A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Monday, May 18, 2015


In the Mother's Day post I said that I did not have a scanned photo of Magdalena Riess, my mother's mother's mother's mother. That lacuna has now been rectified! Here is a photo of the aforesaid Madgalena with her husband Conrad Hungrege. No prizes for guessing who is who.
 Conrad was born in Westpfalz (Westphalia) which had been taken over by the Kingdom of Prussia. He was a steamboat captain on the Rhine. Madgalena was born in Niederhausen, in the Grand Principality of Baden. I have her passport. Since it was prior to photography, it describes her in great detail; so we know her nose was long and her forehead was broad. There is also a notation: "Schuh: 5. Daume: 2."

Those Germans were thorough! Her shoe size was 5 and she had two thumbs. Wait. Everyone has two thumbs. Almost everyone. Maybe it meant her thumbs were two inches long? That makes no sense. No, before the metric system 5 shoes and 2 thumbs was "five feet, two inches."

 Their daughter Frances Hungrege (third from left back row) married Francis Joseph Schwar (back row right). Their daughter was Helen Myrtle Schwar (far right). There were other sons and daughters (everyone else). Uncle Leo, who set the stones in the House, is between the two parents.

Helen then married Harry Singley, who was in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive of 1918. Their daughter was the Mut.
who is shown here surrounded by her treasures.

Since Mut had no daughters, we must switch over to the daughter-she-never-had; viz., the Incomparable Marge:
shown here back in the Big Hair Era with some goofball in what is not in fact an actual Nehru jacket.


  1. But I bet die Mut thought you were a cute altar boy.

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