Friday, April 23, 2010

So I Want to Write a Book

For some there falls the task of recording the family history as it can best be known. From my predecessors come individuals such as Albert Hopkins Davis who in 1927 recorded events and people in his advancing and infirmed years, and Joseph Francis Thornton who published his compilation covering generations before and as many after as he knew them in 1940. The motivation for taking on such a daunting task can be found in the very family of which they speak. For Albert he wished that descendants would know and appreciate the accomplished life his father Don Henry Davis led as a veteran of two wars and public servant. For Joseph he left the reader with the distinct privilege of coming closer to the dear Christian heart and benevolent love his mother showered on all of her children, left to raise them to maturity when his own father died a week after his birth.

As for me, it is my hope to write a version of public and private events that surrounded of my closest and most interesting relatives, my grandfather Nicholas Dozenberg and the woman he loved who was equally interesting; Frances. Her personal reputation preceded her and was left for others in the family to marvel at years beyond her death. It was no wonder that she attracted dashing, powerful, and equally charismatic men.  Her choice to become a mother at an unfashionably late stage of life was no less unique than also becoming a single mother in a social setting that was not so well equipped for the task. She cherished her only daughter and each of her grandchildren.  Her death and his absence left a vacuum that could not be filled, the loss was palpable, and for at least one, an insurmountable sum of events.

This story has its roots at least in part from family legend for more years than I will admit in public. This is a story that could only happen in America, the greatest melting pot ever created, where established families and immigrants came together in a new social context. I have read that for some descendants with ancestors of doubious character or story, they - (the descedants), end up on the "wrong side of history". It is my opinion that there is no "side" to history but rather a continium of time in history.

After spending countless hours and personal treasure on regrouping family ties and reconstructing events, my research aided by unimaginable technology in ancestors time, I will present the story as I know it. I am not an historian in the academic sense, but an appointed historian in the familial sense. And so I embark on a journey like so many other journeys in life with an unknown destination, the first task is to settle on a title of my words yet to be tied together in some fashion of readable form.

I have come up with the title after discarding several others. The final choice after much consideration is: "A Man of Family," and the title for this blog.

This is a true story that spans the globe, political philosophies and intimate personal desires, the stuff that makes up human life. I will share some of the details here. You are welcome to tag along as a trek along this path.

me with my family taken before the
final baby was born
left to right: father, Amy, David, George, Frances
(mother is the photographer)

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