Sunday, March 2, 2008

Stories of old

I love it when my mother tells me stories of my ancestors. They were a lively and colorful bunch of people who lead very interesting lives. I guess, were I able to talk to them right this moment, they would probably say their lives were ordinary, maybe even dull, but to me they were remarkable. Much more remarkable than my life, but in hearing these stories, I have begun to realize where some of my personality traits come from.


After church I was checking my email and there was an Ancestry.com advertisement at the top of the page. They have several ads running right now depicting how the lives of our ancesters affect our lives today. The ad I saw today showed a turn of the century race car speeding by with the caption, "Figure out where your wild streak came from."



For some reason, the ad reminded me of the story my mom tells of my great uncle Thomas Kilpatrick, known to me as uncle Tom. He wasn't a race car driver, but the story goes that one day he took off on his motorcycle to travel around the states and he was gone for quite a while. His mother, as most mothers would, became very concerned when she hadn't heard from him and called the Texas Highway Patrol to see if they could find him. When the highway patrol couldn't find him, they put out an APB nationwide. He was found near Yellowstone National Park and was admonished by the patrolman to write home to his mother!! From then on, when he would stop he would buy a post card and on it write, "OK, Tom K." I think I must get a bit of my wanderlust and forgetfulness from uncle Tom. I love to just take off and go where ever; I don't need a reason and I'm the worst when it comes to letting my mother know. Last year at the end of May, I traveled to Ireland to visit my friend Elaine. My mother's birthday came around while I was there so I called her. While talking she asked if I was coming out to see her and it was then that I realized that I had failed to let her know that I was traveling and not even in the same country. I need to become more like my uncle Tom and learn to let my mother know where I am. :-)

Uncle Tom

I have another ancestor to whom I can identify with, Mrs. Magee, my mom's grand mother, my great grandmother. I think I inherited some of my humor from her. During the Depression one of the local funeral homes was going door to door selling funerals. Kind of like an insurance policy; you pay a certain amount a month and when you passed away, your funeral was paid for. One day she called up the funeral home and was speaking to one of the young men who worked there; making sure that the policy was still good. After all her inquiries, the young man asked to whom he was speaking. Mrs. Magee, in a very serious voice, says, "This is the corpse speaking."

(Mrs. Magee looking to the right)

She was called Mrs. Magee because she ran a boarding house here in Houston and her tenents called her that. And in this enviornment was my mom raised; in a house on Larkin Street, just off Washington Ave and I-10 by a woman she called mama, her grand mother, my great grand mother, Mrs. Magee. A woman who, for whatever reason, decided that it was my mom she would tell all these stories to. So, thanks to Mrs. Magee, I know of my uncle Tom and many, many more of my ancestors. They are people to me; people I want to meet and talk to. People I want to know. People I'm so happy to be sealed to for eternity.

The above photo is not of the boarding house, but of a beer joint they also owned down off of Waugh Dr. and Allen Parkway, close to downtown.

1 comment:

Kathie said...

That was a really cool post. I have a great great great grandfather named Amos that I found myself being very much like. It is really cool to see how much of ourselves come from our family and not just my big butt! :)