Wednesday, February 4, 2015

As I was saying...

I have maintained for many years that if you live in the same state where at least one side of your family has lived for more than a few generations (or a century), then most of the people you meet in the course of your daily life are your cousins. Today, I proved it.

A guy called me just before noon today to ask about my services (sorry, no further details about my biz here). I had some free time this afternoon so I agreed to come to his house after lunch and take care of his problem. He gave me the address, about 20 miles away, in a part of the county where I know my mother's people settled before the Revolutionary War, so I wondered if he was 'one of ours'.

When I arrived he came out to meet me, and showed me his problem. I got started on the solution and we proceeded to make small talk while I worked. Soon enough I found an opportunity to ask him if his family was from around here. He told me that his father, now deceased, was born and raised on the property. Then I asked him if he was related to any of the Coltrane family around the area, and he confirmed my suspicions.

My mother was born a Coltrane, so I replied, "Nice to meet you, cousin."

We proceeded to drop names of people we each hoped the other might know, but as I suspected, the connection is too far back to grasp without digging through a few documents. At some point my new found cousin said, "I wish my mother was here, she'd know some of these names for sure."

And then, as if by magic, his mother drove up the driveway.

We talked and traded names some more, and finally found a few descriptions that seem to match. We never did figure out exactly how we are related, but we are, without a doubt related.

So remember, nearly everyone you meet every day is very likely a distant cousin of yours, either by blood or marriage, and probably a lot closer related than you'd imagine. If more people would operate with that idea in mind, I think we'd see a lot more folks behaving like they really are their brother's keeper.

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