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THE MEMORY BOOK OF

Alois B. Kruse & Berniece (Biesenbach) Kruse

Prepared by: Nancy C. Kruse


THESE MEMORIES ARE BEING SHARED BY

ESPECIALLY FOR

The Kruse Family

(Date)


CONTENTS

TOPIC

PAGE

GROWING UP (Alois B. Kruse)

5-24

EMPLOYMENT (Alois)

25-28

GROWING UP (Berniece (Biesenbach) Kruse)

29-46

EMPLOYMENT (Berniece)

47-49

MARRIAGE AND CHILDREN (Alois & Berniece)

50-79

OTHER AREAS OF MY LIFE (Alois)

80-83

OTHER AREAS OF MY LIFE (Berniece)

84-88

SPECIAL MEMORIES

89-92

APPENDIX:

93-112

ADDITIONAL MEMORIES (by Alois & Berniece)


GROWING UP (Alois B. Kruse)


I, Alois B. Kruse, WAS BORN IN: Selma, Texas, Bexar County, Texas, USA

MY BIRTHDATE IS: November 2, 1913

MY PARENTS’ FULL NAMES AND BIRTHDATES ARE: Father:

Nickolaus Kruse Birthplace: Heuthen, E. Germany

December 20, 1870

Mother:

Anna Maria (Hillmeyer) Kruse Birthplace: Bracken, Texas

July 16, 1886

THEY HAD THE FOLLOWING OCCUPATIONS: Father:

Farmer

Mother:

Housewife


THE MOST MEMORABLE TIMES WE HAD TOGETHER AS A FAMILY WERE: In the summertime when dad came back from taking cotton to the gin, he would bring a big block of ice along and we would make ice cream with the hand freezer. We were always very close as a family. My sister, Dorothy, was like a mother to us, as my poor mother died when I was very young.

I REMEMBER THIS AMUSING INCIDENT INVOLVING MY FATHER/MOTHER: When we were very small, Dad kept us entertained by building swings, see-saws and merry-go-rounds for us. My Dad taught us how to play 66 cards. I was only 5 years old when Mom died, but I remember one time when she was washing, she and her sister-in-law went to the house to have coffee. She was always good-natured and when her sisters came to visit they talked and laughed a lot.

ABOUT MY DAD (NICKOLAUS KRUSE) My Dad was 15 years old when his family came to America in 1885. My Dad was a very hard worker. He'd go to the field early in the morning and come in for dinner. Then he would go back in the field and stay until it got dark. He would do that every day except Sunday. He liked to write letters to his cousins and friends in Germany. During World War II, times were very bad for the people over there. So he would send care packages (shoes, clothes, cotton and other necessary items) to his relatives. They were always very grateful to him. He was a very generous and kind-hearted man.


THE NAMES AND BIRTHDATES OF MY BROTHERS/SISTERS ARE: Dorothy (Kruse) Friesenhahn

January 5, 1908

Marie (Kruse) Ott

October 25, 1909

Leonard Kruse

October 11, 1911

Gerard Kruse

July 17, 1915

Barbara (Kruse) Bezdek

January 17, 1917

AN INTERSTING STORY ABOUT MY BROTHERS, SISTERS AND ME IS: My brother and sister, Gerard and Barbara played a lot in the backyard when I was very small. One time we went in the kitchen and I tried to make candy. As I was cooking sugar water, I stirred it a while and got tired of stirring so I decided to go out and play a while. Suddenly, I smelled the smoke. I had burned a hole in the cook pot. So I decided to hide the pot. I don’t think my sister, Dorothy, ever missed that pot.


MY GRANDPARENT'S NAMES AND BIRTHDATES ARE:

On my Mother’s side Name

Birthplace

Birthdate

Alois Hillmeyer

Niederbayern (Baveria)

April 9, 1852

Magdelena (Stummer) Hillmeyer

Niederbayern (Baveria)

March 10, 1852

On my Father's side Name

Birthplace

Birthdate

Engelhart Kruse

Heuthen, E. Germany

November 22, 1842

Maria Anna (Rindermann) Kruse

Heiligenstadt, E. Germany 1843

THIS IS WHERE THEY LIVED IN AMERICA: The Hillmeyer's lived close to Bracken, Texas. They also lived close to New Braunfels, Texas. In 1906, they moved on the farm 4 miles southwest of Selma, Texas. The Kruse's lived first on a farm close to Zuele, Texas. Then Grandpa bought the farm 4 miles southwest of Selma, Texas (from the Hillmeyer's) and they lived there rest of their lives.


THIS IS WHAT I REMEMBER ABOUT MY GRANDPARENTS: The Hillmeyer's When my grandmother came to visit, she usually padded me on my head and said, "Little Aloisel". She was very easy going. We used to go up there all the time, whenever we would get a chance, especially on the weekend. She would always give us cookies and cold milk. Also, she liked to read to us. They subscribed to the News Braunfels and she would read it to us. Grandpa Hillmeyer was a good-looking guy. He always had a full growth of hair on his head. I remember one time me and Gerard went up there to play. We were playing near a big old hackberry tree which had a bunch of sparrow nests in it. Sparrow built real big nests (about 1 foot in diameter). One of the nests was close to the ground. We climbed up in the tree and got a little baby bird out. We had the bird in our hand. About that time, Grandpa came out of the barn and gave us a good balling out. He told us "would you like it if someone took you away from your mother?" He was very protective. Well, we got real embarrassed and walked home. Also, I remember, he would always sit on the back porch in a chair in the afternoon in the summer. They had a bucket filled with water which was made out of cedar (it had nice golden rims around it). He had it hanging in the center of the porch and every once in a while he'd get up to take a drink of water, then he'd put the dipper back (they had a dipper hanging there to dip the water from the bucket.) Keeping it up high in the shade kept the water nice and cool.

How Grandpa and Grandma Hillmeyer met: As a young girl, Magdelena Stummer, was a maid in the home of the Hillmeyer's in Niederbayern, Germany. Alois Hillmeyer, the son, fell in love with her and they got married. The story goes that, the Hillmeyer's, who were quite wealthy society people, did not approve of their son marrying a lowly maid and disinherited him. They lived in Germany for about 10 years. They had 4 sons that died over there when they were quite small. Then they moved to America. We don't know their reason for moving to America or if they kept in touch with their relatives back home in Germany.


THIS IS WHAT I REMEMBER ABOUT MY GRANDPARENTS:

The Kruse's I have no memory of my Grandmother Maria Anna (Rindermann) Kruse as she died (on August 23, 1891) before I was born. I heard that she was a very devote Catholic and when in Germany she would often go to a city named Mengelrode and pray the Novena. My Grandfather Engelhart Kruse was a tall and pleasant man. I remember when I was about 5 years old. He was sitting on the rocking chair holding Barbara and Gerard in his lap, rocking back and forth. I was right there close by playing on the floor and he said, "just a minute, I want to get you some apples." So he went in the kitchen and got an apple and cut it into quarters and he gave each one of us a piece of the apple. Then he reached on the shelf in the bedroom and picked up his bottle of whiskey and poured himself a little whiskey in a glass and drank it. He then went back to rocking chair and rocked Barbara and Gerard some more. My Grandfather Kruse died on January 4, 1919 of Influenza. I was 5 years at the time.


THESE WERE THE FIRST MEMORIES I HAVE OF MYSELF AS A CHILD: The family would gather around the kitchen stove in the cold of winter, looking at the Christmas tree which was decorated with glistening cookies and candy hanging on the tree. When I was quite small, I remember that I wanted so badly to be able to see on top of the kitchen table. I would tip-toe and try to inch myself up just a little bit higher in order to try and see. I remember like it was yesterday, being thrilled when that one day came and I was finally able to see on top of the table.

SOME HUMOROUS /MEMORABLE INCIDENTS THAT I REMEMBER FROM MY CHILDHOOD ARE: When I was quite young, I was trying to reach for some cookies on a top shelf in the kitchen. I stepped on this molasses can and must have stepped on it wrong and the lid caved in. One of my legs got stuck in the molasses. One time we ordered a deck of playing cards from the mail order. So a week later, we were all excited to go to the mail box to pick them up. And then at dinner time, we wanted to play cards. And Dad said, "Okay, I'll teach you how to play cards." So we sat around the table, and he showed us how to play 66. That was nice of him to do that, because we really enjoyed it.

THE SIMILARITIES I SEE BETWEEN MY GRANDCHILDREN AND MYSELF WHEN I WAS YOUNG ARE: My grandchildren are well behaved as I was when I was young.


WHEN I WAS A CHILD, THIS IS HOW MY FAMILY CELEBRATED CHRISTMAS One Christmas Eve, my sisters, Dorothy and Marie put up a nice Christmas tree. We would gather around the kitchen stove (for warmth) and look at the Christmas tree which was decorated with glistening cookies and candy. My sister, Dorothy, always made Christmas cookies in all different cut-outs (chickens, horses, and stars) and put icing on them. They were really delicious cookies.

A MEMORABLE CHRISTMAS (1919) One Christmas Eve, we were all gathered in the kitchen. Then to our surprise, thru the front door comes Santa Claus with a big sack on his shoulder. He went over to the Christmas tree and said 'Merry Christmas little children' and started giving us our presents. I remember Barbara got a nice little rocking chair. We were all so excited to see Santa. (At the time we really believed it was Santa Claus. We didn't know that Santa was really my Uncle Max.) I believed in Santa Claus until I was about 10 years.

WHEN I WAS A CHILD, SOME OF THE GIFTS I RECEIVED ON HOLIDAYS WERE: We received clothes, mainly. One time, I received a scooter. And once we (my brothers & sisters) received a toy wagon at Christmas time. I remember one time I received a musical instrument from my Grandma Hillmeyer.


A CHRISTMAS TRADITION I REMEMBER AS A CHILD: My brothers & sisters and I always looked forward to hanging up Christmas stockings on St. Nickolaus Day (December 6). Sometimes we would hang up 2 or 3 stockings on our bed stick and the next morning we woke up and we had apples, oranges and candy in them. One time, on St. Nickolaus Day, We were sitting around the table, after we got thru eating supper. All of sudden we heard this clang-a-lang-a-lang. The kitchen window was open, and someone was throwing candy and pecans all over the floor from outside. We were all scrambling to pick them up. We were busy picking up, then he threw some more. We believed for long time that it was old St. Nickolaus throwing the goodies. Then finally, one day I bent over and saw my Dad throwing the candy and pecans. He would reach in back of him, where we couldn't see him and throw the goodies. He was so good at it, we never saw where they coming from.

