Richard and Rose Get Spooney

She looks as if she likes him, doesn't she? He looks as if he ought to be twirling his mustache.

circa 1903

The family tradition is that Rose (who was known as Nana by the time I met her) was a hard-livin' pistol. Richard died at age 48, and she had three more husbands after him, and lived to be 78. In her old age she had become autocratic and intimidating. Well; maybe she was entitled.

The second and third photos were probably taken on the banks of the Mississippi River or the Missouri River. Mirtschings always liked being on the water. Richard belonged to a rowing club, and my grandparents Charles and Anna had a small boat and spent most of their leisure and vacation time on the river, and camping and picnicking on the banks. Leonard, of course, grew up and joined the Navy; but he never did much care for the ocean. A river is a homier kind of thing.


Choo Choo Papa

Here is our great-great grandfather.

Here he is with his first wife, Anna Laupoid Mirtsching (holding a dog, which I dearly wish were more than half in the picture), and his younger son, Richard Max Mirtsching. Yikes! That sad smirk on Anna's face is very familiar -- I see it in the mirror all the time. 

circa 1905

This is Choo Choo Papa's older son, Charles W. Mirtsching. I don't know if he had any other children.

circa 1880

The family nickname derived from the fact that Choo Choo Papa was an early adopter of the automobile. Here he is with Charles Henry Mirtsching (fifty years later to become known as Paw Paw), Anna Laupoid, and Rose Fuchs Mirtsching, Richard's wife. Richard and Rose were Paw Paw's parents, and our great grandparents. (Richard might have been taking the picture.)

circa 1905

Okay, so who was the wise guy who glued the labels on the photos? Which cannot be removed and believe me, I've tried? And who also glued these photos, with their horrible little labels, to a poster-sized piece of cardboard, along with about twenty others, using criminal amounts of glue?

Or put it another way. Who was the linear-thinking, methodical individual who documented these details and grouped these photographs for our benefit? 

It was Leonard, of course, bless his heart.


Cowboys and Indians

The cowboy -- or girl, or whatever -- got to wear the cowbody hat and holster and pistols, and the Indian had to wrap a towel around his head. Since I was five and Kurt was four, you know how that turned out. Though he doesn't seem to mind. He has always been a sweetheart.

September 1962

Leonard & Padi Get Married

Leonard and Padi were married on September 16, 1955, in Washington, Missouri. They are the cutest!

Leonard, Padi and the Garter

Marian and Frances Drennen, Padi's sister and mother

Anna and Carol Mirtsching, Leonard's mother and sister

Charles and Anna Mirtsching, Leonard's parents, and
Frances and Tom Drennen, Padi's parents

Carol, Leonard, Padi, Marian, and Padi's brother Tommy

Rich Wiedemann, Leonard's cousin and life-long best friend,
 Leonard, Padi, and Joan McSalley, a close family friend

Leonard and Padi and rice

Leonard and Padi and champagne

Leonard and Padi and the getaway ride

(Or, if they're your parents, Eww!)


Anna Rides in Paw Paw's Sweater

This sweater was a very dark green and the collar, cuffs and wrists are bright orange. The whole sweater weighed about 25 lbs. It was given to me by my grandfather, Charles Mirtsching. He received that sweater from a girl friend who made it for him to wear under his leather jacket that he wore while riding motorcycles in St. Louis, Mo in the 20s. The story goes that Charles Lindburgh also rode with him and his friends because the clubs were all based out of Lambert Field in St. Louis. Paw Paw gave me that sweater because I was now riding motorcyles - the first of which was a 1950 800cc BMW followed by a 1970 500cc Triumph Trophy. I believe that in this photo I'm on my friend Lindy Fralin's BSA. I am about 20 yrs old - ca. 1980, Arlington, Virginia. Living in Key West, Florida 28 years later, I now ride a little bright green scooter. Ahhh - the years go by. Anna