Dorothy Deissler Specht on her Parents and Grandparents
Here are some random thoughts that came to mind when you asked what some of the people in my family were like....
My Grandpa Deissler, Frank P. Deissler, was a blacksmith for the Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad. He was very good at fixing things around the house and had a very easy-going disposition. Gardening was something he enjoyed. Of course he grew lots of vegetables and once tried to grow cantaloupes, but as I recall he wasn't very successful with cantaloupes....
He smoked a pipe but not excessively. Around 1946 he ran for an office for the borough of Greenville, but I can't recall what that office was. He lost the election, but it was a close contest. During the Second World War, he got a job for a while as a blacksmith at the Keystone Works near Meadville. He rode on a bus that took workers from Greenville up there.
My father, Victor G. Deissler, was probably overwhelmed most of the time trying to keep his refrigerator business going. He never complained, but as I think back, that was what was going on. He was at his shop most of the time. I guess one would call him a “workaholic”. By the way, he never smoked or drank even once that I knew of. The fact that he was very good at fixing things around the house I can remember very well. He had a very nice easy-going disposition.
Daddy had an outstanding singing voice and used to sing a lot of hymns and the old-time popular songs, especially the ones from the 1920's and '30s. He also played the violin, but that was mostly when he was younger.
My Grandfather Fisher, George Fisher, also had an easygoing disposition. As I think back, I guess that most of the people in my family had nice dispositions....
Grandpa was a carpenter for the Lake Erie Railroad for most of his working years. After he retired, he delivered groceries for Jackson's grocery store in Greenville for a while. He was very helpful and was always willing to help out when anyone in the family needed him. Since he was very friendly, he knew most of the families in the neighborhood. He enjoyed showing off the garden and comparing how well his vegetables were growing compared to the other gardens around.
Grandpa always smoked a pipe but stop “cold turkey” if his doctor said he should.
Grandma Fisher, Ellen Fisher, attended Slippery Rock College and then taught school in a one-room schoolhouse. She had a brother who was a dentist.
She loved poetry and used to quote lines of poetry from time to time. Back then, taking care of a house and family was very hard work. The didn't have the modern conveniences that we have today. She used to can most of the things that they grew in their garden. They grew a lot of flowers too.
Whenever I let the newpapers and magazines pile up, I think of her because she always had a pile of magazines and newspapers that she tried to keep up with and would not throw away until she had read them. I am afraid that mine gets a little “out of control” at times.
Grandma enjoyed playing games like Chinese Checkers – a board game with marbles.
My mother, Helen Deissler, was always a hard-working person. She was the valedictorian of her high school class. She attended Thiel College in Greenville for one year, but she had to quit and get a job because she could not afford the expense. She went to work at the Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad and stayed until she was married. Her sister, my Aunt Betty, never married and worked there until she retired.
My mother took a lot of interest in organizations like the Parents and Teachers Association and was frequently an officer.
Playing “Bridge” was one of the things she enjoyed doing and she belonged to a bridge club for a while.
Spending time with her grandchildren was one of her favorite pastimes and she was always lending a helping hand to me when our children were growing up. She was always a dedicated mother to her children at all of the stages of our lives for as long as she lived.
She always had a garden and canned a lot of the things she grew. She loved flowers too.
Something else my mother enjoyed was taking us and some of the neighborhood chilren swimming.
In the 1940's she took a stenographic course which included typing, shorthand, filing, etc. After working in the office at the Greenville Hospital, she got a office job at the Keystone Works near Meadville. This was during the Second World War and she rode a bus back and forth to work.
My brother, Robert, and I could always count on her to listen to any problems we might have.
Mother used to cut out articles from newspapers and magazines, especially the ones about a person's health and file them the way I do.
The whole family, including me, always enjoyed listening to the radio and, of course, we were all entranced when television became available in the 1950's.
Grandma and Grandpa Fisher and Grandpa Deissler also very much enjoyed their grandchildren. I might mention here that my Aunt Betty also was very fond of her nieces and nephews. She was my mother's only sibling.
It was enjoyable living and associating with my family.
[Note from Jerry: I have a number of hand-written letters from my mom (about 10). These are three representative ones, from: 1992, 1999, and 2007.]