Uncle Julius’ Book — in English

So here’s the English translation of the stuff I posted a couple years back that I was lazy enough to leave in the original German. Figured I’d better get off my butt and post it in English so my relatives can actually read it. I’m pretty much the only one in my immediate family who speaks German.

From Uncle Julius’ book:

In the mid- to last-century strongly growing emigration to America, Altländers [residents of the Altes Land] took part in increasing numbers. It was mostly farmers’ sons, who had no opportunity here to start a family, but also farmers were selling their farms in order to find luck far away with their entire families. The government of the United States gave government land for favorable terms and encouraged the empty areas with all methods of settlement. It was first single people who left home, and then increasingly more others as well. It is therefore understandable, that the increasing numbers of emigrants seeking possibilities there to settle where their countrymen settled. The feeling of living among friends and relatives even far from home made their decision easier.

So it happened, that emigrants from the Alten Lande in America built colonies, for example in the state of Minnesota, in similar ways. The closeness of the land parcels of such settlements, for example in Goodhue and Zumbrota, have in part stayed the same for more than 100 years. In just one issue of the “Zumbrota News” from the year 1969 the following names can be seen in the ads and other articles: Hadler, Ruether, Holst, Banitt, Lohmann, Wendt, Diercks, Matthees, Struß, Hinrichs, Quast, Prigge, Stechmann, Oelkers, Buchholtz, Dammann, Dankers, Tiedemann, Hoeft, Reese, Witt, Bredehoeft, Hamm, Jonas, Merkens, Stehr, Pickenpack usw..

The attached text provides a very colorful narrative of life in Goodhue from a conversation with Hans Ilmers of Moisburg.

Also Cord Quast, the brother of our grandfather, went over there with his young wife Catharina (nee Stemmer), as he saw no possibility here to start a family. That was in 1868. He purchased land to settle in the size of 160 acres (about 64 hectares). Surely he like all settlers had a difficult beginning, but with diligence and perseverance he and his wife successfully started a farm life. In 1908 Cord and Catharina paid a visit to the old country after a 40-year absence. While there, they were invited to a wedding. The bride and groom’s photographer also took a group photo with Cord and Catharina Quast, Father and Mother (Heinrich Quast and Maria Bartels Quast) and our then 11-year-old sister Johanne. The photo of Cord and Catharina at the head of the family tree is a reproduction of the original.

As you can see from this table, the descendants took a large range, which makes one thing that the youngest descendants were not all included.

Also grandfather’s sister Metta went with her husband Jacob Stehr to Goodhue and acquired a farm there. Her descendants also live in Goodhue or in the immediate area. Jacob Stehr came from the house of the Stehr brewers in Vierzigstücken [place name].

Later father’s sister Katharina with her husband Jacob Behrens followed their relatives. Behrens came from Cranz-Neuenfelde. The pair never settled down in one place, instead they lived in various places in Minnesota and Iowa. The descendants live today in all parts of the United States.

The connection to our relatives over there was interrupted by the beginning of World War I up to 1938. During this time Cord Quast and Grandfather had died, as well as Aunt Katharina. When I first sent a letter to the Quast family in Goodhue after this long interruption, I got a long letter from the now-late Gertrude Quast, the granddaughter of Cord. The relatives were overjoyed to hear from us again. Gertrude wrote “The Quast family appreciates hearing from Your folks over there more than we can express in words!” Since this time there has been a regular exchange of letters.

Quast farm near Goodhue

Quast farm near Goodhue

Hans Ilmers (from Moisburg) in Goodhue

In 1963, Irene Quast asked me on behalf of her nephew Herbert Lemke about a Hans Ilmers that was supposed to live near Buxtehude. Ilmers was in Goodhue about 35 years before, worked with various farmers there, and became friends with Herbert Lemke. I was able to find Hans Ilmers in Moisburg. He owns a farm there.

