Tag Archives: writing

Minnie's Potatoes Book Cover

Up-Coming Speaking Events

I’m pleased to announce a few more speaking engagements. Mark your calendars! September 18 Detroit Family Book Launch & Brunch, hosted by Eileen Isenberg, in Southfield, Michigan. November 13, 10 a.m. – noon Jewish Book Fair at the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit, in West Bloomfield, Michigan. November 21, 12:30 p.m. Philanthropic Educational Organization’s […]

Why Preserve Family History?

My parents died two years ago within a month of one another. I didn’t realize the grounding their physical presence gave me until they were gone. They were my connection to childhood, to cousins and to memories of my hometown. I wrote about them so I wouldn’t lose the memories. Those stories started me wondering […]

Lousy Lumberjacks: Minnie’s Potatoes

Lumberjacks were lousy with bedbugs and lice. Common knowledge in the 1880’s was to avoid the hemlock tree. Lumberjacks thought this slow-growing, long-lived evergreen that lent elegance to the landscape brought blood-sucking bugs to your bed. It was believed by woodsmen the conifer gave shelter to bedbugs during some part of their life cycle. When […]

Eat Like a Lumberjack: Minnie’s Potatoes

Consume 9000 calories a day? Lumberjacks did. My grandfather, Wilhelm F. Hartman, cooked meals for Michigan’s lumberjacks from 1886 until well into the 1920’s. When this experienced woodsman made breakfast for his grandchildren in the 1950’s, he fried potatoes in lard, cut pork chops or ham from last night’s meal into the spuds, and then […]

A Cemetery Mystery: Minnie’s Potatoes

Last October I walked through Woodmere Cemetery near Standish snapping photos of grave markers, looking for my great grandmother’s stone. I tramped along the track that looped through the grounds and found flat granite and bronze markers that lay flush to the lawn, and upright marble tablets with pictures of the dead laser-etched into the […]

Exhuming Secrets: Minnie’s Potatoes

This handsome hunk is my great-grandfather, Fred Hartman, circa 1885. I found his photo in the genealogical archives of the library in Alpena, Michigan. I started my search in Alpena because of what I had discovered earlier in the bowels of the Standish courthouse. The lumberjack Fred Hartman, the deed stated, purchased 67 acres in […]

Filling in the Blanks: Minnie’s Potatoes

I never met my great grandmother, Wilhelmina Bublitz Hartman. She’s somewhere here in this old, unlabeled photo. I understand from family stories that she was a great beauty. You’re probably wondering how I learned enough about this woman to write her life’s journey, to write about her pampered Polish girlhood, or to recount the obstacles […]