Category: Genealogy

Christmas Letter 2018

Posted December 5th, 2018
Christmas Letter 2018

We flew off to Montreal in October for some poutine, some art museum and a ride on the Grande Roue Ferris wheel, and came back to strange goings-on in the climate controls of the car. The Scion’s fan hadn’t been working well, clacking on low, squawking on high. Then there was that suspicious odor. The…

Book #5 in 2018: A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived by Adam Rutherford

Posted February 4th, 2018
Book #5 in 2018: A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived by Adam Rutherford

My sister used to drive me crazy—well she still does in many ways—for her interactions with her daughters. One of the worst things was her flat assertion about her younger daughter’s problems with math. “She can’t do math,” Sister said. “She get’s it from me.” Then a few years ago we were at lunch with…

Book #2 in 2018: Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

Posted January 4th, 2018
Book #2 in 2018: Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

I had read David Grann’s article in The New Yorker, “The Marked Woman,” last March so the outlines of this appalling story were familiar to me.  The completed book, however, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI (Doubleday, 2017), includes a dark coda that reminds us that all…

Book #1 in 2018: “It’s All Relative” by A.J. Jacobs

Posted January 1st, 2018
Book #1 in 2018: "It’s All Relative" by A.J. Jacobs

I decided a few days ago that I would record every book I finished reading in 2018 and say something about each. As it turns out, this book, It’s All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family Tree by A.J. Jacobs (Simon & Schuster, 2017), a Christmas gift from My Dear One, went faster…

Copper Pots and Dad

Posted July 17th, 2016
Copper Pots and Dad

Dinner time in Cleveland Heights was always a well-orchestrated event. Ma had dinner well in process by the time Dad arrived. My sister and I set the table. After dinner, while my mother wrangled my brother into bath and bed, my father washed the dishes, which is to say he washed and P and I…

Christmas Letter 2015

Posted December 29th, 2015
Christmas Letter 2015

Dearest all, whoever and wherever you may be: Newscasts from Paris in November would cut to Brussels and all we could think was, “We were just there in April.” We recognized streets, buildings, monuments. We thought about our little apartment on rue Potagère (Warmoesstraat) in Saint-Josse not far from the Botanical Garden, our Halal butcher…

That Is Such Sad News

Posted August 22nd, 2015
That Is Such Sad News

A Facebook friend inquires, “Is death always sad?” The comment followed former president Jimmy Carter’s announcement that he has terminal cancer. A number of people from NPR’s Diane Rehm to ordinary friends have found the news “sad.” My FBF continued: “Although I greatly admire Carter, I disagree. Of course, I don’t want him (or anyone)…

Šeima Means Family 8: The Constitution of the Republic of Užupis

Posted May 29th, 2015
Šeima Means Family 8: The Constitution of the Republic of Užupis

Everyone has the right to live by the River Vilnelė, and the River Vilnelė has the right to flow by everyone. Everyone has the right to hot water, heating in winter and a tiled roof. Everyone has the right to die, but this is not an obligation. Everyone has the right to make mistakes. Everyone…

Šeima Means Family 5: In My Dreams

Posted May 17th, 2015
Šeima Means Family 5: In My Dreams

It was possibly the best day of the trip. Or maybe not best. Maybe it is the one most firmly nestled into my visual cortex, the collection of images most likely to reappear when I am asked about Lithuania, what I experienced, what I remember. In television programs like Who Do You Think You Are?…

Šeima Means Family 3: Tending to the Tree

Posted May 2nd, 2015
Šeima Means Family 3: Tending to the Tree

Researching my Dear One’s Family Tree has been, shall we say, a slow process. Facts and documentation, though, when found, bring a thrill, a surge of excitement that renews belief that the project isn’t fundamentally doomed. The problem is two-fold. Records pertaining to impoverished Lithuanians who immigrated to the United States from the 1880s to…