Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hometown: Sights and Memories - Holy Name Church

When I returned to my hometown, what used to be everyday sights turn into photo opportunities.  Here are some of my favorite shots from the "tourist" point of view. It's time to let the memories flow and capture the moment.

Holy Name Church, established 1868, was the parish my Dad attended when he was growing up.  He attended grade school here as shown by his graduation picture below. My Dad is in the top row, fourth from the left.

As I grew up, I knew it as the church my Uncle Fred and Grandma Bauer attended.

I attended Mass here often although my family were members of St. Dominic's Church. My favorite memories surround the Christmas Eve Mass. One year, I had to work the day before Christmas Eve which postponed my drive time from Franklin, Tennessee to Sheboygan considerably. I told my parents we would arrive in Sheboygan just in time for church. 

I drove through the night with my young daughters, north on I-65 to I-94 to I-43, stopping at Steak and Shake to keep awake during the cold, dark drive.  We arrived at 10 a.m. Christmas Eve morning much to my parent's surprise.

Of course, we went to church hours before the service began to secure the best seats. We headed to Holy Name church hours ahead of time to secure the best seats. The pre-Mass concert was worth the wait. The sounds flowed from the choir balcony at the back of the Church creating the most moving Christmas prayer experience.

I can still hear the drums pound as my favorite carol "The Little Drummer Boy," is introduced. I remember looking over at my Dad as the opening notes of Amy Grant's "Breath of Heaven" lofted down gently from the balcony.  Tears filled our eyes as the words "Be with me now," echoed through the church. My Dad nodded at me.

There are many more memories I could share, from the time I fainted in one of the back rows, to my cousin Mary's wedding, to the time my Dad slid in the snow and I tried to help him up.  I told him to grab the car door handle and together we would pull him up.  He told me the door would open since it wasn't locked.  I assumed him it was locked. As I tried to help him up the door swung open and we both landed in a snow bank.  We laughed so hard I barely get myself up, truly lock the door, and then really help him to his feet.

So many moments which now only remain in my mind's eye. Thanks for listening as the memories flowed.

Monday, September 10, 2012


After our stop at the Calvary Cemetery in Sheboygan, we drove around Kiwanis Park to the entrance of the Lutheran Cemetery, the resting place of the Herzogs and Reimers.

Many of the Germans from Russia who chose to live in Sheboygan were from the villages of Reinwald, Schaefer, and Schwed.  Most of them are buried here.

We parked and quickly located my great-grandparents headstone.  As I look at the stone, memories flooded back to me of all of the research I still want to do on the lives of Philip and Anna Maria Reimer.  The Reinwald Censuses of 1850 and 1857 opened many avenues for further exploration of their lives.

My grandparents, Fred and Sophie Herzog,  are near. Cousins from this side of my family still reside in and around Sheboygan.  They maintain and clean the areas around these plots as evidenced by the hosta plant behind my grandparent's stone.  I like how it has filled in the space and I hope the hosta Ashley and I planted will do the same at John's grave.

Fred Herzog remains my mystery to solve. I believe his family moved to Rosenfeld am Nachoi as I have found a number of Herzogs in the 1862 Census.  This census could be the link to pulling the family tree chart  back to the original Settler's list.  Yet, there are so many Fred's and misspellings and date contradictions, I need to cloister myself and submerge into the documents again before I can confirm my findings.

This visit I located my Mom's brother's grave.  The last time I was here with my cousin Charlotte, we could not find the stone. When I talked with Charlotte, she told me that her daughter found  the stone, but it had sunk so far into the ground, most visitors would not have seen it.  It has been raised again and it now visible.  A beautiful green plant grows behind the stone.  Fred died at 29 years old after a car accident on 8th Street during a snow storm.

Before we visited the Lutheran cemetery, we drove past my grandmother's house on St. Clair Ave and circled the block to check if my cousin Charlotte was home. She was sitting in the yard and we had a wonderful unexpected visit.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Hometown: Cemeteries

I love to visit cemeteries. I always have.  As a little girl, I always helped my Dad plant geraniums at grave sites on Memorial Day.  It was our way to remember.

