A Long Time Ago (Sort Of)

By Susan/Miranda

Royalharlotfront_coverFor all of us who write and read about the past, historical time can be one slippery article.  Any time period other than our own slides into The Past, a place long ago and far, far away.  Or, to paraphrase another famous opening (L.P. Hartley’s wonderful  The Go-Between): The past is like another country. They do things differently there.

But it doesn’t take much to rattle this kind of comfortable assumption.  To begin with, the Past isn’t really so very far away.  My grandmothers were born in the 1890s.  One of them clearly remembered the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, and both of them recalled nattering old uncles who’d fought in the Civil War.  It’s an easy genealogical hop backwards through my grandmothers’ grandmothers, and the War of 1812, and another set of grandmothers beyond that to reach the Revolution.  Farther back than that hurts my head to calculate, but the gist of my rambling is that it doesn’t take too many generations to encompass all of American history.

Of course, the Past isn’t limited to Manifest Destiny and other high-concept historical facts.  It’s every-day stuff, too.  My teenaged daughter can’t believe that my high school yearbook features a page honoring the Future Homemakers of America club, but nary a word about girls varsity sports teams –– which is, of course, because there weren’t any.  To her, life before Title IX seems as remote as the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock.

The other morning, Turner Classic Movies was showing a silent John Barrymore movie from the early 1920sBeaubrummel192401, with Barrymore playing Beau Brummell.  The Roaring Twenties somehow don’t seem that long ago to me (perhaps because that’s when my parents were born?), but Regency England does.  Yet the number of years between us and John Barrymore is roughly the same as between Barrymore and Brummell.  Whoa!

Historian Antonia Fraser delights in “link-with-history anecdotes.” In Royal Charles, her biography of Charles II, she describes one: “Dr. Martin Routh, President of Magdalene College, who died in 1854 in his hundredth year, used to say that, when young, he had known an old lady who as a little girl had seen King Charles walking with his spaniels in Oxford.” Fraser concludes that she herself, “as a child living in Oxford in the 1930s, likes to think she might have known someone old enough to have met Dr. Routh.”

My brother-in-law’s family emigrated to America from Ireland late in the 19th century.  While he has lived all his life in this country, he has visited Ireland many times, and still feels a deep connection to his family’s ties there.  Thanks to miracle of the internet (what ISN’T for sale on the internet?), he orders carefully prepared boxes of peat shipped to him, the same peat used for heating generations of Irish cottages –– literally pieces of the “old sod.” With great reverence, he’ll light a chunk outside on his deck, close his eyes, and let the distinctive scent carry him from suburban Connecticut back to the Ireland of his ancestors.  Less of a romantic, my sister-in-law forbids the peat-burning ritual inside the house, while their neighbors no doubt sniff the evening air suspiciously and consider calling the local authorities.  My brother-in-law doesn’t care: for him, that’s the scent of the Irish Past.

Weepingbeech One last example: On the road I travel almost daily is a worn landmark sign pointing towards a “Historic Weeping Beech Tree.”  Here outside of Philadelphia, landmark signs are everywhere, but this is the only one I know that commemorates a tree.  And yes, it’s definitely a very, very old tree, an enormous American weeping beech  that spreads and sprawls in every direction (a diameter of at least 100 feet, by my guess) with branches like serpentine vines.  This beech has been certified by the local historical society as having been planted in 1703, by a Scottish Quaker farmer named Alexander Bane on land that was part of William Penn's original grant.  Of course that Friend’s idyllic farm was long ago broken up and “developed”, the stone farmhouse torn down and the rolling fields around it replaced by suburban houses and an elementary school, with the four noisy lanes of Route 202 destroying any lingering hints of Quakerly peace.

But Alexander Bane's  tree remains.  Now over three hundred years old, it’s an aging, brittle survivor, isolated and surrounded by a chain-link fence to protect it from nefarious teenagers and tow-trucks headed for the auto repair shop across the street.  Yet standing beneath its twisting branches, I think of how an aging William Penn might have visited the Bane family's farm. He might well have sat on a nearby bench with Alexander, drinking cider brought out to the men by Jane Bane on a warm summer evening: the same William Penn who was often at Whitehall Palace in London, lobbying Charles II on behalf of his colonists in Pennsylvania, the same time and place for my historical fiction books (Duchess, Royal Harlot, and King's Favorite).  Yeah, I know, it’s a stretch.  But when I look up at the leaves of that three-hundred-year-old tree, suddenly 17th century England doesn’t seem so long ago at all.

What about you?  Do you have something or some place that connects  you with the past?  What can carry you back: is it an old teacup that belonged to an ancestor, or a favorite hymn, or a nearby battlefield turned into a park?

130 thoughts on “A Long Time Ago (Sort Of)”

  1. What a beautiful post! This Christmas I polished and passed on an engraved silver pitcher and two christening mugs to my three daughters. They dated from the early 1800s. They had been passed from grandfathers to grandsons, but as the last surviving daughter in my family, I broke tradition. Even my modern girls were moved by a little piece of their family history.

    Reply
  2. What a beautiful post! This Christmas I polished and passed on an engraved silver pitcher and two christening mugs to my three daughters. They dated from the early 1800s. They had been passed from grandfathers to grandsons, but as the last surviving daughter in my family, I broke tradition. Even my modern girls were moved by a little piece of their family history.

    Reply
  3. What a beautiful post! This Christmas I polished and passed on an engraved silver pitcher and two christening mugs to my three daughters. They dated from the early 1800s. They had been passed from grandfathers to grandsons, but as the last surviving daughter in my family, I broke tradition. Even my modern girls were moved by a little piece of their family history.

    Reply
  4. What a beautiful post! This Christmas I polished and passed on an engraved silver pitcher and two christening mugs to my three daughters. They dated from the early 1800s. They had been passed from grandfathers to grandsons, but as the last surviving daughter in my family, I broke tradition. Even my modern girls were moved by a little piece of their family history.

    Reply
  5. What a beautiful post! This Christmas I polished and passed on an engraved silver pitcher and two christening mugs to my three daughters. They dated from the early 1800s. They had been passed from grandfathers to grandsons, but as the last surviving daughter in my family, I broke tradition. Even my modern girls were moved by a little piece of their family history.

    Reply
  6. Just a month ago, my father-in-law died at 96. He was born in 1911, and while reflecting how much the world had changed in his lifetime, I realized that his birth was exactly half way between today and the battle of Waterloo.

    Reply
  7. Just a month ago, my father-in-law died at 96. He was born in 1911, and while reflecting how much the world had changed in his lifetime, I realized that his birth was exactly half way between today and the battle of Waterloo.

    Reply
  8. Just a month ago, my father-in-law died at 96. He was born in 1911, and while reflecting how much the world had changed in his lifetime, I realized that his birth was exactly half way between today and the battle of Waterloo.

    Reply
  9. Just a month ago, my father-in-law died at 96. He was born in 1911, and while reflecting how much the world had changed in his lifetime, I realized that his birth was exactly half way between today and the battle of Waterloo.

    Reply
  10. Just a month ago, my father-in-law died at 96. He was born in 1911, and while reflecting how much the world had changed in his lifetime, I realized that his birth was exactly half way between today and the battle of Waterloo.

    Reply
  11. My grandmother was born in 1899. Both of her grandfathers were doctors in the horse and buggy days who served in the Civil War. During her lifetime she experienced rural southern life, 2 world wars and a great depression as well as a man walking on the moon. And the development of medical care was amazing in that era. In the 19th century most physicians were trained by apprenticeship rather than in a formal school. There wasn’t much in the armamentarium to treat illnesses other than purgatives, opiates, aspirin and digitalis. Before the advent of anesthesia for surgery a surgeon was rated on how quickly he could operate rather than the evenness of his sutures. And about 25% of women died either in childbirth or as a result of postpartum complications. I’m very glad to be living in this day.

    Reply
  12. My grandmother was born in 1899. Both of her grandfathers were doctors in the horse and buggy days who served in the Civil War. During her lifetime she experienced rural southern life, 2 world wars and a great depression as well as a man walking on the moon. And the development of medical care was amazing in that era. In the 19th century most physicians were trained by apprenticeship rather than in a formal school. There wasn’t much in the armamentarium to treat illnesses other than purgatives, opiates, aspirin and digitalis. Before the advent of anesthesia for surgery a surgeon was rated on how quickly he could operate rather than the evenness of his sutures. And about 25% of women died either in childbirth or as a result of postpartum complications. I’m very glad to be living in this day.

    Reply
  13. My grandmother was born in 1899. Both of her grandfathers were doctors in the horse and buggy days who served in the Civil War. During her lifetime she experienced rural southern life, 2 world wars and a great depression as well as a man walking on the moon. And the development of medical care was amazing in that era. In the 19th century most physicians were trained by apprenticeship rather than in a formal school. There wasn’t much in the armamentarium to treat illnesses other than purgatives, opiates, aspirin and digitalis. Before the advent of anesthesia for surgery a surgeon was rated on how quickly he could operate rather than the evenness of his sutures. And about 25% of women died either in childbirth or as a result of postpartum complications. I’m very glad to be living in this day.

    Reply
  14. My grandmother was born in 1899. Both of her grandfathers were doctors in the horse and buggy days who served in the Civil War. During her lifetime she experienced rural southern life, 2 world wars and a great depression as well as a man walking on the moon. And the development of medical care was amazing in that era. In the 19th century most physicians were trained by apprenticeship rather than in a formal school. There wasn’t much in the armamentarium to treat illnesses other than purgatives, opiates, aspirin and digitalis. Before the advent of anesthesia for surgery a surgeon was rated on how quickly he could operate rather than the evenness of his sutures. And about 25% of women died either in childbirth or as a result of postpartum complications. I’m very glad to be living in this day.