UNIQUE CELEBRATIONS MY FAMILY HAD WERE: We often gathered to celebrate birthdays at my Grandparent's Hillmeyer's house. I remember My Aunt Cresencia, Aunt Lena, Aunt Theresa (my mother's sisters) and Uncle Max were there. They were all very jolly and talkative. I enjoyed that.

MY RESPONSIBILITIES ON HOLIDAYS INCLUDED: My job on Sunday and Holydays was polishing all the shoes, when I was young.


I REMEMBER WHEN A CANDY BAR COST 5¢, I COULD GO TO THE MOVIES FOR 15¢ AND GASOLINE WAS 11¢ PER GALLON.

WHEN I WAS A CHILD, WOODROW WILSON (1913-21) AND WARREN G. HARDING (1921-23) WERE PRESIDENTS OF THE U.S.

MY FAVORITE MEAL MY SISTER MADE, WHEN I WAS A CHILD, WAS: ƒ

Sausage and Fried Potatoes

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Cabbage and Sauerkraut

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Baked Pumpkin. When pumpkins were in season, Dorothy would cut them in half, put sugar and cinnamon on them and bake them. We ate a lot of pumpkin.

THESE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS I REMEMBER ABOUT TRIPS MY FAMILY TOOK AS I WAS GROWING UP: We went to Fredericksburg in 1925. Dad took us in a new 1925 Model T Ford. We went to visit Dad's cousin, Jacob Kruse. On our way home, Dad showed us the Railroad tunnel. Me and my brothers walked to the tunnel and looked inside. I remember riding back home laying in the bed of the truck and looking up at the sky.


THIS IS HOW I WOULD DESCRIBE THE HOUSE AND NEIGHBORHOOD I LIVED IN AS I WAS GROWING UP: It was a large two bedroom house. It had a second floor, but we didn't use that floor. It faced to the north and had a large back porch. It had a large kitchen and a hall, a dining room and large bedrooms. In the winter, everybody gathered around the wood stove in the kitchen. The cellar door was in the kitchen. The cellar was where we stored our canned food (such as peaches), bottled wine (which my Dad made himself), and sausage (which was stored in a big stone crock).

THESE ARE THE WAYS THAT NEIGHBORHOOD HAS CHANGED OVER TIME: First, we traveled with horse and buggy; we worked the farm with mules; and we picked cotton by hand. Then later, we traveled in the Model T Ford; we worked the farm with a tractor and attached implement. The last year on the farm, we had the corn picked by a tractor driven mechanical corn picker.

THE PET I HAD AS A CHILD, AND HIS NAME: We had a dog named 'Mops'. He was an orange and light brown colored mutt. He was mostly just a farm dog, not really a pet. I was about 10 years old at the time we had him.


WHEN I STARTED SCHOOL, I WAS 7 YEARS OLD. MY FAVORITE AND LEAST FAVORITE SUBJECTS IN SCHOOL WERE: My favorite subject was Arithmetic. I also enjoyed listening to the teacher tell us children's stories. My least favorite subject was Grammar (diagramming).

ONE OF MY FAVORITE TEACHERS IN ELEMENTARY - AND WHY - WAS: My first grade teacher (I don't recall her name) was my favorite teacher because she would tell us a fairy tale story every morning.

THIS IS HOW I GOT TO SCHOOL EVERY DAY: I went to school in a buggy driven by a horse. We drove 4 miles to school.

THINGS I ENJOYED DOING MOST AS A CHILD WERE: When my Dad bought a Model T Ford and he took us to Fredericksburg Texas one time. It was a very long drive, about 80 miles, and on the way he showed us an old railroad tunnel.


THESE ARE THE THINGS I REMEMBER MOST ABOUT MY TEEN-AGE YEARS (Activities, school, favorite foods and songs, movie stars):

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Activities - When I was in the Seminary, I used to play a lot of baseball with my fellow classmates. Also I liked to play dominoes and cards with my Uncle Joe Hillmeyer on Sundays.

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School - I went to grade school thru the seventh grade - then I went to St. John's Seminary for a few months until I got home sick. I was about seventeen then. I went back the following year to give it a second chance and then decided that seminary life wasn't for me and dropped out.

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Favorite Foods - Barq’s Root Beer and Ice Cream. In the summertime, me and some neighborhood friends would go to the movies and afterwards we'd stop at the ice cream parlor on Commerce St.

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Dances & Songs - The dance that was popular was the "Charleston". Popular songs were: "Bugle Boy Rag", "Ain't Gonna Rain No Mo", "Yes, We Have No Bananas"

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Favorite Movie Stars - Douglas Fairbanks, Frederick March, Janet Gaynor

THIS IS HOW I WOULD DESCRIBE MYSELF WHEN I WAS A TEEN-AGER: I was bashful, because we didn't get around much. I started going to dances in my early 20s. In the winter, I set traps and caught opossums, fox and raccoons. I skinned them and sold the skins or pelts.


THIS IS WHAT I REMEMBER ABOUT MY FIRST DATE: When I visited my Uncle Max and Aunt Teresa, I associated with my cousin Luis (Uncle Joe's son). I would go hunting with him and his friends. Well, one day, (in 1937) they set me up on a blind date. I went with this girl, Linda Fritz, for about 3 months, until I met my wife, Berniece.

THINGS THAT ARE DIFFERENT NOW THAN THEY WERE WHEN I WAS GROWING UP ARE: When I was little we went visiting in a horse and buggy; now I can go to Houston in a matter of a few hours. We had to chop wood in the winter to have a warm house; but now we just turn on the central heat.


EMPLOYMENT (Alois)


MY FIRST JOB WAS: 1941 - Working at Staffel's Feed and Seed Store on Holmgreen Rd. in San Antonio.

THE WORK THAT I DID IN THAT JOB INVOLVED: I sold retail cattle feed and seed. I got about $18.50 a week. Then after 8 months, I got a raise. I was promoted to manage one of their stores on West Commerce. I was in the store all by myself and I worked there till December.

AN INCIDENT THAT I REMEMBER ABOUT MY FIRST JOB WAS: I remember one incident, it was raining real hard. I had closed up the store and went home for the evening. It was raining real hard with the storm and I was worried about the store - I knew it was in a real old tin building. So I went back to the store at 1 o'clock in the morning and went inside and it had rained in and the water was dripping down on the feed sacks. So I went ahead and moved it all, to protect the feed from the rain. I stayed there until I had it all under control.

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OTHER EMPLOYMENT I HAVE HAD OVER THE YEARS INCLUDED:

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From a young boy - 1947, Farmed cotton, corn, oats (this included planting, harvesting and taking it to the market to sell)

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In 1947, San Antonio Stockyards (Temporary job - a few weeks)

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1948 - 1951, Handy Andy as a butcher's helper/apprentice

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1951 - 1958, Metzger's Dairy - selling/delivering/soliciting milk

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1958 - 1988, U.S. Post Office - as carrier/clerk/expediter

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January 2, 1988, Retirement began

THE JOBS I LIKED THE BEST AND WHY I LIKED THEM, WERE: The job I liked the best (in the city) was being a Mail Carrier. I was more independent; my own boss. Also, I liked being out of doors. My most favorite job (in the country) was Farming. Again, I liked being out of doors in the open air. It was a lot of hard work. But it was rewarding to plant something and watch it grow.

THE JOBS I DISLIKED THE MOST WERE: The job I disliked the most was being a Milkman. I had to get up very early in the morning (about 4:00 a.m.). There was too much competition among other milkmen. Also, it was very frustrating because some of the people wouldn't pay their bill and I had to pay it for them.


GROWING UP (Berniece Biesenbach Kruse)

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I, Berniece Biesenbach, WAS BORN IN: San Antonio, Texas, Bexar County, USA

MY BIRTHDATE IS: July 16, 1923

MY PARENTS’ FULL NAMES AND BIRTHDATES ARE: Father:

Walter Biesenbach Birthplace: Converse, Texas

Mother: Alma (Graf) Biesenbach Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas

March 29, 1895 June 19, 1902

THEY HAD THE FOLLOWING OCCUPATIONS:

Father:

Dairyman, Clerk at Piggly Wiggly, Gardener for Randolph Field, Day Laborer picking corn/cotton, Janitor/Bus Driver for Schertz/Cibolo Middle School

Mother:

Housewife, House Cleaner for residents of Randolph Field, Seamstress for Post Tailors.


THE MOST MEMORABLE TIMES WE HAD TOGETHER AS A FAMILY WERE: In the evening, we'd sit on the big porch and Opa (Robert Biesenbach) would tell us stories. He would make iced cocoa for us. He would teach us how to tell the Big Dipper and Milky Way.

I REMEMBER THIS AMUSING INCIDENT INVOLVING MY FATHER/MOTHER: I was about 7 years old when Mama had it with farm life and was going back to the city. I remember Papa running through the pasture to stop her.

I REMEMBER THIS AMUSING INCIDENT INVOLVING MY FATHER: My Dad was a musician. He was gifted, in that he could play musical instruments 'by ear'. I embarrassed him when I was in the first grade. We only had one teacher that played the piano and she was sick. We had a little rhythm band that was supposed to play at the PTA meeting, but we needed a piano player. I volunteered my Dad to play (I thought he knew how to play the piano, since he played several other instruments). Bless his heart, he got up there and before it was all over, he received a standing ovation. It was the first time he ever touched a piano - probably the last.

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THE NAMES AND BIRTHDATES OF MY BROTHERS/SISTERS ARE: Dorothy Mae Biesenbach

December 18, 1920

Mildred Biesenbach

January 25, 1926

Auburn Lewis Biesenbach

July 22, 1928

Randolph Stanley Biesenbach

July 21, 1931

Estaleen Biesenbach

June 20, 1935

AN INTERESTING STORY ABOUT MY BROTHERS, SISTERS AND ME IS: I was babysitting for Auburn, Randy and Bezzy. Auburn was about 4 years and we needed someone to pitch. The first ball he pitched to me, I hit him in the stomach and knocked him out. We had a tire swing and a swing in the oak tree by the house. There was a ground rain cistern about 3 ft. tall -- we'd climb on it and jump off and we'd spring in a big circle.

