George & Helen and Harry and George & Helen

Many years ago, when discussing family research, George Edward “Buddy” Laber mentioned to me the confusion that sometimes occurred, because his father George Henry Laber married Helen Brooks, and then George Edward Laber married Helen Panuelos.  George Leonard “Lennie” Laber didn’t follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather because he married someone not named Helen, but Lennie shared this story about a visit by his father to Laber family friend Harry Ryan. 

“I will tell you a very funny and interesting story that my dad told me about the first time he went to visit Harry with my mother. Back in the 70’s my dad and mother drove to New England occasionally in a camper to visit relatives he had not seen in a long time and decided to visit the old farm house long gone. He pulled up to the house that Harry built from the lumber of the old barn and got out of the car. I think I remember him telling me that it was dark or getting dark when they arrived. He knocked on the door and introduced himself to Harry and his wife as George Laber and wife Helen (a former resident of the now non-existent barn). Harry threw his hands to his face and said “No, No, this can’t be, you haven’t aged a bit and I’ve gotten so old and you’re still young”. What my dad had to explain to Harry was that Harry knew my dad’s father, George Henry Laber and his wife Helen Marie Brooks Laber who were the original property owners, but it was their son George Edward Laber who had come back to visit the old homestead with his wife Helen Lucilla Laber. After his blood pressure got back to normal they sat and talked awhile and whenever my dad went up there to visit relatives I believe that he stopped in to check on Harry now and then.”

I love hearing these stories – they make family history so much more alive than just a collection of birth/marriage/death dates.  And through the magic of Internet and e-mail, this story was also shared with Harry’s son Ray.


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