    Reply
  15. My grandmother was born in 1899. Both of her grandfathers were doctors in the horse and buggy days who served in the Civil War. During her lifetime she experienced rural southern life, 2 world wars and a great depression as well as a man walking on the moon. And the development of medical care was amazing in that era. In the 19th century most physicians were trained by apprenticeship rather than in a formal school. There wasn’t much in the armamentarium to treat illnesses other than purgatives, opiates, aspirin and digitalis. Before the advent of anesthesia for surgery a surgeon was rated on how quickly he could operate rather than the evenness of his sutures. And about 25% of women died either in childbirth or as a result of postpartum complications. I’m very glad to be living in this day.

    Reply
  16. One of my grandfathers was a homesteader- the other, a WW1 vet, worked at a newspaper and remembered printing the headlines the night the Titanic went down. My maternal grandmother began her teaching career in a one room schoolhouse. But my own daughter marveled at how I had ever functioned without calculators, computers, and CNN and 24 hour coverage-. On the flip side of this, my youngest students this year were born post- 9/11. Now that makes me feel really old….

    Reply
  17. One of my grandfathers was a homesteader- the other, a WW1 vet, worked at a newspaper and remembered printing the headlines the night the Titanic went down. My maternal grandmother began her teaching career in a one room schoolhouse. But my own daughter marveled at how I had ever functioned without calculators, computers, and CNN and 24 hour coverage-. On the flip side of this, my youngest students this year were born post- 9/11. Now that makes me feel really old….

    Reply
  18. One of my grandfathers was a homesteader- the other, a WW1 vet, worked at a newspaper and remembered printing the headlines the night the Titanic went down. My maternal grandmother began her teaching career in a one room schoolhouse. But my own daughter marveled at how I had ever functioned without calculators, computers, and CNN and 24 hour coverage-. On the flip side of this, my youngest students this year were born post- 9/11. Now that makes me feel really old….

    Reply
  19. One of my grandfathers was a homesteader- the other, a WW1 vet, worked at a newspaper and remembered printing the headlines the night the Titanic went down. My maternal grandmother began her teaching career in a one room schoolhouse. But my own daughter marveled at how I had ever functioned without calculators, computers, and CNN and 24 hour coverage-. On the flip side of this, my youngest students this year were born post- 9/11. Now that makes me feel really old….

    Reply
  20. One of my grandfathers was a homesteader- the other, a WW1 vet, worked at a newspaper and remembered printing the headlines the night the Titanic went down. My maternal grandmother began her teaching career in a one room schoolhouse. But my own daughter marveled at how I had ever functioned without calculators, computers, and CNN and 24 hour coverage-. On the flip side of this, my youngest students this year were born post- 9/11. Now that makes me feel really old….

    Reply
  21. Lovely post, Susan. I wonder if connectiveness to the past has anything to do with our fondness for writing and reading historicals. (Anyone else have thoughts on that one?)
    I’m a late child, and my _father_ was born in 1896. Ninety years from mid-Regency, and all kinds of little things I got from him inform my view of the more recent past — like the Regency.
    His mother was born in 1861, and I knew her as a child. She probably accounts for my intense dislike of the Victorian age, with her long, dark dresses and closed velvet curtains. She loved “cow ‘eels” which were pickled calf’s feet and tried to make me eat some. I was about 5 and I don’t think I’ve ever recovered.
    Of course growing up in England means being surrounded by really old things as a matter of course. We used to scramble all over an Anglo-Saxon hog-back stone (now removed safely inside the Anglo Saxon church in Heysham.) I blink every time I realize how young North America is in terms of Western culture.
    Jo

    Reply
  22. Lovely post, Susan. I wonder if connectiveness to the past has anything to do with our fondness for writing and reading historicals. (Anyone else have thoughts on that one?)
    I’m a late child, and my _father_ was born in 1896. Ninety years from mid-Regency, and all kinds of little things I got from him inform my view of the more recent past — like the Regency.
    His mother was born in 1861, and I knew her as a child. She probably accounts for my intense dislike of the Victorian age, with her long, dark dresses and closed velvet curtains. She loved “cow ‘eels” which were pickled calf’s feet and tried to make me eat some. I was about 5 and I don’t think I’ve ever recovered.
    Of course growing up in England means being surrounded by really old things as a matter of course. We used to scramble all over an Anglo-Saxon hog-back stone (now removed safely inside the Anglo Saxon church in Heysham.) I blink every time I realize how young North America is in terms of Western culture.
    Jo

    Reply
  23. Lovely post, Susan. I wonder if connectiveness to the past has anything to do with our fondness for writing and reading historicals. (Anyone else have thoughts on that one?)
    I’m a late child, and my _father_ was born in 1896. Ninety years from mid-Regency, and all kinds of little things I got from him inform my view of the more recent past — like the Regency.
    His mother was born in 1861, and I knew her as a child. She probably accounts for my intense dislike of the Victorian age, with her long, dark dresses and closed velvet curtains. She loved “cow ‘eels” which were pickled calf’s feet and tried to make me eat some. I was about 5 and I don’t think I’ve ever recovered.
    Of course growing up in England means being surrounded by really old things as a matter of course. We used to scramble all over an Anglo-Saxon hog-back stone (now removed safely inside the Anglo Saxon church in Heysham.) I blink every time I realize how young North America is in terms of Western culture.
    Jo

    Reply
  24. Lovely post, Susan. I wonder if connectiveness to the past has anything to do with our fondness for writing and reading historicals. (Anyone else have thoughts on that one?)
    I’m a late child, and my _father_ was born in 1896. Ninety years from mid-Regency, and all kinds of little things I got from him inform my view of the more recent past — like the Regency.
    His mother was born in 1861, and I knew her as a child. She probably accounts for my intense dislike of the Victorian age, with her long, dark dresses and closed velvet curtains. She loved “cow ‘eels” which were pickled calf’s feet and tried to make me eat some. I was about 5 and I don’t think I’ve ever recovered.
    Of course growing up in England means being surrounded by really old things as a matter of course. We used to scramble all over an Anglo-Saxon hog-back stone (now removed safely inside the Anglo Saxon church in Heysham.) I blink every time I realize how young North America is in terms of Western culture.
    Jo

    Reply
  25. Lovely post, Susan. I wonder if connectiveness to the past has anything to do with our fondness for writing and reading historicals. (Anyone else have thoughts on that one?)
    I’m a late child, and my _father_ was born in 1896. Ninety years from mid-Regency, and all kinds of little things I got from him inform my view of the more recent past — like the Regency.
    His mother was born in 1861, and I knew her as a child. She probably accounts for my intense dislike of the Victorian age, with her long, dark dresses and closed velvet curtains. She loved “cow ‘eels” which were pickled calf’s feet and tried to make me eat some. I was about 5 and I don’t think I’ve ever recovered.
    Of course growing up in England means being surrounded by really old things as a matter of course. We used to scramble all over an Anglo-Saxon hog-back stone (now removed safely inside the Anglo Saxon church in Heysham.) I blink every time I realize how young North America is in terms of Western culture.
    Jo

    Reply
  26. The first time I remember being struck by this connection was on a visit to Mexico City when I was in high school. We visited a palace where Maximilian and Carlotta had lived, and I remember going along a very narrow passage and realizing that I must be walking in their footsteps. Later, when I found out that mad Carlotta was originally named Charlotte by her father after his first wife, the Regent’s poor daughter who died in childbirth (otherwise Victoria wouldn’t have been Queen), I was struck by all these connections to real, living, breathing people. It gave me a sense of time and place and emotion that I hadn’t had before and was probably the catalyst for my majoring in history in college.

    Reply
  27. The first time I remember being struck by this connection was on a visit to Mexico City when I was in high school. We visited a palace where Maximilian and Carlotta had lived, and I remember going along a very narrow passage and realizing that I must be walking in their footsteps. Later, when I found out that mad Carlotta was originally named Charlotte by her father after his first wife, the Regent’s poor daughter who died in childbirth (otherwise Victoria wouldn’t have been Queen), I was struck by all these connections to real, living, breathing people. It gave me a sense of time and place and emotion that I hadn’t had before and was probably the catalyst for my majoring in history in college.

    Reply
  28. The first time I remember being struck by this connection was on a visit to Mexico City when I was in high school. We visited a palace where Maximilian and Carlotta had lived, and I remember going along a very narrow passage and realizing that I must be walking in their footsteps. Later, when I found out that mad Carlotta was originally named Charlotte by her father after his first wife, the Regent’s poor daughter who died in childbirth (otherwise Victoria wouldn’t have been Queen), I was struck by all these connections to real, living, breathing people. It gave me a sense of time and place and emotion that I hadn’t had before and was probably the catalyst for my majoring in history in college.

    Reply
  29. The first time I remember being struck by this connection was on a visit to Mexico City when I was in high school. We visited a palace where Maximilian and Carlotta had lived, and I remember going along a very narrow passage and realizing that I must be walking in their footsteps. Later, when I found out that mad Carlotta was originally named Charlotte by her father after his first wife, the Regent’s poor daughter who died in childbirth (otherwise Victoria wouldn’t have been Queen), I was struck by all these connections to real, living, breathing people. It gave me a sense of time and place and emotion that I hadn’t had before and was probably the catalyst for my majoring in history in college.

    Reply
  30. The first time I remember being struck by this connection was on a visit to Mexico City when I was in high school. We visited a palace where Maximilian and Carlotta had lived, and I remember going along a very narrow passage and realizing that I must be walking in their footsteps. Later, when I found out that mad Carlotta was originally named Charlotte by her father after his first wife, the Regent’s poor daughter who died in childbirth (otherwise Victoria wouldn’t have been Queen), I was struck by all these connections to real, living, breathing people. It gave me a sense of time and place and emotion that I hadn’t had before and was probably the catalyst for my majoring in history in college.

