Old proverb: "To speak the names of the departed is to make them live again."

Monday, March 28, 2011

Can you Feature That? Word Paintings from March, 2011

The late Lothar Fieg's still stately and beautiful Woodchuck Knoll mansion, dark, vacant and all but forgotten in the chill winter air on the extreme east end of Oneonta.... Emilie Kestner shouting in glee as she opens her acceptance letter to Stephen F. Austin University....  Col. Ed Fieg sleeping in his tent on the Afghanistan/Russian border, happy that it was only 5 degrees Fahrenheit making it too cold for the Taliban to fire rockets into the camp, which they do two to three times a week in warmer (15 degrees?)weather.... Greg Fieg finding snow piled as high as the rooftops with dozens of shops, eateries and lodgings with darkened windows in the remote Yellowstone National Park village of W. Yellowstone, MT....  Dave Boggs contemplating the inevitable sale of the Bookhout homestead on Woodside Ave. in Oneonta, the family abode for over 50 years....  Four-ounce coffee cups being exchanged for 3.5 oz. cups at the Neptune Diner in Oneonta, a sign of impending inflationary doom....  Steven Fieg on his way to the gym to maintain his boyish figure....

World Wide Web Deems 'Fieg' a Four-letter Word

By Greg Fieg

Word has reached the Fieg family that the web address "Fieg.com" is among millions of web domains across the universe owned and protected and "parked" by an individual or individuals who are offering it for sale.

Along with not only every four-letter word in the dictionary but every four-letter combination in the alphabet, the Fiegs no more can own the web address "Fieg.com" than we could any other four-letter word of interest, such as "Fish.com," "Cows.com," "Golf.com,"  "Flag.com" etc.

Not that anyone should be interested in the web address "Fieg.com," but whether you are a member of the Italian organization F.I.E.G. (Federazione Italiana Editori Giornali) or whether you are someone selling Ronnie Fieg shoes, you have no more claim to that name than anyone else.

Every four-letter configuration is claimed and at last count every five-letter combination was at or near exhaustion plus every word in the dicionary of seven, eight, nine and ten or more letters is also under controlled ownership.  That is to say, if you want to create a web domain called "Egomania.com" for instance, forget it.  It's taken.  One wonders how long it would have been before the world got around to claiming the address Fiegfamily@blogspot.com.

To extrapolate the astronomical number of these combinations that have been taken over by various Internet domain owners would likely take a greater mind than has any Fieg, considering that if you start with the letter "A," and combine it with "B," "C" and so on, there would have to be 26 possibilities at every turn.  It is safe to say that there would be millions upon millions.

If anyone has the formula, please advise of the final tally.  We await with bated breath.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bookhout-Morgan Dog Rescued from Death's Doorstep

Annie Bookhout and Bob Morgan of Brooktondale, NY are $6,000 poorer but at least they have rescued their poor Chesapeake Bay retriever, Brutus Morgan, from a certain death.

Brutus, one of three Chessies in the household, discovered a large bag of artificial sweetener and decided to sample a bit, make that sample the whole bag.  It wasn't long before Brutus's kidneys shut down forcing him to undergo extensive rescusitative veterinary procedures, which may yet result in the new wing at the dog and cat hospital being named in his honor.

To say the least, Bob and Annie are relieved.

Annie is very attached to all her dogs, especially Jake Bookhout, who she describes as her service dog.  Jake miraculously has a special doggy sense that he can draw upon when Annie, a diabetic, has an adverse insulin reaction in her sleep.  Fortunately this does not happen often but when it does, Jake immediately wakes Bob up and Bob brings her orange juice to balance her sugar and insulin levels and prevent insulin shock. 

Chesapeake Bay retrievers are an American breed of hunting dog with a love of water, having webbed feet to aid in swimming and powerful chests to break the ice when duck hunting.  They have a bright and happy disposition, courage, willingness to work, alertness, intelligence and an unyielding devotion to their masters.

Bob and Annie have another Chessie, Madeleine, who was rescued from a Chesapeake retriever sanctuary in nearby Watkins Glen, NY.  

Bob continues to run his trucking company and Annie maintains a large boarding stable with a 60 x 120-foot indoor riding ring and stalls to house dozens of horses.  She currently has pared down the number of her own horses from 18 to 14 but still looks after eight boarders of varying descriptions.

