what my investigations have turned up…
Now armed with names, I started looking again at the items we found behind the fireplace mantle, and things are starting to come together. There were a couple of pictures that had names on the back.
One picture was of Louise & Jonie from January 1, 1974. Another picture was of Louise shoveling the snow after the big storm of 12/1/1974. So, we know that “Louise” is L. Louise Renaud who lived in the house from July 6, 1973 to November 24, 1983.
A note that was written to KNK stating that he forgot to sign a check. $100 is attached. Betty. This note was to Kenneth N. Kramer. By the way, we didn’t find the $100.
A signed check to Mrs. Anna Frances Kramer & Mrs. Anna Marie Riecher (signor) from The Detroit Edison Company. The check is a dividend check for the amount of $38.57.
A letter to Supersongs that was never sent. I opened the letter, which had a 10 cent stamp affixed. There was a check made out to Super Songs, signed by L. Louise Renaud for the amount of $8.48. Also a note that says “Dear Sirs: I live in California and will be returning there shortly. Please send to David K. Kramer, 4606 Boxwood Drive, San Diego, CA 92117. If it is not possible to send it there, then to Louise Renaud, 249 X. Xxxxx, Xxxxx, XX XXXXX. Thank you, David K. Kramer.
A newspaper clipping that baffled us until we received the property abstract. We weren’t sure which side of the paper was clipped for keepsakes, but now we know. There was an article titled “Players” and it was talking about a local play. The first paragraphs are what caught my eye. “The title role of Laura, a difficult one to characterize, was well taken by Mrs. J. Gerald McLean, who was very ably assisted by her husband as the detective who solves the case and gets the girl.” Then the next paragraph made me think even more…these people, previous owners to our house, knew each other. “Also well played was the part of Laura’s “southern gentleman” fiancé by Byron Scott.” So, it seems that the McLean’s were in a play with Byron Scott, whom they purchased the house from.
A USAir Boarding Pass for Stone/Benjamin, from Pittsburgh, PA to Detroit, MI. May 22, 8:15PM.
Other items still yet to be identified were a photo of an old woman on a rocking chair in our living room. A photo of a cottage on a snowy hill. A coupon for a speedboat from the Kellogg’s company, a bug eaten “Made in Western Germany” Christmas gift tag, two Christian prayer cards, both from Baltimore, MD and finally a stamped certificate of authenticity of a House of Lords barometer.
I started doing some internet searches, right away. I really didn’t find much at first; only the telephone number to Kenneth N. Kramer, who briefly owned the home in 1973. It seems he is an attorney and at the time was a partner in McLean, Sawyer & Kramer, P.C. The internet says he has a practice in Marysville, MI.; Kramer & Murray, P.C. It took me over the weekend to get up the nerve to call…with the prompting of Jerome.
Monday at lunchtime, I called the number to Kramer & Murray. The woman who answered said that he is no longer with us. He passed in 2000. He retired 10 years before that. I said that the internet still has him as partner in this firm. She told me that is a typical practice to keep the name, even if they are deceased. I hung up with her and searched the net for his old partner J. Gerald McLean. J. Gerald still has a practice in Romeo; McLean, Mijak & Clark, P.C. I sent a note to McLean using their on-line contact link. However, in checking the link that has the attorney profiles, J. Gerald McLean does not show up on the list of attorneys. This made me think of what the woman said at the office when I called for Kenneth Kramer. I decided I’d check the obituaries.
The Detroit News has an archive of obituaries back to 2001. This doesn’t help if I’m looking for Kenneth N. Kramer who supposedly passed in 2000, but it could help for others.
The first obit I stumbled upon was for Gladys (Domeyer) McLean, who was survived by her husband J. Gerald McLean. This was a great find; it had information such as they’ve wintered in Boca Raton since 1986. She was a member of the Romeo Monday Club and that they traveled extensively with the Nomads travel club. I have asked one woman over the summer if I could attend a Monday Club meeting, still waiting on that invitation. But we have a member of our MINI Cooper Club, Joann Rouston who not only is a member of the Nomads, but was the stewardess and now is an administrative assistant for the Nomads. I sent her a PM from the club website to see if she has any information about them. Still waiting to hear. In the meantime, I started drafting a letter to Mr. J. Gerald McLean. Just to see if he could fill in some blanks. I also sent him copies of the news article, the pictures of Louise and a copy of the check from Detroit Edison. I hope to hear from him.