About his time in the USA, particularly in Goodhue, he said the following:

I went over there in 1928 when I was 18. Although I had learned the trade of butchering, I had to go into farming instead. From 1928 to 1933 I was employed at various farms, John Quast and his son-in-law Roy Schultz included. I remember John Quast very well. He was a good man at heart, and lived solely for his work on the farm. The working conditions on farms there were very difficult at that time. As far as I could tell, they were much harder than in Germany. Mrs. Alvina Quast is of German origin. Her parents came, as far as I know, from Pommern. One time I obtained a long tobacco pipe from Germany for John Quast, as one of that type was not available over there.

A terrible business crisis dominated the USA at the end of the 20s. The farmers got only low prices for their crops. Therefore I earned less money. For a while I worked at the Buchholtz butchery in Zumbrota, and also at the slaughterhouse in St. Paul. Farm workers were already pretty broke in those days. The farmers helped each other out by working as communities, especially at harvest time. Alvina Quast worked the hay mower herself often. This is how she had a terrible accident — a horse made an unexpected jerk and her foot was caught in the mower. The foot had to be amputated.

John Quast’s farm is 106 Acres, which is about 65 Hectares. It’s surrounded by still more rented farms. The farmers were, with the exception of a couple Swedes, almost entirely of North German origin, the majority from the lower Elbe region. They spoke Plattdeutsch in everyday conversation with each other. I recognized names like Ehlen (Sauensiek), Duden (Horneburg), Jonas and Diercks (Neuenfelde), Thiemann (Ostmoor), Meyer, Struß, Buchholtz, Stehr etc. There was a German school in Zumbrota. It was important to John Quast that every family member went to the Lutheran Church at least once a month. Services there were in German three times a month and once a month in English. Connections to German relatives were never spoken of. You knew that their parents or grandparents had immigrated from Germany, but nobody would say whether he still had relatives there. The first World War had a strong dividing effect.

Goodhue is not a closed-in city like we are familiar with here, but rather single farms lie within its boundaries. They’re connected mostly by field roads. Only three or four houses stood close together. This group of houses was called White Willow. The farmers built a dairy and a cheese factory here in a community effort. It didn’t thrive, though, and it was closed some years later.

John Quast had about 25 dairy cows back then. Those days there were no milking machines. Besides the cows, they fattened pigs, and also raised poultry. The farm had hard soil. Barley, wheat, and corn (for silage). The ground wasn’t any good for potato farming, and neither for fruit. The climate is markedly inland with hot summers and cold winters. I have awful memories of terrible droughts in early spring – the barley was maybe just ten centimeters high – and horrible snowstorms.

The buildings – houses, barns, and stalls – are made of wood. The rooms are large and very tastefully furnished. Back then there was still Prohibition in the USA, but just like here after World War II, there was plenty illegal distilling. At dance parties, bootleggers would sell their wares in the dark, and so there were always drunk people. Johannes Künne, the old brewer in Buxtehude, was also in Goodhue for a while. He also liked to hoist a few back then. Once when Hannes got drunk yet again, Roy Schultz said to me in the best Plattdeutsch, “Dat ward Tied, dat Hannes wedder no Dütschland geiht, as suppt he sicg hier noch blind!” “It’s time Hannes goes back to Germany before he drinks himself blind here!”

In the years 1928 to 1935, field work was still done with horses. John Quast had several harnessed teams of heavier breeds and a few gently tamed wild horses. Sons John and Walter had a pony to ride. Roy Schultz, however, had a tractor already at that time. The first cars (Ford) arrived in the area too. John Quast bought one. The grain was mowed with a grain mower pulled by horses. The most exhausting work was sitting in the huge mown fields in the blazing heat. I passed out unconscious one time. The dried grain wasn’t taken in, but threshed by a threshing machine that a business took from one farm to another. Neighbors’ help was enlisted with this too.

