Where I Come From – Part Two

Last June, I published a blog entry that was near and dear to my heart. In it, I wrote about my paternal family tree. I first told of my grandfather, a WWII sailor, Middle East adventurer, Paraguayan coffee plantation owner, and Prohibition-era beat cop who fathered eight children with three different women. I then blogged about my grandmother, an incredible cook who outlived three husbands and had a closet filled with identical-looking blue house dresses. Finally, I introduced Loyal Readers to my father, a decent man and Army vet with an encyclopedic knowledge of baseball and a functional case of obsessive-compulsive disorder, the latter of which is simultaneously annoying and endearing.

But that is just half of the story.

Lincoln Museum 5

Continue reading “Where I Come From – Part Two”

Where I Come From – Part One

My genealogy is fairly straightforward: mostly Polish on my mom’s side and Norwegian on my dad’s. There is a smattering of other ethnicities as well, most of them Anglo-Saxon: Lithuanian, Scots-Irish, Welsh, Dutch, English, Danish, etc. And Cherokee Indian. No, seriously. According to a family tree that my father sketched out as far back as he could, my great-great-great grandmother was a Trail of Tears-era Cherokee by the name of Running Fawn. I wish there was a photograph of her in existence somewhere.

Where am I going with this? Well, Father’s Day was 10 days ago, and I’ve been spending a lot of time with my own father these past few weeks. My mom has been visiting her daughter and granddaughter on the other side of the state, and it has given my dad and I time to get to know each other better. Our recent time together has confirmed something that I long suspected: although we are sometimes so different that I wonder – jokingly – if I was adopted, I know that most of the time, I am my father’s son.

Lincoln Museum 4

Continue reading “Where I Come From – Part One”