Of Former Resident Hopes To Reconnect With Collinsville's Past
Will Visit Collinsville July 27-30, 2008
|This 1926 photo shows the "B. Goldsmith Dry Goods Store" (at 1004 Main) a few doors west of the NE corner of 10th & Main.|
|The view (today) of this Collinsville corner continues to change with a streetscape project in progress in front of downtown buildings which were mostly built between 1910 & 1920.|
|Art Goldsmith in an undated photo (with a nanny). Photo submitted by Barbara Goldsmith Burkel|
|Arthur Goldsmith as a member of the CHS Class of 1931.|
From Barbara Goldsmith Burkel (6/29/2008)
I believe Wanda shared with you the dates I will be in Collinsville (July 27-morning of July 30th). I am attaching an article I wrote anticipating my visit.
I did so because I think it will be interesting to others.
It may also reveal additional information about The Goldsmiths I could pursue once I arrive. Finally it would be a nice touch to have my Father appear in the newspaper he treasured so much.
I have spelled "part" "pART" because my Father called himself "Art" (for Arthur). I plan to follow up with a pART 2 Realization and pART 3 Implication, if you find it newsworthy.
In the meantime, I continue to do my research on the internet. I am currently trying to find the street address where they lived. I contacted the census bureau in Kansas City and am waiting to hear from them. Is there somewhere else I might try?
I sincerely THANK YOU again for the information you have already provided and your cooperation. I look forward to meeting you and seeing The Newspaper Museum. Thank you for considering the following ARTicle:
Daughter Seeks her Fathers Roots
pART I Anticipation
My Father, Art Goldsmith, left Collinsville, Oklahoma in 1941. But it never left him. The Collinsville News came to his doorstep in Chicago, Illinois every week. When I got married, it still came. When my children were born, it still came. When Collinsville High School announced it was having its 30s Reunion, it still came. It finally stopped coming one sad day when my Father had to admit he no longer recognized any names.
You could take Art Goldsmith out of Collinsville but you could not take Collinsville out of him. I am the beneficiary of the sense of community he felt, the values he found, and the culture he shared. They are more valuable than anything else he could have left me.
He had a few favorite phrases when it came to talking about Collinsville: Them is my kinfolk. That is how he always referred to his neighbors. The wind may come sweeping down the Plain but the people remained constant. When they gave their word, they meant it. When there was hard work to be done, they did it. When it was time to go to church, they went. When charity was needed, they gave. These characteristics came to define Art Goldsmith.
My Father was so proud of his kinfolk, he had a pamphlet entitled Famous Oklahomans amongst his treasured papers. Of course, of all the kinfolk, he was proudest of Will Rogers. He delighted in point out Will grew up in a nearby town. I like to believe my Fathers wit, which I used to think was corny but now appreciate as wisdom, came in part from his trying to emulate his famous neighbor.
When my Grandfather, David Goldsmith, died 26 years after he left Collinsville, my Father sent his obituary to The Collinsville News because he believed the rest of his kinfolk would want to know about it. Moreover, he bought a piano for the school in his Fathers memory and put a small plaque with his name on it.
Another favorite expression my Father used to describe Collinsville was it was the town the highway passed by. How different his life might have been how different all your lives might have been if that highway had connected Collinsville to Tulsa way back when. Interestingly I do not think my Father ever said these words with regret. I believe he said them to describe his town, fearful it would not ultimately survive. How wonderful to read Collinsville has not merely survived; it has thrived as a town preserved. And it has most likely been preserved because that highway passed it by.
Collinsville was bound to have different expressions and foods than I would find in Chicago. My Father also brought them with him. I learned about okra and to call my evening meal supper rather than dinner. I learned to answer, You owe me a dollar three eighty, if someone wanted to pay me back, and I didnt want them to. Minor as these examples might sound, they opened my mind at a young age to the fact there were differences in regions as well as people. I came to love small towns, despite being a city girl.
For years I traveled to Collinsville in my mind; now I am coming in person.
I have been in contact with Wanda Nyberg of The Collinsville Chamber of Commerce and Ted Wright of the Newspaper Museum. They have been as wonderful and helpful as I imagined my Fathers kinfolk would be.
There are a few facts about my Father, Grandfather, and Great Grandfather I would like to share, in the hope others may have had personal contact with or recollection of them. Any additional information from the readers would be sincerely appreciated.
Great Grandfather: Benjamin Goldsmith (1863-1928). Opened a dry goods store called B. Goldsmith, located at 1004 Main Street.
Grandfather: David Goldsmith (1888 1967). Renamed the store Goldsmith Mercantile Co. and moved it to (what is now) The American Exchange Building. He was quite the athlete and won medals in track competitions that predated the reinstatement of The Olympics. He was also a poet and had work included in an anthology of poems.
Father: Arthur Goldsmith (1914-2006). Valedictorian of CHS Class of 1931. He returned for The 30s Reunion on June 7, 1986. This first photo shows him with the woman who took care of him before his Father remarried. Perhaps a relative will recognize her and let me know more about her. The second photo shows my Father (on the left) at the Reunion. Perhaps someone will recognize him and tell me more about the time they shared as classmates.
I will be in Collinsville from Sunday July 27th to the morning of Wednesday, July 30th. I have been fortunate to travel to many places throughout the world. None has filled me with greater anticipation than this trip to Collinsville.
If you have stories
to share about The Goldsmith family,
Barbara Goldsmith Burkel
July 20, 2008 Update
One week from today (Sunday, July 27) I will set foot in Collinsville. It is already a trip beyond my wildest dreams.
I continue to meet my Father's "kinfolk" via the internet. Without exception, they sing your praises and your website. YOU are Collinsville in their eyes...and there are apparently 1,000's of them who feel that way.
Thank you for sharing your information and network with me. I look forward to meeting you a week from tomorrow and learning more!
Fondly, Barbara Goldsmith Burkel