Recently while my husband was blowing off our sidewalks, he spotted a gentleman taking time looking over our house from the curb. This is not an uncommon occurrence, since the house, even in its current “need for a redo state”, is quite striking. A conversation began that lasted again, not uncommonly, for a while.
It turns out this man had known Dorothy Elisabeth Steinbuchel Wilson Gouldner in her later years as a neighbor. He was currently reading her book, A Living Gravestone, about the family and the house.
Since we do not have a house number displayed he wanted to ensure he had the right location. We shared stories and information. I told him of the research underway I am taking time to update and even validate the information in the book.
The Foundations pillar of this BLOG is devoted primarily to that endeavor. The BLOG also serves as a place to share progress on its historic restoration.
Encounters With New Details
The visitor said Elisabeth was very proud of that book. In addition, he mentioned Olive Ann Beech‘s daughter helped her get it published. Hummmm, a detail I was unaware of before, since there is no mention of this in the book by way of acknowledgment.
I am aware, however, from the book The Barnstormer and the Lady, that Elisabeth’s brother-in-law, Rene Goulnder was Walter Beech’s personal physician. His signature is on Mr. Beech’s death certificate. Thus the connection is not unlikely.
As I said, these kinds of meetings are not unusual in our lives. Folks who have some connection to this house stop by. When we are outside they may approach us for a conversation.
Although I recognize the value of these things, as a planning, task oriented introvert, I find it hard to stop and “sit a spell”. I would not have done well in Mayberry! My husband, on the other hand, embraces these “taking time” encounters, so I usually let him hold down the conversation while I wander in and out.
There is another kind of meeting that is emerging as well, the meetings on social media. I am honored that several of the descendants of the Hahn-Stackman-Steinbuchel clan are connected there. It’s a joy to see new babies being born, weddings taking place and namesakes continuing on.
Taking Time And Moving Forward
The gentleman who stopped by had recently retired and, like me, now has time to tackle the things that a career crowded out. I know my career made this “set aside for later” list necessary, as well. Unfortunately, lost opportunities to engage with those who have passed on resulted.
Now that I have this space to direct people to, they can become well informed. They can also engage in an on-going conversation centered on all things Maison Steinbuchel. I do recognize the value of these taking time meetings. The bits of information that emerge add interest to the story of this property and the families that lived here.
I try not to live in regret about that and appreciate these chance meetings to fill in the blanks. Whether taking time comes natural or not, it is a necessary ingredient to capturing stories. Memorable stories are one legacy story category worth rescuing.
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