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Ash Wednesday, Eshe Puddle, Clayton N. Fidler, Hide and Seek, ashes, games, songs


A handwritten letter from Clayton N. Fidler addressed to Alfred L. Shoemaker, dated February 10, 1948. Within, Fidler provides Shoemaker with knowledge about what Ash Wednesday was called in his locality and the customs that followed. A story about a childhood game like hide and seek is also detailed.


Clayton N. Fidler


Alfred L. Shoemaker

Corresponds to:

Packet 219-2


Laureldale, Pennsylvania


3435 Marion Street


Laureldale 2-10-48

Dr Alfred L Shoemaker

Reading Pa

Dear Mr Shoemaker

Your letter of 2/8/48 received and contents noted. I am glad if I could be of some help to you in my memory of Seibale which I enjoy very much the memories of long ago.

I also note in your column yesterday you asked the Pennsylvania German name for Ash Wednesday.

Ash Wednesday in my locality - was called Eshe Puddle and about the same a fashnacht - the last one on deck in the morning was the Eshe Puddle. There was also an old custom on Eshe Puddle day the Master of the house got up early that morning and never spoke a word to any one until he got a bucket of ashes and went all over his livestock missing none and sprinkled every thing with ashes - this was supposed to keep his livestock free from lice for the year he would not speak to any one until all was sprinkled.

It also appears to me the whole household was sprinkled with ashes but on that point - I am not quite positive no more.

I also remember a game we used to play we used to call Honka Dee that was a game of hide and go seek. The only difference was the one that was it instead of counting 50 or 100 to give the rest a chance to hide he or she had a stick and to start the game some one threw the stick and the one had to go and fetch it. When he or she got back with the stick instead of crying ready they said Honka Dee Do sthell ich my hevel hee when they went in search someone used to get around and throw the stick away again they always had to have the stick in place before they could count any one out.

About singing Kesle Kisle number [illegible] I am no singer but I think it can be arranged

Ich bin en Pennsylvania Deutchser un bleib oner un bin sthuls dafum

If I can be of any help in my small way to promote your column I am always willing keep it up.

Yours Truly

Clayton N Fidler

3435 Marion St

Laureldale Pa


English and Pennsylvania German

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Letter From Clayton N. Fidler to Alfred L. Shoemaker, February 10, 1948



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