    Reply
  31. YES! I love this kind of thing. My father grew up on a farm in Ohio which they plowed with HORSES. He went to school in a one room schoolhouse, where his older sister was the teacher, and of course he had to walk three miles to get there and three to get home… uphill both ways! He graduated from high school in 1929. I can speak from experience when I say that although the younger people around may have forgotten all about the Great Depression, it certainly hasn’t forgotten me! My father’s resulting frugality still influences my decisions… and not in a good way! THAT is living history!

    Reply
  32. YES! I love this kind of thing. My father grew up on a farm in Ohio which they plowed with HORSES. He went to school in a one room schoolhouse, where his older sister was the teacher, and of course he had to walk three miles to get there and three to get home… uphill both ways! He graduated from high school in 1929. I can speak from experience when I say that although the younger people around may have forgotten all about the Great Depression, it certainly hasn’t forgotten me! My father’s resulting frugality still influences my decisions… and not in a good way! THAT is living history!

    Reply
  33. YES! I love this kind of thing. My father grew up on a farm in Ohio which they plowed with HORSES. He went to school in a one room schoolhouse, where his older sister was the teacher, and of course he had to walk three miles to get there and three to get home… uphill both ways! He graduated from high school in 1929. I can speak from experience when I say that although the younger people around may have forgotten all about the Great Depression, it certainly hasn’t forgotten me! My father’s resulting frugality still influences my decisions… and not in a good way! THAT is living history!

    Reply
  34. YES! I love this kind of thing. My father grew up on a farm in Ohio which they plowed with HORSES. He went to school in a one room schoolhouse, where his older sister was the teacher, and of course he had to walk three miles to get there and three to get home… uphill both ways! He graduated from high school in 1929. I can speak from experience when I say that although the younger people around may have forgotten all about the Great Depression, it certainly hasn’t forgotten me! My father’s resulting frugality still influences my decisions… and not in a good way! THAT is living history!

    Reply
  35. YES! I love this kind of thing. My father grew up on a farm in Ohio which they plowed with HORSES. He went to school in a one room schoolhouse, where his older sister was the teacher, and of course he had to walk three miles to get there and three to get home… uphill both ways! He graduated from high school in 1929. I can speak from experience when I say that although the younger people around may have forgotten all about the Great Depression, it certainly hasn’t forgotten me! My father’s resulting frugality still influences my decisions… and not in a good way! THAT is living history!

    Reply
  36. There are so many connections with history… my grandmother was born in 1915 and is still alive & well today – when she was young, only a few shops had telephones – now even my gran has a mobile! She lived through two world wars, the depression, the breakdown of the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy, the first Austrian republic, the third reich…. I really treasure the fact that I can talk to her and ask her about the past and how she experienced it!
    Sometimes being aware of the past makes me so glad I live today! My grandmother’s father lost his father when he was a baby – his mother was left with eight children and no money at all. So my great-grandfather started to work at age five. I can barely imagine that little boy with his dog-chart, delivering bread to the villages around my hometown….

    Reply
  37. There are so many connections with history… my grandmother was born in 1915 and is still alive & well today – when she was young, only a few shops had telephones – now even my gran has a mobile! She lived through two world wars, the depression, the breakdown of the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy, the first Austrian republic, the third reich…. I really treasure the fact that I can talk to her and ask her about the past and how she experienced it!
    Sometimes being aware of the past makes me so glad I live today! My grandmother’s father lost his father when he was a baby – his mother was left with eight children and no money at all. So my great-grandfather started to work at age five. I can barely imagine that little boy with his dog-chart, delivering bread to the villages around my hometown….

    Reply
  38. There are so many connections with history… my grandmother was born in 1915 and is still alive & well today – when she was young, only a few shops had telephones – now even my gran has a mobile! She lived through two world wars, the depression, the breakdown of the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy, the first Austrian republic, the third reich…. I really treasure the fact that I can talk to her and ask her about the past and how she experienced it!
    Sometimes being aware of the past makes me so glad I live today! My grandmother’s father lost his father when he was a baby – his mother was left with eight children and no money at all. So my great-grandfather started to work at age five. I can barely imagine that little boy with his dog-chart, delivering bread to the villages around my hometown….

    Reply
  39. There are so many connections with history… my grandmother was born in 1915 and is still alive & well today – when she was young, only a few shops had telephones – now even my gran has a mobile! She lived through two world wars, the depression, the breakdown of the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy, the first Austrian republic, the third reich…. I really treasure the fact that I can talk to her and ask her about the past and how she experienced it!
    Sometimes being aware of the past makes me so glad I live today! My grandmother’s father lost his father when he was a baby – his mother was left with eight children and no money at all. So my great-grandfather started to work at age five. I can barely imagine that little boy with his dog-chart, delivering bread to the villages around my hometown….

    Reply
  40. There are so many connections with history… my grandmother was born in 1915 and is still alive & well today – when she was young, only a few shops had telephones – now even my gran has a mobile! She lived through two world wars, the depression, the breakdown of the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy, the first Austrian republic, the third reich…. I really treasure the fact that I can talk to her and ask her about the past and how she experienced it!
    Sometimes being aware of the past makes me so glad I live today! My grandmother’s father lost his father when he was a baby – his mother was left with eight children and no money at all. So my great-grandfather started to work at age five. I can barely imagine that little boy with his dog-chart, delivering bread to the villages around my hometown….

    Reply
  41. My dad was born in 1929 and my mom in 1932 (like Jo, I was a late-born child), so their childhoods were shaped by the Depression and WWII. Both grew up in large, poor farm families in rural Alabama, so Mom remembers picking cotton and Dad, who was a strawberry blond, used to get painful blistering sunburns through his shirt working in the fields all day, plowing behind a mule.
    Dad died in 2005 and Mom is undergoing treatment for the same disease that killed him–lung cancer. She recently told me that she’s writing out her memoirs in longhand and that she’s going to pass them along to me as the writer in the family. I’m honored that she’s entrusting me with her memories. It feels like a huge responsibility, even more so than when I make use of the past in my fiction.
    When I was little, I used to go catch fireflies, only I called them lightning bugs then, in the cemetery behind the church where all of my paternal ancestors are buried from the time they moved to Alabama from South Carolina in the 1840’s. Now when I go back there it seems like such an extraordinary place, all these ancestors and cousins of mine with their roots in that red, red Alabama clay, the people and the world who made me what I am even though I’ve chosen to live thousands of miles away.
    And, stepping out of family for a moment, I have a campaign token–at least that’s what my brother the Lt. Colonel calls it–for the Peninsular War. It has a profile of Wellington on one side, with a Latin inscription that translates “Wellington liberated Spain and Portugal.” The reverse has a list of battles and dates. My husband found it on eBay and bought it for me. I don’t know for sure whether it’s something that would’ve been given to actual Peninsular veterans or whether it’s the 19th century equivalent of the patriotic collectibles sold by the Franklin Mint, but I like to imagine it’s the former and I’m holding something that first belonged to a man who fought at Badajoz, Salamanca, Vitoria, and the rest.

    Reply
  42. My dad was born in 1929 and my mom in 1932 (like Jo, I was a late-born child), so their childhoods were shaped by the Depression and WWII. Both grew up in large, poor farm families in rural Alabama, so Mom remembers picking cotton and Dad, who was a strawberry blond, used to get painful blistering sunburns through his shirt working in the fields all day, plowing behind a mule.
    Dad died in 2005 and Mom is undergoing treatment for the same disease that killed him–lung cancer. She recently told me that she’s writing out her memoirs in longhand and that she’s going to pass them along to me as the writer in the family. I’m honored that she’s entrusting me with her memories. It feels like a huge responsibility, even more so than when I make use of the past in my fiction.
    When I was little, I used to go catch fireflies, only I called them lightning bugs then, in the cemetery behind the church where all of my paternal ancestors are buried from the time they moved to Alabama from South Carolina in the 1840’s. Now when I go back there it seems like such an extraordinary place, all these ancestors and cousins of mine with their roots in that red, red Alabama clay, the people and the world who made me what I am even though I’ve chosen to live thousands of miles away.
    And, stepping out of family for a moment, I have a campaign token–at least that’s what my brother the Lt. Colonel calls it–for the Peninsular War. It has a profile of Wellington on one side, with a Latin inscription that translates “Wellington liberated Spain and Portugal.” The reverse has a list of battles and dates. My husband found it on eBay and bought it for me. I don’t know for sure whether it’s something that would’ve been given to actual Peninsular veterans or whether it’s the 19th century equivalent of the patriotic collectibles sold by the Franklin Mint, but I like to imagine it’s the former and I’m holding something that first belonged to a man who fought at Badajoz, Salamanca, Vitoria, and the rest.

