Thursday, May 5, 2011

Meet Bessie

 Dear Friends,

Today I'd like to introduce you to Bessie Olive Cohenour, my father's mother. Bessie died before I was born, so I never met her, but I heard lots of stories about her from my family. Bessie was a Jewish girl who fell in love with a Gentile named Frank Charles Jonas.

Frank and Bessie were wed against her family's wishes, and sadly she was disowned by them. She went on to raise a large family through the Great Depression and beyond, growing and preserving lots of food in the garden.

~Here are Bessie and Frank on their wedding day~

During World War II, Bessie's aunt was visiting relatives when the Nazis raided their village, killing her along with the rest of the family. All of the family records from the Cohenour side of the family were destroyed during the war, as well, making it impossible to trace the line farther back than the 1800s.

The girls have been watching "Fiddler on the Roof" lately, and thought it would be cute to name our latest critter after the show. We're not sure, but we think that Bessie would be pleased that made a little Jewish rat Tevye; how about you?

As for Tevye, today he's a Mexican rat, all dressed up for Cinco de Mayo (hope that doesn't offend anyone ;) )~ ole!



Do not waste time bothering whether you "love" your neighbor; act as if you did.As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone you will presently come to love him. -- C. S. Lewis


  1. What a wonderful rich history you have Marqueta! I just love family history and learning about other's lives! I too have some Jewish ties. One of my relatives helped Jews escape in Czech. and she was sent to a concentration camp and killed. The photos are just beautiful!!

    And PS, Fiddler on the Roof is one of my favourites! :)


  2. I forgot that it was Cinco De Mayo. Well I had a taco salad today so I guess I celebrated anyway. Interesting family history. Bessie is lovely.

  3. I'm always fascinated by family history. What an interesting story for your children to pass on to future generations, and a photo as well which makes it extra special. Of course I love your rat. What a great character.

  4. Marqueta,

    I enjoyed reading some history in regards to your family. It's a shame that those within this family-line were killed by the Nazis during WWII.

    At any rate, your little mouse friend looks cute all decked-out in his Cinco De Mayo outfit. I was unaware that like your friend at the Butt'ry and Book'ry that you have a little mouse family as well. Too cute! :)


    -L. Rose

  5. oh I loved this post. I hope you learn more about Bessie that you can share with us. I so much enjoyed mousie all dressed up with a sombrero. It's always interesting Birdsong Cottage


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