Great Uncle and Aunts

Who would believe the 25th of February is almost here?  I cannot believe how fast the months fly when you have your head in books.  The odd part is that I don’t feel like I am doing a very good job of keeping up with the reading.  I cannot tell you how excited I am for the next semester where they add one more substantive class and remove the writing class.  What will I do with life then?  I need to start working on being more diligent and proactive.

In visiting with a couple of the 2L’s I feel somewhat comforted with the notion of what is called mental fatigue.  I think my eyes finally just accepted the fact they are going to be tired and quit twitching.  Who knows. the twitch probably just moved to my neck or shoulder with a slight noise from the mouth when I do it.  At any rate, this is not a new phenomenon.  I thought perhaps I was going prematurely old or something wrong with the synapses in my brain where I would think one thing and completely say another.  Just today in visiting, rather than saying doctor, I said dentist.  To correct myself, I went to say doctor but somehow defendant come out.  After a short pause, doctor finally came out.  I laughed, Andrew laughed, and the conversation went on.

This weekend was a delightsome weekend.  My Great Uncle Donald and Aunt Lolane Andra came to visit.  They arrived on Friday and left this morning.  They finished their mission around the 6th of February and have been working their way through the country back home.  They stopped for a week in Nauvoo, then a week in Branson, and a weekend in Oklahoma City.  They are next headed to Tucson.  They will spend a few days there and up to St. George for a month or so before up to Chubbuck/Pocatello.  Don and Lolane are sure a lot of fun.  We went to the Western Heritage Museum here in Oklahoma City.  I enjoyed it.  Like most museums though, my feet and knees grew tired of the walking around endless hours on hard floors.  I will need to go back to truly appreciate much of what was there.  We went out to Pops Soda Shop in Arcadia and enjoyed a meal.  Don and Lolane particularly enjoyed it.  We all did.

Sunday we ventured to church.  They thought the ward was very open and friendly.  I am pleased the ward was so open and friendly to them.  It wasn’t quite so much when we got here.  But it certainly has improved.  Afterward we ran out to the Oklahoma City Temple and walked around the grounds and took some pictures.  After serving in the Washington DC Temple for the past 18 months they were quick to notice how tiny the temple is here.  That most certainly is true!  I assured them it was well used and loved.

We wandered off to the Oklahoma City Memorial.  The weather turned out to be beautiful.  It could have been a little warmer, but it was sure a nice day.  They really enjoyed that as well.  It really is a well-done memorial.  We returned to our little home to enjoy a full meal and many hours of games.  We filled much of our time on Saturday with games as well.  We sang some old songs together, chatted about old times, visited about family, and genuinely had fun.

On a sad note, I also received news that my Great Aunt Lillian Jonas Talbot passed away on Friday.  She was born in 1930 and lived in Layton, Utah.  She was the sister of my Grandpa I knew the least growing up.  She was the one who let me borrow my Great Grandma’s journals to type them up which are available here on the blog.  She was also the one who had my Great Grandma’s photo albums and let me borrow them to pick out the photos and scan them.  So I came to know her considerably more in the past 10 years.  Apparently she had been to the temple on Friday and she came home and sat down in the chair in the living room and was playing with the dog a little.  When my cousin came back from a run to Walmart, she thought she was taking a nap.  But when she came in, she was gone.  How is that for peaceful and quick?  I hope I am as fortunate.  The funeral will be on Wednesday.  I wish I could go but the cost and time from school are too much for the moment.  I wish the family all the best.

Amanda will surely post some photos from the weekend on our joint blog.  It was an eventful and productive weekend.  Now time to start making up what studying I did not get done!

MTC anniversary

The 28th was the 10 year anniversary of when I was supposed to enter the MTC.  Time has certainly flown!  Who would ever have thought then I would be in law school 10 years later.  I wonder how many people even thought I would attend law school.  Who knows what they thought I was going to end up doing.  I was glad to be able to go on a mission.  The first eggnog of the season found its way into our refrigerator.  Boy does it bring back memories of may Christmas’ from long ago.  I know, we haven’t even hit Thanksgiving yet.  I guess the eggnog is just early.  I had a happy tummy for a day or two, regardless of the season.

