Friday, June 30, 2006

Yeah, I'm Still Around!

Now that I have few minutes, I figured I might as well post something and stun people that I actually DID! As well as try to build back up daily visitors now that it seems the frantic search for finding nekkid pictures of Huge Jackman has dwindled.

Been busy with that class I'm taking. It's on MicroFlacid Wurd and it requires a couple of hours of typing a day (a full semester's (16 weeks) course crammed into about 5 weeks. What fun! So, between that and my arguing with the twits, twitlings, asshats, idiots, and other assorted anti-gay people proclaiming themselves as "good Christians", I'm too pooped and mind-weary to post here.

Finally got all the pictures I ordered from the two cemeteries back in the New York area of a few relatives' footstones. Yes, apparently cemeteries will do that upon request, sometimes for a small fee, and if the people are buried there. The photos I ordered are for both sets of grandparents and for a sister of my paternal grandmother and that sister's husband. It may sound a bit morbid, I know, but it was all in the name of geneology, curiousity, and wanting to see them, sorta closure where my two grandmothers are concerned.

Of those relatives, I only knew two of them (the grandmothers). My paternal grandfather died 3.5 years before I was born (I was also named after him ─ a Jewish tradition where you name a baby after a relative who recently died (a form of respect for the departed, I think). Me and my two cousins on my father's side were all named after him (Lee (moi, obviously), Laura, and Lynn). My maternal grandfather died shortly before I was 9 but I only met him once (long story, maybe for another day), and my great aunt died in 1952 at 57 in a mental institution in Westchester County, NY. Here, to be exact, ar the Hudson River State Hospital. I found this site when, by coincidence, Chas had mentioned the site a few months back on his blog. She spent the last 35 years or so of her life institutionalized for some mental illness I'm not sure of. My sister thinks it was probably manic depression, which I gather wasn't quite understood back in 1917, let alone treated at all. The story goes that she witnessed her husband being run over by a milk wagon from her apartment window, while he was crossing the street on his way to work (he died at the age of 21 of the injuries a few days later -- I still have the telegram from the hospital telling her he died!) and with the stress of a two year old child and another one due, witnessing the accident and his subsequent death sorta pushed her over the edge.

Which leads me to a story about him. As mentioned, he died in 1916 and as the years/decades went by, fewer and fewer were left alive who had met him and knew what he looked like. My grandmother was the last of them and when she started going senile, that was that. No photographs of him were known to exist UNTIL the late 1980's when my father decided to FINALLY go through several LARGE shopping bags STUFFED with papers and photographs my grandmother had stuffed in the back of one of her closets. Lo and behold, there was not only the telegram from the hospital but a family group photo that included him. I'm now the proud guardian of them plus hundreds of other family photos and papers that my parents and sister had sent to me when my parents sold their NYC apartment a few years back.

Once I finally get off my ass and set up my scanner, I'll see about posting a few old photos.