There have been so many firsts in my life. I will name a few in a somewhat random order…
First day of Kindergarten
First lost tooth
First time riding a 2 wheel bike
First kiss
First menstrual period
First love
First time having sex
First child
First grandchild
So many firsts and all of them stand out as so memorable and as markers for passing into new eras of
my life. They were moments to be cherished for so many reasons. They make up my whole life of
Now, I have an unexpected first. And, I am sharing this first with every person in this world.
Together, we are going through our first pandemic. We have ventured into a new era. We would give
anything to wish this away. But, we are caught in a war of sorts and we may never be the same. Fear,
anxiety, worry, sadness, loss of control. These are markers of this first in our lives.
I see goodness and heroism often these days and I feel love for these moments. I also see frustrations
and broken systems and I grieve. Oh, how I grieve.
We are separated from those we love. This is a horrible new reality. The ache I have for my loved ones is
powerful, but more than any feeling I have is my desire for them to shelter and stay safe.
Dear friends, we are in this first together. I wish you all to be safe. I care so deeply.
I am still trying to figure out how to navigate this experience. How to hold my heart in one piece…
When will the healing come? Please let the healing come.
I will continue to send powerful expressions of my love to all. I know you do the same.

Alexander Irwin “A.I.” Barton 1853-1930

Tintype photo of Alexander Irwin Barton

Tintype photo of Alexander Irwin Barton – photo from

When Alexander Irwin “A.I.” Barton was born on December 6, 1853, in Port Royal, Pennsylvania, his father, Robert, was 38 and his mother, Sarah Hazlett Barton, was 36. He married Martha Elizabeth “Libby” or “Livvy” Metz on January 25, 1882, in Belleville, Pennsylvania. They had six children during their marriage. He died on September 8, 1930, in York, Ontario, Canada, at the age of 76.

A.I. Barton was the great grandfather of my friend Daryl.

8 Sept 1930 death of Alexander I. Barton

8 September 1930 – death certificate, death after being struck by an auto


Alexander Irwin Barton, John Hazlet Barton, and Josiah Clark Barton.

From left to right: Alexander Irwin Barton, John Hazlet Barton, and Josiah Clark Barton.

A.I. Barton and daughter Bertha Barton from Dersline Photo Studio, Lewiston, PA

A.I. Barton and daughter Bertha Barton photo from



1876 Philidelphia World's Fair

photo from the 1876 World’s Fair- A.I. Barton is pictured with brothers John Barton and Josiah Barton

Alexander Irvin Barton

photo from

1901 census of Canada

Canadian census 1901


1911 Canadian Census

1911 Canadian Census

CHILDREN OF A.I. Barton and Martha Elizabeth Metz:

Bertha Barton – 1883 to 1964 (married James Muir)

Nelly Barton – 1884 to 1885

Warren Wakefield Barton – 1884 to 1962 (married Mary ?)

Alexander Irvin Barton – 1886 to 1975 (married Edna Mckimmie Tennant)

Paul Revere Barton- 1889 to 1965 (married Irene Emily Roddy)

Alfred Tennyson Barton – 1892 to 1917


On (free website-registration required) the ID# for A.I. Barton is LVFB-MH2


Celia Marion Joyce Moller 1898-1961

Celia Marion Joyce Moller

When Celia Marion Joyce was born on March 18, 1898, in Derry, New Hampshire, her father, William Lawrence Joyce, was 22, and her mother, Olive Annis Watts, was 24. She married Charles Edwin Moller on December 25, 1919, in her hometown. They had seven children in 12 years. She died on June 11, 1961, in Hartford, Connecticut, at the age of 63, and was buried in Manchester, Connecticut.

13 Jun 1961 Hartford, CT

The children of Marion Joyce and Charles Edwin Moller are listed below:

children of celia and charles


Charles and Celia Moller

Martha Ellen Spruhan 1918-1991

One of my father’s first cousins was Martha Ellen Spruhan.  On my Family Tree on, I have done extensive research on the short life of Garrett Denny Spruhan, who was Martha’s father. He died at the age of 28. He had married Marion Parks at the age of 25 and they had their only child, a daughter, Martha Ellen Spruhan (the subject of this blog.) 

Martha Ellen was not yet a year old at the time of her father’s decease.

Martha Ellen was born on March 3, 1918 in Terre Haute, Indiana. She died in 1991 at the age of 73 in Rockford, Illinois. During much of her life she resided in Chicago, Illinois.

