From: Maureen Musumeci
What a wealth of stories. They are so wonderful and sad all at the same time. Have you considered putting together a book, an anthology of sorts of all these stories?
I'm a writer, meaning I love to write. As a "reader" I think a collection of these personal stories would be a wonderful book. A treasure of history. There are many orphans, children from broken homes, etc. today who would read and see "their stories" too and know they are not alone.
I wish my Dad were alive and my Uncle too. My dad didn't tell too many stories of his time, some, but his sense of loss was always with him and he didn't speak of the past.
I have plans to write a story tentatively titled "Spark Hill" about my Dad and his brothers and sister. Finding my grandmother's grave in New York last year and realizing that my "Grandmother" was in reality a very young girl when she died and not elderly and grey haired like my other Grandmother, seeing the orphanage, reflecting on my Dad's life, I felt the orphans have a story to tell.
I'm am so thankful to have "met" as many of you as I have via email. You have been a blessing to my life, you have "told" me a little about my father's life as it must have been. I miss my Dad all the time, but with each story he is a little closer to me.
Love & Prayers,
From: Nancy Canfield
Are there still children being cared for at St. Agnes? Lou DeBlasio wants to know.
I told you how he does not have a computer, and a friend looked up St. Agnes, and found my phone #. Probably on the website. Anyway, he lives not far from me, and we met, and have talked on the Phone. He was very young when he went to St. Agnes in 29 or 30 (could you see if his name is on the census?).
Anyway, yesterday, he drove to my house to drop off some of his prized avocadoes for me. I was out, so he left them with a note that said, "enjoy the Avocadoes."
When I got home, hours later, no-one was there, but the note was on my chair, where my husband left it between outings. The phone was ringing. It was Lou, did I get the avo's? They were nowhere to be found. While we were talking, my daughter came home and pleaded innocence. Likewise, my husband a little later. Lou hung up. We were all puzzled.
Then I looked at the note again. Below Lou's note, it said, "Nancy, thank you for the avocadoes." I carried it out and read it to my husband and daughter. The lightbulb popped on for all of us at once. The mailman mistook the avos, placed beneath the mailbox, as being for him. He is the one that wrote the thank you note, and is now enjoying the avos. After we got over that, the dilemma was, do we tell Lou the truth? I promised to call him with the solution to the mystery, but I thought the truth about his avos would be painful. I thought about fibbing, and telling him how great they were. Then decided the truth would be better.
He called a little later, and I told him. He was dismayed at first, then saw the humor in it. He promised to bring me the next batch, but call first!
He came back the next day with another bag of the biggest, best looking avos I've ever seen.
| From: Yvonne Robinson
To: David T. Feliciano
Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2004 12:01 PM
Subject: My Uncle, John Waltenberg.
I found out three days ago that my Uncle was at St Agnes Convent, Sparkill, after I was sent an article that was in the NY Times 1937. I have no idea if he is still alive and am in the process of trying to find out.
My father Thomas Martin Sheridan was born in New York in 1915 and had a brother Francis and a sister Agnes. His mother Catherine was widowed before 1920 and about 1923 married again to a George Waltenberg and they had a son John (my uncle) he was born in 1924 and in the 1930 census they all lived together in New Jersey.
Dad married mom here in England after WWII and he died here in 1961 when I was eleven.
There is no trace of my Grandmother after 1932, so I am presuming that this is the time that John arrived at St Agnes' and he would have been approximately 8 years old. My father would have been 17 at this time and his sister would have been about 20 so I would imagine that they were able to look after themselves. Francis would have been about 14, so I'm not sure about him.
I knew only little bits about my dad's life in America and have just recently started to research my roots.
If anyone has heard of John Waltenberg, I would love to hear and would be so grateful.
Very best wishes to you all
Yvonne Robinson (nee Sheridan)
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