family history

aceofalmonds  asked:

Hello! I read (and enjoyed!) the story you posted of your grandpa and his tree disposal methods, and so was looking for the story you mentioned of your other grandpa menacing a peach tree with a baseball bat, but can't seem to find it. Halp?

That would be because I haven’t posted it yet!  Many people have requested the story mentioned in the tags “Grandpa Menaces a Peach Tree With A Baseball Bat”, So here it is, with a side of “Grandpa Menaces The Iowa Relatives With Giant Corn”


For the Full Context of this tale, you have to understand how my dad’s side of the family got to America in the first place.  Prior to 1917, they were all farmers of limited success that migrated from county to county, trying not to starve, until a covey of the Fitzpatricks heard that they could be shoveling shit in Grand Americay, far away from the people they owed money to, so they all fucked off to Iowa and somehow made a fortune in the real-estate business in the middle of the depression.  Despite now being comfortably middle-class, they never actually gave up farming, and having a pair of glowing green thumbs was a point of pride in the family.

So, when Grandpa moved out to California, specifically to the Salinas Valley, which is where an absurd percentage of the country’s food is grown because it’s full of probably the world’s most stupidly good soil,  Grandpa had to continue the tradition and set up a garden in the backyard, planted various crops and flowers in January because fuck you this is coastal California, I can start stuff in the middle of winter, and invited his sister Leone and her growing brood of (at the time, 5, later 9 children) out to visit.

They came out in July, to escape the Midwest humidity and Butter fetish for a time, when the corn is typically getting to be around knee-height if things are going well.  Grandpa spent a long time asking how things were back on the farm, plying them with ice tea and grandma’s lethal Angel Food cake, before politely inviting Leone and her Husband Scotty out back to see how his patch was doing, oh its not much really, just a bit of fun for me and the children-

Scotty and Leone stared at the nine-foot-tall goddamn corn which was already setting fruit because it had been going since January.  At the watermelon plant that had taken over the side-yard, and at the other oversize and thriving crops that had taken over grandpa’s yard.  There was a few moments of awed silence.

“Well fuck you Edwin.” Scotty eventually said, before Leone whopped him over the head and the rest of the visit was a pleasant diversion.

the following spring though, Grandpa received a package from Iowa, specifically a small peach tree with a note saying “With Love, Scotty.”

Leone knew better than to engage in such shenanigans, because this is irish-agrarian passive-aggressive Bullshittery at its absolute finest.  “Sure, yeah, you can do corn.  Any asshole can do corn.  TRY THIS FUSSY-ASS PEACH VARIETAL INSTEAD, YOU ASS”  is perhaps a more accurate translation.

Grandpa, not about to be intimidated by a mere tree, planted that sucker in the front yard and proceeded to pamper it- bone meal fertilizer, a brand-new irrigation system, the works.  Hell, he would go out some times and talk to the darn thing.  It flowered, and he borrowed a behive from one of the local farmers to make DARN SURE that it got pollinated, because he was going to mail peaches to Scotty for Christmas, that asshole.

The tree. Did not. fruit.

That fall, grandpa reccived a letter from Scotty, asking after a couple paragraphs of circumlocutions, how that tree he sent was doing?

Grandpa got up, made himself a martini, picked up Dad’s baseball bat, and walked out to the front yard to have a discussion with the Peach tree.  

“I’ve just received a letter.”  he explained, waving the paper at the tree. “Asking when you’re going to fruit.  Now, I think I’ve held up my responsibilities to you as your caretaker, so it’s time for you to start providing.  Do you understand?  This spring, you better start fruiting or I will personally take this bat to you and turn you to into kindling.”

He stepped close to the tree, sticking his face in the branches as though whispering into it’s hypothetical ear. “Do not test me, you little shit.”

The next week, the tree bloomed out of season, and by February, it had set an obscene amount of fruit, which grandpa gleefully turned into preserves and mailed back to Iowa.

Real Life Sawbones Episode

Wayfaring, taking a patient history: …and what about your dad?

Patient: Oh he died of heart prolems.

Wayfaring: like a heart attack or heart failure? Or not sure?

Patient: well ya see when mah deddy was in first grade he was walkin the fields and ya know how ya throw peanuts in the air and catch em with yer mouth? Well he was doin that ‘cep with peas and he caught one-a them peas in his bronichal tube but he ain’t know it.