Martha E. Terrill from the Register Star, Rockford Ill, May 24, 1991

The 1940 census shows that Martha who was still single at age 22, lived with her widowed mother at the home of her maternal grandparents, the Parks of Chicago at 7523 Seeley Avenue. This same census indicates that she was employed as a corespondent for a mail order.

At age 23 Martha was married Earl B. Terrill, Jr. They had 2 sons. Martha’s husband seems to have applied and received several patents.

This is the death notice for Martha Ellen’s husband:Earl B. Terrill, Jr. 12 Nov 1966 Chicago Tribune, IL























Adeline Wiesner 1912-1978

Adeline Wiesner

When Adaline Wiesner was born on September 21, 1912, in Wisconsin, her father, Jacob, was 33 and her mother, Emma, was 32. She married Lloyd Corbisier on January 21, 1934.
They had three children during their marriage. At the age of 61 she divorced Lloyd. She died on December 21, 1978, in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, at the age of 66, and was buried

It was difficult to research the life of Adeline. I found some date details, but was unable to find the “story” of her life. Adeline was an older sister to direct descendant Norbert “Nick” Wiesner. Adeline was 5th in the birth order and descendant Nick was the 7th in birth order and he was also the youngest child.

Adeline was born on September 21, 1912 in Wisconsin. Her mother was Emma Bork born in 1880 and her father was Jacob Wiesner, Jr. born in 1878.

In the 1930 census, Adeline was 18 years old and lived in Nasewaupee, Door, WI. She still lived with her parents but lists her occupation as seamstress in a dress making shop. Her father lists his occupation as farmer on a dairy farm.

On January 21, 1934 she was 21 years old and joined in marriage to Lloyd Corbisier.
A private law (see attached-next page) indicates that Lloyd was occupied for some time by the U.S. postal service in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

A 1958 city directory from Green Bay, Wisconsin, shows his occupation as construction.
A Wisconsin divorce index shows that at the age of 61, Adeline divorced Lloyd. She died at the age of 66 in Sturgeon Bay, Door, Wisconsin and was buried there.

Schumacher Cemetery
Sturgeon Bay
Door County
Wisconsin, USA
Plot: Section 2

Lloyd’s grave marker indicates
that he is a U.S. Navy veteran.
Stevenson Cemetery
Door County
Wisconsin, USA

Adeline and Lloyd had 2 or 3 children. I was able to find documentation of their two sons, and only some slight evidence of a daughter.

These children would have been the 1st cousins of Eugene Norbert Wiesner.
Some evidence suggests the daughter’s name was Marlene. No other information available. The eldest of the two boys was James Larry Corbisier 1935-1989.
The youngest son was Robert Roland Corbisier 1937-1989 from Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.
see photo of grave marker on next page.

Schmiling Family History and Memories from newspaper and family stories

From Ahnapee Record Thursday, May 25, 1893

Mrs. Chas. Schrailing

“Maria, widow of Chas. Schmiling, died last Thursday, May 18, 1893, at the home of her son, Albert Schmiling, in the town of Ahnapee. Mrs. Schmiling was one of the pioneer settlers of Ahnapee; she was held in high esteem by neighbors and friends. She had been an invalid for a number of years, her disease becoming more complicated this spring and developing into dropsy from which she died.

Mrs. Schmiling’s maiden name was Maria Westphal. She was born in Zarpen, Pomerania, June 4, 1814. In 1835, she was married to Charles Schmiling, who died in Ahnapee town in 1885. Nine children were born to them, four of whom are still living. Henry Schmiling, of this city, Albert Schmiling and Mrs. Chas Damas of Ahnapee town and Mrs. Chas Noll, of Waterford. She came with her husband to America in 1857, and settled in the town of Ahnapee where she had ever since resided.

The funeral took place last Saturday from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in this city. Rev. F. J. Eppling officiating, and was numerously attended. Among those present at the funeral from abroad, was Mrs. Chas Noll, daughter of the deceased, of Waterford, Wis.”

Also, on the same page as the above:

“A band of gypsies have gone into camp near Albert Schmiling farm on the north river road. There are about fifteen people in the band and they are a motley looking set. They have about a dozen horses and mules with them. Fortune telling is an important factor in their business and through it they add many dollars, it is said, to their store of cash. The camp is visited quite extensively, though principally by those only who are curious to see how the wondering homeless people live and work.”

Albert and Johanna

I know nothing of Albert’s early life. I assume he was a typical farm boy of his time with a minimum of education and plenty of chores around the farm. His older brother, Henry, served in the Civil War but Albert would have been too young.

