Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mildred Gruenenfelder

Mildred Gruenenfelder, friend and former bridge player in our monthly group, passed away at age 89. The obit mentioned that she worked as a Gary school librarian until age 76 and was a lover of good fiction (a nice touch). Husband Jack taught philosophy at IUN until he was at least that old. The last time I was at the Burns Funeral Home in Hobart was when one of their sons died. Mil was a gentle soul who enjoyed reading my Shavings magazines and loaned me a couple of Graham Greene novels. At the funeral home were son Tom, who lives in Bloomington with his wife, and Dawn Marie (formerly Vivian), who is a Buddhist monk.

Sheriff Dominguez and I finished going over the copy editor’s suggestions for his autobiography “Valor.” She found it very clean, and our main task was to make the spelling of words consistent (such as Rosie, the nickname for his sister Rosario) and to clarify things that were slightly vague or unexplained. We agreed with most everything the editor did except when she changed the capital N to lower case in Northwest Indiana. Roy found “Valor” listed as “Forthcoming” on the IU Press website that also contained a brief description of it and short author bios of the Sheriff and me. April 12 was given as the date of publication. People can order it right now.

I got an email from a Marion Uecker, who read my blog and hoped I could provide info about Gary ancestors, including Herman Uecker, a cashier killed in 1919 during a bank robbery and his widow Louise a teacher at Beveridge School. I wrote back: “Herman is mentioned in Ronald Cohen’s book “Children of the Mill” because he was a school board member at the time. The 1926 city directory lists Louise as a teacher and widow of Herman residing at 552 Van Buren. The 1930 directory has her in an apartment at 1902 W Fifth with daughter Marion sten (stenographer?). Next to Marion’s name is A. L. Anchors. Albert L. Anchors was one Gary’s pioneer residents and built apartments on the West Side, so perhaps the A.L. Anchors refers to the owner. The 1941 directory lists Louise’s residence as 805 Madison.

Mike Certa ran into an old friend of ours, Karen Orr, at a wake for a mutual friend. I’d have loved to have seen her. She and then-husband Tom took us on a ten-day cruise of the Virgin Islands around 30 years ago. Tom was a softball teammate and sailed the boat nearly across the Atlantic when it was struck by a submarine and sank. A Portuguese fisherman rescued him. Karen was quite beautiful and voluptuous and a Nursing student at IUN when I first started teaching.

It was taco day (my favorite) at IUN. In the cafeteria were regulars Alan Lindmark, Jean Poulard, Chuck Gallmeier, Kurt Nelson, and Bill Dorin. Ran into Jon Briggs and Anne Balay near the History office. I told Anne I was looking forward to hearing guest speaker Irit Tzvelli speak on “Being Gay in Israel” next Wednesday. She suggested we have lunch afterward.

I bowled poorly but the Engineers won 5 of 7 points, the seventh time we did that this year. Three weeks we were shut out, so our record is 35-35, not bad for a bunch of geezers. The team only had 32 strikes after 29 frames, but we had 8 strikes in the final frame, amazing especially since Frank, our best bowler, didn’t have any of them.

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