Fritzie and Louise Baer were together for over 61 years.
Gram often told the story of their first meeting. She had taken a walk down a country road like the one in this picture with a girlfriend. Two motorcyclists drove past them and they exchanged waves. The riders stopped and turned around. Gram caught Gramp’s eye and her offered her a ride. She declined but he decided to continue their conversation and walked along with her. As you can tell by Gramp’s caption on this picture, he was not a shy man.
1923 Indian Chief and Princess Sidecar This was the model Indian that Fritzie owned when he met and courted Louise Wredberg.
Gramp’s Album 1923 They rode Gramp’s Indian from Worcester, MA to Albany NY to get married. They stopped before getting to the city hall so that Gram could change from her riding clothes into a dress. This picture was from their honeymoon, taken at the entrance to Saratoga Springs, NY.
Gramp’s Album 1923 One year in the late 1970’s, I flew down to Florida in order to drive Gram and Gramp back to New Hampshire in the Cadillac. I liked to get them talking about their life together with Gram sitting in the front seat next to me and Gramp in the back puffing on his cigar. This picture was one of the stories. It seems that Gramp said to one of these boys, “I like your pitchfork.” to which the young boy replied, “It’s not a pitchfork, it’s a dung fork.” Well, this comment got both of them laughing so hard that Gram had tears in her eyes. Gramp then added to the story with something about the cows they saw on the Vermont hillsides, who had legs of different sizes so they could stand straight on a hill. This got Gram laughing even more. At the time, I didn’t get the humor but their laughs were infectious as they remembered those honeymoon days so long ago.
Gramp’s Album 1923 With white shirt and tie, Indian sweater, riding jodhpurs and boots, Gramp cut a fine figure as an early motorcyclist. It is easy to see how a 16 year old girl working as a nanny would fall head over heels in love.
Gramp’s Album 1923 In a 1983 newspaper article on Gram and Gramp’s 60 th wedding anniversary, the reporter as Gramp about the secret to their six decades as a couple. Gramp answered him with, “I picked a girl who would put up with me.” I have always loved this picture of my 16 year old grandmother, wrapped in her rain gear in the sidecar of a motorcycle, now married to a 22 year old rebellious adventurer. How well she adapted herself to Gramp’s life that revolved around motorcycles. She was a true partner in their relationship and an anchor to his life and her family.
Gramp’s Album 1923 The newly weds stopped at the home of Knut and Silja Astrom in Fitchburg, MA. They must have been very proud of their Model T. As you can see from the shine on Gramp’s Indian, that even though they had traveled hundreds of miles on dirt roads through NY, VT and NH, that cycle was immaculate.
The Baer Family 1930 Rich, Carl, Herman, John, Lydia, Frank (Fritzie), Otto and Alvin (Binky) Bare Hill Pond in Harvard, MA.
The Baer Family 1930 John, Lydia, Clara, Alice, Maude, Louise, Frank (Fritzie), Otto and Alvin (Binky) Herman and son, Donald, Rich and Carl Bobby, Ruth (Sis), Eddie, Dick (Butch) and Tommy at Bare Hill Pond in Harvard, MA.
1932 Sis at 4 years old with her big brothers. Gramp loved growing flowers.
Sis, Butch, Tommy & Bobby Fritzie’s Roamers Cycle Meet at Bowles Airport in Agawam MA in 1935 6,000 people attended this meet, each paying 25 cents to get in. In 2009 dollars, this is about $24,000. Louise had the children going around the grounds and bringing back the empty bottles. They would get sodas and hot dogs for every full case of bottles they collected.
One of Uncle Tom’s chores every Saturday was to clean up the floors of Grampa Baer’s Indian dealership at the Indian Factory on State Street in Springfield, MA. This was some type of celebration, maybe an Open House, that they were having in 1938
This was taken on Easter Sunday in 1938 at Springfield, MA. From left to right, Tommy, Butch (with a Bible in his hands), Sis, Bobby, Jimmy and Louise.
Fritzie and his brother, Carl, with the trophies to be presented to the winners of the 1940 Laconia races.
Fritzie’s Roamers Motorcycle Club Ladies Auxillary with Sis on far left next to Gram. They were the winner of the Best Dressed Club Award.
Sis Baer, mascot for the Fritzie’s Roamers Motorcycle Club, Ladies Auxiliary