Friday, November 21, 2008

Holy smoke, I just noted a big disconnect...

My last post included what I thought was an accurate story about my parents' early years, but something happened that made me realize I have a gap about which I know nothing. Turns out in this case at least, my knowledge of my family history may be a series of anecdotes that in a final analysis, don't agree with each other. Here's my story:
Yesterday I took Sheila to her neurologist, and encountered one of those occasional situations you find at a doctor's office, the chatty older person. I happened to make eye contact with a woman a little older than me, maybe 65ish, when she stretched in her chair. I kind of knew what was coming, she asked me if I was a local. I said no, I grew up in the Washington DC area, and she said she had too. I thought it would be nice to compare stories so I asked what part of Washington and sure enough, it was the last thing I said for the next 10-15 minutes while she told me about her childhood in Washington. Seriously, I heard how her parents met, how strict they were, how their technique worked for her kids, and then she started on how nice her dad was and literally was giving me a chronology of his activities starting immediately post WW I. When the doctor finally called for Sheila, the lady was getting to WII. I started to get up and the lady would not stop talking--awkward! I had to just leave, with a hasty "nice talking with you," and I felt bad, but you don't keep the doc waiting. Something she said about her family moving to DC made me realize something I knew but did not connect with what I had recently put in my blog.
I know I was born in Queens, New York, and that my family moved from there to the Georgetown address I mentioned in the last blog when I was 6 months old, according to my mother. So it follows my folks met in New York City, and my dad's business must have been there and not DC, and my mom could not have been working in the Pentagon yet. Even though I always knew I was born in queens, I always thought everything I knew about mom and dad started in DC! Big disconnect. So, I'm thinking hard, and I believe my mom told me dad's flooring business was in DC--he must have started it after he left New York, and I don't know and probably never will what the heck either of them did in New York. Worse, mom was a WAVE, a Naval officer in WWII, and I always thought she worked in the DC area and there was contiguous service in the Pentagon until she left when I was an older kid. Obviously, wrong.
The only one left of my parents relatives is my dad's sister, who must be 85 now, and we haven't been in touch in a long time. I have to give some thought to calling the cousins and connecting with them, maybe there is still some knowledge to be gained...

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