Last night I was talking to my elderly uncle who shared a bit of family history I had never heard before. In light of the book I just released, Beneath the Slashings, I found it pretty interesting. It seems I have a great, great, great Uncle Peter whose father died when he was 13 years old. As the man of the house, his mother packed him a lunch of johnny cake and sent him out each morning to a nearby lumber camp to earn a wage for the family. At 13! This same uncle fought in the Civil War a decade or so later. I looked him up. He lived from 1839 till 1914 and served in the 28th Michigan infantry.
He had two blind daughters, one of which I remember from when I was very young. She would “look at me” each time we visited the nursing home by feeling my hair and face and tell me how big I was getting. She was in her nineties at the time. I was nine when she died. Somehow I never heard of her father.
What a piece of history! Sometimes I wish I had a working time machine.