As an adult, I attended a few Feng Shui classes and vaguely recall that our ancestor's burial ground has links to our lives.  When I googled this topic, I found this interpretation:
Death is just a transition point. If the human remains are interred at a good location at the correct time (time being the heavenly component of the Heaven-Earth-Man trinity), then a chain reaction will be set off in which the earth’s productive capacity is modulated by the human qi interred, and a ‘signal’ of sorts is generated. The deceased person’s descendant's have an affinity, or linkage, with this ‘signal’. We can think of it as a ‘DNA signature’ of sorts. Only the descendants having the same ‘DNA signature’ will be able to pick up this ‘signal’, in much the same way that only a specific tuning of the radio will be able to receive a specific broadcast frequency.
If the burial site is good, the ‘signal’ generated will be positive and the descendants picking up this ‘signal’ will be blessed with good health and good fortune. Conversely if the burial site is bad, a negative ‘signal’ is generated and the descendants will be impacted negatively.

I realize my ancestors never studied feng shui.  And, they may not put any value in this assessment.  But they did respect and care for the burial sites.  Despite that I live in Arizona, I respect and want to care for the burial sites, too. Especially since the last of the Dalhaimer family recently moved to Illinois.  I felt this pang of regret last Memorial Day when I realized for the first time since the 1940's there was no Dalhaimer relative in town to tend to the sites. I committed on that day that when I visit, I would continue the care.

Why is this so important? Perhaps it is due to "feng shui" or maybe it is simply my upbringing. My ancestors who stayed in Russia more than likely did not receive a proper burial.  My grandmother made my father promise to always tend his brother John's grave. My Dad and I visited and cared for the site every Memorial Day.  After my grandmother was buried next to John, we tended to both graves for years.  When I moved my Mom and Dad followed this pattern for years. When my Dad moved to Oregon, he asked his brother Fred to tend the sites.  Fred immediately understood and did so every year until this past May.

On Saturday, August 19, my daughter Ashley and I made the trek to Calvary Cemetery. We stopped at the cemetery to check the stones, then headed to Shopko for plants.  It was a bit too late in the season for geraniums but we found good substitutes. We came back to the cemetery, washed, cleaned and planted our selections...hosta and pink begonias, pink because it was my grandmother's favorite color. We did our best.

Our next stop was the Lutheran Cemetery.  Stay tuned.

Scenes from Calvary Cemetery

Monday, September 03, 2012


When I tell people I am from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, some laugh, some sigh and others completely understand how wonderful it was to have grown up in this city.

I go there whenever I can when am in Wisconsin and last August was no exception. My daughter and I headed out of Milwaukee around 7:30, caught I-43 north and drove the familiar route along Lake Michigan to exit at Hwy 23 east.  A few of the sights have changed as the old Ponderosa/Sizzler  is now Luigi's Italian Restaurant, but there were no issues finding out way around this quaint lakeside town.

Breakfast was the first stop and we were delighted with our choice of Field to Fork Cafe. Located in the heart of downtown on 8th Street, this restaurant and small grocery store satisfied our hunger.  I chose the biscuits and gravy, while Ashley had the frittata. The biscuits were outstanding and, although the frittata did not look like a typical frittata, the flavor was delectable.

After breakfast, we drove past where my parents attended school. Central High School, I was happy to discover, is now in service as a charter school.  The building looked better than ever and I was pleased the halls were alive again with students.

Next stop, the Lakefront, one of my favorite stops in Wisconsin.  I hope the pictures speak for themselves.  Gorgeous serenity.

We were at the lake shore at approximately 10 a.m. Yet there were extra stops to make including the cemeteries.  Sheboygan, Wisconsin is much more than one imagines when hearing those two words. Stay tuned. Plenty more to come.