The earliest I can recall anything that was said about Albert was that he fell hook, line and sinker for his cousin Johanna. This according to Minnie. She said she understood Albert had gone out with other girls. Johanna, or Hanna, for short, came over with her parents, Gotlieb and Caroline Grunewald, in 1872, from the Kolberg area of Prussia. (There are also other spellings of Grunewald.) She was eighteen at the time. Johanna’s mother was Albert’s right aunt, or his father’s sister. Hanna was about three years younger than Albert.

I’m almost positive Albert knew of his cousin before he met her. There must have been some letters going to Germany as well as some from there to here.

Albert and Hanna were married June 20, 1874, two years after she came here. They had seven children who lived to adulthood.

*Hanna’s parents settled on a farm near Kolberg, Door County.

Albert must have started dairy farming on a larger scale than his father, Charles.
He had a fairly large dairy barn built. The basement area could hold about a dozen cows
and a pen for young stock. It had a mow overhead. The basement part was about thirty
by thirty plus a 30 f t . mow and thrash floor at ground level about 60 f . i n all by 30
f t . wide. Part of t h i s barn still stood until 1939. The ground level part, or north end, was torn down i n 1917 to make way for the new barn built by Herman. The rest was
torn down to make room for the present machine shed and granary, again by Herman.
Before the Civil War, wheat and peas were major crops in Wisconsin. When the western
lands opened up the land here got to be too expensive for such crops, so dairying was
pushed. At first, cows were only milked during the summer months. The cheese factories
closed down as colder weather came and pasture was gone. Albert held a check too long,
according to Herman, and, the owner of the cheese factory had taken the money out of the checking account. Albert had to see him personally to get his money.
Women used to make butter at home from what ever milk they could get in winter. They
tried to get enough extra to sell in town to help pay for groceries.
According to Herman Welter, who owned the present Elbert Schmiling place, Albert had
a very commanding voice. He could be at the far corner of the farm and still shout instructions to his sons, Carl and Hugo, as they worked near the buildings.
About 1888, Albert built the brick house on the home farm, now owned by Clarence and
Anna Mae Alexander. Herman Schmeling remembers him saying many times about how all the things that could fit into a pocket, like door hinges, locks and nails were the most
expensive items to buy.
Ed Paape’s father was the carpenter who started the house. The Paape’s l i v e d just
north of the Hilton’s, or, present day, Stoller farm. I remember Ed as being somewhat
older than my father, Herman, but I don’t know his father’s name. Paape had much of the framing up when a big wind storm blew the entire thing down. He became disgusted as he looked over the mess and told Albert he was too busy to clean up the wreckage and start over. After some delay, Paape managed to get another carpenter to take over.
During the great fire of 1871, also called Peshtigo Fire, my brother Walter, recalls
hearing that the fire truck in the area during thrashing season, and, the men in the
area, and, I assume, this included Charles and Albert, helped move a thrashing machine to Lake Michigan so it wouldn’t be burned. Thrashing machines were scarce items, and,
thrashing by hand didn’t appeal to the area men. I don’t think any fire struck the home
farm, Walter said the Kolberg area, in Door County, had quite a bit of damage and the
area was just starting to green up the next year when Johanna and her parents arrived.
At the 100th anniversary of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, in Algoma, the son of a —
former pastor was preaching the sermon. He was recalling some of the things his father
told him about the Algoma area. He mentioned how the fire of 1871 raced toward the church on gale force winds. The men did all they could to beat back the fire in the area of the church but the wind was very strong and at last when it seemed hopeless, the pastor had everyone kneel down to pray and, shortly thereafter, the wind switched. The fire moved in a different direction and the church was spaired. Incidentally, Charles was a charter member of St. Paul’s.
When Albert died in the accident with the train, Hanna had what might be termed a
nervous breakdown. She was unable to function as either a mother, or manager of a farm. Carl and Hugo were already married and on their respective farms. That left Minnie, Martha, Herman, Elsie and Hulda at home. If my figures are right, Hanna was 49, Carl was about 29, Herman 19 and Hulda 9. Charlie Krause was appointed overseer, or guardian, of the ones at home. (Charlie Krause was the father of August and Martin Krause and lived in what I remember as the Martin Krause farm, near present Elbert Schmiling place.) Hanna’s sister-in-law, Ida Meister Grunwald, took Hanna to her farm home i n the Kolberg area. I don’t know how; she accomplished it, but, I understand she worked Hanna from dawn to dusk, never giving her time to think about herself, (source, Bertha Heuer, daughter of Gothilf and Ida). Ida was also a widow at the time. I don’t know anything about Ida, but, I recall Herman saying Hanna had only one brother, Gothilf. He was a hunch back as the result of a bad fall as a baby. He had red hair and a number of his children have red hair.
Charlie Krause used to try and come in on a daily basis to see that things ran
smoothly. I don’t know how long this went on, but it must have been for at least a
year. Hanna did return , but she never recovered completely. She seemed like a
frightened woman, afraid of any change. Herman, and, I guess, the rest of her children,
had a hard job convincing her to s e l l the farm to Herman. I don’t know how the farm
was operated during this time but Hanna must have had a widow’s share of the farm if
she didn’t own it all herself. There were things Herman wanted to do and improvements
he wanted to make. He especially wanted to build a new barn. It took from 1903, when
Albert died, until 1917 before Hanna sold the farm to Herman, with a bond of support.
What I remember mostly about Hanna was that she was an invalid . We had to bring
her to the table i n a wheel chair. She was bedridden f o r the last year of her l i f e.
She died on the Easter weekend of March 27, 1937. She and Albert are buried on the
Evergreen Cemetery, on Hy. 54, west of Algoma.
I remember Bertha Gruendeman, Hanna’s sister , living with us. Bertha was blind,
having had an operation f o r cataracts that wasn’t successful. The two old ladies used
to sit in the front room and talk for hours. They talked about things that happened
yesterday, last year, and, a l l the way back to their girlhood in Prussia. Bertha was
married before she came here and did not come with her parents like Hanna did. I remember her saying the year they got here was a very early spring. It got so warm a
few of the farmers planted grain the last week’ of February. Most farmers wouldn’t take
such a chance. As it turned,out, the early birds got the worm. It turned rather nasty
after that, never too cold, but, with some snow and later rains. Spring planting got to
be late. There was a dry spell and grain didn’t do well. The farmers who planted early
had a good crop.
These are recollections from my brothers, Walter and Reuben, and some from what I
remember. Living with a grandmother in your home brings in quite a number of older
relatives. They are bound to speak of things gone by and little people have big ears,
There may be errors in this history, but, it is the best of my recollections. I welcome
any comments, additions, or recollections from any family member to help make this a more complete history.