I wanted to mention that one of the Quast girls took a shine to me. Which one, I won’t say. It wouldn’t have taken much, and I would have had a Quast for a wife. Why it didn’t happen, that I won’t say either.

the ancestral home

So there’s this guy in Cranz, Germany (near Hamburg) who has catalogued every house in the village and knows who lived there when, for years and years back. His name is Jürgen Hoffmann but you’ll never find him on the internet; his name shows up in passing but he’s got like zero presence online. Just one of those people you have to know about in order to find him.

Fortunately I was introduced to him by the Quast family I stayed with on my trip to Hamburg in 2006. He gave me a ton of information on the ancestors of Caspar Heinrich Hauschildt, who emigrated from Germany to the States, and in return I gave him info on Caspar’s descendants here in the US.

Hoffmann sent me some amazing pictures — pictures of the old Hauschildt home in Cranz plus pictures of the blacksmith shop where Caspar Heinrich worked. Here they are.


Caspar Heinrich Hauschildt (1859-1958) lived here as a child.

Estedeich 69, Cranz. Caspar Heinrich Hauschildt (1859-1958) lived here as a child. The woman in the photo is the wife of a later owner.



Shed behind the house


Behind the shed was the smithy.

Behind the shed was the smithy.



Inside the smithy


Inside the smithy

Inside the smithy


Guest house near the smithy. The Hauschildt family lived in the white house with the side window.

Guest house near the smithy. The Hauschildt family lived in the white house with the side window.






so this blog has been sitting here unused for like a year and a half. what kind of internet addict am i, anyway? oh yeah, a chronic facebooker, that’s what. it’s mostly here for the genealogy thing which reminds me i should upload those pictures of the blacksmith shop. gotta find what jürgen wrote about them for me.

got deeply engrossed in the charlie hebdo thing last night and ended up at a pretty dark place what with all the killing and hatred and stuff when we’re on this tiny insignificant rock floating out in the infinite cosmos all alone as far as we know — and all we have is each other, that’s what it comes down to, so why can’t we love? that’s all we fucking have that means anything at all. why is there so much hate?

i gotta read how the existentialists dealt with it all. need a “sartre for dummies” or something.

it’s been cloudy and rainy for weeks and no sign of it letting up. that’s certainly part of my mood. see the dr. in just over a week. we’ll see what he has to say. maybe i should start using mathew’s special happy light thing.

so winter break is now over and the cafe opens back up on monday. classes start the week after. back to RLM, joy of joys. i interviewed for another job over break but it was on the 22nd so there was holiday and all that and on top of that they’re just being really slow. said they were waiting on one more interview this week, which doesn’t sound good. i mean if they wanted me they wouldn’t have scheduled another one, right? so yeah, right back where i was at the coffee bean. someplace that’s okay but not good enough. RLM kinda sucks but it’s okay at least. the people are chill. the customers are mostly fine. it’s just that i’m pushing a goddamn button on a superautomatic machine instead of using all that expensive barista guild training.

also, do i really want to be a barista when i’m 50? i’m 43 now, it’s going to become relevant at some point.

i have no idea what else to do, is the thing.


My Genealogy Blog

German farmers move to Minnesota and become… farmers.

No stories of royalty here, but lots of hardworking German farmers and blacksmiths moving to the States in search of a better life.

Surnames in my tree include: Brunner, Fredericks, Gihlstorf, Haack, Hahn, Hauschildt, Horn, Junkman, Kienholz, Lichtenfeldt, Meredith (Meredig?), Meyer, Pirius, Post, Quast, Schultz, Stemman, Stemmer, Thomforde, Wenzel. I am able to provide quite a lot of info on certain Hauschildts and Quasts who came from the Altes Land, near Hamburg, Germany — mainly Neuenfelde, Jork, Cranz, Estebrügge and places nearby.

