Tuesday, January 8, 2013

One Hundred Years Ago Today

Just a very short post today . . .

If you look at the photograph of my grandfather, Arnold G. Tew, at the top of yesterday's post immediately below, you will notice he is wearing knee-high leather, laced boots and is dressed for the cold and the snow.  Here is his A Line A Day diary entry for January 8, 1913 -- one hundred years ago this very day


It reads as follows:

January 8 :     The temperature is still far below freezing, zero, being at noon about 20°.  I went skiing in the afternoon, which was the first time that I have ever had a pair of skis on.  I took a gym “make-up” at 5:00 o’clock and skied from the gym down to Mrs. Dwight’s house for supper.  I spent the evening in the Grill.  This afternoon I had my tall, knee-high boots (leather) stollen [sic]* in Gym.

January 8th must have been a day of a significant achievement and a depressing low for my grandfather.  He was born with a congenital abnormality in one knee and as a result had a noticeable limp all his life despite at least two surgeries when he was a teen.  Even in some photos from his days at Phillips Andover, he can be seen with a cane.  Putting on skis for the first time in his life on that cold, snowy January day 100 years ago must have been a special thrill and achievement for him.  One can just imagine his sixteen year old pride welling up as he experienced gliding over the snow for the first time.  And then to find that someone had stolen his prized leather boots must have been quite upsetting and undermined his faith in Andover student honor!

Perhaps as he was studying German at Andover and it was a cold winter day, he can be forgiven confusing theft with "stollen" the German bread with fruit and nuts he might have had on his mind.  His future wife, my grandmother Huldah Hasselbaum, might have gotten a kick out of reading this error years later. :-)  

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Copyright 2013,  John D. Tew
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