Lloyd Schmeling
March 13, 1984
Note: The Carl Schmiling I refer to, as a reference source, should not he confused with
Charles, who sometimes signed his name Carl, especially on the warranty deed conveying the farm, to Albert, Charles, or Chas., also called Carl, was born i n 1811, i n Prussia. The Carl I refer to for reference was my oldest uncle born in 1875, and, the one I went to for information right after my father’s funeral.

Ole Engebretsen Viste 1869-1936

Ole Viste

Ole Viste

Viste Family about 1921

OLE ENGEBRETSEN VISTE When Ole Engebretsen Viste was born on October 22, 1869, in Viste, Oppland, Norway, his father, Engebret, was 51 and his mother, Ragnhild Knudsdatter Windingstad was 45. He arrived in the United States on June 15, 1882 at the age of 12.

He married Emma Olson on June 6, 1900, in Forestville, Wisconsin.

Marriage of Ole Viste to Emma Olson on 6 June 1900

He became a naturalized citizen of the United States on September 7th, 1910 at the age of 40.

Ole Viste naturalization 7 Sept 1910

Ole and Emma had 7 children in 19 years. His daughter Olive Viste would become the direct ancestor of our family.

Ole and Emma Viste's children

He died on April 1, 1936, in Forestville, Wisconsin, at the age of 66, and
was buried in Door County, Wisconsin. This link tells about the history of Doorbanks, WI and the Norwegian community early settlers.

Ole Viste death 4.10.1936 Door Co. Adv.

10 April 1936 The Door County Advocate


Grave marker for Ole Viste

Schmeling Family History compiled by Elbert E. Schmiling

Family tree from records of Elbert Schmiling

From the Family Tree records of Elbert Schmiling

How wonderful that Elbert Schmiling wrote a family history that begins with the story of Charles Karl Schmeling and his wife Dorothea Maria Westphal.

This is a link to Elbert’s narrative account about Charles and Dorothea:


Below is a preview of the history written by Elbert Schmiling dated April 1, 1984

We start our family history in the German Country of Prussia. Hinter Pommern, in or near the village of Treptow. What we call Germany did not come into existence until after our Civil War. The Province of Pomerania was divided into three parts: Fore Pommern, Mitte Pommern and Hinter Pommern. Hinter Pommern was closest to the Polish border. (Pomerania is the present spelling.)

