Grandpa Brinkman and most of the boys either worked in the Copper mines or lumber camps.
When the mines started to close Grandpa Brinkman went down to Milwaukee to find work. He sent money home to his wife on a regular basis. He eventually brought everyone down to Pierce Street to a little two story house with wooden floors and a long table in the kitchen. There was a bathroom right off the kitchen where I used to hide from his playing the violin. He was probably pretty good but at three or whatever I was at the time, I didn’t appreciate the music.
Noise, noise, noise
Grandma Brinkman was born in the US. She returned to Austria, now Slovenia, when she was a young girl and came back later. She was born with one hip socket which left her with a short leg and a limp. This didn’t stop her from having fourteen children, however.
When my mother married my father they visited Milwaukee on a driving trip to see customers. Of course everyone got together to see Earl and his new wife. All these big German guys made so much noise yelling and kidding with each other that Mom went into the bathroom and cried. She just wasn’t used to so much noise at a family gathering. Must be her side of the family, although also German, wasn’t quite as loud. She used to say that her dad wouldn’t say shit if he had a mouth full.