On Jan. 23, 1943, my uncle, Frank Ebner Gartz, (photo in uniform, above) reported to the draft board in Chicago to start his training for WWII. So began the correspondence between him and family & friends, comprising almost 300 letters going both ways. I’m posting many of these World War II letters, each on or near the 70th anniversary of its writing. To start with his induction, click HERE.

This blog began in Nov., 2010, when I posted a century-old love note from Josef Gärtz, my paternal grandfather, to Lisi (Elisabetha) Ebner, my paternal grandmother, and follows their bold decision to strike out for America.

My mom and dad were writers too, recording their lives in diaries and letters from the 1920s-the 1990s. Historical, sweet, joyful, and sad, all that life promises-- and takes away--are recorded here as it happened. It's an ongoing saga of the 20th century. To start at the very beginning, please click HERE.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A May Wedding, 1916

Wedding--May 16, 1916
Louise and John Koroschetz- Chicago, IL
Did they meet at one of the German concerts Louise Woschkeruscha was fond of attending on her weekends off  from the dressmaking shop that created Parisian fashions right here in Chicago? Perhaps through mutual friends at the German cinema?

Louise was self-conscious about her appearance because of the pox scars that pitted her face after she contracted smallpox as a little girl. The disease had killed her sister. Somehow, somewhere in Chicago, she met John Koroschetz, an intelligent, talented machinist, carpenter, and tool and die maker, who had his own disfiguration: two fingers on his left hand had been lost in a machine shop accident when he was twenty-two.

Perhaps his truncated fingers had given my grandmother confidence that this was a man who could understand physical disfigurement and would love and accept her despite the scars she bore; that she could trust his love. They married on May 6, 1916, almost 96 years ago.

Two photos memorialized the event. No fancy wedding or wedding dress for Louise, just an elegant outfit she undoubtedly had designed and created herself. A black hat with white feathers crowned her head. John wore a dark, brimmed hat, a light coat, gloves, and tie knotted neatly into a high collared shirt, stylish at the time.  
If you look closely at the photo below, in which John and Louise have removed their outer garments, both regard the camera with confidence. John rests his left hand on his thigh, unself-conscious of his two damaged fingers, visible for all posterity. About a year and a half after their wedding, their first and only child, my mother, Lillian, would be born. She was a go-getter from the start. 

I'll introduce you to her through two baby pictures that capture Lillian's dual, complex nature.
Wedding––Louise and John Koroschetz,
my maternal grandparents - May 16, 1916. 


Marian Kurz said...

And now the adventure begins; how wonderful that they found one another! Your grandmother's clothing is so elegant and grandpa looks every bit the gentleman!

Denise said...

What a lovely story! Maybe the key to a successful marriage is "keeping it simple".

Sandy Arnone said...

This is a lovely story and beautifully crafted with your God given talent. I can't wait for your next entry. Another handsome couple.

Linda Gartz said...

Thank you, Marian, Denise, and Sandy. These old styles, now from almost a century ago, still look good. What a pleasure to have you all drop by and enjoy!

Kathy Reed said...

Linda, If you hadn't told me about the problem with his fingers, I would have never noticed. They both look quite elegant to me -- and content with their decision.

Debi Austen said...

What a beautiful couple!

Linda Gartz said...

Kathy and Debi,
Your visits and comments are always so appreciated! Thanks for dropping by.