One of my school buddies is looking at the home next door.  Wouldn’t that be great to have neighbors who I went to school with?  We could work on our homes together, we could have parties.  I could ride to school with Andrew and Amanda could sleep in for another hour.  She would be happy about that.  We will have to wait and see.  Since they probably cannot get into the home by themselves, we are taking about signing with them.  The great thing is the house is owned by a trust.  Both of the parents have died and the family really just wants to sell it, even for about 2/3rds of its value.  So we worked it out that in signing with them, they would share a portion of what they make on the house when they sell it in a couple of years.  All the more incentive for me to help when they are fixing it up!

Last night was the last of my classes.  I did not mind it was on Halloween.  I never cared much for the holiday.  Besides, what better way to remember the dead on Halloween than teaching a class on family history and new FamilySearch?  There was wonderful attendance all 4 classes.  I am relieved it is completed.  On that note, the temple work continues forward at a wonderful pace.  I received over 75 completed cards in the mail this week.

It has been a quick, but dragging week.  I have felt somewhat oppressed in soul.  Nothing I can attribute it to other than just weariness and exhaustion.  A good number nights of sleep have helped me recover.  However, I fear I will not completely recover from Contracts.  I really like Torts and Civil Procedure.  I could do with more understanding in Contracts and perhaps I would enjoy it more.  I started outlining it today.  We got about 1.5 chapters completed.  I got a headache by that point so we called it for the day.  I am not sure if it was Contracts or the salty pretzels.

We watched The Kite Runner last night.  I really enjoy shows like that where I get to see some insight into other cultures.  I enjoyed it.  The insight into Afghanistan and Pakistan were very interesting.  I would really like to learn that language and travel those nations.  A whole world to learn.

I finished Deuteronomy this week.  I enjoyed it.  The end reminds me much of a General Conference talk.

Here are a couple more of updates on stories about the family.  Here are some more stories I received about the family from two individuals.  Most of them are about my Grandparents, but I also included the one about an experience with the church.  I am so completely disappointed in those who did this.  This is not at all what the church teaches.

“[Colleen] loved dancing.  She taught me how to be a better follower.  [My husband] put an extra step in his 2 step, I would stumble every time.  When I watched her and [my husband] dance, it was always smooth.  She taught me how to relax and follow his lead.  I am sure that she had much pride watching you grow into a man.  Dancing with all the “old ladies.”  Can you imagine how special and young they felt to be dancing with you.  That is a very special thing you gave to them.”

“Once we moved to [a small town in Idaho], [my son] was old enough and began his religious education at our small mission church in town.  I was very involved with “taking care of my church.”  It was during this time that I met and interacted with “practicing” mormons.  People were not afraid to tell me that I was wrong.  Of course, everyone knew [my husband] was LDS.  The church rolls tracked every one and missionaries, relief society, and elders would stop by before I could finish unpacking.  I had some disagreeable things said to me.  Especially about how awful I was to cheat my son of a greater life.  I felt I was treated meanly by many.  At cub scout functions, no one wanted to sit near us.  Sometimes, we were even told the wrong times for things so we would be very late.  Every one would stop and stare, whisper.  I felt so bad.

“Our ward president’s wife had no difficulty telling me I was an awful mother, but that “scouting” could be for everyone.  Blah, blah, blah…  In order to survive I asked for permission to attend Seminary.  Which I attended at Soda Springs High School.  I had my mother find me out of print books in San Francisco.  I began to read everything I could.  Pro and Con.  I was asked to not return to seminary, it was because I asked too many questions.  I was disruptive to the education of the young people I was told. My father’s youngest sister converted to Mormonism.  She lives in Clearfield, I think.  I don’t have much contact due to the way she treats my father.  She and I had a relationship back then.  She is still very active in the church and assisted in my education.  She wanted me to convert.”

