One year ago this time of year, was one of the worst times of my life.  I usedcomputer a lot, innocently, and I was maliciously and viciously hacked.  It wasn’t till the end of January 2020 that I was back in business, older and hopefully wiser.

It is not easy to be ‘wiser’.  Most recently, today, a simple family letter with replies and a forward went somewhat awry, some recipients had trouble reading the text – too small, or too wide – the sort of thing all of us experience crossing technologies, platforms and whatever.  A real letter, with stamp, is preferable, but an e-mail is so much more convenient, faster and easier to transmit to more people, instantly.

Can’t win for losing (for my family, and anyone else interested, I’m passing along the earlier communication at the end of this post, about music in my ancestral family.)

On a more positive note about technology and its partner, real paper, it is daily being confirmed that the fears of interference in the 2020 Presidential election did not materialize.  On Sundays 60 Minutes former cybersecurity director Chris Krebs confirmed that this election was not disrupted by mischief.  One of his biggest shoutouts was to paper ballots, which can and did confirm the accuracy and security of the technology used in this election.  (Krebs was fired by Tweet by President Trump.)

High tech has great positive potential; and great potential for peril.  Hackers, mis- and dis-information by global evil-doers require caution.  For me, a learning from my bad experience is to no longer have passwords saved, and to go through the process of turning off the computer when I’m off-line, and re-signing in each time.  Nothing is a guaranteed.  But more diligence, not only just by myself, makes serious problems less likely anyway.


Now, here’s the family story (which happens to be about music in the old days) which even non-family members might find of interest.  This story essentially continues three Thanksgiving time posts on the same general topic, here, here and here.


Music in the family: the errant e-mail chain.

Nov. 28, Mary: Hi guys and I fully expect I put the wrong e-address for Dick.  Auto population and advanced years keep me sort of annoyed!

Anyway, a local retired musician is a great fan of Lawrence Welk and of course knows all things Welk except did not know he was born in Stasberg North Dakota.  So, I need my history of the Lawrence and Ferdinand connection confirmed.,,.I think they were about the same time frame but I do not think they ever played together Grandpa was fiddle (violin?) and I believe he did some local gigs.  I also think Stasberg is not too far from Berlin though I have never been there.
Anyway, David would love to know more if you know anything about Grandpa Busch’s foray into music-especially if there actually is a Welk connection.  David is Eastman trained and was a professional musician before he retired into his current job as volunteer usher coordinator for the local philharmonic.
In the rest of the world as we know it, Thanksgiving was quiet but the turkey I roasted was big enough for a year of leftovers and big pot of soup.  I will go out biking for awhile today as our 50 plus temperatures are not expected to last very much longer.  Hope all is good, enjoyed the holiday notes!

from Dick, Nov. 28: Well, quickly for now.  Strasburg and Berlin are about 100 miles apart (here).  Grandpa was born in 1880 and they moved to ND in 1905 and Lawrence was  born in 1903, and there is no lore that the Busch’s ever met Welk, though they certainly would’ve loved the music.

I went out to the Welk home in rural Strasburg with Vince and Edithe one time (here).  It was just a small typical rural farm place which was a tourist attraction.  The year after Edithe died (2014) a niece of Lawrence came down to St. Rose from Jamestown and talked to the residents about her uncle.  (Photo). That was the closest call I think they had to the man.  The Nursing home audience was very attentive!
I have a letter somewhere from Aunt Josie, Dad’s sister that says that Grandpa Bernard and Lawrence Welk were friends.  This is plausible, because from the late 1930’s through most of the 1950s Bernards wintered in Long Beach, and during the 50s Lawrence Welk was very prominent in the LA music scene, and the odds that Bernards went to see him from time to time is pretty good.
That’s about all I can offer.
Frank, Nov 30: There was a piano in the Yellowstone West Thumb employee rec hall and one summer I learned a few chords (ie C, D etc) while on break from my busboy job.  That would have been 1960s.  Later on at the Busch farm I sat down at the old upright, opened up the keyboard and did a little chording.  Grandpa  was very interested and got out his fiddle and we did a few tunes — all of course limited by my minuscule musical ability.   So, if Grandpa played with Lawrence and I played with Grandpa, you know someone only twice removed from Lawrence Welk.  That, and $2.50 will get you a tiny coffee at Starbucks, should they ever be allowed to reopen, of which I am becoming less certain of as days go by.
Dick, Dec. 1:  I think Grandpa Bernard is the one who may have actually met Lawrence Welk in California, per Aunt Josie’s recollection.  Of course, no way to prove that, either!  No doubt, Grandpa Busch was a country fiddler when he was young.  He apparently read music, rather than improvise.  He had a small group and played neighborhood dances, like in Grand Rapids.  The Busch’s were all interested in music, it seemed.  I wonder what finally happened to the old piano, which I tried to research years ago.   Attached is a photo of Grandpa, fiddle and family about 1912 or so.  He would have been in his early 30s.  Grandpa is holding the fiddle, Grandma is behind him.  Mom would have been 3, probably to Grandma’s right.  I don’t know for sure who the other people were.

Busch family with visitors about 1912. Ferd is at center with the fiddle; Rosa stands behind him. At the time there were three children. Lucina is in front of her parents, Esther, my mother, is to her sisters right. A younger sister, Verena, is probably not in the picture. She was born in 1912. The other children are from the other family(ies).


In addition,  I wanted to note that the picture was taken at the west wall of the original house.  Where they were standing was likely what later became the living room where the piano stood.  Mom’s memories (p.124-25 in the Busch-Berning family history) says “After I left home [about 1928] the folks acquired a rather badly worn piano but it was a real boost to the musically inclined in the family.  Lucina had taken piano lessons at the [St. John’s] Academy [in Jamestown] and she would chord or play the melody while Dad played the violin and the rest of us sang, both hymns and popular songs.  Dad bought a lot of sheet music and seemed to have most of the current songs in his repertoire.  He could read notes and that helped with the violin.”
  On page 120 Mom says “Rural entertainment was something else.  We used to have Yoeman club dances in the Yoeman building in Grand Rapids once a month during the winter time.  [Dick: I think the building still stands on the Main Street of Grand Rapids and was remodeled]. We would go with sled or buggy, bring a box lunch and dance until two o’clock in the morning.  Many of the dances were square dances and quadrilles.  My dad was always the fiddler with some assistance from other musicians in the area.  I even played the banjo one night along with the dance band.  There was always a good piano player at least good at chording and rhythm.  If the children got sleepy they slept on piles of coats in the club kitchen and many slept the whole night long.”
1 reply
  1. Florence Hedeen
    Florence Hedeen says:

    Thanks! This came through very well for my computer. It’s always fun to learn more of family history. The Busch family certainly loved music!


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