I began a January 2009 review of the touring musical Spring Awakening with a true anecdote about my great-great-grandfather Anton Gabler, who came to America from Austria in 1875—close in place and time to the setting of the musical. I then went on to pan the show.
A few days ago, I received an e-mail from a man named Richard Harris. Richard lives in Muncie, Indiana, and has been investigating his genealogy. He was born in Superior, Wisconsin in 1945; his father was adopted, and Richard had learned that his paternal grandmother was a Rose E. Gabler of Blue Earth County, Minnesota. Rose was only 16 when she gave birth to Richard’s father. Rose’s father was…that’s right, Anton Gabler. Google “Anton Gabler” and on the second page of results, there’s my review of Spring Awakening.
Rose’s older brother Frank was the father of my father’s father, so my great-great-grandfather Anton is Richard’s great-grandfather. God knows what kind of cousins that makes us, but now I guess I know I have a couch I can crash on if I ever find myself in Muncie.