So, I’m officially on leave from Brain, Child. On one hand, I hate walking away, even for a little bit. But on the other hand, I have this genealogical obsession right now that I can’t quite satisfy while working on the magazine.
I’m keeping the project kind of vague on purpose (read: no idea what the shape of it is yet), but I’ve been talking to relatives about it. And, in my tiny, tiny infant stage of the project, this is the conclusion that I’ve come to: My great uncle Bill Crawford was a good, good man. When I was a kid, he’d call me and my sisters (and probably my cousins and distant cousins) on Christmas Eve. Santa had a definite Pittsburgh accent.
Everyone I’ve talked to so far mentions Uncle Bill—in a and you know who was the nicest guy you’ll ever meet? kind of way—although he doesn’t really have anything to do with my specific project. And I know this sounds schmaltzy, but the big takeaway for me, listening to Uncle Bill’s reputation, is that being kind and friendly and helpful really does matter. I bet he knew this when he was alive.
Here he is, having a good time with brother, sister-in-law, and my grandpap. Grandpap’s on the right, and Uncle Bill is next to him.
(For the record, I would be crazy if I had to live with that wallpaper.)
Speaking of relatives, if you’re a descendent of Adam Fisher and Clara Fisher, I’d love to talk to you. My email address is jennifer dot niesslein AT comcast dot net. Adam was born on Valentine’s Day, 1914 and served in the Army.