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MY GRANDPARENT'S NAMES AND BIRTHDATES ARE:

On my mother's side Name

Birthplace

Birthdate

Otto Graf

Germany

October 29, 1876

Lena (Ackermann) Graf

Kirby, Texas

March 16, 1879

On my Father's side Name

Birthplace

Birthdate

Robert Biesenbach

Converse, Texas

May 12, 1862

Pauline (Lieck) Biesenbach

Converse, Texas

March 31, 1872

THIS IS WHERE THEY LIVED: Otto & Lena Graf lived at 902 Lamar & 615 N. Pine, San Antonio, Texas Robert & Pauline Biesenbach lived in Converse, Texas

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THIS IS WHAT I REMEMBER ABOUT MY GRANDPARENTS: The Graf's Lena Graf was tall women with black hair and dark brown eyes. Otto Graf was a short man with brown hair and blue eyes. Grandpa would sit on the back of a kitchen chair stirring grape jelly which he made from the grapes he grew. He made grandma a gas stove to heat her wash water. She would rinse her sheets while she had them on the line. Then when they were dry, she'd fold them as she took them down. They looked as though she had ironed them. I used to take Tesa along with me to go visit Grandma Graf. She would take her long hair down from a bun and let Tesa brush it. Tesa had to stand on a chair and jump down to get to the end. She gave me her buttonhole scissors, because I was the only one of her grandchildren that knew how to sew. Grandpa Graf didn't like kids, so we always went to visit her when he was working. I think the only kid he ever liked was Clarence.

The Biesenbach's Robert (Opa) & Pauline (Oma) Biesenbach had a little farm east of Converse. They had a two-room stucco house. Oma was a quiet, peace loving person. She was small in stature. She loved to do needle work and weave her own material. Opa loved telling stories of his childhood. One he told often: When he went to school he and August Real tied a strong string on their feet when the teacher walked down the aisle, they both lifted their feet and the teacher fell on his face. When his parent's died, the girls got the money and the boys got the land - there were 80 acres. Opa's brothers were not interested in farming, so Opa bought their land. He raised cattle, chickens, sheep and hogs. He was never too busy to help neighbors. He liked going to all political meetings and he helped start the Salitillo Liederkranz (a singing group) of Converse. He sang for about 45 years. When he died, the group sang at his funeral.

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SOME THINGS I REMEMBER DOING WITH MY GRANDPARENTS: I was 7 years old. It was Easter and it was snowing and everybody had the flu except me and Opa. Opa had 26 cows to milk. I said to him, 'Opa, I'll help you', and he said 'oh, you don't have the strength'. And I said, 'just let me show you I can'. So he showed me how to milk cows that day. The first day, he checked all the cows that I milked and after that he let me milk. It turned out to be a full time job after that. Also, one time Grandma Lieck (my great-grandmother) was making a coffee cake and I ask her to show me how. She never measured anything; she just poured it into her hand. And the milk, she just poured it out of the pitcher. So she showed me how to make it. The next time I saw her I told her, Grandma, my cake didn't get big like yours. And she told me, 'as your hand grows, so will your cake'.

THESE WERE THE FIRST MEMORIES I HAVE OF MYSELF AS A CHILD: Opa singing to me. Going to Boerne, Texas with Papa and Opa to sell wool. Staying in a hotel and the maids combed my hair and let me slide down the banister and another one caught me at the bottom. When I was about 3 years old, Mama was washing clothes down at the Salitillo Creek. A big red bull came across the creek and chased us. Mama grabbed us and ran to the sheep shed. We had to sit there with that bull standing outside of the shed until Papa came out of the field (it seemed like we there all day long).

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A HUMOROUS INCIDENT THAT I REMEMBER FROM MY CHILDHOOD: On New Year’s Eve (when I was 6 years old), the family went to Aunt Annie and Uncle Otto Koehler's house for her birthday. They told their son, Leroy, and me to go down to the cellar and siphon some wine for the grown-ups to drink. The wine was in a big 50-gallon barrel. Well, he'd siphon a while and I'd siphon a while, until we passed out. I don't think we ever got anything in the gallon jug. When we didn't come back, they came looking for us. I think for 4 days, every time I drank water, I'd get sick all over again.

A MEMORABLE INCIDENT THAT I REMEMBER FROM MY CHILDHOOD: When I was 7 or 8 years old. Around that time (1930 or 1931), Randolph Field had only 5 airplanes. So the five of us kids would sit on the front porch. Each one of us had a number and we watched the airplanes go up and when they came in around dinner we would sit there and watch them land. At that time there was no runway and they had to land in the grass. Most of the time the planes would land with their tail up in the air.

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WHEN I WAS A CHILD, THIS IS HOW MY FAMILY CELEBRATED CHRISTMAS: We would decorate the Christmas with acorn and popcorn chains and real candles. (The time the candles set the wallpaper on fire, that was the last time we had candles on the tree.) Also, we sang Christmas carols and Opa would tell us stories of his Christmas as a child. We wrote notes to Santa telling him what we wanted for Christmas or for our stocking. We put our notes in a hollow tree for Santa. If our list was too long, Santa would leave us a note saying that you need to bring the list down to 1 or 2 items. (We knew it was Papa.)

WHEN I WAS A CHILD, SOME OF THE GIFTS I RECEIVED ON HOLIDAYS WERE: I got a doll every Christmas till I was 11 years old. I got an old-fashioned kitchen cabinet - it was painted pink. I also received a white doll bed.

MY RESPONSIBILITIES ON HOLIDAYS INCLUDED: Staying out of the kitchen and taking care of Bezzy and Randy.

UNIQUE CELEBRATIONS MY FAMILY HAD WERE: Opa's birthdays. New Years Eve was always celebrated at a different Aunt and Uncle's house.

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THE PETS I HAD AS A CHILD, AND THEIR NAMES, WERE: A dog named 'Snowball', a calf named 'Dilly', and a dog names ' Spots'

THE ONE THING I REMEMBER MOST ABOUT MY PET(S) IS: I had a hard time; they always wanted to follow me. That is how Snowball died, he followed us and we forgot something and had to go back and he ran it front of the truck. We buried him in the orchard under a peach tree. I made a marker for him out of a piece of wood.

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I REMEMBER WHEN A CANDY BAR COST 5¢, I COULD GO TO THE MOVIES FOR 20¢ AND GASOLINE WAS 15¢ PER GALLON.

WHEN I WAS A CHILD, CALVIN COOLIDGE (1923-29), HERBERT HOOVER (1929-33) AND ROOSEVELT (1932-45) WERE PRESIDENTS OF THE U.S.

MY FAVORITE MEAL MY MOTHER MADE, WHEN I WAS A CHILD, WAS:

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Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy and Homemade bread (we usually had company)

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Another one of my favorite foods is soup in the winter with butter bread and hot cocoa.


THESE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS I REMEMBER ABOUT TRIPS MY FAMILY TOOK AS I WAS GROWING UP: Going to my Grandparent's (Graf) house for Christmas dinner, and waving to the engineer and the brakeman on the train. On our way home, we always laid in the bed of the truck and covered up so we could stay nice and warm.

THIS IS HOW I WOULD DESCRIBE THE HOUSE AND NEIGHBORHOOD I LIVED IN AS I WAS GROWING UP: The first house was the stucco house my grandparents built and added onto in Converse on the farm. The second house was a 13-room 2-story with 2 fireplaces with steep stairs. The third was the nicest it had three bedrooms. Then we moved to a 2bedroom. We never had electricity or bathrooms. We took a bath in the garage.

THESE ARE THE WAYS THAT THE NEIGHBORHOOD HAS CHANGED OVER TIME: The first place we lived in is now a subdivision of Converse. The second is part of Randolph Field. And the third is now part of the runway of Randolph Air Force Base.

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WHEN I STARTED SCHOOL, I WAS 7 YEARS OLD. MY FAVORITE AND LEAST FAVORITE SUBJECTS IN SCHOOL WERE: My favorite subjects were History, Spelling, and Math. (History was my very favorite.) My least favorite subjects were English and Reading.

ONE OF MY FAVORITE TEACHERS IN ELEMENTARY WAS: Miss Steerer, Miss Weaver and Mr. Robert Sassman. Mr. Sassman was the best teacher I ever had.

THIS IS HOW I GOT TO SCHOOL EVERY DAY: My Dad took us to school (What method of transportation??)

THINGS I ENJOYED DOING MOST AS A CHILD WERE: Following my Grandfather (Opa) everywhere he went and driving the cultivator by myself. I also enjoyed helping Papa gather eggs and feed the baby chicks. I loved the baby pigs and Opa's horse 'Boy'.

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THESE ARE THE THINGS I REMEMBER MOST ABOUT MY TEEN-AGE YEARS (Friends, activities, school, special events, favorite foods and songs, jobs, heroes, etc.):

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Friends - I only had two girlfriends, Lois and Martha. I had a lot of boyfriends not the kind to date, they were just buddies. The boys and I liked to explore a cave in the Cibolo Creek.

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Activities - I played baseball, volleyball and basketball.

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School - I loved going to Spelling and Speech events in Seguin for which I won 2nd place in Spelling and 3rd place in Speech.

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Favorite Foods - My favorite foods were chili & crackers and Coke from Wuest Cafe (all for 5¢). I also liked Licorice candy and Hershey's kisses.

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Favorite Songs - My favorite songs were: Little Brown Jug, Bi Mier Bis Do Schoen, Come-a-TI-Yippee-Yippee I (by Gene Autry).

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Jobs - Babysitting and House Cleaning for residents on Randolph Air Force Base.

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Heroes - Gene Autry, Jimmy Rogers, Veronica Lake (I met Gene Autry, Veronica Lake, Shirley Temple, Spencer Tracy and Gracie Allen. I took Colonel Hastings kids to the movies every Saturday.

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Other Activities - I rubbed the horses down and took them for walks for the Randolph Field Polo Club. Colonel Hastings and his wife were in charge of it and the theatre.

THIS IS HOW I WOULD DESCRIBE MYSELF WHEN I WAS A TEEN-AGER: I liked to sing (just for fun) with Archie and Dan Dawson, our neighbors. I was shy and liked to take a book and crawl up in the barn, where I could read or watch everyone that went down the road.


THIS IS WHAT I REMEMBER ABOUT MY FIRST DATE: My first date, was a blind date. My sister, Dorothy's boyfriend fixed me up with him and we double-dated. He was a soldier and bold, fat and ugly. When we got to the dance, I started dancing with someone else and he sat on the bench all night. I was expecting to see Alois (my future husband) at the dance, but he didn't show.

