Family History

Family History

We spent a week in San Antonio. Besides eating too much, I took the opportunity to share a little family lore with my girls.

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Sad to say we do not have ancestors who fought at the Alamo. If we did there’s a good chance they fought for Mexico. But my Texan side is full of interesting characters and stories. Some I can not tell until that generation is no longer with us or my Mom will have a fit.

One I can share is the St. Anthony Hotel. My great grandmother and great grandfather met at this hotel. It’s very swanky. My kids ooh’d and awe’d over the chandeliers and fancy restroom. Yes, they had to check out the restroom. My great’s didn’t meet as guests, they worked here. One was a cook and the other a maid. The interesting part was great grandma was an immigrant from Sweden and spoke no English or Spanish. She even had grown children in Sweden. How they met, dated, and married within a two year period amazes me. Especially when you consider the language barrier. After they married they owned several cafes around San Antonio. It would have been cool to eat at one, but they no longer exist.

One day I would like to stay the night. That would be cool. Right up there with spending the night at the same hotel Marylin Monroe did when she was filming Niagara. I even had my picture taken next to the room she stayed in :0

Row80

Round 2 Goals:

Red highlights were a total failure.

Blue highlights were either constant progress, which I count as a success or completed.

Pink highlights are goals I’m dropping. Really, no surprise there. I hate them.

  • Promotion. Nada! Well not entirely true. I’ve posted a few tweets on Twitter, but that’s it.
  • Read 4 books a month. I started 179 Ways to Save a Novel by Peter Selgin. Actually, I’ve started 3 books, but I’m not sure I will finish the other two. 2/4 books read.
  • Write two posts a week, not related to Row80. I have 1 out of 2.
  • Stay on top of Critique group.  6/6 so far. I just have to format my submission.
  • Edit/revise “Stella” for possible submission to a contest. It needs to be tightened. Done. It’s ready for critiques.
  • Edit/revise “Mermaid”– This has been through critique group and I need to address issues. Not yet.
  • Edit/revise “Monster” I’ve completed one read through. I need to beef it up.

I didn’t accomplish as much as I had hoped. I made the mistake of sitting next to a guy who talked my ear off at swim practice. I thought the ear buds would have been a sign I wasn’t interested in talking. I was wrong. He just talked louder. Ignoring him would have been rude. Next time I’ll hide in the corner.

How did your week go?

-CK

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9 thoughts on “Family History

  1. It’s nice to go back to your roots sometimes. I grew up in Western Pennsylvania, and my family has a lot of history there. Sometimes it’s nice to go back to the place where my family settled after making their way to America from Ireland and Germany. My great-grandfather worked in the coal mines in Western PA. Lots of rich family history in that region.

    Are “Mermaid” and “Monster” working titles? I’d love to have a hint what those stories are about. They sound fascinating!

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    • That’s awesome. Wouldn’t it be great to go to Europe and trace your roots even farther back and visit the towns they lived in before they came to America. I think it would be great fun. Visiting these places makes the people in the family tree seem real and not just a name.
      “Mermaid” is a take on the traditional idea of mermaids. I’ve taken them out of the ocean and placed them in the modern swamps and bayous of the South. It’s a different spin. “Monster” is loosely based on a SE Indian water monster myth. It’s my first attempt at “real” fantasy. Could be great or tragic 🙂

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  2. You need an “in progress but not really doing much” color… maybe orange or something. Because It looks to me like you god more done than those red letters give you credit for.

    It’s so cool hearing family histories! My grandmother used to tell a similar story about her parents. He was a run-away who’d gone off to join a traveling circus (some fun stuff there too of course); she was the grand-daughter of a Nez Perce chief of chiefs. He only spoke English; she only spoke French and Penutian. They met in Niagara Falls and married, and seemed quite happy together for the rest of their lives and sixteen children later.

    It would have been so cool if you could have been to one of those restaurants your great-grandparents owned. Even if one building existed but wasn’t in use… the memories that building must have!

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    • I agree. But sometimes I don’t feel like I did enough. 16 children! I think my insides just died. That’s a lot of children. I know I would have loved to find one of those old buildings, but I think that part of the story is lost. Funny thing you mention Nez Perce. No family in that tribe but my mexican/swedish side supposedly has kickapoo as well. Personally, I just like saying kickapoo.

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      • I do too! It’s a great tribal name.

        16 children isn’t a lot in some of those older families it seems. They only had 11 that reached adulthood (this was during the big influenza outbreaks in the earlier 19oos).

        At least you have the stories… the landmarks may not be there (some may! but digging them up may be time-consuming), but at least you have the stories.

        Sometimes I think the stories are more potent than anything. If you saw one of those buildings now, it would be a closed door… and ending. With just the stories, your imagination can fly

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  3. I, too, have some fun family history stories. I thought I had heard them all, but just a few weeks ago my mom was telling me about her parents working at logging camps in northern Wisconsin, traveling to where ever they were needed. Grandpa worked the teams of horses and Grandma did the cooking. My uncle was a baby at the time and they took him along.

    I can only hope that there is something in my life that my grandkids want to hear about!

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