There was one clue that would make it a little easier. The note mentions their sons, Clark and Christopher.
I first searched Ancestry.com's 1930 US Federal Census database for a man named Roger who lived in
I gritted my teeth and prepared to do a broad search of the
Roger Sergel and his wife Ruth F. Sergel lived in "
In their household were Christopher, son, age 11, born in
I was left wondering what their connection was to my Uncle Edwin "Petie" and Aunt Helen Peterson. The occupation column provided a bit of a clue. Roger Sergel was listed as a manager in a publishing house. However, it was an unexpected surprise to discover that Ruth Sergel was working too! She was a publicity writer in a publishing company. How glamorous and exciting to be a female publicity writer in 1930! Perhaps she worked for the same publishing company. It also got me thinking that perhaps she might have been one of Uncle Petie's students at Pitt.
A quick peak at the 1920 US Federal Census found Roger and Ruth in
I decided to broaden my search to the whole web. I turned first to Wikipedia. It didn't turn up any result for Roger Sergel however I did find something on a Ruth. The entry said, "Ruth Sergel is an American director, writer, activist, and interactive technology designer in
As for son, Christopher, I found a tribute to him on the Dramatic Publishing website where he was noted as being a former president of the organization. His birth and death dates were given as
I wouldn't feel quite satisfied until I checked for sons, Sherman and Clark. My search results turned up empty for
Suddenly this investigation into Ruth and Roger was becoming quite exciting. The Sergels were certainly a talented family and very involved with the writing community. That fit well with what I said in my first blog post that Uncle Petie was a "writer's writer" and “inspired a generation of American authors.” Looking back at the careers of Christopher and Sherman, perhaps it was the sons who were students of Uncle Petie and not Ruth.
How Uncle Petie and Aunt Helen became friends with the Sergels may never be known but now I have a better understanding of their lives and inner circle from one more of “Peggy’s Cards.”
Note: page numbers in brackets have been added to the images to help follow the flow of text.