Thursday, September 4, 2008
This blog is about me. However, there are events that shaped my being long before I was born, so I don't feel too bad about going back to decades before I was born. I want to introduce you to my maternal grandfather, Earl Cyrus DeWees. He was of Dutch extraction and Pennsylvania Dutch by upbringing. DeWees means "the orphan," or so I am told. Most Pennsylvania Dutch are actually of German extraction and are often called Pennsylvania German. The Dutch is a perversion of Deutsch, which is what the German people are called in German. Grandpa and Grandma DeWees, however, were both of Dutch Ancestry.
Grandpa DeWees was born in the Autumn of 1897 and was about 21 years of age when this photograph was taken. He lived a long life, passing away in the Summer of 1972.
I had little interaction with my mother's father. He visited the family home several times, especially after my mother was injured in an automobile accident. I remember him well. In the 1950's he was somewhat heavier than he was in the photo above. He also had a wine birthmark or facial scar (it doesn't show in this picture, which may have been retouched) that was quite large.
I know that he had been an electrician and worked as a lineman at one time. I am told he was once knocked off a power pole.
I did not see him again until after I had joined the Navy. In fact, I was in my second enlistment when I visited him in Richmond, Virginia. He was then 77 years old and failing in health. It was a nice, but short, visit.
While I know little of him and his story I know that without him I would not be here today. I still have a few relatives alive who knew him well. I think I'll ask them to fill in the large gaps of my knowledge.