Thursday, August 26, 2010
I swear I'm not to the point (yet) of going all hardcore genealogist. I haven't even finished sorting through consulting files from 2002. The last thing I need is more records to manage. But I have to say, I'm interested in it and it might become my "new thing" as soon as I write a book>get it published>option screenplay>appear on Oprah in the ice blue Prada sweater.
One of the careers that was suggested to me via an aptitude test taken in high school (back when we had lead pencils, kids) was "private investigator." This was in the heyday of "Magnum, P.I." and "Cagney and Lacey," so I thought that was pretty cool but times being what they were, I chose a different path. Sidenote: Does that mean I didn't take my grandmother's Doberman named "Belle" for a walk nearly everyday and pretend she was both Zeus and Apollo and instead of Alabama it was Hawaii? No, it doesn't. Because I so did.
I do have an eye for little details and penchant for recall and sequencing, so I think it might be fun to embark on this journey. My mother's people (I love saying that and because I'm Southern I can - if you're not Southern, you can't say it ... it's just like that) are fairly well documented thanks to a a devoted distant cousin from Lexington, Tennessee, who passed recently. But the Johnsons are a mystery. My uncle Butch, who left us in May, gave me a little background about 20 years ago when he was visiting from Virginia. I just knew there had to be someone really decadent and spectacular in our gene pool but he assured me, in his amazingly pragmatic way, that we were "as common as shit." He didn't have a ton of information but two things stood out: a distant connection to Lyndon Baines Johnson and something about "Black Dutch."
The Black Dutch thing sounded really mysterious, of course, and initially I thought it could explain a lot - like why I love Missy Elliott so much and could be classified as a Booty Do - but have come to realize those people are rather swarthy and prone to criminal mischief. Which is, of course, what I find intriguing.
All things aside, my friend Ryan and I were having a discussion last night about terminology of "once removed" and "twice removed," etc. He was trying to explain verbally and I was attempting to draw a diagram on the microsuede of my sofa. Thankfully there's genealogy.com and the interwebs for other images. I really like this one and am keeping it for reference.
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