Today, after an afternoon at Powell Gardens, my wife and I went to see her Aunt Beverly. Aunt Beverly is in her 80s. She lives in Kansas City.
Amid the chatting, I decided to ask Aunt Beverly about her grandmother, Anna Louisa Lindberg
Pierson. In January, I had uncovered a lot of Swedish public records about Anna Louisa, her parents and grandparents.
Aunt Beverly had known Anna Louisa, her "Nana Pierson", when Aunt Beverly was a little girl. She told me that Anna Louisa was a large woman, not given to jokes and not talkative. She had a penchant for passing out lemon drops. Aunt Beverly said that she was not given to chattiness, but instead was blunt-spoken.
Aunt Beverly explained some other family tree things I did not know. I knew of Anna Louisa's older brother Karl, but I did not know that he later immigrated to Kansas or that he was a carpenter. I also did not know of Anna Louisa's little sisters,twins named Maria (Maj) and Kristina (Stina). The twins never immigrated to the U.S., but lived out their lives in their native Sweden.
Then Aunt Beverly surprised me. Aunt Beverly had a painting by her great aunt Kristina. She had my wife fetch it from a wall in another room. We examined this picture from the past:
Neither Maria nor Kristina married. Aunt Beverly believes that one or both were school teachers.
Aunt Beverly was able to tell us of seeing the farmhouse in Stora Mellosa in 1950 in which her
grandmother had been raised.
Aunt Beverly had many more stories for us, such as meeting the lyricist Oscar Hammerstein during a cruise to Europe and of hearing Edith Piaf perform in Paris.
When I returned to my wife's father's home, I asked him to show me something Aunt Beverly had told me was there--a chest created by the carpenter great uncle from Sweden, Karl Lindberg.
My wife's father told me the story that Aunt Beverly had also told me, about how lemon drops wee stored atop this desk,which Aunt Beverly, then a small child, once tried to climb the desk to obtain. The desk broke, requiring repair, and Aunt Beverly learned a lesson. Two small chains now suspend from the desk, to hold on the broken piece. I had seen this chest of drawers for years, but not known its rich story. I suspect much old furniture has an untold story.
This has been an interesting weekend--hanging out with my wife's sister and brother-in-law and their small children Friday night and Saturday,and seeing my wife's Dad and his wife Saturday night and today. I am ready to head home, though.