This branch of the Austrian Hesch family is descended from Johann Hesch and his wife Marya (Schlinz) Hesch, who came to America from Oberschlagles, Bohemia with three sons: Paul, Mathias, and Anton. +++Johann & Marya settled in Buffalo County, Wisconsin but moved to Pierz, Mn in about 1885. .+++Mathias settled in Waumandee, Wisconsin and moved to Pierz in 1911. +++Anton never married but farmed with his dad in Agram Township, where he died in 1911.+++And Paul, my great grandfather, settled five miles away, in Buckman, Minnesota. He died there in 1900.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tall Tales?

Do you recognize these characters and the story that goes with em?  Do you think of Paul and Babe as real, or do you think Paul Bunyan stories are probably the origin of the term "tall tale"?  Can you listen to one with a straight face, and do you have a favorite story?

My dad, Mike Hesch, was famous for his ability to tell a "story".  Some of his favorites were re-told after his funeral, in March 1980, and it was hard to tell what the tears were from at that point.  Dad loved making people laugh.

When we were kids, he told us his own tall tales about der große schwarze Bär We never translated that name, we just knew he was a huge bear who did a lot of the same things Paul Bunyan did, only with a twist--the Grosse Schwarze Bear usually won somehow, or bested an opponent with cleverness or even deceit.
We thought he was wonderful, of course!  We heard our share of Paul Bunyan stories, too, but they'd often kinda blend into GSB

This all came back to mind this morning when Larry found The Marvelous Exploits of Paul Bunyan online, printed by a lumber company in 1922 and "published for the amusement of our friends".  It reminded us both of a Paul Hesch we'd found in Brainerd.  He played Paul Bunyan in the 50s at the Brainerd summer festival, and really looked the part.   See if you can tell these men apart:

☺ ♥  ☺ ♥  ☺ 
Added later:  Our second cousin Julie gave me this publicity photo/postcard of Paul in Brainerd--I think I like that ▲ one better...Whew!

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