2010 Reunion




Far out in the country, miles from town
Where few passers-by see her ranch
 Jenny hangs laundry on wires stretched taut
   And held up in the air with a branch.

There she hangs coveralls, blue denim shirts,
Scrubbed clean with ashes and lye
  Neatly she clothes-pins them, all in a row
    And waits for the hot winds to dry.

Primly she hangs things, precisely arranges
 Dresses and aprons, so colors won't fade
   Gracing the line next, a young child's clothing
     Rompers, and blouses and items handmade.

Then she hies to the attic, with girdles and slips
   (And items she couldn't discuss)
      She hangs them with care lest a male dare stare   
        Snatch a peek, sneak a look, raise a fuss.    
           Causing Jennie to blush.

Louise Hullinger Copyright

More poetry and stories by Louise Liffengren Hullinger at:



I still have a recurring dream (nightmare?) about a car that couldn't quite make it back up a steep, winding hill which led down into the valley where my grandparents lived.

They had emigrated to central South Dakota from Norway and chose to locate in a spot that reminded them of their homeland. We children were always eager to go "down to Grandmothers" (for wondrous it was with chokecherry bushes, wild cherries and cutbanks to climb).  

When it was time to go home Mom piled us back into the Model T, and amid waves and shouts of goodbye, we settled down and headed out for the long trek home.  We were out of the valley and part way up the long precipitous hill before the car began to sputter and then, finally, came to a complete stop, and it could not be coerced into climbing any further.

Designed with the gas tank under the front seat the Model T boasted a gravity feed which allowed the gas to flow into the carburetor. When the rear end of the car was lower than the front end for any length of time the car would not budge.

Finally, in desperation, Mom, who had no towing service available (!) directed us 3 children to sit alongside the grassy edge of the rutted road while she maneuvered the car around and managed to back it all the way up the hill!

The car was a model T Ford with a gravity feed. The year was 1929 and I was 5 years old.

Louise Hullinger Copyright

More poetry and stories by Louise Liffengren Hullinger at:


Louise Hullinger Photo in the Chicago Tribune


Louise Hullinger First Row, Third From Left

Smith Village Ladies Book Club

March 08, 2013
One thing to know about our book club
We are the Smith Village Ladies Book Club. Smith Village is a continuing-care retirement community in Chicago's Beverly neighborhood.
Our meetings
In a retirement community, our conversations about the books are never confined to just our meeting. We are able to casually chat before the book club meeting, and sometimes the conversation goes on long after the meeting has taken place.

The most interesting discussion we had was
On "Prague Winter" by Madeleine Albright. Part of what made it so interesting was the insight that our moderator, Karen Jellema, brought to the discussion. Karen is of Czech descent and brought an interesting perspective to the dialogue.
Author we'd most like to meet and why
Our club members would love to meet Madeleine Albright. She is our contemporary and would bring new, firsthand insight into some historical matters that we watched from the sidelines.
We loved
"Life of Pi" by Yann Martel, "Rebecca" by Daphne du Maurier, "The Professor and the Madman" by Simon Winchester, "Homer & Langley" by E.L. Doctorow, and "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by Lisa See. "Homer & Langley" was our overall favorite because of the colorful characters as well as the fact that it was based on a true story.
We didn't love
"Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. The author was too self-absorbed.
Up next
"A Taste for Death" by P.D. James. The group loves a good mystery every once in awhile.
Tell us about your favorite readers at printersrow@tribune.com.

Clif Hullinger Photo in the Chicago Tribune


Planning, flexibility can lead to happily ever after

April 08, 2013

As couples near retirement age together they often joke about their hopes not to drive each other crazy.
But there is some truth behind the jest. After decades of being married and having separate careers and sometimes different schedules, the reality of being home together all the time may come with mixed feelings.
Many romanticize the idea of retirement and look forward to being able to rekindle their relationship and spend more time doing the things they enjoy as a couple. At the same time, there is concern that all that time together will result in the other becoming annoyed with every little quirk.
An AARP survey of married couples ages 55 to 74, however, showed the opposite. The study showed that, overall, dual retirees are happier, less stressed, and spend more time with their spouse.
For most, the survey found, retirement together was as they expected. Dual retirement, says the study, has a positive impact on the frequency of travel, eating out, exercising, volunteering, and engaging in hobbies.

