Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Ernie Margheim: On Barn Dances, Wedding Dances, and Musician Cousins

This is an email Ernie wrote to relatives as he shared an obituary of his cousin Helen Morgenstern in 2008. How many people would love to get details such as these simply when someone shares an obituary with them!
Jake and Hannah (Templing) Margheim family group
Jake Margheim was the brother of John Margheim as shown in the chart below. Jake's daughter Helen was the subject of the obituary Dad was sharing.
You can see that Mollie Koleber and John Margheim had son Ernest Margheim, who is my father. So the children of Jake and Hannah Margheim were first cousins of my dad.

Listed as the second child in this family group is
Hannah Templing, who married my granduncle
 Jake Margheim. She and her siblings are the
children of Henry and Eva Elisabeth (Maier) Templing.
Ernie writes: "This obituary on Helen Morgenstern is of my cousin. She was the daughter of my "Dad's brother Jake and wife Hannah (Templing) that lived up near Susank, KS. I worked on their farm a couple of summers in the wheat harvest. Our folks used to go visit them many Sunday afternoons. I have many memories of walking their pastures with their son Marvin, checking for horny toads, rattle snakes, and lots of small lizards. (The horny toad is like a toad, dry hide, and when you approach them, on their backs they raised their spikes. You did not want to step on them, the whole back is covered with spikes that raise up as their defense when scared.) The pasture was sort of rocky so those little lizards were hiding on the shady side of the rocks, panting from the heat.

The Templing's neighbors were the large Nuss family. They would come down to Uncle Jake's place on Sunday afternoon and their son Gerhardt would join us as we'd wander the pastures and countryside, often carrying .22 rifles to shoot rabbits. 

When I was a little older, a Senior in high school in 1939, while I was out at their place on Sunday, a car load of young folks (usually five or six to a car) came out to attend the Sunday Night Hejny Barn Dance and I got to go along. Of course we always had to first stop off at the bootlegger Bartonek and get a couple of bottles of wine. 

Those were memorable days. My stays at their farm, I got paid $3.75 a week, plus room and board and laundry. I helped through wheat harvest and I had the job of plowing the wheat stubble fields with their McCormick-Deering Tractor, pulling a three or four sheared plow. It was a great experience at my age of 16, 17, and 18. 

In those days they had no electricity on their farm. So evenings were spent with coal oil (kerosene) lamps. They also had a hand crank Victrola phonograph. We played Jimmie Rodgers and Gene Autry cowboy singing records and Bohemian Polka Band records. 

Uncle Jake's kids at that time were Viola (Warner), Rudy Margheim, Helen (Morgenstern), and Marvin Margheim. Cousins Viola, Elsie Michaelis and Alvina Koleber were real close buddies through those years (like the Three Musketeers - ha). Rudy later married Martha Brack. Helen and her husband Luther Morgenstern never had any kids. I went to visit Helen and Luther on one of my early trips from Canon City to Great Bend and I always stopped in at the rest home to visit Viola who was a resident there. I also visited Rudy's widow Martha one year when she was there. The next year she was released, so I visited her at her home.

During my high school years (1936-1940) there were several of us Margheims who had birthdays in August so we always had a birthday dance at the Susank Hall, with music by the Templing Brothers fiddle hochzeit bands. Henry, Jake, and Emanuel were real wedding dance musicians. In those days of German weddings, at the end of the wedding ceremony at church, musicians would (ouz blowza) stand outside the church steps as the people exited the ceremony and play hymns on their horns, (trumpet, baritone, trombone, etc.) It was a "Goose bumps on your back" experience for me. 
The Templing Band, compliments of
Judy Bender McGreevy, daughter of
Ernie and Helen (Templing) Bender.
David Templing made hammered dulcimers
A Hammered Dulcimer
(SchlochBret) for other people and also made fiddles. Those Templing men were brothers to the wife of Uncle Jake, Hannah Templing. Henry Templing's son David had a daughter Helen, who married Ernie Bender. She was a proficient accordian (Hochzeit and Polka) musician. Phyllis and I were friends of Ernie and Helen Bender. We visited with them when we took my mom to the Hays (KS) Dietz/Deines family reunions. Today Ernie and Helen (Templing) Bender are residents of Great Bend Health and Rehab, where Helen (Margheim) Morgenstern was a resident before her death. Great Bend Health and Rehab is west of the Great Bend Cemetery, near the intersection of K-96 and Broadway. Have I got you all confused? Some names and/or places might register with some of you, my family and friends. Stay in touch! Ernie" 

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