…Those were the words I said to my sister when I told her this story.
There’s always that one member of the extended family…… You know the one. Strange personality, strange interests, strange hobbies. You find ways to avoid conversing with him at family gatherings. And it’s been that way as long as you can remember.
In our family, that person is Cousin Melvin. He’s now in his 50’s. He doesn’t take very good care of himself. He appears to have no friends. He never married. He must be lonely because he talks incessantly when he’s in a group. About 15 or 20 years ago he plunged into family history and genealogy. And I mean totally submerged. At every family reunion he wanted to tell everything he had learned to anyone who would listen. There were always those who would feign interest because they didn’t want to hurt his feelings. What was especially strange about it, though, was that he carried with him a photo album full of grave stones. Yes, he travels to cemeteries searching for possible family members and takes pictures of their graves. He keeps these in a photo album and shows them off as if they were the family members themselves! Yes, that’s strange.
Well, since quitting my job, I’ve gotten into genealogy a little. My husband knows practically nothing about any family members beyond his parents’ generation. I found a few papers in an old trunk and started there. It’s been interesting and I’ve found that I love doing it! A few weeks ago, I went to our local genealogical society and discovered that his great grandparents and some other family members were buried in the local cemetery. I wrote down the location of the plots and I went in search of them to record the names and dates. As I stood before the head stone of a great-great uncle, I found myself wishing I had my camera with me. Then a horrible thought struck me…..
I was becoming Melvin!