Location: marengo, il, United States

Friday, September 01, 2006

Just A Few Notes

One of my sisters regularly met with mom during her final months. Curious, she quizzed her on family histories while at the same time scribbling down her last words. What a brilliant idea, I thought! So after hearing about this event many years later, I asked for a copy, hoping to learn some new things. I had to laugh after reading the end of the last page, because when I finished, I had even more questions and less knowledge than before.

Good old mom. She liked to enhance things, and when in the right mood, she liked to ramble as well, and the lady could effectively talk a wildcat out of a tree if she was of a proper mind. I could barely decipher some of the speedily-written words and phrases my sister had put to paper, but I could easily visualize her pen moving furiously as mom jumped from one far-related story to another.

Uncle Wingo, the one who walked around the world backwards. That great-grandfather, thrown in prison during the Civil War. Your great-grandmother who drove a team of horses through Shriver’s Swamp, where she then beat and defeated a band of desperadoes with a homemade whip. Oh, honey, and then there was the time…

If I were to ever publish a volume of stories about dear mom, the title would have to read, “For the Millionth Time, Stop Exaggerating!”

In the meantime, I will be satisfied merely attempting to put together a few for this blog. Look for one soon.

Hey, no lie.


Blogger Gone Away said...

Something to look forward to indeed, Harry. :)

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Ned said...

In my family, it was my mother who seemed to exaggerate the illustrious nature of her forebears. There was her great uncle Phillip who took a moose on a raft down the St Lawrence when he did exploring for the government of Canada. "They wrote a book about him", she would aver. And Cousin Sammy who was a missionary to Australia. Not only that, she had us related to Queen Victoria and the movie director Stirling Silliphant.

I did a little of that genealogy stuff a few months ago myself. And you know what?

There WAS a great uncle Phillip and someone DID write a book about him. Admittedly, it was written by his nephew and it's long out of print but it supports the general veracity of her statements. I don't know about Queen Vic, but we are most definitely related to the movie guy.

These were stories she heard all her life and consequently ones I heard all my life as well. There may be something lost in the details or some exaggeration added but basically true enough.

You should investigate those roots. You may find she was right more often than she was wrong.

7:27 PM  
Anonymous Ned said...

Oh, and when I write a book about my mother, the title will be "Why Keep Dogs and Bark Myself?"

I always hated it when she said that to us. It always came after the question "why do I have to do this chore and you don't?".

7:29 PM  
Blogger Harry said...


Aw man, that is so funny. I can picture Uncle Phillip trying to hang on to a a wet raft, but there was a moose involved? Whoa!

But Sammy stirs no memory at must tell me more.

I actually have no doubt at all that my mom told tales based on facts, but I do have a doubting Thomasina of a sister who lurks way in the back of my (disturbed) mind that I am wont to annoy.

8:46 PM  
Blogger Janus Torrell said...

I have the family history given to me from my Grandma, since I am her only grandchild to love history.

It is detailed but not very exciting except to maybe me with the exception of family curse.

Apparently my Great Grandfather and My Great Great Grandfather died in sudden storms at sea. With the exception of my Grandfather coming on a boat to America and nearly died coming here.
Men in my family love to go towards large bodies of water, and generally get killed for as far back as we can remember. My Father wants to go down the Mississippi river in a boat, and I always want to go on Lake Michigan in a small boat. The whole family has a death wish for the sea. (or at least deep rivers)

10:17 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

Deep rivers, tossed seas; great stories, it sounds to me.

10:24 PM  

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