During my conversations with many of the relatives, I heard some wonderful stories that I will share with you here. Sadly, Ben, Agatha and Susan have all since passed away.
From Ben Kraning:
In the early days of the automobile, when all cars were black, Robert Litz, (Opa) had a wonderful way of finding his vehicle. He painted his tool handles, leaving them inside the car. He only had to look inside to see if it was his. My dad carried out this practice, the painting not the leaving them in the car!!, as well but I think more for wood preservation, or to keep someone from stealing them. Our shed still has many "litz artifacts" with white and red, white and orange (must have run out of red) or green handles.
In conversations with his mother, Ben told me that Alvina had once commented that she thought Christian was a wealthy man because he was wearing expensive leather boots, and therefore worth a second look. Alas, it turns out the boots were stolen.
And then we have the story of orchards in Poland that the Kroening family owned. Ben just figured it was a crab apple tree...the history of the Kroenings in Poland is still an unknown, other than Ferdinand's birth.
From Agatha Tolack (Yessie):
Ron Litz and Bill Kraning (Ben's brother) used to get dressed up and walk down Portage or Main street, stop a pretty girl and say: "Excuse Miss, but if we could be so bold as to ask directions to ......" Agatha was laughing quite hard when she told me this because she said the two of them knew where every street was in the city, and used this ploy to pick up girls.
I found this wonderful picture of the two of them that I think really shows a side of them that Agatha relating to. I dunno about you but they look like a couple of gangsters to me!!!
From Susan Izzard:
In conversations with her grandmother, she was told that had it not been for Robert Litz, a lot of the family would have gone hungry many times. I guess that at some point in time all the cousins of the earlier generation in the early years, had at one time or another worked for Robert.
This name may not seem strange to us but think back, Russia/Poland 150 or so years ago. This is not a Russian name, or for that matter a typical German name. The Russian record spells Robert as Robert, with no translation. Where did this name come from?
What is the significance of the name William?
There are a few things in our family that I have found to be a little odd that may if the reasons were know, explain some of our history.
Hulda Litz nee Kroening and her two brothers Christian and Ferdinand all have names a son William, so we have 3 first cousins, 1 Litz and 2 Kroening with the same first name. I think this means something, but I have not located any historical data with a William (which probablly would have been WILHELM) in my research, other than a Wilhelm Radons who was the father of Emily Radons that married her cousin Theodor Radons.