What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Christmas on Elmwood Street, Part Three - Updated and Reposted

Again, this is a repost of the past few years' story about my Dad, "Billy Mursch", written from his own words.  I am so thankful that I took the time to listen and write down these stories as he told them to me...they are priceless and precious.  Little did I know that  Christmas (2010) would be the last Christmas he would spend with us here on earth.  Now he is rejoicing with the angels in heaven and enjoying the REAL celebration of Christmas with my mother...and most of all, with Jesus.    I hope you will enjoy this last episode from the story of "Christmas on Elmwood Street", reposted in memory of my sweet Daddy.
The Mursch House on Elmwood Street, Crafton, PA, 1929

Elva and Bill Mursch
(My Parents)
Billy Mursch
This is the third and last part of the mini-series of "A Chapter in the Life of Billy Mursch", Crafton, Pennsylvania, Circa 1929.  If you've missed the first two parts, please look back on my blog for the last few days to catch up with us!  (Written from his perspective).

Madame Schumann-Heink singing Silent Night
Click on the link above to hear her singing just
as it was back in 1929 on the radio.
On Christmas Eve our family gathered in the living room to listen to Madame Schumann-Heink sing Silent Night in German on the radio. This was a tradition for many families during those pre-WWII years, and one that was very special to my father especially as it reminded him of his German family heritage.

Then we would “hang up our stockings by the chimney with care”, and in the morning we would gleefully sing out "Merry Christmas!" to each other as we discovered the treasures of perhaps a new handkerchief, an apple, nuts and maybe some candy tucked inside! After opening our gifts ("The Boy Ranchers Among the Indians" YES!! A new pocket-knife? Wow, Gee Thanks, Santa! ) we would gather around the table for a delicious ham dinner with all the trimmings. My mother was a wonderful cook, and even when times were tough, she could create a meal that made our celebration a very joyous time together.

Later in the evening our family would take a walk around the neighborhood and see all the homes decked out in their glorious Christmas displays. It was truly a festive time on Elmwood Street! Such happy, happy memories.

Oh yes, one more little adventure to share with you:
Our Christmas Tree (before the needles fell off)
Our family faithfully attended church at St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran in Crafton. My mother was quite involved in the Ladies’ Circle of our church, and this particular year she was to host their meeting at our home shortly after Christmas. Unfortunately, our Christmas tree had shed its needles rather prematurely, and the tree stood quite bare in our living room. She was embarrassed at its nakedness, but hadn’t had time to take it down prior to her meeting. While she was out doing her errands before the meeting, I happened to notice that one of our neighbors had already discarded their Christmas tree and had left it on the street for the trash men to pick up. That tree still had many more needles on its branches than ours, so I thought it would be a wonderful surprise for my mother if I switched the trees and redecorated it before she arrived home with her lady friends for the meeting! I quickly made the exchange and cleaned up the mess just in time for the ladies to arrive at our door. Much to my chagrin, my mother was mortified that I had taken this tree off the trash heap and brought it in to our home, but the other ladies all laughed and thought it was just wonderful of “little Billy” to be so ingenious and creative! So she recovered from her embarrassment and praised me for my thoughtfulness. (Whew! That was a close one!)

Introducing my fiance' Dorothea Tedlie to my family.
l to r:  Ruth Mursch, Dorothea Tedlie, Marion Mursch, Mother Elva
Mursch, (back row, l to r): Dad William H. Mursch,
Me "Billy" William F. Mursch, and brother Paul Mursch, circa 1940
(click on pictures to enlarge view)
Yep, growing up during the depression in the outskirts of Pittsburgh had its difficult moments, but all in all, God had truly blessed our family with His peace and joy. Not too many years after that I introduced my beautiful fiancé, Dorothea Tedlie, to my family in that same house, and then a few years later brought our own four children home to visit their grandparents so that they could taste the Anise cookies and the Sand Tarts and experience Christmas the way I had growing up on Elmwood Street.

Looking back, I have to stop and thank the Lord for all His wondrous blessings to me for the past ninety-two years. I am so thankful to have had Godly parents who brought me up in a Christian home so that I could pass on that same heritage to my children and to their children and to all future generations.
It is my Christmas prayer that each and every one of you will cherish your family and treasure the gift of the “Prince of Peace”, Jesus Christ, that precious Baby in the Manger and our Saviour today.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

"Billy Mursch"

The Mursch Family a few years later, circa 1952
in the dining room of the house on Elmwood Street.

