John Alvon Glauser: Face to Face with History

October 6, 2009 | no comments
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Michelle Glauser is a young Mormon American woman living in Germany. I’ve long read her blog, Circles and Dots and Other Distractions, which is a riot of activity — she may be based in Leipzig, but she’s just as apt to be blogging about her trip through Turkey, or Switzerland, or Poland, as she is to be describing life as an ex-pat in a German university. Her recent master’s thesis is a serious study of the surprising meanings of blogging, especially mommy blogging.

Michelle offered to share these extraordinary clips of an interview conducted by her of her 95-year-old great uncle Al Glauser, allowing us to come face to face with a witness of history.

My great uncle, John Alvon Glauser, was born in 1913. He is the oldest of the seven children of John and Lena Glauser, both Swiss immigrants who met and married in Logan, Utah. Lena’s maiden name was von Niederhausern, resulting in the “von” in “Alvon” (as a fun side story, Lena gave my Grandpa the letter N without a period or anything for his middle name since “Niederhausern” was so long–when people asked what it stood for, he always said “nothing” with a serious face). Al served a mission in Switzerland and Germany from 1934 to 1937. Because his stories of his mission have fascinated me for years, I felt like someone needed to record the story. As a result, last time I was in Salt Lake, I drove up to his house and recorded this video (the person asking questions and responding now and then is yours truly).

Al’s love for his mission led him to meet up with many old mission companions for years in a group they called “The Forty-Niners” (after the address of their mission home). After his mission, Uncle Al found and married the lovely pianist and organist Beverly Brown, who had thought he would never call her again after their first date. They had two daughters, Shirley and Mitzi. With his brother, Reed, my grandpa, he continued the business his dad had started, Egg Products. After retirement, he was invited into the Dirty Shirts Club (see the July 12, 2006 issue of the Salt Lake Tribune — at that time, the average age was 84.8 in this club that golfs and bowls together on Wednesdays). In the last several years, Al has volunteered at LDS Hospital, where he drives cancer patients to their appointments in a golf cart. Having turned 96 on September 19th, he has now outlived all six of his younger siblings and keeps people around him laughing with the jokes he memorizes.

The videos:

Oberammergau

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The Berlin Olympics, Hitler and Mussolini

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Cross-posted from Keepapitchinin — click here for comments.

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