Politically, Apologetically, Incorrect Indians

No one on our mother’s side of the family had a sense of business, except if it came through a pen, a paintbrush or a needle.

Aunt Dorella Kruea was the best to us when we were growing up..
We knew she had been a Becker.
Her mother was Lily, a dressmaker in the census of 1910; a daughter of German immigrants (Kohlbrand), Hamburg/Jewish. LiIy’s mother was a ‘costumer’ in 1909 in Over-the-Rhine district of our city,.
Dorella’s father was an ‘Ornamental Painter’…and between the two of them had a wonderful child we got to call Dorella, a combination of Lily’s two sisters who died, Dora and Ella.

As children we thought Dorella was the best artist ever. Paintings of gorgeous women, artist of sheet cover music, and married to our amazing artist Uncle Charles. They had no children….

Dorella and Charles having no children, their house a stunning art object in and of itself, didn’t stop our mother, raised by these two people, from going to them every chance she could.


When Charles died in 1952 I’m sure Dorella was beside herself.
Her talent came forward…using Uncle Charles WWI Army flags, his uniforms, epaulets and trim, Dorella made for the 3 of us children the best outfits ever. Her version of Indian outfits. The costumes told of our own Native American heritage, a g-g-g-grandmother was a Shawnee of West Virginia.



October 12th is the birthday of another favorite aunt; Eva (her in the photo of a child holding the Victory flag). Born on that day we formerly know as Columbus Day, I can see her hand held high now in her kitchen when singing the Marseilles in tribute to her brothers (Charles and Fred) being on the Western Front in France….and reciting outloud patriotic poems she’d learned as a child in the 1900’s.



Those days won’t come again…a 90-year-old aunt showing her strength and Yankee resilience, not to mention, though she wouldn’t have joined, a candidate for the DAR, our other Aunt of Jewish descent, our Native American heritage going up in smoke because we are definitely not close enough to the origins to claim much but through ancestry records.

We’re just a small piece in the complicated genealogy pie, however. We are low on the percentage scale…..though our father’s surname, Williams, puts our family 5th on the list of hundreds of Native names used today in the United States.

Thinking on all this, maybe it’s okay NOT to burn this photo for my granddaughter to NOT see; given the shame our society is going through with this used to be  Columbus Day we can all earn to live without. if we need to.  As I said, I am in hope I don’t need to burn this little photo of the 3 of us kids in these politically incorrect as all hell outfits. All that’s left is the photo, the costumes have shredded from play long years past, and the fact that our hearts remain open with understanding that we’re alike, we’re different and we love that.

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