Sept. 21 the Pommerscher Verein (Pomeranian People) were invited to participate in the Diversity Day event in the park at the High Ground War Memorial at Neillsville. About 120 students, from grades 5 through 10, came through in 6 waves, 20 or so at a time, to learn about Pomeranian ancestors, the Platt Deutsch language and tracht, reasons for leaving the old country, and ways of travel to the new country.
One of the 6th graders studied the Kleinschmidt family’s 100th-year poster and noticed the great-grandson’s picture in the lower right corner. “That is my cousin,” he said. It’s a small world, even in Wisconsin.
No, our ancestors did not get from southeast Wisconsin to central Wisconsin by airplane, car, tractor, nor by submarine! Sorry kids, but they didn’t have those machines “way back when.” Those were some of the wild guesses. But nearly every group had someone who came up with “walking” as a way to get to central Wisconsin. Right on.
We shared some songs in Platt Deutsch: Op Wisconsin, Du Bist Mien Suhnsheen, and Prost, Prost, Prost. We also had copies of some German word puzzles and mazes, and had “German” candy (Gummi Bears) to hand out.
Bonnie and David Radtke anchored the Pomeranian display . . .
Literally anchored it, because David engineered the rope and clamp arrangement that kept our posters and easels from blowing over. The best thing one could say about the weather is that it kept improving throughout the day, from foggy rain to sunshine. It did not affect the children, who were enthusiastic and attentive.
Besides our Pomeranian display, there was also a couple representing Slovenia, wearing beautiful tracht, and a lady demonstrating Native American musical instruments. Those were the two whom we saw; we missed seeing several other groups.