    Reply
  43. My dad was born in 1929 and my mom in 1932 (like Jo, I was a late-born child), so their childhoods were shaped by the Depression and WWII. Both grew up in large, poor farm families in rural Alabama, so Mom remembers picking cotton and Dad, who was a strawberry blond, used to get painful blistering sunburns through his shirt working in the fields all day, plowing behind a mule.
    Dad died in 2005 and Mom is undergoing treatment for the same disease that killed him–lung cancer. She recently told me that she’s writing out her memoirs in longhand and that she’s going to pass them along to me as the writer in the family. I’m honored that she’s entrusting me with her memories. It feels like a huge responsibility, even more so than when I make use of the past in my fiction.
    When I was little, I used to go catch fireflies, only I called them lightning bugs then, in the cemetery behind the church where all of my paternal ancestors are buried from the time they moved to Alabama from South Carolina in the 1840’s. Now when I go back there it seems like such an extraordinary place, all these ancestors and cousins of mine with their roots in that red, red Alabama clay, the people and the world who made me what I am even though I’ve chosen to live thousands of miles away.
    And, stepping out of family for a moment, I have a campaign token–at least that’s what my brother the Lt. Colonel calls it–for the Peninsular War. It has a profile of Wellington on one side, with a Latin inscription that translates “Wellington liberated Spain and Portugal.” The reverse has a list of battles and dates. My husband found it on eBay and bought it for me. I don’t know for sure whether it’s something that would’ve been given to actual Peninsular veterans or whether it’s the 19th century equivalent of the patriotic collectibles sold by the Franklin Mint, but I like to imagine it’s the former and I’m holding something that first belonged to a man who fought at Badajoz, Salamanca, Vitoria, and the rest.

    Reply
  44. My dad was born in 1929 and my mom in 1932 (like Jo, I was a late-born child), so their childhoods were shaped by the Depression and WWII. Both grew up in large, poor farm families in rural Alabama, so Mom remembers picking cotton and Dad, who was a strawberry blond, used to get painful blistering sunburns through his shirt working in the fields all day, plowing behind a mule.
    Dad died in 2005 and Mom is undergoing treatment for the same disease that killed him–lung cancer. She recently told me that she’s writing out her memoirs in longhand and that she’s going to pass them along to me as the writer in the family. I’m honored that she’s entrusting me with her memories. It feels like a huge responsibility, even more so than when I make use of the past in my fiction.
    When I was little, I used to go catch fireflies, only I called them lightning bugs then, in the cemetery behind the church where all of my paternal ancestors are buried from the time they moved to Alabama from South Carolina in the 1840’s. Now when I go back there it seems like such an extraordinary place, all these ancestors and cousins of mine with their roots in that red, red Alabama clay, the people and the world who made me what I am even though I’ve chosen to live thousands of miles away.
    And, stepping out of family for a moment, I have a campaign token–at least that’s what my brother the Lt. Colonel calls it–for the Peninsular War. It has a profile of Wellington on one side, with a Latin inscription that translates “Wellington liberated Spain and Portugal.” The reverse has a list of battles and dates. My husband found it on eBay and bought it for me. I don’t know for sure whether it’s something that would’ve been given to actual Peninsular veterans or whether it’s the 19th century equivalent of the patriotic collectibles sold by the Franklin Mint, but I like to imagine it’s the former and I’m holding something that first belonged to a man who fought at Badajoz, Salamanca, Vitoria, and the rest.

    Reply
  45. My dad was born in 1929 and my mom in 1932 (like Jo, I was a late-born child), so their childhoods were shaped by the Depression and WWII. Both grew up in large, poor farm families in rural Alabama, so Mom remembers picking cotton and Dad, who was a strawberry blond, used to get painful blistering sunburns through his shirt working in the fields all day, plowing behind a mule.
    Dad died in 2005 and Mom is undergoing treatment for the same disease that killed him–lung cancer. She recently told me that she’s writing out her memoirs in longhand and that she’s going to pass them along to me as the writer in the family. I’m honored that she’s entrusting me with her memories. It feels like a huge responsibility, even more so than when I make use of the past in my fiction.
    When I was little, I used to go catch fireflies, only I called them lightning bugs then, in the cemetery behind the church where all of my paternal ancestors are buried from the time they moved to Alabama from South Carolina in the 1840’s. Now when I go back there it seems like such an extraordinary place, all these ancestors and cousins of mine with their roots in that red, red Alabama clay, the people and the world who made me what I am even though I’ve chosen to live thousands of miles away.
    And, stepping out of family for a moment, I have a campaign token–at least that’s what my brother the Lt. Colonel calls it–for the Peninsular War. It has a profile of Wellington on one side, with a Latin inscription that translates “Wellington liberated Spain and Portugal.” The reverse has a list of battles and dates. My husband found it on eBay and bought it for me. I don’t know for sure whether it’s something that would’ve been given to actual Peninsular veterans or whether it’s the 19th century equivalent of the patriotic collectibles sold by the Franklin Mint, but I like to imagine it’s the former and I’m holding something that first belonged to a man who fought at Badajoz, Salamanca, Vitoria, and the rest.

    Reply
  46. I don’t have many things that belong to my ancestors – just a plate left over from my grandmother’s place settings which we would eat off of when we visited, and her china. My brother snagged all the photos of her ancestors, so I know they’re around.
    What someone sent my dad this year was a couple of photos of his grandfather – a potential wedding photo – both looking very young, he very nattily dressed, she dressed in what must have been very fine clothes and a huge ribbon in her hair – but the clothing very dark. We think taken around 1870, as well a photo about 20 years later, surrounded by all their children (at the time) perhaps after newly arriving in N. America.
    Anyhow, my grandmothers were both born in 1897, and my paternal grandmother, who was born in then-Hungary, would tell of being told to be a good girl or Napolean would come and take her away.
    My mother went to school and went on to teach in one room schoolhouses. My dad taught in them as well (teaching my mom’s younger brother). Mom would go to school in a horse drawn buggy, and remembers being followed home by wolves. My parents spent their early married lives with out running water.
    The past is truly only a short distance behind us.

    Reply
  47. I don’t have many things that belong to my ancestors – just a plate left over from my grandmother’s place settings which we would eat off of when we visited, and her china. My brother snagged all the photos of her ancestors, so I know they’re around.
    What someone sent my dad this year was a couple of photos of his grandfather – a potential wedding photo – both looking very young, he very nattily dressed, she dressed in what must have been very fine clothes and a huge ribbon in her hair – but the clothing very dark. We think taken around 1870, as well a photo about 20 years later, surrounded by all their children (at the time) perhaps after newly arriving in N. America.
    Anyhow, my grandmothers were both born in 1897, and my paternal grandmother, who was born in then-Hungary, would tell of being told to be a good girl or Napolean would come and take her away.
    My mother went to school and went on to teach in one room schoolhouses. My dad taught in them as well (teaching my mom’s younger brother). Mom would go to school in a horse drawn buggy, and remembers being followed home by wolves. My parents spent their early married lives with out running water.
    The past is truly only a short distance behind us.

    Reply
  48. I don’t have many things that belong to my ancestors – just a plate left over from my grandmother’s place settings which we would eat off of when we visited, and her china. My brother snagged all the photos of her ancestors, so I know they’re around.
    What someone sent my dad this year was a couple of photos of his grandfather – a potential wedding photo – both looking very young, he very nattily dressed, she dressed in what must have been very fine clothes and a huge ribbon in her hair – but the clothing very dark. We think taken around 1870, as well a photo about 20 years later, surrounded by all their children (at the time) perhaps after newly arriving in N. America.
    Anyhow, my grandmothers were both born in 1897, and my paternal grandmother, who was born in then-Hungary, would tell of being told to be a good girl or Napolean would come and take her away.
    My mother went to school and went on to teach in one room schoolhouses. My dad taught in them as well (teaching my mom’s younger brother). Mom would go to school in a horse drawn buggy, and remembers being followed home by wolves. My parents spent their early married lives with out running water.
    The past is truly only a short distance behind us.

    Reply
  49. I don’t have many things that belong to my ancestors – just a plate left over from my grandmother’s place settings which we would eat off of when we visited, and her china. My brother snagged all the photos of her ancestors, so I know they’re around.
    What someone sent my dad this year was a couple of photos of his grandfather – a potential wedding photo – both looking very young, he very nattily dressed, she dressed in what must have been very fine clothes and a huge ribbon in her hair – but the clothing very dark. We think taken around 1870, as well a photo about 20 years later, surrounded by all their children (at the time) perhaps after newly arriving in N. America.
    Anyhow, my grandmothers were both born in 1897, and my paternal grandmother, who was born in then-Hungary, would tell of being told to be a good girl or Napolean would come and take her away.
    My mother went to school and went on to teach in one room schoolhouses. My dad taught in them as well (teaching my mom’s younger brother). Mom would go to school in a horse drawn buggy, and remembers being followed home by wolves. My parents spent their early married lives with out running water.
    The past is truly only a short distance behind us.

    Reply
  50. I don’t have many things that belong to my ancestors – just a plate left over from my grandmother’s place settings which we would eat off of when we visited, and her china. My brother snagged all the photos of her ancestors, so I know they’re around.
    What someone sent my dad this year was a couple of photos of his grandfather – a potential wedding photo – both looking very young, he very nattily dressed, she dressed in what must have been very fine clothes and a huge ribbon in her hair – but the clothing very dark. We think taken around 1870, as well a photo about 20 years later, surrounded by all their children (at the time) perhaps after newly arriving in N. America.
    Anyhow, my grandmothers were both born in 1897, and my paternal grandmother, who was born in then-Hungary, would tell of being told to be a good girl or Napolean would come and take her away.
    My mother went to school and went on to teach in one room schoolhouses. My dad taught in them as well (teaching my mom’s younger brother). Mom would go to school in a horse drawn buggy, and remembers being followed home by wolves. My parents spent their early married lives with out running water.
    The past is truly only a short distance behind us.

    Reply
  51. I used to use my grandfather as an example to my college students, saying that by almost any measure, half of human history had happened during his lifetime.
    He was born on an Ohio farm about 1880. (His father was a US Civil War veteran.) That farm would have been perfectly familiar to an Egyptian pharaoh of 3000 BC — the pharaoh would have been surprised that some things that were very expensive in his time were now cheap enough for dirt farmers (iron and glass, for instance) — but he would have understood the use of everything in the house, kitchen, and barn. The pharoah would have decided that the life of a “common man” had changed very little in 5,000 years.
    And yet my grandfather lived to watch men walk on the moon on his color TV set and moved in a world of cars, jet airplanes, electricity, computers, hydrogen bombs, antibiotics, and open-heart surgery.
    Similarly, half of all humans up to that point were alive during my grandfather’s lifetime. There’s a throw-away line that 90% of all scientists and engineers who have ever lived are still alive today.
    The hook is that very few people UNDERSTAND cars, jet airplanes, computers, etc. and even fewer could make one. We vaguely wander through a world we absolutely do not understand.

