William Kersey Writes of City
Grandson of Mrs. Mary E. Schaub.
03 16 1948
William Kersey, Milwaukee, grandson of Mrs. Mary E. Schaub of this city, has written a little essay on Watertown which he recently submitted as part of his classroom work in Milwaukee.
The text follows:
Why am I writing about Watertown? Well, maybe because my grandparents lived there all of their lives. Maybe because it holds many fond memories of my early youth or maybe because it's just an average town. I don't know.
But suddenly an irresistible urge befell me to forego my usual fast, humorous style of writing for something simple, peaceful.
Watertown isn't a roaring metropolis or a beehive of industry. In fact, the only marked thing about it is the fact that it is the half way point from Milwaukee to Madison. Somehow, it strikes me not as a town, but rather as a living symbol of faith and happiness handed down through the generations by the fathers to their posterity.
Whenever I visit my grandmother, I page through her scrapbook of memoirs. The faded, curled up pictures seem to spring to life, as if recalled from the dead, and suddenly, as if in a trance, I am transported back 100 years.
I see dark gabled houses leaning perilously toward each other over narrow cobbled streets.
I see my grandparents portly home, and I hear the February wind holding carnival outside, wrenching at the window fastenings, whooping around the corners of the house and roaring bawdy melodies down the chimney pipes.
I see the main street of the town, stolid, inviting.
I see the old timers chatting with the firemen in front of the firehouse.
My glance shifts to an old man and a young boy fishing off the bridge.
Trees, old and withered with age, but with the proud majesty of a regular guard, stand with their arms reaching toward God.
My eyes pass over the butcher shop with the red front, where the pleasant German butcher gives free samples of bologna to the children.
I see the women gossips in the bakeries comparing notes, and the old men smoking cigars and passing the time of day away at the hardware store.
I hear the fire siren announcing the location of a fire to the people, two long and one short.
I smell the odor of fresh pumpkin pie emanating from the house next door.
These are the things I see, and awakening from my reverie, I notice that things haven't changed a bit in the last 100 years. I guess time doesn't pass there. You know, perhaps it is a refuge for God when he sees the trouble, confusion and evil going on in the rest of the world.
Maybe that's why I wrote about Watertown, Wisconsin.
History of Watertown, Wisconsin