In some solemn news Aunt Jennie passed away on Sunday. I don’t know why she was referred to as Aunt Jennie. She was my Grandma Ross’ first cousin. Jennie Ann Bremer was born in Ogden on 18 October 1916. She was born to Frederick William Bremer and Jantje (Jane) Van Leeuwen. Jantje was my Great Grandmother’s (Berendena ‘Dena’ Van Leeuwen. Her family moved to Bellflower (Long Beach) California about 1925. Jennie married an actor in 1933 by the name of Harry Heiser. He was from Delaware originally. They were divorced after only a year or two. Jennie made it sound like the times were hard and the stress made him unbearable. She then married William Doughtie in 1938 in LA. This too was a short marriage. I honestly cannot remember if Harry or William was the actor now. I am pretty sure it was Harry. In 1953 she married Robert Floyd Britzman. They had two children, only one of which lived to adulthood. Richard was living and taking care of Jennie the past few years. Robert died in 1967. I am not entirely sure what Robert did but he left Jennie with a nice endowment for the remainder of her life. She remarried Harold Ross (my Grandpa’s brother) about 1976 but that marriage very quickly ended. It was annulled it was so quick. There is a whole story to go along with that but I won’t pursue it here. Jennie traveled extensively throughout the world. She had stories from Rome to the Great Wall of China. She lived to the ripe age of 91. I often visited Jennie in her house in Washington Terrace. We would take lunch down at a little hole in the wall mexican restaurant on 24th Street. The last time I saw Jennie was the 23rd of February when we went to lunch with Betty Donaldson after her endowment. I will miss her and her laugh until we meet again. I have placed Jennie’s three photos to the front of the Van Leeuwen Family Album. The store her father ran in Southern California as well as pictures of her parents are right after.
Amanda and I attended ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ put on by the local Jewel Box Theatre here in Oklahoma City. We were very pleased with the value for our money. We both purchased tickets with our student passes and found it was a theater in the round. For the most part it was very spartan in props other than what the actors carried on their person. Regardless, they did very well. The singers became noticeably weaker as the show went on. It started out so energetically but ended a bit sluggish. This was one of their last performances after a couple of weeks. I remember well the days of trying to coax the voice to perform just a little more after weeks of performances. It can be a tiresome schedule. However, my experience was the closer you got to the end the more in the groove you found yourself. Awkwardness gave to energy and excitement. I am disappointed the night before their last show it seemed to end in such a way. It is a church run theater in their 51st year. It must be handed to them for their diligence and tenacity.
Last night we had dinner with Dan and Liesel Martin. Of course their beautiful 11 month old daughter Linea joined us. He made us a meal he had the first night of his mission in Pennsylvania. Potatoes and chicken gravy on waffles! It was very good. I thought it would taste a bit like having it on bread or Yorkshire Puddings. It did. It is one of those meals that give you a happy tummy. We played Cranium afterward. We did not win but I did feel a little smarter after successfully answering a couple of the questions.
I received a message from Victor Wayment on Sunday. I had sent him a picture from the day my Grandpa went to the draft board at Camp Douglas. Victor was able to tell me the picture was taken on 16 Oct 1942. How he knew that, I haven’t a clue. He was able to name 5 of the 7 individuals in the photo. One of the two Grandpa could not name he put a name with and even gave me the contact information for Kenneth Barrow. One of the two he could not name was one Grandpa could not name. That hole still remains. However, he named one of the other individuals differently. Who Grandpa thought was Jim Jardine Victor named as Glen Geilman. It just happens that Glenn Geilmann married Evelyn Van Leeuwen, another first cousin of my Grandma Ross. I called and visited with Glen and he certainly remembers going with Grandpa and Victor to Camp Floyd. He also thought Jim Jardine was there. Perhaps Jim is the unknown. I haven’t a clue. At any rate, I am also sending a picture to Glen as well and Kenneth Barrow. Hopefully they can name the unknown and clarify Jim Jardine/Glen Geilman.
Lastly, today is my sister’s birthday. Happy Birthday Andra Ross!! She e-mailed me today telling me about moving into their new home in Rupert. I guess they have done quite a bit of work on it and it is coming alone nicely. As with any other project, there is plenty more to do.
Well, I have to sign off. More homework to complete. I want to be sure to make it to bed with plenty of time to be rested up for the Constitution’s Birthday tomorrow. Happy Birthday!! Oh, it happens to be my birthday as well. Happy Birthday Paul Ross!! Amanda and I are going out to eat on Friday night since law school isn’t very conducive to large, long dinners on a school night. Thanks for the birthday cards!