Sunday, May 04, 2008

Genuine Texan Genes

Genuine Texan Genes

Lest anyone think that I am making fun of Texas or Texans by my last post, let me make it perfectly clear that I am here because my Texan ancestors called me here, and that I would not be the multicultural California a-hole elitist that I am without all their hard work to get me on this planet.

If I could, I would visit all of their graves, giving thanks to some, praying to others, and perhaps, who knows, dancing on the rest.

I would go to Paris, Texas where my great grandfather William Bascom found himself at eighty some years old, cleaned up from alcohol and scratching out a letter to his brother talking about how he was 'so blind he couldn't see to pull a splinter out of a gnats behind'.

I would go to Laredo, Texas to see the grave of my great great grandmother Mary Elizabeth , a strong and steady folk healer who knew about herbs and laying on hands and reading the weather.

I would go to Gilmer, Texas, where a young soon-to-be Confederate soldier and his wife gave birth to my great grandmother Ella Gertrude before they both died, leaving her to spend her life 'working out' as a servant in other people's homes before she married my handsome fiddler great grandfather (the one who couldn't see the splinter) and took on nineteen children.

From Gilmer I would continue travelling through East Texas, visiting the ancestors who owned some fellow human beings as slaves and wondering if I had any black cousins there. I would visit the many times great uncle who married into Cherokee chief Stand Watie's family, wanting to know if old Watie ever told him what he was thinking when he signed
the agreement that sent the Cherokee down the Trail of Tears, or what it was like for his wife when she walked it.

I would say to them all: we have travelled a long way, haven't we baby.

(Insert Texan drawl, heal old wounds, extract splinter from gnat's behind, move on.)

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