|John Koroschetz, left, Austria, born|
December 27, 1870
At least he had some legal protection and received the equivalent of workers’ compensation. How do I know? This legal document, which my mother, unable to read the formal writing, had mislabelled as “divorce papers,” turned out to be something entirely different!
My Rosetta Stone in Germany, Meta, deciphered its real content and set me straight. It’s actually "Arbeiter-Unfallversicherungs-Anstalt für Steiermark u. Kärnten,” meaning Workers Accident Insurance in Graz.
|"Entschädigungs Erkenntis" =|
Of course it could have been worse––he could have lost his whole hand, but Johann was also a musician, making the loss especially acute. Despite his missing fingers, Johann continued to play multiple instruments, from trumpet to mandolin and harmonica.
Above is a photo of him as a young man (that’s Johann on the left, friend on the right) with his trumpet. Mom says that sometimes, just to be a rascal, he would play his trumpet in the alps, knowing a wedding was taking place in the valley below. His notes would echo off the surrounding mountainsides, competing with the festivities below.
Johann was a Schuplattler too. Young men joined in a traditional Austrian folk dance, slapping their feet (Schu = Shoe) and thighs to the beat of the music, trying to impress the girls. Here’s a video of some modern-day Schuplattlers. Use the button under the video screen to zip ahead about one minute (1:00) to get to the real “action.” Would this dance make you want to marry one of these guys? Different era, right? If the video doesn't play (as Blogger is just a brat sometimes) try this link: Schuplattler video.
Johann was really quite a bright fellow. He later became an inventor with several patents to his name. Here’s his report card from when he was thirteen years old in Graz, Austria. It's dated September 18, 1884, indicating he had attended elementary school from Sept., 16, 1877- July 28, 1884. In every subject he had earned “sehr gut.” That means “very good,” which I understand was the highest mark. Way to go, Grandpa!
|Johann (later John) Koroschetz|
half-way up right shoulder, I see the side
of a woman's hair. Maybe first wife?
Next week: Desertion and divorce.