White Brick School Finniwig Studios KebIrish Gazette Ariadne Threads Guild

Volume 3, Issue 2

April 1, 2000


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Preserving the Past

Gustav Otto Seifert 1907-1973

Family Tree Update

Lost Time

Family Favorites - Fried Bread

Photo Questions

Gustav Otto Seifert

1907 – 1973

Otto Seifert was born February 8, 1907 in South Bend, Indiana to Hans Seifert and Margaret Goldstein.

At South Bend High School in the 1920s, Otto was a gifted athlete, winning his letter in several sports, including football as a quarterback. He also competed in sports at Western Michigan College in Kalamazoo, Michigan where he graduated in 1932. Otto later received his master's degree from the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana.

In 1935 he married Verna Fenska and had two sons Ronald and Robert. Otto was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II.

Otto was a coach and teacher in the South Bend Community School Corporation for 38 years and was director of the Leeper Park tennis program for more than 30 summers. And as instructor, confidant and benefactor of thousands of young and old tennis players through the years, he was well-known for his tennis throughout the nation. In tennis, he was the ranking committeeman of the Western District of the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association and in 1971 was the head referee of the NCAA championships at Notre Dame.

He received his nickname "Pie" from a school-day incident involving a bakery truck driver, and the nickname followed him throughout his life. In his days at Benjamin Harrison Elementary School, he might have been known as "Mr. Seifert," but in his favorite haunt at Leeper Park, he was simply "Pie" to tennis buffs young and old.

He was a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, the South Bend Tennis Club and the Maennerchor Club, and a retired athletic official in several sports. Otto died on Sunday, November 25, 1973 at the Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis after a short illness. Services were held at the Welsheimer Funeral Home and burial at the Highland Cemetery in South Bend, Indiana.

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Preserving the Past

Family treasures link generations in a deep, personal way. Anyone who has seen a child’s chair, a great-grand-mother’s kerosene lantern, old pictures, or a family bible knows how moving these pieces of history can be.

Enjoying family heir-looms and preserving them is always a balancing act. Exposing almost any family treasure to everyday changes in light, heat, and humidity will eventually cause damage.

All objects deteriorate over time, so start caring for them now. Make sure to identify, photograph, and main-tain records of your treasures. Describe the history and condition of each object, note who made, purchased, or used it, and tell what it means to your family. Always identify individuals in a family photograph and the time and place it was taken. Getting the details down on paper is rewarding in itself, and gives you a way to monitor the condition of your treasures.

Store your treasures in a stable, clean environ-ment. A temperature of 72°F or below, and humidity between 45 and 55 percent are ideal goals. Both sun and fluorescent light fade and discolor most treasures and are especially dangerous to fabrics and anything of paper.

Photographs. To improve the odds, make duplicates of important images. Cool, dry, and dark are the best conditions for preserving photos, negatives, and slides. Display copies of photographs whenever possible and store the originals separately. Use acid-free not magnetic or self-adhesive photo albums.

Special Papers. Do not laminate special papers; such as naturalization papers, birth certificates, etc. Store loose papers unfolded in individual acid-free paper or polyester folders and keep the folders in acid-free (not wooden) boxes. Highly acidic materials like news-paper clippings often become yellow and brittle quickly. Separate them from other papers and photocopy the clippings onto acid-free paper.

Ceramics, Glass, and Stone. Display and store ceramics and glass away from direct sunlight on level shelves. Dust ceramic, glass, or stone objects with a magnetic dust cloth. Do not use dusting sprays, polishes, and commercial cleaners.

Books. Keep treasured books out of attics and basements. Open books carefully, and don’t press down on the pages to flatten the

spine. Stand books upright on shelves. Support them with books or book ends of similar size. Store books on shelves lined with polyester film or heavy, acid-free paper-board. Dust books at least once a year with a magnetic dust cloth or a vacuum on very low suction, using the brush attachment covered with cheesecloth.

Fabrics. Display fabrics flat or hung at an angle to reduce pull. When you bring your textiles out into the light, keep the light low and the occasion brief. Store folded textiles in acid-free boxes with acid-free tissue between layers, or wrap them in clean white sheets. Pad the folds with tissue to avoid creasing. Store rugs or heavy blankets by rolling them with the pile outward and wrapping with washed muslin.

Furniture. Display furniture in the lowest possible light. Keep it out of sunlight and avoid shining lamps directly onto important pieces. Use felt or another soft cloth to pad the base of any object placed on furniture. Coasters will help protect surfaces from food, water, alcohol, candle wax, and scratches. Avoid using or moving damaged furniture. Keep historic furniture out of attics and basements. Check regularly for evidence of insects and mold. Don’t use commercial oils that claim to “feed” the finish or sprays containing silicone. If necessary, clean wooden surfaces with a lint-free cloth lightly dampened with a mild soap-and-water solution. Use paste wax sparingly, once a year, to make light dusting easier. Wax around, not on, damaged areas. Clean upholstery by vacuuming carefully through a plastic screen, and avoid stain-resistant treatments. Original finishes and upholstery are very important to the value of heirloom furniture. Do not alter or remove them if possible.