    Reply
  52. I used to use my grandfather as an example to my college students, saying that by almost any measure, half of human history had happened during his lifetime.
    He was born on an Ohio farm about 1880. (His father was a US Civil War veteran.) That farm would have been perfectly familiar to an Egyptian pharaoh of 3000 BC — the pharaoh would have been surprised that some things that were very expensive in his time were now cheap enough for dirt farmers (iron and glass, for instance) — but he would have understood the use of everything in the house, kitchen, and barn. The pharoah would have decided that the life of a “common man” had changed very little in 5,000 years.
    And yet my grandfather lived to watch men walk on the moon on his color TV set and moved in a world of cars, jet airplanes, electricity, computers, hydrogen bombs, antibiotics, and open-heart surgery.
    Similarly, half of all humans up to that point were alive during my grandfather’s lifetime. There’s a throw-away line that 90% of all scientists and engineers who have ever lived are still alive today.
    The hook is that very few people UNDERSTAND cars, jet airplanes, computers, etc. and even fewer could make one. We vaguely wander through a world we absolutely do not understand.

    Reply
  53. I used to use my grandfather as an example to my college students, saying that by almost any measure, half of human history had happened during his lifetime.
    He was born on an Ohio farm about 1880. (His father was a US Civil War veteran.) That farm would have been perfectly familiar to an Egyptian pharaoh of 3000 BC — the pharaoh would have been surprised that some things that were very expensive in his time were now cheap enough for dirt farmers (iron and glass, for instance) — but he would have understood the use of everything in the house, kitchen, and barn. The pharoah would have decided that the life of a “common man” had changed very little in 5,000 years.
    And yet my grandfather lived to watch men walk on the moon on his color TV set and moved in a world of cars, jet airplanes, electricity, computers, hydrogen bombs, antibiotics, and open-heart surgery.
    Similarly, half of all humans up to that point were alive during my grandfather’s lifetime. There’s a throw-away line that 90% of all scientists and engineers who have ever lived are still alive today.
    The hook is that very few people UNDERSTAND cars, jet airplanes, computers, etc. and even fewer could make one. We vaguely wander through a world we absolutely do not understand.

    Reply
  54. I used to use my grandfather as an example to my college students, saying that by almost any measure, half of human history had happened during his lifetime.
    He was born on an Ohio farm about 1880. (His father was a US Civil War veteran.) That farm would have been perfectly familiar to an Egyptian pharaoh of 3000 BC — the pharaoh would have been surprised that some things that were very expensive in his time were now cheap enough for dirt farmers (iron and glass, for instance) — but he would have understood the use of everything in the house, kitchen, and barn. The pharoah would have decided that the life of a “common man” had changed very little in 5,000 years.
    And yet my grandfather lived to watch men walk on the moon on his color TV set and moved in a world of cars, jet airplanes, electricity, computers, hydrogen bombs, antibiotics, and open-heart surgery.
    Similarly, half of all humans up to that point were alive during my grandfather’s lifetime. There’s a throw-away line that 90% of all scientists and engineers who have ever lived are still alive today.
    The hook is that very few people UNDERSTAND cars, jet airplanes, computers, etc. and even fewer could make one. We vaguely wander through a world we absolutely do not understand.

    Reply
  55. I used to use my grandfather as an example to my college students, saying that by almost any measure, half of human history had happened during his lifetime.
    He was born on an Ohio farm about 1880. (His father was a US Civil War veteran.) That farm would have been perfectly familiar to an Egyptian pharaoh of 3000 BC — the pharaoh would have been surprised that some things that were very expensive in his time were now cheap enough for dirt farmers (iron and glass, for instance) — but he would have understood the use of everything in the house, kitchen, and barn. The pharoah would have decided that the life of a “common man” had changed very little in 5,000 years.
    And yet my grandfather lived to watch men walk on the moon on his color TV set and moved in a world of cars, jet airplanes, electricity, computers, hydrogen bombs, antibiotics, and open-heart surgery.
    Similarly, half of all humans up to that point were alive during my grandfather’s lifetime. There’s a throw-away line that 90% of all scientists and engineers who have ever lived are still alive today.
    The hook is that very few people UNDERSTAND cars, jet airplanes, computers, etc. and even fewer could make one. We vaguely wander through a world we absolutely do not understand.

    Reply
  56. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s comments so very much. Thank you for sharing such wonderful stories. I have a deep reverence for the past, and that’s probably why I enjoy hearing other people’s stories about their ancestors.
    My late grandmother was born in 1900 and lived to age 91. She had the most interesting stories about her life on a Minnesota homestead as a young bride of 19. I remember how appalled I was when she told me about wash day–boiling laundry for a family of 8 every week–washing, rinsing, and wringing by hand, and how her hands would bleed from the harsh homemade soap.
    Oh, and the big draft horse she used to ride bareback and without a bridle to visit the neighboring farm, a baby in each arm, and she used her feet and voice to “steer” the horse.
    My father was a nurse in the army during WWII and I have copies of letters written to his mother by Dad’s grateful patients who praised his good care of them. Since Dad’s medical unit was always on the move, the best way for him to get mail was to send it to his mother!
    I also have an old bible I bought at a flea market because of the touching handwritten note on the flyleaf. It was written by a mother who gave the bible to her son, Charles Olds, on his departure from England to a new life in America in 1802. Tucked inside the bible was a funeral card for the same son, who died in America a few years later. I’ve often wondered about Charles Olds.

    Reply
  57. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s comments so very much. Thank you for sharing such wonderful stories. I have a deep reverence for the past, and that’s probably why I enjoy hearing other people’s stories about their ancestors.
    My late grandmother was born in 1900 and lived to age 91. She had the most interesting stories about her life on a Minnesota homestead as a young bride of 19. I remember how appalled I was when she told me about wash day–boiling laundry for a family of 8 every week–washing, rinsing, and wringing by hand, and how her hands would bleed from the harsh homemade soap.
    Oh, and the big draft horse she used to ride bareback and without a bridle to visit the neighboring farm, a baby in each arm, and she used her feet and voice to “steer” the horse.
    My father was a nurse in the army during WWII and I have copies of letters written to his mother by Dad’s grateful patients who praised his good care of them. Since Dad’s medical unit was always on the move, the best way for him to get mail was to send it to his mother!
    I also have an old bible I bought at a flea market because of the touching handwritten note on the flyleaf. It was written by a mother who gave the bible to her son, Charles Olds, on his departure from England to a new life in America in 1802. Tucked inside the bible was a funeral card for the same son, who died in America a few years later. I’ve often wondered about Charles Olds.

    Reply
  58. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s comments so very much. Thank you for sharing such wonderful stories. I have a deep reverence for the past, and that’s probably why I enjoy hearing other people’s stories about their ancestors.
    My late grandmother was born in 1900 and lived to age 91. She had the most interesting stories about her life on a Minnesota homestead as a young bride of 19. I remember how appalled I was when she told me about wash day–boiling laundry for a family of 8 every week–washing, rinsing, and wringing by hand, and how her hands would bleed from the harsh homemade soap.
    Oh, and the big draft horse she used to ride bareback and without a bridle to visit the neighboring farm, a baby in each arm, and she used her feet and voice to “steer” the horse.
    My father was a nurse in the army during WWII and I have copies of letters written to his mother by Dad’s grateful patients who praised his good care of them. Since Dad’s medical unit was always on the move, the best way for him to get mail was to send it to his mother!
    I also have an old bible I bought at a flea market because of the touching handwritten note on the flyleaf. It was written by a mother who gave the bible to her son, Charles Olds, on his departure from England to a new life in America in 1802. Tucked inside the bible was a funeral card for the same son, who died in America a few years later. I’ve often wondered about Charles Olds.

    Reply
  59. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s comments so very much. Thank you for sharing such wonderful stories. I have a deep reverence for the past, and that’s probably why I enjoy hearing other people’s stories about their ancestors.
    My late grandmother was born in 1900 and lived to age 91. She had the most interesting stories about her life on a Minnesota homestead as a young bride of 19. I remember how appalled I was when she told me about wash day–boiling laundry for a family of 8 every week–washing, rinsing, and wringing by hand, and how her hands would bleed from the harsh homemade soap.
    Oh, and the big draft horse she used to ride bareback and without a bridle to visit the neighboring farm, a baby in each arm, and she used her feet and voice to “steer” the horse.
    My father was a nurse in the army during WWII and I have copies of letters written to his mother by Dad’s grateful patients who praised his good care of them. Since Dad’s medical unit was always on the move, the best way for him to get mail was to send it to his mother!
    I also have an old bible I bought at a flea market because of the touching handwritten note on the flyleaf. It was written by a mother who gave the bible to her son, Charles Olds, on his departure from England to a new life in America in 1802. Tucked inside the bible was a funeral card for the same son, who died in America a few years later. I’ve often wondered about Charles Olds.

