A few weeks ago I wrote about my granduncle Louis. While I never met him, I did know three of his four daughters. One of his daughters was simply referred to by our family as “Anna from the farm.” She was at my 1975 wedding.
In my December 18, 2018 blog post, “How Far Are We Getting From Mt. Sinai?,” I spoke about birth order. I’m a bit jealous that my two oldest brothers remember visiting our cousins at their farm. My cousin Hank, a nephew of “Anna from the farm,” once told me, “My aunt and uncle had a non-working farm. They grew corn and some other veggies when I was small but not commercially.”
I connected with a grandson of “Anna from the farm” through my genealogy research. Her grandson Steven recently wrote, “...the house my grandfather built (Isadore and Anna Mark Saffier) is not far from us. It was the house my father grew up in. Stuckert Road, Warrington PA. I've passed it dozens of times just to see it. Unfortunately, I missed out on buying it in 2009 (I didn't pay close attention).
“However, I wrote a note to the new owners and they were thrilled to hear from me and we exchanged photographs (I have Dorothy's [Steven’s paternal aunt] historic images of the house being built). They are renovating the house and said they would have us over in the Spring (I've never been inside and unfortunately, it won't be exactly the same).
“I guess it wasn't meant to be for me to own it. And not sure in 2009 I could have afforded it anyway. But I do regret missing the opportunity. The property is virtually unchanged...several acres. Only a few of the original trees near the house exist. Had a long talk with the current owners - a young family with kids.
“I look forward to seeing it up close”.
The last time my brothers recall being at the farm was in 1948. The whole family from Newark was there for the bar mitzvah of our cousin Bernie, the son of “Anna from the farm.” My brothers were only 5 and 6 at the time and don’t remember the ceremony. What the younger one remembers is the dogs. He says that there were three and when he tried to pet one, it nipped his hand.
After I reported to Bernie’s son Steven on what my brothers remembered, he replied, “Ah...the dog. Well they had a few but the one I heard most about was Major. See attached ‘portrait.’ [I wonder if it was painted by the family artist Faye, whose aunt was “Anna from the farm.”] This hung in the Stuckert Road, then Northeast Philly (Dorothy and Anna), and now I'm the guardian of it. And yes, the lamp was also a piece from Stuckert.”
When I showed my brothers the picture of Major, they said he was not one of the dogs they remembered. Major, then, surely came along after 1948 but like the lamp in the picture with the dog, the history of family life on the farm goes way back.