Anyway he got real sick and they didn’t have anybotics back then so they put a tube in his chest ta get rid of the fleem from the infection and his doctor and his preacher come ta see him—ya know back then they did that, come to your house like—and they said he was gone die so his mama decided she would give him one last bath fore he up and died.

So when she picked him up she dropped ‘im by accident and she fell on ‘im and sorta like hit his chest real hard and dern if that pea didn’t come shootin outta his lungs with a whole buncha roots coming off it. So then he got better and he didn’t die.

Wayfaring: …um…ok…where does the heart trouble come in?

Patient: OH! Cuz he got a weak heart on ‘counta all that fleem in his lungs that got all in his chest and smothered his heart so it was always weak.

And when he got old and died they said it was cuz he had fluid buildup in his lungs on accounta that pea bein inside em and them roots had growed all wrapped around his heart and peenched off some blood vessels and it gave him a heart attack when he got old.

Wayfaring: I…what…huh?

Patient: And I got a problem where the bottom part of my heart gets all shaky like and the top part is too floppy and it makes me real nervous. Reckon I got them same kinda peenched off blood vessels like what that pea root did ta my deddy?



Land Rover Series II 88inch (SWB) Pick-Up, 1961 (series II A shown in bottom 3 pics). Growing up on a farm meant we had farm vehicles as well as the family car. I remember when Dad bought the Land Rover (2nd hand) though I was only 4-5 years old. My brother was driving it home from the dealer in torrential rain when we ran into a car (can’t remember what) which had failed to give way. No one was hurt and the Land Rover was completely undamaged. Because both of my brothers are older than me (by 9 and 15 years) they had left home by the time I was around 8-years-old so my father taught me to drive the Land Rover by putting blocks on the peddles so I could help him feed out in the winter. My sister has a picture of me at the wheel of the Land Rover but she can’t find it

A platoon of US Marines poses with their Springfield M1903 rifles, Parris Island, 1932.

The Marine at the far left end of the top row is my great uncle Frank (short for Francesco).  Born in Italy he emigrated to the United States while an infant with my great grandparents in 1900.  In 1917 he enlisted in the US Army and fought in World War I.  He continued his career in the military as a peacetime soldier until he was honorably discharged in 1928.  In 1932 he enlisted in the US Marine Corps and served on the battleship USS Arkansas. In 1936 he finally retired from the military.  He passed away in the early 1990’s, living to a very old age.

After Teddy’s year as Head Boy, at his Hogwart’s graduation, Harry fulfills tradition by giving him a new badge, this one smaller and saying “Past Head Boy” instead of announcing his Hogwarts title. 

It didn’t have Teddy’s name on it, though. Harry had found it in a tiny wooden box inscribed with James Potter and Lily Evans in his parents’ Gringrotts vault, nestled in alongside a “Past Head Girl” badge. It felt right, destiny even, to give this one to his godson. 

Collection of letters, photographs and family items from the correspondence of AJ Micheaux and Lillie Smith Robinson, circa 1890-1899. Photo courtesy of Janice L. Cotton, 2016. 

These letters are my most cherished possessions.  They are well over 100 years old and have survived a massive flood and a house fire.  My great-grandfather was the uncle of the pioneer black author and filmmaker Oscar Micheaux.  My great-grandmother was Oscar’s mother’s first cousin.  These letters document correspondence between AJ Micheaux and Lillie Smith Robinson; and eventually include a proposal of marriage on Valentine’s Day 1898.

Story from Janice L. Cotton 

My great uncle fought in 3 wars. During one of the times he was deployed, his wife and five children moved in with her twin, twin’s husband, and their five children.

Ten children and 3-4 adults at a time in one 4 bedroom house.

At my great aunt’s memorial service I was listening to the family recounting all the chaos involved with sharing that house when my dad leaned over and whispered,

“We were the original Weasely family.”

Originally posted by asheathes

Ford Mansion in Richmond Hill, Georgia, built in 1936. Originally established in 1747 as Dublin plantation; my 7th great uncle John Harn planted the live oak avenue in the shape of an “H” that same year. It then passed to Thomas Savage Clay in the early 19th century and was renamed Richmond-on-Ogeechee. The Clay family plantation house was burned in December of 1864 during Sherman’s March to the Sea. It was later acquired by Henry Ford, who named his winter residence Richmond Hill.