"Mr.Gnewuch how are you today any problems?"
The nurse checked my health in my hospital room I know I was on
my death bed from the lung cancer I never smoked in my life but I
have worked in a factory for five years. I kept quite knew there
wasn't very much hope left for me. There was a green leather
journal on my nightstand that had my life history well all that I
can remember from all those years ago.
"What are you writing there Carl?"
I sighed deeply reached over grabbed the journal handed it over
to her letting her read it but it wasn't quite finished yet there
was a few blank pages left for a few more memories.
"It's my life history you can have it when I'm
finished or gone I will leave it for you to read Miss. Karson."
Once she left I continued writing like a mad man trying to
remember things when you have al timers is pretty tough to do. On
June 26th 2005 I died like I promised Miss Karson left
my journal by my old night stand.
As Miss. Karson the nurse was cleaning up Carl's old room she
picked up his journal began to read it.
It all began shortly after Dr .Nickels arrived from Watertown.
I was born at home in a farm house at the corner of M.M and E.M
in Lebanon Wisconsin, July 3rd, 1926. My mother and
Dad worked very hard on the farm clearing some woods and removing
stones from the fields. Dad didn't have a tractor if he needed
one; we borrowed one from my uncle Edgar. All the work that was
done of the farm was by hand and with the help from our two
horses Jim and Jerry. I don't remember much of my first five
years except that mother would play the piano and my Dad the
At Christmas time we would all sing by the piano with the
fireplace burning. We mostly sang Country Western and church
hymns. Before my mother was married, she played piano in a dance
band. I remember that we had a bath tub, but I believe the water
had to be heated on the stove and taken upstairs. Mother was
confirmed in an American Lutheran church (Emmanuel Lebanon). Dad
was confirmed at St. Peter's Lebanon, a Missouri Lutheran Synod
church. This is where they belonged after they were married.
When I was about five years old or older we moved in with my
uncle Eddie Turke and Aunt Ida (Neitzel). She was my mother's
oldest step sister they lived on Lafayette Street in Watertown.
My dad worked at the Otto in Biefeld factory for a short time.
While we lived in Watertown my parents wanted to enroll me in
Kinder- garden, but that wasn't for me so they took me out. I
loved Watertown didn't want to leave when my parents decided to
move our family to Ashippun.
We lived in two different places in Ashippun. My dad worked
delivering gas and fuel oil to farmers. I remember going with him
to the farm helping him out when it was needed. It was fall and
the apples were getting ripe.
While dad was filling the tank, I went into the farmer's
orchard and picked an apple. When I returned with the apple, my
dad became very angry, and I got a potch on the behind. He said I
should have asked the farmer first whether I could have an apple.
Now I had to apologize and give the apple back to the farmer
(lesson learned). I was naughty back then dad would tell me to
get the belt from the dresser. If I brought it to him, I wouldn't
get a licking Needless to say I always got the belt.
The last place we lived in Ashippun, was a kitty corner from
Zion Lutheran church. There was a big shed that use to be a horse
barn there. In the upstairs loft I raised some white pigeons. I
also had some white rabbits and white mice and rats. A few days
after my seventh birthday in 1933, my father became ill. My
mother took him to St. Mary's hospital in Watertown. Here Dr
.Wallner removed his appendix and gall bladder. The following
morning mother, Lois, my younger sister and I went to visit him
at the hospital. My mother wanted to see his stitches and she
found the bed full of blood. She called a sister/nun, and she got
Dr. Wallner. At this point I had to leave the room, but I still
can hear the screams when the doctor reopened the incision. The
doctor couldn't give him anymore anesthetic because the amount of
blood loss and there was no blood transfusions as of yet. The
doctor hadn't tied off a bleeder properly. My dad died that same
After my dad died chapter two started in my life everything
was different of course. Initially Lois and I moved in with
grandma Gnewuch because mother couldn't support most of my
siblings and me on her own. They were living on the farm where I
was born. (Back home again) While there I started first grade at
St. Peter's in Lebanon. The first day was a bad memory. Grandpa
dropped me off that morning at school, and I cried I guess it was
separation anxiety kicking in being away from my family was hard.
Teacher Hinz had to hold me on his lap while he played the piano
accompanying a hymn for the start of morning devotion. Teacher
Hinz had eight grades, sixty eight pupils, and taught two
languages, German and English (English was our second language at
the Lutheran school).
While in first grade I had several chores to do when I came
home from school. I milked five cows in the morning and at night;
I had to feed the chickens and ducks. I also had to take the milk
to the cheese factory with one horse milk wagon. It was down the
street from my barn and my home my grandpa was a politician in
the town of chairman, first and then a farmer. He was also a male
chauvinist like most men were those days. He always gave us
lectures if we weren't paying attention I remember him saying to
"Wife and dog belong on the yard."