    Reply
  60. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s comments so very much. Thank you for sharing such wonderful stories. I have a deep reverence for the past, and that’s probably why I enjoy hearing other people’s stories about their ancestors.
    My late grandmother was born in 1900 and lived to age 91. She had the most interesting stories about her life on a Minnesota homestead as a young bride of 19. I remember how appalled I was when she told me about wash day–boiling laundry for a family of 8 every week–washing, rinsing, and wringing by hand, and how her hands would bleed from the harsh homemade soap.
    Oh, and the big draft horse she used to ride bareback and without a bridle to visit the neighboring farm, a baby in each arm, and she used her feet and voice to “steer” the horse.
    My father was a nurse in the army during WWII and I have copies of letters written to his mother by Dad’s grateful patients who praised his good care of them. Since Dad’s medical unit was always on the move, the best way for him to get mail was to send it to his mother!
    I also have an old bible I bought at a flea market because of the touching handwritten note on the flyleaf. It was written by a mother who gave the bible to her son, Charles Olds, on his departure from England to a new life in America in 1802. Tucked inside the bible was a funeral card for the same son, who died in America a few years later. I’ve often wondered about Charles Olds.

    Reply
  61. My maternal grandfather was born in the last hours of 1899, so it was always easy to remember his age – whatever year it was, minus the ’19xx’ portion in front, and he almost, almost made it to 2000. When he did his stint in the ‘Great War’, they still had cavalry so his most steadfast comrade in battle was his horse. Hard to imagine in these incredibly technologically advanced warfare so sadly raging in different parts of the world today….

    Reply
  62. My maternal grandfather was born in the last hours of 1899, so it was always easy to remember his age – whatever year it was, minus the ’19xx’ portion in front, and he almost, almost made it to 2000. When he did his stint in the ‘Great War’, they still had cavalry so his most steadfast comrade in battle was his horse. Hard to imagine in these incredibly technologically advanced warfare so sadly raging in different parts of the world today….

    Reply
  63. My maternal grandfather was born in the last hours of 1899, so it was always easy to remember his age – whatever year it was, minus the ’19xx’ portion in front, and he almost, almost made it to 2000. When he did his stint in the ‘Great War’, they still had cavalry so his most steadfast comrade in battle was his horse. Hard to imagine in these incredibly technologically advanced warfare so sadly raging in different parts of the world today….

    Reply
  64. My maternal grandfather was born in the last hours of 1899, so it was always easy to remember his age – whatever year it was, minus the ’19xx’ portion in front, and he almost, almost made it to 2000. When he did his stint in the ‘Great War’, they still had cavalry so his most steadfast comrade in battle was his horse. Hard to imagine in these incredibly technologically advanced warfare so sadly raging in different parts of the world today….

    Reply
  65. My maternal grandfather was born in the last hours of 1899, so it was always easy to remember his age – whatever year it was, minus the ’19xx’ portion in front, and he almost, almost made it to 2000. When he did his stint in the ‘Great War’, they still had cavalry so his most steadfast comrade in battle was his horse. Hard to imagine in these incredibly technologically advanced warfare so sadly raging in different parts of the world today….

    Reply
  66. Thank you all so much for sharing your family stories with us! They certainly make a good rebuttal to all those nay-sayers who claim that history’s not relevant. Or, to put it another way, I do believe you have to know where you’ve been before you can figure out where you’re going. *g*
    I grew up in a house full of old “stuff”, too — nothing that would star on “Antiques Roadshow”, but things that had significance from belonging to long-gone members of the family: the silver teaspoon my grandmother had been given as a child when she’d been able to overcome her stammer and recite a poem before her classmates; a pair of fancy knitted stockings; 18th century silver salt-cellars from England and the china-headed doll that travelled in a cover wagon to California. All the stories that go with the things fed into my imagination as well as my sense of who I am, which is probably part of why I’m so comfortable writing about the past today.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  67. Thank you all so much for sharing your family stories with us! They certainly make a good rebuttal to all those nay-sayers who claim that history’s not relevant. Or, to put it another way, I do believe you have to know where you’ve been before you can figure out where you’re going. *g*
    I grew up in a house full of old “stuff”, too — nothing that would star on “Antiques Roadshow”, but things that had significance from belonging to long-gone members of the family: the silver teaspoon my grandmother had been given as a child when she’d been able to overcome her stammer and recite a poem before her classmates; a pair of fancy knitted stockings; 18th century silver salt-cellars from England and the china-headed doll that travelled in a cover wagon to California. All the stories that go with the things fed into my imagination as well as my sense of who I am, which is probably part of why I’m so comfortable writing about the past today.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  68. Thank you all so much for sharing your family stories with us! They certainly make a good rebuttal to all those nay-sayers who claim that history’s not relevant. Or, to put it another way, I do believe you have to know where you’ve been before you can figure out where you’re going. *g*
    I grew up in a house full of old “stuff”, too — nothing that would star on “Antiques Roadshow”, but things that had significance from belonging to long-gone members of the family: the silver teaspoon my grandmother had been given as a child when she’d been able to overcome her stammer and recite a poem before her classmates; a pair of fancy knitted stockings; 18th century silver salt-cellars from England and the china-headed doll that travelled in a cover wagon to California. All the stories that go with the things fed into my imagination as well as my sense of who I am, which is probably part of why I’m so comfortable writing about the past today.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  69. Thank you all so much for sharing your family stories with us! They certainly make a good rebuttal to all those nay-sayers who claim that history’s not relevant. Or, to put it another way, I do believe you have to know where you’ve been before you can figure out where you’re going. *g*
    I grew up in a house full of old “stuff”, too — nothing that would star on “Antiques Roadshow”, but things that had significance from belonging to long-gone members of the family: the silver teaspoon my grandmother had been given as a child when she’d been able to overcome her stammer and recite a poem before her classmates; a pair of fancy knitted stockings; 18th century silver salt-cellars from England and the china-headed doll that travelled in a cover wagon to California. All the stories that go with the things fed into my imagination as well as my sense of who I am, which is probably part of why I’m so comfortable writing about the past today.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  70. Thank you all so much for sharing your family stories with us! They certainly make a good rebuttal to all those nay-sayers who claim that history’s not relevant. Or, to put it another way, I do believe you have to know where you’ve been before you can figure out where you’re going. *g*
    I grew up in a house full of old “stuff”, too — nothing that would star on “Antiques Roadshow”, but things that had significance from belonging to long-gone members of the family: the silver teaspoon my grandmother had been given as a child when she’d been able to overcome her stammer and recite a poem before her classmates; a pair of fancy knitted stockings; 18th century silver salt-cellars from England and the china-headed doll that travelled in a cover wagon to California. All the stories that go with the things fed into my imagination as well as my sense of who I am, which is probably part of why I’m so comfortable writing about the past today.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  71. Jo, I know exactly what you mean about the dour grandmother coloring your impressions of the Victorian age. When I named my daughter Lydia, I thought I was choosing to carry on a family tradition, a name that had been popping up in our family for at least two hundred years. But my mother was horrified: she could remember the last Lydia, born in the 1860s, as a plain, painfully shy spinster, and didn’t think that was a particularly fortuitous precedent — though I can report that my cheerful, hockey-playing extrovert seems to have bucked the Lydia-curse. *g*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  72. Jo, I know exactly what you mean about the dour grandmother coloring your impressions of the Victorian age. When I named my daughter Lydia, I thought I was choosing to carry on a family tradition, a name that had been popping up in our family for at least two hundred years. But my mother was horrified: she could remember the last Lydia, born in the 1860s, as a plain, painfully shy spinster, and didn’t think that was a particularly fortuitous precedent — though I can report that my cheerful, hockey-playing extrovert seems to have bucked the Lydia-curse. *g*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  73. Jo, I know exactly what you mean about the dour grandmother coloring your impressions of the Victorian age. When I named my daughter Lydia, I thought I was choosing to carry on a family tradition, a name that had been popping up in our family for at least two hundred years. But my mother was horrified: she could remember the last Lydia, born in the 1860s, as a plain, painfully shy spinster, and didn’t think that was a particularly fortuitous precedent — though I can report that my cheerful, hockey-playing extrovert seems to have bucked the Lydia-curse. *g*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  74. Jo, I know exactly what you mean about the dour grandmother coloring your impressions of the Victorian age. When I named my daughter Lydia, I thought I was choosing to carry on a family tradition, a name that had been popping up in our family for at least two hundred years. But my mother was horrified: she could remember the last Lydia, born in the 1860s, as a plain, painfully shy spinster, and didn’t think that was a particularly fortuitous precedent — though I can report that my cheerful, hockey-playing extrovert seems to have bucked the Lydia-curse. *g*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  75. Jo, I know exactly what you mean about the dour grandmother coloring your impressions of the Victorian age. When I named my daughter Lydia, I thought I was choosing to carry on a family tradition, a name that had been popping up in our family for at least two hundred years. But my mother was horrified: she could remember the last Lydia, born in the 1860s, as a plain, painfully shy spinster, and didn’t think that was a particularly fortuitous precedent — though I can report that my cheerful, hockey-playing extrovert seems to have bucked the Lydia-curse. *g*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  76. John wrote: “The hook is that very few people UNDERSTAND cars, jet airplanes, computers, etc. and even fewer could make one. We vaguely wander through a world we absolutely do not understand.”
    This is all too true! When I worked with schoolchildren at a living history site, I liked to remind them that the most valuable thing that an imigrant brought to American was the knowledge in his or her head: how to DO things. It wouldn’t take long for, say, a 17th century German farmer to replicate his old life in Pennsylvania with only a handful of tools and a well-forested land, just as his wife could whip up a meal over a fire (heck, she could START the fire), make clothes, and nurse her family. Modern folk have become so accustomed to “outsourcing” everything from sewing a button onward that they’re a pretty helpless bunch.
    And, as you note, the technology doesn’t help. Who KNOWS what’s really inside a computer, anyway?
    I’m looking forward to your blog tomorrow!
    Susan/Miranda, feeling a rant coming on if I’m not careful *g*

