Once I was asked to place myself in a hypothetical situation. "If you could interview anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?"
Forget the famous, dead or alive! If I had the amazing capacity to cross boundaries of space and time, it would be one of my own ancestors I would interview. I have tried to imagine how it might go, and of course, like most of you, I like to imagine a warm "homecoming", a beautiful meeting of generations.and a lot of information. But I remember that people, after all, had personalities no matter when in time they might meet, and not all folks of a family have the same ideas. And so it occurs, that it just as possibly might go like this.
"Hello. You are not going to believe this. I hardly believe it myself, but I am your third great granddaughter."
"Hmmm. You don't say? Well you certainly have your nerve, turning up this time of night. That, young lady, came from your granny's side of the house. Her ma was the nerviest woman I ever saw. Come to think of it, you got your nose there too. Yup, look a little like her. 'Horse face', that is what I called her."
"So sorry Grandpa! I had no way to know what time I might arrive, or even exactly what year! But. if you don't mind.since I am here, and not likely to be able to return.may I please ask you some questions?"
"Ummm. Well now, that depends. I want somebody to know something, I tell it, and I don't much hold with nosey."
"Uh. Well for starters, (and let me get out my charts here), but can you tell me who third great granny's father is?"
"That is not up for discussion. And polite folks don't talk about it."
"Oh. Well can you tell me please, if your father really was Cherokee?"
"Nor is that. You are worse than that derned census taker."
"Oh. Well could you please tell me the exact year you were born?"
"I will tell you this, I am old enough to know better and young enough to care."
"Ummm. Could you tell me where you migrated .uh .moved here from?"
"Now that is common knowledge. And if you were a scholar, you could look it up."
"But can you tell me the EXACT place you moved from?"
"Well now, it was down the road a piece from the Jones and up the road a piece from the Smiths. Took us mite near two weeks to travel."
"But the town?"
"Weren't no town"
"Oh. Well then.I can't find the death record of your first wife. Could you please tell me what happened to her?"
"Don't see where that is any of your business, young lady."
"Oh. Well then.I am missing names of your siblings. Can you tell me that?"
"Oh well now.there was Squirrel, and Rabbit, and Jumbo.and."
"No, I mean their real names."
"Well you will have to consult the family Bible on that one. That ain't what we called them."
"YES!!! Where IS that family Bible, Grandpa?"
"Well now, Aileen has it."
"Aileen? Who is Aileen??"
"My mama's sister. Only she up and married that peddler passing through here and I don't rightly know where she went."
"Who was the peddler, Grandpa?"
"Well now, I don't rightly remember. He weren't much to look at though, I remember that. Now I got something to ask you."
"Yes sir! Ask anything at all!"
"Don't you have anything better to do? Looks to me like a strapping young woman like you would have to get up in the morning and do your chores. And if you ain't got more to you than to be aiming on that one, you ain't no
kin to me anyhow."
And then the door slams. And I am not one bit better off than I was in the first place. Maybe that is why there is no more to go on than there is.wasn't anything to go on then either.
Just a thought,
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