Annie recently observed her 63rd birthday and reports she has greatly improved vision after cataract surgery in December.

A Chesapeake Bay retriever

Friday, March 18, 2011

Whiteside Women Honor Bride-To-Be

By Marsha Adams

On March 12 the Whiteside women met in Chicago to honor Andrea Whiteside (Jeff Whiteside's youngest daughter) with a bridal shower.  Andrea will be married in Appleton, WI in June. After the shower, Andrea's Aunt Anne Still took her parents, Dr. Bob and Maxine Whiteside, for a visit to Indiana to see Anne's new home.

While in Chicago, Anne's sister and brother-in-law, Marsha and Bill Adams, visited their son Bob and his family, mostly to get some hugs from their 17-month old granddaughter, Flicka.  (Some awfully cute pictures of Flicka can be seen at http://www.highfiveababy.com/.)

The cutest thing she says: ask her what the Count says (from Sesame St.) and she replies "Ah ah ah."

Flicka Adams waiting for Daddy to come home -- and counting the stairs??

Sunday, March 13, 2011

John Roman Upgrades Police Command Center

By Greg Fieg

March finds John Roman working on the video system upgrade of the New Jersey State Police emergency command center in the Trenton area that will enhance the ability of state officials to react to unforeseen calamities.

An expert in video technology, John is the account manager for the project, which will implement the replacement of the large video wall in the operations room where the state police coordinate the efforts of many departments in the case of fires, floods, storms and other emergencies.

John took on a new position in January, and now finds himself traveling extensively across the state from his offices in Clifton, which is about an hour from his home in Somerset.

A graduate of New York University Tisch School of the Arts, John is a former NYC IATSE Local 644 motion picture assistant cameraman.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Fieg Relatives Safe in Japan

Lisa Fieg forwarded this message from Winky and Akemi White, the uncle and aunt of Eddie Fieg Sr.'s children, who live near Tokyo, Japan.

We thank everyone for their concern for us and others here.
Akemi and I had just gotten on the train for Tokyo to see the musical "Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and had just entered the first tunnel when the announcer came on to say an earthquake had been detected and we would be stopping.
As the train rolled to a stop we could then feel the back and forth of the quake. It lasted about three minutes. The announcer said that there was a blackout but the train still had lights. I was amazed at how everyone was so calm. Akemi and I were also very calm because we are somewhat used to these.
Then an aftershock also rocked us.  I have an earthquake app on my iPhone and I realized that we had been hit by an 8.8 magnitude.  We were there for 50 minutes when they told us they would pull forward to the next station because it was dangerous in the tunnel. Duh!!!!!!  
When we got to the station we were told to get out and then to leave the station altogether. We got our car from the base and drove home. As we went to get the car some friends were passing us and told us they were told to go home because of fear of tsunami.  So we were happy to get home to find only one small bag had fallen from a shelf. Everything else was fine. Cell phone, land phone, Internet does not work. TV didn't work for about two hours but we had power (while) others did not.
As bad as this quake and tsunami were, the building codes really kept destruction far less than it could have been.
That's about all for me to report. I must say that this has given all of us pause to consider how quickly things can change. We really need to be ready because "no man knows the hour or the day."  Our love to you all.
Winky and Akemi

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Singing Stars - a Short Story by V.P. Fieg

By Judy Kestner

When we were little Dad would tell us bedtime stories that were, well, different.  In fact we called them "Different Stories."  For example there was Jack and the Beanstalk Different, where the giant's wife cooked roast beef for supper every night.  "Roast beef??" the giant would groan when she served him.  (Of course every time Mom fixed roast beef we all had to shout, "Roast beef??")

From those stories rose the idea for his one and only published book -- which many of his nieces and nephews have in their libraries at home -- called "Why There Aren't Many Witches and Other Stories."

Here is another story he wrote, typing it out on the old Underwood manual typewriter.  I think it would have made a wonderful Little Golden Book.

It was the most beautiful smile he had ever seen, Bartholomew thought.

He stood and watched them pass along the road until the man and the woman on the donkey faded into the night, then turned to climb the hill beside the road.

He looked under shrubs and behind boulders that were still warm from the sun's heat, hoping to find the lamb lying down with its forefeet tucked under itself. When he reached the top of the hill he turned slowly all around. He tried not to blink, so that if the lamb moved he would see it.

The lamb would want to find its mother, he knew. If he had a mother, he would want to be near her at night.