THINGS THAT ARE DIFFERENT NOW THAN THEY WERE WHEN I WAS GROWING UP ARE: All kids now have cars; we walked everywhere we went. We went on more picnics than kids do today. And you don't hear about 'Sock and Box Suppers' anymore. That's where the girls made the suppers and the guys bought them and then ate with each other and there was a dance later.

OTHER COMMENTS I HAVE ABOUT GROWING UP: We never could do anything wrong, because all neighbors watched and corrected us and told our parents. One time, I got into a fight because a girl told me my Papa looked like a mexican. The principal put boxing gloves on us and I beat the tar out of her. After that, we became good friends.

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EMPLOYMENT (Berniece)


MY FIRST JOB WAS: Babysitting for Jimmy Valentine. I made 10¢ for three hours.

THE THINGS THAT I ESPECIALLY REMEMBER ABOUT MY FIRST JOB WERE: I loved kids and I could take Bezzy along to play with him. They were the same age.

OTHER EMPLOYMENT I HAVE HAD OVER THE YEARS INCLUDED:

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House maid & baby-sitter for Colonel Hastings

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House maid and baby-sitter for Johnnie Owens

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Shuttle feeder for gauze mills in New Braunfels (I checked/repaired all broken thread)

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Guarantee Cleaners - marking & measuring incoming garments and folding sheets and towels

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Seamstress, Baker, Ironing

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Farming and milking cows, feeding hogs, chickens

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Gardening

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Taking care of my own kids


THE JOBS I LIKED THE BEST AND WHY I LIKED THEM, WERE:

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I liked the farm the best. I love animals and watching things grow

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The best job and the most rewarding was taking care of my own kids

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My kids loved my cakes, homemade bread, doughnuts, cookies and enchilada's

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I enjoyed sewing for them. Clarence had the first tapered pants. I learned quick how to sew khakis, shirts and coats. I often wonder if they were ashamed of their homemade clothes

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I always had a quilt hanging.


MARRIAGE & THE FAMILY (Alois & Berniece)


THIS IS HOW I MET MY SPOUSE: (Berniece) We met at Crescent Bend Dance Hall on or about January 24, 1938. The day was nice. I usually didn't go to the dances because I had to take care or Auburn and Randy. Well this one time Opa agreed to take care of the boys and a lady who lived in the house helped me get ready. She took an old evening gown and cut it off and one of the guys polished my shoes and she curled my hair and lent me a pair of her hose. When I got to the dance, I started dancing with Louis Hillmeyer. Louis introduced me to Fredie Helmke and during the Paul Jones, I started dancing with daddy (Alois) and when the whistle blew, he wouldn't let me go. So we danced in the middle of the circle all the time. Then I didn't see Alois again until the 29th of March. I can remember that because it was on Papa's birthday. We went to Rhodius' store (Dorothy & I). As we were leaving, Alois drove up with a pretty girl in the car. I thought it was girlfriend, so I didn't want to talk to him. Well, it turned out to be his cousin, Celi Hillmeyer. And I asked him when he was take me to the show; so we made a date that night. But Dorothy told daddy that I was too young and that she would have to go along as a chaparone.

BEFORE WE WERE MARRIED, WE DATED EACH OTHER FOR 8 MONTHS: So for 2 months, everytime Daddy and I went somewhere, Daddy would have to bring a date for Dorothy. One day we decided we would fool her and he asked me to go to church with him. After that we never asked her and didn't tell her where we were going. After we started going together, we had Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday dates. We would always go to church every Sunday and after church he took me to the Black Cat Restaurant on Alamo Plaza. We always went to Little Flower Church; we really liked that church.

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WE WERE MARRIED ON NOVEMBER 24, 1938 (THANKSGIVING DAY)

OUR WEDDING (Berniece) I first realized I was in love with him, as soon as I looked into those blue eyes. I was baptized the day before we got married. I became a Catholic the day before we got married. I took instructions from the priest at Little Flower Church. When we got married, he gave me a prayer book which I still have. Our wedding day was real cold day. My sister Dorothy was my bridesmaid and Leonard Kruse was the best man. Aunt Crescent took us to breakfast, but when we got out of church, Daddy's cousin, Louis Hillmeyer filled the back of our car full of firewood, to tease us. (Daddy had a 1933 black ford). Then we went to Luxella to the dance that night. OUR HONEYMOON (Berniece) Gerard took us to get our picture taken and then he rented us a motel (Hamilton Hotel). The back part of it was the SanAntone river and our room faced the river. When we got there that night, he must of had 5 pounds of rice in our bed. Daddy and I just took the sheet and emptied it all out on the floor. The day after we were married, we were supposed to go to Houston, but the windmill broke down. So daddy helped grandpa Kruse fix the windmill. That night we spent the night with Tony and Marie Ott. We left for Houston on Saturday morning and stayed there for a week. Daddy looked for a job there. I guess it would have changed our lives if Daddy had found one. I had found one at a cafe as a waitress. Daddy wanted to try something different (other than farming). This was right after 'The Depression', and it was hard finding a job. Especially for a bunch of country kids like us that didn't know anything. So we went back to farming.

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WHEN WE WERE FIRST MARRIED, WE LIVED: (Alois) On the Kruse farm. We lived there from 1938 - 47. We lived in the old Kruse family house with Grandpa Kruse. Barbara and John, and Little John lived there also. We had our bedroom on the little room on the porch. There were 102 acres in cultivation. We planted corn in the end of February and cotton the middle of March. We had 30 acres of corn and about 50 acres of cotton.

LIFE ON THE FARM: (Alois) THE COTTON CROP Cotton was the main crop that we planted. We did all the planting ourselves (me, mama and grandpa Kruse). Alot of days Berniece couldn't help in the fields because she was canning pears, grapes and peaches. The cotton was harvested in August and September. We had a few helpers, but we (mama and I) had to pick along with them. We picked all of it by hand. We had a couple of big wagons that we would put the cotton sacks in. You would pull those big old sacks of cotton behind you and carry them on your shoulder to the wagon. Mama would sit up at night sewing cotton sacks or patching them. Cotton pickin was hard work! We sold our cotton to the man that ran the cotton gin. After it was baled, he bought it. We took the crop to the market in Converse; some of it we took to Schertz (very little). We would hitch some mules in front of the wagon and pull it to the market. We usually got 9¢ a pound for cotton. If you made a good crop the price was cheap. When you made a bad (small) crop the price was a little higher - cause it was more in demand.

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THE CORN CROP When we got through pickin the cotton, we had to pick the corn. The corn was harvested in October. We'd put the corn on piles about every 15-20 foot apart. After we had a bunch of it picked, we would pull the wagon beside that row and throw it inside the wagon. That way we'd haul our corn home into the barn. When we got the corn to the barn, we had to shovel it from the wagon into the barn. We put a board about 12" wide slanting in the wagon and with a shovel we pushed the corn down that board onto the barn floor. We got $2 a bushel for corn. We kept a lot of the corn and ground it up for the chickens. We had a pretty good barn and we always filled way up as high as it would go with corn.

AFTER HARVEST One thing I liked about this time of the year, when I started plowing the land. It was a pretty easy job. All I did was sit on that 3-wheel plow and kept on going down the row. At this time of the year there was a lot of larks (birds) and the larks would keep on following me behind the plow. They would fly and land right there where I had just turned the soil over. They did that because there were bugs/worms in the soil. Every time one bug turned up, the larks were right there. They were pretty colored birds -they had kind of yellow on there neck. Once in a while, when I was younger, I would get off the plow and pick up a rock and throw it at them.

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DADDY ON COMING INTO A COMFORTABLE HOUSE IN THE WINTER That old house was real nice and comfy in the winter. We had a wooden stove. Back in the corner behind the stove we had a box with some wood in it. That wooden stove put out alot of heat. Everybody would congregate in the kitchen and gather around that stove. The kitchen was rather large, 18' wide X 16' long. That house had a lot of possibilities. It didn't have sheet rock on the walls; just wood boards that run up and down. That back bedroom was cold as an ice box. In the winter we had to take a bath in that back bedroom. I'd wait til everybody went to bed and then take a bath.

DADDY BUILDS A TRAILER I bought this old frame of an old 1933 ford. I put the frame underneath the old oak tree close to the garden. In the summertime, whenever I had time, I would get in the shade there and work on building that wagon (trailer). I built the trailer out of new lumber and painted it dark green. One time the mules got into the field accidently and I had to chase them down. So I quickly took the car (with the trailer hooked to it) down there and chased them out. I didn't realize at the time, but Clarence was in the back of trailer. I drove over those furrows in a hurry and there was Clarence just a-bouncing and a-bumping around in the back. The tail gate wasn't on, so it was opened in the back, and Clarence rolled around and plopped out the back.

MAMA TAKES THE TRAILER TO THE FIELD One time we took the trailer to the field and let the kids play in there and I'd pick half of a row and then grandpa (Nickolaus Kruse) would pick the other half, so I'd stay close to the trailer. Wally was getting hungry and fussy, so I told Clarence, just rock him and sing to him. Clay rocked and rocked till he rocked himself and Wally out of the trailer. (Alot of times Clay would rock himself to sleep)

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MAMA ON HER GARDEN I had a nice garden. It was a big garden right by the water trough. We had the water faucet right in the center of the garden and I could soak the garden. I raised big cabbage, turnips, tomatoes, peas, beets, onions. Whatever I planted in the garden, whenever I made enough of it, it needed to be canned. The pear tree was sitting in the garden, right by the water trough, whenever the water trough would run over, it would water the tree (very juicy, good tasting pears). Also, we had the horse pen right close by there and we would throw the manure over the fence a couple times a year and it would fertilize that garden. And all the chicken manure went into the garden also.

MAMA ON HER CHICKENS I had about 500 chickens. First I just got myself some and bought em - the baby chicks. It turned out to be about 2/3rds of them were roosters. So I talked papa into giving me his incubators and I got my eggs from Miss Reiman. One incubator held 250 eggs & the other one held 125. So after 11 days, I'd go out there at night and candle all the eggs so I could throw out the ones that weren't any good. And I'd turn the eggs in the meantime and well the chickens hatched. Papa also gave me his brooder. Daddy built me a brooder house so I kept it warm for the baby chicks. And then, one day a lady came and she wanted to buy some hens from me. She wanted to cull em and I told her, if she would show me how to cull em I would sell them to her. After that I culled all my chickens. (A cull is something that is no good. The chicken didn't lay no eggs. She maybe layed one a week. You can tell by putting your fingers between the pelvic bone - 3 is a chicken that lays every day - 2 is one that might lay an egg or 2 a week. And if it's less than that you don't to even fool with them. You want to put them in a pot and eat em. So Uncle Tony gave me a pressure cooker, so I canned what I could and the rest of them we sold. Mr. Rhodius called me every time he needed eggs, cause he knew I had eggs the year round. I had 9 milk cows that had to be milked twice a day. I talked papa out of his cream separator, so I had my own separator. Daddy got the skim milk, for a while I was making butter, for a while sold just the cream. I sold the cream to Dairyland in town.

