Out with the old
As I look back over the inaugural year of the Checkered Chicken I feel quite satisfied at having finished a task nearly 20 years after I set it for myself. I took a "Someday I'd like to" and turned it into an "I did that". I'm not always that good at that.
Having Allen's journals to transcribe and put into the bigger context of our family's story has been an incredible sort of voyeuristic time-travel for me. It was a rare privilege to watch my great grandfather as he grappled with the emerging independence and responsibilities of adulthood and bid farewell to his youth.
I have to admit I developed a little crush on Allen Cass. I really liked him even when I felt he was a bit of romancing rogue at times. I know why Alice Warn fell for him and why no one ever discounted his abilities though his leg was deformed. He played sports, rode bicycles, did manual labor, and never wanted for a friend or a girl. Allen was a charmer who, like his father, was honest and civic-minded.
When I think of how my grandmother spoke of her father I remember her tone of voice puffed full of pride. I just wish I had listened better to her stories. Honestly, Diana paid better attention than me and knew the relationships and the names of everyone whereas I was more of a "nodder". I know well what it's like to hear someone enthusiastically rattle off genealogy while everyone else's eyes glaze over. And Gram's enthusiasm didn't always carry the day with me but I did absorb enough of an interest to appreciate what a gift she gave us in teaching us to know and honor our ancestors.
I realize I have tested many people's enthusiasm for my genealogy this year and I'm sure quite a few eyes glazed over when another entry of "went to factory stayed home all day" was put forth on offer. But this site has also had almost 30,000 hits which is really quite something. My favorite story lines to follow were "the runaway" and "the courtship" which someday (there that word is again) I plan to edit out on their own for clarity.
I am thankful for new-found family and friends I have met through The Checkered Chicken whom otherwise I would never have known and I know that Diana is too . But for now, after 365 days of posts--sometimes multiple, I am taking a little break. By no means are we finished-- there's more to tell but obviously the format will change somewhat and we hope you will continue to follow us.
Diana and I both thank you all for your support and interest and wish you a fabulous 2012.