the whole "no pets" clause in the lease.  He scared me a bit by following us, but, well...
Quite obviously, that cemetery is his home.  The other weird thing?  There were a lot of red onions in one corner of the cemetery.  They were somewhat scattered.  There was even an HEB bag.  Now, I'd normally just say that someone cutting through lost their bag, but this was off in one corner nowhere near a gate.  Maybe there was an argument with onion-slinging?  Who knows.

Yet again, I did not find my great-grandparents, but I did find this:

Look, it's a Geissler!  Same spelling and everything!  No others anywhere near (this was from the Lutheran cemetery, I think).  A relative?  Perhaps.  The same year of death as at least one of the folks I am looking for, I believe.  Apparently, lots of my father's father's family came over from Germany and then promptly croaked, including my great-grandfather.

I know I should do a grave search, but there are at least three Frederick William Geisslers buried somewhere in this city.  Their habit of naming their children after themselves makes things a wee bit more complicated.  Oh well, could be worse.  One of my paternal aunts married a man named Malford Swett.  I am not making that up.  I think it was Aunt Geneva.

1 comment:

peter d said...

Crazy man. It's interesting that a lot of our ancestors died after getting here. I would guess that gal must be at least a distant relative. Someday it would be cool to know about our family tree.