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WE BOUGHT OUR FIRST HOUSE IN THE YEAR 1947 FOR ABOUT $2000. THE LAND WAS $500.

OUR FIRST CAR WAS A 1933 BLACK MODEL T FORD AND COST $150.

THIS WAS THE RAGE IN MUSIC AND DANCE WHEN WE WERE FIRST MARRIED: Big Band sounds: Glenn Miller Benny Goodman Western music:

Gene Autry Jimmy Rogers

Popular songs:

'Little Brown Jug' 'Ain't Gonna Rain No Mo' 'By Mier Bis Do Schoen' 'Come a Ti Yi Yippy Yippy Yi'

We danced to German music: Waltz, 2-step, Polka, The Paul Jones


THESE ARE THE HOMES AND COMMUNITIES I HAVE LIVED IN SINCE WE'VE BEEN MARRIED: •

The Kruse Farm at the corner of Converse Rd. and Kittyhawk

In New Braunfels on Mercheit

In San Antonio on the corner of W W White and Holmgreen

Back to the Kruse Farm

Then we bought our present home at 122 Eureka in San Antonio


SOME IMPORTANT THINGS I HAVE LEARNED ABOUT MARRIAGE ARE: (Berniece) You aren't the boss anymore; you have to share. Money is always scarce, if you have any at all. It's fun to dream of things you want; like a new car or adding onto the house 3 times. And convincing Daddy we didn't need 3 bedrooms and tear out the wall and have a dining room.

(Alois) Always make your wife feel wanted and loved.

MY SPOUSE AND I AND OUR CHILDREN CELEBRATED CHRISTMAS, BIRTHDAYS AND OTHER HOLIDAYS BY: On Christmas, we exchange gifts, sing Christmas Carols, play games (cards, dominoes, bump), eat good food (turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie). When we get together on Birthdays, Mother's Day, Father's Day, and our Annual Family Re-union, we like to talk and have a good time, play games such as volleyball, baseball with the kids, basketball, horseshoes. Mostly, we just enjoy each other's company. We like to sit in the back yard, under the old pecan tree and relax and drink iced tea.

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FAMILY TRADITIONS THAT WE BEGAN WERE:

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Singing Christmas carols as a family before we open the presents

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Our Annual Kruse Family Re-union at our house

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Playing volleyball at the family re-union

THESE ARE THE TRADITIONS WHICH I HOPE MY CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN WILL CARRY ON WITH THEIR OWN FAMILIES:

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Singing Christmas carols as a family before we open the presents

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Our Annual Kruse Family Re-union at our house

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Playing volleyball at the family re-union

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Most importantly, just getting together and staying close as a family

I BEST REMEMBER THESE TRIPS WHICH OUR FAMILY TOOK AS OUR CHILDREN WERE GROWING UP:

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The picnics at Comanche Park

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Going to Biloxi, Mississippi to visit David when he was in the Air Force

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Going to San Diego, California to visit Wally when he was in the Marines

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Going to visit relatives on Sunday afternoons; Grandma Biesenbach, Grandpa Kruse, Uncles & Aunts


I REMEMBER THESE HUMOROUS OR MEMORABLE STORIES ABOUT OUR CHILDREN AS THEY GROWING UP: (Berniece)

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Clarence getting stung by bees & ants

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Janie dressing in my clothes and singing pretending she was a big star

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David fainting at a picnic at Comanche Park when Daddy accidentally shot him with an arrow in his arm

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Wally sitting on the steps and pressing down the scorpion's tail. He had so many hard knots in his finger the doctor said he was immuned to their sting.

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Clarence and Janie putting her doll at the edge of the bed when Nancy was three weeks old so I'd think she'd fallen off the bed and they hid her under the bed

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Barbie having her first boyfriend when she was 4 years old

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Mike always got hurt the week before school let out. The time I cut his hair to teach him a lesson because his teachers complained that he combed all the time

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Joy trying so hard to learn to sing German songs

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Cheri getting out of here bed when was 9 months; she was always in someone else's bed

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The races me and Tesa had after we took the kids to school. Cheri and Tesa doing exercises with me and Jack LaLaine

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Telling them stories, jumping rope, teaching the girls to sew (Alois)

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We went to Austin one time to Lake Austin when Teresa was about 2 years old. When she first saw the lake, she said 'Big Drink'.

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When we went to Mississippi to see David, the kids asked me where we were going and I told them to China and sure enough we past through China, Texas.


MY CHILDREN REMIND ME OF SOME OF OUR RELATIVES IN THESE WAYS:

(Berniece & Alois)

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Clarence reminds us of his Grandfather Nickolaus Kruse

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Janie looks like Daddy's mother, Anna Maria Hillmeyer

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David is kind-hearted and a hard worker like his Dad

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Wally's looks and soft-spoken manner are like his great grandfather, Robert Biesenbach (Opa)

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Nancy looks like Aunt Crescencia Hillmeyer (Daddy's mother's sister).

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Barbie is like her Grandma Biesenbach in that she is always on the go; she is always busy doing something

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Mike is like his grandpa Walter Biesenbach because he is always teasing and joking around

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Joy looks like Grandma Biesenbach

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Cheri's laugh is exactly like Daddy's Aunt Crescencia Hillmeyer

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Teresa looks like her mother.


WHAT I HAVE ENJOYED MOST ABOUT BEING A PARENT IS: (Berniece)

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I liked to sew for the kids. I sewed Clarence khaki pants and shirts until he bought his own. I sewed coats and shirts. I made the patterns for the clothes.

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One time, I didn't have money for Easter dresses, so I took the curtains & made the girls dresses on Saturday night after I colored the eggs & the kids were asleep.

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Seeing the kids faces on Christmas. We didn't have much money, but we always made sure the girls got a doll and the boys a truck or a gun. (Alois)

ƒ Seeing my children grow up ƒ

Playing baseball with my sons when they were small

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Taking them to the dollar-a-carload movie at the drive-in

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Seeing them play when they were little

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Watching them opening there presents on Christmas

SOME OF THE THINGS I HAVE LEARNED AS A PARENT ARE: (Berniece) Every child is different and has different needs. Opa used to tell me the squeaky wheel gets the grease; I learned real quick what he meant. (Alois) To always treat them alike. Teach them to be honest, give them good examples and to be good Christians. Always treat them fairly.


THIS IS WHAT I HAVE ENJOYED ABOUT BEING A GRANDPARENT: (Berniece) You can baby-sit and spoil them, enjoy them. When you get tired, you can give them back to Mama. You have more time for them than you did with your own kids. (Alois) I enjoyed playing with them, taking them to see ducks in the park, swinging them, helping some of them make a snowman, playing baseball with them, taking them to the park.

THIS IS HOW I WOULD DESCRIBE OUR FAMILY OVER THE YEARS, IN TERMS OF ITS CHARACTER AND UNIQUE ASPECTS: (Berniece)

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Tesa is able to communicate with people of any age - she can talk to an older person or to a child in their language and always make them feel good. Also, she has alot of energy.

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Cheri is a creative, idealistic person. She dreams of what can be and strives to make it happen. She has a lot of patience.

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Joy is a very feeling, caring person. She has a quality (gift) of empathizing for the person she is talking with. She is also very creative.

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Mike is a fun-loving person, likes to tease. He is carefree and doesn't always think of his safety; he's out there to have fun. He enjoys being with people.

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Barbie takes a lot of pride in everything she does. She likes to be busy. She has a lot of farmer in her; a green thumb. She loves the outdoors.


THIS IS HOW I WOULD DESCRIBE OUR FAMILY OVER THE YEARS, IN TERMS OF ITS CHARACTER AND UNIQUE ASPECTS:

(Continued)

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Nancy is a peacemaker. She always wants to include everyone. Wants everybody to get along together and be happy.

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Wally is a very loving, tender person. He is very careful of what he says, so as not to hurt anyone's feelings. He also has a stick-to-tiveness quality about him.

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David is a very inventive person. He is always eager to try a better way of doing things. A perfectionist. A very thoughtful person.

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Janie is a good worker. She loves kids; she was a good baby-sitter. She wants to do the right thing. She is a peacemaker.

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Clay is a leader; he likes to organize. He is very thrifty with his money. Also, he always wants to make sure that everyone is having a good time.

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Daddy. He is a tender loving person. He is a peacemaker. He never sees the bad side; always sees the good in people.

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Mama. She has a real love for babies and children. She loves to give of herself. She is always making dolls, crocheting afghans and doilies, and sewing.

(Alois)

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All our children turned to be hard workers, self-supporting, and kind. They are all good-natured, responsible and are all well-educated. They are all sensitive to other people's feelings.