Some of the Mursch Family, 1982

The "Billy Mursch" Family, 2005 (most of it)
The Very Distinguished "Billy Mursch"
2010, age 92.  What a guy!!!  (UPDATE: THIS
LAST THANKSGIVING WITH HIS FAMILY.  We are all really missing his wit and charm...)

Link to "Christmas on Elmwood Street, Part One"
Link to "Christmas on Elmwood Street, part Two"


  1. Aunt Pam, you have a done a beautiful job giving a peek into Grandpa's childhood. If you feel inspired, please keep it going. Maybe someday you can print these up for the family! (I love the photos too.)

  2. Dear Sandy, I am so glad you have enjoyed these stories. As you well know, our Dad, your Grandpa, is a very unique person, with a warm and funny personality. I hope I can capture a few more stories before it's too late. I want his legacy to live on. Love to you all. Aunt Pam

  3. I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

    God Bless You :-)


  4. Thank you, "The Old Geezer"...I will check out your blog. Welcome to my Open Window! God bless you and have a truly wonderful Christmas!

  5. What a treasure of Family History! What a blessing to read it.. Thanks Pam.

    1. Thank you, Mary. I feel honored that you have visited here today. Thinking of you and your family at this time...and praying for you at Christmas. Blessings to you and yours.

  6. So glad I followed the trail of "virtual breadcrumbs" from The Dedicated House to your comment on The Frugal Little Bungalow to your series Christmas on Elmwood Street. I really enjoyed Mr. Mursch's story, including the old photographs and youTube carol. Thanks for sharing it! And the photo of him with the moustache photo prop is the perfect way to top it off!

    1. Oh! I'm so glad you came by for a visit! I'll have to follow the trail back to you and get better acquainted. Isn't this fun? I'm so happy you found us here! Please come again some time!

  7. What a wonderful post of memories and photos Pamela. I truly love reading about past memories of friends. Sorry it took me so long to visit here but I'm now able to sit and use the keyboard with no pain. Have a day of blessings my friend.

    1. Oh, Toni, I am so glad you are feeling better! I pray you will continue to get stronger each day. Thank you for stopping by for a visit today..and glad that you enjoyed my Dad's stories. It was such fun hearing them from him...so glad I wrote them down when I did!

  8. Just loved your father's stories of Christmas memories, Pam. Thanks so much for sharing with all of us!

    1. Thank you Martha Jane! I am happy that you enjoyed the stories. It was fun to re-read them again! Be blessed today my friend!!!

    2. Thank you Pam for putting this together, I remember going to Grandma and Grandpa's home at Chiristmas many times when we were kids, she always has dishes of candy sitting around and Mom would we were not to touch it! Grandma would say it was there for us to enjoy! I think we got to eat some after dinner. I loved those Christmas cookies Grandma made, especially the Anaise caps. Anne and I have the dishes that were used for Christmas dinner there.

    3. Russell, I just realized that you wrote these messages here in 2016. I guess I didn't see that it was from you before, and now I see it and it is very special to me. I love that you have those dishes of Grandma's...that is pretty amazing!! Merry Christmas. I hope you will see this message even tho I am answering it 2 years later!! Love you, big brother, more than ever!!

  9. I don't know why this published without my name? Russell

    1. And I don't know why I never saw your messages before. So glad to see it now. It is very special to me. Thank you for reading and enjoying and reminiscing with me.

  10. Always love traveling back in time with you! Love the story and the photos.

  11. I don't know how I overlooked this fact when last I read this post, Pamela, but my Dad was also named William, and being the youngest of three, was always called "Little Billy" by everyone in his family. Enjoyed time traveling with you once again!
    Blessings, my friend!

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  13. Pam, I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting with your father. I loved viewing life from his perpsective and learning about your heritage. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.


Thank you for visiting here today. I would love for you to sign my guestbook and let me know you stopped by. I always enjoy reading your comments and words of encouragement! May you be blessed as you go on your way. Please come back and visit again soon.