From Germany to Worthington
WORTHINGTON -- Johanna Elanore Schumann arrived in Worthington in 1964, after spending two years in California, and before that, years of her youth in Germany.
Schumann, or Lore Dynes as she is better known in Worthington, grew up in Heimersheim, a small town in west central Germany.
"I married a serviceman who was from here," Dynes said about what brought her to Worthington.
After marriage, they adopted two children, Tony and Carolee.
How did her name Johanna become Lore?
Dynes' daughter Carolee Anderson explained how Johanna was a common name when her mother was in school.
"The teacher assigned each of them another name to keep them straight," Anderson said. "Her name in school was Hanna Lore (pronounced as Laura) and her sisters started calling her Lore."
"When she came here, nobody said Laura but Lori -- and she never corrected anybody," Anderson said.
Upon her arrival in Worthington, Dynes said she was astonished by all the churches and gas stations in the city.
"Is this all they have in Worthington," she said. "In Germany, we used to have only Catholic and Lutheran churches."
Uprooting from her hometown was difficult in the beginning, Dynes said -- from not speaking the language to pangs of homesickness.
Despite growing up in a large family of 10 siblings, her parents were the main reason she missed home.
"I missed home until they were gone," said Dynes, who has not been back to Germany for about 12 years. "When my parents died I didn't get that urge to go back again."
As for the language barrier, she taught herself English primarily through conversation with others.
"The only problem I have is writing," she added. "In Germany we write just as we speak it."
Although she speaks fluent English now, Dynes still enjoys writing in German.
In the early '80s, Dynes hosted a German exchange student, Corolla, from Crailsheim. Until today, Dynes keeps in touch with Corolla's mother through hand-written letters -- in German.
Apart from occasionally writing in her native language, Dynes said she has not maintained much of the German traditions.
"German cooking doesn't interest me but I like cleaning," she added.
"I remember my mom always wore an apron with a dust cloth in her pocket," she said. "We went to school sometimes with holes in our pants but she would say, 'That's OK, they're clean.'"
Festivities-wise, Dynes explained that Christmas and Easter are two major holidays in Germany.
A traditional German Easter celebration involves an Easter tree usually embellished with Easter eggs and other ornaments.
Christmas trees were lit with candles affixed to candle holders and clasped on to branches of the tree, she said.
Christmas in Germany, Dynes remembers, was "with lots of cookies but not as much toys."
"Here everybody needs gifts all the time," she added.
As she thought more of her childhood, Dynes said she still remembers World War II.
"When the soldiers would come, everybody would run down to the cellar -- here we call it the basement," she said. "If the siren went on, then you run."
Anderson recalls watching "Schindler's List" with her mother.
"In the movie, the little kids as they're marching, they sing -- she knows those words," Anderson said.
"The bad things you don't forget," Dynes added.
Bad memories aside, after 47 years of life here, the city's churches and gas stations did not deter her from growing to love Worthington.
"The people are nice, Dynes said. "Home is where you make it."