By Myra Lee Adams Goff
Happy birthday, Prince Carl. You’re 194 years old today! Thank you for guiding the settlers to New Braunfels. Although historians disagree on whether or not you were a good leader, you must have done something good because we’ve named a lot of things after you here. We even have a very large replica of your castle along the Comal River. (Schlitterbahn)
Some say that you tried to set up a German state in Texas. Well, that’ll be the day! Anyway, we didn’t let you. Presently New Braunfels native Bob Govier is translating your letters from German to English. Maybe he will shed some light on that subject.
Last column I said I would talk about marbles. That’s because there is a little collection of marbles along with other old children’s toys that I spied in the archives. At one time in the ‘30s and ‘40s, playing marbles was a big thing among young people. One can learn a lot about life by playing marbles, such as:
- If you practice, you can get better.
- You could learn how to lose and win.
- Some people cheat, but most are honest.
- Certain marbles are better than others; “steelies” are stronger than agate and agate is stronger than glass.
- If you don’t like the game, you can pack up your marbles and go home. ( You can probably tell by what little I know about marbles that I must have “packed up and gone home” more than once.
Marble tournaments were big events on school campuses. Girls and boys didn’t play marbles together. For that matter, at my elementary school, Lamar, boys and girls didn’t play together at all. The girls played in the front yard and the boys in the back with an invisible barbed wire fence in between. I don’t know what the boys played back there, but we girls played such educational games as Drop the Handkerchief, Red Rover, and that throwback from the Black Plague, Ring Around the Rosie Do you remember any other games? Hey guys, what did you play in the back yard?
By the way, if you’re interested in making marbles, come to the Family Fun Night at the Museum at 5 p.m., July 20th. Just call Lil at the Museum to find out more and to make reservations. (625-1572)
Meanwhile, back to the museum. This time I got a little bit further into the Museum of History and came across the “Spaß Muß Sein” exhibit, or in English, “Fun Must Be”, or in correct English, “It is necessary to have fun”. The early settlers fulfilled this necessity for fun with singing, dancing, playing in bands, and socializing. They played cards, (Skat), bowled (9 pin), engaged in shooting matches, had Kaffeeklatches (visiting with eating and drinking coffee), and all sorts of athletic activities. And let’s not forget the celebrations and parades such as Spring Fest, Mai Fest, July 4th, Anniversaries, Kindermaskenball, and those after 1900, Comal County Fair, Wurstfest, and Cinco de Mayo.The video that goes along with the display is narrated by long-time volunteer Herb Skoog and features the Kindertanzen. It makes you want to get up and dance. Well, at least watch someone dance.
After leaving the museum, I spied Jesse Ayala sitting at the computer. Jesse has been volunteering for over ten years. He goes through newspapers and enters obituary information. He also enters marriages, engagements, and anniversaries. You will be able to enter a name or a date and get information about that person. This has been a helpful service for family research and reunions. Call the Sophienburg to find out when Jesse will be there.
Please look at the picture with this column. Of the five people, I actually know three of them. One of them was on the Main Plaza at the Sophienburg’s July 4th celebration and you absolutely couldn’t miss him! E-mail who you think these young people are.
Several readers identified the people in this picture printed with the July 12 Sophienburg column. They are: seated, left to right, Hazel Tolle (Taylor), Myrtle Voigt (Clark) and Judy Baetge (Leick); standing, left to right, Lee Kohlenberg, Karon Thorman (Haas) and Fred Baetge.