He was also very impatient on Sunday mornings Grandpa was
still in the barn doing his chores, Grandma, Lois and I was
already dressed within the hour. One Monday morning I decided to
skip school. I walked past Grandma while she was in the front
lawn hanging up wet clothes on the laundry line. When I saw my
Grandpa staring out the window he came out drove me back to
school. At the time I finished fourth grade my Grandpa Gnewuch
died that summer I stayed with my uncle Raymond and Aunt Elsie
This house was a big brick farm house on the Rock River. It
had four huge bedrooms upstairs, a big dining room also a huge
living room where the gatherings were held on the holidays.
During the great depression my uncle couldn't find a job to
support my aunt and myself. Before the great depression my uncle
was a carpenter in Watertown the company lost a lot of money
eventually had to shut down. During grade school I moved around a
lot in fifth grade went to St. Pual's in Ixonia. There we spoke
frequent high German learned English as our second language. Our
grading scores back then were obliviously E-Excellent (95-100)
G-good, (88-M -medium, (80-88) P-poor, (70-80) F- failure was
anything below 70. In grade I managed to stay up too at least an
E, when I got home around 4:30pm 'The Shadow' was on the radio
Lamont Cranston was the crime fighter and the star of the
Mrs. Karson wrote down the address to St. Paul's in Ixonia
took a little road trip after her shift was done at the county
hospital W.1956 Gopher Hill rd, Ixoni. St.
Paul's got an extension the
original church got torn down to build a bigger building.
Mrs.Karson parked her car in the public parking lot walked the
school lot finding an old pocket watch that was engraved Carol
Edgar Gnewuch JR. Inside was also a
"Time is a very precious thing to loose."
"Carol c'mon we have baseball practice right after school meet
you at the field behind the building!"
Young Carol looked at his pocket watch to look at the time miss
placed it dropped it on the ground thought it was in his jean
pocket took off running to the field in the back of the
school. Mrs. Karson took the
pocket to put on his tombstone later. She drove off to the next
location which was in Waterloo Karson parked on the side of a
small bridge which now there's a dam. After reading Carol's
journal she kept having visions of what it must've been like back
then easy living those Carol SR. father) and Carol Jr. were
having father and son time fishing along the shore of the lake
during the summer time.
"The fish are just not
biting today we have to go further down
Edgar smiled at his son
gathered up the fishing gear put his hand on his
"Sounds like a good idea. With patience comes reward."
That was the last bonding
moment I had with my father before he died a month later. Mrs.
Karson drove to Labelle cemetery where Carol Gnewuch JR. and SR.
were buried walking distance from the marble statue with the
cross the whole Gnewuch and Rhode family were related buried next
to each-other. She placed the golden pocket watch around the
tombstone placed fake flowers on Edgar's grave as well. MRS.
Karson drove off too Dodge county next stop was at a local church
St. Peter's she wanted to get a fell of the past she was a
clairvoyant type of medium who can sense the past within the
foundations of the land or property. Nikki Karson was a prophet
of the lord like your modern day Nostradamus gets headaches
permeations of seeing people she doesn't even know die seconds
before it happens and somehow she is connected to them. By the
time she drives to the location their already
working as a nurse at the local hospital in Oconomowoc is helpful
she knows when patience's are about to die. Once she got to St.
Paul's church went inside suddenly she was hit with the past
seeing death echoes reliving their death over and over again the
spirits were in some kind of loop they don't know their actually
dead. Nikki thought this was the safest place to go to she took
off down to a crossroad intersection. Placed a box in the middle
with a black cat bone, graveyard dirt and her picture in the
middle of the crossroads. She turned around waiting for the demon
to appear was going to make a deal to bring back Carol needed
"Nikki…. Nikki what brings you to summon me
The demon had pitch black eyes that showed no mercy what so ever.
He circled around her grinned evilly at her.
"I want you to bring back Carol JR. Gnewuch I don't care how just
I need more answers. "
"Well I could give you a year to get as much information you need
but if you tell a word to him about this. I will take him back
into the pit and you along with me."
The demon gave her a kiss to seal the deal suddenly vanished into
thin air. Nikki drove off her radio suddenly turned onto static
noise playing Robert Johnson's Hellhounds on my trail. The demon
was giving her hints that hellhounds were always on a look out
for her when the contract expired after a year. Nikki drove back
to La Belle cemetery found Carol's grave was un-dug
She searched around the cemetery finally found him lost and
confused. She went up to him trying to get his attention.
"Carol hey how are you feeling c'mon come with me back to my
apartment and don't worry I still have your journal but I have
some questions I need answered if you don't mind sharing ?"
Carol dosed off into a deep sleep on the way to her apart all the
way back Dodge county. He started to have a very vivid dream
about the past some how he was connected to the person. An old
dusty road crossroads a man put a bottle with a black cat bone,
grave yard dirt and a picture of him in the middle of the
intersection. He had an acoustic guitar strap around with a rope.
He was black African American descent.
When he turned around he saw the most beautiful demon ever
He was shocked for a moment that it actually worked.
"What bring you hear to summon me Robert?"