Uncle Julius’ Book

In the early 1980s, Julius Quast and his daughter Elisabeth came with another relative to visit Minnesota and Iowa to see how the Quast descendants in the New World were getting on. I remember him as a jovial old man, couldn’t speak any English but was very pleased he could visit again; I don’t think he’d been there since the 60s. Elisabeth would translate for him. They traveled to our place with my Grandma Lavarian Post, who was roughly the same age as Elisabeth.

Julius worked for Deutsche Post for 30 years and retired at age 60. For the next 30 years of his life — he lived until 90 — he did amazing amounts of genealogical research. He typed it up in at least five volumes and had them bound. I was lucky enough to see these books when I visited Neuenfelde in 2006. I took pictures of the pages relevant to my immediate Quast family and have transcribed them here; some day I’ll get around to translating them into English.

From Uncle Julius’ book:

An der um die Mitte den vorigen Jahrhunderts stärker einsetzenden Auswanderung nach Amerika beteiligten sich in zunehmendem Umfang auch Altländer. Es handelte sich in der Hauptsache um Bauernsöhne, die hier keine Möglichkeit zur Gründung einer Familie hatten, aber auch Bauern verkauften ihre Höfe, um mit ihrer ganzen Familie das Glück in der Ferne zu suchen. Die Regierung der Vereinigten Staaten gab Regierungsland zu günstigen Bedingungen ab und förderte mit allen Mitteln die Besiedlung der menschenleeren Gebiete. Waren es zuerst einzelne, die die Heimat verließen, so zogen sie mehr und mehr andere nach. Es ist dabei verständlich, daß die nachziehenden Auswanderer nach Möglichkeit sich dort niederließen, wo schon ihre Landsleute gesiedelt hatten. Das Gefühl, auch in der Fremde unter Bekannten und Verwandten zu wohnen, machte ihre Entschlüsse leichter.

So kam es, daß Auswanderer aus dem Alten Lande in Amerika in gewissem Sinne Kolonien bildeten, so z.B. im Staate Minnesota. Die landsmannschaftliche Geschlossenheit solcher Siedlungen, z.B. in Goodhue und Zumbrota, haben sich nach mehr als 100 Jahren bis heute z.T. erhalten. In nur einer Ausgabe der Tageszeitung “The Zumbrota News” aus dem Jahre 1969 sind in den Anzeigen und sonstigen Veröffentlichungen folgende Namen zu lesen: Hadler, Ruether, Holst, Banitt, Lohmann, Wendt, Diercks, Matthees, Struß, Hinrichs, Quast, Prigge, Stechmann, Oelkers, Buchholtz, Dammann, Dankers, Tiedemann, Hoeft, Reese, Witt, Bredehoeft, Hamm, Jonas, Merkens, Stehr, Pickenpack usw..

Eine recht anschauliche Beschreibung der Lebensverhältnisse in Goodhue gibt die beigefügte Niederschrift einer Unterhaltung mit Hans Ilmers – Moisburg.

Auch Cord Quast, der Bruder unseres Großvaters, ging mit seiner jungen Frau Catharina geb. Stemmer nach drüben, da er hier keine Möglichkeit sah, eine Familie zu gründen. Das war im Jahre 1868. Er erwarb dort Siedlungsland in einer Größe von 160 acres. (rd. 64 ha.) Sicherlich wird er wie alle Siedler einen schweren Anfang gehabt haben, doch mit Fleiß und Ausdauer gelangten er und seine Frau zu bäuerlichem Wohlstand. Die Farm besitzt heute sein Enkel John Quast. Im Jahre 1908 machten Cord und Catharina nach 40-jähriger Abwesenheit einen Besuch in der alten Heimat. Bei dieser Gelegenheit wurden sie zzu einer Hochzeit eingeladen. Ein Photograph, der das Brautpaar photographiert hatte, machte auch eine Gruppenaufnahme von Cord und Catharina Quast, von Vater und Mutter und unserer damals elfjährigen Schwester Johanne. Die Bilder im Kopf der Stammtafel von Cord und Catharina entstammen eine Reproduktion des Originals.

