9781483675190 medium

New England Son (eBook)

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  • 49,308 Words
  • 166 Pages

Interest in family history was sparked during events on my 65th birthday in 2003. Throughout life I spent thoughts and energy living the moment or planning the future, proud of never looking back. This mindset changed when Danny, my oldest grandson interviewed me for a 6th grade project. His assignment was to survey the teen history of an older family member. Danny presented his report to his class and later at my birthday party in Greenwich, Connecticut. His recitation and its reception encouraged me to share more from those early beginnings. It was surprising that a grandchild was curious about my background with its ethnic neighborhoods, the frugal, simple, yet happy days, our values of faith, loyalty and self-reliance - the naivety and enjoyment of games like stick ball, houses fueled by coal, political rascals and war heroes. Family members who want to understand what it was like back then now have this opportunity. The objective is to tell a story that chronicles lives of interest to descendants.Over the years I asked mother and aunt to share their ancestry. Unfortunately these pleas came too late. The trail was dusty and dark. Ninety-seven year old Aunt Jean, the last survivor of fathers family, responded by saying, Why do you want to know all that old stuff? My mothers memory and speech were stroke impaired. I realized that if our grandchildren were to know our roots, it was up to me. A cautionary note: Memory filters and glamorizes experiences while choosing to make trivial events significant. Gaps are intentional or accidentally erased from memory. Accuracy is a goal with a touch of exaggeration to maintain interest. Sequences may be rearranged by the storyteller. Infrequent but memorable encounters with the opposite sex are deleted to satisfy puritan ancestors. If you are keeping count, I had three serious girlfriends including my wife. Frankly most women frightened me as a teenager. Today they are just a pleasant but beguiling mystery.

Interest in family history was sparked during events on my 65th birthday in 2003. Throughout life I spent thoughts and energy living the moment or planning the future, proud of never looking back. This mindset changed when Danny, my oldest grandson interviewed me for a 6th grade project. His assignment was to survey the teen history of an older family member. Danny presented his report to his class and later at my birthday party in Greenwich, Connecticut. His recitation and its reception encouraged me to share more from those early beginnings. It was surprising that a grandchild was curious about my background with its ethnic neighborhoods, the frugal, simple, yet happy days, our values of faith, loyalty and self-reliance - the naivety and enjoyment of games like stick ball, houses fueled by coal, political rascals and war heroes. Family members who want to understand what it was like back then now have this opportunity. The objective is to tell a story that chronicles lives of interest to descendants.Over the years I asked mother and aunt to share their ancestry. Unfortunately these pleas came too late. The trail was dusty and dark. Ninety-seven year old Aunt Jean, the last survivor of fathers family, responded by saying, Why do you want to know all that old stuff? My mothers memory and speech were stroke impaired. I realized that if our grandchildren were to know our roots, it was up to me. A cautionary note: Memory filters and glamorizes experiences while choosing to make trivial events significant. Gaps are intentional or accidentally erased from memory. Accuracy is a goal with a touch of exaggeration to maintain interest. Sequences may be rearranged by the storyteller. Infrequent but memorable encounters with the opposite sex are deleted to satisfy puritan ancestors. If you are keeping count, I had three serious girlfriends including my wife. Frankly most women frightened me as a teenager. Today they are just a pleasant but beguiling mystery.


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