Brigitte Kiemschies was born in 1948 in Roth Germany and had a relatively idyllic childhood. Brigitte tells of her journey, having grown up in post-war Germany, from an interesting perspective, describing her life living between the 2 divided worlds of East and West Germany. Her travels at the age of 26 took her to America, where she married, raised a family, and led a busy and successful life in Cleveland, Ohio.
Kiemschies, Brigitte (interviewee)
Franklin, Bill (interviewer)
Cleveland German-American Oral History Project
"Brigitte Kiemschies interview, 01 June 2021" (2021). Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection. Interview 195008.
Bill Franklin [00:00:02] So my name is William Franklin. Today is June 1st, 2021, and we're interviewing Brigitte. And you spell that B
Brigitte Keimschies [00:00:18] B R I T I T T E, Kiemschies, K I E M S C H I E S
Bill Franklin [00:00:31] Yes, very good. Alrighty, so the first thing I'd like to ask is where you're from?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:00:41] I'm from Germany, I'm from Roth It's a little town, like a suburb from Marburg.
Bill Franklin [00:00:52] And how do you spell that town?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:00:53] R O T H, Roth, Roth
Bill Franklin [00:00:55] Roth
Brigitte Keimschies [00:00:56] Roth, Yeah.
Bill Franklin [00:01:00] And Marburg? Is that?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:01:02] M A R B U R G
Bill Franklin [00:01:07] Very good. And you were how old when the war broke out? You were.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:01:14] I'm not that old.
Bill Franklin [00:01:16] No?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:01:17] No. I was born in 48.
Bill Franklin [00:01:21] Oh you were born in 48, OK.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:01:21] After the circus.
Bill Franklin [00:01:24] OK, good. So your parents were living in Roth Germany during the war were they?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:01:32] No, no. My my my father. Yes my father did. And my mother, she was she was born in Czechoslovakia. In Sudetenland, what they called it the region. And, you know, Hitler always said, you know, I want these people back into Deutsche Reich Right. Right. And then after that, you know, they all went where they all came from, Yugoslavia or Poland or they came from Czechoslovakia, you know, Sudetenland, and they got transported. They didn't know where they went to. And they landed in that town where my father grew up. And then they fell in love, I guess. And then I came along.
Bill Franklin [00:02:17] That's how it works.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:02:19] Yeah.
Bill Franklin [00:02:20] Was your father in the service?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:02:21] Yes, yes. Yes.
Bill Franklin [00:02:23] The German army.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:02:23] Yes. He was not in the SS, but he was, uh. Yeah, he had to.
Bill Franklin [00:02:30] Mm hmm.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:02:31] They you know, they there was no choice. They had to be if you're not sick, you had to be and you had to be a soldier.
Bill Franklin [00:02:37] Yeah, yeah. So he served as a as a soldier. Active.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:02:42] Yeah.
Bill Franklin [00:02:42] Active soldier in the war. Uh huh. And did your mom have contact with him during the war?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:02:48] No, no, no. That was all after they got married. Yeah. They got married in 48 and I was born in forty eight.
Bill Franklin [00:02:55] Oh I see, so.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:02:55] But they came to date in 46 they came to that town. Yeah. That's where they you know and uh that's how they met.
Bill Franklin [00:03:10] Uh huh. Very good. So you lived in Roth Germany until you were how old?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:03:17] Till I, well I was married before too and uh so I lived in the small town it all suburbs from Marburg and it's just like, like and so then I was like 26 when I came here to America.
Bill Franklin [00:03:38] So that was in?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:03:40] 75.
Bill Franklin [00:03:42] 75
Brigitte Keimschies [00:03:43] 26, yeah.
Bill Franklin [00:03:44] Uh huh. How did you find moving to America, was there?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:03:48] Love.
Bill Franklin [00:03:49] Is that, is that the reason?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:03:52] Yeah I was. Yeah. Yeah that's it. Oh those are long stories. Those are long stories. But uh yeah I came to Cleveland, I was invited by some friends. And that's where I met my husband and I never went back. Not even after my visa was out, you know, like well I stayed, I got we got married then, you know?
Bill Franklin [00:04:13] Was he American or?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:04:15] No, he was German too. And my parents knew his parents in Germany. So that's why he came to visit when I was here visiting, you know, he came to visit, uh, those people and that's how we met.
Bill Franklin [00:04:29] So you went through your whole childhood education. Everything.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:04:33] Everything, yes.
Bill Franklin [00:04:35] While in Germany?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:04:35] Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Yeah.
Bill Franklin [00:04:36] And how was that after the war? So you were like 1952, 53., you started kindergarten.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:04:45] Yeah. I mean I really, I, I really didn't feel, you know, like when you were that little. You don't know. Do you think that's normal. Everything is like a normal thing you know. But uh but I remember when I got a little bit older and we had like birthday parties, you know, for the grown ups. Right. And then the smoke was here. We had everybody was smoking, you know, like that. And then they were sitting in the living room and and, uh, I was hiding, you know, like not hiding. But I love the stories. When they were talking about the war, none of them really told how they felt, you know, how they really felt in that in that situation. But they were talking where they were or what happened over there, men that who died or whatever. So that's that's, you know, interested me always like. But so, I had like some uncles who didn't come back home from the war.
Bill Franklin [00:05:41] Is that right?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:05:41] So. Yeah.
Bill Franklin [00:05:41] That was on your mother's side or?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:05:45] My mother's side. Yeah, yeah. My father, my my father, he had like three sisters and they they were actually not in the war. Right. But one sisters like. Oh yeah. One uncle from my father's side of mine. He came didn't come home either. He fell in Moscow. So.
Mark Cole [00:06:09] So what was life like as a child?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:06:12] My childhood was good. Yeah. I had a good childhood. I had, uh, mom and Dad and grandmas, two grandmas, and they lived with my parents in the house. So I was the queen of the road and
Bill Franklin [00:06:32] Were things in short supply. Did you ever notice that?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:06:36] Yeah, but they would talk about that, you know, like what they didn't have or what they couldn't buy or, you know, like and then when people got food, you know, I mean there was always still food there, but it was like when they start baking and making and couldn't get the stuff anymore, it felt like, you know, like everybody was over doing it, you know, with that stuff because they didn't have it for so long. And but I personally. No, I never I didn't feel.
