James has an important paper due for his American History class next Wednesday, and he is just barely getting started on it, which of course takes my memory back to the last-minute assignments I was doing back in college. I'm sure that I never started on a big thing like that when it was first assigned, and I could have done so much better if I had.
This essay is supposed to be about his family history from 1860 to present, in sort of a story form selectively told. James, of course, being a product of his generation, knows nothing about his family history. So, here we come, his uncles to the rescue! I emailed my brother Davy in China, Davy having done a geneology search on our family a few years ago. Overnight, Davy sent us a bunch of info about two great-great-great-(not sure how many greats)grandfathers during the U.S. Civil War. One was a recent immigrant from Ireland, enlisted in the Army, and died of starvation in the notorious Andersonville Confederate prisoner-of-war camp. The other was a wild, hard-drinking, wife-abusing scoundrel who deserted the Army and did all kinds of nasty deeds during his lifetime.
But, if we fast-forward far enough, we are shirt-tail cousins of Teddy Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Franklin Roosevelt.
I wish James would find this all as juicy and interesting as I do!