The Names of My Forefathers

I was lying awake at 4:30 a.m. the other morning, pondering my family tree, as one does, picturing exponentially expanding boxes stacked on boxes, each one representing another ancestor, and each layer another generation. Each box contains a person’s name, a location, and birth and sometimes death years. I don’t have all the information memorized, … Continue reading The Names of My Forefathers

A Cora Hawthorne Segrest Centennial

Today, September 4, 2014, marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of my maternal grandmother, Cora Segrest, nee Hawthorne. She was the epitome of a grandmother; the content for the encyclopedia entry for “Grandmother”; she possessed the sine qua non of grandmotherliness. My sister, my maternal cousins and I remember Nanny as a white-haired, physically … Continue reading A Cora Hawthorne Segrest Centennial

Abe Lincoln: Great Joker of Jokes, the Sancho Panza Made Governor

In late 1864, London Telegraph reporter George Augustus Sala, that paper’s Washington correspondent, interview the Lincolns in the Blue Parlor of the White House. In his article about that interview, Mr. Sala described his impressions of the president in great detail. More on that soon. Here is a key section that stood out in light … Continue reading Abe Lincoln: Great Joker of Jokes, the Sancho Panza Made Governor

160 Years After First Crimean War: Into the Valley of Death Again?

I don’t pretend to have much knowledge of the first Crimean War, except to observe that it: (a) involved Britain, France, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire; (b) featured the Charge of the Light Brigade made famous by Lord Tennyson; and © made Florence Nightingale famous. Russia went to war against the Ottomans in late 1853 … Continue reading 160 Years After First Crimean War: Into the Valley of Death Again?