Dec 3, 2013

Hi Vic,
I asked Sharon M. For Rita's email address and she doesn't do computers at I had a lovely conversation with her this evening.
She remembers coming to our house after church. She said dad was at the head of the table and Frank right next to him looking directly at the painting.  Frank kept looking at the painting all through dinner. Everyone ate and all the kids took of after dinner. She said that Gwen Roufs came home with us and was going to be staying overnight with me. Anyway, Rita was very taken with dad because he was an artist and after dinner she pulled her chair up next to dad because she wanted to hear everything he had to say and felt she really didn't have anyone to play with. She said all the older kids ate in the kitchen. I loved how she remembered so many little details about the day. 
So, after dinner, Frank said to dad " I know where that farm in that painting is" Dad said that was impossible and when frank told him the location and name of the farmer...they both were shocked. Frank explained that he was In the army and was the sharp shooter for his troop and his assignment was to watch the hired help that was plowing the fields. There was some suspicion that the farmer was hiding and transporting people in between oxen. Franks instructions were to shoot the guy plowing and the oxen if there was any suspicious activity and ask questions later.
Dad told Frank that he was the one plowing! He had asked the farmer if he could plow because he had heard there were American soldiers in the area and was hoping to see some.  Here he was looking for the soldiers...and they were watching him! 
After a while, Frank went to his commander and said that the guy plowing is just a  poor farmer and he didn't want to hurt him, so they moved on. 
A really incredible story! 
Rita also told me that Frank had a very special bond with dad after that. She remembers they would go out in the shop and share very personal things..always shooing Rita away, because she always followed them.  She remembered one time when dad showed Frank the pictures of the iconostasis that he carved. He said he would not feel comfortable showing it to other members because he felt they would say he should of never done that. Rita only saw that picture of the iconstasis one time as a little girl and really remembered it. 
She said she remembered how hard it was on Frank when dad died.
Rita stated she will do some digging to see what troop Frank was in and see what more she can find out about her dad being in Germany. 
I'll get back to you if she ever finds anything out.

Love you!

Tanya Roufs

Dec 8, 2013
Hi Vic,
I got another call from Rita. She didn't have much, but wanted me to know her dad was in the 60091 st Field Artillery division of the  9th army, company C.  She said her dad joined the army when he was 19..... And he was 21 when the barn story happened. He was a sharp shooter and was moved around as a support person for many different divisions because he was used as an interpreter because he spoke German.Rita was talking to Bernice the other day and she told her that one time Dad and Frank were pouring over a map of Germany and were amazed at the close proximity they were within each other through the war.
Another story Bernice told Rita was that Frank was always being promoted in the army.and when Frank would get that news, he would steal a motorcycle or do something to get court martialed. Nothing bad enough to get kicked out of the army , but enough to take away the promotion. When asked why he did that....he said he didn't want some other young kid being sent out to be killed, while he was safe from harm.
So...this really doesn't add anything new to the barn story, but it is of interest.
Hope all is well in Cincinnati. We are snug and warm in front of the's blasted cold outside!
Love you!