I have been blessed this summer. I shared the AHSGR convention in Portland, Oregon with my sister and her family. I celebrated my friend’s 60th birthday in Leader, Saskatchewan. And, in August I travel to Milwaukee to honor the grandmother of my children on her 90th birthday.
Alice May Bartkowski was born on August 15, 1922. She was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin before the words “Great Depression” were coined. Her birth precedes Curly Lambeau and the Green Bay Football Club being granted a license in the NFL which can be difficult for diehard Packer fans to comprehend. This was the era of Babe Ruth, the Yankees playing their last year at the Polo Grounds and Rogers Hornsby’s hitting streak of 33 games.
Alice’s parents were Robert Benjamin Grayson and Clara Emma Elsie Manke. The Manke’s, who emigrated from Germany, served under Kaiser Wilhelm. Through the Grayson side of the family, Alice can trace her lineage back to William Bronaugh of Stafford County, Virginia. Bronaugh signed the Stamp Act which qualifies him as an American Revolutionary. This entitles Alice and her descendants for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution. I traced her ancestry for my daughters’ sake and find it fascinating, although Alice’s interest lies elsewhere.
Alice loves baseball. As long as I have known her, baseball has been a part of her life. Her husband, Stanley Joseph Bartkowski, Sr., played Triple A baseball for the Texarkana League after serving his country in World War II. Baseball is not so much a pastime as a way of life for her.
As I said, it is my honor to return to Milwaukee to visit Alice and the rest of the Bartkowski family. I will be accompanied by my two daughters, Becky and Ashley, and Becky’s boyfriend, Jason. The time we spend talking and reminiscing will make this trip more than memorable. I will savor the family stories, some of which I have heard, and some I will hear for the first time. I will record more of my experiences on this blog. What a blessing for me and my daughters to be in Wisconsin again and to share this time together.