While raising children, Denise Meagher, a returning area native, became a published freelance writer, voice over talent and enthusiastic community theatre participant. She loves reading, writing, traveling, time with friends and most of her family and empty-nesting with husband, Ted.
"Half" of me, courtesy of my father, comes from Russian/German/Jewish stock. When I think of my Grandma and Grandpa Wolfsohn, I think of Grandpa's keen sense of fun and Grandma's wonderful cooking. Mmm, the lavish dinners which I later learned were religious celebrations; the matzo balls and soup; chopped liver, borscht, salami, fat garlic pickles; the sweet sesame-flavored treat halvah, and the best corned beef I've ever eaten. (Waukesha's Rochester Deli, is a very close second!)
That heritage would've been so much richer had someone explained to my sisters and me the who, what, where, why and how that makes us "half" of who we are. By the time I was old enough to care, there was no one left to ask. My father had moved to California and left his roots firmly behind. My grandparents had died. The other relatives were both relationally and geographically distant. Most, I wouldn't know if I bumped into them. Interestingly enough, about sixteen years ago a New York relative, one whom I'd never heard of or met prior to this, was tracing the family tree and found us. At some point during the immigration process, a number of relatives left New York, settled in Milwaukee and lost touch with one another. Now, however, thanks to him I've a chart of who's who and my roots are less of a mystery.