When I was around 9 years old, my family had come together for their traditional Christmas dinner and this time my paternal Grandmother was beside herself because she had found out that my little cousin ( she was my Dad’s sister’s child ) would be eligible to join The Daughters of The American Revolution when she “became a teenager”.
My Grandma’s family ( her Mother’s side, the Ross Family ) had been around when the Colonies had a tea party and they decided to fight and help stick it to the King and become Independent from the British Empire.
Keep in mind that’s how I understood the history of the States at the time.
My cousin- who my Grandmother insisted was another Shirley Temple in the making had nicknamed my cousin ” Tahnuse “. I have no idea if Tanuse knew where England was. I have no idea if she understood what much about American history because she was like 5 years old at the time.
There was no mention about me or my sister applying to join DAR when we became teenagers.
My Mom and Dad were upset about this little oversight on Grandma’s part.
It was few other relatives from my Grandfather’s side of the family really who had no real stake in the matter because that side of the family had emigrated from Canada who for their own reasons weighed in on the matter.
They were English and Scottish and I always had the faint impression they weren’t exactly enchanted with the DAR concept. So it’s surprising now that when I look back on it that it was one of them that pointed out that if Tahnuse was eligible to join so were me and my sister.
Grandma went on the defense- I don’t remember what she said but I remember the expression on her face.
She looked like she had just spotted a hundred dollar bill on the sidewalk and just as soon as she went to pick it up, the wind blew it away.
From what I learned later, Isaac Ross went into the system when one of my Grandmother’s family members joined the Sons of The American Revolution- in fact he was accepted into the membership a month after I was born in 1964.
I’m not sure why it took almost 9 years for that to come up in my Grandmother’s family-but they are huge and there was no social media platform in those days to spread the word around the world in like two minutes.
Anyway it was when her excitement over sharing that Tahnuse could join this club that the elephant entered into the room and took a seat.
I wasn’t adopted, I was my father’s daughter and my Grandmother’s first born grandchild.
But I wasn’t a golden haired blue eyed Shirley Temple in the making and at the time I was NOT anyone’s idea about what a little American Patriot girl looked like.
Even to my own Grandmother.
Now my Grandfather would swear up and down that I looked like his Mother- actually there isn’t any resemblance at all but I guess he didn’t care. Plus I didn’t care.
Nan, as we called my Grandpa Bert’s mother, scared the bejesus out of people and if you have to be compared to anyone- she’s the one I’d pick.
Plus my Grandfather had already claimed me outright as I was before I was born.
My Grandfather Bert was the one who drove my Mom to the hospital when she went into labor with me and because he and my Dad have the same name, he sort of neglected to tell the staff that he wasn’t that Bertram Godfrey .
I guess he enjoyed his moment in the sun where everyone thought he had a young wife in labor and she was delivering their child. I also think he enjoyed watching my Dad sort out that miscommunication
He loved to tell that story.
My Dad did not enjoy hearing it.
Exploring my Family Tree has been yielding some interesting things- cool names, fun history and it’s brought back some memories that I haven’t wanted to think about for years.
But as ugly as some of it is, to forget some things is to take away from the good memories.
They all make for great stories and I know that among other things-before I am a daughter, Mom, Grandmother, before I am a ‘leaf’ on my family tree-
I am first and foremost writer.
And like any writer will do- I think I’ll keep it all.