Bill Franklin [00:07:06] Like you were missing out on anything.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:07:07] That was, that no. That was. Yeah, no. And no, I didn't. I never did. And because I said I didn't live in a, you know, like my mom, my dad, of course, you know, they went through different periods of times, you know, but I never did so. And I was the only one. Twelve years later, my brother came. So, you know, for 12 years I was like, you know, so no, I didn't.
Bill Franklin [00:07:38] Was, a, Roth Germany. Was that near-.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:07:40] Marburg.
Bill Franklin [00:07:41] Berlin or?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:07:42] No, no. It's right smack middle in Hessen that's in Hessen. And, uh, yeah, like forty, forty miles up north from Frankfurt.
Bill Franklin [00:07:51] OK, yeah. So that wasn't really cornered off from like American sections?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:07:58] No, no, no, no. We were in East West Germany and I had we had a lot of relatives in East Germany.
Bill Franklin [00:08:06] Did you?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:08:06] So when I was a child, because it was Kramer, I mean, now not my my great grandma already, right from my my grandfather's parents. My father was still alive in East Germany and his brothers and sisters. So, uh, when it's when you could go over there. Right. We we would go. But that was always like such a such a drama, you know, to go there. And when we went, we had to go on a train and we drove to to, uh, Bebra, Bebra is a town right on the border. And when they stopped the East Germans, they came in, you know, and then they the they would like, you know, the parents had to go outside. And I remember one, I don't know how old I was. My my grandmother and my mom my dad didn't go. My grandmother and my mom. And they had to leave with the suitcases. And there was like a barn. And the barn opens up and they went inside. They got they looked through the suitcases. And we kids, we had to stay all back. And, you know, whenever we were kids crying. And I mean, that was that was the worst. I felt like I was in the war.
Bill Franklin [00:09:15] Traumatic.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:09:15] Traumatic, you know, very. And then we went there. We did go out over there to East Germany. And then we had to spend money every day. There was like a certain amount of money. But you had to live there. You had to-
Mark Cole [00:09:30] Quota
Brigitte Keimschies [00:09:30] Buy stuff.
Mark Cole [00:09:31] Yeah.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:09:31] You know. Yeah. And.
Bill Franklin [00:09:32] Was there a different currency? Do you remember if that was.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:09:38] No, that was marks, they marks too. It was just yeah, they they yeah. No, that was the same, but just like worth nothing over there. You know. So they didn't get anything my aunt she had like five boys and when she could get a banana. Right. And she would come back and then she would like cut it in pieces now that over there. I, I, I noticed I mean nothing to eat. They had to eat potatoes and they, that's what they had. They had meat, sausage and stuff and potatoes, you know, so they didn't starve, starve. But they, you know, fruit and stuff like that. They didn't have soda and she would cut, like, the little pieces. And my mom would say, you're not getting a piece, you not eating it. I'm like, I want a piece. No, you're not getting the piece at my dad. No. So when we would drive, when we drive, when we went on the train home and the first time when we stopped in Bebra and out of sight, you know, like from that town, from that city.
Bill Franklin [00:10:40] How do you spell that town?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:10:41] Bebra? B, E, B.
Mark Cole [00:10:41] B.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:10:45] R.
Mark Cole [00:10:45] Yeah.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:10:45] A.
Bill Franklin [00:10:45] Bebra OK, good.
Mark Cole [00:10:45] B, E, A, B, R, A?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:10:46] Yeah, B. B, E, Beb- B, E, B. Bebra. B, E, B, R, A.
Mark Cole [00:10:50] B, E, B, R, A.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:10:50] Yeah. Bebra my goodness. And so he and he disappeared and I remember that too. I mean you know there is things what you really have in your mind like that doesn't go away. And I said to my mom was something like where's dad going? And all of a sudden he came back and he had like a whole thing of bananas. And he goes, OK, now you have your banana, you eat them all. I didn't want them anymore. Yeah.
Bill Franklin [00:11:26] They're very perishable. They don't last long.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:11:28] Yeah. Well yeah well because I wanted that what the kids had, I wanted that to you know. So there was a lot of. Yeah. Over there. I felt it. Yeah. That people didn't get uh what they
Bill Franklin [00:11:42] Not like the West side.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:11:43] No it was totally different then over there. Yeah. And then my brother is an architect and he when the border opened he was the first one, and went over there and built a shopping center. It's not a big one. A small one. And
Bill Franklin [00:11:59] So this is your younger brother.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:12:01] My brother was twelve years younger than me. So he he, you know, he got the sand and he got the they wanted to they just opened up. I mean there was no place to he slept in a school, you know, in a sleeping bag because he had to be there. He didn't want to leave but he ordered all the sand and the stones and all that. You know, it wasn't that far. The border was there, you know, from the other side. And the people they would get up to, they would get together and go, like, what happened, you know, because over there when they built something and they didn't have stones anymore. They would go. They wouldn't have sand anymore. They would go up and maybe three or four weeks or three days or whatever. They would get something, you know, they could keep on doing it. And so that was interesting. So, you know, my husband, I we went over there, too, and we went right way over because now we could just go and see everybody yeah.
Bill Franklin [00:12:54] Is your brother still in Germany?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:12:56] Yeah, he lives in Germany. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Bill Franklin [00:12:59] So do you go over frequently to visit?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:13:01] Yeah. I have a house over there.
Bill Franklin [00:13:02] Oh do you?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:13:02] So I, he takes care of it but you know have to have two and now two. I just. Yeah. I would like to go but I'm not going.
Mark Cole [00:13:16] Also in Hessen or?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:13:17] Yeah. Yeah. Right there in my town.
Mark Cole [00:13:20] Same. Ok.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:13:20] Yeah. So yeah no I would like to but made a little bit because Germany was a little bit behind with everything you know, with the, with the
Bill Franklin [00:13:33] With the vaccinations and,
Brigitte Keimschies [00:13:35] Yeah.
Mark Cole [00:13:37] So when you went to high school did you, when did you become politically aware the Cold War and that sort of stuff?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:13:44] I always like that stuff.