Scrapbooks and Albums. Handle old scrapbooks and albums with care. Never repair them with tape or glue. Shelve small and medium-sized scrap-books and albums upright. If they are large, bulge open, or contain loose items, display or store them flat. If a scrapbook’s cover is loose, tie the book closed with linen or cotton tape.

News clippings and other yellowed papers are highly acidic and may harm items on nearby pages. Separate them from other items with sheets of acid-free paper or polyester film. Use only plastic or acid-free paper corners to reattach loose items.

Silver and other metals. Different metals need different kinks of care. All

antique metals lose value when buffed or polished too harshly or too often. Oils in the skin will etch the surface of silver. Use a soft cotton cloth to buff off fingerprints or wear gloves for frequent handling. Cloth specially treated for protecting silver is available in bags and rolls for wrapping individual pieces for storage. You can also wrap pieces in sulfur– and acid-free tissue paper and seal them in a bag with a commercial anti-tarnish strip.

Avoid commercial polishes and dips con-taining dilute sulfuric acid. To polish silver, use a paste made of calcium carbonate and a mild detergent solution, applied with cotton balls. Rinse with water to remove residues and dry with a soft, lint-free cloth. Treat all-silver jewelry like silver objects, but never immerse jewelry with gems and semiprecious materials in water.

Polishing can destroy the look of metallic coatings, such as gold-plate, silver-gilt, golden varnishes, and ormolu. Bronze, brass, copper, and gold-plated metals may have an original patina or a factory-applied lacquer, Clean gently with a damp cloth. Pewter and nickel silver should be dusted, only occasionally washed, and then thoroughly dried.

Video and audio tapes. Images and sounds captured on videotapes and audiotapes do not last. Buy good quality audio—and videotapes— they’re thicker and stronger. Insert and eject tapes at blank points, and pause them as little as possible. When you’re done, rewind the tape and remove it from the tape player right away. Keep tapes away from sources of magnetic fields-electric lines, fluorescent lights, electric motors, and magnets. Store reels and cassettes on end, like books, in labeled, hard plastic containers. Keep them in cool, dry areas, away from dust and direct sunlight.

I heard of an old family bible that a few years ago was in very good condition. The family that had the bible did not take care of it. Today, not only can you not read the bible, but when you touch the pages they just crumble.

Family treasures are just that. Family treasures. They are a picture into our past and a part of our history. They should be cared for and the memories shared with family members. If you don’t want to care of the treasures, maybe another member of the family would appreciate the value of the history enough to care for it properly and share the history with others.


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Family Tree Update

Our family tree is now up to 21,000 on the main file and 10,221 on a secondary file that is mostly allied families for a total of 31, 221 individuals. We also have 542 pictures so far. And the job is not done.  I have lots more to enter and a lot more research to do. The more information you find out, the more questions you have. I have been searching for 20 years so far (though I took a break when I went to college). I had managed to get my mother interested and in the last couple of years had also pasted on the addiction to my sister. Any info you can help with is appreciated.

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Lost Time
We live in a time of many luxuries that are supposed to save time. Cars are faster than horses, dryers faster than hanging out the clothes, telephones faster than visiting or writing, and micro-waves faster than cooking on the stove.


With all these luxuries we should have a lot of free time. It sounds logical but, how many times have you thought about visiting a relative and said “I don’t have the time, maybe next week.” Or maybe you wanted to see or do something and put it off because you didn’t have time. Or just wished there were more hours in the day.

Quite often I have. I work more hours than ever before and keep coming up with projects to do when I am not working. Such as the family tree research, newsletter, gifts for kids, Panda Pals for the elderly and sick, and items to sell in our business. And I always wish there were ten more hours in a day.


Many of us have become experts at multi-tasking. I may be washing dishes at the same time I am working on the computer, talking on the phone while working on the family tree, or reading a book while watching television.

Family and relatives are very precious. They are your personal history. What they did and who they are, made you who you are today. Through this they determine your future and your descendents futures.

They will always be your relatives. We might not always agree on things and we might not all like each other. But we need to keep in contact with each other and at least be pleasant to each other.

It only takes moments to jot a note or a few minutes to call and say hello.


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Family Favorites

Fried Bread


2 cups flour 

 2 tbs. baking powder

1 tsp. Salt  

1 cup milk

2 lbs. (about) shortening for deep frying

Sift together dry ingredients. Add milk to make a soft dough. (You may also use store bought dough for an alternative). Roll as for biscuits. Cut into squares, making slits in each square.

Heat fat to 375 and drop in squares. Brown each side, turning only once. Turn out onto paper towels to cool. May be sprinkled with a mixture of sugar and Cinnamon or with confectioners sugar.

This makes a great treat. The only problem is not eating them as fast as you make them.

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Photo Questions

This photo was probably taken around 1914 (assuming Clara is 16 years old.) The girl on the left is Laura Henning and the girl on the right is Clara Scope.

Do you know who Laura Henning is and how she may be related. Please let us know if you do.

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Keb/Irish Gazette
 Nancy (Keb) Tubbs
19500 Co Rd 14
Bristol, IN 46507-9405

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