The ries amily eunion - 1999

The Fries Family Reunion was held in December 1999 at the Retirement home "Our Lady of the Snows" in Belleville, IL. It was a great party and a great way to end the Millimum and start the next one.

The four main guest of honor were Elmer Fries, Florence McTiernan, nee Fries, Lu Eble [married to Hank Fries], and Arnie Heinrich, married to Eleanor Fries.

The most significant event was the 98th birthday of Elmer Fries. Elmer was born in Belleville, IL in 1901 to Adolph Fries and his wife Anne Blaies. Elmer is the oldest of the 9 Fries children.

While we have a faster rate of change now, if you were born in 1901 like Elmer Fries, you had to live through the following unbelievable events:

  • Had Elmer been born 14 months earlier he most likely would live in three centuries.
  • There were only 10 democracies in the world when Elmer was born, now there are over a 100. Personal freedom has come a long way. 90 % of the countries in the world were ruled by Soverign Monarchs. Their word was the law.
  • Elmer's parents spoke German around the house when they did not want the kids to know what they were talking about. Elmer's grandparents immigrated from Baden, Germany in 1848.
  • Eleven years before he was born, St. Louis was the 4th largest city in America.
  • No one had ever heard of an airplane or the Wright brothers. Jets were unheard of
  • The sound barrier was broken 47 years after Elmer was born
  • Men landed on the moon 68 years after he was born
  • Time zones had been invented only about 25 years before elmer was born
  • The Great War in 1914 would destroy the world empires and change the social structure of all societies
  • W W II was again to change society
  • Computers were not invented for 40 years after he was born.
  • TV was a long way off in time as were computers
  • When Elmer was a kid and towns got their first electricity it was sold by the hour, e.g. you bought evening light or longer hours
  • In his 98th year the world is waiting for a landing on Mars

Michael McTiernan

N40 03' 09.4"
W75 24' 14.1"

Last updated May 19, 2000

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