|Author||Shelley Fraser Mickle|
Family History Month Transcript
Shelley Fraser Mickle has a history lesson for us in her Remembering for today.
Sooner or later it hits every kid– usually around October which is Family History Month, a fact that few people know but that every grade school teacher in the universe hones in on– so that the assignment is made: go home and learn about your family. Draw your tree. Know where you come from. Report due in three weeks. Now get started.
I was in the second grade when Mrs. Fletcher gave that assignment. I wasn’t worried. I had the perfect built-in resource– my grandmother. She was born in 1886 and had made it her hobby to know every person’s pedigree in our whole cotton town of three thousand people. She could have the preacher to dinner, and together the two of them could go through the congregation relating every member to somebody else, and run the family line all the way back to the big bang, which is what my grandmother called the Civil War.
It was Petey Lussardi I was worried about. He was being raised b his grandmother who had never been asked to join my grandmother’s reading club for reasons that had something to do with her pedigree and not her reading ability. Furthermore, she and everybody in Petey’s family were out of town.
Now, Petey Lussardi was a terrific student. He made A’s in everything. By the week the Family Tree was due, he had broken out in hives. One afternoon, I took Petey Lussardi home where the poster board with my own family history drawn on it was propped up on the dining room table. My tree looked like an anatomical drawing of the blood system of a human body. Petey looked at it and another hive popped out on his forehead. “Come on,” I said and led him next door.
My grandmother was on her porch reading a book. I stood in front of her and said, “Petey Lussardi needs some help. He doesn’t know where he came from.”