    Reply
  77. John wrote: “The hook is that very few people UNDERSTAND cars, jet airplanes, computers, etc. and even fewer could make one. We vaguely wander through a world we absolutely do not understand.”
    This is all too true! When I worked with schoolchildren at a living history site, I liked to remind them that the most valuable thing that an imigrant brought to American was the knowledge in his or her head: how to DO things. It wouldn’t take long for, say, a 17th century German farmer to replicate his old life in Pennsylvania with only a handful of tools and a well-forested land, just as his wife could whip up a meal over a fire (heck, she could START the fire), make clothes, and nurse her family. Modern folk have become so accustomed to “outsourcing” everything from sewing a button onward that they’re a pretty helpless bunch.
    And, as you note, the technology doesn’t help. Who KNOWS what’s really inside a computer, anyway?
    I’m looking forward to your blog tomorrow!
    Susan/Miranda, feeling a rant coming on if I’m not careful *g*

    Reply
  78. John wrote: “The hook is that very few people UNDERSTAND cars, jet airplanes, computers, etc. and even fewer could make one. We vaguely wander through a world we absolutely do not understand.”
    This is all too true! When I worked with schoolchildren at a living history site, I liked to remind them that the most valuable thing that an imigrant brought to American was the knowledge in his or her head: how to DO things. It wouldn’t take long for, say, a 17th century German farmer to replicate his old life in Pennsylvania with only a handful of tools and a well-forested land, just as his wife could whip up a meal over a fire (heck, she could START the fire), make clothes, and nurse her family. Modern folk have become so accustomed to “outsourcing” everything from sewing a button onward that they’re a pretty helpless bunch.
    And, as you note, the technology doesn’t help. Who KNOWS what’s really inside a computer, anyway?
    I’m looking forward to your blog tomorrow!
    Susan/Miranda, feeling a rant coming on if I’m not careful *g*

    Reply
  79. John wrote: “The hook is that very few people UNDERSTAND cars, jet airplanes, computers, etc. and even fewer could make one. We vaguely wander through a world we absolutely do not understand.”
    This is all too true! When I worked with schoolchildren at a living history site, I liked to remind them that the most valuable thing that an imigrant brought to American was the knowledge in his or her head: how to DO things. It wouldn’t take long for, say, a 17th century German farmer to replicate his old life in Pennsylvania with only a handful of tools and a well-forested land, just as his wife could whip up a meal over a fire (heck, she could START the fire), make clothes, and nurse her family. Modern folk have become so accustomed to “outsourcing” everything from sewing a button onward that they’re a pretty helpless bunch.
    And, as you note, the technology doesn’t help. Who KNOWS what’s really inside a computer, anyway?
    I’m looking forward to your blog tomorrow!
    Susan/Miranda, feeling a rant coming on if I’m not careful *g*

    Reply
  80. John wrote: “The hook is that very few people UNDERSTAND cars, jet airplanes, computers, etc. and even fewer could make one. We vaguely wander through a world we absolutely do not understand.”
    This is all too true! When I worked with schoolchildren at a living history site, I liked to remind them that the most valuable thing that an imigrant brought to American was the knowledge in his or her head: how to DO things. It wouldn’t take long for, say, a 17th century German farmer to replicate his old life in Pennsylvania with only a handful of tools and a well-forested land, just as his wife could whip up a meal over a fire (heck, she could START the fire), make clothes, and nurse her family. Modern folk have become so accustomed to “outsourcing” everything from sewing a button onward that they’re a pretty helpless bunch.
    And, as you note, the technology doesn’t help. Who KNOWS what’s really inside a computer, anyway?
    I’m looking forward to your blog tomorrow!
    Susan/Miranda, feeling a rant coming on if I’m not careful *g*

    Reply
  81. My grandfather was a British solder in WWI. When I was a child, he would talk about it A LOT, and of course my siblings and I had very little idea what he was on about. Years later, long after he passed away, I saw a World War I rifle just like he would have carried. I had recently read Pat Barker’s WWI trilogy, and suddenly my grandfather’s war experience, and his dangerous job as a scout, became very, very real. I wished he were still alive so I could talk to him about it, now that I was old enough and educated enough to begin to understand.

    Reply
  82. My grandfather was a British solder in WWI. When I was a child, he would talk about it A LOT, and of course my siblings and I had very little idea what he was on about. Years later, long after he passed away, I saw a World War I rifle just like he would have carried. I had recently read Pat Barker’s WWI trilogy, and suddenly my grandfather’s war experience, and his dangerous job as a scout, became very, very real. I wished he were still alive so I could talk to him about it, now that I was old enough and educated enough to begin to understand.

    Reply
  83. My grandfather was a British solder in WWI. When I was a child, he would talk about it A LOT, and of course my siblings and I had very little idea what he was on about. Years later, long after he passed away, I saw a World War I rifle just like he would have carried. I had recently read Pat Barker’s WWI trilogy, and suddenly my grandfather’s war experience, and his dangerous job as a scout, became very, very real. I wished he were still alive so I could talk to him about it, now that I was old enough and educated enough to begin to understand.

    Reply
  84. My grandfather was a British solder in WWI. When I was a child, he would talk about it A LOT, and of course my siblings and I had very little idea what he was on about. Years later, long after he passed away, I saw a World War I rifle just like he would have carried. I had recently read Pat Barker’s WWI trilogy, and suddenly my grandfather’s war experience, and his dangerous job as a scout, became very, very real. I wished he were still alive so I could talk to him about it, now that I was old enough and educated enough to begin to understand.

    Reply
  85. My grandfather was a British solder in WWI. When I was a child, he would talk about it A LOT, and of course my siblings and I had very little idea what he was on about. Years later, long after he passed away, I saw a World War I rifle just like he would have carried. I had recently read Pat Barker’s WWI trilogy, and suddenly my grandfather’s war experience, and his dangerous job as a scout, became very, very real. I wished he were still alive so I could talk to him about it, now that I was old enough and educated enough to begin to understand.

    Reply
  86. The last time I visited my grandmother, she knew she was dying. So she took time from her cancer and pain to tell me stories that she used to tell me as a child. But even more importantly, she told me stories of her childhood in the early 1900s and her married life in the early years. She and I connected in ways I would never have dreamed possible. We even griped about husbands…who says things have changed beyond recognition in the modern era? She passed on to me a love of reading and a love of writing. She wrote short fiction articles and nonfiction articles for magazines, even illustrating her own work. Music was another love she passed on. And even in that final winter of 2002, she was trying to learn to use the computer, because she wanted to figure out how it works and why e-mail is so popular. I marvel at how amazing she was!

    Reply
  87. The last time I visited my grandmother, she knew she was dying. So she took time from her cancer and pain to tell me stories that she used to tell me as a child. But even more importantly, she told me stories of her childhood in the early 1900s and her married life in the early years. She and I connected in ways I would never have dreamed possible. We even griped about husbands…who says things have changed beyond recognition in the modern era? She passed on to me a love of reading and a love of writing. She wrote short fiction articles and nonfiction articles for magazines, even illustrating her own work. Music was another love she passed on. And even in that final winter of 2002, she was trying to learn to use the computer, because she wanted to figure out how it works and why e-mail is so popular. I marvel at how amazing she was!

    Reply
  88. The last time I visited my grandmother, she knew she was dying. So she took time from her cancer and pain to tell me stories that she used to tell me as a child. But even more importantly, she told me stories of her childhood in the early 1900s and her married life in the early years. She and I connected in ways I would never have dreamed possible. We even griped about husbands…who says things have changed beyond recognition in the modern era? She passed on to me a love of reading and a love of writing. She wrote short fiction articles and nonfiction articles for magazines, even illustrating her own work. Music was another love she passed on. And even in that final winter of 2002, she was trying to learn to use the computer, because she wanted to figure out how it works and why e-mail is so popular. I marvel at how amazing she was!

    Reply
  89. The last time I visited my grandmother, she knew she was dying. So she took time from her cancer and pain to tell me stories that she used to tell me as a child. But even more importantly, she told me stories of her childhood in the early 1900s and her married life in the early years. She and I connected in ways I would never have dreamed possible. We even griped about husbands…who says things have changed beyond recognition in the modern era? She passed on to me a love of reading and a love of writing. She wrote short fiction articles and nonfiction articles for magazines, even illustrating her own work. Music was another love she passed on. And even in that final winter of 2002, she was trying to learn to use the computer, because she wanted to figure out how it works and why e-mail is so popular. I marvel at how amazing she was!

    Reply
  90. The last time I visited my grandmother, she knew she was dying. So she took time from her cancer and pain to tell me stories that she used to tell me as a child. But even more importantly, she told me stories of her childhood in the early 1900s and her married life in the early years. She and I connected in ways I would never have dreamed possible. We even griped about husbands…who says things have changed beyond recognition in the modern era? She passed on to me a love of reading and a love of writing. She wrote short fiction articles and nonfiction articles for magazines, even illustrating her own work. Music was another love she passed on. And even in that final winter of 2002, she was trying to learn to use the computer, because she wanted to figure out how it works and why e-mail is so popular. I marvel at how amazing she was!

    Reply
  91. While the primary method of contact with the past is always through people and language, places and objects can provide an extraordinarily effective conduit into the past as well. As an archaeologist and museum curator, I have spent my whole working life studying and handling objects that are 1600 years old or more, and trying to understand the ways in which their original owners experienced them.
    The past is always, constantly all around us – not behind us, gone and forgotten, but around us. We need only open our minds and senses, and we can connect with it.

