Some characters in and around Tremelo1
  (Last revised on August 31st, 1999. Your comments and suggestions would be appreciated.)

Enterprise and Rustic Humor

   One of the brightest mussel peddlers from Tremelo was Guillaume Mattheus, nicknamed Riekes Pachter. One day on his way for a 15 kilometer walk with his 'kruiwagen' to offer his mussels in the village of O.L.V. Waver, a café door opened and out came three young women who went up to Pachter and one said "Open a few mussels for us". Sensing a larger sale, Pachter did so. The first mussels tasted so good to them that soon he was opening a thirtieth mussel! Then one of the women said "And what is that going to cost us?" He responded "Oh, they'll cost each of you 5 centimes." She laughed and responded jokingly "Be on your way, little man, or I'll pull down your pants." Although only 15 years-old, he took the woman at her word, loosening his belt and dropped his pants, saying: "If that's all you want, madam, have a good look!" They laughed at his spontaneity and one of them, blushing, said "OK girls, we're going to pay the boy." So our enterprising mussel peddler collect 5 centimes from each and felt he's had a good day.

Maria Anna Van Hoof

"Anna" was the maternal grandmother of Marcel Blanchaer. She was born in 1862 and lived in Tremelo until in 1885 she married Jan Baptist Verwimp from Baal. Shortly after their marriage they moved permanently to the city of Antwerp to escape the poverty in the Tremelo. Anna was an upright, pious person inclined to impose loving care and her ideas and standards on others, particularly on her husband.
   Anna she took with her to Antwerp a strong dislike of swearing and drunkenness. This was perhaps sad because early in their married life Jan had to accept a job at a brewery and the conviviality that went with it. One day he staggered home, fell down and reached up to her in the hope of being pulled up. Instead she spat in his face and told him to get up by himself. This was not a time of matrimonial bliss!
   Anna mellowed over the years and only one other instance of her desire for 'good moral behaviour' in their later years is recorded: Jan and his brother Ludo (Louis) spent summer afternoons playing cards in the municipal park of Merksem (Antwerp). They often would become very excited and would swear loudly. This was heard by Anna when she came to bring them home. No matter what she said it had no effect on their cursing. So one day when he came home, Anna removed the card package from Jan's pocket, replaced the cards with
potato peelings and returned the package to his pocket.

It is not recorded what the Jan and Ludo
said in the park the next day!
 Ancestors, Siblings and some Descendants of Maria Anna Van Hoof
(1) Maria Vanhove
   b. about 1792, Schriek (2) Joannes Baptiste Vanhove
    b. May 24, 1816, Schriek
    & Coleta Van Eycken
    b. Tremelo date?
    m. Nov 29, 1850, Tremelo
     (3) Joanna Vanhove
       b. Dec 27, 1850, Tremelo
     (3) Joannes Baptista Van Hoof
       b. Jul 9, 1852, Tremello
      (3) Regina Van Hoof
        b. Nov 22, 1855, Tremelo
     (3) Joanna Josephina Van Hoof
      b. Dec 7, 1859, Tremello
     (3) Maria Anna Van Hoof
        b. May 31, 1862, Tremelo,
        d. Jun 20, 1959, Merksem (Antwerp)
      & Joannes Baptista Verwimp
        b. Mar 21, 1858, Baal
        d. 1943, Antwerp
      m. Jan 29, 1885, Tremelo
      (4) Rosalia Verwimp
        b. Feb 13, 1889, Antwerp
        d. 1989, Winnipeg MB Canada
      & Oscar Jean (Joannes) Blanchaer
        b. Nov 23, 1887, Gent
        d. Nov 16, 1972, Winnipeg Canada
      m. May 13, 1911, Antwerp
         (5) Ernest Jan Batist Blanchaer
             b. Dec 9, 1911, Antwerp
             d. Apr 14, 1914, Antwerp
Marcel Corneille Blanchaer

Felix Van Hoof
  He was the second-last miller of the centuries-old windmill in Tremelo. In 1914 his son August became its owner but that year at the beginning of World War I, it and much of the eastern part of Tremelo was burnt by the Germans "as an example" to surrounding communities of what happened if they offered resistance to the invading German army.

1Many of these translations were made by Jan Van Looy, a native of Tremelo. However, Sandra Vancauwenberghe, Jules Vanhaelemeesch, Etienne Elskens, Edward Van Rengen and Marcel Blanchaer helped too.


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