“Colleen had said something about being disappointed in the “church” in Preston.  That Grandma and Grandpa Andra had given land to the “church.”  That the trade-off (my word) was that they would be “taken care of” by the church.  Some one else will have to fill in these blanks.  Something to do with the church wanting the rest of their property.  She spoke harshly at this time and used the term “church” in general.  Not a specific Ward.  Sandy was very upset about the Temple marriage to Evan because she did not like him and the “celestial kingdom.”  Her family would never be together again.  She would yell at Grandma about this, they both yelled.  I really do not remember anyone in the family attending church at all.  [My husband] always welcomed the missionaries, he would have conversations at length.

It was not really a topic of discussion between Colleen and I.  She never openly criticized me or anyone regarding religion.  She did express regrets about her children and Norwood. I don’t remember her expressing regrets about herself.  I felt sometimes that lack of religion in the household was used as an excuse for the way things were.  An excuse for the choices made.  It seemed to always be in a negative reference.  I did find it interesting the times that the “church’ was brought up.  When a person did not want to assume responsibility for a choice made.  It was blamed on the “church.”

“I know that Norwood was always pretty mean to Colleen.  He scared me a lot, but I was pretty little.  I did hear my parents talking about how he did hurt your grandmother and they were not impressed.  I will talk to [my sister] and ask if she remembered more than me.  He was awful when he had been drinking, I did see that myself when we stayed at Colleen’s for a week.”

“[Doug and Linda’s wedding reception] took place in the basement of the library in Richmond.  [Colleen] had made all the arraignments.  She did the decorations.  I remember the spiral staircase with the gifts displayed.  It was very nice.  I had met most of the family that was there at Norwood’s funeral.  [Doug] wore the Tux that his folks had bought him in High School.  I remember how handsome he looked.  We stayed at Sandy’s.  I think she was living on Main St in Logan. I just don’t remember the fine details.  For a Jonas gathering, you might say it was uneventful.”

“The initial call from the police came to [Colleen’s, about your mother’s wreck].  Colleen was not there.  I asked about you, the police said there was no baby.  I had seen you with her prior to her drinking.  Sandy was not above leaving you in the car when she would drink.  So the police began the search.  By the time [we] arrived at the wreck, they had found the dog, I think he was under the jeep.  It was dark, I remember the field, the tumbleweeds.  The shadows cast.  The jeep upside down.  Sandy was at the ER.  The baby carrier that she used had been found, but no Paul. I remember hearing someone say, if you were out there, you were dead.  The smell of the blackberry brandy all over the carrier, the inside of the jeep. (I am crying right now.  This is hurting my stomach a little.) Okay…  I remember [your Uncle Doug] yelling, “I’m going to kill her.”  Typical of the family, he rambled about every single thing she had done wrong in the past.  Making himself madder and madder. I was freezing, terrified, my stomach hurt so bad.  One of the deputies radioed and we were told that Colleen was at home and that you were with her.  [Doug] was so angry by the time we got to you.  He fought with his mom about Sandy.  All I could do was hold you and cry.  Grandma was concerned about Sandy and Doug did not want her to go to the hospital.  Colleen had been spared the emotion that Doug and I had just gone thru.  I think Colleen had run into Sandy and had taken you so she would not leave you in the car while she drank.  Probably because it was cold.  I am curious about Doug’s memory of this.  Your mom would probably not remember, she was drunk.  I don’t remember anyone but the police and Doug and I looking for you.  I believe we looked for a little over an hour before the call.  Thing is, you were never missing.  No one else really lived the terror, so this would not be a story connected with the rollover.  There would/should be in the police report, we did search for you.”

Roßwein, Leipzig, and Augsburg

We have uploaded all our pictures for the past few dazs!  Go on over and take a peek!  The photos from Brugge, Amsterdam, The Hague, Dresden, Meißen, Roßwein, and Leipzig are all now available.  We are especiallz glad to have them online and saved at another location.

Todaz we said good-bze to our hostel in Dresden and made our waz to Augsburg.  Since were so close to the Andra-Schneider familz area, we made a special trip to Roßwein where several generations of mz familz are from.  Unfortunatelz the church was locked the whole time we were there, nobodz at town hall spoke English, and the cemeteries in Germanz do not keep the burial location for those whose familz do not paz for it.  Other than having been there, I have nothing more.

