Thursday, May 6, 2010

Gone fishin'

One of my classes is making family trees as a culminating project for the year.  In Spanish they will label their family members, describe their personalities, give a physical description, and tell a little about what each likes and doesn't like.  I drew out some of my family tree and talked a little about it.  I love this photo and a copy of it hangs on the bulletin boards in my classroom and office at home.  I realized that I didn't know enough about the picture so I asked my dad.

My dad told me, "Looks like Grandpa caught the sunfish and left it at the boat dock to be stuffed and mounted.  They are wearing 40's style clothes and were probably dressed to play pool.  He was good at all sports but especially baseball, billiards, and bowling.  When I was a boy in the 1950's he came to our house on Eastview every week.  I liked spending weekends with him at his apartment on Riverview Street.  He was a lot of fun and a very nice man."

Standing on the left is Roger Stewart who was married to my Great Aunt Jean, one of my grandmother's sisters.  Roger had a heart condition and the doctor told him to move to Florida where the climate was better than Dayton, Ohio.  A few years later Roger died, but Jean decided to stay.  she never remarried, but would visit Dayton each year at Christmas.

Great-grandpa Vlerebome was a pitcher and still played on a team when in his 50's.  When he was younger his mother would not let him tryout for the Cincinnati Reds because baseball players had reputations for being into ungentlemanly pursuits.

He became a printer and was a foreman on a five man crew that worked at McCalls.  They used a five color letterpress to print the covers of Time and McCall's magazines.  I believe they also may have printed Ladies Home Journal because my grandmother always had a subscription to the magazine for which her father had worked.

Great-grandpa loved to hunt and fish.  After he retired he would go to Wisconsin and Florida.  He stayed with his daughter Jean and fell in love with Miami.  He wanted to buy a boat and live on it, but that didn't work out.  He bought a two-family house in Dayton and fixed it up, then he bought a four-family house.

He also owned a gas station in Dayton for awhile.  His wife died in 1934.  A short time later he married a woman he met in a bar.  His daughters, my grandmother and her sisters, made him get it annulled.  During WWII, my father's family lived with him for a few years.  He didn't get along well with his son-in-law, my grandfather.  He was very independent and drove a car well into his 80's. He carried a roll of cash in order to settle up when he got into fender benders.

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