"I'm sure your mother told you this dozen of times," he said this morning. Well not that I remembered. "We went to a party at the Russell's over near the old highway at Wilson Creek. They were having kind of a rodeo party, people were riding their horses. Someone [he actually named the woman but I have forgotten it in the last hour] saw your mother and said, 'Dixie you should have brought a basket.' We got home and about two in the morning [he hesitated here and I thought he was going to say her water broke or something but he continued] we went to the hospital." I knew I was born around four in the morning. I never remember hearing about the party ala rodeo or the basket comment. And I guess I didn't realize my mom hadn't been at the hospital very long when I was born. That's me above, ten months old, in a picture my maternal granddad carried around in his wallet apparently.
When I call my dad, we have discussions that ramble on. Since I call every morning we have to talk about something. Somehow this morning we drifted onto his father. And onward from there to family and the fact that he only had two sisters left of five sisters and a brother. "My father served the purpose of a father. He loved his girls, but didn't give a damn for us boys. He thought he should retire at 55."
"He should have retired at 55 if we was going to get a retirement." My paternal granddad died a few months before I was born at 67.
"Yeah. He was out running the combine the week before he died. He never really did retire."
Family history. We think things are momentous. Historic. We snap pictures of our children. Of graduations and weddings. And then gradually things fade. I often riffle through old pictures for sale in junk shops and wonder at the people whose precious memories are now just another bit of detritus.