A few years ago I was so proud of myself to track down a living cousin through an obituary I found searching newspapers in the library. I found where this cousins mother had been buried and went to take pictures of the gravestone. Upon arrival there was something that caught my eye, fresh flowers on the grave. To my surprise, the administration allowed me to have the address of the daughter listed on the information card in the office (thank goodness the privacy act doesn't intemidate everyone).
I sent a card to the address with my contact information and within a few weeks I recieved a phone call. At first the conversation was a little awkward being complete strangers. We finally set up a date to meet at her house. This meeting gleaned some more information on the family. When this cousin found out I was into genealogy she wanted to know who was famous in our family. With a little pause I told her that she was (well, she was to me). This cousin was not interested in genealogy and was limited in her knowledge of the family. This got me thinking about what legacies people leave when they leave this world and got me thinking about my life and just how uninteresting my life has been.
Growing up in the 50's was a unique time. Television, Tansistor Radio, Jet airplanes, Rock n' Roll, Hula Hoops, Salk Vaccinantions and Duck and Cover Drills. Yes, the world was changing and moving fast. I think of this abstract thought often. My Grandfather was born in 1893 and was a teacher in 1913. He wore a WW1 uniform and later became a teacher in the early 1920's at the Truxton Canyon Indian School at Valentine AZ. The mode of transportation was train for long distance and model A's. My Grandfather went on to be an employed by the government in the Core of Engineers. My Dad was born in 1921 and went on to wear a navel uniform during WWII. By this time we were driving Hudson's, DeSoto's and Chevrolets. We were flying Douglas, Boeing and Lockheed planes across oceans yes, the the World was getting smaller.
My thought is what one see's in a lifetime. My Grandfather saw the world go from riding horses to visit the next town to jumping on a jet and visiting another country and even lived long enough to see a man go to the Moon. My Dad saw a lot of changes that overlapped what my Grandfather saw except, my Dad got to see the information age swallow us up. I am sitting here with a computer on my lap, watching a 40" flat screen television. Earlier I made an entire cooked dinner in less that 5 minutes. When I was a teenager, I made frequent visits to Disneyland (My buddies and I learned how to get in for free sweet talking a female at the employees entrance). The GE Carousel of the Future Exibit was not that far off from showing where the 21st century is going.
Thinking about these things make me wonder what things I am going to see in this world before my time comes. With all these things in the last 3 generations, how could anyones life be anything but INTERESTING.
Ken, you have reflected what most people believe about themselves. The truth is, when taking a look back and documenting what seems to be a mundane life it's amazing how full our loves have been. Think how interesting your life will seem to a decendant 2 centuries from now. I look forward to more.
Glad you took the chance to find a relative, sometimes these meetings give us such windows into our families past. I have connected with 4 of my cousins and their children that had disconnected from my family for one reason or another. This is one of the highlights of my life is communicating with them and now including them in a dialog about our relatives, whether it's about a birthday, cemetery or a old family recipe, I just feel like I hit the jackpot!
The world moves forward so quickly and there is so little time to make sure we connect with all that are willing to be included.