Mark Cole [00:13:45] Yeah.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:13:45] Yeah I always like that. Yeah. Because we always talked a lot and I think because we had that relatives over there and it was. Yeah. You got, you were interested in it, you know, and you hear it constantly, you know what went on, you know, and my dad, he was like big politics or whatever,
Mark Cole [00:14:08] Politically active or just political?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:14:09] No, not, no. He he loved this stuff. And, you know, Leonhard now, you know Leonhard, right? He loved my dad. He would go to Germany just to talk to my dad to see him, you know. So anyway. But just a little bit and uh. Yeah, so but I was never involved, involved in anything, you know, just what you heard. And I like the stories. I like to sit and listen to the stories.
Mark Cole [00:14:33] So no political activism?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:14:35] No, no. Nothing no. Nope.
Bill Franklin [00:14:40] Very good. So you your brother's still in architecture is he still?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:14:46] Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Bill Franklin [00:14:48] Buildings there. So when you came to America, did you have a connection in Cleveland? Were there any any direction that you went?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:14:58] I know nobody. Nobody I yeah, the people who invited me, you know, they were in Germany, my my my hu-, who became my husband, he, his parents and my parents, they were friends because they OK. My, my husband was born in Lithuania and they came the same route, you know, through East Germany, down to Germany, you know, and he had like two more brothers and they lend ended ahhhh sorry. In Germany, in Roth too. They were neighbors of my parents. So they became friends and then, uh, my husband when he was 18. But, no, they moved on from Roth to Frankfurt. Yes. And when I was two years old, they moved to Frankfurt. So there was the connection wasn't there anymore, that, you know, but a Christmas card and stuff like that, you know, that was it. And then my husband's name was Horst. And he, uh, he, uh, with eighteen, he came to the States. You know, he was
Bill Franklin [00:16:09] Did he have a sponsor or anybody?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:16:10] His brother was here already.
Bill Franklin [00:16:11] Oh he had a brother.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:16:12] Yeah. But that time I don't think they would spon- sponsors, you know. Was already, not that. It was.
Bill Franklin [00:16:20] of the time.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:16:20] Yeah. And, uh, yeah. But his brother was here and his godfather was here. I mean, they came and then he had a lot of relatives here from, you know, like before they came in the 20s already, you know.
Bill Franklin [00:16:31] Where they here in Cleveland, or?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:16:32] Cleveland area. Yeah. Mm hmm. And so, yeah, that's how he came. And, uh, so then he was married here for a few years and then they divorced and, uh so.
Mark Cole [00:16:48] Was Horst's last name Keimschies?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:16:50] Yes, yes, yeah, yeah.
Mark Cole [00:16:52] So what is your maiden name then?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:16:56] Schnabel
Mark Cole [00:16:59] Shnabel.
Bill Franklin [00:16:59] That's a famous name.
Mark Cole [00:17:01] S C, H, N, E, B.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:17:01] E, L.
Mark Cole [00:17:01] Or A, B, E, L.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:17:04] Yeah.
Mark Cole [00:17:04] Yeah.
Mark Cole [00:17:14] As in my German [00:17:15]beak, [0.0s] right?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:17:16] Yeah, well, you know you speak German, right? Yeah. Well, you wrote something. Yeah. OK, good. Yeah. So yeah my when I left, when I was here, when I came here I had there was no that I was mad at anybody over there or my parents or whatever, but I had my daughter from my first marriage. And um. So my ex-husband over there he could care less. He didn't, didn't care, he didn't. Whatever, where. So when I came here and we were here for over a month and I felt good. She felt good. You know, she was little. I mean, and then as a I came June 14th and I got married in August. So, you know how fast fast movers. Yeah. And I would do it all over again.
Mark Cole [00:18:07] So what year was your first marriage and when did you have your daughter?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:18:11] My first marriage was and in, in,
Mark Cole [00:18:14] Roughly.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:18:17] 60, 60, 66.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:18:21] And Iris born in 67 an, and seven.
Mark Cole [00:18:25] Iris?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:18:26] Yeah. My name, her name is Iris. Yeah. And and I got divorced like a year and a half later.
Mark Cole [00:18:34] Ok.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:18:35] Yeah. I that was not, I should have not been bad that. So, yeah. And so when we came here and so we, I got married in August so for my green card, you know to, to that time you know, to and to go back and come back with of course a lot of money and all that to you know, and I stayed here and like I said, married in August, my in-laws came for the wedding. My parents didn't come. But the year after the next year, they were here and came every year after that.
Bill Franklin [00:19:13] Oh really, that's good. What did your dad do for a living?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:19:14] My dad, he worked for the railroad. He was an executive for the railroad. Yeah, and he had a good job, you know, he provided for us and was. Yeah, he was. Yeah. And.
Bill Franklin [00:19:28] So they had no interest of moving to the States?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:19:30] No, no, no, no, no, no no no no. Oh no. And my, my in-laws, they wanted all of us to come here, but, uh, my husband had a younger brother and he, they went swimming one day in the Main River in Frankfort and he went swimming and jumped into it and there were like those cement blocks that they had around the river for the boats, you know, where they would anchor their boats and he got killed.
Bill Franklin [00:20:00] Oh my god.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:20:00] So and that's after that. They didn't want to come anymore. The parents. You know, at that time, their thinking was like not right, you know, because that son who is dead he doesn't help them anymore, you know? But they became closer with my parents. And my brother would do a lot for them, too, you know. So that was just like. Family, so that was good. My mother was a saint. She took them all in.
Bill Franklin [00:20:30] So what was your religious life like back in Germany, were?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:20:36] I, my mom was Catholic and my mother, my father was Lutheran and my moth-.
Bill Franklin [00:20:41] How did that work out, exactly?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:20:41] Good, good. My grandmother was one case. They lived in the same house, one Catholic and one Lutheran. Sunday morning, my dad would pack them in the car, would drive one to Catholic Church and the other one to Lutheran Church. And then they complain you should go to church too to my dad. And my dad goes, I don't have time I'm driving you all over. Yeah, they got along too. I don't know. But I always said it was my mother was my mom who kept them all like like, uh, because it's hard to have like not because of the religion, but that it's your mother, my mother. And that didn't happen, you know. So that was, she, those two they got along those old ladies. So and. Yeah. But then when I got had confirmation because I grew up Lutheran, because there was no Catholic Church in that town, there was but not close by. So I grew up Lutheran and then when I got my confirmation, my mom changed into Lutheran.
