This morinig, I am in Arab, Alabama celebrating an impromptu mini family reunion. Before I left, I set my Facebook status to “on my way to a mini family reunion.” My friend, Robert posted this comment, “I thought only dwarves could have mini family reunions.” I miss working with Robert. What a sense of humor… I digress. My cousin Harry, who lives in San Diego, called my mom in Summerville, SC and her sister Judy in the DC area and asked if they would meet him in Alabama to teach him about our family history from this area. Mom invited me to come along and here we are. I am going to try to write about the trip as we go and I will introduce the people who join us as we meet them.
- Mary – My Mom – lives in Summerville, SC
- Judy – My Mom’s sister- Lives in VA near Washington, DC. Her husband, John is a retired Navy Admiral.
- Harry – Son of my mom’s sister, Bonnie, who died in 1989 – A navy doctor stationed in San Diego. He just returned from a deployment to Afghanistan.
- Me – the rest of this blog is devoted to defining who I am
I drove from Charlotte to Atlanta and stayed the night with Jeanie’s mom Wednesday night and came the rest of the way yesterday. When I arrived, Mom, Judy and I talked about what we wanted to get from this trip. In essence, what was our vision for the trip. It was good to hear that we were mostly here for the same things, to
- Reconnect with family who lives here
- Reconnect with our family history
- Reconnect with each other
Until I typed that list, I didn’t realize how much this is a time of reconnection. We had some great times yesterday telling family stories from the distant past and some more recent stories. I love listening to these stories, but I also realize that I have a terrible memory. My solution was to bring along a recorder to have an audio recording of these stories. Maybe one day I can transcribe the stories for myself and my family.
While I was out jogging this morning, I was wondering how this town got the name Arab. It is nothing like I would imagine Arabia to be. Wikipedia helped:
The name of the town is pronounced “AA-rab” and was an unintentional misspelling by the US Postal Service, in 1882, of the city’s intended name, taken from Arad Thompson, the son of the founder Stephen Tuttle Thompson.
Not nearly as interesting a story as I’d hoped, but it’s a story. So many things are the way they are because of mistakes along the way… and we all contribute to them.
Everyone is ready to go. More later