Her Paradigm Shift
Takes a new look at life and relationships in the home, in the office and in the world.
Susan Brauer giving "CHEERS to You"




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by Susan Brauer
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This year as Father’s Day came and went thoughts of my dad came to mind. I have childhood memories of him that still make me smile. He was the one who felt my head for fever and Susan Brauertucked the blanket around me when I was sick and laying on the front room couch. He was the one who took me to the movies introducing me to musicals like “The King and I”, and “scary” pictures like “The Fly,”– both kinds of movies that I still have a passion for today.

He was the one that scared the hell out of me the first time I caught a glimpse of his head sticking out from around the corner of the kitchen wall with what looked like a disembodied hand around his neck, accenting the whole scene with the most ungodly choking sounds that a human being could ever make. This neat trick he would later pass down to each grandchild by introducing it as soon as they came out of the womb. And when they fell for the “boogeyman behind the wall choking me” trick, he would do a little dance in triumph like what I imagined the leprechauns did at the end of the rainbow on top of their pot of gold.

Then there were the stories that he told. The story about the Indians that were buried in the basement whose whispering, according to my father, a child could just about make out if he got on his hands and knees and listened closely at the heat register in my dad’s kitchen.

Or the fascinating stories about my dad’s grandfather and his immigration to the States under “mysterious” circumstances. The stories always piqued my interest, curiosity, and created a longing to discover the specifics of the hazy parts of the tale. He was supposed to be a “color chemist” who for political reasons left Europe and the family business, a glass factory, behind for the freedom of the United States.

My dad died in 1992 but my memories and his stories didn’t. Unsurprisingly, it seems that my older sister had been intrigued by his stories too. Even though we both thought my father’s tales were more family folklore than facts, over the last few years the miracle of the Internet and my dad’s stories have made it possible for her to begin to search for our family’s roots. Little by little the details have begun to emerge from the bits and pieces of family lore that had been passed to us within the telling of my dad’s tales.

As it turns out my dad’s grandfather, Ferdinand Putzler, came to this country on the immigrant ship “Magdalene” from Bremen, Germany to the Port of New York on April 16, 1869, just 20 short years after the European Revolution of 1848 when widespread political unrest and revolution swept all of Europe. On the ship’s manifest of passengers, Ferdinand listed his occupation as a “glass maker,” close enough to “color chemist” for me.

Ferdinand was one of seven brothers. It’s still unclear as to which of the seven owned the family business, the “Putzler Brothers Glass Factory,” however, being that Ferdinand was a “glass maker” it doesn’t seem too farfetched to assume that he was in some way part of the family business. The factory was in the Silesia Provence which had at one time or another belonged to several middle European countries whose past rulers encouraged German immigration to foster industrialization of the area. The business was moved to Dueren, Germany after World War II, where the surviving owner partnered with another glass maker and “Peill & Putzler” was born. Their collaboration led to historic glass art works that are included and conserved in several museum collections, such as Corning’s Museum of Glass and New York’s Museum of Modern Art!

And the “pièce de résistance” of this tale is that not so long ago for my birthday, a beautiful Peill & Putzler knobby glass vase arrived in my house for all to see, a visual reminder to my family of past hopes and dreams (the roots) that strengthen our family tree.

As I am sitting gazing at the magnificent vase sparkling in the morning sunshine and thinking of my dad’s stories, I'm wondering if... we should have another look at my father’s basement :-)


Tags: ancestors, celebrating fathers, Corning’s Museum of Glass, family history, father's day, glass factory, Dueren, Germany, glass maker, immigrant ship, inspirational, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Peill & Putzler, Susan Brauer | Category: Her Paradigm Shift, family, self

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Contact: Susan O. Brauer
c/o Dreamers Tapestry, Inc.
P.O. Box 207
Palos Park, IL. 60464  
Email: susan@dreamerstapestry.com
ph:  708.361.8017

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