THE NAMES AND BIRTH DATES OF OUR CHILDREN ARE:

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Clarence Roy Kruse

June 3, 1940

Jane Ann (Kruse) Balderas

August 19, 1942

David Lee Kruse

June 26, 1944

Walter Douglas Kruse

January 18, 1946

Nancy Carole Kruse

January 27, 1949

Barbara Nell (Kruse) Penaloza

September 2, 1950

Michael Ray Kruse

April 26, 1954

Joyce Elaine (Kruse) Gaines

May 7, 1956

Cheryl Jean (Kruse) Cobb

March 23, 1959

Teresa Rose (Kruse) Foerster

April 10, 1961


WE HAVE 30 BEAUTIFUL GRANDCHILDREN. THEIR NAMES AND BIRTH DATES ARE: Clayton Louis Kruse Kathy Balderas Brune Jeffrey Todd Kruse Judy Lynn Balderas Theis Kenneth Wayne Balderas Deborah Lynn Kruse Williams Darlene Kay Balderas Garcia Timothy Allen Kruse Jesse Balderas, III Kimberly Kaye Kruse Stephen Douglas Kruse Gregory Alois Balderas Daniel Clifford Kruse Wes Allen Penaloza Kyle David Kruse Jennifer Lynn Kruse Holly Denise Kruse Kristy Lynn Penaloza Curtis Clay Kruse Jacqueline Michelle Kruse Elizabeth Joy Gaines Audry Jane Cobb Stephanie Elaine Gaines David Wayne Prado Natalie Cobb Richard "Craig" Gaines, Jr. Rebecca Michelle Prado Jeremy Gerard Cobb Jason Michael Foerster Sarah Catherine Cobb

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July 19, 1961 March 9, 1962 July 14, 1962 March 21, 1963 August 5, 1964 August 17, 1965 November 11, 1965 December 24, 1968 February 6, 1970 February 9, 1970 July 8, 1970 April 15, 1971 September 19, 1972 February 27, 1974 March 28, 1974 May 17, 1974 September 29, 1974 September 25, 1975 September 8, 1977 April 22, 1978 October 26, 1980 December 7, 1981 January 3, 1982 August 29, 1982 August 18, 1983 April 9, 1984 May 26, 1985 May 14, 1987 June 21, 1990 April 12, 1993


WE HAVE 8 PRECIOUS GREAT-GRANDCHILDREN. THEIR NAMES AND BIRTH DATES ARE:

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Melissa Denise Kruse

August 29, 1986

Nicole Leeann Kruse

October 29, 1987

Chad Ryan Kruse

July 20, 1989

Colton Louis Kruse

January 21, 1990

Danielle Jane Gonzaba

April 29, 1990

Jessica Nicole Balderas

March 2, 1992

Alyssa Renee Garcia

August 18, 1992

Barrett Russell Williams

March 23, 1993


OTHER AREAS OF MY LIFE (Alois)


AS AN ADULT, I HAVE ENJOYED THESE HOBBIES OR PASTIMES:

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Bowling, Gardening, Fishing

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Watching Football

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Playing cards and dominoes

IF I COULD TEACH A SPECIAL HOBBY OR SKILL TO MY GRANDCHILDREN, I WOULD CHOOSE:

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Teach them to plant a garden and keep the weeds out

MY FAITH HAS INFLUENCED AND CONTRIBUTED TO MY LIFE IN THESE WAYS: To pray to Jesus and God makes me feel secure and loved. I try to be a good Christian example to my children; that makes me feel good.

THIS IS WHAT I REMEMBER ABOUT THE CHURCH ACTIVITIES I WAS INVOLVED IN OVER THE YEARS: When I went to school, I was an altar boy many times. At weddings, I enjoyed being an altar boy so I could collect some money from the groom.


AS AN ADULT, THESE FRIENDS HAVE BEEN ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT TO ME:

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The people I worked with

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Some of my neighbors

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The in-laws of my children

FRIENDSHIPS HAVE ENRICHED MY LIFE BY:

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My Uncle Max Mayer was always especially nice to me. He would always give me hair cuts and treat me nice.

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My grandmother Hillmeyer was very nice to me and my brother. When we visited her, she always gave us cookies and cold milk.

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My Uncle Joe Hillmeyer played card and dominoes with me often.

NUMEROUS HISTORICAL EVENTS THAT HAVE OCCURRED DURING MY LIFETIME:

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When President Kennedy was assassinated which was a big shock.

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The Depression was hard on us, but as we lived on the farm we raised most of our own food.

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When two of our sons were in the military during the Vietnam War we worried a lot about them.

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My brother, Leonard, was stationed in England during World War II. My poor cousin Herman Hillmeyer was killed in action in that war.


AS I LOOK BACK OVER THE EVENTS OF MY LIFE, THE THINGS THAT MADE ME THE HAPPIEST AND ABOUT WHICH I FEEL ESPECIALLY PROUD ARE:

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When I was a small child. On St. Nickolaus Day, after we had supper, Santa Claus use to throw us pecans and candy on the floor in the kitchen. That was a real nice treat for us kids.

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When we first married, my wife and I would make ice cream in the summer.

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In the winter, my wife and I would work together to butcher hogs and make sausage. I enjoyed working along side of her.

AS I LOOK TO THE FUTURE, I HAVE THESE HOPES AND GOALS FOR OUR FAMILY AND FOR MYSELF:

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I hope that my family and my wife and I will never have a serious tragedy.

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I especially hope that everyone will have a happy marriage and there will be no divorces.

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I hope all our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will have a happy and healthy life.


OTHER AREAS OF MY LIFE (Berniece)


AS AN ADULT, I HAVE ENJOYED THESE HOBBIES OR PASTIMES:

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Quilting, Crocheting, Baking, Sewing, Making doll for grandkids

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Catching up on reading that I didn't have time for when the kids were little

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I loved my garden and canning

IF I COULD TEACH A SPECIAL HOBBY OR SKILL TO MY GRANDCHILDREN, I WOULD CHOOSE:

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Crocheting

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Doughnut-making the old-fashioned way

MY FAITH HAS INFLUENCED AND CONTRIBUTED TO MY LIFE IN THESE WAYS: I always believed God never gave me a bigger cross than I could carry and he knew when he put me here how many years I'd have. St. Teresa was my saint (she loved roses and other flowers). She was always there to hear my prayers. One incident I remember: Daddy always brought me roses. One Sunday he came in and said, 'sorry, no roses today'. You will have to be satisfied with cotton roses.


THIS IS WHAT I REMEMBER ABOUT THE CHURCH ACTIVITIES I WAS INVOLVED IN OVER THE YEARS: At church picnics in Selma, all the women made potato salad. The priest ask who made mine; he liked it. Me and Daddy donated a cake. It was so pretty. They sold chances for it; it brought $75.

AS AN ADULT, THESE FRIENDS HAVE BEEN ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT TO ME:

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Mrs. Rieman - she was always handy to sell me eggs for my brooder & give advice.

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Mrs. Heiman - it was nice just to set in her kitchen and have coffee and cookies.

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Mrs. Helmke - was good at listening to my problems

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Mrs. Nell Levett & Mrs. Harlos - the walks after breakfast while our husbands were at work.

ƒ Lucy Hernandez - She was a very kind-hearted lady who I enjoyed visiting with.

FRIENDSHIPS HAVE ENRICHED MY LIFE BY:

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Colonel Hastings giving me confidence in the things I do. And Mrs. Hastings, who was like a second mother to me.

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Mr. Tanner & Mr. Sassman (my teachers) who thought I should be a teacher, because I was good with little kids.

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The old lady who helped me so much when Daddy and Clarence were sick. She is the first person to tell me that God only gives you as big a cross as you can carry.


NUMEROUS HISTORICAL EVENTS THAT HAVE OCCURRED DURING MY LIFETIME:

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The Depression - in 1933, they made a law you could only have so many hogs and cows. They gave Papa two weeks to get rid of 14 cows. He couldn't sell them so he gave them to poor people. The government came with big machines and dug a long trench. They then drove the hogs into the trench shot them and covered them. We were on Welfare for a while, then Papa quit; he didn't wanted us growing up thinking we could get things for nothing. We worked for neighbors for food. When we were old enough, we baby-sat and cleaned houses for the people on Randolph Field.

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World War II - It was so depressing to read the paper because most of the boys I went to school with died or were badly injured. We were on the farm, so food wasn't scarce. Tires you couldn't buy. Gas was rationed. We got coupons for gas, sugar, meats, canned food. You had to return the cans to get more food. You couldn't buy any kind of paper products. That's when I started making patterns.

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Vietnam - This was worse for me and Daddy because Wally was over there and David was also in the service. I was so worried that Wally would get hurt over there. I prayed that he would come home safely.


AS I LOOK BACK OVER THE EVENTS OF MY LIFE, THE THINGS THAT MADE ME THE HAPPIEST AND ABOUT WHICH I FEEL ESPECIALLY PROUD ARE:

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My sweet husband. He never complained about my cooking.

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My children. I feel especially proud of the fact that all ten of them are healthy, kindhearted and responsible people.

AS I LOOK TO THE FUTURE, I HAVE THESE HOPES AND GOALS FOR OUR FAMILY AND FOR MYSELF:

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That our family will always stay close

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That just once more, I could have all my family together for a family picture and a family reunion.

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That as long as I live, I will never be a burden on any of my children

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I don't want to ever be on life support systems or have to go to a nursing home. I would rather live one day in my home than 10 years in a nursing home.

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Most of all, I want to enjoy the time I have left with Daddy and our rides we take together. The new areas we find, the crazy things we do in our old age. We are like kids exploring things we never had time for before.


SPECIAL MEMORIES


SPECIAL MEMORIES: (Berniece) When we first met, we hunted a church we liked to go to. One Sunday afternoon we came across the Little Flower Church. So we always went their and then had breakfast at the Black Cat Restaurant (mexican food). Then we would go riding, to the park or to the movies. When we lived on Holmgreen Road, I'd take a bath and give Clarence one. Then we'd wait for Daddy to come home and we'd go on a picnic. On the farm, it was peaceful laying on the porch and listening to the windmill and cattle moving around and the noise the guineas make when someone strange came on the place.

(Alois) Before I met my wife, it was just me and my Dad in the Kruse house. Then I met my wife, Berniece, and we got married. I was so happy to have her to share my life with. I enjoyed working side-by-side with her and the fun times we shared.

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ANNIVERSARIES WE REMEMBER MOST: Our 25th in 1963. Clarence & JoAnn, Janie & Jesse surprised us with a wonderful supper. Our 39th in 1977. You kids really surprised us with a Turkey supper. Afterwards, Father O'Cleary had Mass at our house for us. I don't remember the year; but Daddy and I got ourselves a Turkey Dinner at Luby's and drove to a roadside park at Spring Branch and sat covered with a blanket to eat. Then, of course, the 50th in 1988, when you kids went all out. Helping renew our Marriage Vows at the Little Flower Church. Then the Turkey Supper, and the dance. It was wonderful to have our family and friends to help us celebrate our Golden Years. We want to thank you all & God for making it all possible. We have ten of the greatest kids; we were truly blessed. No couple ever had it so great. And the good times have surely out weighed the bad. We want to thank our children, their spouses and grandchildren for all you have done for us. In closing, we hope this book will help us say a big "THANK YOU" and share some of our memories with you. We Love You All,

Mama & Daddy (Berniece Biesenbach Kruse & Alois B. Kruse)

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ADDITIONAL MEMORIES (Alois & Berniece)


CHILDHOOD (Alois B. Kruse)

DADDY ON BURNING A BALE OF COTTON One day, Gerard and I were in the house talking about the bale of cotton that was up in the attic. And one of us said, "I bet it won't burn". So we decided to experiment and took some matches and went upstairs and lit that bail of cotton. (Dad was out in the fields). Anyway, after we lit the thing it didn't flame, you know. It just fizzles, because cotton is compressed so tight together and we didn't know what to do, we were scared stiff. First thing you know, Dad came home right away - he must have been pretty close to the house. He picked up the bail of cotton and threw it out the window. He took some water and killed the fire. Then he was going to give us a spanking and he took us up to the barn. I thought he was going to look for a real strong leather whip out by the barn. So he took us up there and by the time we got up there he had done cooled off. So he didn't spank us, he said let's kneel down and pray and thank God that ya'll didn't get hurt. And after that he talked to us about it and said never to play with matches.

