My Real Memoir


Those who visit frequently may have noticed that I tend to post memoir entries at the start of each week. These used to be called “Memoir Mondays” because I like alliteration. But lately, for practical reasons (much to the vexation of my OCD) they’ve turned into Tuesdays. (Did you see how I subtly used alliteration there, OCD?)

Until now, the order of my memoir posts has been non-chronological (sorry, OCD). I simply wrote about whatever popped into my head, or themed the post around a continuing topic (scars, food, career, my spiritual journey).

However, for some time I’ve had a desire to write a real memoir, as in a book, or more likely a couple of books. And so it occurred to me that if I started doing weekly memoir posts in chronological order, I could lay the groundwork for My Real Memoir (and get my OCD off my back).


Thus beginneth the Life of Mitch: “It was a dark and stormy night, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” No, wait, that would be 2021 (and a smidge unoriginal). Let’s go further back…

According to, the first Teemley, Conrad (whose father was not named Teemley) came to America from Germany. He married a sweet German girl with the same first, last, and middle name as his mother. OK, that’s kinda creepy. Except that Conrad’s mother wasn’t his mother. Which is to say that, apparently Conrad was illegitimate (I’ve been called a bastard a few times, but never realized it was historical).

And his wife? No actual relation to Conrad’s same-named cheated-on non-mom, but a woman with a completely different set of parents (whew). Only, she didn’t have the same name as her father either. Sagen was? (Say what?)

And, adding to the mystery, according to, I have no German blood! Because, even though Conrad and Eva were German-born, they weren’t actually Germans. The logical conclusion, therefore, is that they were international spies serving undercover as stodgy 19th century farmers. Or could it be is confused? Nein!

This is going downhill fast. Let’s fast-forward a bit.

“Chapter One: I Am Born.” I was born in Whittier, California, the home of Richard M. Nixon, to whom I’m also not related (whew). “So you won’t have me to kick around anymore” (that’s funny if you’re old).

Oops, out of time.

Until next week, meine freunde, auf wiedersehen!

Said the maybe-not-German memoirist.

My Real Memoir is a series. To read the next one, click here.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to My Real Memoir

  1. Heidi Viars says:

    “Ach du meine Güte!”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. revruss1220 says:

    Sorry… I don’t have any German phrases to contribute here. But I do applaud your memoiring efforts. I am working on one, too, right now, but focusing primarily on the spiritual dimensions of my journey. It is an intriguing process, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds really funny! German ancestors which were not Germans! Lol I think i will have a lot of more time using AncestryDNA. Falls ich irgendwie weiterhelfen kann. Sehr gerne! Ich könnte mir vorstellen, dass deine Vorfahren aus dieser meiner Heimat geflüchtet waren. Lol Viele Grüße! Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Important to realize that ethnicity below the continental level is a guess and each company uses its own reference populations and algorithms to determine ethnicity. Plus, go to YouTube and type in 6013 years of European history. The video is only about 3 1/2 minutes long. Just because your ancestor was born in what is now Germany doesn’t mean they were ethnically German.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Gina Cash says:

    I always appreciate and admire assiduous adoption of alliteration as long as it is aptly applied. I am aware that I am taking advantage of my own apparent affection to assure you that you are not alone in your addiction. I hope to have assuaged any apprehensions against applying any and all alliterative apparatus. Alas! Have I advanced across a line? Apologies all around! 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I am looking forward to reading that. And I’ll say right now, when the full four book boxed set is for sale, I’ll buy a set.

    But only on a Monday.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. says:

    I had to laugh at the Grant Wood, “American Gothic.” I would hope that my children remember me as the woman who wore a fake nose and glasses as we went into the McDonald’s drive thru lane.

    Liked by 1 person

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  9. grAnnie Roo says:

    Great start, Mitch! From Roo, LSHS alum. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Yes, I’m old, and that WAS funny. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  11. boromax says:

    And that, Sancho, is how one tees up a ball.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Nancy Ruegg says:

    You’re in trouble now, Mitch! Our daughter-in-law has the same first, middle, and last name as mine. When our son first met her he adamantly announced he could not possibly date her for the reason you cite: just too creepy. They were married two years later. In actuality, we’ve had a lot of fun sharing the same name!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Rocky says:


    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks for the good laugh Mitch!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. GASP! You were born in Whittier, California? So was my father. And I was born a few hundred miles north, but still in California. Another Eerie Similarity!

    My first clear memory is of an earthquake. 6.7 or 6.9, accounts vary. It shook me up pretty good, and set the standard for the rest of my life.

    I’m looking forward to reading your memoirs.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This was so funny and mind boggling too.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Carla says:


    Liked by 1 person

  18. oneta hayes says:

    You have set me up. I’m hooked. The rest better not go downhill. That’s what you get for believing your best must be the lead off. 😀 (Truthfully, I have no doubt that you can continue your high point.!)

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Very entertaining!! I can’t wait for part 2!

    Liked by 1 person

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  22. Jane Tawel says:

    I always like your serious thoughtful posts AND your humorous ones like this one as well. Thank you for the smiles today reading this.

    Liked by 1 person

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  28. lilyofthevalley777 says:

    Thanks for laughs Mitch. It was fun tripping on your purported lineage. I even enjoyed the comments. Looking forward to the next chapter.

    Liked by 1 person

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  34. Mitch, Mitch, Mitch! I’m hoping my second book in Grandma Leora’s trilogy of memoirs will be published before I turn 77 (in June). It’s getting a real cover and formatting, and I should be downsizing and sorting. But my head and heart went directly to Leora’s early stories (the WWII story was published in 2019–five sons served, only two came home), and I’m trying to figure out how to weave her early years with those of her husband’s, including stories of the first in their families to come to Iowa. BUT, I also have German ancestors who weren’t born in Germany. They’re from the island of Pellworm, which is off Schelswig-Holstein. They came to America so their sons wouldn’t have to “serve the kaiser.” Makes sense, because when the parents were born, that part of “Germany” belonged to Denmark. So are we German or Dane???

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Oh, how delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

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