Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Randy Seaver posted over on Genea-Musings about his gathering
of family memories and how relatives might have different views
of events than you might. It sort of ties in with my own thoughts
lately as to how important it is to set memories down somehow
and somewhere so that future relatives will have the chance to
read or hear them.

I suppose it's a touch of middle aged "intimations of mortality"
that has brought this issue to mind. I'm going to be 59 years old
and I while I’d like to think I’d be around to see my grandnieces
and grandnephews I know I might not. Then I think about all of
my older relatives who were gone before I was born or who died
when I was a child as well as those who’ve passed since. I never
had the chance or took it to sit down and talk with them about
memories of their childhood and lives. Genealogy was the charts
of royal dynasties I saw in history books.

I had a customer at the bookstore the other day who was looking
for Image of America books on Somerville and Charlestown, two
cities in the Greater Boston area. They were gifts for a relative
celebrating her 100th birthday who had lived in those cities as a
child. We talked a bit and she told me that another relative had
taped conversations with the centenarian some years earlier so
they had her recollections of her life to give her great-great-

Of course most of us don’t think of these things when we are
young and concerned with the here and now. When I began
climbing up my family tree I came realize how much I don’t know
about both sides of my family. I wish I’d pressed my mother a bit
more for any recollection of her father or of what it was like for her
growing up during the Great Depression and World War II. I wish
I’d talked more with my father and gotten to know more what it
was like for him up in Maine in the same period but in what was
nearly a whole different world from Mom’s down here in Boston.

So, I’m setting down my own memories. My first few entries in
this blog were of the family trips "up home". I have been making
notes on other subjects for future entries and will do my best to
get them done, including what I recall of the older relatives I knew
in my childhood. And there’s still some people I can talk to and get
their versions of past events.

I wish I’d started doing it all sooner!

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