This is a special blog entry written by my son for a genealogy project and I thought you all would enjoy it:
The year was 2077. A special presentation was about to begin by an elderly gentleman who walked into an old-fashioned diner on a beautiful evening overlooking Lake Washington near Seattle. Inside the diner, the tables were full with school-age children getting ready to listen to this special old man. They knew he was a great story teller and the children were eager to listen. With great anticipation, the man excitedly stated, “Welcome to the unique stories a friend of mine shared with me about his life. This friend is Elijah. Elijah’s stories were told to me by himself so I galloped all the way here to tell them to you today.” The children clapped loudly for the action to begin.
Elijah’s stories began with a European ancestor on his father’s side. This man was Baron VanDorstan who was ruled by a German King almost 250 years ago. It has been told that the king became very furious with the baron because the baron felt the poor people were being taxed to heavily and he refused to collect the money for the king. The King therefore ordered Baron VanDorstan’s execution. The execution never happened because the baron escaped on a boat disguised as a homeless man. He eventually emigrated to America! WHEW! That was a close one.
As the elderly man shifted to the next ancestor in Elijah’s life, the children listened intently. The next story was about Elijah’s great-grandfather who was a semi-pro boxer in Chicago, Illinois. His name was Alex. Alex had the opportunity to meet Babe Ruth, a pro baseball player, and he played catch with him. Another interesting point about Elijah’s great grandfather was that he washed laundry for a living. One of his customers was the infamous criminal, Al Capone!
As the time was passing, the elderly gentleman knew the children would want to know his identity, but he explained he wanted to stay a mystery until the end of his story telling. The children grew with excitement, but agreed to wait. It was at this point the man began sharing about another ancestor who was Elijah’s great grandmother on his mother’s side. When Elijah’s grandmother was born in Berlin, Germany in 1939, Elijah’s great grandmother with her grandmother were forced to flee because of World War II and all the bombing going on during the war. They walked all the way to the southern part of Germany to find safety. When they travelled they worried they would be caught by the Russians, but thankfully they were not captured and they did make it to their destination several months later. Elijah would not be here today if they had been killed.
Another ancestor on Elijah’s mother’s side was great, great, great uncle Senator Kenneth Douglas McKellar. Senator McKellar was born in Dallas County, Alabama in 1869. He later moved to Tennessee where he became one of the most powerful politicians during the 1920’s-1940’s. He assisted President Franklin D. Roosevelt in getting the money to build the atomic bomb!
As the evening was coming to a close, the elderly story teller paused to capture the moment in his mind of all the children looking at him admiringly. The time had come to tell the children the truth about his identity. He softly stated he was indeed Elijah and all the stories were about his own family. The kids clapped loudly with this news, although they were flabbergasted. It was a great night for all.
PLEASE note extra information/photos in regards to Elijah’s genealogy story above:
Babe Ruth This photo was given to your blogger of Babe Ruth about 30 years ago. I have treasured it. This story my son wrote refers to the Babe whom his great grandpa met.
This photo depicts your blogger’s Oma and Mother. This story speaks of my mother and grandmother’s escape from WWII bombing.