Then he lifted his eyes and gazed into the silent sky filled with stars. So many stars. Little, faint stars; big, bold, bright stars; some that twinkled like a distant campfire; some that shone with a steady brilliance.

And as he looked out at the stars, he began to hear a sound. It was a sound he could not describe, but it gave him the same kind of feeling he had when the woman on the donkey smiled. Only now the feeling grew inside him until he was filled with it. And at first he stood still, with the sound in his ears and full of the wonderful, warm feeling. And then he started back toward his father's fire. He was running when he came within the light of the fire. His father was there and Bartholomew called out to him.

"Father, father! Do you hear it?"

He was running so fast and so lightly only his toes seemed to touch the ground. His father turned toward him.

"Father! Do you hear it?" Bartholomew called out, and he was running, oh, so easily. "Do you hear the stars? The stars are singing!"

                                                                               The End

Letter From Aunt Millie Sheds Light on Fiegs in America

By Judy Kestner

On April 5, 1966 Emilie Fieg Case – known as Millie to her family – wrote a letter outlining our family's history in America. The letter was sent to my father (her nephew), Victor Philip Fieg, upon his request. On first glance it is simply a litany of dates and names but the small, personal details Millie includes make it a page-turner (especially if you are a relative of hers).

In a recent e-mail, Doris Holm, Aunt Millie's niece and daughter of Millie's brother Max, wrote that Millie's nickname in Milford, PA, where she raised her family, was The Old Timer, and that she led the Milford hiking club throughout the woods. Said Doris, "She was so remarkable (in) her memory and knowledge of the woods and wildlife there.  (They) could find their way over all the old Indian trails in the Poconos.  She knew where to find a rare wild orchid." Emilie Case was a renaissance woman!

The original hand-written letter was transcribed by my father on his typewriter. My own comments (some of which now seem like the musings of an old lady -- ok, Phyllis, I am older than you ...) are in italics.

A letter from Emilie (Fieg) Case – Aunt Millie – April 5, 1966
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

1      If I knew how much your father told you of the family history, I'd know where to begin! (The exclamation mark inserted here is, for those who have never used a manual typewriter, created thus: the author typed a period, backspaced and topped it with an apostrophe. Perhaps the exclamation mark was perceived to be an unnecessary emphasis back in the dark ages and therefore not part of the original typewriter's keyboard.)

2      Our father Carl Fieg (According to genealogical research into the lineage of the second wife of his son, Max, Carl was known as Philip.  That may have been a middle name, but the middle name Victor is also attributed to him in other family literature.) was one of four brothers, Herman, Lothar and Frederick. The last (i.e. Frederick) came to America about 1890. Herman went to Australia and illustrated that book, Das Buch von Pferde.

3      I don't know what became of your great uncle Lothar but Frederick worked at publishing in Newark, N.J. and fathered six daughters and two sons. Only one daughter, Helen Griffith, is left. A retired school teacher, she lives in Milford and I wish you could talk to her. Her nephew Frederick Fieg is living in California – retired from the Army. His address: 118 N. Ost, Lombac (sic), Calif. 805-RF6-3661. (There were no ZIP codes back then and also, until the late 1960s, telephone exchanges began with two or three letters as a mnemonic device. The letters represented the exchange, or center, where the phone lines interconnected, such as PEnnsylvania 6-5000 -- i.e. 736-5000.)

4      The other son, Otto, of Frederick, Sr., went to South America under a cloud, did well there for Esso and died not so long ago. He had married a Portugese (sic) girl.