Moving forward together Keeping busy, together and separately, has been a key to a successful relationship in retirement, say Jack and Nancy Graves. and Nancy was a teacher's aide.
But, really, the couple has never stopped working — they are just working on other things.

Nancy volunteered for the Infant Welfare Society for many years and runs The Village Store at Smith Village in Chicago. Jack jokes that he is Nancy's gopher for the store and he also does projects and volunteer work around the retirement community like driving other residents to their appointments. They both are active in their church and are in the fitnesscenter regularly. Nancy says it helps that they have common interests as well, such as following local teams and watching their grandson who plays baseball in a nearby suburb.
They didn't know what to expect out of dual retirement, but the couple says they just jumped in.
"I was in the Army during World War II. I learned you better adapt or you are going to get lost in the shuffle," Jack says.
"I got so busy (at Smith Village) it really was never a problem," Nancy says.
Mark Bilkey, director of the Master of Arts program in Gerontological Counseling at the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, calls retirement "repriorment." He says it can be a wonderful time for couples if they have a flexible plan as they move closer to the goal.
"Most people know what they are retiring from, however, many do not know what they are retiring to," he says.

Properly prepared

Bilkey says a common pitfall in dual retirement is when old patterns of relating and communicating are not updated and improved.
"Retiring couples are perhaps not used to spending this amount of time together ... let alone in the same place," he says.
The Graves say having a two-bedroom apartment and "community" space in Smith Village gives them plenty of opportunity to be alone when they want to, spend time together or to mingle with others if they feel like company.
Jack Graves On The Left, Clif Hullinger On The Right
Married 63 years, the Graves say the only differences of opinion they can think of since retiring involves what they want to watch on TV. They solved that by having two TVs, Nancy says with a laugh.
Bilkey says as life changes, the way a couple relates, talks and cooperates must change as well.
"This is a time which calls for interdependence," he says. "I want you to do the things you are passionate about and desire and I will do the same. Then I also want our time to do the things we love or want to explore together."
According to AARP's "Retirement Planning Tips for Couples," one of the most helpful things couples can do to prepare for retirement is talk. Couples often assume their spouse has the same expectations in retirement. Topics such as where to live and how to manage money are important topics to address before retirement to avoid conflict down the road.
If communicating has been difficult for a couple in the past, Bilkey says to consider a couples counselor or life coach specializing in couples who can help smooth the road ahead.

Paving the way

Bilkey says at a recent American Society on Aging conference in Chicago Ken Dychtwald of Age Wave, a company that researches the "maturing maketplace," related five stages or thoughts in retirement:
1.      Imagination — 5 to 15 years before retirement
2.      Anticipation —  5 years before retirement
3.      Liberation —  The honeymoon after retirement up to 1 year
4.      Reorientation —  1 to 15 years after retirement
5.      Reconciliation —  15 years after retirement and beyond
Some may romanticize retirement thinking it will be all travel, hobbies and fun and, according to Dychtwald, that is often the liberation or honeymoon stage. But, budgets and everyday tasks like doctor's appointments round out the rest.
Bilkey says people remain pretty consistent in their lives and that carries into retirement as well.
Spouses shouldn't expect the other to be completely different in retirement than they have been throughout their marriage.
"Romanticizing retirement is good when there is a dash of adventure and both feet are on the ground," Bilkey says.
Since people are creatures of routine, he says to create a new routine in retirement that is enjoyable and feels comfortable.
For couples, reaching retirement together is a source for celebration all its own.
"Know and remember that you have gotten through everything in life so far — that's 100 percent success. It usually is a good indication of how you will manage what the future may bring," Bilkey says.

Smith Village, 11400 S. Western Avenue, Chicago


Swiss Genealogy

Our Swiss Ancestors lived in Canton Aargau near the top center of Switzerland.

Swiss Roots
Swiss Genealogy Tools

1291 Initiative.
Help us today by donating to protect our Swiss cultural heritage.
Tip #1: Know the canton and/or the village of  your family surname.
Swiss citizenship is based on inherited rights maintained in a specific community and records will be found in the Gemeindehaus or what we might call the village hall. 

