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...this is an open thread. Nothing is off topic.

How many of your ancestors—grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great-parents—have you personally met?

Being a heavy reader of history, I spend a fair amount of time thinking about ancestors. Like what about those exhausted Roman soldiers bivouacked in the river valleys around the Gallic hill fort of Alesia in September-October of 52 BC under the command of Julius Caesar? Fifty thousand of them against, depending on whom you read, four to six times as many united Gauls. What were these burly soldiers pondering as they hacked down trees and dug trenches to enforce a siege to starve out the warriors of the Gallic tribes and their women and children inside those walls?

What were the dreams of the Roman camp followers? The merchants and prostitutes and the large retinue of confidence artists who stick close by every military force since the beginning of armies looking for some cost-plus contractual opportunity.

And what were the Gauls thinking, knowing that the Romans had slaughtered the entire 120,000 population of the city of Avaricum? Especially what were they thinking after their generals sent their women and children out of the fort to conserve food for the fighters, only to see the Romans let them starve in the zone between the trenches and the walls?

What was Caesar himself thinking beyond the propaganda pieces he wrote about himself in the third person? And the opposing commander, Vercingétorix, who quite possibly never wrote a word at all? What was the nobleman of the Arverni tribe thinking just days away from surrendering and spending his next five years incarcerated before being executed?

I wonder about all the little stories that make up these big, often world-changing stories like that of Alesia which come down to us in books. As is obvious from the fate of the Gallic women and children, that siege wasn't just two big armies clashing, but all the tiny tragic pieces that make up the whole when people who think they are safe behind a stone and timber palisade that has always protected them before suddenly realize their peril while still having to do all the mundane things human beings must do.

All my wondering about the little stories of ancient people often leads me to a place I've visited frequently. A place of frustration in the knowledge that I will never know more than I already do about the stories of my most recent ancestors, my personal, familial ancestors. I know there are no diaries, no documents, no hazy memories of some long-lost relative with a new tale to tell. One can have an extensive collection of firsthand stories about the family learned as oral history from parents and grandparents, an insight into how they thought and what about. I was lucky in that regard, living with my grandfather and grandmother until I was 9, I got to hear some stories repeated enough to be able to remember them as they were told to me and I have passed along.

But before that? How many are lucky enough to hear stories from a great-grandparent? My great-grandmother, Chipnaska, my grandmother's mother, lived with us for the last five years of her life and the first five of mine. She told me about her husband once. Somewhere around 1915 he got on a train and she never saw him again. I think I only remember because of the train part. She loved chocolate candy. And she had a glass eye. Not one good enough to fool you even for a second.

And there was my grandmother's grandfather, my great-great, Chepon Billie.  I heard lots of stories about him. But who knows how many of these hand-me-downs were true? Or how many were true when he first told them? But then what's truly true from any story-teller? I was lucky enough to meet him when he was 106 years old, a year before he died, when I was 4. I sat in his lap between his two canes and he asked me if I liked doggies. I said yes and a few months later, I had one. It was named "Wolf," after my grandfather's clan.

Having been born in what is now Oklahoma in 1843 or '44, my great-great-grandfather was the only member of that line of my family in that period not born in Florida. At 17 or 18, he joined the Confederate Army under Albert Pike. After that it's hazy. I was told he was a widower five times. He died in 1952, at least 107 years old.

And that's it. That's all I know. On the other side, it ends with my grandfather, his brother and sister. They and all of their offspring, except for me and two cousins, have walked on.

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Latest Updates on Kossack Regional Meet-Up News Below the New Day sunrise cloud

:: COMMUNITY BUILDING UPDATES ::
Let's build communities!

Every region needs a meatspace community like SFKossacks.
We take care of each other in real life.
I urge YOU to take the lead and organize one in your region.
Please tell us about it if you do and we're here for advice.


THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY

Click >>>HERE to see a list of all the regional Kossack groups that have organized for social and activism events. There are handy links to contact each organizer to join.