Bill Franklin [00:21:45] Did you go to a Lutheran school or?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:21:47] No, no, no. I went to a regular school and then. Yeah, because you have in Bavaria, we had relatives in Bavaria now my grandmother's mother lived in, uh, my mother, my grandmother's mother lived in Bavaria in Ingolstadt, so I would go down to summer vacation. Now, you asked about religions, right? And I would say my cousins had to go to Mass every Sunday morning. And I would say, I'm not going I'm not Catholic. And she would say, you're live, you're now here, you're Catholic. We had to go, oh, my gosh, yeah. We had to go. And then we would like there was an old lady. She would go to church at five o'clock in the morning for mass, six o'clock, seven o'clock. And she got a piece of paper that she like for beichen, beichen like, Like, uh. Gosh I'm so sorry I forgot the name for it.
Mark Cole [00:22:49] That's okay, I don't know the word, so.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:22:49] When you go for, for and say what you did wrong to the preist.
Mark Cole [00:22:53] Oh yeah, for your sins.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:22:54] Yeah, that's she-.
Mark Cole [00:22:55] Penance.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:22:56] Yeah, she would get like that and then she would go outside and she would sell it for five dollars. And Grandma wanted to see every Sunday, not every Sunday. We didn't do it. But,
Mark Cole [00:23:09] Yeah
Brigitte Keimschies [00:23:10] We we gave her five bucks and then we had one and then we showed her, we went to church and I got bad anyway. But that's what it was, you know. Yeah.
Bill Franklin [00:23:18] Interesting. So your parents political beliefs, you probably never talked about anything,
Brigitte Keimschies [00:23:29] I don't want to talk about that. No, no. We talked my dad was, uh, active. Not no, not active, you know, but he was, uh. He was SPD, man, you know? So that all I know.
[00:23:47] *Buzzing sound*.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:23:47] That's my refrigerator.
Bill Franklin [00:23:49] Oh.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:23:51] So, yeah, they would you know, he would vote and would do his duties or whatever it is, you know, and that was it talk of liked or didn't like. You know? So.
Bill Franklin [00:24:06] And then when you came to Cleveland, were you active right away in Donauschwaben or the German circle or?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:24:13] Yeah. Well you know what really. OK, when I, when I was in Germany in school. Right. And, uh, I didn't want to go to college, my brother that was out of hand, you know, they told him, you know, that was it. But I didn't it didn't push me. And I was, too. And then I got married. I did get married, right. So I really didn't. When you're young, you're stupid sometimes you know? You're going like, you know. I mean, I had the opportunity, right. And my parents, you know, it wasn't that, you know, my dad did, you know. So, uh, and I got married and, now where did I want to go with that? My mind. And when I came here, you asked me,
Bill Franklin [00:24:59] Yeah we were talking about affiliation with uh the German clubs or?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:25:02] No with the German club. Yes, I did. I did, uh, when I came here, because now my husband's relatives, they were involved in the in that town out, in Lenau park. We never been to, here to German Cental because there was a lot of older people in there and they didn't want to change and there was nothing done, you know, and all that. So yes. And then I took my daughter to German school they have a school out there and she had to go to school there.
Bill Franklin [00:25:34] So you brought her up to speak German and English and?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:25:37] Yeah, I speak to, all my grandkids speak German when hey come here there's no no English. You know, they they they answer me in English a lot of times. And when I don't I don't want to ask. I don't. When you know I don't understand. The little one she always goes like you speak to other people's English. I know you speak English. I say but I don't understand you honey. Yeah they I mean that's the easiest way I mean they have to go to school later on, right.
Mark Cole [00:26:04] Yeah, it's very hard. Yeah. I'm an example of that, yes.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:26:06] So and when the older ones, you know, the older ones they, they now they come and say I can be so quiet, you know. I mean, I mean not that they're perfect, you know, that they can but they can go there when you go to Germany and they can talk and they when they want something or whatever can be done. And yeah. So yeah. So now I have a new one, the new great grandparent baby.
Bill Franklin [00:26:32] That's great.
Mark Cole [00:26:33] Do the grandkids go to school, in at Lenau Park now or? No.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:26:38] No. I mean now here my daughter who lives here. She has one daughter and she is now in high school. She's going to be a senior next year and she's in all kinds of things in school, you know, like marching band and clubs or whatever. In school. There was no time, you know, I would have drove her out there, you know, but, uh. But she speaks German because I had her here. My daughter went to work I had her here every day. So, you know, she speaks and then in high school. Middle school already. She took German in school and but she got in trouble all the time because she was like, I don't think that's how that's spelled. You know, the teacher. Poor thing. She grew up here and, you know. Yeah. And learn we would go a lot to Germany. We would take, go a lot in the summertime. And then she would say, oh, they like that and that music. And she would go like, no, that's not true. You know, stuff like that. So.
Bill Franklin [00:27:37] You just had the one brother? just had one sibling?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:27:41] I only have one brother in Germany. Yeah, yeah, yeah. He has triplets.
Bill Franklin [00:27:46] Really.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:27:47] Yeah. So yeah, their my all younger than me so. But anyway yeah.
Bill Franklin [00:27:54] Gee, and when you were going to school living with your parents, did you have to work or anything to help supplement income or?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:28:03] No, no. I didn't no, I didn't. But I was volunteering a lot. I went from church. There was Hefatra that was like a town for a crippled children, you know for, for. Yeah
Bill Franklin [00:28:20] Disabled
Brigitte Keimschies [00:28:23] Yeah, there was like a town, disabled. See disabled, and I would go there, you know, and we would stay there and we would stay even over the weekends, you know. So during the week we had school
Bill Franklin [00:28:36] And how do you know that?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:28:37] Hefatra
Bill Franklin [00:28:38] Hefatra.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:28:38] H, E, F, A, T, R, A. Hefatra
Bill Franklin [00:28:49] Hefatra.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:28:50] Hefatra
Mark Cole [00:28:50] Is that a, it's an acronym for something. Is it short for something?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:28:55] No, it's just called it's just like.
Mark Cole [00:28:57] was that the name?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:28:57] It's not the town or anything that they, they. It looked like a town. There was so many hospitals in there and so many, you know, like like all kinds of things. Yeah. So yeah we would go there and the nurses helpers one there over the weekend. You know, there was just so many that, you know, whatever. So we would do all that. And after so many years I had enough and then I when you feel you getting coocoo and we with those people. I mean that's bad. And so I feel bad about them you know, but.
