Thursday, March 29, 2012

History and Ancestors

A few weeks ago, I was pondering about the life of my great-grandmother as I admired some of her things - her autograph book with many entries in 1888 and the years following, the spinning wheel she brought to this country, and of course pictures.  The lives of my ancestors intrigue me, and I wish I could ask them so many questions!
I just started reading "The Devil in the White City", knowing that it was about the great Chicago World's Fair, the history that goes with it, and the serial killer lurking about during it all.  In any case, as I'm reading I'm realizing that many historic events took place during my great-grandparents young lives. 

I've never thought about it or realized before that my great-grandparents were living their lives in Wisconsin during the years that the Eiffel Tower was built, Susan B. Anthony and Scott Joplin attended the World's Fair, Jack the Ripper was moving about in London, and Cracker Jack and Aunt Jemima syrup were born. And then the Titanic sank.  Amazing that all these historic events took place in their lifetime - why have I never thought about that before? I would love to be able to talk to them about how those events affected them.  Susan B. Anthony is on a coin for pete's sake.  My kids played Scott Joplin music during their piano lesson years, and the Eiffel Tower has always been there.  Hasn't it?  It could be that they didn't know much of what was going on because media was practically non-existent in those days, not to mention traveling any distance was a major undertaking. 

In any case, I love it when a book really makes me think.  Too bad I wasn't this interested in history when I was still in school. 


  1. I had an aunt who died oh, probably 18 years ago now, and she lived to be in her 90's, she was born at the turn of the century. I have lived with her for a while and she used to talk about , when I was a kid, or when I was a young woman, when I was newly married, when my husband was laid off in the great depression, etc...

    I often thought about all the changes she saw, she was around for the beginning of the automobile, she was around for tv, not the beginning of telephone, but all the changes in it, all the changes in radio and music, the beginnings of cd's from where it has started at personal large radios for her family, from going to the moon as a fanciful fantasy to reality, cow boys and Indians were real to things on the movie screen, to personal vcr's she didn't make it to dvd's, all the infrastructure she saw being developed, all the wars she witnessed, etc, and really, to me, the 1900's were a huge place of change for humanity imo, and to me it just seems she saw soooooo many changes that I used to marvel at what she must have seen and lived through.

    I understand where you are coming from :)

  2. I think I'd better start reading that book! Thinking is good!


Thanks for your thoughts - I read and appreciate every one!