The Melting Pint

  Alas, I was a forgetful lass — leaving my Irish brother-in-law Don off the list of people I needed to toast on St. Patrick’s Day. I don’t think he’s 100 percent Emerald Isle, but he’s enough to warrant inclusion.

So, since it’s 5 p.m. Friday, I am on my way home to remedy that omission and will raise a pint to Don. It’s likely that the elixir filling my glass will be a nod to another relative — albeit one I never met. Hubby Bryan recently created a beer that we’ve named Lute’s Lager after my great-grandfather Ludorf Wollenburg.

I’m ashamed to say I’m not sure if that’s the correct spelling of the last name, since I don’t have the family archives her to check it out.He was my Grandma Alice Rickers’ father — and was deceased long before I came on the scene. But not too long ago he was brought to mind by an e-mail from a long-lost relative who was doing some genealogy research and found me on the Internet. Since my family history knowledge is pretty slim, I referred her to Uncle Russ, the keeper of all things family on the Rickers side.

But this distant cousin broached me by asking, “Are you related to Ludorf “Lute” Wollenburg?” I had to ponder that momentarily before answering to the affirmative. Back in the recesses of my mind, I recalled that Grandma A’s dad was a postman in Everly, Iowa. My recollection ended there.

But we named a beer after Ol’ Lute, and I am headed home to drink a toast to Ireland with a beer inspired by a guy who was German through and through. How’s that for a melting pot — or pint, in this case?