Bill Franklin [00:29:30] Sure it's not easy.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:29:31] And I did that and that was from church, you know, from our pastor and from, you know, so. But the bad I shouldn't even mentioned that. We had good times, too, because we would like that there was like a big wall around that whole was like it's like you call it a little town, you know, like that. Yeah. And they had parks in there, it was nice. And then at night, you know, like 9:00 or 10:00. It was like bedtime, right. No, we went over the walls. So that's like, know, when I think when I tell my kids, when I, when I say I said but I get good things. Kids wait a minute. You know, so yeah, we were like it was like with three girlfriends. We were four of us. You split a room two and two. That's where we went. Yeah. So anyway that was working. Yeah. But we even had to pay for our own train, you know, we didn't have a car. I mean I didn't have a car. You couldn't make driver's license before you're eighteen you know. So.
Bill Franklin [00:30:39] Right.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:30:39] And I didn't
Bill Franklin [00:30:41] And was your mother a good cook did she leave some recipes for you?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:30:45] Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I cook for the kids too. Yeah.
Bill Franklin [00:30:50] With German cuisine?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:30:51] Yeah. Oh yeah.
Bill Franklin [00:30:54] What are your favorite dishes, just out of curiosity?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:30:56] But you know my grandson, my, my grandsons, my son-in-laws they're Americans and they want rouladen. You know what that is right? And Schnitzel. But I make the schnitzel that they call them that [00:31:09]eingelegte (smothered), [0.0s] you know, like with a lot of mushrooms and onions. And I make it like a lasagna, you know, like,
Bill Franklin [00:31:15] Oh.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:31:15] Layered schnitzel and then onions and then mushrooms and then making a sauce and put that over. Let it sit overnight and then I bake it the next day. But the schnitzels are done, you know, but they're so soft and that's what they want.
Bill Franklin [00:31:29] Sounds delicious.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:31:30] Don't have to think a lot. Yeah. Yeah. I think I can cook too. Yeah. So I learned that from mom. No I didn't cook when I was home though. Never. Never. I was here. I would call her, I would go like mom how was that was. And then when they came to the summertime also or like not just in the summer other times, then she would say, hey, that's what you have to do.
Bill Franklin [00:31:58] Do you have any special memories about holidays like Christmas?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:32:02] Yes. Yes, yes. Wonderful holidays. We had yeah. We had, uh, like for Christmas. But I still miss I like to do it here too. But its not it doesn't you know, nobody has time anymore now, me too. I mean, nobody nobody has time anymore. I mean, I remember, you know, November and the beginning of December. Grandmas would bake already and mom. And we you know, so there was a lot of relatives, you know, too. And then they would bake and then you would come home and then when you sneak the cookie, you know. No, no, no, no, no, no. Oh my gosh. Yeah, you were like- But yeah. And we had a lot of those festivals then already, you know, the, the Christkindlmarket and that and yeah, would go shopping and uh it was Christmas time was very in. But I remember is my mom, she, they had time, they would have coffee and cake and cookies, you know, with some friends, you know, like in the advent time. And Yeah. And I tried it here too. But it just doesn't. It doesn't.
Bill Franklin [00:33:10] Yeah, it's not part of the culture here, so it's different.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:33:12] Well they're all German they would know.
Bill Franklin [00:33:14] Right. Yeah,.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:33:16] No. But nobody has time anymore so. No I shouldn't say all that German. I have other friends too. All kinds, I have friends from all over the world, so and that's good. That's what I met them all here. I still have my friends from kindergarten over there.
Bill Franklin [00:33:33] Really?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:33:33] When I go. Yeah.
Bill Franklin [00:33:37] Neat.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:33:38] Yeah. So.
Bill Franklin [00:33:42] So one other question about the town you lived in. Could you describe your neighborhood and what where you shopped and were the stores any different then here?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:33:55] They were like little towns. You know, like little grocery stores, they where you go in and you went over. You couldn't even look over, you know, like the counter was, you know. And you ask, but you knew better candies, candy jar was, you know. And yeah, that's where everybody was shopping in that town where I lived. We had everything. It was like all around. There were some towns. They were much, much bigger. But we had two bakeries. We had two grocery stores. We had the butcher, we had a what's um. Where you get the wood from the when they build homes.
Bill Franklin [00:34:34] Lumber?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:34:35] Lumberyards two lumberyards. We had the mill, we had to be at the Lahn River, but we'd go through all around the town. And then there was that the the the mill, you know, where the wheel would go, you know. And yeah. And we had like a little island in that in the Lahn River went around. That's where that was our swimming pool, you know, that's where they built like a little house where we could change, where boys and girls. And so yeah, we, we our childhood was was good. There was like a little bridge what the soldiers actually built in the war, you know, where that the Americans from one side to anoth- like a little bridge. And I wasn't allowed to jump into the water from up there. Oh, God, I love that, you know, dove into that water.
Bill Franklin [00:35:26] But you did it anyway.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:35:28] Yeah. And one day my dad, you know, and he didn't say nothing to me, but one day he goes like, put that picture right in front of me like that. And I'm going like, what is that? You know. And he goes, like, I found it. He didn't say nothing till he had that developed. And he I still hear that knock at that thing. And I go like, oh, is that me? And so I wasn't. You know, I think I had two or three weeks where I was no swimming.
Mark Cole [00:35:58] He saw you and took your picture as evidence?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:36:00] Yep. Because he knew I would have said no, no, that, no, no, dad, no, no, no, who ever seen me. That wasn't true. Right.
Bill Franklin [00:36:10] Did you speak English before you came to America?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:36:11] No I had to teach, no, and we took I took English. But it wasn't
Mark Cole [00:36:17] Like Spanish here?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:36:19] It wasn't. Yeah, it wasn't, you know. No, it wasn't. Yeah. And so when I came here, I went to West Tech to school. They still had West Tech then. You know, I [00:36:29]feel really [unintelligble]. [0.8s] They, they, the school doesn't exist anymore because of four eighty I think. No? Or.
