Saturday, February 28, 2009
When I was in Virginia the last time, en route from Williamsburg to Richmond, Michael took Micah, Bill and me to an old family homestead that he'd found on a hill at the end of a dirt road. This is, on the left side of the picture, the remaining section of a wall with Michael in the black coat and Bill in the tan. There are some bricks from the foundation left, too, but they're not pictured. Don't tell Michael this but, despite his thorough explanation of the connection between us and the original owner of the house, I don't remember exactly what it was nor their names. He fires off a dizzying cascade of information and my poor little brain can't keep up. I have to write things down or I don't remember them. It's very important to me, though, so I'll make him tell me the story again and record it properly. I'm going to have to write a book just so I can remember this stuff. He even described a battle that took place on the property during the Revolution. I don't know how the hell Michael remembers as much as he does. We stopped at the new owner's home and Michael schmoozed them like only he can and they were all buddy-buddy by the time we stepped out of that house. Micah and I were in awe. The owners correspond with other descendants of other former residents and have done some research on their own. I crave information about history and our ancestors but need to work on my retention. And, I should probably do a whit of research myself, instead of making my little brother spoon feed it to me. A good quote, attributed to historian and author, David McCullough, with regard to the study of history: I think that to be ignorant or indifferent to history isn't just to be uneducated or stupid. It's to be rude, ungrateful. And ingratitude is an ugly failing in human beings." Another good quote, that I read the other day in one of David's books, is: No one is boring who will tell the truth about himself."