"I want you to make me the best blues player there is."
"Is that it? That's the deal you want from me?"
"Yes indeed that's all I ask from you. So do we shake on it or
The demon laughed she kissed him to seal the deal suddenly
vanished into thin air leaving the man alone. He started playing
as he walked down highway 8 and highway 1.
"I went to the crossroad fell down on my knees asked the lord
above. Have mercy on my poor soul."
"Hey Carol wake up we're here?"
She nudges him a bit; Carol woke up a bit shocked walked inside
with Nikki sitting down in the living room seeing his green
velvet journal he smiled at her that she actually kept it. He
picked it up started scanning through it.
"Surprised you've actually kept this. Umm how did I come back
thought I've died from old age?"
Nikki looked at him having some sort of guilt that he should
still be dead. She rubbed the back of her neck trying to think of
a good excuse.
"Umm they shocked your heart and I guess you wanted
to stay longer. You're very lucky Carol. Now I found this at St.
Paul's Lutheran church your old golden pocket watch. What are the
odds that I found that huh and that it was still in the same
location it had been? Oh answers I need from you is that you've
wrote Arthur died at age twelve March 9th 1968?"
Carol thought for a moment about his distant cousin
Arthur. Placed his green leather journal on the coffee table
cleared his throat a bit.
"He died from influenza at a very young of twelve
years old. He was stuck in the hospital the one you work in fact.
They quarantine him from rest of society tell he passed away in
January 24th 1980. He's buried in Labelle near Rhode
and Gnewuch graves he was apart of the family." Nikki put Carol Gnewuch back into the nursing
home few miles away from the hospital gave him his journal back
since a few more pages needed to be filled. Meanwhile Nikki was
at her desk in the front office checking in patience's in. She
walked down the hallway where one of them were there for about
four months dying from lung cancer she knew that he was going to
die might as well calm him down and stay with him. She pulled up
a chair next to the hospital bed sat with him tell a loud on
going beep. Nikki sighed deeply she hated knowing that people
were going to die within seconds she unplugged him from the
machines covered up his body with a white sheet took the elevator
to the hospitals morgue and autopsy room. She hated going into
the morgue alone she quickly locked the door once she put the toe
tag on him. Rushed back to her front desk continued doing her
work like nothing ever happened. Nikki called the family of the
man who just died to claim him down before he passed away." I am
very sorry MRS. Smith but you're brother Paul just passed away
few moments ago. Was wondering if you can come tomorrow to claim
his body to make sure it's actually him and were not making any
mistakes. It's hard for me to say this to families but I will
tell you this I stayed with him tell the last minute to calm him
down make it easy to let go. I hope we can talk tomorrow let's
say around 12:30pm at Oconomowoc hospital. She hung up after
leaving a voice-mail putting her palms in front of her face
shrugging off the feeling that she shouldn't of went into the
room. Her manager told her she should go home he knew what
happened she took the advice clocked out of the hospital drove
back to the nursing home checking on Carol Gnewuch. Once she
pulled she went into the lobby to see what room he was in the
clerk told her he was in room 34.C down the hall to the left. She
walked down the hall knocked on his door entering the room seeing
Carol on the couch filling out the last few pages of his
"I see you've too in my advice
Carol. I brought you back by making a deal at the crossroad in
Watertown to bring you back. I lied about shocking your hear to
bring you back. You were dead for a week I'm sorry should've left
you alone. I'm selfish I know but I wanted answers to your life
so your future relatives can see their history as well."
He closed his green velvet journal
placed it on the small coffee table in-front of the couch looked
over at her smiled a bit he was glad to be alive again but not
"I'm glad to be alive again but not
happy that you've made that deal. Why take your life for an old
man your young I should've been left alone Nikki.
Nikki sat down next to him on the
couch shook her head didn't know why she ever made that deal but
she can't change the past now it's over with and long gone.
"I know that I've should of messed
around with that stuff. Well I got let off early so I went to
check up on you I'll come back later Carol take care of
Nikki left the three pillars
nursing home back to her home in Oconowmoc a three bedroom
apartment complex. Went into her bathroom opened the medicine
cabinet overdosed on sleeping pills that night with alcohol she
passed away early that morning. The Oconomowoc hospital took her
body them selves no one claimed her body so she had a personal
burial. Back at the three pillars Carol knew something had
changed he stopped writing in his journal called the hospital on
the landline phone that the nursing home required that patience's
should have them in every room.
"Hello Oconomowoc hospital how may we help you this evening?"
A pause for just a few moments carol cleared his throat put the
phone to his ear.
"Yes I was just wondering is Nikki Karson in today she just came
by the nursing home to visit wondering if she made it back okay."
The new desk clerk took a look at the times that all the staff
members clocked in before their shift started. He found the time
card for Nikki it read that she passed away that morning.
"I'm sorry sir she passed away from suicide late last night early
this morning. Did you call to claim the body?"
"No I'm sorry shouldn't of called good day to you."