The Thought for the Week

Week of May 29, 1999


Old Glory


Afternoon at the Archives

Outside, Spring Sunshine and cherry blossoms beckon, but Room 400 of the National Archives in Washington, D.C., is shrouded in semi-darkness.  Row upon row of ancestor-seekers hunch into microfiche readers.  A large blonde woman turns to me out of the blue and says, "When you go looking for ancestors, don't expect royalty."  She'd recently been told by a red-faced pastor in a small Wisconsin church that her grandmother's parents were unwed.  "A railroad man," she confides, "in town for the night."  Booker Brooks, an African-American retired teacher, stumbled across an unknown ancestor - a Sephardic Jew, executed in Jamaica in 1799 for opposing slavery. Evelyn Lane discovered ties to Roger Conant, founder of Salem, Massachusetts - and to two female ancestors found guilty of witchcraft.  The down elevator is crowded with gumshoes.  "Get anything good?" one asks another.  "A few little ones," moans the man in Reeboks-the one I saw earlier down on two bad knees, gently beating his head against a filing cabinet.  "But it'll come.  And when it does, wham!  It's better than gangbusters."

By Karen Branan
From Modern Maturity, Jan-Feb 1997

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The Thought for the Week

Week of May 23, 1999


In the early part of the last century lived in an old New England town a Mr. Church, who, in the course of his pilgrimage through this vale of tears, was bereft of four wives, all of whom were buried in the same lot. In his old age it became necessary to remove the bodies to a new cemetery. This melancholy task the much bereaved widower undertook but in the process the bones of the lamented quartet became hopelessly mixed.  Priding himself on possession of a New England conscience, Mr. Church would not, under the painful circumstances, permit the use of the original headstone, but procured new ones, one of which bore the following inscription:

Here lies Hannah Church and probably a portion of Emily Church,
who seems to be mixed with Matilda.

Stranger, pause and drop a tear, For Emily Church lies buried here, Mixed
in some perplexing manner With Mary, Matilda and probably Hannah

From the Hillside Standard, Hillside, MI
Quoted in the Federation of Genealogical Societies' Newsletter


Be kind to your siblings you may need them someday.  The dead relatives will still be there.

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The Thought for the Week

Week of May 16, 1999

"I saw behind me those who had gone, and before me those who are to come.

I looked back and saw my father and his father and all our fathers, and in front

to see my son and his son, and the sons upon sons beyond. And their eyes were my eyes.

As I felt so they had felt, and were to feel, as then, so now, as tomorrow and forever.

Then I was not afraid, for I was in a long line that had no beginning and no end.

And the hand of his father grasped my father's hand and his hand was in mine,

and my unborn son took my right hand and all, up and down the line that stretched

from Time That Was to Time That Is and Is Not Yet, raised their hands to show the link.

And we found that we were one, born of Woman, Son of Man, made in the Image,

fashioned in the womb by the Will of God, the Eternal Father."

    Richard Llewellyn, "How Green Was My Valley"

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The Thought for the Week

Week of May 9, 1999

The illusion that we are separate from one another is an optical

Delusion of our consciousness. ........... Albert Einstein


An Epitaph carved on a gravestone in an English Church Yard reads

"Remember you, that pass by,
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am Now, so you must be,
Prepare yourself to follow me.

 To follow you is not my intent
until I know which you went."

 Diagnosis: Geneaholic

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 The Thought for the Week

Week of May 2, 1999



Have you ever noticed how much shorter a familiar path becomes when it is traveled in  pleasant company?  And, so is life.  Some people choose the lonely road.  Or turn upon it by mistake.  It is long and hard and rocky. It is often cold and deserted.  Only a few travel this way by choice.  The road of life offers frequent companionship for any one who walks forward with a smile and a handshake for all the world.  Give it a try.  Meet the whole world halfway.  Come out of your shell and grab yourself a share, of the joy and the sunshine.  You won't be able, always, to walk in the sunshine.  There must be minor setbacks; little disappointments along the way but in the main life will be more fun, more worth living, if you let the world in if you share yourself with the world.  Believe and trust in God.  Look for good in  all mankind.  Do these and you will never walk alone. 

This was attached to Harold Stromberg's obituary
Son on Nick and Clara Stromberg
Harold was laid to rest in 1970 at age 77

The Acorn doesn't fall far from the tree,
but some nuts roll a long way from their roots.


Life is not about
how fast you run
or how high you climb,
but how well you bounce......


from Don't Whiz on a 'lectric Fence by Roy English

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The Thought for the Week

Week of April 25, 1999


Many, many years ago
When I was twenty three,
I got married to a widow,
Pretty as could be.

This widow had a grown-up daughter
With flowing hair of red.
My father fell in love with her,
And soon the two were wed.

This made my dad my son-in-law
And changed my very life.
Now my daughter was my mother,
For she was my father's wife.

To complicate the matters worse,
Although it brought me joy.
I soon became the father
Of a bouncing baby boy.

My little baby then became
A brother-in-law to dad.
And so became my uncle,
Though it made me very sad.

For if he was my uncle,
Then that also made him brother
To the widow's grown-up-daughter
Who, of course, was my step-mother.

Father's wife then had a son,
Who kept them on the run.
And he became my grandson,
For he was my daughter's son,

My wife is now my mother's mother
And it makes me blue.
Because, although she is my wife,
She's my grandma too.

If my wife is my grandmother,
Then I am her grandchild.
And every time I think of it,
It simply drives me wild.

For now I have become
The strangest case you ever saw.
As the husband of my grandmother,
I am my own grandpa!

 Author Unknown

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The Thought for the Week

Week of April 18, 1999


"The Cold Within"

 "Six humans trapped by happenstance,
in bleak and bitter cold.
Each one possessed a stick of wood,
or so the story's told.

 Their dying fire in need of logs,
the first man held his back,
For of the faces round the fire,
he noticed one was black.

 The next man looking cross the way,
saw one not of his church,
And couldn't bring himself to give
the fire his stick of birch.

 The third one sat in tattered clothes,
he gave his coat a hitch.
Why should his log be put to use
to warm the idle rich?

 The rich man just sat back and thought
of the wealth he had in store,
And how to keep what he had earned
from the lazy, shiftless poor.

 The Black man's face bespoke revenge
as the fire passed from his sight,
For all he saw in his stick of wood
was a chance to spite the White.

 The last man of the forlorn group
did naught except for gain,
Giving only to those who gave
was how he played the game.

 Their logs held tight in death's still hand
was proof of human sin,
They didn't die from the cold without -
They died from the cold within.

 Author Unknown

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