5      No one knows how or where Herman died.

6      Beta (Bertha) says our name was originally Fiegen. I didn't know that, or why they dropped the en.

7      Our father had a crooked partner in Germany, in the jewelry business and he had to go bankrupt – a terrible disgrace in Germany in 1898 or '99. So he slipped away to America ahead of his family and later sent for his family in May of 1899. We sailed on the ship The Pennsylvania, and arrived in New York in July. My mother Emilie Böhler (or alternately "Boehler," and pronounced "bailer."  The umlaut over the o here is hand-written.) was born in Baden Baden on Aug. 23, 1857. My father on July 11, I think also in 1857, or maybe before 1857. They were married in February, I think in 1879. (It is interesting to read that Aunt Millie was unsure about these dates. Birthdays and anniversaries are big business nowadays and people are supposed to make a big deal and spend lots of money on them. Steven Fieg researched the origin of birthdays and found that "when ancient peoples began taking notice of the moon's cycles [they began to pay] attention to the changing seasons and the pattern that repeated itself over and over and so they began to mark and note time changes. That's the start of birthday history." He also mentions that kings and nobles were originally the only people to have big birthday celebrations, "explained by a theory that nobility were the only people wealthy enough to throw such celebrations, and quite possibly were the only ones thought to be important enough to have been written about or remembered." Democracy – or socialism?? – at work!) I have a wedding ring home with the date on the inside. Our father died in 1906 – the year your father was still out west. How much do you know of his riding the rods out west? How did my mother ever let him go? (Millie is here referring to my grandfather Lothar who, as a young man, went west to work on the railroads.)

8      Martha was born May 7, 1885 and died Feb. 5, 1918. Max was born April 3, 1888. I've heard Max say that famous blizzard even occured (sic) in Germany; that when my mother was waiting for him to arrive the narrow streets – die Gasse – were filled with snow.

9      Beta was born May 5, 1890, and I on Dec. 7, 1894, tho people think Beta is younger than I.

10      (Dad was born Aug. 11, 1886 in Pforzheim.) (This parenthetical comment was inserted by my father. "Dad" is his father Herman Lothar Emil Fieg, who was called Lothar. Aunt Millie assumed details about my grandfather were already known by his son and thus she did not include them in her letter.)

11     We lived first in Yonkers in America; moved to Washington Ave. (in the Bronx; it runs from north to south between E. Fordham Ave. and E. 163rd St.), then to Park Ave. (which parallels Washington Ave. one block west. It follows the path of the railroad and continues as far south as the Major Deegan Parkway at the Harlem River.), then to Igleslock (Eagles Lock) at 173rd St. in the Bronx in the midst of a lovely cherry orchard. (173rd St. runs across the Bronx east to west from the Bronx River to the the Grand Concourse. Crotona Park interrupts its flow at one point and the street is also one block north of the smaller Claremont Park. Maybe the orchard was located in one of those parks. Interestingly, at the Bronx River, 173rd St. tees into W. Farms Rd.!) In March 1903 we moved to Schocopee in Pike County, Pa. Victor used to raise the most wonderful vegetables. He died in 1907, in March, of a kidney infection.

12     I'm afraid this letter is very disjointed.

13     Martha married George Daumann in April 1910. No children. Max married Nettie Newman at Christmas in 1909. (A hand-written asterisk is inserted here to indicate that Max's children are listed at the end of the letter.) Beta married Lester F. Bonardel May 19, 1914 – two sons, Victor, married Lois Proctor June 30, 1936. Lester Francis (Chick) married Roberta Vollmer in Nov. 1941 – six children: Robin, married to Fred Dunn July 1963, expecting a baby now; Linda, working for Lord & Taylor as a buyer in junior clothes: Diane, working as (a) secretary; Jeffery in high school, an ardent ballplayer; Dale; David.

14     Now my sons. Stanley – married Emily Porter Sept. 1, 1940 – (They) have two daughters, Judy, married to George Smith (teaches history at Whippany, N.J.). (They) have a baby Sharon born Aug. 9, 1965; Patricia, engaged to Rich Paetzold, and Jimmie, a senior in High School, hopes to go to Rider College next fall. Tim – or Thomas, May 10, 1917, married Alberta Krape of Naples, N.Y., July 8, 1944 – one daughter Shelby, 1947, going to York Junior College. Gifford – married Susannah Waggoner Aug. 29, 1940, four children, Richard, Nov. 18, 1941, Gerald, June, 1943, Lorraine, Aug. 11, 1945, Danny, May 3, 1949, in high school. Giff's home is at Maywood, Calif. but just now he is at Niles, Ohio, automating a Fisher Body plant. (Gifford was named after Pennsylvania governor Gifford Pinchot, the first American to be trained in forestry. He served as Chief Forester of the U.S. Division of Forestry under President Theodore Roosevelt and became governor of Pennsylvania in 1922. He was a tireless worker, often making himself available for citizens to walk into his office to speak to him. He established the first state budget and erased the state's debt. Governor Pinchot was a close friend of Aunt Millie's in-laws, the Cases.) All but Danny are married.

