My brother has compiled a fairly extensive genealogy chart. As it happens one of our relatives is in New York vacationing and Joe is in Michigan, so I agreed to meet him for lunch. I did so mostly as a favor to my brother but also with a little curiosity- I never met more than one or two of my maternal grandmother’s relatives and thought it would be interesting. To trace the connection, Dan’s is of my mother’s generation and his grandfather, Josef, was brother to my great-grandmother, Regina, for whom I am named.
Dan and his companion Elisa, both recently retired and visiting from Isreal, met me in my company’s lobby and he threw a hug around me, something of a surprise for a first meeting. We spent the next two hours chatting over lunch at My Favorite Dessert, a kosher New American-style restaurant (didn’t this used to be called ‘bistro’?). I have to note that the place, recommended to me by a coworker, has very good food and pretty prices reasonable for a mid-town restaurant, but it was terribly noisy- packed with families and tourists, many of them Israeli (Elisa saw someone she recognized from home). It was like meeting a friend you had not seen in ten years, very comfortable and nothing uneasy about it. Dan had previously talked with Joe about the family tree so he didn’t have much new material for the chart, but I did take their picture and snap a shot of a collection of old photographs of his father, Walter. He also gave me copies of his father’s birth certificate, passport and immigration papers. Cool stuff. Dan said he would forward copies of others and other photos he had at home to Joe.
I’m going to see if Joe will let me put his data online along with copies of documents. This is very interesting stuff and I was great to meet members of the extended family.