Since I don’t have access to a printer for a while (on a research stay in Montréal for a while), I decided to write a letter.
You know, on paper. With lines. That stuff made from trees that you can still find everywhere although nobody under the age of 25 ever uses it any more.
I hadn’t written an actual handwritten letter since probably before 1995. It felt…oddly satisfying.
Of course, I rambled on for 12 pages before I realized it. But imagine that; imagine no email, no tweets and posts and shares, and actually writing a letter that *only one other person will ever see.* (My mother in the hospital, in case you’re wondering.)
Can kids these days even conceive of such a thing, let alone actually write one?
Just think: You who are born into the digital age, you will never know the frustration of constantly confusing “stationary” with “stationery.”
‘Cause, what’s “stationery” again?
Oh, yeah. That stuff made from trees.
Old fossil. Jeez, get back to writing about SF already. (Getting there, getting there. Family comes first. Gimme a break.)
“Three little children who were playing on the sidewalk near 118th Street and Seventh Avenue Tuesday afternoon jokingly shouted to two women riding in a ten-year-old automobile, ‘Get a horse! Get a horse!’
“A few seconds later they were frantically scrambling from the path of the old machine as apparently out of control, it plunged across the street toward them like a juggernaut.”
“There was a moment of silence and then from the front of the car…came the screams of a child.” Continue Reading
One thing I have struggled with while uncovering my family’s complicated past is the lack of consistency in naming conventions before the digital age.
In the Information Age, if you type in your name or ID with a single letter missing or out of place, your application gets rejected by whatever online program it is you’re trying to get access to. We all have numbers assigned to us—social security numbers, student numbers, worker numbers, case numbers, credit card numbers, you name it.
Thhppt. What’s a number? What’s a name? That which we would call a rose… Continue Reading
It has been said that men write history but women live it.
In my family, it’s also been the women who were the keepers of family history, the tellers of tales and stories. The saver of old photographs and documents.
Which is why I have this photograph of four generations of women who brought four different families into our lineage. Thank you, Aunt Linda, for saving it. Since they are gone, I have an obligation to tell their stories. Who are they? Continue Reading
Since I wrote about an ancestor on my father’s side (one of his side’s anyway) from the 1920s, I thought the next story to introduce should be from someone on my mother’s side, from roughly the same time period.
But one generation later. And with a theme of religious intolerance. And possibly related to 19th century Irish-American history. Continue Reading