In 1972, my dad traveled Europe with his friend for nearly three months. We had his photo albums sitting on our bookcase growing up, and we would hear some stories about his visits. However, my favorite story was uncovered through letters given to me about my grandma died.


My dad wrote countless letters home during his visits, and in one he told a particularly colorful story of how he acquired a mug from the HofbrÀuhaus in Munich, Germany.


He wrote to his parents how his friend and fellow traveler Randall and another guy they had met distracted the security guard so my dad was able to swipe a mug. This story was never retold. In fact, after my dad died and my mom sold our childhood home, the mug was donated to Goodwill. We had no idea the mug was acquired in such a way!


Most of the letters are filled with details of his travels, like being able to see the Grateful Dead in concert or how much his luggage weighed (which is so my dad). My grandma saved every letter, every postcard, and ticket stubs and other items. One letter even includes a sample of European toilet paper (or as my dad wrote, we know it as wax paper).

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I am glad you wrote all these letters, so we had these stories to read after you passed.

You can find the rest of my 52 Ancestors posts my clicking the tag at the top of the post.

And you can follow along on Instagram as well: @familyhistoryfood.

Until next time,




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1 Comment

  1. I love this! As a traveler (and genealogist) it give me hope that someone will appreciate my travel journals down the road. What a great insight into your dad’s younger self!

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