“Family Archaeologist” explores a century of family letters, diaries, and artifacts, and how they illuminate history and our shared humanity. To get an overview of the blog, click: “Welcome to Family Archaeologist”
LATEST BLOG POSTS
On Veterans Day, I always think of my beautiful, young, handsome Uncle Frank Ebner, whom I never met in person, yet I feel I know intimately. Why? Because I have nearly 300 letters written to and from him from January 1943 to the end of September 1945. Then the letters stopped coming home.
Twenty-five years ago today, August 12, 1994, Mom was lying in a hospital bed in the room we call "the sunroom" in our home because it has eight windows, most facing east and a couple on the south and a window and glass door on the north side, which looks out onto my garden. I wanted Mom to be able [...]
My uncle, Frank Ebner Gartz, known to the family simply as "Ebner," [ABE-ner] was a "prince of a guy," my dad said often. He was also a crack navigator on the B-17 Bomber during World War II. In one of Ebner's letters home, he speaks forthrightly of how he coped, facing death from the carpets of FLAK surging toward him over and over, as German fighter planes buzzed the B-17 to shoot it down. Then a tribute to the 75th anniversary of D-Day, which Ebner also wrote home about.
In May we're called upon to honor our mothers and to increase our awareness of mental health for ourselves, our families, and others. With this post I hope to do both: honor my mother for the anguished choices she alone, as an only child, could make about her mentally ill mother, and bring the choices she had to make at that time into focus in our own time.
Notre Dame Cathedral fire on April 15, 2019 Notre Dame burned just days before my flight to Europe. April 19th, I’ll hop on a jet to cross the pond, flying to Germany to visit two special people. (More on this later.) I had no plans to visit Paris, but any trip to Europe sweeps me back to my [...]
Happy Birthday, "Redlined"! Today, April 3rd, is your special day. I feel like I should buy you a birthday hat, wrap you in colorful streamers, and sprinkle you with confetti! But you’re like the one-year-olds who smear cake all over their face and stare goggle-eyed at the crowd singing to them—clueless.
“I’m an executive!” my mother shouted at her family. “But nobody respects what I do!” An executive? We sniggered. My dad was blatantly dismissive. My brothers, and even I, a young woman of the 1960s and ‘70s,thought she was losing her marbles.
Antarctic Journey My husband, Bill, and I, just returned from a trip to Antarctica, an other-worldly land on the "bottom of the world," traveling on a ship designed to cut through the Antarctic ice. The National Geographic ship, Orion, was a cruise ship built for just this kind of expedition, which was co-sponsored by Lindblad Expeditions. Lindblad originated the idea [...]