Saturday, July 9, 2011

Happy Birthday To My Dad!

Today being my dad's birthday we took a ride up to Milford PA to Shaun's shop, Golden Hammer Studios, so he could get some ink work done. He decided to get "Brooklyn" tattooed across his fingers. One, it was the right amount of lettering and two, its a way to remember some family history. Which also has a strange story.... (Ive been consistent with the "strange themes" the past few weeks!)

My father's grandfather Fritz Karl Rudolph immigrated to Brooklyn from a small village in Germany in 1910. He was sent with recommendation letters to work at a German chemical dye company, which today is known as BASF, one of the world's leading chemical companies.

Here he is on the far right. He was about 18 years old when he moved to this country. Karl took lots and lots of photos and kept a large album. Photos off all the places he lived in Brooklyn. I can see where all the photo documenting comes from. My father has albums upon albums of photos hes taken back in the day. And now I'm doing the same thing.

Now here is where things get interesting....
I moved to Brooklyn to continue college in 2009. Not long after living in the city my dad dug out some of Karl's paper work. He found numerous letters and envelopes with addresses. I looked them up and it turns out I was living only 2 blocks away from where Karl did! So almost 100 years later I'm on the same stomping grounds as my great grandfather.

This photo here I found of the Pratt campus. Ive been living in the large high rise to the left and Karl's brownstone on the far right. I had a hard time getting use to living in the city (I live in the most rural part in NJ) and finding out this information made NYC suddenly feel like home. So with me living there it has reconnected what has sort of been forgotten over time.

Karl was also responsible for my dad getting his Sportster (this bike came after the Knucklehead) Karl was the co-signer for my dad so he could buy the brand new 1969 Sportster. My dad took this bike many times into the city in the '70s. 2009 was the first year for the Brooklyn Invitational and that brought things full circle for me and my father.

Shaun and the ol'man

It was an awesome day for riding and the bikes were running great. We stopped at good Mexican restaurant on the way home. So what does Mexican food have to do with Germans and Brooklyn? Nothin! it was just good food on the way home!

There are many other strange parallels (that not even one blog post would cover) between me, my father, and my great grandfather Karl Rudolph. Even though this tattoo isn't on me, it still has the same amount of meaning. Don't forget your family history and embrace the good times.

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