How much credence do you give old family legends? You know, the kind that you've been told over and over for years but that always seemed a little too hard to believe. But if the story never changed, could there be some truth to it?
Take the legend of Arthur Flegenheimer. He was a German-Jew born in 1902. Could he have known my maternal grand-father? Could he really have been close friends with the family? Was he really God-father to my mother at her baptism as she claimed?
Arthur was well known at the time but not in the best of circles. A "rum-runner" and a "gangster", he served time in prison, was accused of tax evasion, was a feared mob boss and was murdered in cold blood at the age of about 35.
Never heard of Arthur Flegenheimer? He was AKA "Dutch Schultz".
How about the tale of Charlie Chaplin? Why are there several pictures of him with family members?
Who was he? What did he have to do with the family?
According to the 1920 census, Joseph Auer - second husband of my maternal great-grandmother, Anna Marie Boehm Krings Auer, lived with Charlie Chaplin and his family, listing himself as "brother in law" to Mr. Chaplin. So, if Charlie was his brother in law, would that make Grandpa Auers wife, Charlie Chaplins sister? Had she died? I know his first wife was from Ireland and named Marguerite and she did die - or was killed actually, hit by a car while leaving church. Have more work to do on this one.