    Reply
  92. While the primary method of contact with the past is always through people and language, places and objects can provide an extraordinarily effective conduit into the past as well. As an archaeologist and museum curator, I have spent my whole working life studying and handling objects that are 1600 years old or more, and trying to understand the ways in which their original owners experienced them.
    The past is always, constantly all around us – not behind us, gone and forgotten, but around us. We need only open our minds and senses, and we can connect with it.

    Reply
  93. While the primary method of contact with the past is always through people and language, places and objects can provide an extraordinarily effective conduit into the past as well. As an archaeologist and museum curator, I have spent my whole working life studying and handling objects that are 1600 years old or more, and trying to understand the ways in which their original owners experienced them.
    The past is always, constantly all around us – not behind us, gone and forgotten, but around us. We need only open our minds and senses, and we can connect with it.

    Reply
  94. While the primary method of contact with the past is always through people and language, places and objects can provide an extraordinarily effective conduit into the past as well. As an archaeologist and museum curator, I have spent my whole working life studying and handling objects that are 1600 years old or more, and trying to understand the ways in which their original owners experienced them.
    The past is always, constantly all around us – not behind us, gone and forgotten, but around us. We need only open our minds and senses, and we can connect with it.

    Reply
  95. While the primary method of contact with the past is always through people and language, places and objects can provide an extraordinarily effective conduit into the past as well. As an archaeologist and museum curator, I have spent my whole working life studying and handling objects that are 1600 years old or more, and trying to understand the ways in which their original owners experienced them.
    The past is always, constantly all around us – not behind us, gone and forgotten, but around us. We need only open our minds and senses, and we can connect with it.

    Reply
  96. I have to jump back in here to say this was one of the most fascinating and moving threads since I’ve been following this blog. Thank you, Susan, for reminding us to stay connected with our history, and to treasure the people brought us to where we are today.

    Reply
  97. I have to jump back in here to say this was one of the most fascinating and moving threads since I’ve been following this blog. Thank you, Susan, for reminding us to stay connected with our history, and to treasure the people brought us to where we are today.

    Reply
  98. I have to jump back in here to say this was one of the most fascinating and moving threads since I’ve been following this blog. Thank you, Susan, for reminding us to stay connected with our history, and to treasure the people brought us to where we are today.

    Reply
  99. I have to jump back in here to say this was one of the most fascinating and moving threads since I’ve been following this blog. Thank you, Susan, for reminding us to stay connected with our history, and to treasure the people brought us to where we are today.

    Reply
  100. I have to jump back in here to say this was one of the most fascinating and moving threads since I’ve been following this blog. Thank you, Susan, for reminding us to stay connected with our history, and to treasure the people brought us to where we are today.

    Reply
  101. AgTigress wrote: “While the primary method of contact with the past is always through people and language, places and objects can provide an extraordinarily effective conduit into the past as well.”
    I totally agree! Objects often have much more inherent power than words over time — the holy relics to be found in nearly every religion being a prime example.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  102. AgTigress wrote: “While the primary method of contact with the past is always through people and language, places and objects can provide an extraordinarily effective conduit into the past as well.”
    I totally agree! Objects often have much more inherent power than words over time — the holy relics to be found in nearly every religion being a prime example.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  103. AgTigress wrote: “While the primary method of contact with the past is always through people and language, places and objects can provide an extraordinarily effective conduit into the past as well.”
    I totally agree! Objects often have much more inherent power than words over time — the holy relics to be found in nearly every religion being a prime example.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  104. AgTigress wrote: “While the primary method of contact with the past is always through people and language, places and objects can provide an extraordinarily effective conduit into the past as well.”
    I totally agree! Objects often have much more inherent power than words over time — the holy relics to be found in nearly every religion being a prime example.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  105. AgTigress wrote: “While the primary method of contact with the past is always through people and language, places and objects can provide an extraordinarily effective conduit into the past as well.”
    I totally agree! Objects often have much more inherent power than words over time — the holy relics to be found in nearly every religion being a prime example.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  106. Thank you for your kind words, Gretchen and Lori — and a special thanks to everyone who contributed to this post!
    Blogging is like gambling. We post our blogs without any idea of what will happen next. Sometimes we write things that garner little response, and sometimes we’re all surprised by the number of responses. And sometimes we get truly lucky, and what you all add makes for an especially memorable post. Like this one! *G*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  107. Thank you for your kind words, Gretchen and Lori — and a special thanks to everyone who contributed to this post!
    Blogging is like gambling. We post our blogs without any idea of what will happen next. Sometimes we write things that garner little response, and sometimes we’re all surprised by the number of responses. And sometimes we get truly lucky, and what you all add makes for an especially memorable post. Like this one! *G*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  108. Thank you for your kind words, Gretchen and Lori — and a special thanks to everyone who contributed to this post!
    Blogging is like gambling. We post our blogs without any idea of what will happen next. Sometimes we write things that garner little response, and sometimes we’re all surprised by the number of responses. And sometimes we get truly lucky, and what you all add makes for an especially memorable post. Like this one! *G*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  109. Thank you for your kind words, Gretchen and Lori — and a special thanks to everyone who contributed to this post!
    Blogging is like gambling. We post our blogs without any idea of what will happen next. Sometimes we write things that garner little response, and sometimes we’re all surprised by the number of responses. And sometimes we get truly lucky, and what you all add makes for an especially memorable post. Like this one! *G*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  110. Thank you for your kind words, Gretchen and Lori — and a special thanks to everyone who contributed to this post!
    Blogging is like gambling. We post our blogs without any idea of what will happen next. Sometimes we write things that garner little response, and sometimes we’re all surprised by the number of responses. And sometimes we get truly lucky, and what you all add makes for an especially memorable post. Like this one! *G*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  111. My paternal grandfather died in 1963, when I was 22. He was born in 1864, before the end of the Civil War, and survived the Sputnik era. During the course of his life he got a Missouri farm neighborhood’s first record player, radio, telephone, automobile, and refrigerator (after REA). To the end of his life, though, he chose to keep a team of horses on hand, just in case something went wrong with the tractor.
    His father died when he was a boy, so he was reared by his own grandfather (1810-1884). That man’s grandfather fought in the Revolution.

    Reply
  112. My paternal grandfather died in 1963, when I was 22. He was born in 1864, before the end of the Civil War, and survived the Sputnik era. During the course of his life he got a Missouri farm neighborhood’s first record player, radio, telephone, automobile, and refrigerator (after REA). To the end of his life, though, he chose to keep a team of horses on hand, just in case something went wrong with the tractor.
    His father died when he was a boy, so he was reared by his own grandfather (1810-1884). That man’s grandfather fought in the Revolution.

    Reply
  113. My paternal grandfather died in 1963, when I was 22. He was born in 1864, before the end of the Civil War, and survived the Sputnik era. During the course of his life he got a Missouri farm neighborhood’s first record player, radio, telephone, automobile, and refrigerator (after REA). To the end of his life, though, he chose to keep a team of horses on hand, just in case something went wrong with the tractor.
    His father died when he was a boy, so he was reared by his own grandfather (1810-1884). That man’s grandfather fought in the Revolution.

    Reply
  114. My paternal grandfather died in 1963, when I was 22. He was born in 1864, before the end of the Civil War, and survived the Sputnik era. During the course of his life he got a Missouri farm neighborhood’s first record player, radio, telephone, automobile, and refrigerator (after REA). To the end of his life, though, he chose to keep a team of horses on hand, just in case something went wrong with the tractor.
    His father died when he was a boy, so he was reared by his own grandfather (1810-1884). That man’s grandfather fought in the Revolution.

    Reply
  115. My paternal grandfather died in 1963, when I was 22. He was born in 1864, before the end of the Civil War, and survived the Sputnik era. During the course of his life he got a Missouri farm neighborhood’s first record player, radio, telephone, automobile, and refrigerator (after REA). To the end of his life, though, he chose to keep a team of horses on hand, just in case something went wrong with the tractor.
    His father died when he was a boy, so he was reared by his own grandfather (1810-1884). That man’s grandfather fought in the Revolution.

    Reply
  116. on pbs there a show about traquair house in scotland which used to the scottish treasurer house and royalayt visted there in 1700 .
    myself , i have a relative who told story of my ancestors involved in the jacobian rebellion . so i could know someone who knew or heard from someone who knew her who told stories who actulaly knew more because she grew up in engand i think and belonged to some house. history is really not old enough yet i suspect.

    Reply
  117. on pbs there a show about traquair house in scotland which used to the scottish treasurer house and royalayt visted there in 1700 .
    myself , i have a relative who told story of my ancestors involved in the jacobian rebellion . so i could know someone who knew or heard from someone who knew her who told stories who actulaly knew more because she grew up in engand i think and belonged to some house. history is really not old enough yet i suspect.

    Reply
  118. on pbs there a show about traquair house in scotland which used to the scottish treasurer house and royalayt visted there in 1700 .
    myself , i have a relative who told story of my ancestors involved in the jacobian rebellion . so i could know someone who knew or heard from someone who knew her who told stories who actulaly knew more because she grew up in engand i think and belonged to some house. history is really not old enough yet i suspect.

    Reply
  119. on pbs there a show about traquair house in scotland which used to the scottish treasurer house and royalayt visted there in 1700 .
    myself , i have a relative who told story of my ancestors involved in the jacobian rebellion . so i could know someone who knew or heard from someone who knew her who told stories who actulaly knew more because she grew up in engand i think and belonged to some house. history is really not old enough yet i suspect.

    Reply
  120. on pbs there a show about traquair house in scotland which used to the scottish treasurer house and royalayt visted there in 1700 .
    myself , i have a relative who told story of my ancestors involved in the jacobian rebellion . so i could know someone who knew or heard from someone who knew her who told stories who actulaly knew more because she grew up in engand i think and belonged to some house. history is really not old enough yet i suspect.

    Reply

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