Wie aus dieser Tafel zu ersehen ist, hat die Nachkommenschaft einen großen Umfang angenommen, wobei zu bedenken ist, daß die jüngsten Abkömmlinge nicht alle erfaßt worden sind.

Auch Großvaters Schwester Metta ging mit ihrem Mann Jacob Stehr nach Goodhue und erwarben dort eine Farm. Auch ihre Nachkommen leben in Goodhue oder in der näheren Umgebung. Jacob Stehr stammte aus dem Hause des Brenners Stehr in Vierzigstücken.

Später folgte Vaters Schwester Katharina mit ihrem Mann Jacob Behrens den Verwandten nach. Behrens stammte aus Cranz-Neuenfelde. Das Ehepaar wurde aber nie recht an einer Stelle seßhaft, sondern lebte an verschiedenen Orten in Minnesota und Iowa. Die Nachkommen leben heute verstreut in allen Teilen der Vereinigten Staaten.

Die Verbindung zu unseren Verwandten drüben war von Beginn des 1. Weltkrieges bis 1938 unterbrochen. In dieser Zeit waren Cord Quast und Großvater verstorben, desgl. Tante Katharina. Als ich erstmalig nach dieser langen Unterbrechung einen Brief an die Quast-Familie in Goodhue sandte, bekam ich einen langen Brief von der inzwischen verstorbenen Gertrude Quast, der Enkelin von Cord. Die Verwandten waren hocherfreut, wieder von uns zu hören. Gertrude schrieb u.a. wörtlich: “The Quast family appreciates hearing from Your folks over there more than we can express in words!” Seit dieser Zeit besteht ein regelmäßiger Briefverkehr.

picture page 199

Ansichts des von Cord Quast erbauten Wohnhauses auf der Farm in Goodhue.

Hans Ilmers – Moisburg in Goodhue

Irene Quast fragte im Mai 1963 im Auftrage ihres Vetters Herbert Lemke nach einem Hans Ilmers, der in der Nahe von Buxtehude wohnen soll. Ilmers sei vor etwa 35 Jahren in Goodhue gewesen, habe dort bei verschiedenen Farmern gearbeitet und sei mit Herbert Lemke befreundet gewesen. Es gelang, Hans Ilmers in Moisburg zu finden. Er besitzt dort eine Landwirtschaft.

Über seinen Aufenthalt in den USA, besonders in Goodhue, berichtet er etwa folgendes:

Ich ging im Johre 1928 mit 18 Jahren nach drüben. Obgleich ich das Schlachterhandwerk erlernt habe, mußte ich zunächst doch in die Landwirtschaft gehen. Von 1928 bis 1933 war ich bei verschiedenen Farmern in Goodhue tätig, u.a. auch bei Johann (John) Quast und dessem Schwiegersohn Roy Schultz. Johann Quast habe ich sehr gut in Erinnerung. Er war ein herzensguter Mann, der nur seiner Arbeit auf der Farm lebte. Die Arbeitsbedingungen in der Landwirtschaft drüben waren damals sehr hart. Soweit ich das beobachtet habe und beurteilen konnte, waren sie sehr viel härter als in Deutschland. Frau Alvina Quast ist auch deutscher Abstammung. Ihre Eltern kamen, soviel ich weiß, aus Pommern. Für J.Q. habe ich einmal eine lange Tabakspfeife aus Deutschland kommen lassen, da es eine in der gewünschten Art drüben nicht zu kaufen gab.