Bill Franklin [00:36:35] I think so.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:36:36] Or 90 something
Bill Franklin [00:36:37] Condominums or something now
Brigitte Keimschies [00:36:38] I don't know, oh, condominiums.
Bill Franklin [00:36:39] Yeah.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:36:40] Yeah. That's where I went. And my husband took me there one night and uh he says here's the school and I'm going like, yeah, yeah. Don't you want to come in with me. He says no I had to fight my way through to he goes like you with you will that's how you learn. And I went in and the lady behind the desk and I'm like, well you know, I could [00:37:09][unintelligble] [0.0s] much good I could read. I mean, it was a little bit wasn't to, you know, name and all that I did on that register the best I could. So she said, you have to go upstairs. I went upstairs. I heard every language in the book not German, nothing in German. I want they all talk to each other you know? I stood there. I'm going like, you know, and I was listening. Nothing happened. Nothing happened. So the first year. The first year, I know we had to learn the basics, so to speak, you know. So the second year was a lady, a woman. And and she was mean to me, you know. I mean, she didn't let loose when I, you know, like, you know, I don't know what. Just leave me alone, you know, nope she was like that. So we had a Christmas party at school. She said you can, you know, could bring husbands, wives or girlfriend boyfriend whatever. So my husband went with me and we walk in and she goes like [00:38:09]Frohe Weinachten (Merry Christmas). [0.0s] I go like I wanted to say, you speak German? She's like, [00:38:15]auf natuerlich (certainly) [0.0s] I'm German. I know if I would have spoke one word German to you, she would say to me, you know, you would be right after me would say, I know it, you know. You know, so just leave it alone. Yeah, I still is still, you know, know her. So she teach- she taught at Case Western. Yeah. She was, she was fluent in languages five or six languages she spoke. Yeah, yeah,
Bill Franklin [00:38:45] Good teacher, yeah, and you said you still keep in touch then with some of your friends from back home?.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:38:50] Yes, yes. When I go, I have to have to have some fun with them. No, we go on vacations when I'm over there, I have a cousin who never got married and I'm a widow now. And, um, I have two friends over there. They are widows also. And we got to we went to school together and we get over when I get over there then they pick where we going. We went to Tenerife. We went to Portugal. We went to Greece. We went to. So every year when I go, you know, I'm always gone like three, four weeks, five weeks, six weeks sometimes. So and I was always like version of that. And I love it because I don't have to think I don't have to do nothing and just come down, pay them for the ferry. That's it. The first year when we went.
Bill Franklin [00:39:38] That's the best.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:39:38] I you know, I wanted to see if we would get along. All of how that works, you know, when you go. So, yeah. So now we do it. And last year, last year we wanted to go to Greece back to another island. But covid, you know, we couldn't go so.
Bill Franklin [00:39:56] Rain check.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:39:56] Yeah. Because the parents are not alive anymore, you know, and it's different when you go back. You know.
Bill Franklin [00:40:02] Sure.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:40:02] So relatives and friends depend on me, you know. So I would I would sell the house. But the kids always say, no, wait a little bit. We want to go over there, we want here now so you know so but one day I'm not getting younger. I think I get younger, but I'm not.
Bill Franklin [00:40:24] Uh that's good, did you what did your husband do here, was he?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:40:28] He was like Leonhard tool and dye maker in Germany and came here and opened up the company.
Bill Franklin [00:40:36] So he was trained in Germany as a tool and dye maker?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:40:38] Yeah, he was trained in Germany. Yeah. Hmm. Yeah. Yep.
Mark Cole [00:40:43] What was the name of the company?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:40:44] MDF. Yeah. Wall styles and features. Yeah it still exists but not you know so.
Mark Cole [00:40:55] And where was that at?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:40:57] Nothing to do with it. North Royalton. Nothing to do with the company. You know. So then he got very sick. That's when we, he got out. You know.
Bill Franklin [00:41:13] Yes, that's too bad.
Mark Cole [00:41:15] So when you were in school, did you ever want to. Did you work when you were here at all ever?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:41:21] No, we, I, had, I had four kids. And I would.
Mark Cole [00:41:24] Real job then, raising kids?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:41:24] Yeah. Yeah. well yeah, I Ok. When, in the beginning when I came, I had the kids and then my parents would come and his parents would come. And when he started the company, you know, there was no time to do anything at home. So I did everything from cutting the grass to what? I mean, anything. Everything. He would work late, you know. I mean, it was it was tough, was really tough.
Mark Cole [00:41:52] So you never worked at MDF too or?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:41:54] No, no, no, no, no, I'm not. No. And so I did here and there, you know, like later on I go like I have to do something, you know, so but never, never, never did. And I always was busy and always had I was like a caretaker. I should went and would be a nurse because. Yeah, well, first I had and then my husband got so sick cause I had to take care of him and then um. Yeah, none of the grandkids and before or not see it. Before my husband got sick I had two grandsons I raised for my other daughter. So so I wasn't that I didn't work. It just didn't make money.
Mark Cole [00:42:40] Yeah.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:42:42] So yeah. My husband always said, you know, if you want to go to work, you know you, you, you. But I'd never had that, that I felt like I didn't do nothing. I mean it wasn't that I sit at home, watch TV. I didn't.
Mark Cole [00:42:59] You were too busy to about it.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:42:59] No. And because then with his, with the business then it was like, you want to go back, you know, to Germany when you work, you have to get vacation time. That's the only time we could go. Oh, and then I went to Germany, my father-In-law had Alzheimer's, then I went for a while there. Yeah, he was here and we had to bring him home because, you know, we didn't want to put him in the home here. So we brought him back to Germany. And then I stayed, you know, and I would come home. Then my husband would come and we would go back. Oh, it was so sad, yeah, but so there was no room for having it. Not, you know, eight to five job. It was not you know. It wasn't that I didn't want to, but I was busy.
Bill Franklin [00:43:50] Did you have any interests in any anything or hobbies that you would have liked to have done?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:43:57] I have a lot of hobbies.
Bill Franklin [00:43:58] Do you?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:43:58] Yeah, yes. I had a girlfriend here that I met the first week I was here and we got into everything. I mean, got into everything, you know, like a lot of things. I became a lioness
Bill Franklin [00:44:13] Of lions?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:44:14] Lions. At that time it was lioness. Now lions, you know. So we did a lot of charity work for the City of Broadview Hieghts. I mean, we we we. Yeah. And, uh, but we did all kinds in sports, you know, I'm, I don't look like it, but I'm very sporty.
