Our Family Tree

HillbillyOur family tree is filled with nuts and characters. Having a regular old oak tree for a heritage was not in the cards for us. From hillbillies to rednecks to complete nutcases to suicidal loners living in the woods to college educated individuals, the pedigree was more Heinz 57 than purebred. However, interestingly enough, our mother always talked about her proud heritage as if she were a Vanderbilt or a Roosevelt from Hyde Park. Having a strong sense of self, even when that sense was delusional, seemed to work for her.

MemoriesMany was the time that Mother would spout off about her family practically owning the entire town of Marengo, Indiana. She loved lording this supposed fiefdom over others and acted as if she were hillbilly royalty. Seldom was Mother at a loss for bragging about the mill and all the lumber they sold. Note that said mill (and its lumber, sold and unsold) was in reality not part of Mother’s supposed holdings. In fact, her family was dirt-poor. I find nothing wrong with that, but Mother obviously did. Thus, she spun up in her mind more made-up memories.

I am sure her audience was as fed up with her pompous bullshit as my sister and I were.

Dad on the other hand always talked about his humble beginnings. His great success in life was self-made but he never bragged about it or encouraged such kind of talk. He was very intelligent but also very unpretentious. Dad set an example for his family to follow and we learned not to be braggarts.

Our dad thought it was unnecessary to join a private club of any sort just so you could say you belonged. He refused to join the country club but finally relented to joining The Decatur Club because there were so few decent eating establishments in our town. However, he never gloated about belonging to the club and just simply said it was more of a necessity where we could go and enjoy a nice meal together as a family.

Some of the other nuts in our lineage have passed on to their great reward in the heavenly forest of trees. I can almost hear them saying:

Sometimes you feel like a nut and sometimes you don’t!

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