“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
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 [...]
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY TO ALL ACROSS THE DECADES! Here's an adorable valentine, February 14, 1942, from Lillian Koroschetz to Fred Gartz - before they were married. Love is timeless.
"Russell Baker died Monday at his home in Leesburg, Va. He was 93." That's the opening to the New York Times obituary after the death of one of the twentieth century's greatest newspapermen, memoirist, writer, and overall high quality human being. I didn't know Russell Baker personally, but after reading and rereading his Pulitzer Prize–winning memoir, Growing Up, to the point I could quote passages verbatim, I wanted to know him.