RECOLLECTIONS OF ROBERT KEVIN GODT

 

 

Being the youngest of eight children in the family of Edward W. Godt (Pg. 36 & 60) I will try to relate some of my memories of my family.

There being a difference of twenty three (23) years between the first born and the eighth child, there was a lot of history that I could never have known about except hearing stories from the older members. I think this is what history and genealogy is all about.

Our house had white stone front steps and window sills as many brick homes had at that time. Saturday morning was the day to clean the steps and windows sills with bleach water and kitchen cleanser, which made the steps very white. Then it was cut the grass sweep out the curb and then wash everything down with the garden hose.

This is how the Germans came to be known as "the Scrubby Dutch". Everyone cleaned this way every week while the weather was warm.

At our house every Saturday was SOUP Day. Having to stretch money every week my Mother would send me to the store for twenty five cents of soup bone. We would clean out the left overs from the refrigerator and make soup. A few beans, a few carrots, potatoes and what ever else was edible was put in the pot. Boy did that taste good and it would fill you up too. To this day I cannot pass up soup on a menu anywhere.

Another summer thing I remember was sitting out on the clean white steps with family and friends in the evening - there wasn't any air conditioning. The adults discussing the days events and the kids playing on the sidewalks. After a while the beer bucket would come out and someone would go over to the neighborhood tavern and fill the bucket up for about fifteen cents. I would guess the bucket held about two quarts.

It would be passed around and everyone would get a drink of cold draft beer. Some things never change in the Godt Family. This Copper bucket is presently owned by my daughter, Jan.

Another thing the Godt's seem to enjoy is politics. No one that I know of held any high office, but my father was involved at the local level and upon his death my brother Kenneth took over the job. My brother Melvin and his son Michael Joseph got involved in politics in Illinois where they lived.

Although my father was a hard worker, he had some medical problems that caused him to hold many jobs. All of his sons had a variety of jobs and seem to have long term employment. We had a Lens grinder, a Auto Radiator shop owner, a Warehouse worker, a Printer, a beer Brewer and of course me, the maker of "TUMS FOR THE TUMMY". Most of us held the same job for 40 years.

Some of the things I remember as a child was the making of our own food products in the summer. My Mom and sisters cooking tomatoes for catsup, cutting up peaches for canning, shredding up cabbage for sauerkraut, making our own root beer and soda and no summer could go by with making our own "home brew - beer". We even had an old German recipe for Black drawing salve. Worked good but it was very messy.

All my family stayed in the St. Louis area except my brother Vernon who lived in Barrington, Illinois; Denver, Colorado; Santa Anna, California and then in Grants Pass, Oregon. He was employed by the Jewell Tea Company and was transferred a lot.

Several years ago at the family reunion in St. Louis, we had a speaker from the Genealogy Society talk about how people have similar traits even generations apart. Each time I meet a new Godt at our reunions this becomes more and more evident. Like musical abilities - vocal and instrumental. We love to eat- laugh and play tricks and most of all love our beer.

If your around a group of Godt's and not having a good time - It's not our fault!


How we got interested in genealogy

When our daughter, Jan, was in the Camp Fire Girls Organization, one of the Annual Projects was to trace your ancestors as far back as possible. Needless to say we didn't get very far except for what my older brothers and sisters knew. But my wife, Darlene, was always interested in finding out more. Then after Jan married and lived in the Kansas City, Missouri area we would plan our visits over the phone using a calendar Darlene would always buy 2 Girl Scout calendars that the St. Louis Council sold, one for us and one for Jan. While looking at the month of September 1991, Jan said, "Oh my gosh, look at the picture of the Girls Scouts making rubbings of the tombstones in Wright City, Missouri Cemetery". Looking in the background was the name Godt on one of them. This started the juices going for more information. Again, not knowing of many Godt's in the area this was a total surprise.

Another Godt family was found by Darlene ordering an item in a Hallmark Card shop in our neighborhood. When she gave the sales clerk her name, she said, "Do you know Dorothy Godt"? Darlene told her that she had a sister in-law but she has a married name now. She said so has she and the name is Bode (Page 66). Darlene made contact with her.

We had received a notice of a 198_ Godt Family Reunion in Dixon, Illinois from John Grover Godt. The rest is history. In the meantime we found a few more.

On one of our many trips to Maui, Hawaii 19_, we met Dr. Richard L. Godt and his family (Page 135) who was staying at the same hotel we were. There were two R. Godt's registered. Had it not been for a call from a colleague of Dr. Godt's to our room by mistake we would never have know of his being there. He was attending a Neo-Natal Seminar.

In one of the many "Godt Family" books that we had received cards asking us to buy it and look it over, we found a "D. H. Godt" in Vancouver, B.C. Canada, (Page 96). We pursued it since we were going to be spending 2 weeks driving around in British Columbia and Alberta in May 1991. It turned out to be Dieter Hans Godt. We ended up having dinner at his home. He showed us photos and we exchanged stories and etc., with him. He was very interested in learning more about the "extended" family that we knew of so far.

Shortly before the 1991 reunion in Dixon, Illinois, Darlene had put all the information on some genealogy discs on the computer. We found we have 3 charts and have so far not been able to link them together. The first being the Danish line that goes back to 1549, then the German starts in the 1600's and then the Jewish one from the 1800's. She printed out "generation" charts for each of the 3 and they were enlarged by Henry C. Godt, Jr. (Page 88.1) and posted on the pillars or the church basement where the reunion was held. Everyone was surprised to see what we had and how it was "split'.