We found our waz to Leipzig where we took a quick 1 hour whirlwind tour.  We went to the church where Bach was organ master and also the church where his remains are presentlz located (the original church was destrozed in WWII).

We are now in Augsburg, Deutschland.  We will be here for the next three dazs.  Here we will make visits to Neuschwanstein, Munich, Dachau, Stuttgart, and other little towns with relatives on the Wanner and Nuffer families.  I am definitelz looking forward to all.  We will be traveling quite a bit on trains, but nothing we are not accustomed to zet!

Meißen

It is time for todaz’s update. But first, two funnz stories!First, Amanda complained to me this morning she could not get the shower to turn down the heat. Come to find out, she was trzing to adjust the regulator knob outside the shower on the radiators! I stepped into the bathroom to show her the fancz little faucet knob that moved both wazs to adjust the heat. Not to mention she had alreadz used it to turn on the water! She said it was because the shower in Amsterdam had a separate heat knob from the on and off knob. She saw me playing with the knob so she thought it was it.

Second, we stopped in town to buz ourselves some sauerkraut and a wiener. Amanda went to the counter and asked two. The ladz seemed verz surprised. I was waiting, so I did not see this. Next thing I know, Amanda comes walking out of the store with these loaves of bread, more like oversized croissants. Each must have weighed at least 3 pounds! It was bread with the sauerkraut and wieners baked into the loaf. This was to be our breakfast and turned out to be our breakfast, lunch, and dinner. What is more? We still have half of one left!!!! But hez, for onlz 3€ ($5) it was a prettz good buz. Amanda’s first trz at sauerkraut is going to be a verz memorable moment!

On to the daz. We decided to sleep in to the ripe time of 7:30 this morning. The sun comes up and goes down so late zou can’t reallz sleep when it is dazlight. Great for touring and traveling, bad for sleeping in. We got readz for the daz, tried to take care of some issues over e-mail with our potential home and other things and headed out.

We went to Meißen. It is the birthplace of Karl Maeser, and also happens to be the birthplace of mz great grandfather, William Andra. I had to paz a visit. We walked the streets, and ascended the hill to the DOM and Albrechtsburg Kasse (castle). Fascinating. We also walked around and paid a visit to the Porcelain Factorz. The first porcelain in Europe. Some of mz Andra ancestors are supposed to be some of those locked into the basement of the Albrechtsburg Castle to not let the secret of porcelain out to the world. I cannot link mzself with a hard paperwork, but since mz line are Andrä’s in Meißen and since some of them were Andrä’s in Meißen, whz not? (It is reallz cool I can spell the Andrä name with the umlaut!)

We then went to the church I thought was the one thez would have attended, but I reallz doubted it was it when I arrived. I have a picture, and in mz mind thez did not match up.

The porcelain factorz was amaying! Zou will have to see pictures to believe it. There were table pieces larger than Amanda in height! There were vases from the 1700’s larger than me! Onlz something to be seen to believe.

Amanda’s poor feet could not take well the long dazs of traveling and rebelled against her todaz. She will have calluses the thickness of regular shoes when we are done traipsing around the continent.

There was a highlight, we bought an e’clair at the train station. Tomorrow we are headed to Augsburg, near Munich. We will also hit Dachau.

More Info for Colleen’s Journal

I received an e-mail from Sally Buttars with some information about Grandma’s (Colleen Andra Jonas) Journal.  Here are the details she helped with (with minor editing).

“Chick ( Delbert Bair) was a Richmond original.  Chick lived up on third East and first South and his home sat right on the corner.  The home is still there.  Chick nevered married.  I use to deliver the Herald Journal to him.  Chick had this monkey and it was mean.  Chick’s brother Blaine (Cub Bair) lived just through the field behind my Dad and Mom’s home.  Cub and his wife Emma did a lot of things with my folks.”
“Now Dutch (Dutch Reese) didn’t live in Richmond.  Dutch was from Amalga.  Dutch was a big time cattle buyers.  He used to come to Richmond a couple of times a day just to have coffee at LD’s.  I used to work at LD’s at that time.  Dutch was one of the biggest BS’ers in the valley, but he had the heart of gold.  I’ll never forget Dutch.  He had eye glasses that looked like the bottom of a Coke bottle.  Dutch would tease every waitress that worked at LD’s.”

