Monday, April 29, 2013


In researching my ancestors, I just don't want to find out their birth date and death date, but I want to find out about the dash (the life they lived between their birth and death).  While knowing their occupation is nice, I really want to know what were their hobbies, their interests and their passions.  Yes, I know this might be a pipe dream (what exactly does that mean?) but I won't give up trying.

Sometimes it may be easier than you think.  If you have an ancestor who was newspaper "friendly", you may be in luck.  As I peruse the Van Nuys News, the same names pop up from time to time.  Now, I don't know if this means they know the editor or they are someone that the newspaper deems "newsworthy" but when it is one of your relatives, who really cares why?

Chester Stachowiak, referred to in this article (16 Jul 1943 of the Van Nuys News) and others as "Chet", was my grandpa Leonard Stachowiak's baby brother.  So besides his birth and death date, what do I know about him?  All I can recall is that he never married and lived for a long time with his parents' home on Van Nuys Boulevard.  But as I am reading the Van Nuys News from 1943, I learn that he is a talented singer, whether or not that was his occupation.  Chet singing is mentioned in various Van Nuys News articles.

In another article from 1943, I learned that his sister Theresa Stachowiak Schultz was a former opera singer.  Wow, we have the singing gene in our family!  I don't ever remember hearing my Grandpa Leonard, their brother, singing, although his wife, Little Grannie (Lillian Braciszewski) did love to sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Park".

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