Since WWII, all of Pomerania is part of Poland and all German people had to leave this area. They were restricted as to what they could carry out in both money and goods as they left.

Our great grandparents, Charles and Dorthea Schmeling owned a small farm in or near the village of Treptow. Charles was a rather unsettled person. The family had to move on the average of every two years because Charles traded the place for a different one. The last two years in Germany were the worst for the family as they had to move six times. This must have been too much for Dorthea. After the sixth time, she demanded they sell out and go to America. (This according to Carl Schmiling.)

This is not as sudden as it seems, as they had correspondence with relatives and former neighbors who were in America. Two names (given by Minnie Detjen) were Schieser and Buege. There were also companies making a business of getting immigrants to the U.S.

As close as I can tell, Charles and Dorthea came over in 1857, which would make them in their mid-forties. They had five children at the time. Henry, Hanna (perhaps Johanna), Caroline, Alvina, and our grandfather, Albert. Albert was about five or six at the time and the youngest. I believe I have all of them named in order of their ages as Minnie recalls them. (In a note from the Krueger family book, Brown County Library, they stated that the fare across the ocean was about $20.00 per person. Their ancestors came from Niederhagen, Pommern, in Prussia, about the same time.)

The family passed over a great deal of very good farm land on their way from the east coast of America. They did not have the money to buy developed land (according to Carl). Their destination was the village of Ahnapee, as Algoma was then called. Ahnapee is an Indian name and means Wolf River.

…section omitted…

Charles homesickness for the old country would not cease. (This according to Herman Schmeling.) Charles offered his oldest son, Henry, a pair of cooper toed boots if he would go back to Prussia with him. This must have been a tempting offer, as Herman assured me, copper toed boots were the rage of the young men and boys of that day. Despite all this, Charles laid claim to what must have been about 80 acres, 1 mile north of Ahnapee, on the river road.


Jane Ellen Agens 1894-1919

Jane Agens Hess

My grandfather had a first wife. She died at a very young age from tuberculosis. They had no children together.

One day, I had the stark realization that my very presence on this earth was because my grandfather chose to re-marry. I wanted to make sure that my family story included the story of his first wife, and the great love that my grandfather shared with her. In my mind, their story is also a part of my life story! 

My father told stories about my grandfather’s romance and devotion to his first wife. My father told me that even when his father was not allowed into the sick room, he would sit outside her window and read to her. I pictured that sweet scene many times. I found a photo of my grandfather seated on a window sill. I do not know the date of the photo, but have imagined this could have been him waiting on his wife.

George Kellogg Hess, Sr. on a window sill

George Kellogg Hess, Sr. 1891-1969

Jane Ellen Agens was born on June 5, 1894, in Ludington, Michigan. At the age of 22, she married George Kellogg Hess on April 21, 1917, in Benton Harbor, Michigan. She died on March 7, 1919, at the age of 24, and was buried in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

The ID# for Jane on is 9DD5-PN7.  This is a free website.

This is the link for Jane on FindaGrave

The invitation…a short story by Linda Claire Groshans

Linda Claire as story character

“When in doubt…wear red lipstick”

Mary Lou was getting ready to go to the party. The invitation was right there on the vanity counter next to her in the bathroom. As she inspected that invitation for the 100th time, she felt nervous all over again. The extra pounds and years she wore on her body were not helping her self confidence. “Come on,” she said out loud to herself as she started to try to gather some calm.

On her bathroom wall, was a word-art sign that she had purchased years ago. She read it with a half smile, “When in doubt, wear red lipstick.”

“Oh, what the heck!” she thought as she grabbed the tube of red lipstick and applied it to her lips and then inspected herself again in the mirror. It had worked, the red lipstick reminded her that she still had some womanly charms. If fact, she thought, her new pink shimmery blouse was going to be a hit too. But then, inspecting the blouse more closely she noticed that there was a bit of a gap between the buttons at her cleavage. “Drat!” She was nervous again, and then spent the next 10 minutes wondering if she should go. She paced.

Mary Lou calmed herself by running her fingers through her blonde hair and as she did that, she remembered how it felt to have his hands soothing her head.

So long ago. It was all so darn long ago. And yet, there were still so many memories. But, why had she received a formal invitation after all these years of not seeing or being in communication with him. “What are you up to?” she pondered as she returned to viewing herself in the bathroom mirror.