>>>Instructions on HOW TO FORM A NEW DAILY KOS GROUP

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:: EVENT REPORTING ::
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LA Kossacks - March 23 Meetup at Casey's
(and on the Red Line) - Photos

by Dave in Northridge

LA Kossacks group photo
Clockwise: susans, Shockwave, Dave in Northridge, SanFernandoValleyMom, jakedog42, gay CA democrat, 714day, jeremybloom, otoelbc. I think ducktape is hidden behind gay CA democrat.
Please show Dave in Northridge some love with rec on his diary and hard werk!


:: Events Currently on the Books for ALL Kossacks ::
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Saturday, March 30th

Houston Area Kossacks Meet-up and Potluck

TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: Libby Shaw's house
[Address] • [City]

ORGANIZER: Send Chrislove a kosmail to attend and get address.

RSVPs:
1. Chrislove
2. nomandates
3. Libby Shaw (host)
4. Mr. Libby Shaw (host)
5. Alan Luckey (honorary Kossack, Organizing for Action)
6. suesue
7. Mr. suesue
8. cosette
9. doraphasia
10. miscanthus
11. mister mustardhead
12. Blood

Maybees:
Delilah

Latest diary: Houston Area Kossacks: April 6 Meet-Up RESCHEDULED for Saturday, March 30! (Please RSVP again!)
NEWDAY-Divider
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Paradise and Chico Kossacks regional event banner
Saturday, April 6th

Paradise & Chico Kossacks Picnic, Kite Flying and Hike

TIME: TBD
LOCATION: Table Mountain
Butte County • Northern California

ORGANIZER: Send paradise50 a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. paradise50
2. smileycreek
3. Darryl House
4. Mrs. House
5.
Maybees:
Latest diary: [Waiting for linked diary]
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Saturday, April 6th

Kossacks Meet-up for Dave in Northridge

TIME: TBD
LOCATION: TBD
[Address] • [City]

ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. navajo
2. Dave in Northridge
3. Steveningen
4. kimoconnor
5. side pocket
Maybees:
lineatus
Lorikeet
dharmasyd
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Saturday, April 6th

Colorado COmmunity Kossacks Pot Luck

TIME: 2:00 PM
LOCATION: ColoTim's home
Address given by Kosmail • Denver

ORGANIZER: Send ColoTim a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. ColoTim
2. Frankenoid
3. Ginny in CO
4. coloradocomet
5. State Senator Irene Aguilar
6. whoknu
7. Colorado is the Shiznit
8. Badkitties
9. RockyMtnLib
10. LeftCandid
11. blind cynic
12. comoonbeam

Maybees:
victoria2dc
acpa
blue aardvark
KellyRN2

Latest diary: Colorado Meetup - April 6th, 2013
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New England Kossacks Banner
DailyKos readers who live and/or work in New England
(Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont)

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Sunday, April 7th

Connecticut Kossacks Meet-up

TIME: TBD
LOCATION: TBD
[Address] • [City]

ORGANIZER: Send Phil S 33 a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. Phil S 33
2. thankgodforamerica
3.
Maybees:
annieli
Latest diary: Last Chance Meet-up in Connecticut (for me)
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April: Post Tax Day

Southern Cal Inland Empire Kossacks Meet-up

TIME: TBD
LOCATION: TBD
[Address] • [City]

ORGANIZER: Send SoCaliana kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. SoCaliana
2. pucklady
3. Unbozo
Maybees:
Latest diary: So Cal IE Kossacks: April Meetup
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Kansas & Missouri Kossacks

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Friday, April 19th

Kansas & Missouri Kossacks Meet-up

TIME: TBD
LOCATION: Springfield Brewing Company
305 South Market Street • Springfield

ORGANIZER: Send tmservo433 a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. tmservo433
2.
3.
4.
5.
Maybees:
Latest diary: [Waiting for linked diary]
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Saturday, April 20th

Chicago Kossacks Celebrate Earth Day

TIME: Morning, see diary below for details
LOCATION: The Heller Nature Center
2821 Ridge Road  • Highland Park

Followed by pizza at broths & Mr. broths home.

