Our mother’s [Ernestine (Sanders) Strelesky] body was sent to Dubuque for burial. I went with Aunt Norma – our mother’s wish. Our dad [Jack Strelesky] and Eunice, Alice and Herb went to Grandma Sanders [Josephine (Uhlrich) Sanders]. The flu epidemic was so bad everything was closed – schools, churches, department stores and all public buildings – theaters too. People were not allowed to gather. I often wonder if our mother even had a funeral mass. There was a graveside service. This took place in Feb. It was so cold that the priest conducting the services told the men to keep their hats on.
I don’t know where our dad went, but Herb, Alice and Eunice stayed with the Sanders. Herb and Alice started to Holy Trinity School. Herb made a life time friend with Bill Trentz who lived at the other end of Prescott St.
Eventually our dad took the three children to live in Sioux City with his family where they really weren’t wanted – not like Grandma Sanders house. There were Grandpa [Frank] Strelesky, Uncle Al [Strelesky], Aunt Agnes [Strelesky] – she taught school – and Aunt Levina [Strelesky] – she kept house for the family. Uncle Al and Aunt Levina loved to entertain so there were lots of nice dinner parties. Eunice slept with Aunt Agnes. Because of her topsy-turvy life for one so young – she wet the bed. Aunt Agnes made the announcement that she had to go. Aunt Levina made her a lovely dress to wear for the journey. Aunt Norma was notified to meet the train in Omaha. They packed Eunice a box lunch and put her on the train in care of the conductor. When Aunt Norma met her in Omaha she was still carrying her box of lunch.
I surmise Omaha was as much a disaster as Sioux City. Word eventually reached Dubuque. Uncle Fred [Sanders] told Grandma to go to Omaha and bring Eunice back to their home in Dubuque where she was treated like a princess especially by Uncle Fred.
Herb teased Grandpa so my dad had to pick him up and take him to his home in Omaha.
The Streleskys kept Alice. She was about 12 years old and was a great help to Aunt Levina. At that early age, Alice could bake a cake without a recipe. That was long before box cakes. Eventually the home was broken up. Aunt Agnes bought a house; Grandpa was put in an old folks home, and Uncle Al and Aunt Levina took off for parts unknown. Many years later that turned up in San Francisco.
Our dad sold his home in Omaha and put the money in the bank. Then forgot about it. He spent his retirement years flat broke. He died not knowing about the money he had in the Omaha Bank. Many, many years later the bank went out of business. They searched for their depositors. Our dad’s forwarding address was Denver. That is where the search started. Fortunately, Herb was living in Denver. The amount deposited had accumulated interest. The money was divided four ways and we each got a tidy sum. Eunice was disappointed as she felt she should have it all!!
When Herb was in the 8th grade he fell on the school grounds and broke his leg. Normally he would have been at home along all day as our dad worked and Alice was in school. Aunt Norma had Herb come and stay at her home so he wouldn’t be along and she could care for him.