I was very fortunate as a child and young man. I spent from the age of one until my marriage at age 24 in the same house. My mother's parents lived only a few miles away in the neighboring town. My father's mother lived in the town next to that. I got to spend a lot of time with my grandparents. While my father's father died the year before I was born, the remaining three grandparents survived until I was in to my twenties.
My one regret: there is so much I did not write down.
While my father's mother was born of Polish immigrants, my mother's parents had long roots in the community. These grandparents taught me a respect for those that had, my mother's parents, and those that did not, my father's mother. I learned that a person's dignity was not based on their net worth, but rather on the love and joy of life spent with family and friends.
As my hair turns grey, I recall sitting on my parents' porch and patio, learning so many lessons. Mimi, my mother's mother, would talk about the heritage of Sound Beach and the wonder of personal history. Poppy, my mother's father, was battling with the vegetable garden he kept at our house showing me that idle hands, even in retirement.... Grandma, whose determination and joy, while living alone for too many years, taught me independence.
All I can say is, thank you, to each and every one of them. And so to them and to the many uncles, aunts, and long-lost cousins, I now try to write it down and present "my family tree". It only contains those that have passed (I won't publish anything on the living), going backwards in time from me, but also fanning out to include as many of the descendants that I have been able to trace and say hello to.
If you happen to find a spot where you fit into the tree, please drop me a line, I love to meet new cousins. If you see something that contradicts with your own knowledge, please drop me a line, because no-one's perfect and I could use some help.
Thanks, Mom, Dad, Mimi, Poppy, Grandma and you too Grandpa. You've sent me on a journey that continues to be truly wondrous. I look forward to joining y'all on another porch/patio in the future and learning new lessons....
One last thank you.... To the spouses of those of us caught in this hobby, and particularly to mine, I apologize and appreciate your understanding as I comb those graveyards, descend to the depths of town halls and historical societies, and "surf the Net" until the wee hours.... You are saints with your patience....