Monday, April 14, 2008

Blame It On The Ancestry Nova

Blame it on the Ancestry nova with its magic spell
Blame it on the Ancestry nova that our traits did well
Oh, it all began with just one mating dance
Leaving good and bad traits left up to chance
Blame it on the Ancestry nova
For the traits we Hate Love

(Now was it Grandpa Greene with the argumentative gene?)
Yeah, yeah, the Ancestry nova
(Or Raymond P. Paul with the backyard cars he'd haul?)
Yeah, yeah, the Ancestry nova
(Now was it Mother's magazine gene?)
Yeah, yeah, the Ancestry nova
(The reason my collections border on obscene?)
Yeah, yeah, the Ancestry nova
Blame it on the Ancestry nova
The Traits We Hate Love

(With apologies to the writers of Blame It On The Bossa Nova.)

When I entered law school my lawyer friends all said, "You'll do really well! You're like a dog with a bone. You'll shake it until the meat falls off." This was their way of acknowledging that I would research something to the bitter end. They also said, "Maven will slice you off at the knees with a word and you won't even realize your bleeding to death." Their way of saying I had a sharp tongue and was up for an argument. But where did all this tenacity come from?

Not from my father or his branch of the family tree. He and his family were dear kind people who shot from the hip (no research), but the gun was rarely loaded (no sharp words).

To look for tenacity we head to New York and my maternal branch. Of my grandfather it was said, he could carry on an argument about anything. I remember as a child he and my mother having a disagreement (read argument) over how high the stove was. O.K., I got it here.

The research trait can be tracked directly to my mother. If she used a word we didn't know the meaning of, we were sent to the dictionary and required to report back to her. When my high school wouldn't allow us to have a prom because it was against the religious practices of members of the school board, she researched the legality of it and wrote the Attorney General of the State of Missouri. O.K., I got it here.

The "cut them off at the knees" sharp tongue trait - there's no question. My grandmother had a razor sharp tongue. She said things that caused anyone who visited her to come away wounded. O.K., I got it here.

These aren't bad traits, just a little hard to control sometimes. Did I inherit anything really good from them. My love of collecting autographs, photographs, and books I inherited from my Great Grandfather (I collected these things before I ever knew he did). My argumentative Grandfather for the love of a good photograph. I do wish he'd given me the photographer gene, but I'm not complaining. My ability to organize and manage; I thank my Great Grandfather who managed Carnegie Hall and his daughter, my grandmother, who managed the Lutheran Pavilion at the World's Fair. I got it here.

Now about that collecting trait. It hits me from all sides. My father collected cars, Edsels mostly, lined up in the backyard. His justification, "They'll be worth something someday." They are worth something, my mother just couldn't wait that long and had them hauled away. I use the "it'll be worth something someday" justification all the time. I got it here.

My mother, as I've previously discussed, had an entire room in our house filled to the ceiling with magazines. I'm there. I got it here.

So see Honey (Mr. Maven), blame it on the Ancestry Nova, I never had a chance.

I would also like to thank my father's family for a good head of hair, really bad health, the ability to work in spite of really bad health, a sense of humor, the drive to keep going no matter what, and yes, that stubborn trait. I hope I've sent some of this down the tree to my children and grandchildren. They got it here!




Blogger Lidian said...

I am really enjoying this COG and learining about everyone - though i did find it very tough to have a fascinating family indeed.

I have some argumentative New Yorkers in my family tree too!

April 14, 2008 at 6:24 PM  
Blogger Jasia said...

How is it I'm drawn to such argumentative people?

My ex-husband was the captain of his high school debate team and they went on to win the state championship.

The current Mr. Jasia is famous for saying that debate is his favorite sport... and I run for cover when he's in a mood to argue. Talk about a razor tongue...

And now I find that you are one for arguing too...

And I hate conflict, disagreements, arguments, and debate. Differences of opinion I have no problem with but it's that darn passion that gets people so all fired up that makes me shiver and quake! LOL!

I'm little miss peace and harmony preferring subtly and passive aggression to outright arguing ;-)

Great post fM! I really enjoyed it!

April 17, 2008 at 11:54 AM  

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