Ende der 20-er Jahre herrschte eine schlimme Wirtschaftskrise in den USA. Die Farmer bekamen für ihre Erzeugnisse nur niedrige Preise. Somit bekam ich auch nur einen geringen Lohn. Eine Zeitlang war ich in meinem Beruf bei Schlachtermeister Buchholtz in Zumbrota tätig, desgl. auf dem Schlachthof in St. Paul. Die Arbeiter in der Landwirtschaft waren auch damals schon sehr knapp. Die Farmer halfen sich durch Gemeinschaftsarbeit, besonders zu Erntezeit. Alvina Q. setzte sich oft selber auf die Mähmaschine. Dabei erlitt sie einen schweren Unfall, als sie bei einem unerwarteten Anziehen der Pferde mit einem Fuß in das Maschinenmesser geriet. Der Fuß mußte amputiert werden.

Die Farm von J.Q. ist 160 acres groß, was etwa 65 ha entspricht. Dazu kommen noch eineigen Pachtländereien. Die Farmer waren, abgesehen von einegen Schweden, fast ausschließlich norddeutscher Abstammung, in der Mehrzahl aus dem Unterelberaum. Im gewöhnlichen Verkehr untereinander sprachen sie plattdeutsch. Ich entsinne mich Namen wie Ehlen (Sauensiek), Duden (Horneburg), Jonas und Diercks (Neuenfelde), Thiemann (Ostmoore), Meyer, Struß, Buchholtz, Stehr usw. Es gab in Zumbrota auch eine deutsche Schule. Johann Q. hielt sehr darauf, daß jedes Familienmitglied monatlich mindestens einmal zur luth. Kirche ging, in der 3 mal im Monat deutsch und 1 mal englisch gepredigt wurde. Von Beziehungen zu Verwandten in Deutschland wurde überhaupt nicht gesprochen. Sie wußten zwar, daß ihre Eltern oder Großeltern aus Deutschland eingewandert waren, aber keiner wußte zu sagen, ob er dort noch Verwandte hatte. Der erste Weltkrieg hatte stark trennend gewirkt.

Goodhue ist kein geschlossenes Dorf, wie wir es hierzulande kennen, sondern die einzelnen Farmen liegen inmitten ihrer Ländereien. Sie sind meistens durch Feldwege miteinander verbunden. Lediglich 3 oder 4 Häuser stehen an einer Stelle dicht beieinander. Diese Häusergruppe wird White Villa [sic — White Willow] genannt. Hier bauten die Farmer auf genossenschaftlicher Grundlage eine Meierei mit Käsefabrik. Da die Sache aber nicht florierte, wurde der Betrieb nach einigen Jahren wieder eingestellt.

J.Q. hatte damals etwa 25 Milchkühe. Eine Melkmaschine gab es damals noch nicht. Außerdem wurden Schweine gemästet. Auch Geflügelzucht wurde betrieben. Die Farm hat schweren Lehmboden. Angebaut wurde Gerste, Weizen und Mais (Silomais). Für Kartoffelanbau war der Boden nicht geeignet, desgl. nicht für Obst. Das Klima ist ausgesprochenes Festlandsklima mit heißen Sommern und kalten Wintern. In schlimmer erinnerung habe ich furchtbare Dürrezeiten im Vorsommer — die Gerste wurde nur etwa 10 cm hoch — und entsetzliche Schneestürme.

Die Gebäude — Wohnhäuser, Scheunen und Stallungen — sind aus Holz errichtet. Die Wohnräume sind geräumig und recht geschmackvoll eingerichtet. Damals bestand in den USA noch die prohibition (Alkoholverbot); aber genau wie bei uns nach dem 2. Weltkrieg wurde auch drüben viel schwarz gebrannt. Bei Tanzvergnügungen verkauften Schwarzhändler draußen in der Dunkelheit ihre Brennerzeugnisse, so daß es immer Angetrunkene gab. Der frühere Bierverleger Johannes Künne in Buxtehude war ebenfalls s. Zt. in Goodhue. Er mochte auch damals schon gern einen heben. Roy Schultz sagte inmal zu mir im schönsten Platt, als Hannes wieder einen sitzen hatte: “Dat ward Tied, dat Hannes wedder no Dütschland geiht, as suppt he sicg hier noch blind!” (Methylalkoholvergiftung!)