DADDY ON THE HILLMEYER'S IN THE RETIRED YEARS I can still see Grandpa and Grandma Hillmeyer in the garden right after he retired from farming and Uncle Max rented his farm. They had a big garden and it was real good soil. I can still see them working in that garden. They kept that garden growing good. They lived within walking distance of our house. About 6 months before Grandpa Hillmeyer died they moved to Selma, right next to the Catholic church. (He was about 80 years when he died).

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DADDY ON THE HILLMEYER'S They had a kettle made out of copper where they cooked there jelly in and stuff like that - real copper. They would hang it over the old fire outside and cook jelly or whatever they wanted to cook. They had 2 porches - 1 in the front facing the NE side and the other was in the back. I can still see Grandpa sitting on that back porch -- especially in the summertime. On the southside of the house, he had about 4 or 5 acres of land cleared. He didn't work it, he just kept his cows and stuff like that on it. He didn't have but a couple of cows at that time. He actually had over 100 acres of land, that he had bought from Uncle Clemens Kruse in 1906. (Originally the tract of land of about 240 acres was purchased by Engelhart Kruse (Daddy's grandfather). Well that was too much land for one person, so he divided it. He probably sold 80 acres to Clemens Kruse and Clemens sold a portion to the Hillmeyers. And then later the Hillmeyers sold half of their land to Uncle Max Meyer and Aunt Teresa. Then after Grandpa Hillmeyer retired, then Uncle Max worked all the land, except for the 4 or 5 acres. It was all good land. I remember Grandpa Hillmeyer's 75th birthday. They celebrated it at Grandpa's house. They had alot of cake and ice cream and stuff. He was healthy then, he just got sick all of sudden. Later on, Uncle Joe bought the farm and raised his family on it.

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CHILDHOOD (Berniece (Biesenbach) Kruse)

MAMA ON CHILDHOOD STORIES When we were still living in Converse. We had company and it was raining and it was a real bad thunderstorm. It was lightening real bad. Mama was holding Dorothy on one side and Opa was holding me. And the porch, the steps went down on the both sides of the posts and half of us were standing on one side of the post and the other standing on the other half of the post and lightning struck the post and just splintered it to shreds.

When we were living in Schertz in the house had 13 rooms in it. So we each had our own room to play in and one day I was playing paper dolls in my room. The landlord was coming by and Mama told us to get our mess cleaned up so I swept my paper dolls all in the middle of the room and I lit a match to them. The wallpaper even caught fire. Opa ran to the bathroom and got a bucket of water and put it out. I was about 4 or 5 years old. I think they were all too scared to get mad at me -- so I didn't get a spanking.

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MAMA ON HER DAD (Walter Biesenbach) My Dad played several musical instruments: E-flat alto, bass, tuba, guitar, E-alto flat horn. He played the E-alto flat instrument when he first started with the Lieck Band. All the Liecks played musical instruments or they sang. There must have been about 150 in the band. Opa and Uncle Carlos started the "Salitillo Liederkranz", a singing group. My Dad played with the American Legion, Louie's Little German Band, The Lieck Band. Opa did the singing. In fact, I don't know if they ever got paid for it until Papa started playing with the Little Louie's Band, in 1935. They played at Echo, KT, Luxella, Crescent Bend and Oak Grove and Fess Hall here in town. Mama always went along with Papa on the weekends when he played.

MAMA ON HER DAD'S PERSONALITY Papa was a real calm, easy going man. But he was a tease. One thing I remember about Papa, whenever he came home from the field, he would always grab wildflowers. We always had flowers on the table.

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MAMA ON SONG OPA WROTE TO HER Opa in the evening after the dishes were done, we would sit out on the porch and he'd sit in the rocker and sing to us. He and Papa would have Esteleen and Randy in their laps. When they went to sleep, Papa carried them to bed and I'd always pretend I was sleeping and then they told me to go to bed, I'd wake up so that he'd have to sing to me a little bit longer. That little german song that I sing all of the time. He wrote that especially for me. "You are a little flower, so nice, so sweet, so clean. You are not like the flowers, the flowers are like you."

MAMA ON OPA'S STORIES Opa taught me everything I know about chickens, cows, horses. You name it, he taught me. Opa was full of old stories. Opa claims he broke horses for the Southern Pacific RR when he was about 15 or 16 years from Uvalde to Luling. He says he met Wild Bill Hickok. Everything I've read about Wild Bill, he never says anything about the Southern Pacific RR. Even though I've seen a picture of Opa and Wild Bill together. I think he was just going thru Converse and Opa met him there probably the first time.

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MAMA ON THE BIESENBACH'S Jacob (my great great grandfather) had a butcher shop on the corner of the San Antone River and Commerce street. Joseph (my great grandfather) raised and butchered the cattle and sold them to him on his farm east of Converse. And they sold in their own meat market. They did that up until the time of his death. I think Uncle Joe was going to take it over and the city at that time made them inspect the meat.

MAMA ON THE MAUTTFIELD'S The Mauttfield's (my great great grandparents) came over in 1845. They came over with the Solms/Fisher land grant and they settled around New Braunfels. He only lived 9 months over here. When he died she didn't get the land till 15 years later (with the land out there in San Saba where we always go see). One of her children died at sea from some kind of disease. Cause they didn't get that much water to bring them over here. They only got two 3-gallon jugs, and that had to do the whole family and their cattle. She was a twin. She raised her family working in a Chinese laundry. Grandma & Grandpa met in New Braunfels because they lived beside Peter Biesenbach, who was Joseph's cousin. All the kids were baptized Lutheran and then they got older they went to the religion they wanted to be and that's how Opa became a Catholic, because the Liecks were strong Catholics. (Opa's wife was a Lieck). When they came over here they owned Brackenridge Park. Gottfried Lieck had land there and then when they sold that they to moved to Converse and that's how Opa met grandma.

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THE ACKERMANN'S (Grandma Lena Graf's grandparents) Well the story I like most. A colored man was beating up Frederick Ackermann and my great-grandmother (Katherine) kept on baking her bread and put all money and jewelry in the bread and put it in the oven. After the colored man left, she took the bread out of the oven and took the jewelry out and then she went to see if grandpa was allright. The Ackerman's owned all the land from the Salado Creek to Walzem Rd., except a little corner that belonged to the Graf's. When he died, he divided it among his kids (there were 10 or 12 kids). I remember where Frederick Ackerman's log cabin was. I used to go out there with Grandma Graf. Mama's mother was Lena. Even after she was dead they would still go out there and wet the floor down and they had a square thing they would beat the floor down so it would be nice and firm. I can remember when they tore that log cabin down. They tore it down where I-35 was built. At that time they re-buried the old Ackerman's in the Mission Burial Park on the southside. I was with Grandma (Lena) in 1949 when they were re-buried.

THE ACKERMANN'S (Grandma Graf's Parents) Fred Ackerman (Grandma Graf's father) rented land in Kirby to Randolph Air Force Base. They used it for a training field. He didn't trust banks, so he would go to Randolph on the first of each month to collect the rent from his tenants at 12:00 noon, even if it was Sunday or Holidays.

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THE GRAF'S (Grandma Graf's family) We don't know a whole lot about the Graf's. Minna Graf's (Grandma Lena Graf's mother) father went to work for the Czar as a secretary and when trouble broke out in Germany, they had to leave. Well the Liecks did too. Gottfried Lieck's father was murdered for politics reasons. Grandma Lena Graf was born in Kirby. In fact, the house that she was born in is still standing.

MAMA ON COLONEL HASTINGS I used to baby-sit his children. He told me that if I'd go with them to Washington, D.C. he would see that I got a good education. But I met Daddy instead, so I stayed behind. His kids just cried when I didn't go with them. I kept in touch with them and with his children. He was in charge of the theatre on Randolph Field. I would take his 3 boys every Saturday. I met a lot of movie stars there.

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MARRIED LIFE

MAMA ON LEARNING HOW TO COOK I didn't want Daddy to know that I couldn't cook. Barbara tried to teach me but she was only there about 2 weeks. So I told Opa, I didn't know what I was going to do. And he said, "if you can keep a secret, I can". So he'd come sit in the pasture every morning and wait until Daddy and Grandpa Kruse went to the field. He would come in and help me bake bread and show me how to make spagetti. None of Daddy's family knew that I didn't know how to cook. In fact, Daddy didn't know. I had to learn fast.

MAMA AND DADDY BEING PLAYFUL The first nice day we had after we got married, I playfully threw a cup of water at daddy and he picked up a bucket and threw a whole bucket at me. And before we quit we were both soaking wet. We must have played around like that for about 15 minutes and then he went to the field soaking wet and I had a kitchen to mop.

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MAMA ON HOW HER CHILDREN WERE NAMED Clarence was named after Clarence Lieck. He always took Opa everywhere he went. So I always went with Opa and we'd go to the Majestic and during intermission they'd have dance hall girls. And after the movie we'd go to the Longhorn Saloon. It's a museum now, but those days it was on Houston street a few blocks from the Majestic. Well, they didn't allow kids in their, Clarence Lieckalways wore a long coat, so I'd hang on to his belt. And we'd walk in there -- those waitresses knew there was a pair of extra legs under there, but they never said anything because Opa was such a good customer. And they put us at the corner table and I got a pink drink. I was allowed to go along, because I was supposed to stay at Opa's sister, Adalia ?? Well I never did, I would cry and Opa would take me everywhere he went. Janie was named after Janie Napier, a little girl I used to take care of. She had red hair -- that was a coincidence, because Janie didn't have red hair when she born. She didn't have any hair at all. And the Ann is from daddy's mom. David is named after a little kid, when we lived on Holmgreen. He'd always come over because I baked bread. He'd always want a piece of butter bread. Wally is named after Papa, Walter Biesenbach. Nancy is named after a girl I used to take care of and Aunt Caroline, Daddy's aunt.

