Monday, February 27, 2006

And You Thought Friday The 13th Was Scary

This is the definition of "fun" for a four year old. He thought it was great "fun" to scan himself on the computer scanner..............................I think he looks as if he could be in the movie Friday the 13th or Halloween or even maybe Nightmare on Elm Street.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Westminster Cemetery "Gallagher"

Westminster Cemetery is located on Belmont Ave in Lower Merion Township once known as West Manayunk.
Hannah Gallagher died January 13,1926. At the time of her death she lived at 3902 Terrace Street, the home of her son and his wife William & Mary Gallagher.
Obit of Patrick Gallagher; his body was viewed at the residence of his daughter and son-in-law Grace & James Silverthorn at 3908 Terrace Street. Funeral mass was held at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.
Patrick Gallagher died on June 28th, 1913. He lived at 127 Seville Street at the time of his death. Burial was on July 2nd, 1913.

Westminster Cemetery "Wisloski Family Plot"

Taken from the original "a journey into the past".

John J. Weleski was born John J. Wisloski on July 3rd, 1904. Place of birth is unknown. John was the son of Eva Wisloski. Information regarding his father’s name or the whereabouts of his father’s final resting place is unknown. It has been said that any conversation regarding his father was strictly forbidden by his mother. John had two older brothers Andrew and Samuel and four sisters Eva, Anna, Mary and Julie.

Eva Wisloski, John’s mother died July 11th, 1932 and was buried at Westminster cemetery on July 15th, 1932 in the Lansdowne Section, Lot 327 in grave number one. She was 58yrs old. Cause of death listed at St. John the Baptist church is Cancer. The lot holder is recorded as Eva Wisloski. Therefore, she either purchased the lot prior to her death or it was her daughter Eva who purchased the lot before she married. The lot contains ten burial plots and twenty graves. Currently there are eleven graves filled.

While researching archival records at St. John the Baptist Church located in Manayunk, I came across the death records of Andrew and Samuel Wisloski. Both were listed as dying on the same day from Asphyxiation. This information prompted me to investigate the reason behind the Wisloski brothers’ cause of death. Upon further investigation, I discovered that after an evening of drinking, the Wisloski brothers’ got into a fist fight at home and unbeknownst to both of them the gas pipe above the stove was inadvertently hit by one or both of them causing the release of gas. Both were asphyxiated by the gas fumes. Andrew was 50yrs old and Samuel was 40yrs old at the time of their death. The date of death was listed as March 11th, 1938 and the funeral mass was held at St. John’s on March 16th, 1938 at 9AM. Burial was held on the same date at Westminster cemetery in lot 327, grave number two. Residence listed at the time of their death was 166 Roxborough Avenue.

Also listed in the Lansdowne Section, Lot 327 are the graves of Eva Bednarski buried October 17th, 1945 and her husband Peter Bednarski buried on December 17th, 1945. Both are listed as being in grave number three. Eva is listed as being age 62yrs and Peter is listed as being age 60yrs at the time of their deaths. George Kraft was buried on April 20th, 1954 and his wife Anna Kraft was buried on July 9th, 1990. Both are listed as being in grave number four. George was 58yrs old and Anna was 90yrs old at the time of their deaths. In grave number five are the remains of Mary Lowry buried on January 17th, 1968 and her husband John Lowry buried on November 25th, 1975. Mary was listed as being age 66yrs old and John was 75yrs old at the time of their deaths. The last plot used in Lot 327 is number six where the remains of Anna Elia buried on April 11th, 1979 and her husband Patrick buried on June 24th, 1994. Anna was listed as being 55yrs old and Patrick was 72yrs old at the time of their deaths. (Westminster cemetery burial records)
Note; John Weleski is buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery with his wife in the Schroeder Family Plot.
Note; the burial place of Julie is unknown at this time.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Westminster Cemetery "Voigt"

Westminster Cemetery "Ritter"

The name Ritter had been mentioned many times while I was growing up. We know for sure that the Ritters were relatives on our German side of the family. I do not have a lot of background information on the Ritters but I can tell you that they have been in this country as long as the Kellers and possibly as long as the Voigts.

Westminster Cemetery's Old Chapel

Notice the Overboxes for burial.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sixty One Years Ago Today

Marie Schroeder Weleski
3427 Commissioner Street
Headstone at Laurel Hill cemetery

Marie Schroeder Weleski was the grandmother I never knew. Two days after she gave birth to her third child John, she died at the age of 38yrs old. She was my father's (Ronald) mother. The following was taken from the original "A Journey Into The Past".

The marriage between John and Marie was not a happy marriage. Witnesses have stated that Marie was seen as being sad. This was especially true during the pregnancy of her third child. There are also myths surrounding the unhappy Marie during the pregnancy.
Legend has it that when Marie finished hanging baby clothes on the clothesline in the backyard of her house on 3427 Commissioner Street in the East Falls section of Philadelphia, she walked away and for a moment paused and looked over her shoulder at the clothes blowing in the wind with such sadness that the next door neighbor asked her what was wrong. Marie told her that she would never hold the baby she was carrying. On February 17th, 1945, Marie gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Soon after the child’s birth and before she could hold her child, she suffered a stroke and fell into a coma. On February 19th, 1945, Marie died. The neighborhood of East Falls fell into shock. How could a woman who was as sweet and gentle as Marie, suffer such a tragedy. What will now become of her children?

