Monday, December 08, 2008

Break for a Bit of a Game

Long, difficult weekend that I don't care to remember, so in lieu of a recap let's head for a mini diversion. Again, this probably belongs in the genealogy blog, but I make the rules and I can break them.

I'm listening to another Mitford book this week and was reminded of an old game. Who would you invite to a dinner party if you could have anyone living or dead attend? A lot of people pick outstanding folks of historic importance, such as Shakespeare, Lincoln, Churchill, etc. Some go for celebrities, like Marilyn Monroe, Robert Redford or, heaven help us, Paris Hilton.

I immediately thought of all the questions I could get answered if I could spend a couple of hours with some of my ancestors:

Albert McAfee, who could tell me some of the adventures he had in the Indian Wars in frontier Kansas, tell me some stories about his first wife who died so young, and maybe who his grandparents were.

Heck, why not let him bring his first wife Johney Elizabeth Underwood, so I could get her story straight from her own lips, starting with whether she was born an Underwood or acquired that name from a first husband.

Burl Mason, who could answer the mystery surrounding his death by hanging. Suicide or murder?

Elmo Hodge, who could tell me about his peripatetic parents and also something about why he chose to enlist in the Navy under an assumed name and what all he did during the period between his separation from Cora and his untimely death at age 24.

Frances Hughes Dunavan, who could enlighten me about her people who were weavers in Ireland.

Mary Harworth Mason Cox Massey Smith, and heaven only knows who else she might have married, could tell me what spaceship she dropped from and perhaps a few details about each of her many husbands.

David Asbury Beauchamp, who could relate tales of his life as a traveling ciruit Methodist Episcopal clergyman in Ohio and Indiana.

Hezekiah and Joseph Mobley, the only brothers of their family to survive the Civil War. I would love to hear about their adventures during and after the war. Hezekiah could tell me about being at Appomattox with General Lee.

Finally, to round out the number to an even 10, I would include William W. Frankum, who could help me bridge that gap to the previous generation and explain how it came to be that he and one son fought for the Confederacy and another son fought for the Union.

What a dinner party that would be.


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