ORGANIZER: Send figbash a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. figbash
2. broths
3. Mr. broths
4. Chitown Kev
5.
Maybees:
NormAl
winifred3
Latest diary: Hey Chicago - Time for a Meet-Up!
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Dkos Asheville
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Saturday, April 20th

Dkos Asheville's First Meet-up

TIME: TBD
LOCATION: The Bywater
796 Riverside Dr. • Asheville

ORGANIZER: Send randallt a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. randallt
2. davehouck
3. Otteray Scribe
4. eeff
5. people power granny
6. Joieau
7. LamontCranston
8. cultjake
9. GordonNC (UID 5123 & City Councilman)
10. DawnN
11. SteelerGrrl
12. SteelerDude
13. Captain Sham
14. Sandy on Signal
15. gulfgal98
16. gigihopes

Maybees:
polecat
Land of Enchantment
jnhobbs
alicia (plus two)
Nic Goodman
Audri
ecthompson
emmasnacker

Latest diary:Dkos Asheville Open Thread

From randallt: "DKos Asheville is hosting a meet up and we've managed to cast a wide net! Asheville NC is the epicenter of cool progressive in the heart of the mountains and we have folks traveling from Eastern Tennessee, the Southern Highlands and Charlotte. So don't let the distance keep you away, come to Asheville, sign up today! You know you want to."

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Sunday, April 28th
NYC Kossacks Brunch and a Show!
ORGANIZER: Send sidnora a kosmail to attend.

 Whym Restaurant NYC
Brunch:
TIME: Noon (with Show at 3PM)
LOCATION: Whym
889 9th Avenue (between 57th & 58th) • NYC
RSVPs:
1. sidnora
2. Denise Oliver Velez, Special Guest of Honor
3. devtob
4. LuLu
5. MBNYC
6. friends of LuLu
7. mconvente
8. joanbrooker
Maybees:
Batya the Toon
belinda ridgewood
thankgodforairamerica
kathny
 PlayBill Ann Richards
Theater:
TIME: 3:00 PM
LOCATION: The Vivian Beaumont Theater
150 West 65th St. (Broadway) • NYC
RSVPs:
1. sidnora
2. Denise Oliver Velez, Special Guest of Honor
3. devtob
4. LuLu
5. MBNYC
6. friends of LuLu
Maybees:
Latest diary: NY Metro Meetup: Theater Party, Sunday 4/28!!
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Peach State Kossacks regional banner for meet-ups in Georgia
Potentially in April or May

Atlanta Area Kossacks Kick-off Meet-up

TIME: TBD
LOCATION: TBD
[Address] • [City]

ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. One Pissed Off Liberal
2. racheltracks
3. annrose
4. nawlinscate
5. Burned
Maybees:
pragmaticidealist
xxdr zombiexx
eeff
Ashaman
lam2b2g
Latest diary: [Waiting for linked diary]
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New York Hudson Valley Kossacks

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boran2
DATE TBD

NY Hudson Valley Kossacks' First Meet-up

TIME: TBD
LOCATION: Hudson House
2 Main Street • Cold Spring, NY

ORGANIZER: Send boran2 a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. boran2
2. thankgodforairamerica
3. betson08 (if event is in April)
Maybees:
Latest diary: [Waiting for linked diary]
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Netroots Nation Header
Netroots Nation 2013 in San Jose: Plenary Session Table Reservations
June 20th - 23rd  •  REGISTER HERE