Marie was laid out at her parents’ home on 3907 Ridge Avenue. Legend states that the newborn baby John was placed in a cradle beside the mother’s coffin. During the night, Lillian, baby John’s older sister would awake suddenly from a dream were her mother tells her to check the baby. Lillian went downstairs to the Living room where the baby slept beside the casket and noticed he had his blanket wrapped around his head. Legend states that Lillian was very protective of her younger brother from that moment on.

The casket of Marie Weleski was carried from the house on 3907 Ridge to the cemetery across the street. Marie was laid to eternal rest beside her brother in Section Z, lot 504. The funeral director was listed as William Turner on 4170 Ridge Avenue and the cemetery’s superintendent was William J. Proud. Marie was laid to rest at 2:45pm on February 22nd, 1945.

St. Bridget's Catholic Church in 2006

This Catholic church is located on Midvale Avenue in the East Falls section of Philadelphia. Not only was it the parish of the famous Kelly family (Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco) but it was the parish of William and Anna Gallagher, Bernard and Mary Cafferty, Arthur and Mary Maier and where my brother Michael and I attended grade school. It was in this church that I was baptized, made my First Communion and had my Confirmation.
This statue of the Blessed Mother is located on a series of small hills in front of the church. During my days at St. Bridget's, I stood on these hills every May for the annual May procession where we honored the Blessed Virgin by singing songs and reciting prayers. Each year one lucky girl in the 8th grade would be chosen to be the May Queen. Her responsibility was to crown the Blessed Virgin's statue at the conclusion of the procession with a crown of roses. Every Catholic 8th grade girl wished for this honor.
This is a view of the church's steeple on the North side at Cresson Avenue next to the railroad tracks.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

December 2nd, 2004 "a glorious day"

Nikolas Joseph Zysk (3 days old)
Mommy (Trish) with her babies Shaun (3 yrs) and Nikolas (3 days)
Mom Mom with her two favorite guys.

November 30th, 2004

Our joy at the birth of Nikolas Joseph soon turned to fear when Nikolas developed respiratory distress and had to be rushed to the NIC UNIT. I remember standing over his bed and rubbing his little hand and speaking to him. I remember telling him he needed to get well so he could spend weekends with me just like his older brother Shaun had been doing for three years. Nikolas spent three days in the unit before being taken to the regular Nursery.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Day After

My son Joseph surprised me yesterday when he made (from scratch) this wonderful torte for my birthday. The crust was made with a thin layer of chocolate followed by cake topped with custard and surrounded with various fruits and almonds and yes folks it was as delicious as it was beautiful. Talk about love, Joe traveled by bus and train from his college apartment with torte in hand just to make sure I had it yesterday.

I was very spoiled yesterday by both family and friends. I received many beautiful gifts and cards. But what especially touched my heart was the singing of Happy Birthday "via" phone message by first my parents in the early morning and then at night by my son Shaun, his wife Trish and those wonderful adorable beautiful and yes very intelligent grandchildren Shaun and Nikolas. The sweet voices of Shaun and Nikolas in song was breath taking and beautiful as they belted out those high notes. (so I brag alittle)

And not to forget my son Josh, the greatest gift he could ever give me is to stay well, live long and stay drug free.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Birthday #46

Michael and Patty (1962)
(age 4yrs) (age 2yrs)

OK it happened, I woke up this morning another year older. It is bad enough to wake up another year older but did the sidewalk and street really need to be covered in a sheet of ice? Nothing as fun as slip sliding away down the street to one's car then slip sliding away down one's street in that car before the light of dawn to get to work. But I guess this Valentine's Day was not as bad as the one 46 years ago when my mother went into labor with me and had to be taken to the hospital during a snow blizzard only to be detained when the truck her father was to drive her to the hospital in was hit by another vehicle that lost control on the snow covered road outside their house as her father (my grandfather) put chains on the tires so he could drive that same truck up the very steep hills of Manayunk/Roxborough from where they lived in East Falls.

What did my mother do? The only thing she could do. She walked down the block in the blizzard to the local restaurant/pub and asked someone to drive her to the hospital. Good thing she got a ride because (as she told me one hundred million times over the last 46yrs) I was in a breech position and had to be turned (Oh, the pain she said) before she could give birth alone. (my father was in the Navy)

And as any "good guilt given" Irish mother could say, I should be eternally grateful for the life that I have today because of her suffering and sacrifice 46 years ago. (I love you Mom)

Monday, February 13, 2006

Good Lord, Another Year

Age 45yrs (2006) in January with Shaun
Age 45yrs (2005) with Melissa at work
Age 44yrs (2004)
Age 24yrs with grandmom and Michael (1984)
Age 19yrs (1979) college days
Age 18 yrs (1978) at the beach

Yes folks it is nearly here, it is the eve of another birthday or as some would say another day closer to death.......Ok so that is not a great joke.

Anyway, in honor of myself and another year closer to senior citizenship, I have decided to add a few photos of years gone past and in some cases years gone way past. (It is a blog called "Journey into the Past" if you did not know by all the grandchildren pictures)

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Winter Wonderland

February is notorious for its snowy weather and this February is no exception as we are now in day two of a Nor'easter here in Philadelphia with wind gusts of over thirty miles per hour and a snow fall of fourteen inches.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Old Bear Cave

Shaun finally got to introduce his little brother to one of his favorite spots in the Wissahickon Park which he calls the "Old Bear Cave".

Sunday, February 05, 2006

A Walk In The Park

This is Nikolas
This is Shaun
Shaun takes Nikolas's hand
Shaun holds Nikolas's hand
The great escape
Shaun tries to catch him
Almost caught

When winter feels like spring, it is time for a walk in the park. That is exactly what we did last Friday afternoon.