“Oh, you goose,” she said out loud to herself. “Everyone gets older…he probably looks ancient by now.” And then she actually laughed out loud as she tried to picture him as an old man. She imagined his waistline was no prize now either. She added a couple of age spots to his face as her imagination continued to gather the reality of time spent apart. She continued to fantasize about his aged physique because it was an entertaining thought for her and helped her anxiousness.

Mary Lou now performed her signature “ego value thinking” as she tried to reclaim her feeling of being “worth it.”

Well, actually, Mary Lou felt good enough about herself that she started to dismiss her anxiety. “Who cares what that old codger thinks of me!” She thought with some indignation.

“In fact,” Mary Lou thought “The time he spends with me today will probably be the best time he has spent in the last 20 years!” She smiled at herself. And that smile was an absolute. An ABSOLUTE (in all capital letters) , smile of a fully confidant woman. There she was! “Mary Lou you are completely WORTH IT.” she said to herself.

She grabbed the invitation and stuffed it into her party purse. It fit in by the compact mirror, the pink blush, the tube of red lipstick and a little comb.

The roads are quiet. She arrived at his home at the exact time she had planned. The home looked stately, almost Romanesque. A powerful house for a powerful man. “A powerful OLD man,” Mary Lou corrected her thoughts.

Mary Lou looked in her rear view mirror before she opened the car door. The lipstick was still good. She looked down at her chest to make sure the blouse button had not popped open. Then, she threw open the car door and made her way to the door. And as she walked, she gathered her self esteem and thought to herself that she would probably actually hypnotize him with her charm.

But, what greeted her when the door opened was a surprise she never could have imagined.

Part 2:

There he was standing in the entryway to greet her. His outfit and appearance were impeccable, but he had clearly aged.  In his hands, he held a large poster board sign with words handwritten in black marker, it said, “I can explain.” His face and body suggested a nervous pose as he studied her for a reaction. Then, he tried to reach out to her with his open arms for a hug, but his attention was not returned. Mary Lou was looking past him into the hallway.

The hallway had 7 original, large, and distinctive framed artwork pieces. And the artist for each of those pieces had been Mary Lou. It appeared that these pieces of artwork which Mary Lou had sold over these last 20 years since she had left him through the local art gallery, were now in the possession of her old love interest, Roger. She was too stunned to have an immediate reaction, but she could hear her own small voice saying simply, “What have you done? Why? What have you done?”

Then,Mary Lou looked at him with disgust.

“Mary Lou, it isn’t what you think.”, his reply was hideously lame. “Please, let me explain.” he continued.

While she walked the hallway with growing agitation, she examined her own work.

He quietly said, “Please, I beg you, let me explain.Will you believe me when I tell you that I did this all as your truest friend?”

“No.” she glared at him. “This is unforgivable.”

“Please listen.” Roger implored her while he was wringing his hands and looking at her with fear and trepidation in his face.

They were both silent for a long time before she said, “You know what Roger, you do owe me an explanation. In fact, I can’t wait to see how you are going to rationalize this theft of my very creative nature.I want you to try to muddle your way through this story. And, after I listen to your lame apology, I want you to package each of the paintings and have them delivered to my house.”

Mary Lou took careful pleasure in walking with her head held high to the easy chairs in the lounge. Roger sat facing her in an arm chair. Mary Lou looked at him with loathing. Roger stared back in a fearful gaze. He started his explanation:

“It started out in innocence,” he began.

Mary Lou scoffed, but Roger continued…”I found one of your paintings at the gallery and I realized right away  that the subject matter had a deeper meaning. I could see that you had not randomly selected  just any good painting subject.”  Roger leaned forward with a hopeful look on his face. “I could tell you were recording history in a very novel way. I could see what you were trying to communicate.”

“What a line,” Mary Lou spat out, but she was also now the one to be a bit nervous. Had Roger really figured out her motives?  “Well, please continue your pathetic nonsense,” she said in an effort to cover her own growing suspicions.

“He knew? He had figured it out? The secret of the paintings was now no secret at all?” Mary Lou thought to herself. She was becoming uneasy and shifted in her chair trying to hide her growing anxiety.  His knowing changed everything.

As Roger stared at her, Mary Lou looked down at her blouse to make sure that the wide gap between the top buttons was not the object of his stare. She also wanted to check her lipstick again but only because she wanted to feel in control again…but it was all slipping away. Roger knew that the paintings were a code.

“My God,” Mary Lou shrieked inside her own mind. “He knows, so now what?”