Bill Franklin [00:44:30] Athletic
Brigitte Keimschies [00:44:30] I do a lot of sports. And,
Bill Franklin [00:44:33] What do you play soccer or?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:44:35] I played soccer. Yeah. I played handball in Germany.
Bill Franklin [00:44:38] Handball?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:44:38] Yeah. [00:44:38]For VFL [0.0s] Marburg. Yeah. Handball, you know?
Mark Cole [00:44:44] Yeah it's very, very European, German thing.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:44:45] Yeah.
Mark Cole [00:44:46] Not big in the States.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:44:47] Yeah. And yeah. And then when I was here. Yeah. No I mean from tennis to golf with, I went, golfing with my husband. Yeah. Did, modeling school, I went, oh, I went to school. Yeah, to modeling school wasn't tall enough.
Bill Franklin [00:45:08] Yeah.
Mark Cole [00:45:08] So when you were in high school, did you have dreams of doing something of some job or.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:45:13] Yeah. Yeah.
Mark Cole [00:45:14] An astronaut or?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:45:17] Yeah, ah ah, yeah right. No, no I didn't go that far. No, I was I wasn't bad in school, but I was not that interested in school, you know what that I mean. It wasn't like, uh,
Bill Franklin [00:45:30] Academic.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:45:32] I have to have to, you know, like and I think I had a few girlfriends, maybe nice families, nothing wrong with of people, but they were like, all, like that. And that's not good. You know, like your your your your your so the parents can talk and talk and talk. But my parents didn't push me.
Bill Franklin [00:45:54] Mm hmm.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:45:55] My dad always said later on, you know, I should have pushed you more.
Bill Franklin [00:45:59] He pushed your brother.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:46:00] Oh yeah. That was not even talk about it. I mean, whatever. And he was always interested. And now I have a granddaughter. She is an architect, too here she lives in Medina. With the now with had a baby. So, uh, she would go to Germany, loved it, you know, go with my brother all over. Yeah. So yeah.
Bill Franklin [00:46:20] Yeah. Theirs some interesting architecture in Germany.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:46:23] Yeah. She loved it there. Well, honey, you have to go back. Yeah.
Bill Franklin [00:46:33] Very good, I think we talked about that.
Mark Cole [00:46:33] So when did you start with your association with the German Central?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:46:42] Like, ah, When did it happen? In 90. Not 90, 80. Right, when they when Boulder took over 80, 85, 83, 84, you know, I think we would go there line dancing at the the here. And excuse me and the president there at that time. They let us go into the hall up there, you know, but they thought the whole place wasn't not nice, you know, to to. And they couldn't they were to old those people, they couldn't keep it up anymore, you know? And then we said we all said we have to do something. But then Walter Kruger, he was the one who pushed it through and everybody helped, you know, working. And so Walter was the one who was behind it all. You know, he was there. And we still work. You know, you see me there on the ladder. My daughter goes like, what did they insure you. I said, Of course. Yeah, right. So, yeah. And we bring it up, you know, we wanted to keep it alive, you know, so.
Bill Franklin [00:47:50] Right.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:47:51] The festivals are nice. You know. What we need them for weddings. You know all that. So if my husband would be still, I mean, he would go and help, too. He was there, too. But I think I wouldn't be so involved like I'm now, you know, I mean, there's nothing that goes by me there, so because it's my outlet, you know. To go there so.
Mark Cole [00:48:16] So do you still do you go weekly or?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:48:19] I'm always there. I'm involved in that stuff, you know, like we decorated and I was just seen up there I bought, we went for bought all the light fixtures and all that, you know, it's like, me going like OK, it goes there, you know, and with the landscaping, it was involved you know what they do there. So it's constantly something, always something, you know, then you get mad and say, oh, we're not going any more. That's it. Now, I'm not doing it anymore.
Bill Franklin [00:48:46] Until the next day.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:48:47] Oh, yeah. So and then when we have dances, it's fun and we are like a line dancing group, you know, like like when we there. And uh, so when we have a regular dance, we can dance to the music, the line dancing stuff.
Mark Cole [00:49:05] So you mean like American style country, line dancing?
Mark Cole [00:49:07] No, not just country. No, it's not country. No. I mean not wearing cowboy cowboy boots and cowboy hats. No, no. But you know, they're modern. Yeah. Anything whatever they play. So that's what we do but we dance other stuff too. You know, so we go around and so yep.
Bill Franklin [00:49:30] Nice.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:49:32] My girlfriend, she taught and mentor line dancing for years. Monday and Tuesdays. So I would go with her we would be the helper. So yeah. Always said and we always had something, so there was never that I could I never was bored. I don't know, that's just a word that I know. But I don't know it. You know, the word how to. No bored is not in my vocabulary. And like I said, I have a lot of cultures. We had the pool at our house and we invited all our different friends from different cultures. And my husband bought flags and he put them all around that the pool and everybody had to bring a dish from their home that, you know, it was, I mean, it was wonderful.
Bill Franklin [00:50:20] That's memorable. Yeah.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:50:21] It was wonderful. Yeah. Honduras I was in Honduras. I have good friends living in Honduras and Mexico, you know, and Marianne. So it's, you know, Vietnam. Yeah. So it keeps me busy.
Bill Franklin [00:50:40] Yeah. Yeah.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:50:42] Yeah.
Mark Cole [00:50:43] Do you ever associate with the German club in Olmsted anymore, or?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:50:46] Yeah I know a lot of. Yeah. I did work there when they opened up you know. I did and we bought in, we lifetime members in there and all that. But it's far to go to you know, when you're alone and you're driving in the evening. I mean when, if there is something I go I mean I have other friends Leonhard they take me or whatever, but then I go out there, you know, but the working is not you cannot split yourself. You do here of there, you know, so we did out there. They're bigger now. They're fine. They're all set. And not that they don't they don't care about me to help them but now I have Octoberfest and all that they would. But no, I mean, you have to. That's it.
Bill Franklin [00:51:29] Right.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:51:30] But I still go there. Yeah. And I know a lot of people, they have some friends there. They go there. There so.
