Monday, July 7, 2008

Who Are Those Girls?

Nearly 28 years ago when Donna and I first really met, she came from Los Angeles to visit me in Springfield, IL. While she was there, we went through a carton of old family photos which included the below picture:

I mentioned to Donna that I knew who the girl on the right was but had no idea about the other girl and the man. Donna knew who they were. The picture was taken sometime in the 1920-22 range; we aren't exactly sure. The man is Peter Rycus, the blond girl is his daughter Sadie and the dark haired girl is Martha Morritz. The girls represent a friendship that eventually led to the bringing together of 2 families.

Peter Rycus was Donna's great grandfather. Sadie, who met her husband Abe Max at my parents wedding, is Donna's maternal grandmother. Martha, who later married Bill Cohen, is my mother. Sadie and Martha were close friends. There is no way they could imagine that 60+ years after this picture was taken, Sadie's oldest granddaughter (Donna) would marry Martha's youngest son (now known by his children as The Ancient One). Their friendship was the beginning of a trail that led to the combining of two families that was formalized when Donna and I married on January 1, 1981. (Actually, the blending of the families came in 1972 when Abe and Martha, both widowed at the time, married each other.)

Occasionally, we have had to assure people that Donna's marriage to me was not incestuous. While it is true that my mother-in-law is my step sister, we are not related by blood. When my kids explain the full range of relationships within our family, e.g. Donna is my step niece as well as my wife, it is reminiscent of that old song, "I'm My Own Grandpa."

We do have fun explaining it all to those who are curious.


Charles Gramlich said...

Old pictures are so interesting. I've got some of my mom's wedding, and she's 91 now, almost 92. The clothes are endlessly fascinating.

Stacie said... step-brother married my first cousin, and they have two little girls. My brother and I have no kids, much to the disappointment of my father, but now, since his stepson married his sister's daughter, in a weird sort of way, he has grandchildren that are blood related as well as related by marriage. Great blog...found you via As Time Goes By....

Eric Valentine said...

Love old pictures too Leon. That's quite an interesting story, one could get a headache figuring it all out. :)