Sunday, July 15, 2007


Visiting family usually means getting in touch with history also -- at least when one has reached our age and when the visits are mostly once a year. Joan has done geneology, mostly on her family but some of the Calender family too. I think I may have once before asked her to clarify why both my mother and my father were cousins to a batch of people name Boyd. And this time she explained which aunt married a Boyd and which Boyd was my grandmother's father. I don't think, I can repeat it or write it down but it was quite clear ... if only for about fifteen miinutes. And it IS in writing in Joan's geneology notebook. Enough. Family arcana like that doesn't not need to stay in the head any more than does the formula for finding the area of a rhomboid. It's not something one needs on a daily basis.

Photos also surface at such visits and this time the grainy old photo of my maternal grandmother as a young woman came to light and Joan made a copy for me. I have never seen any picture of her younger than the one when I was a newborn and she a new grandmother. Here, in the photo above, she looks to be in her late twenties. I only had that same picture of newborn me with the maternal grand and great-grand parents and it was far from clear. This one isn't either but I get a feeling of such hard working people from the picture. I wonder what Walker Evans could have done if he had found them to photograph.

The other picture is one I've seen all my life, my paternal grandparents' wedding picture. What a tiny waist she has! And he has the same ears all his sons had. They haven't yet set out on the hard slog of farming but are about to. These two grandparents' farms were very near one another. I suppose I should have scanned my parents' wedding picture just to complete the story. Perhaps I will tomorrow. it's very hot and muggy and my computer is not a happy camper in this weather, it keeps freezing up. I'm hoping for a thunderstorm soon that will cool the air a bit.

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