Bill Franklin [00:51:43] Alrighty, so do you have any, like, closing remarks or anything you want to talk about that's especially memorable, like maybe your first memory from-.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:51:53] When I came here?
Bill Franklin [00:51:54] When you.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:51:55] Or what?
Bill Franklin [00:51:55] When you were growing up, when you-.
Mark Cole [00:51:59] Or when you came here or when Cleveland felt like home or?
Bill Franklin [00:52:01] Yeah special, a special memory.
Mark Cole [00:52:03] Yeah.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:52:04] Yeah. Well, I came from, you know, OK, can I can I put that into that a little bit for sure. Was my first flight ever? We never you know, we always took the trains or the car and, uh, my mom and dad were not happy you know they were really set that they left, you know, very, very sad. And so I went to Frankfurt where my future in-law lived, you know, and stayed overnight because the next morning I had to be on the plane. And I get into that house and in the hallway is a suitcase. No, I was thinking, you know, I had like two heavy suitcases. I had my daughter's stuff, you know, like dolls and all that, you know? And you go like, oh my god and I'm like that, hey, wait till it's done till we're there or whatever, and then we will see it. Something will happen right? And I go into the house and I'm like a suitcase, you know. So I ask I said who's going somewhere, you know. And they're like, so his father went with me. Surprise me to go with me to America was such a relief right. To to be not alone and have a child and have I mean, first time flying to America. I mean that time. So we go to Frankfurt Airport and my father in law goes like, oh, we have to buy some booze, you know, some liquor, the cherry liquor and whatever it was.
Bill Franklin [00:53:29] Duty free.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:53:29] Duty free. So you could buy, you know, at that time, you know, you could like a lot. So we get into the plane where my daughter and I was sitting and he was sitting behind me and he put all the bottles. There was, you could see through, you know, all the booze in front of my feet, right?So at first I didn't, you know, care. She was she, she was comfortable my daughter and all that. So I go after a while. I'm going like, I feel some people watching me, you know, you feel that it was a guys to talk about me. And they were like looking at my feet. I'm going like, oh. So I turned around and said to my father-in-law, hey, you get your stuff, I told him, get out of here. So that was my flight. So getting to New York. Yeah. I mean, you know, when you think about it, it's just getting to New York. And my father-in-law was in front of me with my daughter. And I'm going now you have to the, the, the, you fill out your-
Mark Cole [00:54:33] Customs.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:54:34] Do customs you know all that. Well, I didn't want to give that piece of paper up. I go like I want to go to Cleveland. And the guy talked to me in English. I'm going like very fast. I'm going pfff I'm not giving you that. That's I'm going to Cleveland. I need that. I didn't see that my father-in-law gave that up. I didn't see that. And, you know, now there was a line, you know, and somebody came out and said to me in German, you know, you have to do that. You have to give them that. You know, you can go to Cleveland. Do you have a ticket? I said, yeah, I have a ticket. But, you know, and so I gave so I turned around. My father-In-law was gone and my ticket was gone. I didn't know, you know, so it was at the door. Well, exit I knew was that was right. I went outside and here was my relatives. You know, they came picked us up in New York. So it was OK. So but that flight. Yeah.
Bill Franklin [00:55:29] Memorable Yeah.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:55:30] Yeah that was memorable, you know.
Bill Franklin [00:55:31] Yeah very.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:55:32] So then when I came to Cleveland, they were all at the airport, you know, some people that didn't even know, you know, so and then when I met my husband you know, I knew him, I mean, it wasn't that I but we were no, you know, like and he took me to Cleveland. It was the second week. And I was here and I liked it. I don't know why. I was like I liked it, you know? So.
Bill Franklin [00:56:01] Felt like home.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:56:01] Yeah. And I'm still I'm still saying I'm I'm a Clevelander. So I was like, yeah.
Mark Cole [00:56:08] Did he take you to a German club or-
Brigitte Keimschies [00:56:11] No. He never did.
Mark Cole [00:56:11] German Central or?
Brigitte Keimschies [00:56:11] He took me to Uncle Bill's (Cleveland discount store) to buy an iron. He didn't have an iron.
Bill Franklin [00:56:17] How Romantic.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:56:17] Right. Uncle Bill's, right? Yeah, no. Yeah. So we to him through work there was some people he we met, you know, in the beginning right away. And he would say to me, I we go- my friends all invited us. He said, if you and I said, yeah, I'm going. He said, well that's up to you then. If you still aant to be friends with them, you know and all that, but they became my family. All of them, they were a little older than me, you know. When he came and, you know, some of them worked with them. Some of them, you know.
Bill Franklin [00:56:52] Right.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:56:53] And, yeah. And I'm still they're still my kids all call them uncle and aunts, whoever, you know. So, yeah, some of them passed away already, too. But yeah, I felt home when I felt home right away here, you know, I mean, I love to go back to Germany, but I would never move there again. It's after so many years, it's not your home anymore. It's because when you go there, when I'm with my friends, we talk a lot about what was before. Because now they do their things with their friends, you know, and their family. So it's not anymore that when you have friends here, you talk and you know you do that and that and that. So I have nice friends here and I don't miss it, you know, so and I get my fill when I go over there. Then I want to go home. When my dad passed away. I was there three months and at the sec- the first time I was there for a month. And then I went home and then I went back for three months. I couldn't wait to come home, you know. So that's I think I mean, I know people they would love to go back or they want to move back, but, you know, they shouldn't be here then, you know, so I feel comfortable. And I'm I'm, and then the kids are here, you know, and the grandkids and the two girls. They're wonderful. You know, the my stepdaughter too, you know, I have a good relationship with her.
Bill Franklin [00:58:25] Good.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:58:26] And the, their kids, you know. So, yeah.
Bill Franklin [00:58:32] It makes a big difference.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:58:33] Yeah.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:58:37] OK, good. Well, I think that sums up my questions,
Brigitte Keimschies [00:58:41] See wasn't that interesting, right?
Bill Franklin [00:58:44] It was very- well we see we talked for 58 minutes so,.
Brigitte Keimschies [00:58:46] Oh really?
Bill Franklin [00:58:47] Yeah, we got a lot of-
Mark Cole [00:58:50] One hour on the dot.
Bill Franklin [00:58:51] Good information.
Mark Cole [00:58:50] Yeah, stop it before we I have to edit it all.
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