In den Jahren 1928-1935 wurde die Feldarbeit noch mit Pferden verrichtet. J.Q. hatte mehrere Gespanne schwerer Rasse und einege leichte gezähmte Wildpferde. Die Söhne John und Walter hatten zum Reiten ein Pony. Roy Schultz hatte aber damals schon einen Schlepper. Auch die ersten Autos (Ford) kamen in die Gegend. Auch J.Q. hatte sich einen dieser hochrädrigen Wagen angeschafft. Das Getreide wurde mit einem Getreidemäher (Selbstbinder) im Pferdezug gemäht. Die anstrengendste Arbeit war das Hocken der großen gemähten Flächen in der glühenden Hitze. Ich bin damals einmal bei dieser Arbeit ohnmächtig zusammengebrochen. Das trockene Getreide wurde nicht eingefahren, sondern auf dem Felde von einem von Farm zu Farm ziehenden Unternehmer im Lohndrussch gedroschen. Dabei wurde ebenfalls Nachbarschaftshilfe geleistet.

Ich will noch erwähnen, daß es mir eine der Quast-Töchter angetan hatte. Um welch es sich handelte, will ich nicht verraten. Es fehlte nicht viel, und ich hätte eine Quast zur Frau gehabt. Warum di Sache nicht zustande kam, will ich ebenfalls verschweigen.


today’s find

the “city-wide garage sale” was today — basically an antique flea market. i found this 1958 national geographic atlas for $35 — europe is completely different; see the photo of the entirety of the former yugoslavia, for example. interesting to compare it to my modern nat.geo atlas. i’m a huge map geek, always have been.

i’ve been soliciting penpals on the postcrossing website. couple of germans answered so far. they sound cool so i figure i’ll write and see what happens. i’m kind of a bad pen pal but i always try and change… we’ll see…

practice session for the barista competition tonight. competition is the 23rd, not too far away now. i’ve gotta work on my speech/presentation now; i’ve got my signature drink down and all that. gonna bring my whole setup tonight and see how it goes.


so i went all the way up to round rock with the oboe to sam bass music to have it adjusted — and then of course it played fine in front of the guy. but he did notice there was a springy thing popped out of its position so he moved that. when i mentioned i’d come from south austin he told me that alan franklin at strait music on 290 (soooooo much closer to me) does very fine work and can be trusted with your instrument — but you can’t just go into strait and leave it, you have to ask for him in particular. much as i appreciated the guy at sam bass, at least there’s no need to go north into williamson county after all, as long as i can go to alan at strait. williamson county scares me — there, i’ve said it.

random oboe

so it’s been a while since i posted, doh. i am still fighting the reeds and i think i’m just too reckless with the knife — gouging the cane way deeper than i need to and then shredding the tip before i even get a crow out of it. takes more finesse than i apparently have. meanwhile, it’s back to the music store for another reed. the one i’ve been playing was great but suddenly really sucks. at least it got me through the concert season…

of the four ensembles i listed a couple posts back, i played one concert with the waterloo group and then bid them adieu — wasn’t that fond of the conductor. the austin civic wind ensemble is a joy to play with — very talented people there. i’m trying to get a wind quintet started. (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and horn.) the st. edward’s university orchestra is pretty fun as well. we played some nice repertoire for summer I (massenet’s “phèdre” was my favorite, especially the little oboe duet), and summer II will start pretty soon. after july 4th, ACWE is on summer break too until probably late august.

the howarth needs some adjustment; suddenly B and C are very flat. new oboes need a lot of adjustment at first, so this doesn’t concern me too much — what concerns me more is finding someone decent to do the adjustment. i guess my teacher usually takes hers to the guy at strait music if it’s fairly routine; major work i think she takes to san antonio.

