Sunday, July 13, 2014

Wehrle facsimiles

Every once in a while, just to amuse myself, I google my name — Bruce Wehrle — just to see what I'm up to these days.

Almost without fail, I get links to various blog posts I've entered, some of them going back several years. I also get hits for some columns I wrote — maybe from as far back as 10 years ago — when I was a sports writer/editor for The Dispatch. Finding this stuff, in this manner, should serve as a warning for all of us — anything you put on the Internet just doesn't go away.

But that's OK. There's some fun stuff here, too.

For example, on this latest search, I came across the Parkhotel Wehrle, located in a place called Treiberg, Germany.

The 400-year-old Parkhotel Wehrle — my kind of place.
 Thanks to some genealogical research by my father decades ago, we knew about something called the Hotel Wehrle, which we thought was some quaint hostel in Baden Baden, an incredibly scenic region of western Germany in the Black Forest where Wehrles were thought to originate (the Wehrle surname is rather uncommon. There's only several thousand of us worldwide, I'm told, so bumping into another Wehrle is something like having an epiphany. Well, at least it is to other Wehrles, I guess.) We also saw a picture of the hotel in some travel magazine once, and I have to tell you, it really looked inviting.

Thanks to the Internet, I learned the correct name of the place is the Parkhotel Wehrle, and it's loaded with history (see here). I mean, it's 400 years old. It's older than the United States. Napoleon Bonaparte slept there while conquering Europe. And it's a well-regarded five-star inn to boot.

Now I'm kind of wondering if any Wehrles are operating the joint. Maybe there's a cousin Horst running around taking reservations. That would be cool. Maybe I'd have a place to stay if I ever got to Germany.

Because Wehrles come from the Black Forest region, I sometimes wondered if there were ever any cuckoo clock makers among us.

Don't laugh. I googled "Wehrle clocks" once and came up with a site that told me about vintage Wehrle clocks dating back to 1815 that were built to German precision. Wehrle chronometers, in fact, were especially highly regarded. Heck, I'd never even heard of Wehrle clocks before, and now all this.

I once thought I'd like to have a Wehrle alarm clock and get a couple to send off to my brothers for Christmas presents. But I acted too slowly. The company apparently hit a bad patch and sold itself to Chinese interests in 1997. Now, instead of clocks featuring mechanical precision, they are said to be battery operated digital devices. My interest in them now wanes.

I did find this (see here) about Emilian Wehrle. I suspect there might be a family tie somewhere, but who knows? Maybe I can research Emilian while staying at the posh Parkhotel Wehrle.

There are times when a Google investigation might reveal too much information. I did find a Bruce Wehrle in Raleigh who owned a 1966 white Mustang convertible, just like we did. That was neat. Until he died and then "Bruce Wehrle" showed up in an obituary.

I also found this Bruce Wehrle (see here). Uh-oh. Alleged criminal activity by a Wehrle never occurred to me before. And the fact that we share the same exact name is a little unnerving, especially when a search of Wehrle's residence in Middletown, New Jersey, "revealed a small quantity of crystal methamphetamine, two shotguns, a handgun and approximately $3,000.00 cash."

A search of my residence would reveal a Ragdoll cat, medication for my a-fib and loose change amounting to $9.57 cash.

At this point I decided it was time to quit my research. I was uncertain what else I might find.

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