Monday, October 12, 2009

Where Will We Eat Tonight?

"Tue 12,1926: Dad, Ma & I went to town this forenoon. We met Aunt Mag coming down. The other Aunts were in town. It rained some last night so Einer Glanman did not come till after dinner. He got started painting under the eaves. He came yesterday and was here all day painting and he got the two chimneys fixed and half the roof painted.* I dug some more potatoes on Monday. Sunday, we all went to church in the morning. Then we came home to dinner. The roads were good. In the afternoon Dad, Ma & I went up to Aunt Annie’s. Otto Grebner and family and Gesselbrachts were there. We staid to supper. Len & Ruby came up that evening to see Aunt Annie."

* You have seen the front of the Trudgian house in an earlier post, and now you can see the back in the photo above where Einer was painting and fixing chimneys

Are any of you amazed at how many times the Trudgians are dropping in to someone’s house for dinner or supper without an invitation …or how many times they are hosting “a dinner party” with no warning whatsoever? It must have been a custom or accepted social action of the day! I know my housekeeping and meal planning would never be able keep up with a continuous flow of unexpected guests. How about you?

1 comment:

  1. I'd be happy to comment on relatives dropping in for dinner (or supper). The Otto Grebners were Lavina Dittmar (daughter of Lillian's grandfather's brother, Erhardt Dittmar II) and their two daughters Olga and Marie, and the Gesselbrachts were Charles "Dick" and Mary Dittmar Gesselbracht and their son Frank. Mary Gesselbracht was Lavina's sister. The Grebners farmed in Thompson Township near Schapville (and later retired to a house in Schapville) and the Gesselbrachts lived in Galena. Each of them had a foster child from their brother's, Erhardt III's, family. When Erhardt III's wife died shortly after childbirth with their youngest son Harold in 1913 he decided he couldn't take care of his five children by himself so he doled them all out to family members. Dick and Mary Gesselbracht took their daughter Laura and Otto and Lavina Grebner took their baby son Harold. These kids grew up in their uncles and aunts' homes and considered them to be their real parents, even though their father, Erhardt III, lived in nearby Scales Mound and saw them often. Since the Dittmar family was very close-knit, it was nothing for families to drop in unannounced on a Sunday afternoon. If it was after church a dinner (lunch) was served, and if the day got late you were expected to stay for supper (dinner); there was always food aplenty for family visitors when they showed up to visit. This practice continued into the 1950s and 1960s when I was growing up. My mother would tell my grandfather, "We need to go see Aunt Laura today", so we'd pack up the 1942 Dodge, head for Warren (IL), and drop in unannounced to visit. Or we'd head to Schapville to spend the afternoon with Lenice and Helmer Dittmar, or Uncle Otto and Aunt Lavina in Schapville, or Harold and Ruth Dittmar in Apple River. It didn't matter that we showed up unannounced, they were always happy to see us and there was always food on the table. But we always had to leave early 'cause my grandfather always had to do his evening chores before it got too dark. And that's the way things were.