Wouldn’t you like to know what great-grandfather who opened up land for a new farm or great-grandmother who led the local temperance movement were really like?
Every extended family circle in nearly every generation has a member or two who have more than ordinary human interest: accomplishment in some area, a striking personality, a struggle to overcome obstacles, the object of special community affection.
While he or she may not be a candidate for a “Profile” in the New Yorker, a portrait of such a person’s special qualities would be treasured by later generations in the family. In special cases the town historical society or public library would want to put such a profile on its shelves for the enrichment of future family or community histories.
We are talking here not of simple compilations of vital statistics or curricula vitae, dates and places of residence; but of traits and actions and sayings that would light a spark in the eye of a listener or reader, that would make the subject and his times come alive. Photographs of the characters and places in the life drama would add to its interest.
Most of us and those we love will not particularly qualify for such a profile but we may be able to think of someone in the previous generation or two about whom stories and legends still abound.
Try your hand. If a smile of wonderment or a chuckle appears in a reader, offer a copy to the local historical society [and submit it to us at NEXUS!]. Pass around a few copies in the family, too, to add to the pride of belonging for coming generations.