John and Norma Claerbout businesses from 1935-1950

picture scanned by Jos Claerbout 1974-1999 From the left:

  1. John Claerbout
  2. Jon Franklin Claerbout
  3. Norma Claerbout
  4. Eunice Ackermann (Tempas)
  5. Katherine Claerbout
  6. unknown
  7. Hazel Claerbout
  8. Francis (Fritz) Claerbout

It looks to me (the little guy on the picture) that this shot is actually taken in my dad's new business, the clothing store. Formerly, the building at 101 Pine Street in Sheboygan Falls, WI, had been a funeral parlor. Dad and Uncle Fritz converted it to be a clothing store in front and a beauty parlor in back. Dad had just escaped from my Mom's business, up the street, a beauty parlor. Funny story there: Only in 1999, 5 years after Dad died, my 88 year old mom, Norma, tells me that the beauty parlor was her business and she hired him, because he was so handsome (even better, he didn't seem to know it!). He was not very good at cutting hair but the customers all liked him anyway!

On the right is my Uncle Fritz, Dad's little brother. Soon they moved the beauty parlor to the basement of 101 Pine Street (Fritz' carpenter skills) to enlarge the clothing store. Fritz and Grace lived on the second floor. Unfortunately, the two businesses did not make enuf money for two families, so Fritz moved away. Too bad.

On this painting by my classmate Lyle Krause, just to the right of the church is Dad's retail building (8 windows). About 1956 (very roughly) my dad had the ground floor of 101 Pine Street enlarged by extending it over the alley. This should show up in the roof line -- so you can see how small the building was in the beginning. Fifty five years later, I think I can still remember my dad's secret dial combination on his box at the post office across the street (since moved), although I cannot remember the keycode to my lab.