Friday, March 21, 2014

Seven Quick Takes: Throw(Way)Back, Edition 2

If you didn't see my quick takes last week, here is your summary as to how we got here:

Writer's Block=Needed Inspiration=Found in Throw Back Thursday=Decided to throw it way back to my forgotten hobby of genealogy and collecting the stories and pictures of my ancestors.

This week has found me looking at my family scrapbooks, which honestly hasn't happened in quite a while.  I do love those monsters, even if they are each about five inches thick and account for years of my life in time.  In each I have copies of all of the pictures that I have scanned, captions, stories, mementos, and some nice scrapbooky-decorations to boot.  Those scrapbooks are at the top of the list to grab if I would ever have fear of a home fire.  I have to admit that I used to take them to the basement with me when we would take shelter during tornado warnings.  And I maaaaay have had nightmares about them sliding off a cliff into a fiery abyss.  They might be important to me.

This recent journey into the past has reminded me that I have not been putting any effort into maintain my quest.  During my spring break (and later this summer) I have a renewed goal of updating those books, scanning in some new items, recording new family events, backing up my info, and most importantly creating the latest revision to share.  One of my biggest goals when I made this into a serious hobby was to share what I was finding with my extended family- I usually burn CDs with all of the files and pictures to give to everyone.  It has been quite a while since I have done that, so it is now on the To-Do list.  Help hold me to it :)

Up this week- My Dad's side of the family.

The Bogners.  We can start with this couple:

Opal Irene, a pretty lady.

Walter George, a handsome fellow.

Walter and Opal, my dad's parents. These two pictures were from their wedding day.  Married just months before the start of WWII, my Grandma's practical suit reminds me of how their times were so different from our own.
This picture of rice being thrown at them as they exited the St. Mary's Church in Henry, IL after their wedding is one of my favorites.  I love that you can see the expressions of the onlookers, and their wedding-worthy-attire is fun to check out too.  Also, this picture is special because the church looks unchanged from this moment in time until now.  I attended daily Mass at this church for the four years that I lived in Oh-Henry and still am there once a week to lead a Bible Study.  My grandparents, great grandparents, great-great, and great-great-great grandparents have ties to this church building.

Those are the great-great-greats.  They have a window in the church of St. Ludwig IX of France dedicated to them. The church was built in 1908, and both were still living at the time.  A pretty lasting testament to the staying power of the Bogners in the community and in their faith :).

 Four generations of Bogner men.  My great-great-great Grandfather Ludwig, great-great Grandfather Valentine, great Grandfather Joseph Valentine (J.V.), my Grandfather and his brother Paul.
 My great Uncle Paul and Grandfather, with the "new" St. Mary's school in the background.  They were both later students there.

My grandparents were married for about two years before he left to serve in the Army Air Corps.  He was primarily stationed in the Mariana Islands and worked as a cryptographer.
One rare blessing that my family has is that my Grandpa carried a camera with him when he went off to war.  We have hundreds of pictures of his time overseas during WWII. 

Chicago was 7332 miles away from this spot.
This reminds me of MASH (I know, wrong war).  My Grandpa is on the right.

Mass celebrated by Archbishop Spellman.
The story behind the last picture is crazy.  My Grandpa Walter, born and raised in Henry, IL, was stationed in the Mariana Islands.  One day, he hears a voice that he recognizes, and it is his cousin Louis Bogner, also from Henry.  They were not in the same unit.  That same day, they found another friend from Henry named Alden Rickey.  They posed for this picture and sent it back to the Henry newspaper, where it was featured with an article.  The title was "Henry Boys Meet in Marianas."

4. My Grandma Opal was also from Henry.  She was one of seven kids, and they were well connected in the community.  For example:
My Grandma is the lady holding the guitar, and her sister is next to her.

 She was always pretty fashionable lady, if I do say so myself.

 Here she is with her two sisters and one of her four brothers.  She is on the far right.
Oh, the car, and the suits, and the pearls.
However, with their husbands serving, my Grandma and her sister didn't just sit around Henry waiting for them to get back.  They went to Chicago to work and save money.  My Grandma's earnings helped buy the home and farm that they purchased upon my Grandpa's return.  My parents still live in that house and farm the same land sixty-five years later.
My Great-Aunt Lois, their friend Eveyln, and my Grandma in Chicago celebrating either VE or VJ Day.
Marriage- Check. War- Check.  Farm- Check.  Time for kids.

My Aunt Donna came first, then about five years later my Aunt JoAnne.
And when JoAnna was one year and one month old, my Grandmother had twins, my Dad and my Uncle Sam.

Three babies all at once.  She was a strong lady.
JoAnne, Sam, and Steve.
Watching their new Zenith TV.  Grandma is holding my dad.

My dad is the ornery looking one in the middle.
My dad enjoyed growing up a farm kid, 
 ...and quickly figured out how to drive (and crash) anything that moved.  Tractors, cars, motorcycles...just ask and he has a race/crash/breakdown/wreck story for you.

 That would be him, riding a motorcycle, on the frozen Illinois River.  I wish I had owned this picture earlier in childhood to use as ammo for the much less dangerous things that I got in trouble for.
Thank goodness he survived childhood so that he could sport this fetching hairstyle for his senior picture.
My sisters and I think he looks like Christian Bale's Theodore Lawrence in this shot.

Fast forward a bit and my mom met my dad.  It took him a year (A YEAR!) to call her after he got her number...

...but they just celebrated 30 years of marriage and have raised three daughters, welcomed two sons-in-law and are ready for the next adventure.

My Dad has to be a pretty strong guy to have lived with four ladies and no boys in sight for so long.

But he is the kindest husband, most supportive dad, and best fixer-of-all-problems guy that I know.

Thanks for sticking with me through another Friday of random stories about my family. Don't forget that the things that you record, photograph, and document today will be priceless memories for someone in the future.  Take a few minutes to add your story to the legacy you are leaving behind.

We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.” ~Psalm 78:4

 Head over to Conversion Diary for more!


  1. Another great story Katie. And again it is good I am at home....... xo

  2. Stopping over from Conversion Diary. This is so fabulous! I swoon over beautiful pictures from WWII. Love, love, love the wedding day pics.

    1. Glad you are here, Ann-Marie! I too am a huge fan of that era :)

  3. I love that you are sharing these pictures! You are so lucky to have them. My parents have very little pictures from their youth less than 50 for sure. I love the clothing of this era :-).

    1. I know that I am blessed to have so many pictures. There are more of some branches of the family than others, but still a lot overall. And I love the clothes too!

  4. I see a Drew Bogner look a-like in that 3-Bogners in Marianas photo. Am I safe to assume that is his grandfather?

    1. You called it. Isn't it uncanny how much they look alike?

  5. From knowing your dad a bit and the stories I have heard I would say not much as changed since the ornery picture, also I do my eyes deceive me or were they holding raccoons?

    1. You are right about the ornery and the racoons!

  6. Just found your blog when searching information about Lacon, Henry and the Wabel's. Aunt Opal was fashionable and always one of my favorite Aunts. I feel like I've taken after her in so many ways, even having twins. Love the article and enjoyable to learn more about Uncle Walter and Aunt Opal. And my Dad Jim is the brother in the photo with her next to the car. Love it!!
    Thanks Katie.

    1. Hi Rita! That's so fun that you found this post! It's been a long time since I've spent time working on the Bogner/Wabel side of genealogy and pictures so your comment makes me want to look through everything again. :) I'll tell my dad that you say hello!