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View Diary: *New Day* How many of your ancestors have you personally known? Take the poll (270 comments)

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  •  Got to live with my maternal grandparents (24+ / 0-)

    and extended family (great aunts and uncles) until I was almost 4. That side of the family is slow to reproduce -- they were born in 1894, so I got plenty of stories.  My grandmother died when I was 5, so I don't remember her all that well, other than her holding me and adoring me.  If you have to be left with only vague memories, those are the ones to have.  

    I lived with my grandpa and his older brother and younger sister every summer after that until I was 12. They'd tell me of the 4 siblings they lost to diphtheria or pneumonia, and how they'd leave town when polio would break out. They'd tell me how miraculous vaccines are. They'd tell me about when cars came out, and about another uncle pushing hard on probably the gas and pulling hard on the steering wheel, all the while yelling "whoa," and eventually driving his car quickly into the river (he survived that, don't worry). My grandpa and uncle were WWI vets.  My uncle drove ambulance on some front line somewhere, and came home after a short time, and never, ever drove again.  He also never spoke of WWI.  My grandpa was an MP in France, and would talk about that if asked.  He preferred to talk about coming home to my grandma.

    My great aunt just died in 2010 at the age of 110.  She taught college, and told of her and her fellow teachers daring each other to hop a train, which she did, and they failed to do, leaving her alone on a box car going somewhere.  She hopped off, then caught a ride with a man she knew back to her college, but was terribly afraid she'd get in trouble and lose her job if anyone found out she'd (a) been alone at night riding the rails no less or (b) been with a man alone at night.  Fortunately for her, no one found out.  She was the most delightful woman I have ever known.

    My great grandma on the other side -- she was born in the 1860s, and her husband laid out Twin Falls, ID.  She taught me to knit.  She didn't tell many stories, though.

    "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

    by middleagedhousewife on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 08:19:11 AM PDT

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