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Barbie is named after Daddy's sister and Nell Levertt. She lived in that first house on our street. She and I were real good friends. Mike is named after another kid I used to take care of, Mike Browder. Well you might say he is just like Mike. He was a little tease. In fact, when he had food that he didn't like. He was a captain's son and they had great big tables cause they entertained alot, and the boards fit under the table. Whenever he didn't like anything and his parents weren't looking, he'd take the food and lay it out there under the table. Joy is named after a kid I used to take care of. Her name was Joyce Valentine. Her brother is the first kid I baby-sat for. Cheri is named after Colonel Hastings wife. She was like a second mom. Tesa is named after St. Teresa. Daddy was a whole lot against me naming her Theresa because he couldn't pronounce the TH. When I was 6 months pregnant, the boys were teasing Janie and Nancy. So they held the door in between the 2 bedrooms closed. Well I took all my weight and pushed against the door -- and when they let go, I fell flat on my stomach. And I prayed and prayed to St. Teresa that if my baby would be allright, I would name her Teresa.

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MAMA ON CLARENCE GETTING ON TOP OF WELL When Clay was only two years old and Janie was a baby. I was fixin dinner and I missed Clarence. I went out and looked for him and he was sittin on top of that old well. It had a roof shape, and a rickety old fence around it, and the boards were real rotten on it. And I had to go ahead and coax him to the farther side, because I couldn't make him turn around, I was scared he'd fall in. So I coaxed him and I got him to where I could grab him and pulled him to safety. Then for next week, all daddy did was haul dirt to fill the hole up. It was about 35 feet deep at least and about 14 feet in diameter. If he would have fell in there he would have broken every bone in his body, because it was layed out in big rocks.

MAMA ON DOLL GIVEN TO JANIE Aunt Barbara, daddy's sister, gave Janie her rocker and doll. The doll had a china face and the legs and arms had joints.

MAMA ON SNAKE SCARE The corn house was almost empty. There was a snake laying between me and the kids. And they were playing in their wagon and I called Clarence and told to take the kids (Clay, Janie, David and Wally) and put them in the car and then bring me the shotgun with 2 shells. Then I told him to go back to the car and when he got back to the car, he should sound the horn. When he sounded the horn, I shot the snake. Life on the farm was always full of surprises.

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MAMA ON PLANES CRASHING IN THEIR PLOWED FIELD When the first plane crashed in our field, we didn't have any kids and it sounded like the mules were running away with the wagon. I walked out of the chicken house, and this airplane was sitting there, just swaying. It landed nose down and the tail was up in the air and swaying. The pilot crawled out and he was all right. When the other plane crash happened, I saw him coming. I was shucking corn outside the corn house. I saw the plane coming down - I knew it was going to land. And then it took a turn and popped. But I tell you, I never put the kids in their little wagon so fast. I was ran toward the house as fast as I could with my kids.

DADDY ON BABY CHICKENS One time the brooder went out - Mama had a lot of little baby chicks - small baby chicks and didn't know what to do with them. Mama took them in the back bedroom and kept them warm in there for a few days till they got bigger. They were in there chirp, chirp, chirping all night long. Baby chicks need warmth. If they don't have enough warmth, then they will cuddle together and smother each other.

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MAMA ON THE CALF THAT RAN THROUGH THE FENCE One of our young calves went thru a barbed-wire fence. Daddy held him down and I stitched him up. So it got to be butchering time and they said the skin wouldn't bring no money because of the big tear it had in it - it was cut about 18". But there was no way I would let them butcher that calf. It followed me around the yard. It never went back to the pasture with the other cows. And then we had a sow that died. She left 13 pigs, well I raised 2 of them. And here those 250 pound hogs, they were pets, they weren't pigs. And they wanted to butcher one of them, well they didn't do that either. I wouldn't have cooked that meat.

DADDY ON GRAPES (JELLY AND WINE) We had mustang and agarita grapes growing wild in the pasture. Dad grew the tame grapes vining up on mesquite trees by the hog pen. My dad made good wine from agarita grapes. He put the wine in wooden barrels in the cool cellar. Dad would give the Mexican helpers a glass of wine whenever they came up to the house. We had 2 or 3 different kinds of wine. I didn't care to drink wine; I didn't like the taste of it. We made different kinds of jelly. We also made agarita jelly. In the middle of May the agarita started getting ripe. You could always tell who made grape jelly, cause our arms were purple up to the elbows.

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DADDY ON THE MISSION'S BASEBALL We (Berniece and I) would listen to the Mission's play on the radio. They were a pretty good baseball team back then. When we were first married, we would go watch them play on Saturdays and Sundays.

DADDY ON LISTENING TO SHOWS ON THE RADIO: I made a crystal radio. It had a little crystal on it and we put copper wiring around a round tube until it touched. It was 9" long. I built an antenna by putting a long pipe in the air by fastening it to a tree. It had a little thin wire that went from the aerial to the crystal and then it was attached to headphones. We didn't have but one headphone, so we'd take the other one off the telephone. So when the phone rang, we had to put it back quickly. We listened to such radio shows as: George Burns & Gracy Allen, Fibber McGee & Molly, Jack Benny & Rochester, Amos & Andy, Weber & Fields (Showboat). Our favorite show was "Lights Out". It was a mystery story. The only radio station we could get was WOAI.

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DADDY ON HIS FIRST JOB 1941 (on Holmgreen Rd.) we moved to town and I got my first job at Staffels Feed and Seed Store. I sold retail cattle feed and seed. I got about $18.50 a week. Then after 8 months, I got a raise. I was promoted to manage one of their store on West Commerce. I was on the store all by myself and I worked there till December. Then we moved back to the farm in December of 1942. I remember one incident, it was raining real hard, it was at night after I had closed the store. It was raining real hard with the storm and I was worried about the store - I knew it was in a real old tin building. So I went back over there at 1o'clock in the morning and went inside and boy it had rained in and the water was dripping down out on the feed sacks. So I went ahead and moved it all, put stuff, anyway I was protected the feed from the rain. I went back there and stayed with it until I had it all under control. Anyway that was the first job I had.

DADDY ON HIS SECOND JOB: Then in 1947, before we moved to town, I got myself a temporary job at the stock yards. It lasted about 2 weeks, maybe a month. My job was watching the cattle and making sure the cattle were allright at the stockyards. Then, meanwhile I had this stomach problem, I had to have my appendix removed. That was the end of my job. Then in December, we moved to town permanently. We had this house built, we sold all of our farm equipment and everything and moved over here.

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DADDY NEXT JOB AT HANDY ANDY My next job was at Handy Andy in the meat department. I worked there, as a butcher's helper or apprentice. I worked there for 3 1/2 years. I was hurt a couple of times. One time I got hooked on a meat hook - I reached up high for a box and I slipped and I hooked my hand in the meat hook and I had to have it stitched. And one time I was sawing pork chops with a meat hand saw and I cut myself. You can still see the scar there. I worked there till the middle of 1951. DADDY'S NEXT JOB AT METZGER DAIRY Then I got myself a job at Metzger Dairy. Selling retail, delivering milk. I worked there till 1958. I had to get up real early in the morning (4 a.m.) and check the load, make sure that they put on the right amount of milk on there and I had to ice it down. When I first started working there, I loaded my truck myself. But then, toward, they loaded the truck for me. All you had to fill the order sheet and they'd load for me, but you had to check and make sure they didn't charge you. Wally helped me on the milk truck during the school vacation. While I was delivering the milk to different apartment houses, he went back there and straightened out the cases. Well, he started drinking the chocolate milk, which was allright, I had to pay for the milk anyway. Anyway, he started drinking that milk. And then when I came back, I said, "Wally, are you ready? Can I go?" (all I had to do was pull up a little bit to another stop, real close by). Wally said, "No, no, no, I'm not. Wait, wait." So I waited a while, I looked back there. I said, "Are you ready now"? He said, "No. Wait." He was in the middle of drinking the chocolate milk.

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David went with me sometimes also. (Mama says David and Wally would argue in their sleep at night about who was going with daddy on his route.) I did pretty good until I got disgusted. Part of Billy Mitchell Village they changed these military around and that part they sent nothing but temporary military people. I didn't like that, so I told the boss I wanted to quit. So he finally gave me a northside route and by that time I was disgusted. In the meanwhile, I had this set up for the post office job. In fact, they called me for an interview and they said, "when can you be ready start?" I told him "I have to let you know, I haven't told my boss yet". I have to give him notice. I started at the post office in July of 1958.

DADDY ON POST OFFICE JOB When I first started I had to wear my white milkman clothes, because I didn't have a uniform. We had to wait for our uniforms to come in. Some of the other carriers would kid me and say "hey, don't put the mail in the refrigerator". I was a carrier and worked out of the main post office downtown. I worked downtown as a carrier till Christmas seasons starts in the beginning of December, then they sent me temporarily to Beacon Hill to run the Christmas collection route and then from their they sent me to the Guilbeau station. I worked out of the Guilbeau station as a carrier about 3 months. From there, I went to South San and stayed there till the rest of my subing years and in 1965 I made regular carrier. I got my own route and they assigned me to Lackland. After I was there a few weeks, I bid and transferred to Terrell Wells. I had that route for about 6 or 8 months. From there I went to Cresthaven - I was there about 6 months. And I bid over to the

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Highland Hills station. When I was over there about 6 months, I started having a problem with my skin, because of the sunshine, the doctor advised me to get an inside job. So then, in August in 1967, I changed over from carrier to clerk. And from there on I just clerked. The last 10 years, I was expediter. Then at Harry Brown Annex, I clerked for a number of years. One time I had a birthday, (it was in 1973 or 74) and ya'll kids came over and brought me a cake and everybody sang "Happy Birthday". I had a good-hearted boss (who was a family man) who didn't mind all the kids coming in like that. The guys I worked with kidded me for a long time about that. An article was even printed in the Post Office Newspaper.

DADDY'S FIRST DAY OF RETIREMENT On January 2, 1988 was my first day of retirement. The last day I worked was January 1, 1988. I retired at the Post Office with 30 years of service.

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The Memory Book  

A look back at the lives of alois and berniece kruse.

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