Tip #2: As a rule the Swiss inherit their place of origin from their fathers.

Tip #3: The village, town or city has the certificates of family origin. and records of births, marriages and deaths as the parish registers used to do.

This community resource whether at the village or state (cantonal) archives are the most important record depositories for learning about your ancestry.

You will need to know the correct Swiss spelling of your surname as it often changed when emigrating from Switzerland.

Click on the picture and you'll be taken to the Register of Swiss Surnames.

World family names can also be tracked using Public Profiler. Click on it to track your name.

Don't forget to find out where your family may have settled in the "new world". We havesome of that information here.

The Swiss Society of Genealogical Studies (SSGS) is our most important resource in your search for Swiss roots.Click on the picture above and you'll be taken to the SSGS website. 
You may also contact the Swiss Center of North America during business hours to discuss your search issues. 608-527-6565 or email at info@theswisscenter.org

Genlabs is a genealogy service located in Switzerland designed to meet a broad range of research and analytical needs for the hobby genealogist as well as professional researcher.
Where Did They go?
The reasons behind emigration are as varied as the people who left Switzerland.
Here is a look at where they went.and why.
Essential Information
First of all, in Switzerland, civil status documents (birth, marriage, divorce, death) have only been recorded by the official Swiss authorities since 1876. 
How to read Your Ancestors Documents
Reading old German records requires a knowledge of basic German genealogical terms and familiarity with German handwriting.The link provides one tool to use.
Preliminary work in the U.S.
Because of the aforementioned difficulties, namely the possible confusion over town names in Switzerland, it is recommended, sometimes even necessary, first to exhaust all research possibilities in the US.
A History of the Swiss in Canada
Switzerland, like Canada, is a multicultural country. The Swiss have four official languages: German, French, Italian and Romanch (a Latin dialect in use before the time of Christ).
Useful Vocabulary
Time Expressions and Miscellaneous expressions or terms.
Great Links
Let's get started with these great links. 
The possibilities are endless as you explore your Swiss roots.
Additional Help and Links
We have provided links to many possible genealogy sites that will benefit your search.
Calendar Issues
If you have family documents from before the beginning of the 19th century, there may be some confusion about some of the dates.
Switzerland Genealogy Forum
History, Cantons, Research. Ask your questions.
Swiss Family Genealogy Sites
If you are lucky, someone in your Swiss family has already begun exploring the past.
Take a look.
Billeter Collection
The extraordinary Billeter Collection, plus a portrait of Julius Billeter.
A Short History of the Swiss in Utah
Beginning in the mid-1850s, Swiss immigrants, virtually all converts from early successful Mormon proselytizing in their homeland, began arriving in the Utah territory.
Neuchatelois and Cellier Cellier families
The genealogy of my Neuchatelois and of many other Cellier worldwide.
In addition to the records of the Swiss Society of New Orleans, this collection also contains the records of the Swiss-American Historical Association, Louisiana Chapter. Many of the people who belonged to the Swiss Society of New Orleans also belonged to this chapter. This collection contains the following records: an account ledger, member charges, membership records, and meeting minutes.
Swiss Roots-History
The first known Swiss in what is now the territory of the United States was Theobald von Erlach (1541-1565). More from Leo Schelbert.
The History of the Citizen Families of Engi
Learn about the families of Engi, Switzerland in the Canton of Glarus from this lecture on family names.
Coat of Arms
In earlier centuries mainly people with an official function needed a coat of arms, used for seals on important documents. Consequently patrician families will often have a long tradition with coats of arms. On the other hand, many coats of arms used today were newly created during the 19th and 20th centuries.

How Swiss are you Today?
Singer Jewel has Swiss Roots. Her grandfather Yule Kilcher, a delegate to the Alaska State Constitutional Convention and a state senator, had settled in Homer, Alaska  after immigrating from Switzerland.

We have more family stories that might help you learn about your search or just expand your understanding about being Swiss in a foreign land.

Enjoy their stories.

Canton Glarus
A Family Heritage Resource from Canton Glarus
Glarnerland, is a narrow valley in the mountains of eastern Switzerland with the city of Glaus its capital. Learn about Glarus democracy, history, foods, travel and sports. Many links including those of some of the Glarus families.Click here