speaking of teacher, i haven’t seen her in months; we had a few reedmaking lessons and then i stopped going for a while. gotta start seeing her again for actual music lessons again — i’ve improved quite a lot in the interim and could use some more musical guidance.

reeds and such

so i have a lesson in a little while. we’re going to work on reeds. i tied 4 blanks yesterday and i totally need help scraping them so i don’t utterly destroy them, like i have on the last couple attempts. got a blister on my right index finger tying them with all that extreme tension you have to use. on the side of the finger, right where you use it all the time for everything. it broke today at work, duh, shoulda known that would happen. gross.

i think i’ll bring the new howarth to the lesson today; if we’re doing reeds i probably won’t be playing it much if at all, depending.

i can’t find my schumann “three romances” music. i think it ended up in one of my rehearsal folders. suppose i better go look for that before i leave for the lesson…


so i don’t wanna pollute facebook with a million random things all night, so i’ll just do it here.

it’s been a crazy busy week and today is the first day i’ve not had to go anywhere or do anything. sunday was st. ed’s, monday was waterloo (super-hard stuff to play, wow), and tuesday was the austin civic wind ensemble, which was my first rehearsal with them. they’re playing a cute concert of mexican songs which is fun. wednesday i had a walk-through meeting for the RAWartists show on the 21st, where i’ll be showing my encaustics among lots of other artists, musicians, hair & makeup people, photographers, filmmakers, performance artists, fashionistas, and others. it’s a “cocktail attire” affair at the belmont (305 west 6th), 8pm – 2am (which is gonna be difficult, ouch) and i’m not sure how it’s gonna work with all the attendant accessories i would like to have with me if i make a sale. assuming i make a sale. gotta keep a positive attitude. i also have to sell tickets for this thing; artists have to sell 20 tickets at $15 each (=$300) or make up the difference ourselves. so it’d be nice if i could sell all 20, yikes. do i even know 20 people who’d come?

thursday made me cranky — the show we (the austin encaustic artists group) had at the dougherty had kind of a sad opening last month — mostly the artists and their loved ones. so they decided to have a closing reception too — although i don’t know who decided or when, as it was just randomly announced on the facebook group within the week. taking the show down was gonna be on friday during the day, but suddenly it got moved to thursday night after the reception ended at 8:30. that’s fun. so yeah, thursday night suddenly went from a free night to a taken one. but friday i had an oboe lesson which is always fun, and the evening was free, so we went to a friend’s whisky tasting party — woo!! i brought a rare port-aged edradour (not just *finished* in port casks but aged in them from the very beginning) and got to taste some other yummy things. the japanese yamazaki scotch in particular was really really nice. seems weird but they’ve got the right climate and everything for making scotch, so… yeah, yummy.

today was totally free. we went to costco briefly and then i practiced oboe for a while, patiently trying to break the howarth in for 20 minutes (swabbing it out after 10) and then switching to the old one… argh… tried to make a reed but totally sucked at it — i can tie them fine now but when it comes to carving/shaving them i’m a disaster. gotta hang on until friday’s oboe lesson where i can get a hands-on demo. and there’s new cane coming in plus some bitchin’ neon blue thread, woo. hopefully i’ll get a handle on it with the (20-year-old) cane i have left before i destroy any of the new stuff… (20 years, there’s yer problem, hah)

there’s a mosquito in here and it’s making me nuts. where the hell are they coming from? i kill one and another appears in its place. argh.

so tomorrow there’s a reception way up in georgetown for the encaustic show at the library there from 2-4, and then st. ed’s from 5-7. who knows if i’ll be able to make it from one to the other on time — i’ve already emailed the conductor to tell him i might be late. no idea what the traffic might be like, and it takes like 45 minutes even when there’s no traffic. actually i’m thinking the super bowl might eat all the traffic, because by 4:00 everybody’s pretty much glued to the tv anyway. maybe.

and then the week starts all over again with work on monday at 5am. woohoo!!