Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Kiesling’

A. K. Kiesling notice from Houston Post 11/3/1910

July 24th, 2017 Comments off
Categories: Hunt Family, Kiesling Family Tags:

Letter from Jeana to Lalu on becoming 20

November 4th, 2016 Comments off
Lalu and Roy embarking on their honeymoon.

Lalu and Roy embarking on their honeymoon.

The following is a draft of a precious letter I discovered among the many journals Jeana kept over the years.
To Lalu on becoming 20 –

 

Lalu, my lovely daughter,
Someday you will know I hope a mother’s heart. It is so deep and wondrous a thing as not to bear description. It is so full of love and pride and hurt and forgiveness as to encompass the universe in its constancy. And its viewpoint can only be reached by being. The years it takes to love a grown daughter are its measure.

The day you were 20, I stood on the heights and opened my palm and a spirit flew full blown into the way beyond me. I stood, an artist of life and saw my work move out into that fresh experience, twirl her skirts, and laugh that wonderful laugh which is my Lalu. I thought, “How terrible and how divine to be twenty. How awful and ecstatic and heavenly.”

Oh, my dear, growing older is very, very, nice. But have a wonderful time now. Savor, taste it, hold it, give it the best you have, don’t dare hurt it too deeply. Because its like a Venetian glass chandelier, it can only be blown by Venetians in Venice to be that beautiful. That’s what the 20’s are – live them, feel them, and know them, it can only be had by you once. Be aware of every moment of them. They are your citadel, your castle for a fine life after.

I do not agree entirely with the authorities that childhood is so great an experience, that it shapes all our destinies. I think the 20’s do. They are such “aware” years.

Don’t hurry and become frantic searching for the way. Pace it and breath deeply, and see it all. It’s full of burning desires – make them cooperate with your time. The burning flame of the arts are all around you. Hold them like a torch in front of your eyes – and give your best to the one that makes you most sincerely expressive. But remember, inspiration must have honest endeavor and application. Nothing does itself.

Last, but not least, when it’s time to have fun – angel – have the best time of your life. There is no better time to have it.

Here’s to you – and Got Bless my girl.

Love – Mother

Roy Kiesling

June 22nd, 2015 Comments off

Roy Kiesling

 

A sister takes a moment

September 14th, 2014 4 comments

Lalu Wedding

It must have been around ten forty-five in the morning or so on a mild, sunny Saturday as I recall. December 22th, 1955.  My oldest sister was getting married in a little over an hour, judging from the clock in the left picture above. I was seven years old.

Always last to be ready, my mother was still in her bedroom putting herself together, as she often said. My dad and I were in the high-ceiling, more glass than brick living room of our mid-century house in west Houston. Dad was almost certainly reading the paper in the wing-back chair. I was on the couch sulking.

I had two sisters in their twenties and a sixteen-year-old brother. I don’t know where my sister Robin was at that moment. Probably doing her makeup. (She was our blonde bombshell.) My brother Grainger was  probably feeding the snakes caged in his room. (A future biologist, he was allowed to keep non-poisonous snakes in the house, but that’s another story.)

My unhappiness on the couch was born of my disappointment at losing my sister Lalu, who took that name from me when I was two and couldn’t pronounce “Nancy Lou.” We were very close. Being sixteen when I was born, she evidently put me in her bed when I cried in infancy. She took me to movies, got me my first haircut, taught me to play chess and cards, etc. When I was six, she returned from Stanford, as promised, to teach science at a high school. I had started school late due to my mother’s misperceptions (a good story, that one). It was then that she discovered I could neither tell time nor read.  Lalu taught me these things in short order, which saved me further embarrassment at school.

Now, two years later, she was leaving again, and for good this time.  When, sitting on that very couch, I heard of her engagement, I tried to poison my future brother-in-law.

Sort of.

On hearing the news, my dad opened a bottle of champagne, an ounce of which was allotted to me as was the custom on such special occasions.  Something had to be done, I thought. Not waiting for my pour, I walked into the kitchen and retrieved a glass from on high. Into it I poured tomato juice, Worcestershire, my father’s beloved Mexican hot sauce, and carried the concoction to the couch where I handed it to the fiance saying, “Drink this. It’s poison.”

Silence.

After I disclosed the recipe, the others laughed – the fiance rather nervously. I did not.

What followed were months of preparation for what was to be a very large wedding. Everyone pitched in. A lot of money was spent. (My father offered the couple the same amount if they’d elope, which my sister declined, and my mother poo-pooed.) Hundreds of invitations were assembled in our living room. Licking stamps was my contribution, which I considered mildly heroic. (No one mentioned the use of a damp sponge until I began to gag.) And during the months that followed no one bothered to ask me how I felt about my hitherto doting sister’s impending disappearance from the house.

And so it was that I was brooding on our living room couch the morning of December 27, 1956.

Lalu walked into the room, looking beautiful in her white dress flowing all around her. My dad put down his paper and said as much, then talked breezily in his usual fashion about how boys are no damned good and offered to put the groom in jail if Lalu had changed her mind. (Dad was a humorist and a civil judge who very rarely put people in jail and then only for contempt.) My sister laughed heartily, as she still does. She kissed Dad, and declined both offers.

At this point Lulu looked down on her little brother and found him sulking once again. It was then that Mother entered the room. Seeing her daughter doing nothing but standing there staring at her brother, Mother suggested there must be something Lalu should be doing.

Indeed there was, Lalu said. She promptly opened the game cabinet and retrieved the carved wooden chess set and placed it on the coffee table before me. “I need to play chess with Sperry.”

And so she did. The game didn’t last too long, I’ sure. Lalu was very good at chess. But she was in no hurry. We spoke of things I can’t possibly recall. Only that we spoke only to each other for the little while she had separated out for me, her anxious little brother, a moment that stands out to me now as clearly as it did these many years ago.

A note about the images. The photos at the top of this post are of Lalu and Dad (left) and Mom and her brother, the beloved Uncle Philo. Below is a picture of Lalu and me a few years ago with Mt. Shasta in the background and, of course, the bride and groom with Lalu and Robin’s dear friend Jean Garwood.

Lalu and Sperry 2006Lalu and Roy