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The Even Lighter Side of Genealogy
A collection of taglines, prose, poems and humor.

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Prose

From Theodore August Klein, Jr.
"The Mexican Funeral" was also contributed by Ted Klein to the RootsWeb Review, Vol. 1, No. 17 in October 1998.
Around 10 years ago, I attended a Mexican funeral at the famous old San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio, Texas. The priest offered the following story:

We have a tradition in Mexico that each person dies three times.
First, there is the moment in which the body stops functioning.
Second, there is the time that the remains are consigned to the grave.
Third, there is that moment, sometime in the future, in which the person's name is spoken for the last time. Then the person is really gone.

Several years later, I got into genealogy and realized that persons who preserve the memories of persons from their own familial past, are preventing that third death.

Received via GenHumor mailing list October 1, 1998.
Quotes on the Nature of the Universe
Carl Zwanzig: "Duct tape is like the Force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together...."

Douglas Adams: "There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened."

Albert Einstein: "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Unknown: "Astronomers say the universe is finite, which is a comforting thought for those people who can't remember where they leave things."

Edward P. Tryon: "In answer to the question of why it happened, I offer the modest proposal that our Universe is simply one of those things which happen from time to time."

John Andrew Holmes: "It is well to remember that the entire universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others."

Max Frisch: "Technology is a way of organizing the universe so that man doesn't have to experience it."

Kilgore Trout: "The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest."

Woody Allen: "I'm astounded by people who want to 'know' the universe when it's hard enough to find your way around Chinatown."

Douglas Adams: "In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move."

William J. Broad: "The crux... is that the vast majority of the mass of the universe seems to be missing."

Rich Cook: "Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning."

Fred Hoyle: "There is a coherent plan in the universe, though I don't know what it's a plan for."

Ray Bradbury: "We are an impossibility in an impossible universe."

Christopher Morley: "My theology, briefly, is that the universe was dictated but not signed."

Edward Chilton: "I'm worried that the universe will soon need replacing. It's not holding a charge."

Calvin and Hobbes (Bill Watterson): "The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us."

Received via GenHumor mailing list, October 1, 1998.
"What I've Learned Over a Lifetime" -- Author unknown.
I've learned that you can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk. Age 6

I've learned that I like my teacher because she cries when we sing "Silent Night." Age 7

I've learned that when I wave to people in the country, the stop what they are doing and wave back. Age 9

I've learned that just when I get my room the way I like it, Mom makes me clean it up. Age 12

I've learned that if you want to cheer yourself up, you should try cheering someone else up. Age 13

I've learned that although it's hard to admit it, I'm secretly glad my parents are strict with me. Age 15

I've learned that silent company is often more healing than words of advice. Age 24

I've learned that brushing my child's hair is one of life's great pleasures. Age 25

I've learned that wherever I go, the world's worst drivers have followed me there. Age 29

I've learned that if someone says something unkind about me, I must live so that no one will believe it. Age 39

I've learned that there are people who love you dearly but just don't know how to show it. Age 41

I've learned that you can make someone's day by simply sending them a little card. Age 44

I've learned that the greater a person's sense of guilt, the greater his need to cast blame on others. Age 45

I've learned that children and grandparents are natural allies. Age 46

I've learned that singing "Amazing Grace" can lift my spirits for hours. Age 49

I've learned that motel mattresses are better on the side away from the phone. Age 50

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. Age 52

I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you miss them terribly after they die. Age 53

I've learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life. Age 58

I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. Age 62

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back. Age 64

I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your family, the needs of others, your work, meeting new people and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you. Age 65

I've learned that whenever I decide something with kindness, I usually make the right decision. Age 66

I've learned that everyone can use a prayer. Age 72

I've learned that it pays to believe in miracles. And to tell the truth, I've seen several. Age 73

I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. Age 82

I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch - holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. Age 85

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. Age 92

From Maggie Stewart-Zimmerman
Ms. Brown's "I Want" article was originally posted in 1994 to the National Genealogical Conference, FIDO bulletin board forum.
Yep -- I want ancestors with names like Rudimentary Montagnard or Melchizedick von Steubenhoffmannschild or Spetznatz Gianfortoni, not William Brown or John Hunter or Mary Abbott.

I want ancestors who could read and write, had their children baptized in recognized houses of worship, went to school, purchased land, left detailed wills (naming a huge extended family as legatees), had their photographs taken once a year -- subsequently putting said pictures in elaborate isinglass frames annotated with calligraphic inscriptions, and carved voluble and informative inscriptions in their headstones. I want relatives who managed to bury their predecessors in established, still-extant (and indexed) cemeteries.

I want family members who wrote memoirs, who enlisted in the military as officers and who served in strategically important (and well documented) skirmishes. I want relatives who served as councilmen, schoolteachers, county clerks and town historians. I want relatives who 'religiously' wrote in the family Bible, journaling every little event and detailing the familial relationship of every visitor.

In the case of immigrant progenitors, I want them to have arrived only in those years wherein passenger lists were indexed by National Archives, and I want them to have applied for citizenship, and to have done so only in those jurisdictions which have since established indices.

I want relatives who were patriotic and clubby, who joined every patrimonial society they could find, who kept diaries, and listed all their addresses, who had paintings made of their horses, and who dated every piece of paper they touched. I want forebears who were wealthy enough to afford, and to keep for generations, the tribal homestead, and who left all the aforementioned pictures and diaries and journals intact in the library.

But most of all, I want relatives I can find!!!

Barbara A. Brown


Last Update: 4 Mär, 2007


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