SFKossacks:
1. side pocket [First Lieutenant]
2. mrs. side pocket
3. kimoconnor
4. citisven
5. lineatus
6. Cali Scribe
7. Glen the Plumber
8. remembrance
9. jotter
10. Mrs. jotter
SFKossacks:
1. Lusty
2. mrsgoo
3. norm
4. boran2 (Honorary)
5. Lorikeet
6. FogCityJohn
7. slksfca
8. madhaus
9. boatsie
10. maggiejean
SFKossacks:
1. Kamakhya
2. dharmasyd
3. Ebby
4. Bustergirl
5. BeninSC (Honorary)
6. sfbaytransplant
7. Senor Unoball
8. paradox
9. slouching
10. shanikka
Native American Netroots:
1. navajo
2. Meteor Blades
3. 4Freedom (maybe)
4. no way lack of brain
5. translatorpro
6. Kitsap River
7. Charles Curtis Stanley
8. TheFatLadySings
9. TFLS's guest
10. TFLS's guest
Central Valley Kossacks:
1. tgypsy
2. cooper888
3. gotmooned
4. paradise50
5. smileycreek
6. Caddis Fly
7. Kestrel
8. peregrine kate (honorary)
9. ProvokingMeaning (honorary)
10.
Lone Star Kossacks:
1. nomandates
2. texasmom
3. texasdad
4. doraphasia
5. krwheaton
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Cheers & Jeers:
1. Bill in Portland Maine
2. Common Sense Mainer
3. vicki
4. Sharoney
5. Spousal Unit
6. cskendrick
7. brillig
8. mik
9. K1
10.
Los Angeles Kossacks:
1. Shockwave
2. jakedog42
3. susans
4. murphy
5. Dave in Northridge
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
NYC and beyond:
1. sidnora
2. belinda ridgewood
3. belinda ridgewood's guest
4. Jimdotz
5. theroaringgirl
6. thankgodforairamerica
7. hayden
8.
9.
10.
Community Quilt Project:
1. Sara R
2. winglion?
3. loggersbrat
4. ramara (Arizona)
5. Horace Boothroyd III
6. linkage
7.
8.
9.
10.
Military Community Members:
1. DaNang65
2. drnatrl
3. angelajean (Maybe)
4. exlrrp (Maybe)
5. ccasas
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Misc. registered Kossacks + regions:
1.  
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Hopefully we can put together whole tables for them.


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Community Quilt Project

Community Quilt Project NN13 Flash Mob Photo


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smileycreek is organizing and asking all Community Quilt recipients to bring their quilts to NN13. We'll assemble at a pre-designated location and time for a group photo with one of the NN13 professional photographers. It will be a group hug celebrating one of the most beloved community building projects we have here at Daily Kos with Sara R and winglion at the center of it. navajo and Glen the Plumber are going to scout out and select a location in advance for all to meet with their quilts for a memorable photo opportunity. Stay tuned.
Date: TBD Time: TBD
1. paradise50
2. Dave in Northridge
3. remembrance
4. BeninSC
5. mimi
6. cskendrick
7. DaNang65
8. llbear (not attending, quilt only)
9. Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse (may not attend)
10. Smoh (not attending, quilt only)
11. slksfca
12. belinda ridgewood
13. Ebby
14. Bustergirl
15. Kitsap River
16. Charles Curtis Stanley
17.
18.
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Glacier National Park
June 27- June 30th

Glacier National Park Kossack EPIC Meetup!

TIME: 24/7
LOCATION: Glacier National Park
402 9th St W • Columbia Falls, Montana

ORGANIZER: Send arizonablue a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. BlueJessamine
2. arizonablue
3. Mr.arizonablue
4. Truman
5. Ojibwa - arriving for the weekend
6. MTmofo
7. figbash!
8. spottedbear
9. jakedog42
10. Oke
11. cooltraveler
12. Mr.cooltraveler
13. state of confusion
14. Lute the Norwegian
15. Josh Blue
16.

Maybees:
Joan McCarter
slksfca
Ed in Montana
Thinking Fella
BoiseBlue
BoiseBlue GF
Dave in Northridge
NormAl
winifred3

Latest diary: Glacier National Park Check In! Glacier National Park Meetup - Part II w/ lodging and campground info!
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Send navajo a kosmail if you post a diary about an event so we can update our round-up.

Okay. Floor's open.
Tell us what you are doing on this NEW DAY?

Originally posted to Connect! Unite! Act! on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 07:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by SFKossacks.

Poll

What was the oldest generation of any of your ancestors by blood or marriage that you personally met?

0%4 votes
1%6 votes
9%42 votes
4%21 votes
38%175 votes
24%111 votes
18%85 votes
1%8 votes
0%1 votes
0%3 votes

| 456 votes | Vote | Results

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