Colleen Mary Andra’s Journal

This is the work of several hours of typing.  An hour here, an hour there, adding to a cumulative of about 10 hours over the past year.  I am happy to report, I have finally completed this task.
I never knew my Grandmother kept a journal until my Sister mentioned it to me in 2003.  I was finally able to snag it from my Aunt Jackie on the promise I would return it.  To uphold that promise and to ensure it is not lost with it going back into her hands (you would have to know the situation to understand) I have typed the entire thing up.  The same like I did with my Great Grandmother’s (Lillian Coley Jonas 1898-1987) journals.
To preserve these journals for posterity, I will place them all up here (Lillians’ will be up shortly).
This journal starts in mid 1944 and ends fall 1946.  It is her high school years and covers several noteworthy dates.  She records V-E and V-J day.  She comments about the passing and birthday of siblings.  While her entries are typically short, they do flesh out years I knew nothing of previously.  There are many sites mentioned which do not appear to be still present and even in asking older people, they do not know them either.  White City is the main location nobody seems to remember.  I assume the saw mill is the Temple Saw Mill site up Logan Canyon.  Logana was a swimming hole in Logan.  Another issue is that many people are mentioned by their first name only, and even then many by nickname.  I do not assume Dutch, Chick, and other names are actual names.  Hence my difficulty.  I fear only those closest to the situation would know who these people really where, and most of those closest don’t remember or are no longer available for asking.
There are also cultural things which have changed.  Going to a movie or swimming on Sunday is now taboo in LDS culture where they were much more common place then.  The separated meeting schedule is apparent with Sunday School and night church (Sacrament) being defined as separate meetings.  Most of us would not even make mention to the fact that we listened to the radio where it was made special mention of in this journal.  The putting up of the hair is another phrase which is not heard anymore.  Other phrases in the journal have a completely different connotation in today’s world and hopefully they will not be understood in that light.
Colleen Mary Andra was born 27 May 1928 in Preston, Franklin, Idaho.  As the journal shows, the main location of most events is Preston, Idaho.  She married Wilburn Norwood Jonas 27 Sep 1946 in Elko, Elko, Nevada as is obvious in the journal.  I have written more about them at this link:  Jonas-Andra Wedding.
There are interesting things to note of the Jonas family as well.  The marriage of Evan and Lona, the death of Irwin Jonas, and more are to be found.  The journal definitely focuses on the Andra side in its short entries.  Norwood would die tragically in 1975.  Colleen would remarry twice more before she would pass away suddenly in 1999 from an operation.
I hope for those who read this and can add anything more, I would appreciate hearing from you.  Defining more of these people and places involved would be great help and very appreciated.  Please feel free to download a copy (by clicking on the link below) for your reading pleasure.  I beg of you for your input and recollections!

Colleen’s Journal 1944-1946

Philadelphia

I have just added nearly 70 more pictures to the newest album.  It is the 2008 album and has been appropriately named.  As we continue through the year, I will do like I did with the Virginia Living album and put the most recent photos at the front.
The pictures all come from our most recent trip to Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia.  There are photographs from the U.S. Capitol, Washington Cathedral, Independence Hall, Congress Hall, Carpenter’s Hall, and other sites in Philadelphia.  Amanda and I drove up Thursday evening to Kensington, Maryland and stayed with my Uncle Donald and Aunt Lolane Andra.  We worked in the Washington D.C. Temple Friday morning and then went to visit the Capitol and Cathedral.  Saturday morning we arose early and drove to Philadelphia by way of Delaware and New Jersey.  Philadelphia for the most part was a beautiful day.  It was a bit brisk at moments but they were not long lasting.
We were fortunate to not have any long lines for us to wait.  We entered most of the buildings very quickly and in some instances had the building almost to ourselves.
It was a great little get away weekend.  This coming weekend we are headed off to Williamsburg.  What will be in store for us there?