15     Richard, my #4 son, married Amelia Thomas in Nov. 1945. Four children: Richard, Sandra, Ronald and Debbie. #5 Walter married Betty Sittler May 15, 1954. Three daughters, Linda, 8; Suzanne, 6 and Beth, 2. My #6 son (Arthur) (named after Aunt Millie's husband) married Cathy Weeks Aug. 16, 1952. Two boys, Michael, 7 and Steven, 4.

16     I married Feb. 28, 1915.

Added in what I presume to be Aunt Millie's hand-writing is the following:

* Max & Nettie had 4 children




EMMA MAY MAY 12, 1920

Nettie died Nov. 1921. Max remarried to Louise Voorhees March 23, 1923.

Born to them DORIS ANNE OCT 1, 1931.

CARL        M.      GERALDINE DALTON – 1936                         EUGENE JR.

HENRY     M.      CAROLINE HANNA – 1935                            (No children)

JANET      M.       RONDOLPH GREGORY – 1936                      RONALD

EMMA      M.       FRED WALTER – 1941                                    CAROL
                                                                                                        F. JOSEPH JR.

DORIS      M.        ROBERT HOLM – 1949                                 JANET

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Guess Who This Is?

There are no prizes, but if you can guess the identity of this young man, you will be rewarded with a warm feeling in your heart.

Stay tuned!

Lisa Fieg Finds Big Apple is her Oyster

By Greg Fieg and Judy Kestner

Unable to locate yoga toe socks for three years, New Yorker Lisa Fieg was delighted to learn how easy -- to a New Yorker -- it was to get to Target to buy the long-sought items.  All she has to do is go downstairs to Vernon Blvd., cross the street, go down into the subway and take the number 7 train to Queens, get off at 74th and Broadway at the Indian enclave of Jackson Heights, climb five levels to the R train to Grand Ave. at the Latino enclave of Elmhurst and walk one block.  Voila -- Target at Queens Blvd. and 56th Avenue and socks galore!

That reminds me of a joke:  A man from Mexico, speaking no English, came to Corpus Christi over the Easter holidays last year to go to the cathedral and decided to also do some shopping.  He went to the men's department at Dillard's.  The sales clerk, who spoke no Spanish, offered his assistance.  They went to the shirts, the man shook his head no.  Underwear?  No.  Ties?  No.  Finally they came to the footwear.  "Eso si que es!" exclaimed the customer.  "Well if you knew how to spell it," said the salesman indignantly, "why didn't you say so??"


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fiegs To Mark NYC Founder's Death

Next year will mark the 350th anniversary of the death of Wolphert Gerretse Van Kouwenhoven, tenth great-grandfather of a number of Fiegs and Fieg cousins. 

According to genealogical research begun by distant Fieg cousin David Kipp Conover of West Jordan, UT, Grampa Wolfie, who died in the spring of 1662, arrived in the New World as part of an initiative headed by the Dutch West India Company.  He disembarked near Albany in 1625 but soon after established himself in Manhattan operating a farm for Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, one of the founders and directors of the Dutch West India Company.  The farm in the Bowery adjoined other agrarian enterprises including that of Peter Minuit, the governor general of the New Amsterdam colony. 

The Plumb Beach Channel in Gerritsen Beach

Wolfert later crossed the East River and purchased land the Lenape Indians called "Kestateuw."   He established a plantation there, the first known European settlement on Long Island, which he dubbed "Achterveldt."   His estate, commanding a view of Sheepshead Bay and Rockaway Point, became the focal point of the village of New Amersfoort, later called Flatlands.  The original location of his farm sits near the intersection of Flatbush Ave. and Kouwenhoven Pl. in Brooklyn.  The Gerritsen Park neighborhood and park on Sheepshead Bay are also named in his honor.

"He played an active role in laying the foundations of the communities of Manhattan, Albany, Rensselaer, and Brooklyn," Morton Wagman wrote in the 1979 Journal of Long Island History.  In addition to the Fiegs, other notable descendents of Wolphert Gerritse Van Kouwenhoven include presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt, 48th New York governor William Averell Harriman and actor Michael Douglas.

Crest of the Van Kouwenhoven family

Doris Fieg Holm is related to Grampa Wolfie through her mother, Louise Stewart Voorhees Fieg, wife of Max Fieg and granddaughter of Carl and Emilie Fieg who immigrated from Germany in 1899.  The Voorheeses are direct blood relations of Grampa Wolfie.